(By Ray D.)
Our good friend DL recently reminded us of the slow but creeping removal of all things American from German history. He related how surprised he was to see almost no mention of America's role in the Cold War and reunification in an exhibit at the Reichstag in Berlin.
Well, unfortunately, DL shouldn't be surprised. Although it is true that the United States was the indispensable nation for German democracy during and after the Second World War, this sort of slow airbrushing and denial of history is clearly taking its steady course in today's Germany. We need look no further than the Berlin city government's forcible removal of the privately funded Checkpoint Charlie monument. These manifestations of historic denial are hardly surprising in a Germany overrun by anti-American media and politics over the past three years, yet they are profoundly disappointing and disturbing nonetheless.
But despite its slow death, the history of America's sacrifice clearly remains an irritating thorn in the side of many a German media elite. After all, it is exceptionally difficult to forget that the United States took the Fascist murder state that was Germany and turned it into a flourishing democracy and then protected it for decades until the nation united with its depressed Communist half. The result is that many Germans are still fighting with the historic legacy to regain their own claim to the moral high ground and a sense of historic legitimacy. The erasure of America's role in German history goes hand-in-hand with that struggle.
So when your average left-wing German journalist sees an event like the 2000 election or the Iraq war, he or she doesn't care much for the facts or details. There is but one word necessary and appropriate to describe the problems and challenges facing America: DEBACLE! And if that doesn't suffice, there are four additional words that sum everything else up: It's all Bush's fault!
Why? Because for the German left-wing elite in media and politics, belittling and diminishing America as a moral force in the world is part and parcel of re-establishing German moral authority. And so they hammer away day-in and day-out. They are particularly zealous in their defense of the bloated big-state socialism that has come to define Germany, a way of life they see threatened to the core by the success of the American model.