New York City, 9/11, and its aftermath

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Last Man to Die

by Saul Bloodworth

Well, here is an interesting story: An American soldier, AndrĂ© Shepherd, who was supposed to be deployed to Iraq has deserted, he is asking for political asylum in Germany. He told at a press conference: “I’ve done enough research to come to the conclusion that what is happening in Iraq is not the equivalent of World War II but outright massacre. We are not the freedom fighters we think we are.”

Shepherd went AWOl already one and a half years ago. He has lived underground with German friends since, but now he came out of the woodworks.

So, now we will see an interesting conflict unfolding: Legally, Shepherd is entitled to political asylum, since Germany regards the Iraq war as an illegal act of aggression (as do most countrys). He also has the backing of the German press. Politically, however, this puts the Merkel government in a bad spot, since everyone has hoped that the relationship with the U.S. government would improve, now that Obama is elected.

Furthermore, there is a fierce debate in Germany going on about the treatment of Wehrmacht deserters during World War II, 23.000 of which have been executed (sorry, no English information available). As of now, some of them have been rehabilitated, but not all of them. There is talk about putting up a memorial in Berlin. To extradite an American soldier in this climate would be political suicide for everyone involved.

So, lets see what happens. It goes without saying that the American press is not covering any of this.

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