Tuesday 23 February 2010

Is there any EU citizen in favour of us killing civilians in Afghanistan?

The news is that the Netherlands are like to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan after the government collapsed over this issue.

I always had the question: Why are we down there?

It is true: I don't want to be killed by a terrorist - nobody wants - but I also don't want that 100s of human beings - many civilians - are killed to lower the perceived (!) risk that I get killed by a terrorist while not actually lowering the risk.

This thing (killing civilians) has happened time and time again and it will happen time and time again, because that is the idea of war. Soldiers from our armies are out there defending our "interest" by killing people, including civilians - probably more than all terrorist attacks have caused in the "West".

That is not in my interest. It has never been. What is human rights when my life is worth more than the life of someone living Afghanistan?

But pretending to save some lives of westerns with several billion Euros of tax money that could be put into fighting poverty or hunger or global diseases is worth killing Taliban as well as citizen happening to live there because this is where they live. It's worth making mostly young people from our armies murderers of civilians while they are risking their own lives.

I've never actually had the impression that many EU citizens were in favour of us being in Afghanistan. But our governments like it, and only when there is a group of killed people - civilians or our own soldiers - large enough to become noticed by our "journalists" who usually love to play the terror alert news cycle ("Earn money with fear.") doubts are rising and eventually a government collapses or an ex-defence minister has to resign from his new job (as happened in Germany recently).

The simple equation: 170 killed Afghans are worth 1 German minister. 21 killed Dutch soldiers are worth one Dutch government.

I know it's polemic, but it's still true.

PS.: Just got reminded that somebody said this much better than I can (just in German unfortunately):


Kevin said...


Like any other reasonable human being I find the deaths of civilians in war tragic.

I do feel however, the war is necessary. More so now than when the war began. Afghanistan cannot stand on its own two feet just yet. Those countries who helped establish democracy and some semblance of freedom must now stay committed to what they started or else all the deaths were more pointless than they already are.

Its not just OUR interest at stake. Should the Tabliban regain control, women will lose all rights again, people will be subject to the most extreme form of law in the world and the chances of the country emerging from poverty is almost non existent in this century.

In my opinion, the most selfish Western response to the situation in Afghanistan is to withdraw its soldiers.

Not only selfish but a sign of weakness that will give vigor to extremists.

Sounding like a mouth piece for the US I think I should just say one more thing. I do not encourage war and to this day believe invading Iraq was illegal and Afghanistan gravely misguided.

Anonymous said...

NATO Treaty, 1949, Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.