Edwin Starr - War

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

On the anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war, one is naturally concerned with how things will continue. The song "War" was actually by the Temptations, who were able to use it on the Motown label and whose version is not quite as dynamic as Edwin Starr's version. 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 the time.

Since war is good for nothing except destroying everything and killing or psychologically damaging people, one wonders what is keeping 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 and private citizens in Ukraine are the sad victims of this war. However, we would now like to take another look at the role of the victims:

"Imagine there is a war and nobody goes - then the war comes to you! He who stays at home when the battle begins and lets others fight for his cause must be careful: For he who has not shared the battle will share the defeat. He will not even avoid battle who wants to 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 do, it will come closer and 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 being persuaded that Ukraine, NATO and everyone else wants to destroy Russia, but the low fighting morale shows that the idea hardly catches on. The actions of the Russian junta show the approach described by Jan Fleischhauer in his book "Unter Sozis" (Among the Socialists) with modern victim roles. The Russians are victims of a group of Nazis who want to destroy Russia and against whom the victims must defend themselves. This minimizes their own responsibility for destruction and murder and unites the Russians into a single strong group. At the same time, it fanatizes and Goebbels already knew that only the fanatical masses can be controlled. Proof of this is, for example, the eastward expansion of NATO (but it was also the former Warsaw Pact countries that wanted to protect themselves from Russia) or the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines (in addition to Poland and Ukraine, the USA and Norway also have an interest in this, of course). The destruction of Nord Stream probably only happened because Russia's 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. Nobody wants to understand him when he would prefer to have the areas of power of the old Soviet Union back and Russia is then 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). It has obviously suffered great damage and it is certainly not a highlight of Western diplomacy that it was unable to treat Russia with respect. But kidnapping 110 million Russians in a victim role and shooting wildly shows that politicians should not remain in office for too long. As the old saying goes, politics corrupts character. 

Imagine there is a war and nobody goes. The Russian soldier has two options to react to his role as a victim. 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 real life is waiting at home. 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 back, go home because war is good for nothing. Then you are no longer victims but free people.

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