Maria Mies during her talk

Peaceful protest in Mainz

Demonstration's poster

Mr. Bush, you are not welcome!

Bush in Germany, February 2005

The U.S. president's visit to Europe was met with a variety of protests from the European peace movement.

His one-day stop in Mainz, Germany, on 23 February, took place in an atmosphere of 'total security' that involved the closing of air, ship and car travel in the city and region, at great cost and inconvenience to the local population.

Despite the cold weather, some 12,000 people turned out for a peaceful protest in Mainz.
Women and Life on Earth member Maria Mies gave the following talk to those gathered.

On the occasion of President Bush's visit in Germany, Maria Mies, sociologist and activist addressed members of the peace movement. Here, our English translation:

Mr. Bush, you are not welcome!

Just now George W. Bush, the American President, is being met here in Mainz and welcomed by the German Chancellor Schroeder. We too have gathered here to greet him. If my words could reach him in spite of the police cordon, this is what I would say to him: Mr. Bush, you are not welcomed -- by us!

You are a liar.

You lied to your own people, when you claimed that the war in Iraq was necesssary, because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and supported terrorists. You lied to Europe and the entire world.

Even more, you knew you were lying. As the truth came to light, you said that the Iraq war was nevertheless necessary. That the world was a better place than before the war. That it had promoted freedom, democracy and peace. Everyone knows that the opposite is true.

And you go on lying!

What is the reason for your trip to Europe and the snuggling up to European heads of state? Supposedly it is once again about freedom, freedom, freedom, peace and democracy in the whole world. You swear to the unswerving unity between the USA and Europe in the fight for freedom. No power in the world can separate these two. "We speak with one voice!" you said on Monday in Brussels. Magnificent words! But who can believe them?

People who see what is really going on shudder when they hear your bombastic use of words like freedom, democracy and peace. They all know that you are one of the biggest war-makers of all times. They all know that you are heading one of the biggest war machines of all times. That what is going on now is basically about turning over part of the cost for your messy war without end in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Europeans. They are to pay to be part of your colonization project.

In addition, you want the Europeans to agree to your long-planned additional wars against Iran, against Syria and against North Korea - your infamous Axis of Evil - without posing too many problems.

In any case you are following a slightly different strategy than in previous wars. The Europeans should tire themselves out on the diplomatic front, for example convincing Iran not to build atomic weapons. When this strategy is unsuccessful - as you expect - then you will attack. Unilaterally. You are leaving all options open, as usual: with the Europeans, if possible, without them, if necessary. Because you and the military-industrial complex in the USA which you serve need more wars, yes, actually war without end.

And you really seem to believe that it is possible to put all Europeans, like your compatriots in the USA, through such a brainwashing that they will accept the new 'official version' of things: that peace means war, freedom subjection and democracy totalitarian control, within and without.

Do you really think that we, the peoples of Europe, would believe that you were called by God himself to bring your gospel to the whole world, and that through war?

But maybe you are not worried about what people think, when Europe's leading politicians offer no resistance to your plans. And these plans are the same as ever. They aim at hegemony over the whole planet for the profit of capital. And as your father has said, to protect the "American Way of Life" and the "free" world market.

Wars are as much a part of this strategy as the neoliberal globalization with its principles of universal competition, privatization, and above all the unrestrained right to profits. McDonalds can only offer its hamburgers world-wide and Coca-Cola can only sell its sugar-water in every corner of the earth because the American Air Force, the Army, the Navy and the Marines stand behind them. Globalization and war belong together.

But now let us leave Mr. Bush with his lies. And turn to the European leaders who are now welcoming him.

Why do they go along with this degrading play with words? They know the interests that stand behind the plans of Mr. Bush and his administration. Why do they play along in this hypocritical theatre piece? Don't their stomachs turn during their dinners and press conferences together? Do they really think that Mr. Bush has suddenly mutated into an angel of peace? And how serious are Mr. Chirac, Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Blair themselves about peace?

Don't they in fact have the same interests as the American administration?

Let us not forget that they are actually cousins. On TV we could see how Bush, the big brother, kept patting them patronizingly on the back. No one dared pat Bush on the back. It seems to me that we are back in feudal times. Or are the political elite allowing such gestures because they hope to end up among the winners of war? The booty of war should not be left to American companies like Halliburton and Bechtel alone. Europeans should have their share too.

Those who believe that the rulers of the EU are peace angels are advised to read the draft EU constitution closely. This constitution obligates EU member states to permanent rearmament. It is a constitution for the militarization of the EU, in competition with and in imitation of the USA.

Like the USA's wars-without-end, the military constitution of the EU has as its purpose to keep the bankrupt system of the capitalist global profiteers going a little longer. But this system has already failed morally. All the lies that Mr. Bush and his vassals spread non-stop, cannot win him credibility any more. The entire system of lies serves as a smoke screen to confuse the population especially, but also the politicians. Unfortunately most of the media plays along in this disgusting game.

But we are here because we have not been brainwashed. We want to say openly that the system for which Mr. Bush and also the European leaders stand has lost all legitimacy. It cannot solve any of the problems it has created. It is not able to solve problems of unemployment or of environmental destruction nor resolve the inreasing internal and international conflicts. Thus the system turns again to war, possibly to an atomic war. The logic of war is the beginning and end of this system. Accepting this logic of war would really mean the bankruptcy of all reason.

We will not allow this. We will not allow words like freedom, peace and democracy to be ruined by people like Bush, so that a decent person doesn't dare say them aloud. We are going to make sure that they keep their original meaning.

We will not be silent. We are not the silent majority. We will continue to speak, to demonstrate and to resist all war-makers. The international peace movement is not satisfied anymore with simple calls for peace. The recent Social Forum in Porto Allegre showed that ever more people throughout the world understand the connection between economics and war. They are gathering in new coalitions against exploitation, ecological destruction, globalization and war.
Another, peaceful world is possible. It won't be created by people like Bush, but by people like us all.

23 February 2005