Thursday, March 31, 2016


Our salvation is in our music that is becoming universal


We all remember, from our history text books at least, the events from 1957 to 1962, the total hysteria of the USA about Soviet spies which had led to McCarthyism and the execution of the Rosenberg husband and wife. The fall of Cuba out of their zone or sphere of influence was a trauma they are just right now trying to put behind. The spying was primitive with those spying planes that had no chance what-so-ever to get through: the first one was the last one. On both sides they ended up with spies in their prisons kept nicely warm to be used in some political negotiations as leverage.

Consider the case of a Soviet spy in New York and that of an American pilot of a spying plane shot down over the USSR, plus the fact that East Germany turned tricky and led to the construction of the wall, and to top it all like the cherry of the cake one naïve American student preparing his PhD on communist economic policy in eastern Europe was at the wrong place at the wrong moment and got arrested and prosecuted as a spy by the East Germans. But the East Germans hated the Russians who had for sure liberated them from Hitler, but who had also destroyed Berlin in the most ruthless way possible, though the Palace of the Hohenzollern was pulled down by the East Germans.

Tricky situation indeed to negotiate the release of two Americans, one of whom is a real security risk in exchange of one Soviet spy. And it took some time and a lot of patience, including against the CIA who only wanted to recuperate the security hazard out of Soviet hands before he cracked. It took a lawyer from Brooklyn, a pure Irish descendant to manage to bridge the two or three divides to get what he wanted. All those among you who have actually lived this period will remember the stress, the danger, the fear amplified by what the film does not tell: the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961 and the Soviet missile crisis in Cuba in 1962. We went through a few years of absolute scare about the possibility of a nuclear war.

We can have a nostalgic look at the past. I was in East Berlin and East Germany for the first time in 1963. I worked in a mine near Leipzig then, in Borna. There will be more trips. The most dramatic will be in 1968 after the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. My own son will go once in the 1980s I just wonder how Donovan managed to get lost when coming out of Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof which is practically round the corner to Unter den Linden. Well some must have some fun now and then. And it only cost him a coat and a cold.

We can also measure the immense change we have been through: reunited Germany; united Europe (nearly finished though Russia will always be on the side); free and emerging Vietnam; China the second economic power in the world; apartheid gone with the wind; Cuba accepted anew  by the USA; the banana republics of South America also gone. And yet the dangerous places have just moved to other areas and mostly because of the dumb policy of one US president who decided to solve the problem he had with his own father by proving to the world the USA could create havoc in the Middle East, and they did. And North Korea is the answer of the shepherdess to the shepherd: a perverted and fouled love song that prolongs the Korean War that was a total failure in the objective of the time to get Mao Zedong and the Communists in China down.

Is the world really a better place today than it was in 1957-1962? You have to be naïve to believe that. The main difference is that spying is no longer that crucial and it has been replaced by the protection of intellectual property against pirating. Pirates and Hackers are the two plagues or our modern world. More than ever the danger is no longer from the outside but from the inside. Let’s move our minds and backsides a little bit and let’s clean up the mess Bush Jr. did and all European countries, especially the super-duper secular ones who pretend that everyone has the right to be a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian, or whatever, provided it is kept absolutely invisible in the public sphere, are today confronted to the bill.

Dematerialization and castration of at least two generations of immigrants in Europe from previously colonized countries, which means at least three, four or more centuries of colonial alienation, exploitation and extermination when necessary leading to uprooting them from their countries and transporting them into countries that refused to recognize and respect the fact that they are different. As the fundamentalist secularists would say: “They can believe in what they want provided I do not see it.” And the hazardous population is not outside but inside our borders. We have walled them up in our backyard without any rights whatsoever as for opinions and religions.

The old Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome we all in Europe inherited from centuries of wars and the two world wars was turned into a Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome called the Cold War and we are still in that mood. We see the danger outside when it is inside, and not inside our territory only but inside our minds. The new situation is that the PTSS of the Cold War is confronted today to the Post Traumatic Colonial Stress Syndrome of the uprooted millions of previously colonized people who we have brought in our countries for salaried slavery. And we think that by mocking the religion of these human beings who are suffering in their inner essence we will free them of their PTSS. Only Charlie can be that dumb. I am sure that kind of anti-empathetic attitude would have turned the 1957-1962 situation into a holocaust. And that’s the real danger today. The Islamic State will be defeated but what do we do afterwards? Cartoons of the Prophet dicing onions…? And I am trying hard to remain polite. I guess some secular fundamentalists do think so. Papaoutai? Really this time.

Stromae help us out of this diabolical fix!


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