That’s what it means when it comes to troops and international security zones, at any rate.
It’s hilarious to watch this ritual. Whenever no one else is around to do the dirty work (in this case US-Amerika in Syria), Germans like to pretend that an international force can do the dirty work instead. The punchline comes later, however (stay tuned): The same Germans will then turn down any attempt made in the Bundestag to have German troops participate in such an international security zone. It’s a win-win situation.
Germany’s defence minister has suggested creating a security zone in northern Syria to protect displaced civilians and ensure the fight continues against Islamic State militia, the first time Berlin has proposed a military mission in the Middle East.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Angela Merkel’s preferred successor as chancellor, said she would discuss the initiative with NATO partners this week and did not rule out sending German soldiers to Syria, saying that would be a matter for parliament.
“We cannot just stand by and watch and not doing anything.” That’s right. Sit down and do so.