Germany is at war. Illegally so, as there is no UN mandate for it. But in line with the liabilities incurred with NATO membership. After all, France has officially asked for assistance in their revenge air crusade against the IS in the aftermath of the recent terror attacks. And Mrs. Merkel had promised to do everything to help. I never thought, it would involve fighting a war.
Germany is not a presidential republic but a parliamentary democracy. So Mrs. Merkel can not just decide such a matter all by herself, but the majority of the MPs have to vote for it. And without being bound to their parties official, political line on it, as decisions of such importance are considered questions of conscience and not merely political votes.
It was amazing, with wich speed and little discussion this decision was reached. One day of debate in the parliament, the majority of MPs voting for it, then a report on the news, that was it, and the fighter jets are already off to a NATO airbase in Turkey.
I do recall weeks of public discussion, lengthy debates in the Bundestag and finally the heroic NO chancellor Schröder won with, even offering to toss in his chancellorship in the process, when years back Germany did not enter the war against Irak in the first leg of the war against terror in the wake of 9/11. How different it all went down this time. No public discussion, very little opposition in the parliament, only the Linke (left party) throwing in their mantra of “wars solve nothing”.
Do I think, IS has to be stopped? Yes. Do I think, even warfare would be approbriate? If it helped stopping it, yes. Why do I say so, as I am also of the opinion, wars never solve anything, causing my personal dilemma right now? Because I think, just one war in history was justifiably fought, the one against Hitler Germany and the holocaust. And the IS is pretty close to the Nazi regime with its genozide on everybody not as ultra-islamistic as they are themselves.
Why do I still think, this air raid is wrong?
First of all, eight out of the ten Paris attackers were citizens of Belgium and France. We have more business in making integration work with better social policies in Europe, in order to prevent European citizens with (or without) immigration background falling for extreme ideologies and wanting to become terrorists, seeking training in countries such as Syria or wherever terrorist organisations camp at any given time, than throwing bombs on people, who might not even be involved. Thus causing more hate, more reason to be against the West forever.
Second, I think, Germany, given its own horrible history, should take extreme care, not to circumvent any international law. Without UN mandate, no fighting. Humanitarian aid and any other help to keep in line with international treaties such as NATO, yes, but warfare, no. It’s as simple as that. I’d much rather have Germany doing everything for stopping the funding of IS. Finding and hindering those still buying the illegal oil transported into Turkey every day. Same goes for the buyers of ancient art and artefacts.
And of course, altering the relations to those firing this conflict, namely the Iran and Saudi Arabia.(btw, does anybody ever mention the war, Saudia Arabia recently wages on Yemen? Yemen is basically destroyed, and does anybody care at all?) In general, the IS is expression of a religious war fought between the Sunna and Shia fractions of Islam. Something comparable to the wars fought over Catholizism and Protestantism hundreds of years back here in Europe.
And third, I am against this air and drone warfare. Have others lose their lifes in droves, just use your technology and don’t get touched. This is appalling to me, somehow. Can’t explain, why.