They are here: against the wishes of the majority of the people, by the wishes of a parliamentary majority. They are referred to as weapons, but they are instruments of genocide. They are here ostensibly for our security, but they increase the risk of a nuclear holocaust in Europe. Though they are stationed here, decisions regarding their deployment and possible use are taken far away, where we have no say. They are supposed to strengthen our defences, but they have been designed for an aggressive first strike. Their presence here is explained by the need to ‘close the gap’, but the deployment of corresponding systems in the other Germany and in Czechoslovakia is also called ‘closing the gap’; so that on both sides the ‘gap’ will go on being ‘closed’–far beyond the threshold of madness already. They are called medium-range missiles. Representative of all the other accumulated power of destruction, they give a picture of the condition of mankind as it spends billions on preparing an end for itself; the deadly logic of self-destruction spares no expense.

I am not sure if this terminal development can still be arrested. After last November’s debate in the Bundestag, the Lower House of the German Parliament, which was concerned less with the criminal dangers of the new missile-systems than with ‘loyalty to NATO’ and keeping our word to the United States, my doubts hardened into fear: the people governing us are fools. Overtaxed by the gritty day-to-day of politics, they take refuge in a majority decision that hands the responsibility for life and death to our major allies, and commits us to silence and acquiescence. The stance of this parliamentary majority is one that I can only condemn as pathetic or insane.

They clearly don’t know what they’re doing. Accustomed only to following matters of detail, they have become criminals acting out of conviction. And when they cry, ‘There is a price to pay for freedom!’ then one begins to worry seriously about both freedom and its price.

The Guardian and Sarah Tisdall