The Austrian Social Democrats had the historic tradition to favour conscription as in February 1934 soldiers shot workers. In autumn 2010 they hastily made a severe shift of paradigm after a campaign with a series of titels in the daily “Kronen Zeitung” against the existing system. The “Kronen Zeitung” was found after WW II with ressources coming from AFL-CIA via ÖGB (Austrian Labour Federation). Role and history therefore are similar to the Springer-Imperium in Germany with newspapers like “Bild” and “Welt”.
Immediately before the major of Vienna, Michael Häupl, called for a “professional army”, the defense minister Norbert Darabos praised the existing system (conscription, reservists, militia and around 16.000 “professional soldiers”) at the military academy. The minister was the only member of a EU government which spoke out openly against the US missile shield. And, as Wikileaks cables revealed, he is also critized for refusing to send soldiers to Afghanistan.
This would end Austria’s neutrality as Afghanistan is a war zone. Austrian forces participate only in peacekeeping missions. In the army the minister is called “a phantom” – first, wenn he came into office in 2007, many spoke to him and were positively surprised. He seemed to be clever and a man of integrity, willing to reform the army where this was necessary. But almost all didn’t have a chance to talk to him again. His so-called cabinet chief Stefan Kammerhofer canceled dates even if somebody could manage to arrange them personally with the minister (whose appearance at debates, festivities and military events was rare).
The minister was and is sealed off by the cabinet chief probably on behalf of the US and also under total surveillance. Even the new German ambassador to vienna waited one and a half year to have an appointment with Darabos. In the German embassy they interpret his behaviour as “disinterest” as he talks only to those who came with him when he appears in the public.
Some soldiers who defend the existing system which is not compatible with the NATO-aim of an Austrian intervention army were and are under heavy pressure from Kammerhofer and his “owners”. If a journalist dares to defend neutrality and the rights of the minister, they also react brutally – not that there are masses of journalists doing so. In fact mass media react usually when US interests are concerned as if they are embedded in the White House. Others are denied access to military compounds – for NOT being on CIA payroll.
Now the government has deciced to hold a referendum on the future of the army on 20 January 2013. The Conservatives under vice chancellor Michael Spindelegger will defend conscription with a commitee of prominent persons under the title “Einsatz fuer Oesterreich”, they put emphasis on being engaged for OUR COUNTRY. The Social Democrats under chancellor Werner Faymann delegate their activities and also the new party line to Hannes Androsch, an industrialist who once was finance minister.
In interviews Androsch sees the future of our army not in defending OUR COUNTRY but in fighting for ressources in US wars. Only few Social Democrats protest against selling our army and our country for NATO/US-interests. Instead of the defense minister the leader of the Social Democrat faction in parliament, Josef Cap, who is in favour of NATO membership instead of neutrality, reacts in the beginning debate before the referendum.
The Social Democrats behave like rabbits in front of the snake, they don’t realize that their defense minister is some kind of hostage. There were even open threats via postings on the websites of newspapers against him – that he should fear about his physical health and that of his two children. I filed charges at the body of public prosecution not only because of Kammerhofer’s illegal actions against me but also on his coercion of a member of government (darabos). They ignored it completely although not only my documentation in the charge but also the course of events now prove that it’s true.
Only Darabos had not one press conference, not one debate meeting, not one public appearance on, as media called it, “the by far most important item of his term in office”. All other parties had at least press conferences while especially the Conservatives have one appearance after the other. The vice chancellor uses every opportunity to speak out against the “professional army”.
I emailed some critical questions to the manager of the Androsch-campaign which is called “Unser Heer” (our army). As I wrote also in an article, the better title is “USA-Heer”. I pointed out why the campaign and the circumstances – the change of course of the Social Democrats without any discussion, the absence of the minister, that he is sealed off and under surveillance, bear all signs of covert actions – but the campaign manager did not react. It is bitter irony that he was once working under Norbert Darabos, when both made a sucessful election campaign for president Heinz Fischer…..
Alexandra Bader, born in Graz/Austria, living in Vienna/Austria, editor of www.ceiberweiber.at