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Amidst growing casualties

Germans question Afghan war

Published Apr 8, 2010 9:12 PM

The U.S.-NATO occupation of Afghanistan, begun in 2001 under President George W. Bush’s leadership, continues nine years and hundreds of billions of dollars later. Another episode typifying this criminal war recently took place when German troops shot and killed a group of soldiers in the puppet Afghan National Army who were delivering supplies to a German military base.

The German troops claimed they mistook the Afghan soldiers for resistance fighters, as they were incorrectly making deliveries in civilian cars. Afghan spokespeople said the soldiers were in fact driving standard military vehicles. The Afghan Defense Ministry also noted that the six Afghans killed had just returned from aiding these very German troops in a nearby battle earlier that day where three German soldiers had been killed. (New York Times, April 3)

German participation in Afghanistan’s occupation remains unpopular at home. Last November, government minister Franz Josef Jung resigned after it was revealed that he helped to conceal a German airstrike that killed more than 100 Afghan civilians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that an additional 850 German troops would be sent to raise German strength to more than 5,000 aroused public hostility.

As German involvement and casualties grow, the various voices of organized opposition are finding more public support. The anti-war Left Party (Die Linke), a socialist electoral coalition, gained representatives in the Bundestag (parliament) in the recent elections. The Left Party made big gains in Western Germany for the first time.

On March 30, the Left Party released a statement proclaiming, “Stop the War in Afghanistan.” The statement warned, “The number of the victims will rise.” It also noted, “The employment of the German Federal Armed Forces in Afghanistan is the clearest expression for the increasing militarization of the German foreign policy.” (die-linke.de, March 30.)

Protests continue in Germany and throughout the world demanding an end to the occupation of Afghanistan. Thirty anti-war rallies were held throughout Germany on April 3 as part of 50 years of annual anti-war actions on Easter weekend. This year’s actions put Germany’s role in Afghanistan front and center. (Presstv.ir April 3)