Imperialist has moment of truth in Afghanistan
Published Jun 2, 2010 5:16 PM
An imperialist politician was forced to resign May 31, not for a scandal, not
even for getting caught lying to the public. This time German President Horst
Köhler, a Christian Democrat (CDU), was forced to resign for giving
everyone a moment of truth about Germany’s role in the war in
Speaking on Deutschlandradio on May 22 while visiting troops in Afghanistan,
Köhler let it slip out: “But my estimation is that, on the whole, we
are on the way to understanding, even broadly in society, that a country of our
size, with this orientation toward foreign trade and therefore also dependence
on foreign trade, has to be aware that when in doubt in case of an emergency,
military deployment is also necessary to protect our interests.” (The
Local, May 27)
Köhler must have forgotten he wasn’t speaking just to his CDU
cronies. His lapse into truth stirred up a storm among the Social Democrats
(SPD) and Greens back in Germany. They had been justifying German intervention
in Afghanistan as necessary to defend Germany from “Islamic
terrorism” as well as for the rights of Afghan girls and women to go to
Since the German participation in the attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, these
parties have led Germany into wars carried out for alleged human rights.
Köhler’s remarks exposed their hypocrisy. So their leaders exploded
in a spasm of criticism of the German president for speaking the truth in
Opposition SPD Speaker in Parliament Thomas Oppermann told newsmagazine Der
Spiegel that Köhler was “damaging the acceptance of the
Bundeswehr’s foreign missions.” Oppermann accused Köhler of
“making the case of the Left party,” the one party in Parliament
that has consistently opposed the Afghan mission. The Bundeswehr is the German
Köhler’s remarks exposed the real reason Germany is shipping its
young people to the mountains of Central Asia, 3,000 miles away. To fight for
such a reason violates Germany’s constitution. His words also opened a
window on the whole mechanism of 21st century imperialism.
The big industrialized countries in Western Europe, North America and Japan,
which are also the world’s financial centers, exploit workers at home and
all over the world. They superexploit workers and seize resources in oppressed
countries — mostly former colonies of 19th and 20th century
Economically, the rules for this trade and investment are set by the
International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and
other institutions controlled by the same big powers.
Militarily, the Pentagon provides the main police force to keep the oppressed
from rising up and taking back what has been and is being stolen from them, and
to seize more land and open up more areas to invest.
While U.S. imperialists aim to always maintain global military supremacy they
demand that West Europe and Japan pay part of the price in money and troops.
Otherwise Germany, France, Britain, Japan, etc., lose their place at the table
where Washington sits at the head.
The last few administrations’ “Defense Strategy” papers
openly declared the goal of U.S. supremacy. The latest one just released on May
27 by the Democratic administration repeated that goal. In keeping with U.S.
hypocrisy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that “U.S.
values” were important. Replace “values” with
“profits” and it rings truer.
“Stopping the Taliban,” “stopping terror,” and
“women’s rights” are all public relations smoke to hide the
real reason that Germany, some other European powers and the U.S. government
send their young people to kill and die in Afghanistan. The real reasons are to
gain markets for investment to exploit more workers, control resources, expand
trade, enforce submission in the region and keep the profits rolling in to the
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