Taide’s Weblog

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German Angst: Low Altitude Flight over Hamburg

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My fellow Germans,

media coverage suggests – I mean, it suggest a lot every day -, but anyway… media coverage suggests that you are very angry, because a Swiss warplane squadron, the Patrouille Suisse, flew too low over Hamburg during a test show at the port’s birthday.
The spectators liked it, no windows were broken, and next time, the show squadrons will probably stick to the required altitude.

Maybe the Hamburger Morgenpost‘s title explains your indignation: “Are we at war again?” (“Haben wir wieder Krieg?”)

Yes, we are. No shit. In case you didn’t realise, we are at war in Afghanistan. Our planes help to find targets for bombs there (in technical terms, that’s called reconaissance flights, aka new dimension), and maybe they are even doing a useful job at that.

Although the way our governments sell it to us might suggest that our army’s Afghanistan mission is just a development project, building bridges, building schools for Afghan girls, knitting socks for freezing little Afghan kids, etc., that’s not exactly what it is, my fellow Germans. Unfortunate as the news may be, I have to tell you that we are at war. We have been at war in Afghanistan for seven years. Good morning.

Maybe you also missed that unfortunate fact because our troops have so far dodged most real engagement, and the number of fatalities among German soldiers in Afghanistan so far are – fortunately – lower than those of other nationalities stationed there. Maybe thirty-two young people killed over seven years is nothing you’d easily realise. After all, 157 British soldiers have been killed until yesterday.

But yes, we are at war. What do you expect from a country like ours, a country which has tolerated brutalising paintball games on its territory for so many years?!

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  1. […] German social democrats, who already struggle with their own misgivings about the war (which must not be referred to as a war in this country) every time they decide to continue their political support for the military mandate, are angry. […]


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