War, a Mission of Generations

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Following last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, leading German media have begun speaking of a new world war. A renowned daily, for example, wrote that "a third world war" is currently being forced upon "the entire planet," warning that the war against IS "is not yet being waged with the intensity needed in a world war." Other journals are calling for resolute action without "half-heartedness" or even "self-recrimination." The fact that after 14 years of the "War on Terror," terrorism is stronger than ever before and the Arab-Muslim world is in shambles is allegedly not the result of a misguided western policy. The West supposedly bears no responsibility for the fact that "processes of disintegration and decivilization" have begun within the "Muslim belt of crisis stretching from Pakistan to Morocco," which has led to a "breakdown of civilization." In addition to the continuation - and even expansion - of the policy of military intervention, various media are also calling for broadening domestic repression. In the case of a "terror threat," the Bundeswehr should take on the task of protecting endangered streets. Among Germany's main national media organs, only one renowned business journal is not participating in this comprehensive orchestration of public opinion and preparation for a "world war." Military escalation "does not bring peace," it only "spawns suicide bombers," warns its chief editor and calls for finally searching for alternatives.

"A Third World War"

Since last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, leading German media organs have been talking of a new world war. The West finds itself "in a world war" against the "Islamic State" (IS) writes the chief editor of Germany's flagship daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine.[1] "The West - in fact, the entire planet -" has currently been forced into "a third world war," writes Berlin's daily, the Tagesspiegel, the majority of whose readers are in the German capital. As the Tagesspiegel explains, the "Third World War" is even taking on "proportions ... that extend beyond the global character of conventional warfare."[2] Several regional news outlets and tabloids have also accepted this wording,[3] which is intended appellatively. "The fight against the 'Islamic State,' the Taliban, and Boko Haram is not being waged with the necessary intensity for a world war," they claim.[4]

"Decivilization Processes"

According to prominent editorialists, the reason why jihadi terrorism is stronger than it has ever been - more than 14 years after the West declared its so-called war on terror - lies, not in the West's unsuccessful policy of aggression, but rather in the internal development of the Arab-Islamic World. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily - not otherwise specified - "deterioration and decivilization processes" have begun.[5] The Süddeutsche Zeitung, once reputed to be liberal daily, perceives "the cause of terrorism" also in a "breakdown of civilization" in the "Muslim belt of crisis, extending from Pakistan to Morocco," which, incidentally, has provoked "the massive wave of refugees" coming to "Europe." Within this "belt of crisis" there is "lawlessness and no state," "despotism has taken power." "Syria and Co. are the wholesale exporters of trouble."[6] Editorialists either play down or totally pass over in silence the fact that the total collapse of Afghanistan; Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen have each succeeded the West and its allied Arab Gulf dictatorships seeking to execute "regime change" through military interventions, as well as the fact of the West and its Arab allies' tactical support for jihadis - particularly in Afghanistan, Libya and in Syria - had laid the groundwork for these groups to become stronger. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[7])

"No Half-Heartedness"

The trivialization of the West's responsibility for havoc in a growing number of Muslim countries is accompanied with the demand that the West continues, and even intensifies, its policy of aggression. The anti-jihadi war is "a mission of generations and cannot be accomplished in a few years," it is predicted. The current lack of success "should not be looked upon with self-recriminations, retreat," or with "half-heartedness."[8] One commentator declared that it is "well known" that "the struggle against terrorism has failed, because of half-heartedness. The West has lacked cohesiveness and perseverance." Besides, we must rely more on local allies, he claims, and contends, it has been shown "that stability cannot be imposed on the societies of the Muslim world only from the outside." Therefore, in the future "the local ethnic groups must lead in the liberation from oppression."[9] The - not otherwise specified - "moderates" and "the Kurds" in Syria and Iraq are mentioned as examples.

"A Mean Demeanor"

The demand that the West continue its policy of aggression against the Muslim World is accompanied, both in conservative as well as liberal media organs, by demands for a massive intensification of repression at home. The European countries must defend themselves "with police and intelligence services, ... with surveillance and prevention," they write.[10] "In Germany and the rest of Europe," "police and intelligence services" should "be better equipped and in an even more tightly coordinated network." "An EU anti-terrorist headquarters, with police and intelligence services in one complex," would be helpful. "The heavily armed, rapid deployment units, planned for the German Federal Police," may "be needed sooner" than expected. "The Bundeswehr must play a greater role in domestic security." "The Bundeswehr should be prepared to intervene immediately in cases of more acute terrorist threats" and, at least, be used to "protect endangered buildings and streets." The internet must "absolutely" be placed under stronger surveillance.[11] "Freedoms, which should be protected, will be curtailed," remarked one of the publishers of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "The Germans" would have "nothing against seeing a friendly demeanor at the head of their government," however, now "they want - and need - to see a mean demeanor."[12]

Alternatives to War

The current front of Germany's major national media, orchestrating domestic public opinion and publicistically habituating the population to a "World War" has been broken by a renowned business magazine. Gabor Steingart, Chief Editor of the German Handelsblatt warns, "the West shares the blame for the hostile climate between the cultures." "Of the 1.3 million lives that the wars from Afghanistan to Syria have cost, the crusade against Iraq, waged under false pretenses - and therefore in violation of international law - alone, accounts so far for 800,000 dead," explains Steingart. "The majority of these victims were peaceful Muslims - not terrorists." "The automatism of severity and mercilessness, the premeditated incomprehension of one's counterpart, the fiery speeches for the respective populations at home, the rapid take-off of bomber squadrons" have "brought us to where we are today." "This is not how you stop terrorism; this is how you fan its flames. This is not how you obtain peace; this is how you spawn suicide bombers." In the future, rather than banking on "combat or capitulation," we should promote "order, respect, and moderation." "There are alternatives to military escalation."[13] Among the leading personalities of the German mainstream media, Steingart stands alone with his warning.

[1] Berthold Kohler: Im Weltkrieg. www.faz.net 15.11.2015.
[2] Frank Jansen: Ein dritter Weltkrieg wird uns aufgezwungen. www.tagesspiegel.de 14.11.2015.
[3] Jörg-Helge Wagner: Es ist ein neuer Weltkrieg. www.weser-kurier.de 15.11.2015. Sophie Albers Ben Chamo: "Wir befinden uns mitten im Dritten Weltkrieg". www.stern.de 16.11.2015.
[4] Frank Jansen: Ein dritter Weltkrieg wird uns aufgezwungen. www.tagesspiegel.de 14.11.2015.
[5] Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger: Der neue Krieg. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 16.11.2015.
[6] Stefan Kornelius: Exporteure des Todes. www.sueddeutsche.de 14.11.2015.
[7] See Liberated by the West, Vom Westen befreit (II), Liberated by the West (III), and In Flammen.
[8] Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger: Der neue Krieg. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 16.11.2015.
[9] Stefan Kornelius: Exporteure des Todes. www.sueddeutsche.de 14.11.2015.
[10] Stefan Kornelius: An die Wurzeln. www.sueddeutsche.de 15.11.2015.
[11] Frank Jansen: Ein dritter Weltkrieg wird uns aufgezwungen. www.tagesspiegel.de 14.11.2015.
[12] Berthold Kohler: Im Weltkrieg. www.faz.net 15.11.2015.
[13] Gabor Steingart: Handelsblatt Morning Briefing 16.11.2015.