An op-ed by Alexander Tutaß
The Kara Tepe refugee shelter on the Greek island of Lesbos had to be built as alternative accommodation for currently 7,500 people when the Moria camp burned down on September 9, 2020. According to German Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller is said not to have improved the situation of the refugees in the Kara Tepe camp, but rather worsened.1
More than half of the refugees accommodated in Kara Tepe are Afghans who came from Iran. They also came to Iran as refugees when the war in Afghanistan forced them to leave their homeland. Due to the US sanctioning of Iran, which has been affecting the Iranian economy and Iranian citizens for years, the Afghan refugees were again forced to move on.2
In the following I refer to a quote from Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller in „Merkur“, when he was asked about his assessment of the conditions of the Moria camp on Lesbos in 2018:
“It is particularly bad for the children who are born in refugee camps. I spoke to African women who were raped on the run and who sat on the bare ground and waited for their children to be born. Without hygiene or medical care. This is not how life should begin. I have visited refugee camps in Northern Iraq and South Sudan. Nowhere were the conditions as bad as on Lesbos. „3
This inhuman treatment of refugees within the European Union is a disgrace for the dignity of the EU!
Which events are responsible for the current terrible situation in Kara Tepe?
Most of our middle-aged Germans, who refused to accept refugees from the Greek camp near Moria in September 2020, were silent when the US invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003 with war that killed well over 100,000 civilians by the end of 2011 . Quite a few even shouted eagerly „Away with the dictator!“
The “victory” of the war was decided in a few days in favor of the Allies, but the consequences of the conflict continue to this day. The number of civilian casualties in this war varies widely and the exact casualties can never be accurately determined. The number of 124,000 civilian victims from 2003 to 2011 represents the estimate on the lower scale, other estimates are much higher.4
On September 14, 2005, the German Federal Administrative Court condemned the Iraq war of 2003 as contrary to international law5. In addition the war constituted a violation of Article 1 of the NATO Charter, as it was assessed as a war of aggression by the USA on Iraq. Involved in this conflict were the USA, Great Britain and a so-called “coalition of the willing”, including Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Japan and many other European countries.6
The US administration under George W. Bush at that time stated the destruction of weapons of mass destruction suspected in Iraq as the main aim and reason for the war. To this end, alleged evidence was presented to the public by the US government to support this suspicion. It later turned out that all of the so-called evidence was deliberately falsified or invented by the US government in order to win the Allies over to the war effort.7
With the destruction of the Iraqi security organs, the growing hardship and widespread hopelessness in Iraq, the Iraq war prepared as early as 2003 the breeding ground for the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia, a self-appointed Salafist organization that has nothing whatsoever to do with the teachings of the reformer Sheikh Mohammad Abduh, the founder of the Salafiya in the 19th century.8 Among other things, IS has vowed to kill all Shiites, currently around 100 million people worldwide, and to proclaim its own caliphate. Most Shiites live in Iran, some in Iraq. The IS received a strong influx of militant supporters, even from Europe, and grew to several 10,000 fanatical militant supporters. The terrorist organization al-Qaeda also gained further strong support.
As a result of the emergence and expansion of ISIS and the terrorist organization al-Nusra in Iraq and Syria, Iraqis first had to flee their homeland, and when the terror spread to northern Syria, Syrians had to flee as well.
„There would be no ISIS if we hadn’t invaded Iraq,“ Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, former military advisor to then Secretary of Defense Condoleezza Rice9
The USA initially gave ISIS and al-Nusra a free rein and observed the development and spread of the terrorist organizations that were demonstrably formed as a result of the Iraq war10 without intervening, although the USA had stationed troops in Iraq since the end of the Iraq war. The US government may have hoped that a newly emerging caliphate as a Sunni bulwark would offer protection for Israel against Syria and, above all, Iran, according to Middle East expert Michael Lüders.11
Whatever the real reasons of the US government, the US let the terror spread in Iraq and Syria. Likewise, Great Britain and the “Alliance of the Willing” were also not interested in the fact that Iraq, which they had just covered with war, was on the verge of sinking into domestic terror.
The EU states involved in the Iraq war destabilized Iraq through a senseless war of aggression, contrary to international law, let Iraq sink into terror after the war, watched and did nothing!
The USA granted the “Islamic State” the carte blanche of terrorism until the situation for Iraq became so threatening that the Iraqi government felt compelled to ask its former attacker the USA to support it in the fight against IS. IS was able to be pushed back in Iraq, but with further casualties on the part of the Iraqi civilian population. In Syria, IS initially had an easy game spreading, as the country had been in a civil war for years.
January 2020: Iraq = 1.4 million refugees!14
End of 2019: Syria = 6.6 million refugees!15
In autumn 2001 the US attacked Afghanistan, which had already been devastated by wars, with the aim of overthrowing the deobandic-Islamist Taliban government and bringing the terrorist organization al-Qaeda to account for its terrorist attacks in the USA. In addition to the USA, Germany and Great Britain took part in this war on the part of Europe, which claimed 24,155 deaths16. Most of the civilian casualties were caused by attacks by the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s militia. According to the United Nations Support Missions in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 3,021 civilians were victims of the fighting, 14% of whom were killed in operations by NATO and the Afghan army.17
The reason given by the USA for the Afghanistan campaign, namely that the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, which can be shown to be responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was supported by the then Taliban government of Afghanistan, is controversial.18 To this day, Afghanistan suffers from the aftermath of the wars that devastated the country and they continue to suffer from the Taliban, who are still a decisive power factor in Afghanistan.19 The terror has not left Afghanistan to this day!
It should be noted that the war that the USA waged in Afghanistan was a senseless war of aggression!20 Even US soldiers say cynically about the Afghanistan war, according to a report by the „Deutsche Tagesschau“ from December 10, 2019, „Bin Laden would laugh in his grave“.21
The Afghans have nothing to laugh about, they primarily suffered under the Taliban, and for 19 years under the USA, Germany and Great Britain, even if our troops were exemplary in helping the Afghan people to rebuild! Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous areas on this planet to this day, violent robberies, rape, kidnapping, terrorist attacks, mines, according to the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.22
July 2020: Afghanistan = 2.7 million refugees!23
On October 12, 2017, Turkey (NATO partner) attacked northern Syria with the stated aim of creating a buffer zone / de-escalation zone for refugees in order to prevent further war refugees from fleeing to Turkey. In fact, however, Turkey fought the Kurds, partly grouped in the Kurdish organization YPG on Syrian territory, which they viewed as a danger to Turkey, since the Kurds, who had long been living in northern Syria, hoped to acquire their own state territory in the north as a result of the civil war.
Turkey regards the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization in the EU. At the same time, however, the YPG was the most important military ally of the US troops in northern Syria against IS.24 Immediately before the start of the Turkish offensive, according to a report from the German newspaper „Die Zeit“, in October 2019, the US-President Donald Trump had 1,000 men of his troops stationed in Syrian Kurdistan withdrawn, knowing with certainty that this would trigger a war between Kurds and Turks.25 Furthermore, the US President sent 3,000 of his soldiers to Saudi Arabia to allegedly defend it against an impending Iranian attack, which, as is well known, never took place.
The consequence of the whole cynical „game“ between Turkey and the USA were more refugees from northern Syria. The role of Russia and Iran in this conflict should not go unmentioned, both of which supported the Syrian government. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the Turkish President Erdogan to stop the military offensive, as the German government assumed that an offensive could lead to a strengthening of the IS. The chaos triggered by the offensive led, among other things, to 780 IS extremists being able to escape from a Kurdish prison.26
We Europeans watched as two of our NATO partners, Turkey and the USA completely destabilized northern Syria, covered it with war and we did too little to prevent this!
At its meeting on October 11, 2019, the UN Security Council proved incapable of taking a decision on the Turkish attack. There was no official announcement after the end of the council meeting.27 „Turkey was not authorized to attack and one would react if Turkey went too far,“ said US representative Kelly Craft, as far as the UN Security Council’s assessment of a war of aggression carried out by a NATO member, who is bound to the NATO-Charter.
The Turkish armed forces and allied Syrian armed groups were accused of serious human rights violations and war crimes during the offensive in northeastern Syria. Residential areas were bombed, the shooting of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf by members of Ahrar Al-Shaqiya, parts of the Syrian National Army (SNA) supported by Turkey, was prooved as well as a high number of seriously wounded and dead civilians is documented.28
Turkey has occupied northern Syria in this war of aggression for over two years and it is unlikely that it will return this area to Syria in the future.29 Telepolis writes: „What was supposedly supposed to serve the fight against IS at the beginning turned out to be a“ creeping genocide „against the Kurds, Yazidis and Christians in the region and as a fight against aspirations for autonomy by the multiethnic population of northern Syria.“30 It should not go unmentioned that the Kurds were the ones who fought back the IS in the house-to-house war in Syria, not Turkey, not the Syrian army and not the USA.31
In summary, it can be stated that how Europeans, especially NATO partners such as the USA, Turkey, Great Britain and Germany, who have committed themselves to the NATO Charter, have abused it.
Article 1 of the NATO Charter reads:
The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
Seldom before has Article 1 of the NATO Charter been trampled in the dirt as it has been in the past 20 years, since the terrible attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
The attack on the World Trade Center not only wiped out 3,000 lives, it dragged the western world into the vortex of barbarism.
For 20 years, the USA in particular, but also other NATO-members, have been destabilizing the Middle East with their lack of understanding, by violating of international law and the fundamental principles of the NATO.
Wars of aggression are being waged by NATO partners, and we Germans and Europeans have watched them, are still watching, and in the case of Afghanistan have even actively participated in military actions that are contrary to international law. (Professor Dr. Norman Paech, international lawyer, University of Economics and Politics in Hamburg)32
We all did far too little to prevent these catastrophes on our European doorstep and we turn a blind eye to the truth. We wrongly glorify our western world! Instead of Germany and the EU openly criticizing their allied NATO partners, the USA and Turkey and leaving no stone unturned to dissuade their partners from their disastrous projects, we hide away and shirk our responsibility, betray our values and complain about ourselves Refugees who were created by ourselves.
Germany currently still supplies war weapons, e.g. 6 hunting submarines to Turkey, to a NATO partner who only recently openly threatened the NATO partner, the EU member Greece with war! What kind of international partnership is that?
What is NATO worth if some of our NATO partners betray and abuse their fundamental principles by threatening other NATO partners with war or, as in the case of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, openly attacking them? NATO is a defense alliance, not an offensive alliance!
In conclusion, it should be noted that we Germans and EU citizens are not the victims, as the AfD wants us to believe, when we take in refugees! The victims are the refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and other countries that we have brought into this inhumane situation with our turning away from the truth and our cowardice.
All EU countries are partly to blame for the destabilization of the Near / Middle East and therefore we all have an obligation to help those affected!
Alexander Tutaß, 02.01.2021
This comment reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the position of nex24.
Dipl. Inf (FH) Alexander Tutaß
Ratsherr in Itzehoe
Mitglied des CDU-Ortsverbands Itzehoe,
Mitglied der Mittelstand- und Wirtschaftsunion, Kreisverband Steinburg
1. Entwicklungsminister Gerd Müller: „Entsetzliche Zustände“ auf Lesbos – taz.de
2. Migranten aus Griechenland: Woher die aufgenommenen Flüchtlinge kommen | tagesschau.de
3.Lesbos: Flüchtlinge leben unter grausamen Bedingungen – „Babys werden von Ratten gebissen“ | Politik (merkur.de)
5https://www.wsws.org/de/articles/2005/09/urt-s14.html as well https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/urteil-bundesrichter-rueffeln-deutsche-unterstuetzung-des-irak-kriegs-a-372819.html and https://www.fr.de/politik/ein-krieg-gegen-irak-waere-eindeutig-voelkerrechtswidrig-11723998.html
8. Peter Scholl-Latour „Der Fluch der Bösen Tat“