'Brave of the defence minister to call a war a war’

6 September 2011

'Brave of the defence minister to call a war a war’

SP leader Emile Roemer and Parliamentary foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel have complimented Defence Minister Hans Hillen on his honesty in referring to the police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz as ‘a military mission’. In January, the government was able to gain a majority in Parliament in favour of the mission only when it was termed a ‘police mission’, making it appear as if the operation had nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan.

Harry van Bommel‘It was a word game played at the time by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and in particular by Green Left leader Jolande Sap,’ says Van Bommel. ‘But Hillen is indeed speaking the truth. It’s a military mission. In any case it’s brave of the minister now to dare to express the truth, that war is war.’

The question is in what terms is Rutte going to refer to the mission in Kunduz if his Defence Minister is going to call the beast by its real name? In January Rutte promised Jolande Sap that he could personally guarantee that no offensive actions would be carried out by Afghan police officers.

Parliament will shortly debate the issue. The SP has always been and remains an opponent of the mission in Kunduz and hopes to see the government lose its majority in favour.

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