The targeted assassination of the Iranian General Qassim Soleimani by the United States is met with rejection and horror in broad sections of the European population. The criminal act of state terrorism threatens to plunge the Middle East into a bloodbath, and the world in a nuclear Inferno. Every day, US President Trump issues new threats that are war crimes under both international and American law.
But there is no criticism from European governments of the criminal actions of the American ally, which strongly reminds of Adolf Hitler’s behaviour on the eve of the Second World War. Call for de-escalation, but refuse to condemn the targeted murder of a high-ranking representative of a sovereign country, as a war crime. Instead, they are turning their fire against Iran. Although they consider Trump’s actions to be a tactical mistake, they are preparing to support the US in the event of war.
Already the first joint Declaration to be published, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, two days after the murder, begins with an attack on Iran and the murder victim Soleimani.
“We have condemned the recent attacks on coalition forces in Iraq and are deeply concerned about the negative role that Iran has played in the Region, in particular, by the Iranian revolutionary guards and the al-Quds force under the command of General Soleimani,” reads the first paragraph. This is followed by a call for de-escalation: “we appeal to all actors involved to show extreme restraint and a sense of responsibility. The current spiral of violence in Iraq must be ended.”
But the assassination of Soleimani, which de facto amounts to a declaration of war by the United States on Iran, a country with the population of Germany, is neither mentioned nor condemned by the heads of government. Instead, they call “in particular on Iran to refrain from further violent actions or support them” and call on it to “withdraw all measures that are not in accordance with the nuclear agreement”, an agreement that the United States has unilaterally broken.
Boris Johnson hastened to assure the US president by telephone that Soleimani was “a threat to the interests of all of us” and “we do not regret his death”. Emmanuel Macron also called Donald Trump on the same day and promised him " his full solidarity with our allies in the face of the attacks that have been carried out in recent months against the influence of the coalition in Iraq," according to a statement by Élysées.
Macron had “expressed his concern about the destabilizing activities of the forces of al-Quds under the authority of General Qassim Soleimani and recalled the need for Iran to end them now and refrain from any military escalation that could exacerbate the instability of the Region.” He stressed"France’s determination to work alongside its regional and international partners for détente".
The German government made similar comments. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas accused the murdered Soleimani in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper of having “drawn a trail of blood and violence through the Middle East. It was not for nothing that the EU had him on the terrorist list.“The Iranian government responded by summoning the German ambassador and complaining about” untrue, inappropriate and destructive statements “as well as support for the” terrorist attack " by the US.
While Berlin, Paris and London justify the state terrorism of the USA, they are at the same time making an intensive effort to influence the Situation in their sense. Among other things, Macron spoke on the phone with the Iraqi president, whom he assured of his support for the “security and sovereignty of Iraq,” the rulers of various Arab states, and the Russian President. Chancellor Merkel will fly to Moscow on Saturday to meet Vladimir Putin in person to discuss the situation in the Middle East.
The ambivalent behaviour of the European government has two reasons. Firstly, they fear that the uncontrolled escalation of a war between the USA and Iran leads to another Disaster, the flow in the Form of terrorist attacks, - growing Refugee, rising Oil prices and political instability on Europe strikes back.
This was expressed most clearly by the former commander-in-chief of the British Navy, Lord Alan West, in an Interview with the Daily Mail. “Britain and America are aiming for the same goal in Iran,” he assured the tabloid. “We are both working to eliminate a hardline regime that poses a serious threat to global security and to replace it with a more moderate government.”
Britain is trying to " ease tensions with Iran, [..] for as long as the Iranian people feel under constant siege by the Rest of the world, there is no prospect of a more rational and civilized government coming to power in Tehran.“Trump, on the other hand, is pursuing the strategy,” [..] to use harsh sanctions and ruthless military force”.
However, it is not possible to defeat Iran with clinical air strikes and drone attacks and to force a comprehensive regime change. An Invasion was necessary. “This would require the deployment of at least a Million troops in the country, which would mean the return to conscription – as it most recently existed in the Vietnam War-and the likely loss of hundreds of thousands of American lives.”
Trump is not ready for this before the elections in November. “Instead, tensions will continue to rise. The world will be on the brink of war, not for days, but for months - and even years.“Lord West’s Interview ends with a call to massively upgrade the British military so that the country can better assert its weight in the Middle East.
The second reason for the behaviour of European governments is the growing class tensions in their own countries. In 2003, millions took to the streets in Europe and around the world against the Iraq War. The fact that the French and German governments had rejected the war and publicly criticised US President George W. Bush played no small role in this.
Today, the European governments want to avoid such a mobilization at all costs. They fear that Opposition to the war, with the Mass struggles against pension cuts in France and the subliminal Opposition to job cuts and poverty in the UK and Germany come together.
Like the US government, they are responding to growing social tensions, economic problems and international conflicts by rearming internally and externally and embarking on military adventures. That is why they are defending Trump’s war crimes and preparing to take part in a war that they know will lead to disaster.
This development is also reflected in the media at a breathtaking pace. Symptomatic of this are two comments in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. On January 3, Stefan Kornelius justified the assassination of Soleimani under the heading “declaration of war”, but at the same time warned that the reasons “that may have driven Trump to his killing order” did not even add up to a “plausible strategy”. Trump is “now commander, but he lacks a strategy and he lacks knowledge”.
Two days later, a comment by Tomas Avenarius in the same newspaper sounded very different. Under the heading “the US should re-register as a regulatory power”, he writes: “criticism of the US’s role in the Middle East is often justified. [..] With the killing of General Soleimani, the situation could be different: ideally, the US reports back as a regulatory power. Because in the Middle East there is complete Chaos.”