Sputnik: How would you characterize the government's response to the events in Syria?
Dr. Alexander Neu: The German government is doing a lot of crazy things. The German government is supporting the United States, France and Great Britain in bombing Syria, but at the same time saying that we will not take part. This is not the first time when they act like this — the same thing was in Libya in 2011.
Sputnik: What is the mood really in government and among the people? What are you hearing, do Germans on the streets support Angela Merkel in her opinion of favoring their strikes but not taking part, would they like to see a more aggressive stance on and perhaps participation in the Syrian airstrikes?
Dr. Alexander Neu: The situation is like this — the German government would like to do more in favor of America, France and Great Britain, but the people in Germany, our society is against a war, is against bombing and is against intervention in Syria or somewhere. The people in Germany are much more pacifist. And so the German government is so to say not free to act as it would like to act.
Sputnik: Who is pressuring the German government? Is it the US?
Dr. Alexander Neu: There are different things. Of course the United States is pressuring all the time that Germany needs to do more, Great Britain, France. But there's another thing. The German government would like to do more, to be a real international player, a big player they are looking for, but they're not able to do it because of the behavior of the German society. Germans don't want to have war and they don't want to be aggressive to the outside world. This is the difference between the German society and the German politics.
Sputnik: Still you have the West that's accusing Syria of international breaches of law. The thought is that they should be held accountable for their actions.
Sputnik: Is that a widespread though in Germany?
Dr. Alexander Neu: I think more and more people get aware of it — that the German government… and the West [are] playing with international law. At least this report we talk about is helping us to show that the West in particular Germany plays with international law. The international law is very important for international politics but we are playing with this.
Sputnik: Now that this report was published and that these findings were made known, what happens next? What does this mean that this was found illegal? Does this mean that some kind of action will be taken?
Dr. Alexander Neu: I'm afraid that the German government will ignore this. They ignored the first report when this department in the German Bundestag stated that the Turkish invasion of Syria is illegal as well. It's the so-called second report […] and in both cases the German government is completely ignoring these reports. But nevertheless the media are pushing now and asking what will be the result of it, what will the government do. But I think the government will do nothing, they'll just ignore it.
Sputnik: In the international arena we also have the situation when we have this lame duck UN Security Council where nobody can agree and no steps can be taken against anybody. Do you see any sort of change in the way that responsibility is taken and the way that nations who are in breach of international law are dealt with in the future?
Dr. Alexander Neu: As long as two states are permanent members of the UN Security Council, as long as two states will use their veto there's no chance to reform or to change the situation. This means we will see in the near future the same behavior.
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