Hungary sends troops to fight ISIS

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) joined Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz and the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (KDNP) in voting to send 150 soldiers into Iraq, in order to bolster the American-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). While Fidesz, KDNP and DK supported the mission, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party, the far-right Jobbik and two left-leaning independent MP’s voted against the deployment of Hungarian soldiers.

Hungarian soldiers undergo training. Photo: honvedelem.hu / Sándor Galambos.

Hungarian soldiers undergo training. Photo: honvedelem.hu / Sándor Galambos.

In the end, Mr. Orbán’s government required two-thirds of votes in parliament to authorize the deployment, and they didn’t have any trouble securing this support. A total of 137 parliamentarians voted for the motion, while 57 opposed it. The issue clearly cut across traditional party lines, although it did suggest what many had observed about some factions within the so-called left-centre opposition: on matters of the economy and on many foreign policy issues, former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s DK is effectively a centre-right party, despite his famously grating and colourful critiques of Mr. Orbán.

Hungarian troops will stay in Iraq until December 31st, 2017. Initially, Budapest will send in 110 soldiers to help secure a Kurdish military base in northern Iraq. Csaba Hende, Hungary’s defence minister, noted that the United States had “explicitly requested a Hungarian contribution” to the mission against ISIS.

Zsolt Németh, chair of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee and leading Fidesz politician, observed that “the world has been faced with such barbaric terrorism, that a reaction from Hungary has become unavoidable.” Mr. Németh added that both national security and ethical considerations underpin Hungary’s troop deployment.

Accoridng to Mr. Németh, the Fidesz government is convinced that it must act, as the ISIS-led genocide against Christian minorities is especially shocking and disturbing to Mr. Orbán’s “Christian-engaged” government. (The exact Hungarian term that Mr. Németh used here was “keresztény elkötelezettségű, which would refer to a commitment to Christian values. Mind you, the government’s regressive socio-economic policies raise some rather large questions, when it comes to the nature and scope of this “commitment.”)

Mr. Gyurcsány’s DK explained his support of the Orbán government in sending troops to Iraq by noting that “combating ISIS is a fundamental human and ethical responsibility, and it is also our obligation as an ally.”

“We cannot remain idle as we witness total destruction and mass murders,” added Mr. Gyurcsány.

The Socialists sought to amend the motion before parliament, arguing instead that rather than sending in ground troops, Hungary should offer training to the forces fighting in Iraq, but do so on Hungarian soil. Additionally, MSZP proposed that injured coalition troops be offered medical treatment in Hungary, whenever appropriate.

Now that the original motion has passed, the mission against ISIS is expected to cost Hungary approximately 20 billion forints (US $70 million).

10 Comments

  1. Charlie London says:

    If I was a wounded soldier the last place I would want to be treated in is Hungary.

    The health service in Gyòr is on its knees. When my partner’s mother was in hospital the sides of the beds stopping patients falling out was a plank of wood – in a hospital!

    (Semmelweiss must be turning in his grave – He found the cause of infant’s death to be bad hygiene of surgeons – and spectacularly proved it with requiring health workers to wash their hands in lime, but nobody listened and the arrogant doctors sent him mad – except that his methods were adopted in England and here he was feted as a hero.)

    How can a plank of wood ever he sterile?

    And the health service gets worse- my partner’s mother is prescribed iron tablets as a dialysis patient. The doctors issue a prescription knowing that you can’t get them in the pharmacy. We always bring many months’ supply when we visit – it’s nonprescription in England – as are aspirin, which can be bought in a supermarket. Even the mildest medication in Hungary has to be bought queuing up at the pharmacy.)

    Her dialysis fluids are scheduled on a minimum supply and they have reduced the schedule to once a day instead of two.

    It’s just impossible to even get the most basic of bandages or a support belt for example.

    No. Don’t be Ill in Hungary.

    However things may be different if you produce the ‘envelope’ – ‘gratitude money’.

    Just shocking how a whole profession, including nurses, can be so corrupt.

    (If I’m in Hungary I’m on the plane at the slightest of twinges!)

    No. Don’t ever be I’ll in Hungary.

  2. Charlie London says:

    Apologies for the ‘he’ which should be ‘be’; and the ‘I’ll’ should be ill.

    Android auto correct sneaks them in – it’s so annoying when you miss them because you know what you are explaining!

  3. Dr. Habil. Andras Fodor says:

    Emotional comments cannot be done in this issue, only rational ones.

    From ethical and moral aspect this decision of the “keresztény elkötelezettségű” Hungarian government should unambiguously be welcome. This is the mentality of the book wonderfully written in the Stars of Eger (Egri csillagok) by Géza Gádonyi.

    As from the aspects of our committement to the Free World and the West – it also should considered positively. I hope the editors of this lefist journal agree, butprobably not happy. They cannot say that this “fascist Orban Government”. Poor boys.

    Anyway.

    From the aspect of a Hungarian citizen and parent however, one can’t stand worrying. This non-human bastards over there usually respond by killing innocent people of a country which does or just says against them. But if we let ourselv es being terrorized it wold mean thei victory.

    I am worrying about my Nation, my country more than before. But, as Mr. Németh – (who should be in the place of the Russian-Matrjoska pupet Szijjártó) – said,this decision was unavoidable.

    All honest Hungarians know that. So we are not happy, because the war is not for joy, but know that this was the only right decision at the moment.

    I wonder if hose nations who consider Hungary as betraying them (and they – Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Litvania, Finland, Ukraina, Armenia – are unfortunately right, – will or will not participate in this US-catalized motion against ISIS.

    I am afraid we pay now the price for the non-forgivable dirty flirt with the Russian aggressor.

  4. Dr. Habil. Andras Fodor says:

    Charlie London is definitely not a Chalie from London. He is definitely a Karcsi from Hungary who wiscerally hate his homeland. He is so obviously overtaken by this visceral feeling, that any single words of his is reliable. This article inambiguously prufe that, since madecare on Hungary and the expertise of the Hungarian doctors is wellknown all ovef the world. This Karcsi simply hate everyone and eveything whic is Hungarian.

    Very probably because a Hungarian young lady badly bullied him.
    But the young lady was right.

    Congratulation for her decison. Karcsi, the racist, deserved that many times since then!

  5. Dr. Habil. Andras Fodor says:

    Charlie London is definitely not a Chalie from London.

    He is definitely a Karcsi from Hungary who wiscerally hate his homeland.

    He is so obviously overtaken by this visceral negative feelings, that not even a single words of his is reliable.

    His present comment of his is unambiguously prove that, since Medcare on Hungary and the expertise of the Hungarian doctors is wellknown all over the world.

    Our Viscerally-Vicsori-Karcsi simply hates everyone and eveything which is Hungarian.

    Very probably because a Hungarian young lady badly bullied him.
    But the young lady was right.

    Congratulation for her decison. Karcsi, the racist, deserved that many times since then!

  6. Charlie London says:

    Listen up Fodor:

    I do not intend to dignify your post with a response – except to point out to you that you don’t know what a rascist is – and you are wrong on every count.

    (I’m not surprised)

    I would also advise you that Christopher Adam’s blog is a place of civility.

    I suggest you stay within those bounds.

  7. “Budapest will send in 110 soldiers to help secure a Kurdish military base in northern Iraq. ”

    What base? The depot? Guarding arms trade? What kind of arms trade? This war is one of the biggest arms trade recently. What is the Orban government role and involvement in this business?

    “Csaba Hende, Hungary’s defence minister, noted that the United States had “explicitly requested a Hungarian contribution” to the mission against ISIS.”

    What “United states”? Care to elaborate? The CIA, the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense, the arms traders, Obama?? Who exactly????? And requested from whom, from Orban or directly from Hende???

  8. Hungary formally supports the efforts to defeat ISIS with sending some soliders there, in the framework of NATO cooperation. That clearly doesn’t mean any value-based decision. The Islamic Republic of Iran ( of course along with Bashar al Assad’s regime that is not least murderous than islamist factions participating in the Syrian civil war) are among the main opponents of the Sunni ISIS ( centuries old Shia-Sunni rivalization, the other frontline of this conflict is Yemen where the Iranian backed “Shia Islamic State” took over the country by force ) . The participation in the fight against ISIS clearly helps dictatoric regimes to gain legitimacy and some influence on the international stage. The notion of fighting radical islamists has became a source of legitimacy for the most oppresive regimes throughout Eurasia and Africa ( for example at Orban’s favorite friends in the post-Soviet Central Asia / Caucasuses region )… Christian values; sure… By the way, shame on the EU and the USA to accept an authoritarian, ultra-corrupt, lawless regime in the so called “Euroatlantic club of democracies”; those hyprocats deserve if that Troyan horse like regime makes harm to them ( for example by selling EU citizenship without any transparency to virtually anyone).

  9. It is also ironic that the neo-Nazi Jobbik party votes against to help their Shia Iranian friends, who are the strongest and most active opponents of the “Zionist entity “… And the so called left-wing opposition that voted against, did not do anything ethical, the only ethical is to boycott the Orban regime . It is al about the international and domestic legitimization of the Orban regime, everyone helped to sthergnten it, no matter how they voted . All of them collaborators along Gyurcsany’s clearly right-wing one-man party. F@cking machiavellian (petty-)bourgoise politics!

  10. Arms trade is surely an important factor in any conflict. ISIS has grown out from Islamist factions that recruited their combatants from a wide range of countries to fight Bashar al Assad’s regime, with the support of the ultra-reactionary Gulf-States which wanted to gain influence in Syria ruled by the Shia Assad family ( supported by Iran ) . They succesfully hijacked the inital popular uprising against Assad’s murderous regime. The Gulf States and particulary Saudi-Arabia are among the largest arms-purchasers in the world ( mostly US made weaponry ). On the other hand, Assad’s regime ( along with Iran which has some homegrown arms industry as well ) are among the largest customers of the Russian military industry.

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