Edwin Starr - War

When the song was released in 1969, it was an anti-war song in light of the Vietnam War. Unfortunately still current....

On the anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war, one is naturally concerned about how things will continue. The song "War" was actually by the Temptations, who had access to it on the Motown label and whose version is not quite as dynamic as that of Edwin Starr. He had his greatest success with this song and all subsequent adaptations (e.g. by Bruce Springsteen or Franky goes to Hollywood) are based on his version. He was also on the Motown label and was allowed to release the song as a single because the Temptations didn't want to alienate the conservative part of their fans at that time.

Since war is good for nothing except destroying everything and killing or psychologically damaging people, one wonders what keeps Russia and Ukraine in this war. According to unconfirmed information, 200,000 Russian soldiers and more than 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have already been killed or wounded. The areas that Russia wanted to conquer have been partially destroyed (see Mariopol or Bachmut) and ordinary people have fled or been abducted or tortured or killed.

Soldiers as well as private citizens in Ukraine are the sad victims of this war. But now we want to shed light on the role of the victim once again:

"Imagine, it is war and nobody goes there - then the war comes to you! He who stays at home when the battle begins and lets others fight for his cause, he must be careful: For he who has not shared the battle will share the defeat. Not even battle avoids he who will avoid battle, for he will fight for the cause of the enemy who has not fought for his own cause."

This was written by the German writer Bertolt Brecht (1898 - 1956) and it shows how difficult it is to answer the situation in Ukraine correctly. If you don't send help, the war will come closer and closer - if you send help, it will come closer. 

The situation is different for the Russian soldiers. They have to fight as aggressors against someone who is actually a brother, after all 10% of Russians have relatives in Ukraine. The Russians are persuaded that Ukraine, NATO and all others want to destroy Russia, but the low combat morale shows that the idea hardly catches. The actions of the Russian junta show the modern victim roles described by Jan Fleischhauer in his book "Unter Sozis". The Russians are victims of a group of Nazis who want to destroy Russia and against whom the victims have to defend themselves. This minimizes their own responsibility for destruction and murder and unites Russians into a unified strong group. At the same time it fanatizes and already Goebbels knew that only the fanatized mass can be directed. As a proof, for example, the NATO expansion to the East (but it was also the former countries of the Warsaw Pact that wanted to protect themselves from Russia) or the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines (in addition to Poland and Ukraine, of course, the U.S. and Norway have an interest in it) are cited. The destruction of Nord Stream probably only happened because Russia, through the war, gave Nord Stream's opponents the opportunity to do so, and it is, of course, a deep rift between the Western partners.

It is Putin himself who feels like a victim. No one wants to understand him when he would like to have back the areas of power of the old Soviet Union and Russia is then also disrespectfully classified as a regional power by Obama and Co. and the former Soviet republics no longer want anything to do with Russia (e.g. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Moldova - and now also Ukraine). Obviously, he has taken great damage and it is certainly not a highlight of Western diplomacy that they could not deal with Russia respectfully. But to kidnap 110 million Russians in a victim role and to shoot wildly shows that politicians should not stay in office too long. Politics corrupts character, as the old saying goes. 

Imagine it is war and nobody goes. The Russian soldier has two options to react to his victim role. He can continue to be sent to his death as cannon fodder by his government (they don't seem to care about the number of casualties) or he can turn against the officers and leadership who want to send him there and shoot his way back. Because back home, real life is waiting. Loving people, colorful clothes, delicious food, funny conversations, beautiful design, partners and children and of course rousing music. If you have to kill, then you should kill those who want to force you to kill. Turn around, go home because the war is good for nothing. Then you are no longer victims but free people.

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