Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Right-Wing Extremism?

Over the past two weeks, there's been a lot of hype by the news media in Germany over right-wing extremism within the Bundeswehr (German Army).  It's an odd topic.

I was associated around the US military for over thirty years.  If you'd asked me about identifying right-wing extremism....it'd be mostly a joke because it just didn't exist.  Oh, we had alcohol-related issues, pot-smoking, lot of bad decisions on finance, gang affiliation, idiotic relationships, occasional racism, and deviant behavior.....but no Nazis.

The German Army/Air Force/Navy....keeps roughly 180,000 personnel on active duty, and another 140,000 as reserves.

Within the last twenty years, they went to a volunteer system (like the US) and recruitment was the big problem in the beginning, and to some degree today....it's still a problem.  You will notice in the spring months....lots of trade shows where the recruitment folks show up and try to interest teens in joining.  To a degree, to meet the quotas, just about anyone who comes in and passes the intelligence test and the physical.....will get a contract.

This slant by the news media?  Out of 180,000....one might take a guess that at least 300 to 500 folks might have some particular view of far right-wing extremism.  Statistics simply don't exist.  Oddly, if you examined the 20,000 employees of ZDF/ARD (public TV), you might find that 150 of their people are either extreme left-wing or extreme right-wing.

In some way, I'm amazed at the freaked-out nature of the news media folks.  They certainly didn't freak out when one of the Bundestag representatives got arrested with a fair amount of meth on them back in 2014.

Fixing this?  Well, the truth committee of the Bundestag will have some interviews and do some truth commission-investigations. My guess is that they will have some group brought in and let go (maybe in the range of 150 to 250)....accused of being right-wing.  The group will find a lawyer, and then some court episode will occur, and two years later, the court will decide that this was handled in a stupid way and pay them back-pay, and allow them back into the military.

Look, when you go out and look for volunteers who are willing to live in miserable conditions, kill some really bad people if necessary, and take on some questionable challenges in life....you don't typically ask people about their focus in life, their religion, or their left or right wing enthusiasm.  You need people who will take orders and pull the trigger if necessary.  This is not like recruiting for the burger-flipper, or the postal jobs.  You need men and women with unique prospectives.

Oddly, with all the chat this week on this Bundeswehr discussion....it is remarkable that ARD and ZDF haven't mentioned a word about the anticipated one-Euro rise in the TV tax that has been rumored and discussed in open press talk (non-public news).

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