(By Ray D.)
The staff of ver.di, Germany’s largest service-sector union and the largest independent, individual trade union in the world, is worried. Its leaders now realize that there won’t be enough warmongers around to adequately support members’ Socialist way-of-life. They rightfully “fear” that the planned withdrawal of tens of thousands of US military personnel and their dependents from Germany will result in thousands of lost union jobs, particularly in areas surrounding affected bases and installations.
“But…warmongers?” You ask. Well sure, that is exactly how ver.di’s chairman, union kingpin Frank Bsirske, described the American government and military just last year. And that wasn’t all Mr. Bsirske had to say on behalf of the union and its members about the United States. Here are some quotes from recent public speeches he made:
“What it (the US government) puts in place of the UN order is an order which follows its imperial gusto and understanding of its own interests.”
“That connects itself to a concept of hegemony, that, with Iraq in mind, is also clearly motivated by the favoring of an economic development that dramatically increases energy use and raises demand for oil in a sustained way. Access to the oil sources is to be politically and militarily secured.
That aims towards a war with a government, and this will likely not be the last, that one once supported, financed and armed.”
“On Day X as many people as possible should take to the streets and show that they are against the war in Iraq. We call upon all members to take part in the actions.”
“Let us set our protest against the warmongers, the protest of millions of people in the entire world, our dedication and our strength, the strength of the international peace movement!” (emphasis ours)
Given Mr. Bsirske’s strident opposition to the Iraq war, the Bush administration and the US military, one would have thought that he and his union would have been overjoyed at the prospect of thousands of “imperial hegemons” withdrawing from Germany. In fact, the opposite is true.
This apparent contradiction highlights the fact that there is indeed something more important to Germany’s leftist dominated unions than exploiting anti-American sentiment for political gain. That something is ensuring that union members be able to suck at the teat of the Socialist welfare state into the indefinite future. And if that means accepting money and jobs from members of the US military, people the unions have repeatedly derided and demonized as warmongers from a heartless capitalist society, well, then Frank Bsirske and ver.di are entirely prepared to do just that.
(Hat tip: hans ze beeman)