Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Germans committing war crimes

Today I picked up on a story on the 'world socialist web site' which I was actually confronted with about a week ago in the 'Süddeutsche Zeitung'. Guido Westerwelle has announced that: "The German government has now reclassified its military mission in Afghanistan as intervening in a civil war or, as they say in legal jargon, a “non-international armed conflict.”

Now the Brits have it easy and instead of breaking their own domestic law, they will just pass a law in parliament and create a new situation and off they go trumpty, trump, on the road to Kandahar. Not so easy for the Germans to do this, so they recast the mission as a civil war and now international law is applicable instead of the German criminal code and police law, which only allowed the use of firearms in exceptional circumstances, such as in self-defence. Now, however, the gloves are off and it would appear that International criminal law even tolerates the killing of uninvolved civilians if this is proportionate to the expected “military advantage.” Or, does it? Well, this would at least appear to be a strange interpretation of international law the cornerston of which is "the duty to protect the life, health and safety of civilians and other non-combatants."

A number of points have to be made. Firstly, the fact is, no matter how this is packed for home consumption and no matter how this murder is defined in order to prevent the criminals being brought before domestic courts in Germany and elsewhere,  civilians are being killed in Afghanistan and killing civilians is a war crime. Secondly, the realisation in Germany that this is what it actually is, namely, a civil war, should at least have people questioning, why Germans are involved in a civil war thousands of miles away from German soil? Thirdly, as Washington and its sycophants pursue the ever elusive Osama bin Laden, who supplied the original reason for the invasion of a sovereign country, there can be no doubt that, despite this absurd pretext, this is an illegal war. The government in Berlin can call this what it wants but with the blood of dead civilians on their hands, the culpability of this generation of Germans in war crimes is now an established fact.


Karin said...

Agreed - Germany has no business to be there and should stop to "please"!
About Afghanistan in general - I have been there, driven all over, even in the central Hidukush ... whoever is familiar with the topography realizes, this war in non-winnable! But don't take my word for it ... ask Gorbi!
Besides ... I LOVE the Afghani people, the innocent population which is nowadays nothing but collateral damage (see as well Gaza)- they are wonderful folks!

James Nelson said...

interestingly too karin, we never read about taleban being taken as prisoners of war. one wonders, who the dead taleban actually are!