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May 30, 2011



As if the Left Party would have any significant influence on the political landscape of our nation.

Something else in the last few days will have far more intense long term consequences - yet for reasons I do not know, it has barely been reported. Maybe the reason is, that even most opposition parties somewhat agree with our new defense minsters assessment of our army's purpose.




Thanks! Wow, almost like a German Bush Doctrine.

John in Michigan, USA

It is (maybe?) too strong to apply the unqualified label "anti-Semitic" in this case. Rather, I think it is exactly right to say that the German Left Party "has an Anti-Semitism Problem".

That Party stands for many things; anti-Semitism is not their essence or defining attribute. But, they are unwilling to exile or margilize those elements in their party who are, in essence, anti-Semitic.

For example deputy "Inge Höger, who appeared in May at a pro- Hamas conference in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia, wearing a keffiyeh showing a map labeled “Palestine” on the entire territory of the State of Israel."

This style of keffiyeh was made famous by the late Arafat. Apparently it took him an entire can of starch to get the scarf (keffiyeh) to hold the special shape ! Part of the uniform included a pistol. The sybolism was not peaceful, it was militant.

Arafat is dead, and good riddance. Why on earth bring back his ghost?

Even without the pistol, this shape is is often seen as more than just an affirmation of certain borders of a unified Palestinian state. It is understood that, no matter what their historic claim, few if any Jews would be permitted inside the keffiyeh-demarcated borders; if a few Jews were permitted, they would be second-class citizens (allowed to live, but not to peacefully/naturally grow or build; allowed to testify, but said testimony worth less than half of a Muslim; only permitted in certain menial jobs; economically ghettoized, etc. At best, similar to the Copts in Egypt).

At worst, it is seen (not just by Jews but by some Palestinians and Islamists) as a coded reference to ethnic cleansing -- a Palestine that is 100% Judenfrei.

For a German politician to be unaware of this coded reference, or to chose to ignore it, is scandalous. Surely some other symbol could be found...such as wearing a keffiyeh in the normal, natural, non-starched way (which can actually look quite dashing, so long as the wearer is peaceful).


"they would be second-class citizens"

You mean like Arabs in the occupied territories?


David, I had to think of G W Bush as well at first - but if you think about it, it reaches even farther.

While Bush always had to present altruistic reasons for invasions, this new German doctrine does not even require that. Instead, it elevates Germany's national interest as the primary factor when it comes to mobilizing the troops. For all kinds of operations this doctrine holds water.

Why our so called pacifists remain so silent is beyond me. Maybe they have died out.

Now you could argue that while this doctrine is the most belligerent in the FRG's history, our army cannot live up to it. And that certainly is right now. But an army's capabilities can be increased quickly, whereas the ideological background for an interventionist society takes a lot more time to be created and is indispensable for offensive operations in the future.


@Zyme -

I'm surprised this hasn't received more press coverage. I want to follow this closely.


Update: Foreign Policy article now available in English:


John in Michigan, USA

"You mean like Arabs in the occupied territories?"

Israel doesn't have different classes of citizenship.

The Arabs in the occupied territories are not citizens of Israel. In fact, they are not (yet) recognized as citizens of any recognized country, and therein lies the problem.

The problem is compounded because organizations like the Arab League resist all reasonable attempts to give the Palestinians citizenship (whether Israeli, Jordanian, Egyptian, etc) or any sort of permanent status. The Arab League's position appears to be that Palestinians must remain refugees, no matter how much suffering that entails, so long as there is a chance that the land can be made free of Jews.

There are constant hints that this impasse could change, but IMO it is mostly posturing. My hope is that, once there is a general recognition that Israel is a permanent fixture in the region, and thus, the possibility of another genocide or ethnic cleansing is eliminated, I believe the Palestinian (or in your words, Arab) refugee problem will change from an impossible problem to a merely difficult problem.


Come back and tell us more after you've actually been to the occupied territories and talk to people who were ethnically cleansed to make way for illegal Jewish settlements. All you do is parrot the Likud line.


David, I needed to wipe my eyes twice to make sure that you have actually written this last comment!


John in Michigan, USA

Why should I go to the occupied territories to see how people live in modern, internationally recognized Israel?

As to the occupied territories, I too have to wipe my eyes twice, reading that you've apparently talked to those Jews who had lived in what they call Judea for 100's of years, enduring the British occupation, followed by the German/Arab ethnic cleansing in 1929.

Or are you saying that Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is some sort of Likud myth?

To be fair, there are some illegal Jewish settlers in the West bank, and some of them are quite racist. Some of them presumably feel that, being the victims of past ethnic cleansing (and worse), they are entitled to some ethnic cleansing in revenge. This is a position I utterly reject, for reasons that ought to be obvious.

John in Michigan, USA

@Zyme - Thanks for the link to the translation of "Clausewitz Reloaded". I've read it, and I certainly agree with your statement "it reaches even farther" than the Bush doctrine.

Is in normal for a formal analysis to have such a clever, Matrix-inspired title? Perhaps it is meant to be interpreted less seriously?


You're saying that Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn were subject to ethnic cleansing and therefore feel justified to persecute landowners in the West Bank? What a joke! (My wife is a native Brooklynite and I lived there for 7 years).

Like I say, you parrot the Likud line, which uses Biblical arguments to rationalize a tremendous injustice.

Strahler 70

I was hesitating to comment the Clausewitz issue because it only appears to be a side aspect of the opening post. In deed, it can only be understood and discussed with knowledge of the European Security amd Defense Policy (ESDP) - and this would deserve a posting of its own.

The ESDP includes the establishment of European Forces (almost done), the definition of Europe's areas of strategic interests and responsibilties (Africa!), the interaction with and the exclusion of NATO at maintaining a profile as a militarily global player - and, most important though little discussed, the question of leadership in and political induction of future military campaigns. Let's put the focus on the last point.

The decision for an intervention with EU-Forces is up to the EU parliament, but the participation is voluntary for all members. In fact, the induction and execution of military campaigns would primarily be up to France, Germany and Belgium, the rest of Europe might abstain from the conflict, but, of course, not from responsibility.
Problem #1: The enemy might not feel to be entitled to make a difference between active and passive European nations, he might regard the EU as hostile as a whole. And he might come to the conclusion that most of all those nations where rejection of war is the biggest are the most worthwile targets for retaliation.

Problem #2: With France as military leader, the EU becomes a nuclear power itsselve without having a say in any assumed processes of escalation.

Problem #3 and conclusion: The ESDP grants authority without responsibility. The responsibility is loaded upon the passive member states, while the achievements of the ESDP will primarily be in favor of a few lead nations.

John in Michigan, USA


No, that is not what I am saying. Read again, slowly, and strive for comprehension.

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