« Bush Does... WHAT???? | Main | Now You See It, Now You Don't: ZDF Silently Pulls Presidential Poll...AGAIN!!! »

Comments

Da bin ich mal der erste. Toll. Man muss wirklich lange suchen, um einen halbwegs akkuraten Kommentar in den deutschen Medien über das Thema zu finden. Egal ob FAZ, SZ, WELT, FTD oder SPIEGEL: Die deutschen Medien sind einfach nur zum Heulen. Aber im Handelsblatt vom Dienstag bin ich schließlich fündig geworden:

US-TRUPPENABZUG
Näher ran
Von ANDREAS RINKE

In etlichen deutschen Gemeinden schrillen zurzeit die Alarmglocken. US-Präsident George W. Bush hat nun erstmals auch offiziell die größte Umstrukturierung der amerikanischen Streitkräfte seit dem Kalten Krieg bekannt gegeben. Mehrere zehntausend Soldaten werden von bisherigen US-Standorten in Europa und Asien abgezogen. Und viele Bürgermeister deutscher Orte, an denen US-Soldaten stationiert sind, wissen: Die Bundesrepublik wird das wohl am stärksten betroffene Land dieser Umorganisation sein. Denn hier zu Lande entspricht die Ausrichtung der US-Armee mit ihren immerhin rund 70 000 Soldaten noch immer den Erfordernissen, die im Kalten Krieg nötig waren. Eineinhalb Jahrzehnte nach dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion wirkt dies anachronistisch.

Dennoch wird der drohende Abzug von den betroffenen Gemeinden vor allem als ökonomisches Desaster angesehen. Denn gerade in kleineren Kommunen ist die Armee größter Arbeitgeber. Nimmt man die Soldaten und ihre Angehörigen zusammen, dann bilden die rund 140 000 Personen einen sehr wichtigen Wirtschaftsfaktor. Zudem hat die US-Armee kräftig in den deutschen Standorten investiert. Allein in dem bayerischen Ort Grafenwöhr sind dies zurzeit weitere 670 Millionen US-Dollar. Eine beachtliche Summe, auch für die lokalen und regionalen deutschen Firmen.

Von daher ist das nun angestimmte Klagelied an vielen Orten der Republik, vor allem im Süden und Südwesten, verständlich. Doch zum einen sei der Hinweis erlaubt, dass die US-Armee in den Augen vieler Deutscher erst dann zum beliebten Partner und Gast wird, wenn sie abzieht. Über lange Jahre war es eine Forderung vieler Friedensbewegter gewesen, dass die Amerikaner ihre Truppenpräsenz reduzieren sollten. Viele empfanden die Anwesenheit der US-Soldaten nicht als Zeichen zusätzlicher Sicherheit für Deutschland, sondern im Gegenteil als zusätzliche Bedrohung. Dies hat sich erst nach Ende des Kalten Krieges geändert, als die US-Armee schrittweise begann, Standorte aufzulösen.

Der zweite Einwand gegen eine nur negative Beurteilung der Entscheidungen der Regierung Bush ist, dass sie schlicht militärischen und betriebswirtschaftlichen Notwendigkeiten folgt. Auch Verteidigungsminister Peter Struck wird bis Ende des Jahres über die Schließung weiterer 100 Standorte der Bundeswehr entscheiden. Hintergrund ist sowohl in Washington als auch in Berlin, dass sich die militärischen Herausforderungen und Bedrohungen geändert haben. Die geopolitische Lage erfordert heute nicht nur eine andere Ausrüstung und einen anderen Zuschnitt des Militärs, sondern eben auch andere Orte der Stationierung.

Zudem räumt der von US-Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld energisch betriebene Umbau mit einer Mär auf – nämlich der, dass die USA angesichts ihres gigantischen Militäretats über eine Armee mit unbegrenzten Mitteln verfügen. Im Gegenteil führen die US-Streitkräfte seit dem Irak-Krieg eine Debatte über den so genannten „over-stretch“, die Überforderung. Heute zeigt sich, dass bereits die Stationierung von rund 138 000 Soldaten im Irak nicht nur immense Summen kostet, sondern die mächtigste Armee der Welt enorm bindet. Die Folge: In Washington wächst der Druck zum möglichst sparsamen Einsatz von Ressourcen. Dies bedingt, dass statt auf große Panzer-Kampfverbände auf schnelle, hoch technisierte Einheiten gesetzt wird. Und dies heißt auch, dass die Stationierung in Teilen der Welt gesucht wird, die näher an möglichen Krisengebieten liegen. Im Übrigen sollte nicht vergessen werden, dass auch die US-Regierung im eigenen Land vor derselben schwierigen Standortdebatte steht wie Struck in Deutschland: Ein Teil der nun in die USA zurückverlagerten Verbände soll einen Ausgleich dafür schaffen, dass in den Vereinigten Staaten selbst zurzeit viele Militärstützpunkte aufgegeben werden.

Über die wohl gravierendste Auswirkung eines Rückzugs der US-Armee aus Deutschland ist bei all dem kommunalen Lamento gestern übrigens kaum gesprochen worden: Niemand sollte unterschätzen, welch wichtiges Band die Soldaten für die deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen bildeten. Deutschland zählte und zählt unter den möglichen weltweiten Standorten zu den beliebtesten. Dementsprechend positiv ist meist das Bild des Landes, wenn die Amerikaner in die Staaten zurückkehren. Dazu kommen zahllose persönliche Kontakte, und im Laufe der Jahrzehnte wurden Tausende deutsch-amerikanische Ehen geknüpft. Statt nun nur über Finanzhilfen für betroffene Kommunen nachzudenken, sollte sich die Politik auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks auch überlegen, wie sie künftig einen starken persönlichen Austausch zwischen Bürgern beider Länder fördern kann.

In Washington wächst der Druck zum möglichst sparsamen Einsatz von militärischen Ressourcen.

Handelsblatt - 17.08.2004

David,
I think that article has truly been a hit. It certainly brought in a number of related subjects!

'Of course, the current leadership in Berlin is pushing for a perment seat at the UNSC but that is off topic'

This will never happen as long as Russia and the US are members of the UN.

'What this does is to allow Germany to more fully become the real leader of Europe.'

This will never happen as long as Chirac breathes!.

(from the previous thread)

Crazy In Texas:

Per your comment that

"The US Constitution allows that anyone born in America is an American citizen by default."

This is complete nonsense. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that, and, there are no Laws on the books that grant citizenship by virtue of birth.

I direct your attention to Amendment 14, Section 1:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. ..."

The removal of forces from Germany was always on the cards to redeploy troops for the "great game" in central asia. The US must be able to exert some influence there if it wants to maintain "the american way of life" i.e. swapping petro-dollars for german cars, italian clothes and asian electronics (and probably everything else soon).
For the impact on Germany, they have really got to get flexible, learn to adapt and change (maybe the Judo gold medal is promising). The Germans should run the country like Rommel ran the Blitzkrieg. This may not sound so PC, but it was masterful strategy. Fast and flexible, with decentralised decision making but an overall synergy. What they've got now (i live here BTW) is rigid, slow and totally inflexible. Most people I know spend great amounts of time just finding elaborate ways to bypass regulations in order to do simple things (in this sense Germans are ingenious). So many rules work against each other, the latest OECD survey on Germany gives some examples and possible solutions.

eiweiß

PS It's strange to hear Americans complaining that Japan is not militaristic enough and the Germans are too pacifist, wasn't that the plan in the first place?

There's a difference between being pacifist and becoming a colony of France.

No one's pretending the old reasons for so many U.S. troops still exist. German bases make sense for America only as a staging point for action farther afield. However, staging points make no strategic sense in countries that may limit their use when they are most needed. It's Germany's right, of course, to be whatever kind of ally it wants to be. Now neither party need feel held hostage to the other.

David,
I'd be most interested to get your interpretation on how this is playing locally. It's been discussed for so long, it may be old news, but maybe not.

No one should believe this "asian-century" crap for the near future. India is still 50% illiterate and yearly average income is $450 per person, $900 in China. Making average individual US GDP roughly 36 times more that that of China's at 35K USD annually.
China has stolen any technology that it has used to "advance" and it's contribution of low-wage and extensive use of state sponsored prison labor factories ensures China will have a seething civil dis-course within a decade. China developing into either a military or economic "powerhouse" in the next 50 years?
'Aint gonna happen to the dragon who mimics rather than develops on it's own. Many have seen the flying and driving skills of the chinese air force and citizenry.
I'll advance anyone on this great blog 1 million USD who can go to China or India now, start a business and still be in business 1 year later making even a small profit. I also invite any Anglo to try to set up a business in Japan.
A majority of those in the US are of European heritage, still. It was a heritage I wore proudly on my sleeve up until the truly pussified and duplicitous euro souls that were restrained as of 1945, re-appeared the moment the US was attacked and threatened in 2001. No one but John Kerry fell for that "we are all americans" bullszhit that came from europe after 9.11. The glee in europe for americas "deserved" blow was everywhere. After the shock of flaming office workers plunging 110 stories to thier deaths settled down in the euros minds, the hate and foolish animosity was back.
I cannot beleive seeing signd in Madrid that read "The bombs that fell on baghdad landed on us". What creates such damn insanity? DO the people who carry these signs TRULY believe such nonsense??
From the reactions starting in Europe on sept 13th, '01, and all I have read, heard and seen emitting from the "eu" towards the US changed me completely- I now hurl nothing but a blast of puke towards my european heritage.
I have spent years traveling the entire continent of Europe. I have worked in Amsterdam, Berlin, Innsbruk, Milan and Copenhagen. I'll never forget seeing a grown Italian man in Milan (in 40c August heat) wearing a $2,000 red, white and blue leather jacket with huge USA across the front and back. Rather than being flattered- I thought to myself "what the hell is wrong with this guy?" as he was wearing something proudly showing affection for MY country, yet I would not be caught in public in such gear. I thought maybe he had been spending too much time eating at one of the Uncle Sam's pizza outlets where the entire staff wears an outfit better suited to an amusement park. (I felt their pain and always tipped the crew a days wages.) It was odd, I thought "why the hell would he be promoting the US? AND on an expen$sive jacket?" How would this "cosmopolitan" Italian be viewed if he wore such a jacket today?
Who would knife him first? a "fellow euro or an arab?"
My only hope for the "eu" lies in the great minds that form countries such as Denmark, the other Scandinavians and the great Dutch. There is something amongst that flavor of euro culture that has a truly forward thinking intellect I never found in other parts of the "eu". The Dane's are a great, strong and proud people and their is a reason they are fighting for democracy in the ME beside the US, Dutch and all the others. Some day perhaps I'll be able to catch a ride in that great submarine the Dane's have in the Gulf.
There is a comment above which notes that the jihadist freaks of this world will soon take to europe like a wounded gazelle on the african plain. Very true. But ahh yes, they have been eyeing the land for years and have ramped up the influx immensely over this past decade. The volatility in the euro street and the animosity, scorn and hate from those youth of arab origin can be tasted. I don't deny the same can be tasted when one strolls through south central LA, however I have never heard those goons talk about political overthrows, Caliphates or bomb belts. At least we have Bill Cosby to give them some good advice. The mullahs of cologne or the finsbury park mosque have a different set of leaders than what Bill Cosby would preach.
I will state again my belief that G Bush will win the election by a margin that will spin heads in europe. The next several years will be very interesting for Us who care enough to take the time to post on this blog.
Many US men and woman have died for the defense of europe. To date- I know of NOT ONE european who has died to assist america, other than the one's who came here to build and live. The contributions given from so many countries serving in the coalition are GIFST FROM THEM TO THE CIVILIZED WORLD, and should NOT be construed as "gifts" to America. Many, many US men and woman have died in this current battle SOLELY DUE TO EUROPEAN IMPOTENCE AND OBSTRUCTION. I, along with the millions upon millions of others in the US will tolerate this no more. Germany NOW considers DDAy as "It's liberation from nazi-ism". I never thought I would hear such horszhit in my day.
So many americans wonder what in the lving hell the US was doing coming to the euros aid in sarajevo and Kosovo. It was out last attempt to show the muslims we do not hate them. We did it for europe 2 times in one decade. To hear what emminates from euroville towards the US now is just sickening.
There is NOT one european country today who has offered troops to guard the UN in baghdad, nor to assist in Dafur other than the great Brits. For that their should be such shame felt across your continent. You have built up your fantasy world ONLY due to the blanket of security that US men and woman wrapped around europe. You hurl insults, you disgrace our culture, you mock our lifestyles, yet emulate every damn thing we do.
There truly is nothing worse than one who constantly plays the protagonist, shouting at how things should be done, claiming the "high ground" all the while possessing such great impotence that following through with what it advises others to do (SOLELY when they are in their public's eye), without having one god damn ability to see beyond the edge of one's own nose and do the job that DEMAND others to do.
One century from now there will be far more psychologists than historians analyzing this euro duplicity, cowardness, denial and impotence. It is the psychologists who will be trying to get an understanding of the intellectual cancer that ran through europe and which began to fester and bleed in the winter 2001.

I have to state that I feel it is quite strange that there is a lack of comments from native germans on this and all the other issues.
I may be wrong but it seems like there is perhaps 6 germans who take the time to comment.
With such a short work week I would have hoped to hear some more perspectives from within.
I wonder if the thoughts of most germans are simply still being formulated or debated and discussed?

Europe doesn't really want us to pick up our toys and go home -- they just want to continue their old double game of having us guarantee their lifestyle, while they massage their precious egos pretending to be morally superior to the dirty Yankee cowboys.

Well, the game's up, Europe. The dumb cowboys have finally caught on. Betcha you never thought you'd see the day, eh "cousins"?

'PS It's strange to hear Americans complaining that Japan is not militaristic enough and the Germans are too pacifist, wasn't that the plan in the first place?'

Well, in the first place there was in fact a plan fostered by the Russian's concern of Germany re-arming, it was to keep them down, and all the while it worked for the British and Americans to keep the Russians out, so it worked to everyone's benefit. I think you mistake our concern, that being; we feel the Germans should have had a military that could defend itself as well as be capable to assist NATO members if the need should arise. You don't and you didn't...when the need arouse to send troops to Kosovo and Bosnia, your country refused and made excuses, after all this IS a European problem and it should have been handled by Europeans.....but instead you insist that the Americans send the troops, spend the money, and in some cases, let the Americans die for the cause
and should it turn into a quagmire (which all the time your country and citizens hoped it would) take care of it for you. Well, we did
but I dare say it will be the last time.

As for the Japanese being militaristic, it's just a matter of time, they are just lying dormant, Japan you see, is America's trump card in the Asian Game Plan, the world is waiting for China the "Yellow Peril" to flex it's muscles and show themselves as a world power, just about the time they even think about an ICBM, the US will rearm Japan with the most sophisticated armament you could imagine, just what the Chinese want, a fully armed Imperial Japan, with an attitude and a True ally to the US.

I wonder what steps would have been taken by any of the European nations, had the(Arabs,zealots,Wahabists,terrorists,Muslims,Freedom Fighters)
whatever the 'European title of the day' you wish to call them had flown those planes into Berlin,Bonn,Paris,London,Amsterdam, yeah!, I really wonder what would have happened.

the old proverb is: Watch what you wish for, because you may get it.
Europe is screaming at Americans that we are cowboys. Yup we are. I'm an Okie Pinoy cowboy.

We speak plain, and keepour words. But you should remember the classic cowboy movie, High Noon.
In High Noon, Gary Cooper protected a town against outlawas. When they came back, the fat and happy town fathers refused to back him up. So he fought them alone.
And then he turned to the townspeople, took off his badge, threw it on the ground and crushed it, and went his way.
Bye bye, Europe. And don't call the next time you get into trouble.

1 EU - 1 seat in the UN - no more stacking the deck.

Niko wrote:
"Hm. Well, even 10 million super-smart Chinese rocket scientists cannot feed the hunger of 800 million barely employed farmers."

You seem to have somehow misplaced the other 500 Million chinese who are hungry. (1.32 Billion Chinese.)

"Remember Mururoa?" No! but I remember Viet Nam, the French version, when they had to call on the US for evacuation in order to prevent a total annihilation of the French Soldiers by the vietnane forces. So
are you telling me that Chirac is a bigger blow-hard than DeGaull?

"1 EU - 1 seat in the UN - no more stacking the deck."

Sandy P we need you in the US State Department right now!!

Don't laugh, for if the US remains in the UN, the above will come to pass.

@ Niko:

German brains not draining Report shows that 85% of scientists who leave Germany eventually come home again | By Ned Stafford

A new study commissioned by the German Research Foundation (DFG) disputes the widely held opinion that scientific “brain drain” from Germany is a significant problem.

The study, based on an exhaustive, wide-ranging report charting career paths and opinions of previous recipients of DFG fellowships, indicates that 85% of scientists who leave Germany for work or research abroad eventually return to jobs in Germany.

Alexis-Michel Mugabushaka, who coauthored the study while an associate researcher at the University of Kassel, told The Scientist that the 85% repatriation figure is lower than previous studies or widespread anecdotal evidence.

Mugabushaka, who last month joined the DFG's Department of Information Management as an evaluation and statistics officer, said statisticians in some “brain drain” studies have mistakenly focused on scientists already abroad.


German brains not draining

And a hint for American readers: The histrionic style of David's post is his his own making, and has nothing to do with the general German reaction (with the exception of the locals who are directly affected).

Anyway, those who feel glee at the problems the withdrawal will cause in the affected communities should ask themselves if they really want to play the "nyah, nyah" game. Europe and America can cheer each other's misforunes from now on, but I doubt that we'd be happier with China or Russia than with each other.

On that note: It's not as if anybody here is glad about the damage done by Hurricane "Charley", just to name an example.

@pato

You wonder the lack of comments from native germans on this and all the other issues. I think, a lot of germans post here, even more read the great articles Ray and David are posting, too bad not the ones you would like to confront

Why answering your comments?

pato, you're just waiting for a chance to poor even more horseshit on native germans, even when they are pro-american - I told u before in a previous post, which you never answered, (remember you were planning to pour out horseshit over dresden)As I said before, with your posts you often spit right in the face of germans who are pro-american like me - you generalize too much

You don't differentiate between pro american germans, denying that there are such, and the leftiest idiots

Its funny you hail the Brits, although they don't back overwhelmingly Blair
I understand you spit on the French, but you fail to mention, french troops are already in sudan to secure rescue camps, french airforce is untertaking aerial surveillance of sudan for protecting the camps and for future military action

Germany and the US are formulating exactly the same demands on sudan at the UN, as I understand, Germany is supporting more than just sanctions

But like always, the poor german leadership is not willing to send troops to sudan - the ugly work is expected to be done by US troops, I feel ashamed for that

You ignore that still most American troops abroad prefer beeing stationed in Germany, that did not change at all in recent years


To this topic

I am very sad that some US troops leave within the next ten years
It does not come as a surprise, funny how some of our american friends declare the redeploymend as a punisment for not fighting in iraq

Since the early 90s American, British and French troops were reduced, it was quite clear that even more troops will leave in the nearby future

Redeployment of troops will have an impact on local economies, that's it. Germans weak economy does not depend on US military spending in Germany

What really concerns me is that generations of American soldiers, I'm very thankful for their heroic mission, build up ties to Germany and Germans like me(I also served in the navy and was stationed on an American vessel)- some day there won't be so many direct ties any more

It will be reduced to widening and expanding business ties, which are not as good as being build by soldiers living in a foreign country for a longer period

By the way, "the great danish submarine", you mentioned is made in Germany, you can visit it in the US and in Israel as well, both nations bought some, you don't have to go to the gulf


Many thanks to David for sponsoring what has proved to be a most interesting exchange of views.

I am an American of German descent (I dislike the term "German-American" because it places the emphasis in the wrong place). My father's family came to this country in the mid-19th century; they were Catholic Rhinelanders who were seeking religious freedom after their land's takeover by Prussia. They arrived just in time for my great-grandfather to fight for the Union in the American Civil War; likr most Germans who came to America seeking freedom for themselves, they despised slavery and were willing to risk their lives to destroy it. So, to the earlier poster who claimed that no European ever gave his life for America: in fact, many Europeans did so - only they did it after they became Americans. My ancestors' story is only one small part of the enormous contribution that Germans have made to America over the last 200 years.

As for me, I cannot say that I am proud of my German ancestry - it's too remote for that. However, I do feel a certain tie of kinship whenever I listen to the music of Bach or Mozart, and events in Europe interest me in a way that event in Asia or Latin America do not. No doubt, many of my fellow Americans who post here will have different feelings and interests, based on their own families' histories. Still, regardless of the politics of the moment, there are and will continue to be strong attachments between America and Europe - both through shared interests, both economic and political, and through what Lincoln called "the mystic chords of memory".

The withdrawal of American troops from Germany is a necessary step toward reorienting our forces to fighting the battles of thw 21st century, and probably is long overdue. I hope it leads to a re-thinking on the continent of European defense policy, both goals and means. It is in everybody's best interest for Europe to be strong and mature in dealing with the challenges that confront our civilization. Unfortunately, European history over the last century does not inspire a great deal of confidence - in truth, one can say that about European history over the last millenium. But America can't do it all. We need you, just as you need us. Hopefully, the post-NATO era will be marked by a realization of that fact, and steps to make the alliance more than just a piece of paper.

One last thought: If I were European, I would be far more alarmed by Sen. Kerry's neo-isolationism than by President Bush's apparent bellicosity. The last thing the world needs is an America that is withdrawing into itself; yet to judge from the Senator's few remarks on foreign policy, that is precisely what he plans to do.

@ Fred Butzen

Thank you, I couldn't agree more with you!

"Still, regardless of the politics of the moment, there are and will continue to be strong attachments between America and Europe - both through shared interests, both economic and political, and through what Lincoln called "the mystic chords of memory".

What a great post!

Zu Fred seinen Posting sage ich nur soviel: Hoffentlich!

Bringing Troops Home
Germany no longer gets the benefit of so many U.S. troops.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

President Bush announced yesterday plans to withdraw 60,000 to 70,000 U.S. troops from Europe and Asia and close hundreds of military facilities abroad, beginning in 2006. Fifteen years after the Berlin Wall fell, U.S. force structure is finally catching up with the reality that the Cold War is over.


http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005488

As an American who has lived in Germany for more than 20 years this latest non-reaction of the German MSM regarding the withdrawl of US troops was just too predictable. When I moved to Germany in the 80's there was already this widespread anti-Americanism, but then there was still the Soviet threat, so it was convenient for the majority of Germans (except the Greens and parts of the Socialists who preferred Soviet ruling) to have the Americans pay for their security. Now a majority of Germans feel disturbed in their utopian socialist vision of a grand Europe with no more need for military budgets by the actions of the United States and its hated President G.W. Bush.
Now that the US troops are leaving, the so terribly sophisticated Germans who know everything better simply stick to the official US version of the reasoning for the withdrawl. Sure, there are economic and strategic reasons for the redeployments and in general there will be no tremendous economic impact (except for the fact that Germany is already in a terrible economic downspin and normally you see German unions demonstrating in front of factory gates when Siemens plans to outsource 2000 jobs to Eastern Europe. Now that at least 50.000 jobs are at stake this doesn't seem to matter, although it has the same impact as if Mercedes Benz were to close down its entire production in Germany)

The Germans seem to desperately look for reasons why the US still needs to keep good relations with Germany and the EU. The truth, however, looks quite different. While there still are values and ideas we share, the EU with its ever growing centralization and regulation under the leadership of Germany and France, has set the foundation for a cozy, socialist system for lazy pseudo-peacelovers which is simply not capable of dealing with the challenges of the 21. century. The fact that "Old Europe" has alienated the US relationship in such a desastrous manner will simply accelerate the pace of Europe's decline. When I attended a speech of the British ambassador in Germany he concluded his speech with results of a study conducted by international economic experts who concluded that Europe's world share in GDP will drop from close to 20 % at present to as little as 8 % within the next 20 years, while the far east will increase its share to close to 40 % and the US will keep its share at around 29 %. This alone explains why Europe is simply irrelevant: economically, politically and especially moraly.

Europe's problem is failing to recognize Islamic-fascism, their failing economy is simply a distraction.

Wundervoll, ich liebe Newsmax, geschiet Deutschland recht:

Oh, Now the Germans Like America

Hooray! The U.S. is pulling troops out of ungrateful Saddam-loving Germany, and dollar-addicted Old Europeans are in moaning as their withdrawal symptoms begin.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/8/16/171203.shtml

@Fred Butzen

I am an American and continue to live in Germany for the past 9 years; I am not in the military. In short, I agree that "it would be nice" to have Germany, Europe for that matter, and America work and play together nicely. Furthermore, I agree with yours and other posters notions that we do share the same Western Civilisation. It was this reason that we were willing to go the extra-mile during the cold war for our ancestral lands.

But, unfortunately, I think that the reality is much different. Europe seems locked in some sort of self-aggrandisement a delusional hint that they have achieved some sort of social miracle. All of this is occurring without any slight recognition to the American sacrifices that we made over the last 50 years. One could argue that it is only the current government that is to blame, but I fear to tell you that the problem is really pandemic.

It is Joshka Fisher's "know better" mentality, or Spiegel's constant harassment and belittlement of our President, or Gunther Grass's "bombing of Germany was unnecessary", Schröder's re-writing of history that the French liberated Germany, pretentious notions that Germany's socialism as ideal, Bush's withdrawal from ABM treaty, Americans are stupid, Americans have caused all of the world's wars, American deserved 9/11, blame for everything, blah, blah, blah.

Wrap this up together with American involvement in the Balkans and Europe's paralysis and you can see Germany's behaviour really as a temper tantrum. Over the last 50 years, Germany has developed such a degree of dependency on American involvement and commitment, it has become counter-productive spoiled child. Take into consideration, that never in the course of the last 200 years has a European ever died defending/protecting America. In General, we are different, and gladly so: we have more character than they. Instead we are confronted with contempt on every issue, small and large.

The troop movement is, in my opinion, only a small step in right direction. As I said above, "it would be nice" to have a Germany that is more involved, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Don't forget, these are NOT the British! How to correct Germany's spoiled brat temper tantrum is being solved through America's tough love policy : move the troops, we should have done it under Clinton.

Regarding Lincoln's "mystic chords of memory" quote, I can only observe that no European has ever died in our defence. Furthermore, Lincoln never lived to observe: the writings of Marx, Germany’s mischievous armoured box-car delivery of Lenin to Russia, NAZI arrogance and Schröder’s contempt. In contrast, Lincoln was born into poverty, self-educated, self-made, President and a great human rights activist.

Americans are different: as we feel for them, support them, help them and defend them, I don't sense European feelings being faintly reciprocal or widespread. It would be nice, but...

pato,

No one should believe this "asian-century" crap for the near future. India is still 50% illiterate and yearly average income is $450 per person, $900 in China. Making average individual US GDP roughly 36 times more that that of China's at 35K USD annually.

True, but you can do the math, right? I know GDP numbers in emerging markets are notoriously unreliable but even at the low end of the estimate range, China's growing at about 6% per year. That's a differential of 5% vs Eurozone, which means that in the worst case they will double their GDP--relative to the Eurozone-- in 14 years, which is merely a blink of an eye in the grand scheme. And of course, they'll quadruple their income-- again, relative to the Eurozone-- within a generation (worst case). In the best case scenario, shorten each of the above by nearly one half.

Any way you slice it, China is already a major economic power and will soon displace not only Germany but also the entire Eurozone.

China has stolen any technology that it has used to "advance" and it's contribution of low-wage and extensive use of state sponsored prison labor factories ensures China will have a seething civil dis-course within a decade. China developing into either a military or economic "powerhouse" in the next 50 years?
'Aint gonna happen to the dragon who mimics rather than develops on it's own. Many have seen the flying and driving skills of the chinese air force and citizenry.

Ah, grasshopper, but such is way of all country. The early American republic stole technology from Great Britain. The Japanese did the same to us. As to current Chinese technological skills, you should talk to some technology people. Chinese programmers are already taking share away from India (!). Sure, sure, of course it's driven-- for now-- by cost. But technology dispersion has a funny way of accelerating more rapidly than people suppose. The key is that western firms are setting up operations on the Chinese mainland, and these giant firms have an enormous financial interest in getting their Chinese managers and engineering and other technical people up the curve as fast as possible. China's development is really being driven by the needs of GE, IBM, GM, Siemens, VW, Intel, HP etc. You really think these companies don't know their business?

I'll advance anyone on this great blog 1 million USD who can go to China or India now, start a business and still be in business 1 year later making even a small profit. I also invite any Anglo to try to set up a business in Japan.

Agreed that few people in China are making money. But that doesn't mean that the Chinese economy is not rapidly growing and will not continue so. The logic of investment in China has less to do with current-state profitability than with future state.

Global companies can perhaps achieve higher profitability in, say, Estonia or Hungary or Chile, but they cannot achieve the scale they need to justify the huge upfront investment of capital, mgmt resource, legal and setup cost, and especially senior exec focus.

Case in point: Miller Brewing doesn't give a f--- about the Estonian market; it's too small to make any material difference to their top line, hence to their shareholders. But a Chinese brewery-- even if it's only marginally profitable-- is attractive because it offers to increase Miller's overall, global topline by hundreds of millions of $, or several percentage points, immediately and perhaps $1B in another year or two. That's huge. That's a market that, for all the aggravation, corruption, and financial flimflam, a multinational must not ignore.

A majority of those in the US are of European heritage, still.

I love my European heritage too. I love cathedrals as well. But almost no one in Europe actually uses those glorious cathedrals as anything but a museum. European culture is about as relevant to this century as calligraphy or sonnets. Love both, they're worth preserving, but this discussion is about power and wealth, and Europe's day has passed.

A pity, perhaps, but that's the hard fact of the matter, and telling our kids that the future is anywhere but Asia would be equivalent to telling them they should forego math and computer training for calligraphy studies.

unless, of course, they're studying the hirigana or mandarin....

lex,

True, the European heritage is to a great degree like old Greek - you can be proud of it but it doesn't fill your stomach. Will Europe become like a history musem, where you can view in silence the impressive past ? But I usually have a weird feeling when I get out of a place loaded with history. I feel like I'm back to life again and I'm happy to just see the sun and life going on around me. This is maybe the shock of reality, which doesn't dwell too much on the past. Yeah, it definitely looks like Asia starts rolling.

One more thing though: this century will be an AMERICAN century!

"this century will be an AMERICAN century

Yes, but also an Anti-American-Century, i think:


"The twentieth century was “the American century.” Championing democracy and capitalism, the United States won the Cold War and emerged as the only global superpower—not only in military, but also in economic, technological, and even cultural terms. The widening currency of the English language and the continued desire of millions around the world to emigrate to the United States underlined the reality of U.S. predominance. The future, it was said, looked like a country, and that country was the United States of America.

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, however, sharply punctuated the end of the American century. Indeed, the era we are now entering may well come to be recalled as “the anti-American century.” "

http://www.cls-sofia.org/publications/papers/krastev-15-2.pdf


@Downer

While I can agree that anti-Americanism appears to be on the rise, I must point out that it was always apparant in other parts of the world. One only need read quotes from Egypt's Nassar, addtionally one only need observe the terror attacks against the US's interests like the Embassy, USSC Cole, etc began well before 9/11.

But who purveys such notions that this title should be appropriate? Chirac, Schröder and lot?


@ pato: get a grip, man! It is summer holidays and you know that Germans take their holidays damn serious. And finally summer came up with temperatures in the 90s after a terrible June and most of July....... so what you expect? Peope are outside, sunning, tanning, drinking beer, making love, doing whatever you can only do in a brief summer span. Hence virtually nobody will sit in front of the computers and write - not even me!

I am off to do some gardening now and have a glass of wine afterwards with some friends, German officers just coming back from Kundus, Afghanistan. I am not sure if their comrades who died there did die for America or just for world peace and security and the same goals their American comrades do fight and die for. The ultimate sacrifice remains the same and you would do well to acknowledge that now and than.

Cheerio from Old Europe


@pat

Please provide some historical references when and where German soldiers have ever died for any cause that American soldiers have ever died for. I guess the death of one man is a tradegy, the death of a million is just a statistic?

The point is if Germany has the wherewithall to pursue such "similar" goals as ours with a long-term attendtion span...

By the way, looks like the weather is turning bad in Bavaria anyways, it's just started to thunder.

Asian Century, cont'd:

OLYMPICS Medals Table
Medals: Overall 15:52 on Tuesday 17 August
Rank Country (Gold-Silver-Bronze) Total
1 China 10 4 2 16
2 Australia 6 2 5 13
3 Japan 6 1 1 8
4 United States 3 5 5 13
5 Russia 2 5 3 10

If I remember correctly, the 18th century was the American century.

He wrote a column about Canada and used a quote from someone who opined that while the 18th century belong to America, the 19th century would be Canada's and they would sit astride of North America.

Still waiting.....

---

And 2 of those Jap golds were from CHEATING in Men's Swimming - he used the illegal dolphin kick at the beginning which gave him the edge. They just disqualified a Chicom woman's swimmer for that in a qualifying heat.


@lex

Recall the wonderful performance of Eastern Germany in the Olympics? I'm certain apparachiks sat around a big handsome wooden table predicting world revolution following their steroid-laden contends disproportional results in the 1976 Olympics.

They aren't even a country any more.

Pat (Klink)

Do you have link about the deaths suffered by your forces in Afghanistan?

Thanks

China's dominance is real, folks. While the piss flies back and forth across the Atlantic, China and India continue to rise.

Methinks it would signicnantly help both us (and for that matter, our little European brethren) to recognize that our transatlantic pissing match means about as much to an Asian-centric world as the Chilean-Argentine border dispute.

Surely no Germans are surprised by this decision. We have already allowed NATO to hang around for 15 after it accomplished its mission and became obsolete. Finally, over the last two years France and Germany have unmistakably chosen to identify themselves as enemies of the USA. This is really no major change. Throughout the cold war the alliance was based only on the fact that Germans and Frenchmen feared the USSR more than they hated the USA.
Now we have no further need to use Germany as a base of operations in the middle east. So, goodbye and go to hell!

Die schärfste Kritik kommt aus den USA:

Holbrooke kritisiert "Unilateralismus"

Der frühere US-Botschafter bei der UNO, Richard Holbrooke, hat die Pläne der US-Regierung dagegen scharf kritisiert. Diese seien ein weiteres Beispiel für den "Unilateralismus" der Bush-Regierung, sagte Holbroooke. Mit dem Abzug würden die traditionellen Bindungen zu Alliierten geschwächt, und zwar "gerade, wenn wir sie am dringendsten brauchen". Der Ex-Diplomat hob auch hervor, dass die US-Soldaten und ihre Familien in Deutschland "ziemlich glücklich" seien. Die Umstrukturierungspläne seien "alarmierend", da sie die nationale Sicherheit der USA schwächten, betonte Holbrooke, der vormals auch Botschafter in Deutschland war. Koreaner wie Deutsche seien über diese Pläne "sehr unglücklich".


http://www.dw-world.de/german/0,3367,1491_A_1299925_1_A,00.html
-------------------------------------------------

Die viel und oft geschmähte Bildzeitung mit einem guten Artikel:

"Nun wird in vielen Gemeinden gejammert, weil die USA den Großteil ihrer Truppen aus Deutschland abziehen", so die deutsche Bild-Zeitung am Dienstag (17.08.04) "Auch dort, wo man vor einem Jahr gar nicht genug gegen den Irak-Krieg protestieren konnte mit Transparenten: Ami go home! Drei Gründe sind für den Abzug maßgebend: Der Kalte Krieg ist längst vorbei. Die Amerikaner brauchen in Europa keine schweren Divisionen mehr. Ein Teil der beweglichen Truppen geht nach Osteuropa. Dort sind sie willkommen, und der Nahe Osten liegt in Reichweite. Der deutsche Bündnispartner ist nicht mehr der Alte. Es ist auch der Anti-Amerikanismus, der die Räder in Bewegung setzt. Ein Kapitel der Geschichte geht zu Ende. Die Amerikaner haben Europa gerettet, verteidigt und durch ihre Atomstrategie den Krieg verhindert. Wenn Alliierte gehen, spüren denkende Menschen, wie wertvoll sie für uns waren: Als Beschützer, Faktor der Stabilität, als Brücke über den Atlantik. Wir sollten ihnen zumindest ein Dankeschön nachrufen", so die Bild-Zeitung.

JAmes

>Regarding Lincoln's "mystic chords of memory" quote, I can only observe that no European has ever died in our defence

I understand the comment. However, Europeans HAVE died in US defense. The Revolution to begin with. Realize though that French help, while vital, is usually overstated. Frech support was mostly material, and of course, the French fleet at the Capes sealing the victory at Yorktown. But the French Army mostly sat at Newport and I have seen it asserted that French casualties, at least on land, were less than 100 battle dead.

But in the last century, you can argue that the British and French and others who fought and died in WWII died also to protect the US. And ultimately, our dead died not to liberate France but to protect America.

Anyway, I like this site as my in-laws from Germany, and it gives me a good insight into what is happening there.

Also James, Europeans have suffered battle deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At least one European understands which way the wind's blowing:
http://www.techcentralstation.com/073004F.html

bsc,

Would you list the deaths by nations beside those the Brits have suffered in both areas of operation?

Thank you.

Someone asked for German Deaths in Afghanistan, these are translations (my own) taken from a chronology of the deployment of German troops in Afghanistan found here: http://einsatz.bundeswehr.de/einsatz_aktuell/isaf/chronologie/chrono_isaf.php

I am not making any points here, just responding.

6. März 2002: Beim Entschärfen einer Flugabwehrrakete sowjetischer Bauart sterben in Kabul zwei deutsche und drei dänische Soldaten, weitere werden schwer verletzt.

6. März 2002: During the defusal of a soviet made surface to air missile in Kabul, 2 german and 3 danish soldiers were killed, others were badly injured.

21. Dezember 2002: Während eines Erkundungsfluges über Kabul kommen beim Absturz ihres CH-53-Hubschraubers sieben deutschen Soldaten ums Leben.

21. Dezember 2002: 7 German soldiers were killed when their CH-53 helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance flight over Kabul.

29. Mai 2003: Während einer Erkundungsfahrt fährt ein deutsches Fahrzeug auf eine Mine. Dabei kommt ein Soldat ums Leben, ein weiterer wird verletzt.

29. Mai 2003: A German motor vehicle hit a mine during a reconnaissance mission. One soldier was killed and another injured.

07. Juni 2003: Ein deutscher Konvoi, der sich auf der Fahrt zum Kabul International Airport befindet, wird durch ein Selbstmordkommando angegriffen. Mittels einer in einem Taxi gezündeten Bombe wird ein deutscher Bus zerstört. Vier Soldaten verlieren ihr Leben, 29 werden zum Teil schwer verletzt.

07. Juni 2003: A German convoy on the way to Kabul International Airport (ie. taking some soldiers home) was attacked by a suicide car bomber. The bomb, carried in a taxi, destroyed a German bus. 4 soldiers were killed and 29 were injured, some seriously.

Richard Holbrook, Kerry's probable choice doe the State Department said:

Holbrooke, who is also a former ambassador to Germany and former assistant secretary of state for Asia, said, "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals. The Koreans are going to be equally unhappy. How can we withdraw troops from Korea while engaged in a delicate negotiation with the North Koreans? And there's a country that really does have weapons of mass destruction."

I'm amazed at the ignorance Ambassador Holbrook is displaying here. First, the German dismay about the withdrawals falls into two areas, economic distress and hurt feelings.

Economic distress is precisely the same motive that accompanies base closures in the US. I fail to see why the US should pay any more heed to German distress than American distress. Given that the German government has hinted that it wants a veto on any operations the US mounts out of those bases, it makes even more sense to close a German base than one in North Carolina. The governor of North Carolina is unlikely to impose a veto on US operations. The Chancellor might.

Hurt feelings? This basically argues that Bushg ought to continue doing something which makes no military or economic sense in order to mollify the feelings of a German government which has shown little concern for American feelings or interests. A government which has been extremely censorious of the US. A government which included major cabinet officers who have alleged that US policy is controlled by 'Jews' (ex-defense chief Scharping) and has compared the President of the US to Adolf Hitler (ex-justice minister).

Why? Why spare these feelings? To help our bud Schroeder?

Asian/Pacific Century, cont'd:

OLYMPICS Medals Table

Medals: Overall 21:26 on Tuesday 17 August
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 10 6 2 18
2 United States 6 7 6 19
3 Australia 6 3 5 14
4 Japan 6 2 1 9

Seriously Spanky - what do you want? Room service because your feelings are hurt? Are we supposed to live up to your illusions of what life should have been in your fantasies?

Get a job.

Well, now this is interesting, via Bros Judd, talk about coalition of the bribed:

Drudge is now reporting that Kerry will, at his VFW speech tomorrow, criticize this announcement and advocate leaving **all** the troops in Germany and Korea as a means of shoring up our alliances. How's that for a winning issue? I'm beginning to agree with Orrin that this is the worst run campaign ever.

--

I hope some of those old coots stand up and give him what for.

>bsc,

>Would you list the deaths by nations beside those the Brits have suffered in both areas of operation?

I have looked for a list, but cannot find one. I know that the Italians lost a large number of police in Iraq early on.

My point is that in WWII, our grandparents were not fighting for France, they were fighting to protect America. In fact, one can argue that the Normandy invasion did not save France from the Nazis, but really saved France from the bolsheviks.

bsc,

And today one could equally argue that Normandy was a huge mistake undertaken by the English speaking nations of the world at the cost of a great loss of life.

One would ask for what purpose and was it really worth it.

What would this year be the 71st of a thousand years reich.

We could have just set this one out and let the Germans and Russians go to it.

Well flip-flop strikes again. It seems on Wednesday Senator Kerry is going to present his position on why troops should not be moved from Korea and Germany. Just last week he droned on about bring American forces home. So just what are we to believe now?

This surely looks like he might have fallen into another Bush trap.

Kerry’s reasons seem to center on these actions will undercut the alliances and weakens America’s ability to project power overseas.

I have several observations on this. First it shows what little he knows about the US military and how little he cares about soldiers and their families. The future basing concept for the Army is much the same one currently being used by all other services but the Army. A home base and short periods of deployment to spartan bases or in the case of the USMC aborad ships.

The idea of finally having an exit strategy from Germany is very popular with the American people right now. I am sure he is going to have the help of MSM in spinning how the US must continue to protect Germany from a threat which even the Germans do not see. And to keep troops in a nation which does not only not want then there but is becoming more and more anti-American with each passing day.

Additional, one wonders just what alliances Kerry is speaking of when he talks of these being undercut. These alliances must be new ones the American people know nothing of and part of the on going dialogue he has with leaders of other nations, which he refuses to name. I guess these new alliances could be tired to European legions Kerry has told the American people that as President he will secure to relieve the US of its on going operations in Iraq. So I would have to assume that this is now the middle of August our German posters are seeing signs of German troop movements, increasing operational tempo in preparation of deployment and even the possibility of a call of up of selected Germans into reserve units to prepare these Legions.

Of course, the issue of power projection is an entirely different topic. As demonstrated in Iraqi Freedom, the US can move heavy divisions almost as quickly from their home bases in the US as it can from bases in Germany. Of course, as the future areas of both interest and conflict are no longer centered in Western Europe, it makes no sense at all to keep large forces stationed there.

On a more basic level this Kerry position does make one wonder just what he is thinking. I am sure he must realize that most of the population of france and Germany want US forces to go home. One only needs to look at the actions of their leaders and the thousands who marched in the streets against a war to free the people of Iraq. These marchers failed to realize that the American Army unlike their own German army has aa a mission to conduct combat operations not to march in either parades or be a source of cheap man power for the numerous social agencies who depend upon the draft.

As “no war” is both the popular and governmental position of both france and Germany, then it would seem reasonable to remove the instruments of war from their heartland. Beside how can the EU be a superpower to rival America when America is occupying the center of it?

Being a bit more cynical one could believe that he would not ask for a permission slip to defend America as he has so loudly proclaimed. What he might have to ask for is a permission slip from Berlin to deploy US forces in response to a vital American security issue. Of course he could always use the Clinton techneque of saying I always said the UN not Germany or NATO.

You just never know about these people who have “secret plans” for the conflict in Iraq which is suppose to save American lives but is so “secret” that it cannot be reveled until he is in office. So I would have to say all losses by US forces between now and then is blood on the honor of Mr. Kerry.

Ooops honor, poor choice of words....sorry.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

June 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30