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David, glad you posted this. I mentioned the article in my post yesterday at your site below. I wish Graf Lambsdorff would be more vocal in Germany, but then we know what happened to CDU leader Angela Merkel when she spoke out in defense of America. The Germans just don't want to hear dissenting opinion right now. I spent another wasted hour or so last night watching Peter Schall-Latour blast America on two different stations (n-tv Maischberger and an ARD/ZDF "documentary"). At one point in his "docu-soap-op/ed-rant" he states that America's intervention in Iraq is the beginning of the decline of the West! The same spenglerian pessimism that drove the Weimar Republic into the ground is alive and well here and it is undermining Germany again. We need more folks like Merkel and Lambsdorff to stand up and speak out.

I urge anyone interested to check out www.billspricht.net (News and Views from Danubian Utopia) today. Bill documents brilliantly and passionately the great intellectual failure that is taking place in Germany. This is so sad. Germany's elite has let Germany down.

There is also a transcript of an interesting speech by Wesley Clark at Salon today that clearly sets out the challenge to Europe. If the Europeans can't digest the message from Bush, maybe they will accept a similar message from Clark. Whatever, they need to get moving again.

I agree with Karl B. It's nice that Graf Lamsdorff can publish a column in the International Herald Tribune, but it doesn't do much good if no one in Germany reads it.

Karl B. wrote :"I wish Graf Lambsdorff would be more vocal in Germany, but then we know what happened to CDU leader Angela Merkel when she spoke out in defense of America."

I see your point here, so, no offense. However, I strongly believe, and think you would agree, that any politician should strife for being a leader and should live up to the responsibility and trust which has been given to him by the democratic process. So, ultimately, by the people. What's the point in politics if you don't make policy?
You know, me, as a normal citizen, ended up in numerous discussions, and did voice my opinion when matters were brought up. I believe you did, too, and we all do it here in this forum. However, all these actions are of little effect. We are too few and "fighting" against all odds (government, media, ignorance) from a position with little influence, since the audience each of us can reach is rather small, too.

So, WHO ELSE in this country can have at least SOME effect, can balance things a little bit more, if not a POLITICIAN? If he doesn't stand up for what he believes in, he's not worth his office.

So, let's hope he'll voice his position in HIS country as well. Merkel's speach and open letter was a testimony of courage. Wolfgang Schäuble also had a way more decent approach to the situation than most others. Actually, I think he could have been more aggressive, but on the other hand, his approach offers more chances for more people in Germany to jump on the bandwagon. Or look even at Guido Westerwelle. Lots of UN talking there and as a consequence ultimately against military action, it was no where near that kind of Anti-American hostility which we've seen from SPD/Greens. (His position indeed was not to exclude even participation in military action with an UN mandate, similar to the Union).

Not agreeing with the Americans on military action is one thing. THIS is what really should be possible amongst allies/friends, and after all this is a democracy - Churchill's famous quote comes to mind here (even though I personally agree with the US position). What's mind boggling though is the words that have been spoken, the hostility and irrationality, which kept getting stimulated by the government-media-people/intellectuals loop.

And this is where the responsibility of a politician for his country should lead his actions, if he sees irrationality waging.

So, I do not see how he could sleep fine at night with the knowledge of the American-German friendship going into the trash bin.

Regards
Alex N.

Karl B.,

I'd like to second your praise for Bill Dawson; Bill is a real treasure and deserves to be read widely.

BTW, I asked you some time about your views of Dick Gephardt's foreign policy, maybe you missed my question?

Heard an interview with Gephardt on NPR the other day. He said a number of things that sounded sane and rational. By making it clear that he will not pander to Dem activists ("the base") in the primaries to the same extent that his opponents are, his campaign seems to be doomed already.

Wesley Clark... I have heard only bad things about him and he gives off very odd vibes.

Alex, I won't argue with your point. I guess there is always an internal debate with politicians whether to follow the clear majority or take a leadership position. Only a few are willing to defend an unpopular position.

It has been devastating for me to watch over 50 years of constructive cooperation betwen the USA and Germany "unilaterally" thrown out the window by Gerhard Schröder in his desperate attempt to hold onto power. Acting as cheerleaders, the German media have shamelessly pandered to Germans' worst instincts. So, yes, it probably is long past time for strong leadership on this issue to try to patch up the damage. (Again, Bush & Co. have to share the blame for what happened, too.)

Tictoc, I don't know enough about Gephardt to have a strong opinion. He always struck me as a bit too protectionist. I don't see him as a particularly viable candidate: I think he's been around too long as a bridesmaid.

Otto Graf Lambsdorff essentialy makes the same mistake like Schröder when he uses the term transatlantic relations as a synonym of German-American relations in his argument. Polish-American, British-American or Israeli-American relations are transatlantic relations also. In these relations, Graf Lambsdorff is known as the guy who dealt out the Nazi slave labor compensation contract in '01 which bought Germany relief from all further claims for just $4.5bn.

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