de.indymedia, August 17, 2022
On the night of Thursday to Friday of last week, two vehicles were completely burned in the district of Bad Willhelmshöhe in Kassel (Hessen region). The two cars that were completely destroyed by fire were two civilian vehicles belonging to the German army fleet, parked near the Bundeswehr technical school. The cops say the damage was in the mid-five figures. A small drop in the bucket compared to the huge sums currently being spent on rearmament.
Since all NATO member countries are required to spend at least 2% of their GDP on war preparations, spending on military and armaments products is skyrocketing in Europe. Since then, the German army has been subtly presented to us as an “antiquated troop, reduced to a pitiful size by cost-cutting” and “not fit for combat”. The aim is to convince the public that the huge investments in the military-industrial complex are justified and serve the security of Europe. When at the beginning of this year the war in Ukraine escalated again and the Russian ruling class sent its army to finish annexing the territories in the east of Ukraine that have been disputed for years, the calls for the necessary rearmament of Europe finally found complacent ears.
In a fast-track parliamentary procedure, 100 billion euros of “special budget” were made available to the German army, in addition to arms spending that had already risen to 56 billion dollars by 2021. German arms companies, whose war material will now be massively sold to the Ukraine and produced for NATO armies, are rubbing their bloodstained hands and can say with a clear conscience: this time we are on the right side. Buoyed by this mood, Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger, who normally avoids publicity as is appropriate in this industry, is no longer missing an opportunity to promote his group, whose share price has doubled since the start of the war in Ukraine. The fact that the German arms industry is only interested in profits and has no morals is evident in the arms trade with the fascist Erdogan regime in Turkey or with Saudi Arabia, whose army helped to crush the Arab Spring protests in Bahrain in 2011. The big German arms groups have also sold their war machines to Russia, although after the annexation of Crimea an arms embargo was decreed by the EU. In order to do this, the arms dealers used, as is also usual in this sector, a legal loophole to circumvent the embargo.
Ultimately, military rearmament does not make the world safer. On the contrary: no state in the world buys tanks and leaves them to rust in a garage. The so-called “deterrence” of the arms race is also a lie. In military logic, the argument would even be the opposite: if my enemy is about to rearm, it is better to act today than tomorrow to get ahead of him. Thus, the extension of NATO to the East, the numerous maneuvers and expenditures on armaments that far exceed those of Russia, did not prevent the aggression against Ukraine. To compare: just before the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine, NATO’s arms expenditure amounted to about 1175 billion dollars and Russia’s to about 66 billion dollars.
We have seen what a war with NATO participation looks like, recently in Afghanistan and up to now in Kurdistan. After the German population had been reassured for years that the troops in Afghanistan would dig wells, bring democracy and allow girls to go to school, it took only 14 days after the end of the military intervention for the whole country to fall back into the hands of the Taliban. The memory of civilians killed by drone strikes, of war crimes (including by the German army) and finally of local forces abandoned to their fate remained. In the meantime, Turkish soldiers, the second largest army in NATO, have been fighting the Kurdish liberation movement for years, among other things with German weapons. In concrete terms, this currently means: constant bombing in Iraq and northern Syria, occupation of the territories previously liberated by the Kurds from the control of the Islamic State in northern Syria/Rojava, use of poison gas in the fight against guerrilla warfare in the Kurdish mountains, repression of all opposition in Turkey.
It is above all the arms companies that profit from the rearmament and the preparations for war in Europe. The world is not becoming safer, on the contrary. Therefore, militarization, rearmament and war preparations in Germany must be fought with determination. For this reason, we have decided to reduce the German army’s fleet in Kassel at least somewhat.
For a world of peace and freedom,
let’s demolish the Bundeswehr