Last updated on 14. Dezember 2019
First publication: 10.08.15
Original blog post: “Die Paradoxie beim Schutz der Humanität in der heutigen Welt” -> http://calsportal.eu/?p=778 (First publication: 04.09.14)
it´s been a very long time since I´ve written a text of political content. To be honest, I´ve really intended to not write something in that time frame to think about it appropriately and clear my own head again. This is also the reason for this text for a very long time which will be written at first in German language, followed in English language later on.
What´s the matter of this text and why did I wait for a fair long time ? To be honest, it is quite difficult to find an answer to this question. How do you put something into words, which I have been observing over quite a long time frame of nearly three years now and has been floating around in my head, difficult to find an answer. Nevertheless I try to act well-structured and to explain, why I am certainly calling it a paradox of protecting humanity in our world today.
In the last three years the world, especially the Middle East and North Africa, so we could easily speak of the entire MENA region, has experienced huge developments. Pretty much everyone showing interest for political and humanity situations of these countries has recognized all suffering of a majority of people who are still suffering.
Especially today, the entire situtation seems to exacerbate, which is primarily based on so called ISIS and IS, „Islamic State“, respectively. The so called IS means an Islamist based terror organization, in clear distance to al Qaida, aiming to achieve a worldwide caliphate (a theocratical state with interconnected implementation of sharia). However, there is something more keeping the entire region in suspense, namely an ungoing parlous condition in Syria, between 170.000 and 200.000 of dead people.
Whichever way you look at it, the humanitarian situation of the region is still unbelievable volatile and some German politicians and journalists seem to be very aware of it. Nevertheless, there is a great difference between coverage and treatment of such difficult topics in general. There has been a very controversial debate in diverse talk shows on German television about the upcoming decision on 1st September 2014, World Peace Day (referring to cruelty of begin of the Second World War because of invasion of Nazi Germany in Poland on 1st September 1939), to deliver weapons at Peschmerga in northern Iraq. In this context it seemed to be worthy to underline that this support, even on military level, was only meant to protect people and that politcal solution as well as enhanced humanitarian relief should of course also be relevant.
Thus, discussions were often heading for support, whether humanitarian or military, to protect people. In this context the actual effort to stop a massacre and butchering of e.g. Jesides in northern Iraq should always have priority. Every viewer of such talk shows or even the entire debate in Bundestag (marked as debate) often get in contact with the wording of primacy of humanity as main reason.
Well, what is so dicey or why do I criticize that position ? To be honest, I do critisize that position, which I am going to illustrate, but there are in general a lot of topics in our times which cannot be described in total with words like yes or no, right or wrong or just or unjust.
The situation of IS in northern Iraq and a majority of Syria is not only very dicey but, reffering to some argumentation in Bundestag, is really threatening national security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany and overall the entire security of Europe. This is due to the fact that there is a concrete danger of a recruitment of European people, comparable to a long time of al Qaida, but there is also an expansion of a world wide caliphate implcating return to their homelands, with terrorist background.
Whichever way you look at it, this situation is real, I am very convinced, and this has always been the case since 09/11 with al Qaida being involved. For that, those points can´t be denied easily but the question is still remaining, how far is protection of humanity feasible and where can be set a line ?
In this context I´d like to get back to that debate in Bundestag. Among the German people the public opinion often looks like that, politicians per se are considered as some power-crazed and unjust people. I´ve got to admit, I´ve seen a lot of debates of Bundestag live in the last years but this one has chastened myself.
In general it is a common practice for every speaker to take its own note of a well-structured and considered text to speaker´s desk and to stick to that note. This is primarily due to primacy of practicality and expertise as part of public image, so any emotion is consiered to be suboptimal.Last Monday, World Peace Day, everything looked totally different. I don´t want to give my opinion about each speech of various members of parliament but I guess every viewer has certainly realized, there is no concrete solution to the question of delivering weapons to Kurds and there won´t be any.
Since a very long time this extraordinary meeting of Deutscher Bundestag made it possible to experience some emotionality of politicians, especially of those who had only few days before seen all this suffering of affected group of people at first hand. Further more, there was the question, how to get in contact with Islamists having published videos about executions of war reporters intentionally.So, how to treat such persons who seek to proselytize different people forcefully and don´t hesitate to do any kind of cruelty ? Do you really consider diplomacy as crucial or should there be deliverance of weapons in different realization ?
Of course, this debate reflected a very diverse mix of opinions. A lot of people involved called for a unaminous decision of the Security Council of the United Nations currently being so difficult to achieve due to veto power of Russia, or they called for special forces of UN which had not come to life before. In spite of that, all parties involved couldn´t find a common decision.
I personally agree, you just can´t say yes or no, right or wrong but there is only the main question, what could happen if they didn´t decide ? All in all, we can call it a vicious circle, even experienced drastically in Syria, where the entire world was wondering, whether to give support to Syrian rebels against the regime of Assad or to be more hesitant because of undermining rebels by Islamist and jihadist groups. So, when the West was still looking for a common strategy, the so called „Gulf States“, above all Saudi Arabia and Katar, closed a gap in terms of supporting the „opposition“, nevertheless by official side or private persons. In context of such proceedings some experts often mentioned „proxy war“ between Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (shiitic).
Well, I don´t want to unfathornable the text, so, let´s get back to the actual topic. We´ve realized that the debate about delivery of weapons to Kurds is made of pros and cons but the real solution per se has not been found. If you wish to accept this fact, another question gets very meaningful, namely, why have people involved decided to protect humans but not in the case of Syria ? Why could someone get the impression of life of a Peschmerga currently being more important than life of a Syrian kid in Damascus ? Well, that´s exactly the main point of my criticism and for that reason I´ve intentionally decided to pick the term of a paradox.
If you would now like to put yourself in a position of a Syrian father and imagine the case of him being informed about the killing of his 18 year-old son by a combatant of a Syrian regime and further more about the killing of a friend by a jihadist group as part of the „opposition“, what should you tell him as a German politician, for instance ? What do you tell those people who are now witnessing a delivery of weapons to northern Iraq in the next days and which could increase chance of survival of Kurds ?
How is it even the case to make protection of other humans seem possible but in contrast same condition of other ones seem hopeless ? Do you really believe that an affected person is rationally able to understand, respectively is able to do so ? As a political scientist or someone being very engaged in such a topic of that region, you could see some points for non interence in Syria and I´ve personally pleaded for non military intervention via USA in another blog post on calsportal.eu.
Nevertheless, especially the Nazi-era and something comparable in a lot of European countries today have demonstrated, that ordinary people are not able to understand difficult general context. Thus, in Third Reich especially Jews were considered as main reason and were being instrumentalized.
It is indeed a very big difference but humans in general are simple, they want it to be simplified to understand. It even becomes more important, if you have to suffer a specific situation. Any „talking shop“, as no military intervention to protect humanity in Syria due to various geostrategic danger, is way more difficult to understand, especially for everyone affected, it even seems to get nothing but scorn and derision. So, for these people it seems to be a paradox, why their own life is so less important in comparison.
If you get back to emotionality of this debate of Bundestag, you´ll by far experiene something new, not less important. To be emotional is all too human but quite often politicians don´t show it. I personally raise my hat to someone giving a speech from the button of his heart but, it may sound very harsh and unjust, it won´t be the right way to go. A politician who has just visited Iraq and cannot forget a lot of pictures, is generally not capable to become businesslike again due to strong mentally burden. Because of that, if you like it or not, this politician is primarily being driven by its own emotioanlity. You can´t stand to easily forget poor children, women or older people being in conntection to.
Nevertheless, there is indeed a need for a very clinical view to the question of delivering weapons to mark and illustrate various pros and cons. If you really like to approach emotionally any human rights abuse in the world, you will be at risk of starting military intervention everywhere in the world, a step which has been ignored by German Governmen for a very long time.
Up to that point in time, any kind of delivery of weapons, if you really like to call it this way, has never been permitted. Of course, some statements and public image of our minister of defence seem to be very debatable today but it is still right to call it breaking a taboo, at least to a certain degree. Even if it is really possible to deliver weapons into confict countries, as some exceptional situation, the main quesiton will remain, when will be the next case forcing German Government to come to a decision comparable to the case of Kurds and when won´t it be the case but especially, in which case will it be more suitable to support humans in that region and to realiize such implementation ?
At the end, you can conclude that protecting humanity in the world per se is of essential importance for our world society today but there is still a fundamental need for businesslike assessment, even in terms of certain pictures seen at first hand. First and foremost, I´d like to have seen a decision of Bundestag as most legitimate state institution but there was only some debate giving everyone a chance to present own points. In contrast, the actual decision had even been reached some hours before, and that is not much better either.
Further more, you have to realize, as I wondered before: Where can you draw the line at military intervention and how can you tell people affected, without representing some paradox and perversity causing them to feel weak and second- or even third-class citizen ?
I personally don´t know any response and for that I understand the difficulty to get used to such topics and find a certain solution. Nevertheless there is always, if you really would like to care about people in general, this question to be answered, or at least it should be very significant at all !
Thanks for your attention and so long
source (picture): own copyright