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Saudi Arabia and Iran : The dark side of the force

From Friday to Sunday, the heads of government are meeting in Munich, Foreign and defence Ministers, with hundreds of experts from around the world to advise on the security conference on the threat and existing conflicts. Among the uncertainties is the question of how we should deal with States such as Saudi-Arabia and the Iran deal for us Europeans.

In the core it is about our dealings with an understanding of Power that is quite different than the our. Power is in our Western democracies, temporally, and legally limited. These limitations serve to our Conviction that our national interests in freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

This Interpretation of the national interest is, however, in many other countries, completely different. Largely unrestricted Power is, as a Central prerequisite for stability, economic progress and prosperity. The like, we judge differently, we change this Interpretation of Power from the outside. So we have to deal with this for us, "the dark side of the force".

We German is difficult for us particularly, we have developed, however, against the Background of our responsibility for the atrocities of the last century for good reasons, particularly high moral claims for political Action. The values associated with it are just not "German values" but universal.

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France and the UK in order to act with fewer inhibitions

Other European countries such as France or the UK to go with these foreign powers with fewer inhibitions and much interest-driven. No one stopped after the Assassination of the journalists who are critical of Khashoggi from Saudi Arabia any armaments cooperation.

And while Germany has always paid attention to sufficient distance to the former Libyan dictator Gaddafi, was allowed to hit in the middle of the tent, in Paris, to be Desert, in the then vast supplies of arms of France was negotiated. No French President had a fear of hurt in his dealings with the dark side of the force, the fundamental values of his country. Because the values were for France, for the world interests were considered.

the duration of the conflict between morality and interests

especially in Germany this uncertainty in dealing with countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia or Turkey and Russia, we are in a permanent conflict between our economic and security interests on the one hand, and our moral claims on the other.

You do not need to cover the delicate question of arms exports. Already normal economic investment projects and raw material deliveries are in this field of tension.

Even if our European neighbors do not understand our scruples, and even for the development of a European armaments and defence industry as a hindrance to view, we should admit to them. Who calls for more "Realpolitik" or "robustness" in dealing with the feudal systems and dictatorships, can do only because he does not have to endure everyday life in these countries and suffer.

You can always make guilty

scruples, to have and to exercise caution is correct. Only when this moral Arrogance is, it can go just as wrong. We have supplied arms to the Kurdish Peshmerga, which would have been prohibited under the export rules, actually, would have exterminated the terrorists of the IS the ethnic group of the Yezidis. You can always make guilty: by Action and by omission.

And any economic contact or to risk the crash through to the other side, is also to have no influence. We will soon see in Syria, because that is where the sinister Regime of Assad has won the war could not be in a most brutal means.

Problem Syria

There are, God knows, reasons, to entertain no relations with this Regime. If the wise and is durable, stands on a different sheet. If we want to win the Europeans the slightest influence there, or just want to know what is happening in this country – not least with the money we will stuck at some point in the reconstruction of the country – then we must also be represented.

It is only a matter of time and the shame deadline, until we find there again the European representations. Not the same by Ambassador – and, hopefully, European-tuned, and not in the national go-it-alone. The example of Syria shows that we are always forced, in their own interest with the dark and sinister sides of the Power deal.

Saudi Arabia, fortunately, is not comparable to Syria – through, for example, in addition to all the foreign political adventures and acts of brutality, and a political course of Reform, is in our interest. The country collapses under the crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the traditional link between the religious hard-liners, which had been for far too long the starting point of the ideological or even financial terrorist support.

He fought corruption in his own family and is trying to modernize the country. But he does this with the archaic and extremely brutal methods, and does not shy away apparently also before the murder orders. The purpose of the modernization of the country – sanctify for him the means.

tacit acceptance

A power of political principle are not allowed to do accept we, as Europeans, it is in truth but tacitly – if our most important ally, the United States, as well, and thus our interests implicitly takes on The job killings by means of drones by the army of the United States in the case of actual (or suspected) terrorist supporters of this Machiavelli follow tables and uncontrolled exercise of power – and also protect us.

The Americans apply, similar to the French, their values and limitations of Power for the territory of the United States. Outside of that it comes to interests. Therefore, until today there is a prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which should not exist within the country. The occupant is not the wish of the Europeans prefer to back. Sometimes we collaborate so silently with the dark side of the force, because we don't have to make the fingers themselves dirty.

The us has criticized countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey or Russia, register and use our moral Suasion, therefore, not seriously. So we should not be silent on the one hand, if our allies access to resources that can Holy no purpose. Otherwise it throws us to legal ambiguity.

Policy gap

And we can be quite true political distance to the feudal States such as Saudi Arabia, but also the attempt to explain him to the pariah. No one should German investors – Siemens – for their economic activities in Saudi Arabia. It is lose, neither in Germany's interest, and orders to cut the conversation thread and to lose in influence.

More about

security conference in Munich, Many of the cracks in the alliances

Christoph von Marschall

as long As the country but the neighboring countries under pressure, and even war, as well as for contract killings, ban red carpets for mutual state visits. Armaments cooperation, for example, this would give us in return for peace efforts in Yemen. The is allowed to claim Germany of its European neighbors.

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