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Comments

Merkel is as useless a political hack as Gerhard. The only bright spot I can see is a chance to lose Joska. But since they are the same why change horses?

Realistically, Germany, in her current political configuration, cannot hope to be an influence in world affairs either with Schroeder or Merkel as leader. Too little, too late. The German Left seems to be firmly in charge no matter which party is in power. Any leader will have to compromise what they believe is best for Germany with firmly established leftist ideology or they will not lead.

This doesn't surprise me. I don't think anyone is looking for a fight with Iran, considering how tied down we are in Iraq. However, taking the military response completely off the table, regardless of what the Iranians do, is irresponsible.

But I guess the German people have fallen into the trap that so many of the relatively affluent fall into. First, thinking that since they are reasonable people who are open to negotiation, that everyone else in the world is of the same mindset. Second, that they got their little slice of peace and prosperity back in 1990, and the problems of the outside world are other people's business.

I'm not sure it's in US interests anymore to have Germany play a responsible role on the world stage. The less interference, the better.

I think there was no other option for Merkel. It's the attempt to stop Antiwar-Schröder before he has really started.

On the other hand, it shows just how spineless "conservatives" in Germany are.

"Speak softly and don't carry a stick" -- Gerhard "Spineless" Schroeder

Well, 'nuff said...

@C
good comment but not quite 100 percent..

Speak loudly and brashly, especially towards the US (although the EU is gifted at diplomacy),
and don't carry a stick. Let the Amis carry it for you, and let the Iranians develop their stick too, with German help (gotta keep those jobs in germany)

This comes as no surprise to many German-Americans who have followed Germany's political shift to the Left since the 1960ies.

Unfortunately, we were ourselves too engaged with our Cultural Revolution at the time, to notice that Germany was drowning in Red political influences from the GDR and inside the FRG itself. Almost an irrational fear of war has made the country to aim solely for the "good life: with expectations that we will get their coals out of the fire if necessary.

After re-unification, East Germans were sorely disappointed not to share fully and overnight into the pie of prosperity the West Germans had worked for decades to achieve. Furthermore, the Left in Germany received a boost with many East Germans joyning the country as confirmed Communists. No efforts were made to totally stamp this movement out by law as was done with the Nazis after WW II.

So, they simply changed their party name, payed lip service to democracy and lived happily ever after to develop solid Antiamericanism for us to "enjoy" today.


While I agree with most of what is written here, I have to say that the left in the US has no hesitations to export their agenda, while the conservatives do nothing. Take n-tv, for example: it's a CNN-daughter, and surely they are biased.

It's easy to slam Germany for being so far to the left, but I would like to see the conservative US media to fight back, and "win the hearts and minds" here in Germany.

@Hartmut

Unfortunately, Germany is now totally responsible for its own affairs as a free democracy.

That is why so many Americans died in Europe to provide Germany as well as other nations with another chance to become free, responsible nations with a chance to change things themselves if they go wrong.

What do you think would happen if America would interfere with the German media or German politics?? The Left would love to point the finger at us for meddling into their affairs of state.

I don't know why an otherwise intelligent people, like the Germans, fall again for a basically totalitarian system (Marxism).

It bleeds the country dry with taxes and teaches people not to work for their own good. Besides, it hates us in America without that we have done anything to them besides offering our friendship.

When I hear once more about the totally unfounded lies in the German Media, that "we only fight for Oil from Irak" or that our president "lied" about weapons of mass destruction i get sick to my stomach and I want us to severe diplomatic relations with those leftist clowns once and for all.

We seem to be asking the Germans of 2005 to be more like the ones we killed off 60 years ago. We wanted to cure them of soldiering and we totally suceeded. Ironic.

Is it proper to describe Germans as pacifist? Seems to me they are only pacifist now because it suits their friendships. They are leftist America haters and friends of the Islamo-fascists (so long as the Islamo-fascists stay out of Germany). Germany was allied with the Arab-Muslim world in WWII also. It suits German anti-semitism and it suits the Germans' seemingly innate love of fascism. The country has never been liberal. It went from Nazism to socialism to turning socialism into a green religion. Liberty haters to the core.

I don´t think the CDU really adopted Schröder´s position. Merkel and Kauder just stated that they prefer a diplomatic solution and who could not subscribe to this point of view. Schäuble explained that Bush is pressuring for economical sanctions against Iran and he warned Schröder to emphasize the conflict with Iran during the campaign. Westerwelle recommended the chancellor should rather talk with Bush than about him on his campaign trail. So, to me it seems that CDU/FDP try to avoid the topic which is understandable considering the german public´s state of mind.

That's political incompetence from Merkels' side. She should take the initiative and charge using same sort of populism, but closer to the bones.
Seeing such situations in debates in other places in Europe, best strategy, it seems to me, is responding to such accusations sine ira et studio. Simply to say something like "our party is puting Germany's problems first; we have high unemployment, we spend too much, our economy is collapsing; I don't think my goverment will have much time to deal with matters around the world, it's time for Germans to focus on internal matters and make Germany best place...etc" This is neutral position. If you want to counter attack then you would formulate it similar, but add attack at the end "it makes you sad to see that your opponent seems to think he is running for president of the United States or United Nations and that in the past he spent way too much time and effort with countries like Iran when he should be focused on internal problems. Since Germany lost permament site in the United Nations it is obvious that these efforts failed. What your honorable opponent not to understand is that they didn't fail because of his position but because Germany has under his rule become second rate economic power. So if you want successfull international diplomacy, you first need successfull Germany."

Tomaž

@ Alec Rawls

now Alec, that's a bit harsh. For one thing, not all Germans agree with their leftist government's approach to foreign affairs and the media to boot. Apart from that, anti-semitism and anti americanism are remarkably wide-spread all over Europe (what about France ?).

It's true the country has a long history of totalitarism and anti-liberalism but to call us liberty haters even today is inappropriate and quite insulting, by the way. And believe me, most Germans hate Arabs and islamists a lot more than they (admittedly) still distrust and dislike Jews. Europe's pro Arab/ pro Islamic policy is much more driven by France's interest than Germans' personal preferences.

Can you back your assertions with personal observations a little more profound ?

@Moonfarer

>>>Unfortunately, Germany is now totally responsible for its own affairs as a free democracy.

Well, we can try to fight our own leftists, but when our leftists get help from american leftists, any help is appreciated.

>>>What do you think would happen if America would interfere with the German media or German politics?? The Left would love to point the finger at us for meddling into their affairs of state.

It wouldn't matter. The Springer Verlag is already seen as a pro US propagandist (hopefully N24 and maybe Sat1 will become *much* more consrvative now that they where bought by Springer). I'm listening to talkradio, and in many ways, I find conservative ideas very convincing. The problem here in Germany is that there is (nearly) nobody out there spreading american style conservatism.

>I don't know why an otherwise intelligent people, like the Germans, fall again for a basically totalitarian system (Marxism).

The Left doesn't divide itself in "germans" and "americans" or other nationalities. This is what makes them so strong, allthough their ideas and ideology are total bs. We shouldn't let us divide in that way, either.
The first term Bush didn't won the popular vote, and in the second election, the voter turnout was very high on both sides. As soon as a republican president makes one big mistake, you could end up with the next Jimmy Carter. Just assume there would be another big terror attack, perpetrated by terrorists that came across the mexican border. Think about the possibilities for a democrap wannabe president.

>>>It bleeds the country dry with taxes and teaches people not to work for their own good. Besides, it hates us in America without that we have done anything to them besides offering our friendship.

The Left hates the US, because they hate free people, free societies. The so called "Greens" hate Germany as much as the USA. Offering friendship isn't enough when you want to win people over. You have to explain for what you stand.

>>>When I hear once more about the totally unfounded lies in the German Media, that "we only fight for Oil from Irak" or that our president "lied" about weapons of mass destruction i get sick to my stomach and I want us to severe diplomatic relations with those leftist clowns once and for all.

Assumingly this is exactly what the Left wants the US to do.

Harmut posts;

"While I agree with most of what is written here, I have to say that the left in the US has no hesitations to export their agenda, while the conservatives do nothing. Take n-tv, for example: it's a CNN-daughter, and surely they are biased.

It's easy to slam Germany for being so far to the left, but I would like to see the conservative US media to fight back, and "win the hearts and minds" here in Germany."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

While I agree with Harmuts thinking and that is the only option, I am not sure how much success you would have. My experience was that my German friends who had either seen "FOX" while on vacation or not at all, were fairly vocal in expressing their disgust over the notion of a "FOX NEWS," an "alternative" voice in the media.
One, while not denying the ubiquitous one storyline approach of the German media, and oddly nearly always insync with the government, specifically stated that the German news was better than the American news and that he completely trusted them because they "have a code of ethics" that they must adhere to.
Seems odd to hold opinions that they wish to consider sophisticated and worldly but are essentially no different than my farmer parents and their emotional blind trust in their government... although the European media continually ridicules their type as ignorant, fat, rednecks, neoCons, fooled into an illegal war.
But that liberals, whether in Germany or America, would allow others the insight, perspective and understanding they reserve exclusively for themselves and their fellow travellers. They possess a blindspot big enough to drive a truck through, and while they are amusing to listen to, like the leftist media in America, they will only be dragged into a fair and balanced place kicking and screaming.

Tyranno

I'm forced to ask...What's the difference between pacifism and cowardice, in this situation?

We wanted to cure them of soldiering and we totally suceeded.

The soldiering was fine - it was just the rampaging across Europe in conquest and wholesale slaughtering of ethnicities that needed curing.

Not just "Merkel's CDU caves on Iran."
According to Spiegel Online, the FDP wants to rule out military strikes against Iran as well (unless they are UN sanctioned I assume). The most likely Foreign Minister in a CDU/FDP coalition even want this in writing from the CDU.

So far the FDP was praised quite often in Davids Medienkritik...

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,370721,00.html
"Eine schwarzgelbe Bundesregierung darf sich nicht an unilateralem Vorgehen einzelner Mächte beteiligen", sagte Gerhardt dem SPIEGEL. Dies wolle er "im Koalitionsvertrag festschreiben". Gerhardt warnte davor, Iran mit Militärschlägen zu drohen.

He said we should get used to an Iranian bomb. Actually, Jeff Gedmin said something similar on getting used: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1682886,00.html

@ Atlanticus

I just wanted to point out the same - but you were faster!
Now lets see what those FPD-friendly ones are going to replie :)

Note from David: I don't recall praising FDP' foreign policy a lot in this blog - neither did Ray. The FDP may be more diplomatic, more tactical in political statements, but in terms of substance I don't see much difference to Schroeder's policies on Iraq and Iran.

Regrettable.

I think Angela Merkel is doing alright on this. Germany is not going ot be sending troops to Iraq (or Iran) no matter what. What she can do is try to ensure that Germany and German companies cease helping Iran to build it's nuclear weapons.

It would help if the German chancellor remained silent on questions like Iran and North Korea. Schroeder is making the job harder, not easier. And what he is seemingly too stupid to understand is that every such statement he makes forces Bush to withdraw further from Germany - to show that Schroeder doesn't have any influence over the US. Because the threat must be a credible as it can be - and Schroeder is doing everything he can to make it less credible.

Most of all Merkel needs to get Germany back on it's economic feet. That in itself will do much to get Germany out of it's national funk. Then Germany can build up their armed forces to something capable of lending a hand elsewhere.

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