Requiem for a dream
26 Aug 2006 18:16 GMT
So, Murat Kurnaz has finally been returned to Germany, after almost five years of unlawful imprisonment and torture in Guantanamo. I don't want to write yet another comment on the sick American mind, let me instead talk about my own beloved government. Social Democratic Green.
It was in 2002 that the U.S. authorities offered to fly Kurnaz out to Germany. The German government refused, because Kurnaz is Turkish. A few months ago the Ausländerbehörde – the German equivalent to the INS – still attempted to block his return, claiming that Kurnaz's residency permit had expired, because he had left Germany and had failed to return within six months. The cynicism of this reminds me of an infernal bureaucracy that ended not so long ago.
A man is held captive for years, although there is proof of his innocence. He is tortured. He is denied his basic human rights. The German government had the chance to end this soon after it began. It didn't. Because the man is Turkish.
This is racism, so cynical, so blatant, so shameless that it makes my heart burn. Never mind that Kurnaz spent his whole life in Germany; never mind that it doesn't matter whether he is German or Turkish or Afghan or Iraqui; never mind that even if he had been involved in any illegal activity, he'd deserve a fair trial and decent treatment; never mind that the BND – the German intelligence agency – knew all along that Kurnaz was innocent.
What hurts, what really hurts, is that it was the Social Democratic Party in power, ruling with the Greens. A red-green government! Yes, I'd be outraged still, if it had been the CDU, Rep, NPD, whatever rightwings run around. But I wouldn't expect anything else from hardballs like Stoiber or Schäuble. I did expect a whole different attitude from the Social Democrats. I guess it's the same pain that Brazilians have felt since they realized their beloved PT was waist-deep in corruption, rotten to the core. Yes, all the other ruling parties had been just as corrupt and stealing before. But the PT held the promise of a different kind of politics. More justice, more honesty, more social responsibility. Which is exactly what I expected from our leftist government.
Boy, was I naïve.