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I would like to see Schröder as foreign minister, it is very important for Germany to further improve the German-Russian relationship. We should not allow a person like Angela Merkel to trade that in for a better relationship with the Anglosaxons.
Joschka Fischer did a poor job as foreign minister, he blieves too much in the worthless UN. Schröders way of doing foreign policy is much more effective and more based on the economic interests of Germany.

Johannes, you are so right about Schroeder's diplomatic skills in selling moral values for german interest to eastern dictators. my personal favourite is how he kissed some chinese ass for a german seat on the security counsel. that just worked out wonderfully, did it not ?

yes, schroeder's mind is set firmly "on the economic interests of germany". that is why his country's economy has been doing so incredibly well these past 7 years.

Rather will Germany establish the new post of a Natural Gas Minister than that Gerhard Schröder will become Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister.

Germany, France and "the Anglosaxons" together have to deal with the Iranian breach of the Paris Agreement (which could be expected), and in doing so will have to convince Russia to use its votes in the IAEA and the SC in a responsible manner. Schröder could have used the two years since the Tehran Agreement to prepare the German-Russian relationship for this challenge, but he simply wasted the time.

Toby

I was not at all interested in a German seat at the UN SC. It would just involve us in all kinds of problems . I also think this was Joschka Fischers idea.
But about the German economy, the domestic market is the problem, when it comes to exporting goods the German economy has never been that strong.
I don't have a problem with dictators as long as they pay their bills and sometimes I wonder when conservative politicians became democracy and human rights freaks. I still remember a time when they did not care much about these issues. I remember when Helmut Kohl supported exporting goods to places like South Africa, Iraq, China and many other controversial countries.
I supported this policy and I still do, because as a true patriot I'm only interested in whats best for my fatherland.

I also don't think Putin is a dictator, he is maybe the greatest political leader of our time, a true genius. He is on a good way to make Russia a superpower again. It's in the best economic interest of Germany to support him.

@Johannes
Just don't ever make the mistake of saying something the Russians don't like, they will turn your gas and oil spigots off faster than you will ever know.
Econmic superiority? Investment in Germany is decreasing to almost nothing. Germany has become one of the most expensive places to produce anything. The decrease in manufacturing doesn't happen over night. It takes time for many reasons.
Your demographic decline is placing such a strain on your social system, it will be broke shortly.

Well, You probably wish that after WWll we should have let Russia take over Germany, it would have been so much easier?

Continue sticking your head in the sand and play the "Ostrich Game", your ass continues making an inviting target.

by the way, Russia's population decline is even worse than Germany's.

americanbychoice

I don't know about Russia's population decline vis a vis Germany's, that is, how many children are being born. What is happening in Russia however, is a drastic drop in life expectancy - I believe for men it is now down to the low 50s/high 40s.

Johannes, would you clarify your views a bit for us please? What exactly is your complaint about AngloSaxon? Cultural? I know from previous postings that it's not a mis-perceived racial issue. It's difficult to have a discussion concerning a label when one doesn't understand quite what the label represents. Also, what term would you use for German interests that oppose AngloSaxon?

Thanks.

You would think that after Karl Haushofer's connections with the Nazis (through Heß), Germans would be just a bit apprehensive about talk of a "Franco-Russo-German" (or Eurasian) alliance, especially when, just like in Haushofer's mind, the Anglo-Saxons are the enemies who must be stopped at all costs.

Johannes,

ah, now I got you, a "fatherland" lover. I should fix you up with Zyme, you guys would get along just fine. your concern for your "fatherland" is quite understandable, regarding its current economic decline. yes I hear the export figures were quite remarkable last year. however the revenue resulting from them is invested elsewhere, not in the country. yeah, exchanging the U.S. for Putin is a great idea, why did i not think of it before? oh, right, because it involves pissing off the Americans, germany's second biggest export market, and middle-eastern europe (Poland, Czechs, and all these other insignificant nations that get increasingly nervous about Putins finger on the trigger). The same is true for china (ever think of countries like Japan, India, Taiwan, ... ?).

Wow, I admire your understanding of diplomacy. as skillful as in 1914.

@ Toby
Those export numbers are very misleading and troublesome for Germans.
If you look at anything "Exported" from Germany, you will find that most parts are manufactured in other countries , sent back for assembly and "Exported". If it was a true German product, no one could afford it.
As time goes by, more and more will leave the "Fatherland" to be produced elsewhere. Look at all the German Car Factories in the US. It sure beats paying the Fatherland wages and shipping it here plus import fees?

Has anyone besides me noticed that Johannes does not respond with a persuasive argument if at all? In an earlier thread he noted he 'did not buy' the shared etymology of the English and German languages. When presented with evidence of his error he did not respond.

Johnannes struts the Vaterland here. That's all he does. Strut. No substance. No argument to persuade. "NO ANGLOSAXON!" is his mantra.

Excuse me. What the fuck is AngloSaxon? That term hasn't had political/cultural meaning in centuries.

I'd tell you to go back to your Dungeons and Dragons video game, but your stated memory " I remember when Helmut Kohl " makes you too old for that.

>> don't have a problem with dictators as long as they pay their bills and sometimes I wonder when conservative politicians became democracy and human rights freaks

You first Johannes. Apparently, (I'm sure you'll correct me if I misapprehend), your first priority is economic robustness for Germany. Which is best achieved with alliance with Russia, which, (you will forgive me for noting), has been singularly successfull at this. If economic robustness requires a dictatorship so be it. That is in Germany's best self-interest.

What would such a dictator do? Eliminate elections?
Ah, Johannes, I await with baited breath your elucidation of the German Utopia.

But of course neither I - nor anyone on this blog - will ever know what that might be.

Because all you know how to do is fabricate a strutting posture.

@Pamela, "Has anyone besides me noticed that Johannes does not respond with a persuasive argument if at all?"

Oh, yeah!

(Careful, generalizations follow)

This is an absolutely typical fluid, slippery method of argument that dominates the Anti-American case here in Germany. No matter what you or I might argue, a series of charges will be made that the US stands accused of. These are long-standing charges made over the decades (some trace back 200 years or more) that no one in any official capacity has answered. For this reason it it presumed by Germans that we stand guilty (a similar process seems true of the French). When presented with counter evidence, or at least asked for clarification of some bizarre assumption they have made, they ignore the question and move onto the next charge (hence my standing joke about whether the next charge will be about Allende or Noriega). It appears that they presume we are guilty as charged and there is no need for them to be placed on the defensive. Perhaps they are confident that there are enough remaining charges against us that our "guilt" is certain.

When cornered they will often deny the evidence you present. By necessity our defense will be of the "preponderance of the evidence" kind rather than "clear and convincing" because Anti-Americanism is built up stone by stone over time and thus consists of multiple examples of bias, half-fact and error: not many examples of our alleged malevolence depend on others. In arguing against you they will retreat to deny any single example of alleged bias has any greater meaning then perhaps a joke or an exaggeration. You will see this posture all over Medienkritik from those Germans who are at least brave enough to face a real airing of their grievances.

This is a sweeping generalization about the way in which Germans argue their particular brand of Anti-Americanism, but I have found it in my more than 10 years here in Germany to be overwhelmingly the case. Outside of this forum here, I have not come across any pro-American Germans, or at least Germans willing to listen in good faith. The best I can hope for in my personal dealings are Germans who resort to a sullen, almost sulking silence when I defend my country. Perhaps they also think I am too stupid to understand their "subtle" argument.

To push this debate forward, it seems to me, we have to find a way of constructing the debate without resorting to the kinds of generalizations I have done above. But that would require detailing every charge and innuendo against us and finding the energy to answer it and categorically prove it false. Medienkritik serves part of this function. It would help if there were an official source that occasionally defended us. It is obviously asking too much of a President, since none in my memory has succeeded at this. Bush tried in his Berlin address in 2002, Clinton just coasted on a positive personal press, Reagan also gave an important Berlin speech but Germans have ignored its effects, Carter and Schmidt had a well publicized feud. Arguably, Roosevelt and Truman had the most profound influence on Germany, but not through force of argument. Perhaps that tells us something. What we need is a Secretary of State with exceptional energy and forceful disposition to wade into the muck that is present day Anti-Americanism and make our case to the world. Note: the Europeans don't want to listen, so it will not be easy.

Consider this: there was also much Anti-Americanism in 1930's Germany, but ignore that and think about what happened to the Jews. A steady drumbeat of charges were made against them until their humanity had been denied. To time-transport yourself to 1936, what would you argue to those Germans? Would they not simply deny any single case of bias you might present and would you not be forced to construct a "preponderance of the evidence" case against the anti-Semitism in their press and state propaganda. Note, I am restricting myself to that majority of Germans who claimed after the war to have not known anything about the Holocaust. When the case against us today is made in a similar way to other historical instances, we should be able to discern a pattern. I am not implying that we are headed for another holocaust at the hands of today's Germans. However denying our humanity in our treatment of fellow Americans to the GWOT is part of a process with unpredictable results. Mohammed Atta studied in Germany - was that just a coincidence?

"Because all you know how to do is fabricate a strutting posture."

Chortle, chortle! The imagery brings back so many not-so-fond memories!

@SeanM
"Mohammed Atta studied in Germany - was that just a coincidence?"
The USA supported Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaida before he f***** up your World Trade Centre - was that just a coincidence?

@frechdachs "The USA supported Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaida before he f***** up your World Trade Centre - was that just a coincidence?"

Thank you frechdachs for a perfect example of what I am referring to!

The USA did NOT support Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaida in Afghanistan! Today's Afghan President Hamid Kazai was a part of the anti-Soviet resistance but was not a part of Al Qaida. You are confused with the Arab-Afghans who were supported with Saudi and other Gulf state money. Their support did not come from the USA.

Pamela

A racial issue ? Of course not, it is all about the economic and cultutural imperialism of the Anglosaxons in this world. I do not care what the ethnical background of these Anglosaxons is. Black, white, yellow, christian, jewish or muslim, it does not matter. Great Britain has always been an extremly imperialist country. Their goal was to spread their values and their way of life all over the world and force it on everybody else. This imperialim changed its face over time , but it was very successful. After the end of colonialism, a former colony of Great Britain took over, the King of England was replaced by the American President to lead the evil Anglosaxon Empire and after the end of the Soviet Union and their evil Communist empire the Anlosaxons became the only real power in the world. There was nobody left to counter them and this gave the Anglosxons unlimited power and they use this power to rapidly spread their language, culture and values. In the case of the Iraq war this became very visible to the rest of the world and caused an outcry.
But much more important is their domination of the financial markets and the media, especially the entertainment industry, which they use as a propaganda tool. The world has to become aware of this and the people have to fight back. The world has to stand united against this imperialsm or we will all become slaves of the Anglosaxons. They will tell us how to run our economy and our government and they will completly destroy our culture and our traditions.

I certainly like this Schroeder minister idea, especially when the Germans and Rushkies are best friends.

This time the Russians can have them.

Johannes:

Thank you for your polite and succinct response. Yes, I know from your previous posts that your concerns are not racial.

You note of Britain and by implication of the U.S.

"Their goal was to spread their values and their way of life all over the world and force it on everybody else. "

and

"There was nobody left to counter them and this gave the Anglosxons unlimited power and they use this power to rapidly spread their language, culture and values"

Here is where I just get really bewildered. For argument's sake, I will use the example of McDonald's. Johnannes, nobody holds a gun to anyone's head and forces them to buy McDonald's product. Or Starbuck's, etc. You write as though there is some nefarious scheme concocted in the bowels of NORAD to take over the world.

Nothing - absolutely nothing - prevents anyone from choosing not to partake of anything Anglosaxon culture offers.

Nothing - absolutely nothing - prevents anyone from offering something they value from their own culture.

Why, Johannes, is this not happening from Germany?
Here in the U.S. you can go to any mid-size city and find grocery stores devoted to a particular culture, be in Polish, Afghani, Italian, Korean, Somali, etc. They will carry newspapers, books, and music media. But nothing from Germany. Well, with one exception that I know of. A little Bavarian Inn in Shepardstown West Virginia. But frankly, the cuisine is actually more Vienna.


Johannes,

"... it is all about the economic and cultutural imperialism of the Anglosaxons in this world".
Sorry, I got confused. I thought the Americans' biggest fault was their ignorance of the rest of the world. Now you are saying they are taking it over ? So no matter if they care too much or too little, they are always an evil to stand united aganinst ?

"they use this power to rapidly spread their language, culture and values ".
Well, fortunately, they were sucessful in your case, or we would not be able to have this beautiful chitchat in English.

"This imperialim changed its face over time , but it was very successful.".
Which makes it different from the german imperialism you endorse ("german interests", was it, or "am deutschen wesen..."?). Or was that Zyme ?

"But much more important is their domination of the financial markets and the media, especially the entertainment industry, which they use as a propaganda tool".
You are absolutely right. I have just watched "Wallace & Gromit" over the weekend with a friend's little daughter and you would not believe the propagandist note in it. Germany beware, this is evil Anglosaxon stuff, they are going to brainwash your kids with imperialist values.

"They will tell us how to run our economy...".
And I hope the Germans will listen. because running their economy according to their ideas of "social justice and equality" has lead to devastating results. Did I mention that I make a living teaching germans how to run businesses successfully in the real world ?

Pamela,

"But nothing from Germany".

If you ever make it to NYC again you should check out the bar "Zum Schneider" (in alphabet city). Believe it or not, it is actually pretty cool, and I am not talking Ooompah music here. Yes, german culture has something to offer to the world. hear that, Johannes ?

Johannes,

word on the street is that Schroeder will not be part of the new government. looks like someone else will take over the Auswaertige Amt. too bad, I hope you are not too disappointed.

@Toby, "Yes, german culture has something to offer to the world"

And don't forget the number of US publishing houses that have been taken over by the Germans, Roland Emmerich films from Hollywood and the Globalization wave that washed over Detroit in the 1970s, a generation before Germans got concerned about the "threat".

"Or was that Zyme ?"

Yeah, the thought occurred to me too...

@Toby "word on the street is that Schroeder will not be part of the new government"

According to this, he has already resigned.

SeanM

There is a standard temiplate used by the elites in Germany against the US. It now has been accepted by the general population. Many want to take the position that the US has in some way failed to explain herself to the Germans. The facts are the Germans, as much as they might protest, have no use for facts. Their reaction is emotional based. Besides there has to a reason for the failure of their culture, their nation and their history. What better way to excuse this and not take responsiblity for it than to strike out at some other nation or people.

Germany is in a general state of decline by any measure you chose to use. It is not so apparent yet, but it will be in the next 10 years.

The reality is the US has lost Germany as an ally. The next step is to lose Germany as a friend. There are more than enough examples that this is already taking place.

I fault the American people and their government for not seeing this and acting on it. In fact, in the cold light of day, maybe the American leadership does see this but have chosen not to fully address this.

The first real positive action the US could take to improve relationships with the chocolate summit would to disband NATO. This single act would do more to positively change attitudes than any other action an American adminstration could ever take.


As for telling the Germans how to run their economy, I would think they would follow the french model or the Finnish model or some other European model where the state is a key provider of economic security.

It is more within their culturally acceptable norms to do so.

"... I would think they would follow the french model or the Finnish model or some other European model where the state is a key provider of economic security".

"economic security", I beg you. What crazy german shit is that supposed to be ? Do you mean social(ist) security ? That would be the traditional approach, yes. Which has basically failed.

Toby,

You have expanded my comment beyond what I actually said. You now want to introduce such things as success and failure. The next thing you are going to toss out will be affordability.

I did not consider this to be very important. In the last 10 years, this has not ranked very high with most Germans.

The question is why should it now?

And "economic security" is not what you said it was. It is the natural results of the social welfare state. In fact, I would submit to you it is one of the most important if not the most important reasons for having a social welfare state.

@joe, "Many want to take the position that the US has in some way failed to explain herself to the Germans. The facts are the Germans, as much as they might protest, have no use for facts. Their reaction is emotional based. Besides there has to a reason for the failure of their culture, their nation and their history. What better way to excuse this and not take responsiblity for it than to strike out at some other nation or people."

For argument's sake, let me concede your point. However that leaves open the danger this kind of unchallenged anti-Americanism exposes to the USA. Let me take one example that deliberately does not have to do with the US: despite having almost no jewish population to speak of, anti-Semitism is relatively common in Japanese literature. Where did they get this from? Last I read, it apparently crept into the Japanese culture in the inter-war years when their relationship with Germany was strong and growing.

It would be a mistake to undervalue this kind of insidiousness propaganda. It is war by other means.

Joe,

"It is the natural results of the social welfare state".

So, what is "economic" security, then ? What exactly is secured an for who? Jobs ? The existence of moribund enterprises and industries ? equality ?

how can a government provide "economic" security in a market-based society ?

Toby,

Look closely at the social benifits provided most euro's by their governments - retirement, medical, education, rent, etc.

In a social welfare state, you have vast amounts of income redistribution.

And yes the goverment can provide some economic security - not total - by the policy decisions it makes. That is one of the huge debates on going in Germany now. How to both protect and create jobs.

The problem today is the policy decisions in place which protect jobs have the effect of not creating jobs.

Part of the debate before the election was the spd wanted to protect jobs and the Union wanted to reduce this protection with the idea this would eventually create jobs.

Joe,

scuse me, I still don't get it. you are saying "economic" security is not the same as "social" security, but it is the "natural result of the welfare state". what exactly is the "economic" bit in the secrurity you mean ? you mention "protecting jobs": well, if that's what you mean, i would have to defy you, because in that case germany - like many other european countries - is not a very secure place at all).

the concept of social benefits i understand (this is what i understand by redistributive schemes like super-annuation, medicare, free education).

but "econimic" security in a market-based economy ? what more is there to it than consumer protection laws (which, as a matter of fact, the U.S. have as well). maybe the Kuendigungsschutzgesetz (law against unfair dismissals)? do you actually believe that this law provides anybody with job security ?

maybe the idea is just an illusion the germans chase - the dream of a life without any risks. does germany believe in the concept of "chances".

SeanM,

My initial reaction to your comment was more of “so what”.

While it might be beneficial to all for better relationships with the members of the chocolate summit, I am not sure how important it actually is in a real sense.

At this point in history Germany actually offers little to the US. It is a weak nation in decline. Germany can do little in real terms to help the US and while it can do much to hinder the US it really is limited in that area too.

Germany’s current choices in politics, economics, social and family life, and moral reasoning give all indications relationships with the US will only grow worse in the future.

Please note I used the word “choices” because this is what the Germans have chosen for themselves. To change this the Germans would have to make different choices. I see no indications they will.

In fact, a more weakened Germany is more likely to grow even more resentful of the US rather than blaming themselves for the choices and the results of these choices have brought their nation.

Given there are limits to all things, instead of spending those on Germany I would rather see them spent on nations like India, Indonesia, Brazil, China and Turkey.

So I find it not at all surprising that some elites in Germany find their relationship with Russia to be more satisfying than the one they have had with the US. I do not find it at all unusual that Germans view America as a threat to world peace on the same level as North Korea. I do not at all find when it is time to actually back up demands with Iran that Germany falls by the wayside.

So while the outcome you suggest might be desirable the means to realize that outcome do not currently exist and make it impossible to obtain.


@joe, "So while the outcome you suggest might be desirable the means to realize that outcome do not currently exist and make it impossible to obtain"

Then I have not yet expressed myself clearly enough. First of all, I am advocating that the US should defend herself through the offices of a high official. The means to do this clearly do exist: France and Germany regularly dispatch their respective ambassadors and consuls to do the talk show rounds in order to patch up their country's interests within the US. We could do the same, except we have a global rather than a bilateral problem. For this reason I suggested the Secretary of State.

Second I am pointing out that beyond Germany, and even beyond Europe, there are wider reasons for us to mount an ongoing defense of our nation: other non-European nations are tempted to adopt anti-Americanism when the rumors and slanders about the US go unanswered. My original post never restricted itself to the members of the "chocolate summit".

Toby,

You are again talking about results. Yes, I am aware that "old Europe" has not created any jobs other than government ones in the last 10 years. I am aware that job loss continues.

Yet when one looks at the decisions of the governments all these have been to protect existing jobs either by actions which protect employees or employers.

In the sense of economic security, I meant having enough money to live a life style that would make one happy and taking care of basic needs plus. If the Germans did not have to work to obtain the money to do this they would not. In fact, they already tried this once with their 35-hour workweek.

What I think you are asking me to do is to defend the social welfare state. I cannot do this as I view this form of government a failure. I believe time will prove me to be correct. The UK and the US would both be like Germany is today had we not had strong political leadership and citizens who realized and accepted the obvious needs of change.

So as long as Germans cling to their welfare state they will find the current path they are following will not lead them to happiness but to a very dismal future. Think about this in your lifetime around 2030 every working German will be supporting an elderly person on retirement.

In fact, I do not believe the social welfare state can exist in a market economy. Therefore Germans will be faced with the choice of having a real market economy and changing the social welfare state or becoming a closed economic entity. Given how poorly the Germans deal with choices, I would not be surprised if they chose the latter.

@Toby - "How can a government provide "economic" security in a market-based society?"

It could privatize all job recruitment programs and provide an unconditional basic income. Of course this would require it to get rid of the welfare-to-work bureaucracy that has entrenched itself so deep into our political life ever since the Bismarck era. Which is not a minor change. But I don't see any sustainable alternative to breaking this Gordian knot of the social welfare state.

As for the concern whether this goal might be an illusion I remember that government can feed the body, but cannot nourish the soul. The illusion here is that the risk of poverty would increase individual flexibility, while in reality it's just the other way round and a higher poverty risk makes everybody entrench themselves in their current positions.

Now the situation is that Angela Merkel has won even though her flat tax project has lost. The campaign idea that the reforms could be financed entirely from domestic taxes turned out to be unconvincing. Rather will the United Nations raise a global energy tax than that one nation alone will be able to properly divorce the job recruitment function of the social welfare state from its supply function. Now that would be a chance.

SeanM,

You made yourself clear. I did not misunderstand your point.

Here is a choice for you. You are scheduling the US SecState. Your choices are going to Germany or going to India. Where would you send her? You only get to chose one. Those are real decisions that someone has to make.

Given the success to date of such trips, I see them as a waste of time.

What you really are asking again is for the US to change the attitudes of the elites who infect Europe and that again is not something that is going to happen and it does not matter if the POTUS moved to paris or not. In fact, it does not matter if the US did everything the euro’s wanted it would not change the majority of attitudes toward the US.

Now if you are a euro you could argue that would be a good starting point. If you are an American then the price would be too high. What you are seeing from these nations is animus, jealousy, and willful spite

Individual attitudes and where they come from will not be changed by a visit or multiple visits by US officials

As for france and Germany, we can see the success they have with this effort. You might counter they are not hated as the US is and that might in fact be a true statement. Of course, what is there to hate with the french and Germans. They are for the most part powerless either in a positive or a negative sense. They can help or cheerlead in either a positive or negative way but alone or together they can actual do little. In fact, when faced with difficult decisions, which in some way might actually cost them, they do nothing.

As for this great PR campaign you suggest, it will fail. It is much like Iran. Half the people there want to see the destruction of the US and the other half would like to live here.

What you omit from your comments is what the US is already doing. In fact, I would tell you the US spend too much time with the members of the chocolate summit already. I think they abuse and vilify the demonstrated goodwill of the US. Therefore it is time to move on.

You might not agree with either my suggestion nor my assessment. All you can really say is it is much nicer to be liked than disliked.

So the US grows closer to India and Japan and finds itself more distant from Germany and france. Given those options, I think the US is going in the correct direction to the amazement of the euro’s.


.

Look at Putin's expression, especially his eyes. He's thinking he'd like to throw this guy to the ground and throttle him.

SeanM,

Here is a question for you.

Just what would you actually have the US SecState say at these events? It would have to be more than an explaination of US policy. That has already been done with the previous leadership in Berlin. We all are aware of the results of those discussions and meetings.

Who would you invite to these?

I frankly think what you are suggesting is a bit degrading to both the US SecState and the US.

I have never been invited to hear the FM of any chocolate summit nation explain why they act more as enemies of the US than allies. But then again there is always a different standard for the US than any other nation.

joe:

"Germans will be faced with the choice of having a real market economy and changing the social welfare state or becoming a closed economic entity. Given how poorly the Germans deal with choices, I would not be surprised if they chose the latter."

Me neither. However, it's not really up to them to choose. European law prevents them from insulating themselves from the rest of the world. The so called european "basic freedoms" force germany to keep its borders open for products and services from other EU countries and prevent it from discriminating against enterprises from those countries. which means that it is very easy for American businesses to circumvent protective german measures through UK subsidiaries.

bottom line: germany will have to face reality no matter what. so maybe there is hope for the better.

Toby,

I actually wanted to imply the EU or a part of the EU.

If you look at the members who use the euro, they all have some form of welfare state to varying degrees. The ones currently in the most trouble happen to be the french and Germans.

So they could actually become a closed system. What might prevent this is not the EU as you suggest but the WTO.

Joe,

all right, total EU isolation is a serious threat, I agree. but as long as the EU includes member states like the UK and luxemburg, I don't think it is imminent. but, ok, who knows what will happen, what with the new member states. i guess the WTO provides some protection (i am no expert there).

Toby,

Actually I do not think you can count on the UK as I think they will in fact abandon the EU. I would also say some of the Eastern European nations would too.

This is really possible if the US were to withdraw from NATO and enter into a new security arrangement with those nations it shares a common view of the world with. This would eliminate the members of the chocolate summit. In fact, the run up to the Iraq war pretty much lined up Europe.

The wild card being Spain. I would think they would choose to align themselves with france and Germany as they have more in common with them than with the US. This of course would demish Spanish influence over time in South America. But that would be a small price to pay. Then again as Spain does have a growing economy, they might chose not to join the chocolate summit.

What I found to be interesting was it seemed those nations in Europe which had economic growth were more willing to support the US than those which did not.

This goes a long way in why all the euro talk about being a counterweight and a military power is nothing but hot air. They do not have the money to invest in defense.

While the elites will never admit this, they have turn their protection over to the US. This was a point about goodwill I was trying to make with SeanM. This some times gets forgotten in the debate about being liked and disliked.

I for one think the US should start acting in its own best interests. Most in Europe already believe that so why not just make it true. This would then really give the euro's a reason for their attitudes.

joe, Spain won't leave the EU. There's a reason that economy is growing - well two. The first is that it had nowhere to go but up, the second is the EU.

The woman who was Foreign Minister in the Aznar gov't had an interview in the current issue of American Enterprise. Talk about a voice in the wilderness.

From all I've read, the people who really hate the EU are - get ready - the Italians. And they don't like Germans, no siree.

@joe, sorry for the delayed response, but it is late here and given that my mother-in-law is visiting, it was my turn to cook.

"Here is a choice for you. You are scheduling the US SecState. Your choices are going to Germany or going to India. Where would you send her? You only get to chose one. Those are real decisions that someone has to make."

Then I choose choice three: stay in your office and make the case, much as we do here, just do it better with the full resources of the government of the USA. It's not about being liked. It's about winning. Don't assume you can grow too close to India until you can defeat the European demons. Indians are impressive people but, like the South Americans, they are laboring under the misinformation about the USA emanating from Europe. And that is my point, not whether Europeans are sated.

"Just what would you actually have the US SecState say at these events?"

Agreed. This is the key issue and I don't pretend it is easy. Who has challenged the widely held but idiotic assertion that the US government conspired to bring down the WTC? Challenging this calumny would be degrading unless done with finesse. We are not the first in history to face these challenges.

"Who would you invite to these?"

No, no, go backwards, just keep it simple. No meetings, just an office making the case, much as we do here, only with greater resources and respect than we can muster from an internet connection.

The real challenge lies in how to bring the resources together to make the case. This is called diplomacy and I make no claim that I have skill in this area, other than asserting its necessity. Our problem is that we do not speak with one voice and mostly we sieze on problems of this kind to score party political points. Currently the Democrats have made a short-term decision to align themselves with Europeans to bring greater weight to an anti-Bush position. The Europeans have, on the other hand, made a long-term expedient decision to align themselves with the Democrats in order to realize a weakening of American foreign policy. If this goes unchallenged, guess who is going to cause more damage to the other?

"I for one think the US should start acting in its own best interests."

Simply put, I agree. No qualifications.

@Toby "WTO provides some protection (i am no expert there)"

Pass auf! The WTO is turning into a disappointment. If you come from a John Stuart Mill culture you might be seduced into incorrectly believing that others in Europe know what Comparative Advantage is.

joe:

"Actually I do not think you can count on the UK as I think they will in fact abandon the EU"

Think so ? I am not so sure. The city is going extremely well because of its foot in the european door. i think, historically, brittain has always profited from the state it is in right now: not completely part of europe and yet involved. but then, who knows. if europe wanted to isolate itself, it would have to kick out the brits first. i don't see that happening any time soon, but again: who knows.

@joe - "Please note I used the word “choices” because this is what the Germans have chosen for themselves. To change this the Germans would have to make different choices. I see no indications they will. In fact, a more weakened Germany is more likely to grow even more resentful of the US rather than blaming themselves for the choices and the results of these choices have brought their nation."

One possible explanation why Germans have not become bored over a lack of ambition is because the choices you are talking about are made under apocalyptic presumptions. There is a cultural background fear that the atom or some other technology will kill us anyways, reified in the Kyoto Protocol, which has been withstanding all scientific attacks because it is not so much a political project as a psychological prison built of apocalyptic fears. On the terms of Kyoto, would you even consider to make an investment 25 years into the future? To the outside observer the cheesecup and its side-effects may seem like choices, from the inside view they are a part of the legacy. And even if the native dares to protrude his head through the crackles of the Kyoto cheesecup to get a grasp what's really going on in the world, the outlook is not all too relaxing. The Islamic siege in our hemishpere is not something Europe can survive single-handedly, or even only replace the Kyoto weltbild with another less dystopian cheesecup while the war is still going on and the future of the world actually in question. We can only bet that Harald Schneider is right in his belief about American sleeves.

Toby,

Yes but do you think the UK would actually become a part of fortress EU and cut itself off from the rest of the world. I do not think so. I think the British realize there are more opportunities outside of Europe than in a fortress Europe.

As for the city, they are making money just as the Americans are because of the weaknesses, which exist within the EU. This will continue until such time as the EU learns how to do this or passes laws, which will prevent this.

You fo get that English expression, fog in the channel Europe is cut off. There is much more truth to that you might want to realize.

As for kicking the British out of the EU, I think it would suit the french and the Germans just fine. They would bemoan the lost of force projection and the revenue the British provide the EU but that would be a small price to pay to protect their welfare states. They feel the British by their very own success are attacking anyway. Just look at the positions Blair has taken and the response by the various members of the EU.

@FranzisM, "...reified in the Kyoto Protocol, which has been withstanding all scientific attacks because it is not so much a political project as a psychological prison built of apocalyptic fears"

OK, but I am still a little puzzled. In considering apocalyptic fears, wouldn't a Gamma Ray Burst so scare the hell out of a Kyoto aficionado that the idea of defending a particular ecosystem would seem somewhat redundant? If everything we know of could disappear in an instant without warning wouldn't people motivated by such concerns simply resign themselves to the muse and song?

"We can only bet that Harald Schneider is right in his belief about American sleeves."

I suppose this is also the apocryphal thinking behind assuming that if Iran gets the Bomb, then somehow Israel will take out the site with one of their heroic, Osirak-like missions. To believe this, one would have to assume the Iraqis would do exactly the same thing again if given a second chance and that the Iranians would also have learned nothing since 1981. Even if children are doing the planning in Iran, one should assume that the facilities are well dug-in and well dispersed.

Unfortunately, if we are going to win this, we must all pull our weight.

@joe, "Yes but do you think the UK would actually become a part of fortress EU and cut itself off from the rest of the world. I do not think so. I think the British realize there are more opportunities outside of Europe than in a fortress Europe."

I love the Brits and I visit London as often as I can. However I also receive British Sky TV here in Germany and I can assure you they receive a one-sided view of the world through their media. If
Marshall McLuhan
is right then the Medium is the Massage. Although Blair won the last election, the Medium in the UK continues to lean against any defenders of the USA. Who knows what it will "flip" into.

@SeanM: The assumption that the atmosphere could be threatened by astronomic developments outside the solar system - or, for that matter, that Islam could be the source of a death cult - might indeed be considered scary even from inside the Kyoto cheesecup, but then again the apolcalyptic scenario of a climate crash - with our without a preceding nuclear war - is painted so boldly and has been so present from our cradles on that the real threats appear as relatively minor issues in comparison.

I don't think Israel is the proverbial thing in the sleeve, and it wouldn't be wise to bet on a country already in Iranian missile range. But it looks like having the nuclear theocrats stand on the doorstep of the Security Council is the only way to get the United Nations to actually reform themselves and find a way how to deal with the problem of outlaw regimes. And what Germany could do immediately is redefine our relationships to Russia and China in a way that can help to move forward the diplomatic process on Iran.

If Mr. Putin wants to supply nuclear fuel to the Iranians, this is his business. But when the Iranians entrench themselves into the idea that now was their last and only chance before the end of times to produce their own nuclear fuel, then Mr. Putin has to understand that this is a definitive rejection of his offer. No reasonable nation that gets itself into nuclear energy would want to produce its own nuclear fuel before it has even built power plants to consume it. This consideration must be paramount even when Germany depends as much on Russian resources as India does on these of Iran.

@ SeanM: "Indians are impressive people but, like the South Americans, they are laboring under the misinformation about the USA emanating from Europe."

If enough Americans would convert from Christianity to a non-European religion, e.g. Hinduism, that "misinformation" can easily be corrected.

/Just sayin'

@FranzisM
>>If enough Americans would convert from Christianity to a non-European religion, e.g. Hinduism, that "misinformation" can easily be corrected.

Conversion? Hardly necessary. Do you have ANY idea how many Hindi Indians have immigrated here? Tons. They have been and are a real treasure in the American landscape.

*g*

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