The Era of Impunity
Western military forces killed thousands of civilians and committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Virtually no one has been brought to justice before the final withdrawal.
(Own report) - With western troops finally withdrawing from Afghanistan tomorrow, two decades of deadly western attacks on civilians and the West's systematic war crimes at the Hindu Kush will also come to an end. By the time the US withdrawal agreement was finalized with the Taliban in February 2020, hundreds of civilians had been killed annually by western armed forces' air strikes and Special Forces' operations - at least 559 in 2019 - according to the UN. Countless bystanders were killed in US drone strikes. According to documents leaked by a whistleblower, at times, only one out of ten victims of drone strikes were "targets" designated for assassination by the US military. Information needed for drone strikes has also been provided by German services to the US military, including information used by the CIA for the abductions of suspects and their torture. Australian Special Forces assassinated defenseless civilians as an initiation ritual. Western war crimes usually remained unpunished - still today. Read more
Debate on the frigate Bayern's East Asia voyage continues. Beijing does not accept Berlin's appeasement attempts. Influential daily declares China an enemy.
BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - The dispatchment of the frigate Bavaria to East Asia and the South China Sea is accompanied by ongoing debates. For months already, foreign policy hawks have been heavily criticizing the fact that the frigate has not yet planned a special provocation against the People's Republic of China, besides crossing the South China Sea. They have repeatedly demanded that the frigate enter the territorial waters of the islands claimed by China or hold joint maneuvers with allied armed forces. That a direct "confrontation is obviously being avoided" does not go far enough for the "allies," a staff member of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) complains. Regarding the German frigate's request to make a port call in Shanghai as a sign of appeasement, Beijing demanded that the German government decide, whether it seeks cooperation or serious conflict with Beijing. While tensions escalate, an influential German senior commentator goes beyond NATO's phraseology and declares China an "enemy." Read more
The Pandemic Profiteers
International NGO criticizes mRNA vaccine producers' excessive profits, including BioNTech's. Poorer countries are mainly being supplied by China. Berlin plans to stockpile vaccine doses - as a "precautionary measure."
BERLIN/MAINZ (Own report) - A recent analysis by The People's Vaccine Alliance, an international NGO, has revealed the dimensions of profits major mRNA vaccine producers - including BioNTech (Mainz) - are reaping in from the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis, recently published under the title "The Great Vaccine Robbery," estimates the sales price of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine at between 6 and 24 times its production costs. According to The People's Vaccine Alliance, BioNTech/Pfizer's revenue from the sales of their vaccine is around $24 billion more than their production costs. The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of around 70 international NGOs, including Oxfam and Amnesty International. Berlin protects the profits of these vaccine manufacturers by continuing to block temporary vaccine patent waivers. With already 570 million doses, China is the main vaccine supplier for the emerging and developing countries. Germany, on the other hand, is now turning toward booster shots. The government intends to stockpile tens of millions of doses of vaccine - as a "precautionary measure." Read more
Illegally Occupied Islands
During its East Asia tour the German frigate Bayern will make a port call at Diego Garcia. The island is the site of a US military base and is, according to UN courts, illegally occupied by Great Britain.
BERLIN/LONDON/WASHINGTON (Own report) - The frigate Bayern, which set sail for East Asia yesterday, will soon make a port call at Diego Garcia, an island under occupation, in violation of international law, and serving military purposes. It is the main island of the Chagos Archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean and the site of a strategically important US military base. The Chagos Archipelago is an old British colonial possession that had once belonged to Mauritius. It was detached, in violation of international law, during the decolonization of Mauritius, to allow the United States to construct a military base. The population was deported to impoverished regions on Mauritius. In the meantime, several international court rulings have been handed down and a UN General Assembly resolution has been passed on this issue - all concluding that Mauritius has sovereignty over Diego Garcia and calling on the United Kingdom to hand back the illegally occupied Chagos Archipelago. To this day, London and Washington refuse to comply. This does not bother Berlin. Read more