It’s one thing for those generally opposed to the mission in Afghanistan to complain and criticize, but it’s another for a cowardly “partner” to do so. 

Enter Germany, the Afghan mission’s reluctant team mate.  Germany is the team player who refuses to get rough. She is one of the most talented team members but she just won’t use her skills, and she is the team player who never mixes it up, yet is full of criticism and finger pointing.

Germany has one of the most modern and best equipped militaries in the world.  She has fully integrated air and ground forces with the most modern and in some cases the best hardware in the world.  She has volunteer soldiers who are motivated, capable, and loaded up with the finest that technology can offer.

Yet, in Afghanistan, Germany refuses to enter any zone where combat is likely.  Even the use of her modern jets to take pictures is enough to cause cries of woe among her politicians and pacifist civilians simply because those pictures may find their way into evil Yankee hands and be used to bomb the bad guys.

So it is, that Germany’s high and mighty pronouncements this week come as a slight to those in Afghanistan doing the real fighting.  American, Canadian, British, Australian, Dutch, and Danish forces carry the burden of the killing war … while almost all of the rest of their allies “baby-sit” more peaceful regions.  Even after call after call from NATO officials and the English partners for help in the violent south … Germany has led the way in refusing to get her hands dirty … but she has no problem in tossing piety at those doing the heavy lifting.

Imagine if you will then, being on Germany’s team.  The action is in one end of the field where the going is tough with a determined opposition.  You need help, you need reinforcements, and above all, you could use the exceptional talent of the German … but she refuses to even venture down the field.

Then, during the half, she has the gull to chastise you and to point out the errors of your ways and to pontificate on how things could be done better.  If her team mates have some choice words in return, they can surely be forgiven.

In the meantime, the real team players will go on fighting and dieing and doing the heavy lifting that it takes to bring a traumatized nation like Afghanistan into the modern era and out of a barbaric past.  And, like those who usually do all the dirty work, they will just smile at the insults, put their shoulders to the load, and get down and do it.

Paul E. Marek

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