Friday, November 14, 2008

In heaven there is no beer, but there is in Afghanistan! 

At least if you are German. Even I do not drink 275 liters of beer per year.

The Germans participating in Afghanistan are not allowed by their country's rules of engagement actually to fight. Germany, it seems, wants to get credit for participating in the Atlantic Alliance without actually, er, participating. Its refusal to engage the enemy strikes me as a de facto violation of its obligations under the NATO treaty, even if it has a legal theory under which it is compliant. The question is, why has nobody accused Germany (and other European countries with similar restrictions) as having "contempt for allies" and "international agreements." Or is George Bush the only head of state subject to that charge?

It will be interesting to see whether Barack Obama can persuade the Germans to live up to their obligations.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 14, 09:41:00 PM:

The world spent the better part of 3 generations to try to get Germans to stop fighting, and now you want to have them start again?

Isn't that a bit like waving a red flag in front of a bull? Suppose they remember what it is like and "the good old days." Though the thought of placing the German barracks next to the French barracks, should we be able to arrange it, does bring a smile to my face.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 14, 09:46:00 PM:

But what I especially like about the link you provide is that it reports that the opposition party (in the German government) had requested the figures you quote.

LOL. This obviously shows that they knew what to look for, and what to EXPECT they would find. I'm trying to think of a comparable request for another country's army....  

By Blogger demosophist, at Fri Nov 14, 11:34:00 PM:

Sorry I missed you while I lived in Princeton. I'm no longer certain I give a damn about most of this, since I'm way at the bottom of the barrel regarding a correction. But for what it's worth, I'd rather drink beer than wine or Ouzo.

I'm actually beginning to find politics tedious. Perhaps you should have at least said, er... hello, or something?

No big deal, of course. Missed you in the press apparently.

That little sushi place on Nassau Street (right next to the liquor store) was "the bomb." And you can buy Japanese beer next door and minimal cost.

Seriously, I'm tired of politics. The waste infusion is just too much. Somehow Sherman and Grant have captured my attention lately, possibly because my family fought with Sherman. The narrative is vaguely related to politics, but the sweat and tears just don't measure up to the other component. And, according to Charles Braclen Flood, there was something about the component of friendship and social literacy that outweighed everything else.

What were we talking about? I forget.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 15, 12:19:00 AM:

I'm not sure what NATO has agreed to on the political side.

But it was always my understanding that the NATO forces had a single commander in military operations.

If so then he could direct any if the units to fight.

But the Afghanistan force seems to be semi-cooperative individual forces rather than a single command.

It is a tribute to the troops that it goes as well as it does. No thanks to their political masters.  

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