Expanding Violence: Germany Discovers a War in Afghanistan
A very good title: Germany discovers a war in Afghanistan. I guess people are not considering what is going on there, because a) politicians do not want to call it a war, as that is not popular, among their citizens and b) the MSM only report what they want to report… and then it’s normally a bit late…
For years, Germans have preferred to see their country’s presence in Afghanistan as armed development assistance. That myth is now becoming more difficult to maintain as the violence spreads to the north where the Germans are based.
Seen from the air, downtown Kunduz looks like a large board game, a series of symmetrically interlocking rectangles and streets intersecting at precise right angles. But this aerial image is merely an illusion of a perfect order. In reality, life is everything but orderly in this northern Afghan city, where German soldiers have been stationed for the past five years.
No one is more aware of this than Mohammed Sharif, a general with the Afghan intelligence agency. When he greets a visitor in his office, sitting in a large velour armchair, Sharif is barefoot, his shirt unbuttoned down to his chest. His skin is deeply tanned and his head is covered with a thick mat of hair. Fans help keep the room cool on this hot, late summer day.
Kunduz, of all places, is where the Germans and the rest of the world had hoped to prove that the war against terrorism could also be waged with peaceful means. It is a place where German soldiers could have been mistaken for aid workers, if it weren’t for their weapons — where men in camouflage built schools, delivered supplies to hospitals and dug wells, while their NATO allies in the country’s south and west waged a brutal and costly war.
Those allies whose troops were stationed in Kunduz managed to avoid the deadly W word — W as in War — or so it seemed. The coalition governments in Germany, under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and now under Chancellor Angela Merkel, had various terms for what the Bundeswehr was doing in Afghanistan, calling it “networked security,” a “civilian-military approach,” “stabilization” and “reconstruction assistance.” But the W word was one they preferred not to use. Two-thirds of German citizens are opposed to the Bundeswehr’s Afghanistan mission, and politicians in Berlin read opinion polls more often than reports on the military situation.
But now, after the death of a young German paratrooper at the end of August and the first civilian casualties at the hands of German soldiers a few days later, Bernhard Gertz, the chairman of the German Armed Forces Federation, has finally uttered the unmentionable word. Last week, Gertz, a colonel, said that the mission in Afghanistan was nothing other than a “war against a fanatical enemy willing to do anything.” The dead soldier did not merely “lose his life,” as Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said at the memorial service, but “gave his life for Germany,” as Gertz said.
So both Government and MSM had been lying about the real extent of the mission in Afghanistan and that could be lethal for elections. Meanwhile, the situation worsens, because the soliders are not working in ALL that they should (humanitarian aid is very good, but Armies are not built only for that, they are built mainly for defending a country, using weapons). So, finally some of them are killed in action and people say they “lose their lives”, just as if they were dead in a traffic jam. They also kill people but as you’re not in a war, soldiers are nearly crucified as they have, not only killed people, but just destroyed the vision of them being only humanitarian workers.
Governments should be more clear about their missions and be prepared to stop them (or not beginning them) if citizens do not want them to. But citizens should also know that, IF the adequate fight is not given where it should, then the causes of that fight can come nearer.
Oh, yeah, of course, I’m exaggerating…