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He is doing anything to get reelected. He will continue to stab friends in the back and hurt his own country for personal power.
If Red(Brown) Red Green win, the US has no alternative but to isolate Germany. Germany will become a security risk to America. That means no mre American affiliation with Nato ( Schroeder likes a Russian cooperation better anyway, as long as he can get the Gas and Oil from them). No more high Tech cooperation and exchange and tough Trade restrictions. It won't happen overnight, but that's the future I see.
This is probably the last chance for Germany to try to recover economically. If Schroeder gets reelected the "Engine" of Europe will die a slow death and can't be resurrected. Already, there is virtually no foreign investment in the country. Demographically, they are dying since the social system can't be maintained due to the decreasin birth rate and the aging of it's population. Slogans may win him another one next month, but the only winner will be Schroeder and the ultimate losers the German people.

"He is doing anything to get reelected. He will continue to stab friends in the back and hurt his own country for personal power"

One quibble, ABC. He is surely hurting his own country to gain power. But is he stabbing a 'friend' in the back? Adversary is more like it, I think.

Permanant seat of the Security Council for a certain medium sized Central European country? Well, maybe the Poles..... ;)

I predict the "Grand Coalition" will be left, left, neo communist. Gerhard has just sold the security of Europe down the river to get reelected. I predict he will easily do that.

What he should have just admitted. Germany can't be for a military solution. Germany doesn't have the capacity to enforce one. Germany can't project any kind of military power. Germany can't even protect her own self if required to do so. So now Gerhard has said this the mad Mullahs in Iran know there is no point in negotiations. They can do anything they wish. Of course they already knew this.

Gerhard is just a sad ,short, little turd. My suggestions to young ethnic Germans, learn Turkish or Arabic soon or emigrate to Canada or the US. Soon you will be in the range nuclear tipped missile range of the insane Mullahs of Iran.

Nota Bene:
Schroeder plays the Iran card

The juiciest bit:

    Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at the Free University in Berlin, says it is at least partly an act.

    "It's a difficult job for him - on the one hand knowing he won't return to the chancellor's office, and on the other obliged to save the Social Democrats," he said.

    "So he can't be as relaxed as he pretends. But Chancellor Schroeder is a very good actor. He's playing a better game than Angela Merkel."

    Mrs Merkel, the CDU leader, is still widely expected to be the next chancellor, but her campaign has been beset by setbacks.

    First, she herself confused the terms "net" and "gross" in two television interviews, damaging her claim to greater economic competence than the government.

    Then the CSU leader, Edmund Stoiber, added to her troubles in speeches where he made disparaging remarks about "frustrated East Germans".

    Mr Stoiber was complaining that in the former communist East there is high support for a new left-wing alliance made up of reformed communists and disaffected social democrats.

    "It's a pity people in other parts of the country are not as clever as in Bavaria" he said, referring to his own regional stronghold.

    The remarks, widely seen as "Ossie-bashing", caused a storm of indignation, and are expected to cost the CDU dear in eastern Germany.

    Mrs Merkel, herself from the east, said the comments were "counterproductive" and that she wanted to be a chancellor for all Germans.

    When she officially launched her campaign last week she made it clear she wanted to focus on different issues.

    "I find it depressing that we have nearly five million unemployed," she said.

    "In the 1998 election campaign the current chancellor said he wanted to be judged on this issue alone.

    "If he didn't reduce unemployment he didn't deserve to be re-elected. And I think this issue is exactly what he should be judged on."

    Unfortunately for Mrs Merkel, the speech was hardly reported in the German media. It was overshadowed by Mr Stoiber's remarks.

Is anyone here surprised?

My God, will the decline of Germany end already!

I am horrified by Schroeder's and the SPD's economic and political assault on the German people and their country. It's a shame.

That said, if the SPD retains power after the next election, the German people can only blame themselves for their misery.

I believe FDR was smeared about as bad as Bush and by a German political figure as well, ;-)

Who cares what Schroeder is muttering. He'll be gone soon. But who will be able to pick up the pieces and set Germany on the right course? And most important: Do the Germans really want to be set on the right course?

So Herr Schroeder…outside of advertising Eurabia’s weakness and no doubt hastening an already incredibly short timetable for the nightmare scenario about to befall the continent, did voting against the invasion accomplish anything beyond a round of applause?

Gawd almighty, talk about an inviting target. What would Germany do beyond kick-out a few cleric’s? Hold a demonstration and chant a few lines of, ‘Down with the U.S.’?

Born out of weakness are the policies of weakness, appeasement followed by surrender. The Islamazation of Europe is complete.

If the Left coalition wins this coming election, things will get much worse in Germany as well as between us in the U.S. and them.

However, maybe the German voting public has to go through the whole sorry gamut of Socialism again before they stop blaming us while accepting responsibility for another one of their horrendous political "mistakes" in history.

All we need to do is to finally remove the rest of our troops and watch the "games" in Europe from a distant fence. I believe that our erstwhile appetite for liberations in Europe has been stilled for quite a while(?)

Moonfarer in Florida

Ist das vielleicht die Trumpfkarte, die Schröder bei seiner einsamen Entscheidung für Neuwahlen am Abend der NRW-Wahl im Hinterkopf hatte? Wenn die Deutschen am 18. September auf dieses durchsichtige populistische Manöver Schröders auf Kosten unserer amerikanischen Freunde wieder hereinfallen, dann haben sie auch nichts anderes verdient als die Linksfront aus PDS/SPD und Grüne und den finalen Niedergang Deutschlands!!!

I knew that somethink like this would happen. But the problem is not Schroeder alone. The main problem is: Schroeder's statements achive the goal. People are taking this sort of politics like a baby who wants a pacifier. If Bush is talking about a preventive strike or in this case about a last option, people here like to here that there will be no war, that violence isn't necessary, they just don't care about the fact that talks between the EU 3 and the Mullah regime haven't accomplished any change in Iran's actions yet. Iran says its nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes only. Does Schroeder believe this? Obviously, the only thing in his mind is to get reelected. Even if there would be a war at the end with the US attacking Iran, Schroeder's attitude, Schroeder's intentions count, not what is taking place in reality. It is the people who want to believe that tyrants and terrorists leave us alone if we leave them alone. It is the people who want to believe that terrorism is only against those states that did something to Muslims and Muslim countries, not against any free and democratic society. People like it because it is the easiest way. And everything is under control if we only vote for an appeasement politician... If people are not afraid of an Iranian nuclear bomb, or if they are even more afraid of Bush's nuclear capabilities, what can you do? That is like convincing a color blind person, it is simply a matter of who you trust and who you believe. If worldwide terrorist attacks, also against Germans, e.g. tourists, don't tell the German people, that there is an enemy who hates you, if the Taliban regime and Saddam Hussein should have stayed in power, what can you expect when it comes to the Iranian regime, an enemy of Israel and supporter of terrorists - also in Iran? The news that a regime is violating the rights of its own people, supporting terrorists or trying to get a nuclear bomb is simply to abstract. A lot of Germans would understand that maybe there's an enemy and maybe he should be stopped when their own asses are catching fire. That's all.

"also in Iran" is "also in Iraq".

"But the problem is not Schroeder alone. The main problem is: Schroeder's statements achive the goal."

Good point. The same holds true for the post-communists' socialist rhetoric: Much more troubling than the fact they're saying what they're saying is the realization that this is just what quite a few people want to hear and to believe - and they actually do.

That's the one downside of democracy: A people gets just the government it deserves...

Absolutely. The key to understanding Germany today is to understand that East Germany, a former Soviet-Communist/Stalinist state is part of Germany and has absolutely NOT said Good-Bye to Communist ideas (~30% for the Left party, including the PDS - 80% of its members were members of the SED, the GDR Communist regime). If we are talking about relations to the US, social aspects in Germany or other fields... this is also an explanation for Americans who wonder what is going on here. Communism is NOT defeated, I'm sorry.

How can that be? I think the communist PDS was able to establish itself as sort of an East party that fights for East Germany's rights and interests. That is because the reunification of Germany was not an act of two partners, it was an insolvency process and the GDR was removed. Most East Gemans did not think that life in a (semi-)capitalistic state could be so difficult. A lot of people have lost their job, globalization had its part...

What the Socialist propaganda is doing is the following: West Germany or reunited Germany was never fully capitalistic. Let's say it's 50% capitalistic. Bad results like unemployment are fully blamed on that capitalistic part, not on the social state. So the message is: We have to reduce the capitalist influence. If that leads to more unemployed people (and it does) because Germany is not adapted to globalization enough, the Socialists come again and say: Capitalism is to blame for the misery... This happens again and again until capitalism/market mechanisms are ultimately removed and Socialism is fully reestablished!

SPIEGEL is really pulling out all the stops. Forget about shame. Forget about any pretense of objectivity. Nothing lately but puff pieces about Schroeder, pictures of Merkel and Stoiber with mean or tired faces, and obsessive playing up of minor CDU/CSU gaffs and infighting. You have to wonder why the outcome is so important to them that they're willing to dispense with every shred of journalistic dignity and go all out kissing Schroeder's butt. It's like the battle between the Byzantine blues and greens of the circus. The outcome will be the same regardless of who wins.

Funny the Bush never mentioned Schroeder or Chirac during his campaign. Wonder why.

Look what I just discovered :D

-----------------------------------

A Plane is about to crash.
There are five passengers on board, but there are only four parachutes available.
The first passenger says: "I m Shaquille O'Neill, the very best NBA-Player alive. Miami Heat needs me, i can't let them down by dying!" So he takes the first parachute and jumps.

The second passenger, Hillary Clinton, says: "I'm the wife of a former president of the USA. Also, I'm the most dedicated woman on earth, I'm senator of New York and America's future President." So she grabs a parachute-package and jumps.

The third passenger, George W. Bush says: "I'm President of the United States of America. I have a huge responsibility in world politics. Furthermore, I'm the most intelligent President throughout the history of my country, so I cannot let my people down!" He takes another package and jumps.

The fourth passenger, the Pope, says to the fifth passenger, a ten-year-old school boy: "I'm old, I have lived my life. As a good christian and priest, I will leave the last parachute for you."

The boy responds: "No problem Sir, there's even one left for you! America's most intelligent President hast just taken my schoolbag..."

Ein herrlicher Blogg; ich habe ihn erst einmal auf meinem eigenen Blogg verlinkt und werde ihn nun zur regelmäßigen Lektüre machen. Grüße, Sascha.

Good one Zyme! only it works much better as the clinton joke we first heard it as a decade or so ago.

Clinton? I heard a version of this when LBJ was president.

"Funny the Bush never mentioned Schroeder or Chirac during his campaign."

You're not the only one to notice that.

It's time for Bush to return the favor. It's time for Bush to let it casually slip to a reporter that he enjoys his relationship with Gerhard and believes he's doing a good job for the German people.

@Dan Kaufman: "I believe FDR was smeared about as bad as Bush and by a German political figure as well, ;-)"

He was Austrian. But if you want to find out about the Austrian's press's objectivity, go here: http://www.billspricht.net/ and check out this post: -Thursday, August 04, 2005-
"70,000 prisoners in secret US prisons worldwide" .

@Zyme: For humor to work, there has to be a kernel of truth. Bush has never said he was intelligent, most intelligent or pretended such. He says and does what he does and lets other people decide. Now, you may not be aware, the MSM in the States has played up Hillary Clinton since 1991 has "the smartest woman in the world". They've done this to the degree that it's a cliche. I'll redo your joke, so that its funny, because it will have that element of truth.

-----------------------------------

A Plane is about to crash.

There are five passengers on board, but there are only four parachutes available.

The first passenger says: "I m Shaquille O'Neill, the very best NBA-Player alive. Miami Heat needs me, i can't let them down by dying!" So he takes the first parachute and jumps.

The second passenger, George W. Bush says: "I'm President of the United States of America. I have a huge responsibility in world politics." He takes another package and jumps.

The third passenger, Hillary Clinton, says: " I'm the smartest woman in the world, I'm senator of New York and America's future President." So she grabs a parachute-package and jumps.

The fourth passenger, the Pope, says to the fifth passenger, a ten-year-old school boy: "I'm old, I have lived my life. As a good christian and priest, I will leave the last parachute for you."

The boy responds: "No problem Sir, there's even one left for you! the smartest woman in the world has just taken my schoolbag..."

-----------------------

Now, it's funny. Ask any American.

Aye, Jabba's version is actually funny. Zyme, if you had rearranged the joke thinking it would work that way, you didn't really get it in the first place.

@atlashrugg -
That said, if the SPD retains power after the next election, the German people can only blame themselves for their misery.

How delightfully naive. The German people will be the very last thing to be blamed; they always are.

Not to say there aren't a lot of really funny Bush jokes around - but he hardly goes around saying how intelligent he is - so the joke doesn't really work with him

And it is amusing to hear the same jokes about Bush that I heard before - best example I have is this one

"Did you hear Bush is learning Latin? He wants to prepare for his upcoming trip to Latin America"

I heard this about Reagan the first time in 1985 or so

Oh well - the "stupid" Republican President is a staple of the comedy tours

Wasn't it really funny when we learned Bush did better than Kerry at Yale though : )


And this is the country that thinks that it should get a seat on the security council?

from www.wsj.com


REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Schröder and the Mullahs
August 16, 2005

For those still praising the virtues of multilateralism -- code for outsourcing American foreign policy to the U.N. or any group that includes Paris and Berlin -- let's review the recent developments around Iran's quest for an atomic bomb and Germany's response.

For almost two years now, the U.S. has let France, Britain and Germany take the lead in the negotiations with Tehran, and the Europeans have been busy offering carrots in return for Iran's submission. The result: Last week, Tehran broke the U.N. seals to a uranium enrichment plant at Isfahan where it had promised to suspend operations.

And just in case anyone still has any illusions about Iran's true intentions or the value of Europe's diplomatic strategy, none other than Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hosein Musavian, admitted on Iranian state television earlier this month that the talks with the Europeans were from the beginning just a ruse.

The regime only agreed to the negotiations to buy enough time to complete the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) at Isfahan, Mr. Musavian explained. Without Europe's intervention, he said, the International Atomic Energy Agency would have long ago handed over Iran to the U.N. Security Council.

"But thanks to the negotiations with Europe we gained another year, in which we completed (the UCF) in Isfahan," Mr. Musavian said. "Today we are in a position of power ... We have a stockpile of products, and during this period, we have managed to convert 36 tons of yellow cake into gas and store it." These and other admissions have gone almost unnoticed in the Western media and it is only thanks to the Middle East Media Research Institute (www.memritv.org) that they have been translated into English.

And how does German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, one of the main architects of Europe's Iran policy, react to the mullahs' challenge? The same way he did the last time he was fighting an uphill re-election campaign in 2002. He once again turned to anti-Americanism.

Speaking to more than 10,000 people in his hometown of Hanover this weekend, Mr. Schröder acknowledged that Tehran poses a serious problem but added that those urging the regime to give up its nuclear ambitions would sound more convincing if they scaled back their own atomic arsenal as well. This obvious hint at U.S. nuclear arms was greeted with cheers from the audience. But the chancellor was only getting started.

Just the day before, President George W. Bush had reiterated that to stop the Iranian bomb "all options remain on the table," meaning that military force is still an option. Mr. Schröder had an immediate reply. "Let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work," the chancellor said to applause.

Just as in the case of his categorical "No" to any military option against Iraq, Mr. Schröder's rejection of using force against Iran under any circumstances only makes it more likely that force will have to be used in the end. While there was never much chance that Europe's carrot-but-no-stick policy toward Iran would work, the only way it could realistically bring about the desired results is to back it up with a credible military threat. And this is exactly what Mr. Bush intended with his remarks.

Mr. Schröder has now undermined efforts to show a united Western front. If Iran has reason to believe that Washington might hesitate to use force for fear of an international backlash, it will no doubt embolden Tehran to resist any compromise. That Mr. Schröder is willing to endanger his own declared policy can only fuel suspicions that the negotiations were always more intended to tie the hands of the U.S. than to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

By insisting that one needs to find "peaceful solutions" to world conflicts Mr. Schröder implied that the U.S. prefers military conflicts over peaceful solutions. In the eyes of the German chancellor, the real danger is apparently not the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran but U.S. attempts to stop the mullahs from blackmailing the West with nuclear weapons.

In an interview a day later on Iran, Mr. Schröder added that "this is why I can with certainty exclude any participation by the German government under my direction." But as a military matter this is meaningless, since no one in Washington -- much less Tehran -- would expect German participation in a possible strike against Iran, if only because Germany lacks the military assets to do any good. Like most of the rest of Europe, Germany long ago outsourced its own defense to the U.S., even as it demands that Washington outsource the decision over the use of these defense forces back to Europe.

The opposition Christian Democrats, who are still leading in the polls, failed to challenge the chancellor. They criticized Mr. Schröder for using Iran as a campaign issue but also ruled out any "military option." A new government might perhaps change the style but not necessarily the substance of German foreign policy. That message will surely be heard in Tehran, making the mullahs all the more confident that they can become a nuclear power without any fear of European reprisal.

Watching the German elections the following occurred to me: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!"

Schroeder played the shell game in 2002, convincing enough of the German electorate that his anti-American foriegn policy (devoid of all influence) was more important than the continued deterioration of the German economy during his first term. He now looks set to do it again. Another quote:

"There's a sucker born every minute" - PT Barnum

If Schroeder needs a scapegoat – America – to distract the German voters from the failures of his administration, he has assumed the humiliating posture common among the most pathetic and impoverished back-water nations of the world. It’s unbecoming for a great nation; and today’s Germany need not assume such a posture. I hope you can get rid of this embarrassment. Hopefully, Germany's better half prevails.

Thanks for keeping us informed on German politics and culture.

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