An outrageous thing has happened today in Germany: the Defense Minister has used the word “war” to describe the, uh, war in Afghanistan. As Justin Raimondo might say: Germans are shocked — shocked! You see, these people burdened by national collective memories of WWII thought they were sending peacekeepers to Afghanistan — sure, sure, armed to the teeth and swathed in armor, but still, I mean, the UN approves. And now this bad man tells them it’s a war over there.
But DM Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is still within acceptable boundaries of discourse, as he technically said the fighting in Afghanistan was “war-like.” This keeps him in line with his predecessor Franz Josef Jung, fond of saying “this is not a war,” and that his soldiers are on a “mission for stability and the peaceful development of the nation.”
Aside from the general “revulsion for war” among Germans, there are practical concerns. Insurance carriers will not pay out for men killed in “war,” so in (I guess) an effort to save a few marks, the government classifies “war” as something that can only be carried out between sovereign states, and Afghan wedding parties apparently aren’t technically a country.
Guttenberg further clarified that the “war” label is used by his soldiers, those ignorants of the finer points of international law; to them “the Taliban is waging a war against the soldiers of the international community.”
Shame on the “Taliban” — code for anyone who dares to take up arms against foreign invaders in Afghanistan — for somehow teleporting their country under the feet of so many American and European troops and then having the gall to fight back when drone-bombed, and further, refusing to adopt a societal model that would give rise to a centralized European-style social democratic state! A backward civilization, indeed.