Thursday, May 13, 2004

Michael Wolffsohn!

Professor Michael Wolffsohn, an instructor in Munich at one of Germany's top two military officer training schools, attracted controversy earlier this month when he told a German television reporter that "if we attempt to counter terror with gentlemanly methods, we will fail."
Referring to the excesses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, he said, "In the anti-terror fight there are really no effective laws of war. I believe that torture, or the threat of torture, is legitimate as one of the instruments against terror, because terror basically… has nothing to do with our civilized order."
On Wednesday, Struck was at pains to make clear that the country's military establishment did not share Wolffsohn's controversial views.
During a talk show on the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners, Struck said "A German soldier tortures no one”, and added: “I am firmly convinced that even a young and not particularly educated soldier would never do what we have seen”.
Angelika Beer, head of Germany's Green party said that Wolffsohn had lost the right to continue in his teaching job and that he should voluntarily step down. Beer said the right to freedom of expression stopped "at the point when it departs from the fundamental principles of our democracy and constitution."
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