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I have come to believe that editorializing by the press is responsible for most of the misunderstandings between nations. It has always been my understanding that Bush held no animous toward Schroeder about Iraq - That Schroeder had made his position clear from the start. If any animous was is present in the American body politic, it is due to the anti-American campaigning by German politicians.

Those in the press who concoct dubious headlines do a disservice to all.

..."the German people are essentially pacifists" (finally Bush is caught in a lie). WWI, WWII, Treblinka, Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau.... . Yep when I think of "pacifists", the first people that come to my mind is Germans.

"It has always been my understanding that Bush held no animous toward Schroeder about Iraq - That Schroeder had made his position clear from the start."

Actually, I don't think there's been any real, sustained animosity towards the Germans over here (in America). Yes, there was some discontent especially around the last German election (nobody likes to see their country consistently attacked by another nation's press), but overall there doesn't seem to be any lasting dislike for Germany, at least that I'm aware of. France on the other hand is still rather heavily disliked. I think the difference is that Germany has presented itself (or been presented) as taking a principled stand due to some pacifistic tendencies, while every day seems to bring more reports of the French essentially conspiring directly with the Iraqi regime. I don't mean to imply that all of France did or supported that, or that Germany (or even the US) was completely clean, but the perception of France is definitely more sinister and less honest.

"WWI, WWII, Treblinka, Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau.... . Yep when I think of "pacifists", the first people that come to my mind is Germans."
None of those happened more recently than 50 years ago. While I (and many other Americans) remain concerned about anti-semitic and anti-american tendencies in much of the EU, virtually nobody worries about Germany starting (or even getting involved in) another war. I do think that the Germans tend towards pacifism at this point; you can see similar attitudes towards aggression in the Japanese people. WW2 was deeply traumatic for both nations, and both their defeat and the American occupations seem to have had pretty profound effects on their view of war. (This is one of the things that leaves me hopeful about Iraq, if the US doesn't pull out too soon.) Blaming the current generation of Germans for WW2 is as nonsensical as blaming the current generation of Americans for slavery in the 1800's, and blaming them for WW1 even moreso.

Whether that pacifism would stand up to another collapse like the Depression of the 20's and 30's is an open question which hopefully won't need answering any time soon.

Germany wanting a seat on the Security Council goes against years of EU integration. If Europe is united they should have one permenant seat on the Security Council (that counts for the UK as well if they take the plunge) and potentially one seat in the General Assembly (after all the 50 US states do not each get a seat).

I don't think the Europeans have truly debated all of the issues involved in unification and its time they started.

"WWI, WWII, Treblinka, Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau.... . Yep when I think of "pacifists", the first people that come to my mind is Germans."

Bush was obviously referring to recent history and not something that lies 50 years away.

Incidentally your argument is one that so often is (mis)used by your typical German "moralists" -- that "Gerade wir Deutschen..." ("especially us Germans") should forever stay clear of any conflict because of our atrocious history.

Besides the fact that "Gerade wir Deutschen.." does once again elevate us above other nations and gives us a fuzzy feeling of moral superiority, it means, as a consequence, that one of the leading Western nations (and democracies) would forever deny responsibility for the (diminishing but still enourmous) welfare and peace it is living in.

As for separate SC seats for EU states is concerned, even the USSR didn't get them, although they did get them in the General Assembly. India would be a better choice. Honestly, though, the UN is on a trajectory to be about as important to world affairs as our high school student council. Adding another EU state to the SC would make the UN appear to be even more of a creature of the EU and its third world allies, as the machinations leading up to and following the Iraq war made clear. The UN exhibits the contradictory moral framework of a preacher skimming from the collection plate. Example: sanctions were a hideous evil before the war, but let's not be too hasty lifting them after Saddam does a Dixie. Right.

" Stop it -Stop it, Mr. Burns..... Stop mocking us"

With apologies to the brilliant writing staff at "The Simpsons"

At Sideshow Bob's parole hearing:

"Noone who speaks German could be an evil man."

Why, the solution is obvious. Expand the permenent membership of the Security Council to seven members -- America, Britain, China, Germany, India, Japan, and Russia.

What? No, I didn't forget France.

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