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Most Germans support Libyan abstention

The Local · 26 Mar 2011, 11:00

Published: 26 Mar 2011 11:00 GMT+01:00

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The Emnid survey, published by news magazine Focus, found that 56 percent think Germany was right to abstain from the United Nations Security Council vote on whether to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.

Only 36 percent said Chancellor Angela Merkel's government was wrong to abstain.

But former politicians and senior German diplomats continue to condemn the government's move. Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called the abstention a "farce," while former Defence Minister Volker Rühe, of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), gave a particularly withering verdict.

"The pillars of CDU politics are being destroyed by a mixture of rudderlessness and incompetence," he told the latest edition of weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

Christian Schwarz-Schilling, former European Union commissioner to Bosnia, accused Merkel's centre-right government of "historic cynicism," by making a decision that would probably be more palatable to the electorate ahead of key state elections.

Focus also pointed out that high-ranking German officers are taking part in the operation, because they are stationed at NATO headquarters in Izmir, Turkey, from where the operation is being coordinated.

The German army, or Bundeswehr, said the officers had to stay there for operational reasons, and that their participation did not require permission from the German parliament. Their work was part of the Bundeswehr's permanent duty to NATO, and not part of the armed intervention in Libya, the army said.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:36 March 26, 2011 by Englishted
Do most Germans think it is right to allow a countries leader to bomb his own people (often with German made weapons)?.

The answer to this is also yes as happend in Iraq, but if you don't see it and it does n't hurt exports it's O.K. It would make Hitler proud.
12:18 March 26, 2011 by michael4096
@Englishted - you are correct that surveys' results often reflect the phrasing of the question.

But, don't you think that making Hitler references just because you don't understand or you disagree with someone else's position a little childish? Particularly when your position is closer to Hitler's than the current German stance.
12:53 March 26, 2011 by auniquecorn
German officers are taking part in the operation, because they are stationed at NATO headquarters in Izmir, Turkey, from where the operation is being coordinated.

No they are not. They´re sitting in their little offices all alone, Nobodies talking to them, they´re just like that little kid in school, that always tattles on everyone and has no friends.
12:57 March 26, 2011 by tallady
It would be interesting to know how the people would vote on this issue if their Gov had not abstained,,,
15:18 March 26, 2011 by red7
Und??? Are you not satisfied of all the bombings in libya? If you are happy what your armies did there,why you are always bashing the Germans? ...Go on with your bombings.Leave us alone.
15:31 March 26, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Hau ab, Idiot. wir wollen nicht dein schmutzigen Krieg
15:32 March 26, 2011 by red7
sorry to derExDeutsche.I misunderstood your other message, on the other topic.
15:38 March 26, 2011 by Major B
I respect the right of Germany to make its own independent decisions as a fully sovereign nation, especially in light of the past.

Today thousands of you will exercise your democratic right and protest nuclear power. A democratic right given to you by the blood of hundreds of thousands of my countrymen. Your government will allow you to protest, as long as it is peaceful. Twenty million of you did not have that right just 21 years ago but now you do and one of you is the Chancellor of your country. But, led by your foreign minister, you have now cast your lot with countries whose governments do not give their citizens the same rights you have.

China? Most of you are aware of Tianamen Square, a disgrace on humanity rivaled by Srebrenica, Rwanda and now Libya, and perhaps soon Syria. Please also remember the illegal occupation of Tibet and the Chinese policy of importing Chinese people to that nation and the violent suppression of the Tibetans, hidden away in huge Bavarian-like mountains far far away. But of course, your economy booms from exports to China and who is going to give away good export driven jobs?

Russia. O.K. You have a long history with Russia. However, the hand of Putin is perhaps even stronger than Stalin's and you didn't support the violent suppression of the Chechenya, with military atrocities and excesses there that rivaled those of WWII. Russia, who in the 20th CENTURY, impaled and severed little Georgia, to the horror of your and other European governments. But, you have gas and other important business interests in Russian and your economy booms. And so with ancient Teutonic logic you support business over policy.

You see, the self-righteousness of your foreign minister is what exposes you. A talented politician in the mold of your many post WWII leaders, would have been much more deft. In a way, your foreign minister is almost "bellicose" in his pronouncements, a word that Germans understandably hate most. We all understand business interests. When a finger is pointed at those who really are trying to do the right thing (U.K., France, U.S., The Arab League) while you, who have suffered so horribly from tyranny, fail to act against a similar tyrant, with your tremendous power and influence, and support those who ACTIVELY support tyranny, you put yourself in a box.

Thus, this challenge. It is time to take off the hat of weakness and have courage. Despite the ruminations of the "don't get involved crowd", to lie in bed "again" with the devil makes you no better than the rest of us. It is not enough to say, the Libyan action is O.K., "as long as someone else does it". No, the world has a Germany and Germany still has a vital role to play in world affairs. If you take the route of "business first"(yes, I know what we do in the U.S.) in the face of tyranny then you spit on the graves of your countrymen who paid the ultimate price to give you the riches and blessings you enjoy now.
15:42 March 26, 2011 by tallady
red7You really should reconsider posting on an English writing forum.Your skills are poor.There are many German sites you could post on and being of the same ilk the negativity would be much less than an English speaking forum. If I was to post on a German speaking site I would expect the same level of dissent you are experiencing.
15:53 March 26, 2011 by derExDeutsche

Just as long as everybody knows whats up;)

theLoco.de's Dirty little Secret no more!

Tallady, Major B Englishted ARE ALL THE SAME PERSON
16:44 March 26, 2011 by Englishted
15:31 March 26, 2011 by derExDeutsche

Hau ab, Idiot. wir wollen nicht dein schmutzigen Krieg

Fair enough but don't ask for a place on the Security Council, and see you have forgotten our help in the cold war , what would you say of the Berlin air lift?
16:48 March 26, 2011 by tallady
Red& its all a Conspiracy of paranoia for exD.,
17:08 March 26, 2011 by LiberalGuy

you've really made me laugh today.

Thank you.
18:03 March 26, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ The Decent people who come to this Forum..

All the Bullies you have encountered here ARE ALL THE WORK OF ONE PERSON.

Otherwise known as a TROLL aka, Prufok2010, Tallady, LiberalGuy, Englishted, Major B. etc. ect. etc.
20:35 March 26, 2011 by LiberalGuy
who's that trapping over my bridge....

Seriously, I can't speak for anyone else but I'm sure I'm just one person.

You sound like a birther....

I like it that other people share my point of view, it gives me hope for the world.
23:08 March 26, 2011 by Major B
I was going to sit this one out, especially after the U.S. got involved and I am still seething, mad as hel! over that. This should have been a European and Arab action, with the U.S. in a supportive and "SILENT" rear role.

But they didn't want to, as evidenced by the Honorable Bill Gates, our best Sec of Defense in decades. Sec of State Clinton, we did not need a prominent American role in this military action and now the Pesident is paying the political price.

But, back to Germany.

Had America taken Germany's advice in Iraq the U.S. reputation around the world would be much better. And the World NEEDS a centered Germany, giving its Teutonic logic and serving to diffuse excesses and support peace. That is the Honorable German Eagle, and its rightful place in the world.
10:02 March 27, 2011 by tallady
I agree, and like yourself was disappointed in America using it"s war planes when this could have been handled completely on that front by the European nato members and the Arab league.
10:16 March 27, 2011 by Landmine
I can honestly say "auniquecorn" has it right, they are not invited to the briefings and spend their time in the in little offices by themselves while all other Liaison officers are at the briefings....
10:21 March 27, 2011 by tallady
It will all change when Germany wins the world cup.
15:38 March 27, 2011 by Sastry.M
The two comments by Major B @15.38 and 23.08 on March 26'th are quite understandable in view of his respect for Germany as a major democratic nation and economic power as well as a NATO member. His indignation, probably as an american, over Germany sitting pretty with silence in a crisis with self centered Teutonic logic serving to only business interests, however, prompted me express my view, as an Indian, about their impasse.

If we try to understand the peculiar Teutonic German traits we find that they are linked more to conditioning of 'soul' programmed into ethnic classes of people assiduously protecting individual freedom. Situated up north they fought against the mighty Roman Empire from South to preserve their ethnic freedom and mostly succeeded in doing so. Enslaved by the Roman power and being poor economically and also knowledge of united self governance they sought employment in Roman army and civil services but always remained freedom fighters to preserve their origins. This spirit is continued and maintained as evidenced by the Laender administrations even under the present federal democracy.

Influenced by ideas of nationalism by Garibaldi and others the Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck pursued the policy of 'Iron and Blood' under Prussian State Power to thaw out internal differences and liberate from external sovereign powers. His naming of "Reich" declared under the Prussian Rule of Kaiser Wilhelm-1 was only to appease their ethnic spirit. The earlier Emperor Frederic the Great admonished the Germans against, probably in view of external migrations to American states, to rise and establish as a colonial power but remain only as under an European kingdom.

We therefore see an innate dislike on the part of Germans to meddle directly in affairs of other people but ready to lend support if asked when the internal crisis leads to national freedom. This is attested to by the fact that when American people gathered under George Washington to liberate themselves from the British yoke the Pennsylvanian German communities volunteered to share their burden in support of freedom with free supply of food to the fighting army. Having won freedom they engaged themselves to States development rather than indulge in slave trade. Similarly they supported Indian societies struggling for freedom from the oppressive British Raj and the first clandestine Indian national flag was hoisted in Stuttgart during the second Reich. More can be said but suffice, I hope to explain my views about intrinsic German characteristic traits and lack of confidence as those of former colonial powers.
18:37 March 27, 2011 by Englishted
12:18 March 26, 2011 by michael4096

@Englishted - you are correct that surveys' results often reflect the phrasing of the question.

But, don't you think that making Hitler references just because you don't understand or you disagree with someone else's position a little childish? Particularly when your position is closer to Hitler's than the current German stance.

O.K. Micheal ,

Hitler achieved power only because people sat back, any opposition was taken away and the German people just looked on.

Now do you see my point ?.

But you are right I don't understand or agree with the German responce to another dictator.
11:42 March 28, 2011 by Major B
and @ the ExDer whatever her name is, I am a proud independent thinker and am certainly not affiliated with any other contributor to The Local.

Much respect and honor the many serious minded contributors to this forum, who make brilliant comments, respect others, Germany and "offer" something of value. And I do very much respect the other names "this person or whoever" associated me with, although we often have vastly different opinions.

Now a question. Is Herr "exDer...." a real person or an agent of a foreign government, posting trash to confuse real thought?
15:24 March 28, 2011 by michael4096
@Englishted - I'm still not convinced - maybe if you'd said 'Chamberlain would be proud' it would make more sense

However, Hitler was certainly a great believer in interfering in other people's civil wars - and, Spain was living with the consequences long afterwards
00:24 March 29, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I'm really ashamed of my country right now.

If not against a man like Gaddafi, then against whom?
09:57 March 29, 2011 by freechoice
Germany is fast becoming a totalitarian regime! It must be stop!!
10:40 April 1, 2011 by Enkida
Sastry.M and Major B, thank you for your enlightened commentary, even if I disagree with the latter. ;-)

While I am actually a US citizen and therefore don't have a leg to stand on in my argument, I am truly annoyed with Germany's decision here. Not because I disagree with it - after all, why get involved with Libya when ignoring the humanitarian crisis in, say, Bharain (oh right, the oil!) - but because of Germany's position in the UN Security Council. Just a few years ago Germany was vying with three other countries for the UN seat and won it, to the pleasure of the Merkel administration. Now when faced with the first truly tough public decision, what do we do? We abstain from the vote!

I would have had more respect for Germany if it had the commitment to vote yes or the courage to vote no. As it is, this 'standing by the sidelines while others duke it out' it pretty typical of the behaviour I've come to expect from Merkel's government, on more issues than just this one.
16:10 April 1, 2011 by Bruno53
And my congratulation to today's Germans for refusing to support this military "adventure" in Ghadafy's Libya. You really learned the lessons of history. Need my USA LEARNS IT TOO!!
16:37 April 4, 2011 by Sastry.M
@Enkida--The point for Germany staying neutral by abstaining from wielding a decisive vote may be due to two arguments. The Schroeder regime stood firm against allied intervention in Iraq along with the French under Chirac and both were condemned as old world countries by the U.S ally. Secondly the belated support for German membership in the Security Council by her western allies is not according to the true spirit of equal comradeship but looks like a reserved dignity against a former loser.

From the German viewpoint voting 'yes' to S.C resolution is in direct contradiction to Iraq policy and 'no' can be taken as supporting a dictator which again contradicts their own horrible fate suffered under former dictator.The surprising twist could also be the eager readiness by France voting 'yes' followed with military initiative constraining the German voice to gulp that easily.

Staying neutral and facing abuse may be the best alternative because they are used to it with resigned fairness to their bitter fate contracted under a dictator.
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