Germany defends arming Kurds, calls ISIS a threat to Europe

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her government’s taboo-breaking decision to send arms to Kurds fighting ISIS militants in Iraq, telling parliament Monday that the group posed a major security threat to Germany and Europe.

A day after Berlin announced it would send anti-tank rockets, assault rifles and hand grenades to the Kurds, Merkel said Germany had a responsibility to intervene in the conflict to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, citing evidence of ethnic cleansing by ISIS fighters.

“The far-reaching destabilization of an entire region affects Germany and Europe,” Merkel said in a speech to the Bundestag lower house, noting that the Islamist group controlled an area in Iraq and Syria that was half the size of Germany.

“Ladies and gentlemen, when terrorists take control of a vast territory to give themselves and other fanatics a base for their acts of terror, then the danger rises for us, then our security interests are affected,” she added.

Germany, weighed down by its Nazi past, has shied away from direct involvement in military missions for much of the post-war era. And even in those conflicts where German troops have been involved, such as Afghanistan, politicians have tended to describe the missions as humanitarian, rebuilding exercises rather than war.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

I applaud Germany for stepping up like this, and they do have the shadow of their Nazi past to struggle with. It’s particularly difficult to read the Middle East situation from the perspective of a Christian. Do we act? Engage in all necessary means to stop ISIS? I think we have to. To not do so is to fail in our moral responsibility and humanitarian ideals.

This is tough reading, but it should be read, closely. (and prayed on)

I’m pretty sure this falls into “just war” territory. I say bomb them into glass.

Other countries don’t have the excuse of having a Nazi past. This is long overdue. The Kurds say the mountains are their only friends. History has proven them right too many times.

On “just war” - it can’t be about revenge. I do think we should individually pray on this: are we urging military action as revenge/reprisal out of anger or because it’s a moral necessity under the circumstances. We should reflect on the incredible cost (financial and emotional) of military engagement. Have we exhausted all other alternatives. (I’d apply the same argument to the Ukraine.) Just remember this will get ugly and bloody and as supporters of military action we have to answer to our conscience and others for what is coming.

And I do believe we need to commit to humanitarian aid and military action against ISIS (probably both in the Ukraine too in some form sooner or later).

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