Cultural Crossroads: Why Germans Oppose War in Iraq


Published:

An hour ago, I was standing deep in a Franconian forest of central Germany, gazing in amazement at the time-hidden ruins of an ancient castle, Nordek, that was first built in A.D. 950 and finally abandoned about 500 years ago. The massive stone structure looms two hundred yards above the Steinach river, and was probably built by the local warlord to control the trade on the river. A sign on the castle identifies three medieval wars that were fought for control of it, and, no doubt, for control of the river’s trade.

As the dried and disintegrated blood on Nordek’s mute stones tells us, it all comes back to money. And the real money these days is in oil, since there’s only about a 30- to 50-year supply of it left on the planet, and thus it’s starting to rapidly increase in value.

Unless, of course, you’re talking about cooking oil.

“Your car’s exhaust smells like french fries,” I said to Samuel Mueller as he drove me from the train station in Kulmbach, Germany.

“It’s because it’s running on oil, possibly recycled from a restaurant,” Samuel said. “It’s a diesel engine modified to run on vegetable oil.”

Interestingly, here in Germany you can buy “bio-diesel” or recycled vegetable oil at gas stations, while in England people who modify their diesel cars to run on vegetable oil are vilified and even prosecuted. Germans broadly oppose seizing the oil fields of Iraq, which are estimated to be the largest in the world, or, at worse, second only to Saudi Arabia, while Tony Blair is Europe’s main (and, perhaps, only) cheerleader for former oil-industry CEO Bush’s war plans.

Germany is not an oil-producing nation, and the typical German consumes less than half the overall energy and oil of the typical American. The German government offers incentives to architects and companies to design and build energy-efficient or even energy-producing (as in active or passive solar, etc.) buildings. Public transportation (particularly the train system) is cheap, efficient, and very well maintained.

England is an oil-producing nation, and the oil lobby in the UK, like in the USA, is powerful. In England using french fry oil to power your car is considered unpatriotic, and can even land you in court. At the same time, securing the oil of the Middle East, perhaps with England’s biggest oil companies as partners in the pumping consortium that will undoubtedly come out of an Iraqi war effort, is promoted to the British public by the corporate-owned British newspapers and similarly corporate-loyal UK politicians. Meanwhile, the British rail system is a mess, and their highways are hopelessly clogged with cars, cars, and more cars. All running on fossil oil.

Although I lived here in Germany for a year some time ago, and visit regularly, my sense of the public sentiment is relatively broad but admittedly unscientific. Nonetheless, it’s not surprising to me that a country that remembers well the blood-cost of war, is quickly moving toward energy efficiency and oil-independence and does not have any domestic Big Oil lobby pushing its newspapers and politicians. I’m not surprised that they would oppose their own children dying in a faraway war to secure the world’s second-largest oil supply.

After all, they’ve figured out what to do with all that grease the fast-food joints once poured down the drain. And, since burning vegetable oil is cheaper, less polluting, and doesn’t require a distant army to maintain, they seem to be having a good time making the transition.

Thom Hartmann is the author of Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights , a book about corporate influence of government, and The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight , a book about the end of the era of oil. Visit http://www.unequalprotection.com andhttp://www.thomhartmann.com . This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print or web media so long as this credit line is attached.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

May 26, 2020

Check in on family, friends and neighbors, especially elders and less privileged folks this morning. Kindness as well as charitable impulses are sustained by the Cancer Moon’s mid-morning trine with Neptune. For late sleepers, the same alignment may give…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

May 2020


Show More...
Show Less...

We invite you to join our Monday evening community group. We are creating this group to introduce Mindfulness and Compassion meditations to the broader population, and to support the graduates of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
, MA


Sponsor: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Spiritual Coach—Patti Anastasia RN—for this 1 hour webinar on why our ego gets a bad wrap…and how we can fix that!  Patti's unique coaching style will enlighten...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online Zoom Webinar
, MA


Sponsor: Anastasia's Health Happenings
Telephone: 978-621-8435
Contact Name: Patti Anastasia
Website »

More information

Join the Marion Institute each Thursday in May at 9am for Coffee with Dr. Hennie! Dr. Hennie Fitzpatrick from the BioMed Center New England will answer your questions about health care in the time...

Cost: Free

Where:
Zoom meeting
, MA


Sponsor: Marion Institute
Telephone: 508-748-0816
Contact Name: Patti Rego
Website »

More information

With Liam Galvin via Zoom Open to all levels from beginners to working mediums in the field and for anyone who wishes to maintain nurture and strengthen a strong connection to Spirit. Everyone...

Cost: $20

Where:
Online
, MA


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you have interest in learning about homeopathy? Grab a cup of your favorite herbal tea and join Abby Beale in an informal virtual conversation over Zoom about homeopathy focusing on how it can...

Cost: Free

Where:
Zoom
, MA


Sponsor: Homeopathy Healings
Telephone: 413-426-1024
Contact Name: Abby Beale
Website »

More information

This workshop will be held online via Zoom. Reiki Master Teacher Libby Barnett, M.S.W., integrates her healing skills with past experience as a medical social worker at Massachusetts General...

Where:
Online via Zoom
, MA


Telephone: 603-654-2787
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags