The Heart Of The Matter
by Hilmar von Campe
TODAY OUR NATION SAW EVIL was the headline on the front page of our local newspaper on the day after September 11. It was horrifying and it was certainly evil in action in a sickening way. And now we are at war and those persons and states responsible for this atrocity will and must not get away with what they did and what they surely still plan to do. Terrorist bases have to be destroyed, their sponsors to be punished, the individual assassins brought to justice, and future action if not prevented made very difficult.
It is necessary, however, to define the kind of war we are in, which is quite different from the conventional wars we know. We need to be clear on who a terrorist is and what evil is because if we don't we might go only after certain expressions of evil, like terrorism or only part of terrorism, while leaving other forms intact. And those forms might come back at us. We need to go to the heart of the matter.
Evil cannot be seen therefore the above-mentioned headline was objectively incorrect. We saw evil in action or an explosion of evil. But neither good nor evil are of material nature, you cannot touch them. They are invisible forces, which originate in the hearts of people. Love is a form of God, hatred and lust for sex, power or money are forms of evil, which you don't see. You can only recognize the consequences, which are very often disguised with nice-sounding reasons. That what happens inside of a person, what motivates him and forms his thinking, comes first, any form of action is secondary, a consequence of the first. We saw the consequences of activated and uncontrolled hatred, and felt the evil in the hearts of men that led to the atrocities we witnessed. Hatred is the driving force.
Let me put the issue differently. There are two ways to bring down and destroy free society or any society. One way is to destroy the material infrastructure of a nation, on which its material existence depends, or as much of it as you can. The terrorists aimed at the destruction of the top political, financial and military installations of the United States with the intention to kill at the same time as many of the national leadership of the country as possible. Great damage was inflicted but the purpose failed. The other way is to destroy the moral infrastructure of society, the moral fiber of a nation, to undermine the will to fight of the population through moral corruption and take over. As I have pointed out in earlier publications this evil attack from inside on the pre-condition of freedom, moral clarity, has been going on for many years and right and wrong are no more clearly defined. Lt. Col. Dr. Tony Kern, former Director of Military History at the Air Force Academy, points out that General Patton considered moral conviction five times more important in battle than physical strength. Since terrorism wages war against everybody in whatever part of the country, the will to endure hardship and the determination of the population to prevail as a free nation will be the decisive factor in winning this war. Does America have this will? The same question can be directed at Europe.
Hatred only with a different label was the driving force motivating the Nazis, and until today it is at the center of Communism, irrespective of whether the representatives of the latter have a nice democratic language and wear ties. We had both philosophies organized as states in Germany and they were amoral, inhuman and disdainful of human life. I lived under the Nazis and I know what I saw. They lied to us in the same manner as fanatic mullahs lie to their followers. We did not achieve national glory but disgrace and these killers will not go to heaven but to hell. They and we were bribed by liars. I am not surprised therefore to hear that according to French author Roland Jacquart Osama Bin Laden seems to be helped by two former top STASI (state security) officers, who trained his men in the use of chemical and bacteriological weapons. German STASI expert Thomas Auerbach confirmed that until the end of the DDR in 1989 the STASI had trained outside the DDR about 1900 terrorists in the art of hijacking planes and using chemical, bacteriological weapons and bombs. But also within the former East German state commandos of terrorists were being trained. There existed a close alliance between the SED communists, the PLO and other Arab fundamentalists and their terror organizations. Experts of the German intelligence service BND believe that at least part of this net of cooperation is still in existence today. That brings up the question of what Vladimir Putin knows about this connection and whether he has informed American intelligence about what he knows. He worked as KGB agent with the code name "Platow" from 1985 until 1990 with the STASI out of Dresden in the former DDR. His task was to coordinate a global net of East- and West German agents. But not only former STASI officers are linked to the terrorist scene but also members of the former Soviet elite units "Spetsnaz", specialists in sabotage including the use of chemical and biological weapons, that are said to have been recruited by Bin Laden.
Benjamin Netanjahu, former prime minister of Israel, defined in a Congressional hearing on September 20 of this year in Washington that anybody who targets civilians for annihilation in order to achieve his political purposes, is a terrorist. That puts Yassir Arafat squarely into that category. But there are many more. What about the Chinese leadership killing a quarter of the civilian population of Tibet and bringing in their own people? What about the economic terrorism of the United Nations imposing a blockade on the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti, only because Bill Clinton, president of the United States at that time, wanted to show off? Netanjahu said that in order to win the war against terrorism there has to be one standard, which applies to all. He also said that one can not define the terrorist actions of one group to be acceptable and condemn the same action by another group. I get letters and reports from countries like Chile, Peru, India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Israel from people who support the United States in this war against terrorism but bitterly complain, that Western leaders forced solutions upon them or attempted to in conflicts in their part of the world on the basis of treating terrorists as a legitimate political force. I completely agree with Netanjahu, that this manipulation for one's own political convenience has to stop. There has to be a common denominator, a universal standard for right and wrong. If the United Nations, as an institution, wants to have any voice, it needs to clean itself up and rid itself from those states, which have terrorist connections to begin with. If that doesn't happen, close it down.
America was exposed to a devastating explosion of evil. And the sense of evil remains lurking around the corner, as nobody knows what will come next. Many people are preoccupied that it might be them who will be attacked next. Evil therefore has to be defined in order to be able to deal with any aspect of it. There is only one correct and all-embracing definition of evil: it is everything that is offensive to God and outside of His moral order. In other words without God and his moral absolutes as a standard there could be no definition of evil because there would be innumerous different definitions, everybody would define the actions of others as evil without looking at himself and his group. One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. We would never be able to get even close to a cure. There has to be one standard for all. Expressed in a different way it means that everything, which does not pass the test of truth is evil. God is truth and demands truth. The lie is the mother of evil. And these are not expressions of personal religious beliefs but existential facts.
Raging and organized hatred is at the heart of each crisis point in the world of today, whether it is Bosnia, Kosovo, Mazedonia, the Middle East, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Afghanistan or wherever. It is at the heart of the materialistic ideologies of the 20th century and at the heart of Fanatic Islam. It has been integrated into the philosophies and policies of nation states around the world, which nevertheless sit in the General Assembly of the United Nations and promote and impose their distorted views of reality.
Hatred grows out of little resentments, which may begin in the family, from arrogance in any form, from indifference to the need of others, from injustice suffered, from cruelties imposed by others - and then come the professionals like the Nazis, the Mullahs, the polit bureaus, very often politicians, who nurture the resentments of others for their own ends, inflame the hatreds and receive short term advantages but at the end reap a hurricane out of control. Nowhere will there be peace, unless the issue is addressed squarely. Whatever the injustice - hatred is the answer of the immoral and godless and makes matters only worse.
There will be peace nowhere ever unless evil is attacked in the hearts of all men everywhere, unless hatred is transformed into love and compassion. That cannot be done without God. America was created as a nation for that very purpose, to be a nation under God and show the world how to live as a free society. Lasting freedom without God is impossible.
I have great confidence in President Bush and his strategy to weed out the terrorists, destroy their networks and bring the murderers and their leaders to justice. He is a man of faith who knows how to inspire others. Parallel and with him, however, the war against evil within our society has to be waged by every patriot. Each person has to live in such a way as to be able to face God at every moment. The enemy in this war is the lie, which has a bridgehead in every human heart and tries to make it a fortress. But also truth has a bridgehead in the same heart anxious to make it a fortress. Which one will be stronger?
Everybody can do as I did. After WW II in our family we hated the Nazis, the British and our landlord. It consumed us. It was a British journalist who freed me of my hatred and taught me that hatred is not only wrong, but that it is stupid - how can any intelligent person argue in favor of hating whole groups of people of other countries, color, race or social background? My mother, my sister and I asked God and those we hated to forgive us and made restitution. And since then, 50 years ago, I have never allowed any resentment to remain in my heart. I, in the first place, and my wife in the second place, I believe, we are the major beneficiaries of this decision. When my best friend set out to steal my company and its assets in Mexico I forgave him in spite of his success in taking the valuable real estate away from me. But that made me free to fight him intelligently and ferociously not for revenge but for justice.
I decided never to lie again but stand up with the whole of my existence for the absolute truth of God to make it the basis of all human relationships. Evil may tempt me but has no hold on me. That experience has to be made available to every person and nation in the world. Truth has to be installed in the structures of state and society. And that is the heart of the matter.
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