Saturday, July 12, 2014

A World Cup Divided

We live in a world that’s quite divided, and Sunday’s World Cup final will evoke emotional divisions between countries, and perhaps even with citizens of the same land.

In the U.S., Divided We Fail

It’s obvious that there’s a deep division in both Houses of Congress with little room for anything that resembles a compromise. The future offers no narrowing of the divide with Tea Party Republicans and the GOP’s Old Guard fighting for conservative support, while their Democratic counterparts muddle along, tripping over one another.

The Executive branch seems to be in a confused whirl of its own, and in cases of ideological importance, the Supreme Court can be counted on to deliver a 5 to 4 vote. There’s an immense gap between the overly affluent one percent and the rest of us, and shows no sign of diminishing.

Our local cable system, offers a one-channel separation between the alpha and omega broadcasts of Fox “News” and MSNBC, neither of which deliver anything more than right and left opinions.

What in the World
Is Going On Today?

When it comes to the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, there’s an intimate connection between the two countries, beyond the obvious one that Germany represents Europe, while Argentina represents Latin America.

There has been a closer political connection before, during and since the end of World War Two.

From 1857 to 1920, during the first wave of European immigration, nearly 70,000 immigrated to Argentina from the German Empire. During World War II, Argentina’s Minister of War Juan Peron had early on supported the Axis war effort, and did so until the last days before Germany’s collapse.

The country welcomed thousands of Germans after the War, including notorious Nazi war criminals Adolf Eichmann, Klaus Barbie (the Butcher of Lyon), Dr. Josef Mengele, and Nazi collaborators fleeing from Post-War trials in Europe.

The Loyalty Dilemma

Members of Germany’s Nazi Party that fled to Argentina are not around today, but there’s a possibility that either their very elderly children, or their grandchildren, sympathizers or supporters live there. and have a dilemma to face. The same holds true for today’s Argentinians who emigrated from Germany through the centuries.

When the two teams meet up, will they be cheering for their countrymen in Argentina to win, or will they still be loyal to their Fatherland?

In a divided world, this could become a perplexing problem, or an easy decision. This select group could cheer for both teams, and although the game cannot end in a tie, one of their countries will be a winner.

They are faced with a rather welcomed choice.

I have chosen not to watch the game, and will be in San Jose attending a brunch of the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association in the morning, and then attending the Obon Festival in Japantown. There I will mingle with Japanese-American friends, many of whom were illegally incarcerated in ten American internment camps during the War.

It will be uplifting to share the day with these two groups of winners.

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