Policy-Shaping Power in the Middle East (II)

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) – Today, Thursday, the first group of Bundeswehr soldiers will be leaving to go to war against the “Islamic State” (IS or Daesh). Participation in this war, which, according to government advisors will promote Germany to a “policy-shaping power in the Middle East,” will assure Berlin reinforced integration into the most important command headquarters of the western war coalition against the IS/Daesh. It will also provide the German government more influence in the international power struggle over the reorganization of the Middle East. The establishment of an international protectorate is one of the issues. The first negotiations between the government of President Bashar al Assad, the Syrian opposition, and insurgent militias are due to begin at the beginning of January. Currently, opponents of the Syrian government and insurgent militias are in Riyadh to prepare for these negotiations, with the German government’s approbation. Even though jihadist holy warriors are taking part in the Riyadh talks of the opposition, the northern Syrian Kurdish forces, which play a central role in the war against the IS/Daesh were among those not invited by the Saudi leadership.

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The New Barbarians

BERLIN (Own report) – Within the German establishment, individual criticism of the expansion of military and police operations in the fight against the “Islamic State” (IS) is being raised. Last Friday, following the intensification of French airstrikes against IS positions and the French government’s imposition of a state of emergency, the EU interior ministers initiated new domestic repressive measures. In fighting IS, it should not be forgotten that in the primarily military and police-led post-9/11 “war on terror,” the “number of violence-prone Islamists, who have joined terrorist groups” has not diminished but rather “multiplied dangerously,” warns a renowned Middle East expert. Referring to the fact that the majority of the Paris attackers were citizens of France or Belgium, Hamburg’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) asks, “what is the purpose of war rhetoric, when a large portion of the problem is homemade?” This “talk about ‘defending our values’,” will only “steady the stirrups” for a police/military buildup, according to a longtime expert of German/European think tanks. There is a “sorely felt discrepancy between the values we proclaim and reality,” which is a “breeding ground for IS.” “We are certainly the rich, but since quite some time, no longer the ‘good guys,’ in the eyes of many. And some even view us as the barbarians.”

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