Saturday, November 07, 2009



By Kevin Stoda, Germany

I decided last weekend to make a trip to Berlin.

On the drive to Berlin from Wiesbaden, I came upon a McDonald’s offering a free BILD newspaper (dated October 31, 2009) , with cover stories and photos of 3 aging men who are intrinsically intertwined in the popular myths about the collapse of communism and the opening of the Wall in Berlin on November 9, 1989. The faces were of Helmut Kohl (called the Unification Chancellor by many), George Herbert Walker Bush ( the former US President and ex-CIA chief, who made one his unusually good moves in foreign policy by supporting German unification in 1990), and Michael Gorbachev (renowned as the architect of a new Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, i.e. through his leadership as final Soviet Premier in the era called Perestroika by modern European historians).

The BILD Zeitung (Newspaper) is the most-read tabloid in Europe, thanks to its many bare-breasted beauties scattered throughout its bountiful pages. The paper is owned by the Axel Springer Verlag, and used to be the bastion of what Americanologists see as Germany’s equivalent to the USA’s FOX-NEWS-type culture of readers and consumers.
Founded in the middle of the Cold War, “[f]rom the outset, the editorial drift [of BILD] was unabashedly conservative and nationalist.” BILD had called the East German government simply by the name “Soviet Occupation Zone” for decades

BILD, back in the 1960s and early 1970s, had often unfairly biased many West Germans against the student protest and reform movements. “A popular catchphrase in left-wing circles sympathetic to student radicalism was "Bild hat mitgeschossen!" (Bild shot at him too). At the height of left-wing terrorism around 1977, Bild took a strong stance that could be said to have contributed to the climate of fear and suspicion.”

In Nobel Prize winning author’s, Heinrich Boell’s novelette, THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM, the BILD-like German newspaper is considered the main character or target of the author’s venom. The subtitle of the work is “how violence develops and where it can lead”. In short, according to Boell, media (like BILD) has the ability to kill and to propagate violence—and most of the left-wing audience of Germany back in the 1970s agreed with Boell’s opinion on BILD.

Interestingly, following the collapse of communism in the 1990s, this very wealthy newspaper, BILD, has actually moved closer to the center. This trend enabled the paper to finally pick up its roots and move from a conservative location in Hamburg it was publishing out of for decades to the modern and moderate city of Berlin in 2008.

Wrapped in its new image, BILD, has now somewhat reverted to its older image by bringing Kohl and Bush, as cold warriors, back to the center stage in this week—i.e. during the 20th anniversary of the collapse of a communist regime in East Germany. Simultaneously, Kohl and Bush (the elder) see this week of festivities in Berlin as a means to roll-back-the-clock on historians who have been painting the collapse of communism as a more populist or people’s affair. In short, Kohl and Bush legacies have quite a lot invested in reviving or keeping up the myth that only by outspending and out-threatening the Soviet Union in the arms race had the immediate collapse of Communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s occurred.

NOTE: Interestingly, Michael Gorbachev has been using his own public podium in Berlin this week to note that both the USA (and Germany) need a bit more Perestroika, too, these days.

Interestingly, on my journy to Berlin last weekend, I sat down with a former CIA agent, who had been married to a Sovietologist in the early 1980s.

That Sovietologist had written a major article in the early 1980s for the newly elected Ronald Reagan-George Bush regime--in which this Sovietologists had outlined that the Kremlin was then already being torn asunder by the ascendancy of Doves (whom Gorbachev would join) , i.e. leaders in the Kremlin who were interested more in détente with the West than in the Breschnev-Andropov policies of the previous decades. However, the CIA leadership in the 1981-84 period told that young Sovietologist to “stuff it”, i.e. the Hawkish Reagan-Bush regime at that time was not interested in hearing about the ascendancy of Doves in the Kremlin --while NATO and the USA was busy blowing away trillions in the biggest arms buildup in peace time history.


On Monday, November 2, 2009, on p. 9, in the BERLINER ZEITUNG was a photo and a map of a wall. As I looked closely at the photo and map, I smiled at the obvious irony.

You see… all around one in Berlin this month, there are expositions, tours, memorials, and museums commemorating the memory of the various East German Walls and the Collapse of the STASI (State Security) Regime.

However, what was shown on p. 9 of the Berliner Newspaper was of a man standing on a ladder leaning against a large cement wall, built to separate permanently neighbors from neighbors. The title under the picture was: “Locked Out.” The text under the photo in bold read “A Man looks over the Great Israeli Protection Wall to the settlement of Nilin, which is [actually] located on Palestinian territory.”

Beside the photo of the solitary Palestinian (p.9) looking over the Israeli Wall at his own land is a settlement map of Western Jordan, i.e. the West Bank. Below the map is the statement that 470,000 Israeli Jews live in the occupied territory of West Jordan. (In addition, another 190,000 Israelis have occupied and live in Arab territory in and around Jerusalem.) Some of the Israeli settlements have 30,000 Israeli settlers on them.

Interestingly, the photo and map are missing from the online version of Nov. 2, 2009’s BZ (Berliner Zeitung). However, the message of the photo of the Apartheid Wall of Israel and the map of the West Bank were not lost on German readers of the article on Hillary Clinton in Israel, written by Inge Guenther. The headline on that same page 9 read: “Hillary Clinton supports Nenayahu” and his reasons not to fully stop settlement building in Israel.

The decision to introduce the photo and the map during the 20th Anniversary Wall celebrations and reunions in Berlin are a clear editorial comment that no-such walls are really acceptable to the peoples divided by them.


Similarly, there was a photographic comment or editorialmade by the publishers of WELT KOMPAKT, another Springer newspaper publication in Germany, on November 2, 2009. The Kompakt newspaper is like a Readers Digest of articles from the more famous DIE WELT newspaper in Germany. The article of interest to me was one on “Swarm Intelligience”.

Interestingly, DIE WELT had published an article last August with the title and same photo you see on this link below. In that article, entitled BIOLOGISTS RIDICULE THE IDEA OF SWARM INTELLIGIENCE, DIE WELT writer Matthias Glaubrecht reveals that many biologists do not consider “swarm intelligence” as being intelligent at all.

“Swarm Intelligence” is also called collective intelligence.

Collective intelligence consists of three types of manifest intelligence from biology, neurology and the social sciences. It involves cooperation, coordination, and related social and individual cognitions. “The best-known collective intelligence projects are political parties, which mobilize large numbers of people to form policy, select candidates and to finance and run election campaigns.”

Scholarpedia explains that “Swarm intelligence is the discipline that deals with natural and artificial systems composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization.” Belgium researchers, Marco Dorigo and Mauro Birattari, also note “In particular, the discipline focuses on the collective behaviors that result from the local interactions of the individuals with each other and with their environment. Examples of systems studied by swarm intelligence are colonies of ants and termites, schools of fish, flocks of birds, herds of land animals.”

The WELT KOPMAKT article, written by Axel Tiedemann, was entitled “Die Schwarmintelligenz” and had the subtitle: “Humans behave like Schools of Fish—Only a few Control the Many”.

Tiedemann describes sociological experiments whereby many participating volunteers are asked to stand in a large auditorium or to walk around. No one amongst the greatest share of volunteers was given any direction as to how to move about.

However, 5 percent of those participating had, in fact, been given clear indication that they were to act in coordination. In short, soon the great mass of students began to act and travel about the auditorium as a coordinated school of fish--without even knowing that they were being led to do so by no more than 5 percent of the population.

In short, what revolutionary, anarchists, and secret agents, such as those in the CIA, observed a long time ago, a small group of coordinated leaders can get the great masses of others in a society to follow them simply by working the masses like the few leaders in a school of fish do.

Why am I sharing this particular fish story about “swarm intelligence” after talking about Walls in East Germany and Israel?

Well, you see, the editors of the WELT KOMPAKT on Monday had decided to put a photo of hundreds of people sitting on the Wall in front of the Brandenburg gate in November 2009 under the photo of the fish and under the title of the “Swarm Intelligence” article.

In short, the editors of WELT KOMPAKT insinuate that besides telling robots how to think and how science might create other artificial designs, swarm intelligence might better explain how a small minority of educated and convicted pacifists and religious leaders in East Germany in 1989 were able to pull off the first peaceful revolution in Central European history.


Any comments? i.e before the Wall falls down?


Bush Senior to meet Kohl and Gorby in Berlin,



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