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A now former blogger, Wes Dabney, was in the armed forces and stationed for awhile in Germany.

He wrote that it was a coincidence that Germany's economic numbers started falling around the time we started moving our forces out in the mid-90s.

And if it happens again, of course it's an coincidental.

Look at the bright side, fewer Amis around. All that housing for the Turks and others, via LGF:

After European representatives launched a campaign against Israel’s separation fence, and voted against Israel at the UN general assembly, the EU is planning a separation fence of its own. The EU plans to build a fence to separate its new members - Poland and Hungary - from its new neighbors - Russia, Belarus and Ukraine - to prevent the free movement of migrants seeking to enter the EU.

Israeli companies that specialize in the construction of warning fences and security systems will participate in tenders to build hundreds of kilometers of fences along the EU’s new eastern border.

http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=823974&fid=942

The Onion and Scrappleface can't do better.

Was it the Romanian Prime Minister who recently said, "If there is one the 20th century has taught us, it is 'No more security guarantees from France.'"?

That you would attribute such an aspiration to the Germans is particularly amusing (and just).

That's also the reason Germans invade other countries with regularity. When they are confined too long in their own country, Germany goes to hell. They just can't make it with their own resources. Contrast them with the Japanese. Auf wiedersehen niemals, Deutschland!

David also linked to a relvant article a few months ago from telegraph One day, Germany will have had enough/. Personally, I think that opinion peice should have been titled "Pronoun Trouble".

Well, it is funny that you are linking to an article that shows that the German welfare state is not a socialist system but a result of reforms introduced by Conservatives like Bismarck and Adenauer.

Pato,

Well I am sure your previous post on the withdrawal of US forces from Germany will render the comments of clam down and do not be so full of hate, etc that your posts some time generate.

Taking all of the emotions out of your post does leave one with a set of facts that cannot be ignored no matter what comments they might cause.

My own post on another of our current topics reflects what I feel is a growing change in the American people.

Today in the AJC there was an op-ed piece, which presented a very good summary. I will post the link to this article here also. What our friends in Germany fail to realize is while they march in the streets and are subjective to an unrelenting diet of ant-Americanism, more and more Americans are paying attention.

No we do not get a daily dose of anti-Europeanism nor do we march in the streets. We calmly pick up bits and pieces from various sources about trans-Atlantic and international relationships and put these together to form an opinion.

With each passing day these opinions become both stronger and wider spread. There is now not a day some where in small towns and communities across America there is not an article in a local newspaper on questioning our “so called allies.” This is in the heartland. This is where American public opinion is formed. The opinion being formed is we have little in common with most of Europe, a Europe who now rejects all that we are.

I do not see how the trans-Atlantic alliance will ever be repaired. It will never be like it was pre 9 11. I think the US; even under a Kerry administration will not do much more than has done to repair the damage. I surely do not see Germany or france taking any positive steps to repair it. Yet, if it is to be repaired the effort must first start in Germany and then in france. This effort now must include more than just words but demostrated action.

Personally, I have long stopped caring. I think I stopped caring during the last election cycle in Germany. It was at this point in time when the German elites found the perfect time to make all that was wrong in their world America’s fault. This lead to the election of their current leaders and the positions Germany subsequently has taken. This has lead to an acceleration of a rejection of America by the poplulations of many European nations.

The idea that Europe is now on her own should come as no surprise to anyone. This has been what the European elites on both the right and the left have wanted. I guess sometimes one should be careful for what they wish for because you might just get it. What will be interesting is how long it will take them to figure out that they are on their own and that most Americans care but as the Germans and french have demonstrated a caring with no action or commitment. There will be no announcement from the US. There will be no lowering of the NATO flag. There will only be a quite but continuing disengagement from Europe. Europe will become even less relevant than it is today for most Americans.

Once we withdraw we will not be back. This now is truly a one-way street. I cannot see any set of circumstances where I would want my government to deploy our national treasure in support of Europe. Actually, I find it difficult to see any set of circumstances of the deployment of US forces any place that does not propose a clear danger to US interests. We will become European or maybe more accurately German and french in that we will be indifferent to all that is not in our direct interest. We will become what Europe claims us to be now.

Some people in Europe are beginning to see this. Unfortunately, and then maybe it is not unfortunate, it is too late to change what has now been put in to place. The window to change the future is rapidly closing. When it closes it will forever be closed. I only wonder if anyone will actually care?

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/0804/15europe.html

PLEASE be sarcastic, David ...

With reference to Herr Schulz's calling Bismarck, a founding father of the socialist state a conservative. I would say, "Quite correct". Unhappily, Bismarck was a conservative simply in the sense of his wanting to conserve as much as he could of the status quo, and to do so he decided to give the populace just as little of what they believed they wanted to keep them quiet.

Well, let's put this in perspective.

Thre used to be 300.000 American troops in Germany. 230.000 aleady were withdrawn in the 90s (also a lot of British, French and Canadian troops), five times as many as are going to be withdrawn over the next years. So the sky isn't falling. And don't forget, a lot of the bases are in towns, and valuable real estate. Over time this will more than compensate for any short-term losses.

So, everybody calm down again. :)

PacRim Jim, we can make it on out own resources, never fear. We are having some temporary problems due to overregualtion and overtaxation, but that will be corrected.

Oh, and David:

Joschka "I am not convinced" Fischer

The evidence presented by Colin Powell at the occassion you are alluding to indeed turned out to have been less than convincing ;)

Defend Germany from whom? Poland?

I'm not so sure that the French could defeat Poland, at that. They would probably try to veto them in the UN forst, then wait 6 months to see how that worked out. By that time the Polish would have finished plundering Berlin! But hey! Fair is fair. Look what the Germans did to Warsaw. Repeatedly!

I'll re-post my thoughts that Joe referenced into this thread, which is more appropriate. You make great points Joe.
emotion? remove as necessary.
a little off-topic but relevant-
My morning began with a great level of joy regarding the LONG over due pull-out of US troops from German soil. What a great day it is for the US! Germany has, once again, liberated itself from the safety blanket and milk-laden tit of the US security and economic blanket which it's wrapped itself in for so long. Germany can now show the world the full nature of it's impotence as it works to promote it's internal utopian euro welfare basket while performing a TRULY ZERO amount leadership both at home and abroad. So the US will pull out perhaps 70,000 of her young men and woman from germany, while germany boasts of it's "international leadership" with a force of less than 2,000 abroad.
The "eu" considers the current murdering in Dafur NOT to be that of genocide, even though the dust covered brown bedouin tribesman from arab lands on camels who slit the throats of the black muslims in the drive to create a pan-arab-like territory in the Sudan. The scale of murder is far above that which occurred in kosovo, and the grand display of ignorance and hypocrisy shown by the germany and the "eu" in this current Sudanese crises is so damn pathetic. The entire US Congress labeled the current arab push and murder of the black Sudanese AS GENOCIDE, AND indicated that MORE sanctions than the current US one's in place should be applied. The "un" and the "eu" cow to the arab blackmail by demanding THE US drop the word "sanctions" from it's proposals, while refusing to call this genocide. Now, can someone please tell me what the hell goes on in the thick-skulled and backwards minds of both the german and the "eu" MP's that they can create and convey such illusions, puffery and impotence? Is it because germany DOES NOT have the capability to address the issues that makes it play the "pacifist pussy" role? Where are all the brave greens and other un-shaved kafkha wearing hippies on the streets of germany decrying the slaughter of blacks by the brown tribesman?
The fools within the german govt claimed they had scored a "diplomatic coup" against Iran by using it's "soft power" (translate that to LIMP power)to get Iran to back off the program. Iran is now laughing at these same diplomats as it now continues it's program, while the US begins to choke the living hell out of the iranian backed al sadr in his iranian outpost in Najaf. The US is NOW creating a more effective diplomacy to stop iranian nuke ambitions by knocking the heads off of the iranian Intel and assassin agents iran has put in Najaf and in Iraq in general. The brave mullahs of Iran do not know what to make of the fact that it's proxy assassins are getting blown into dust by the mighty arm of the 18, 19 and 20 year old US Marines. ...Meanwhile in Kosovo, 50 year old FEMALE US military policewoman (in europe to assist the euros, once again, in pacifying the insanity that permeates the continent), are killed by "fellow" UN jordanian officer, weeks later and german soldiers run from rioting Albanians and hide in their barracks as serbs are slaughtered and Christian churches are burnt to the ground.
And the great self-described intellectual comic strip called der speigel claims below that it is Bush's courting of the black vote that promotes the US concern in the Sudan? Are all germans this insane and delusional? It calls the US actions "costly adventures" regarding Afghanistan and Iraq YET forget to mention how damn great it was to see 2 female athletes represent their country at the Olympics, or the fact that Iraqis can compete in the Olympics now that the US knocked the life out of Uday and brother who can no longer put the football players balls in a 6th century torture device if they happen to lose. Wow, and the Iraqis beat the hell out of Portugal in their match as well. Let's NOT forget that the OLD GERMAN coach of the Iraq soccer team ran home in fear months ago after being advised by schroeder and co. that it was "just too dangerous in Iraq". Rumor has it that it has taken weeks and govt welfare monies for him to clear the stains from his lederhosen. Also in the meanwhile- a US contractor brought to Iraq to perform pest control for the barracks ends up volunteering to train the Iraqi boxing team, and within just a few days a gym and training center are put together.
Note the insane, child-like and amateurish attempt by speigel to convince the german citizens that they are indeed an international "player" by noting below that- "The Europeans, on the other hand, are ready to provide eight of the 150 observers who are to supervise the anticipated suspension of hostilities from six locations in Darfur and report any irregularities to the African Union in Addis Ababa."
OK!! 8, YES!!! 8! observers!!!!! Please germany- DO NOT CHOKE ON THAT CONTRIBUTION!! DO NOT BECOME OVERWHELEMD AND DO NOT GIVE THE IMPRESSION OFANY IMPERIAL ADVENTRUES IN SUDAN!!! you fools.
The article makes NO MENTION of the fact that the US is SIMPLY GIVING THE "eu" AND the rest of the loud mouthed, grand standing and prancing idiots of the "eu" and "world community" a chance to show that their deeds and missions can match the fiery rhetoric of the last 3 years which truly was the result of panties being worn to tightly, and minds being the size of snow peas.
Let's all not forget the hot-aired rhetoric spewed by the german govt amd media after an insider wortking with the UN advised a suicide bomber EXACTLY where un-Rep Sergio's office was located so he could blow it to the ground. The immediate reaction from germany, it's govt and it's press was that it was a US FAILURE to provide security to the un that caused the deaths... yet just a few weeks later the un admits it turned down a request from the US to provide it's security. And NOW that the un has voted to return to Iraq NOT ONE GOD DAMN "eu" COUNTRY CAN OFF SECURITY FORCES FOR THE UN building (YES, JUST ONE BUILDING to protect!) and NOW the UN must resort to having it's security provided by the US forces! How hypocrical and insaley fooish a situation you eu-topians have created! But never fear an imbesilic reality will prevail that will blame all on the US and Bsuh.
Now is your chance gemrany to show what your minds are really made of and what it is your brains can accomplish in the real world that you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT as you've laid under your welfare blanket of world fantasy for decades.

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/english/0,1518,311356,00.html
"George W. Bush, his eye on the U.S. Black vote, cannot afford to tolerate the situation in Darfur without doing something. But since another military intervention is not opportune for Washington after its costly adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. has urged the UN and the European Union to take action."
"The Europeans, on the other hand, are ready to provide eight of the 150 observers who are to supervise the anticipated suspension of hostilities from six locations in Darfur and report any irregularities to the African Union in Addis Ababa. The AU apparently will send 360 soldiers in early August to protect the observers. These soldiers would comprise the first neutral military group in Darfur. The European Union intends to finance them to the tune of twelve million euros."

Let´s wait and see - the protests coming from the affected regions.
And send them to Berlin to Mr. Schroeder and Mr. - I am not convinced - Fischer.
And for Ralf Goergens - in aller Hoeflichkeit : In welchem Wolkenkuckucksheim leben Sie eigentlich?

The EU reaction? Easy! Here it goes...

"The EU has set up a commission to inquire about the nuclear missle that has been fired upon occupied territories and Israel. The EU urges all the involved parties to show restraint and not to draw early conclusion until the source of the nuclear missile has been verifed. The EU strongly condems the continued cycle of violence. Early reports suggested that large parts of the Palestinian civilian population was not instructed and protected from the strike. Should these reports be true the EU condems Israel in all possible form for failing to protect the civilian population in the occupied territories."

5 minutes later....

"The recent bombing of Teheran and other population centres in Iran by Israel is unacceptable. The EU condems Israel for this hideous crime against humanity."

hey, I might get a job offer from the EU...

@niko thanks for the props. my comments may seem "strong", but need to be read as if they are words simply spoken loudly.
in my mini-post above I realsie I have left something of importance out-
All last week each german daily had comments on the Libyan's fianlly offering compensation to the germans for the berlin disco bombing, and the articles all showed that egrman businesses were chomping at the bit to get into Lybia to create business. But nowhere did I read from the german press exactly WHAT it was that prompted Khadaffi to loosen his fatigues, adjust his head-scarf and make the offer he did. This is the hypocrisy, or doppel moral, that causes me to shudder in confusion.
I am wondering if a native egrman could explain those ommissions to me?
I would appreciate it.
Niko, i always enjoy your posts and find you to perhaps be the rocket scientist of this blog when it comes to facts and words. I'll try to give some perspective with regard to the current iranian mess created by the germans and the french, with a bit of help from the great English diplomats-
niko asked- "So if Israel conducts a pre-emptive strike, will Iran retaliate?"
No, iran would not have ONE chance to successfully launch a missle post-reactor bombing as our early warning systems would then find the silo in advance and vaporise it.
"What will the US do?"
The Us will warn tehran to not loose sleep over "it's loss" and to get on with helping it's citizens and to NOT even consider retalitory strikes as they would bring a level of response Iran had never felt before.
If Israel stands calm and is wiped off the map, will Israel's Dolphin submarines deal a final nuclear blow to, say, Teheran?
Yes, and it would be welcome by many.
What will the French do?
The french will run to and fro shouting and screeching about something non-sensical, while still scratching their lazy asses over why they went from supporting Israel in thier attempted re-conquest of the Suez canal, to an extreme enemy of Israel that provokes each and every enemy of Israel to hate isreal as much as they love their children whom they sent out to bravely blow up buses in tel aviv. Ther will be no more to report for the atni-Israeli french freak press, and the arabs will attempt a land grab of the israeli state even as it burns in the after glow of the explosion. That is sure to impact a few of those with the longest beards.
"Stand in allegiance to the Mullah regime?"
yes, france would say "the frustration is to be expected.." or some horszhit liek that.
Look at how the french reacted in the lead up to WWi as well as WWII for a perfect play by play of what the french will do, however substitute germany with Iran for the modern day scenario.
"Or deter Iran once she has shown she will use those nukes?"
I am sure most of the offensive weapons france has are truly malfunctioning.
And what about Italy or Turkey which might come into range as well?"
Italy will stand strong and so would turkey.
"I guess it's high-time to leave the Old Continent." Niko- people have been doing it for centuries and none whove made the trip are worse off for it.
"What exactly does it take for a German to become a legal resident in the US?"
1 functioning brain,
a desire to live free,
a desire to be the master of one's own destiny without govt crutches,
and perhaps a sponsorship from a company that could use your skills. I can think of a few thousand right off the bat.

_"What exactly does it take for a German to become a legal resident in the US? Do I need a job, or just some relatives to stand with?"_

It is currently complicated, difficult, and generally having low probability of success. However ...

There are special provisions within the US immigration code that allow them to favour (temporarily) individual nations. If the government of the US wished to retailiate against Germany and France in the most devastating non-military manner possible, it would use that provision.

For 18 months all German and French scientific, technical, engineering, and computer personnel--along with any entrepreneurs demonstrating =E 150,000 in net ready funds--would be guaranteed permanent residency in the USA. I do know that from France there is already a waiting-list of many thousands meeting those criteria. It may be similar for Germany.

The parasitised, weak, and nearly fossilised economies of both Germany and France would have a difficult time recovering from the loss of so many of their best and brightest.

The anti-Americans of Old Europe have no understanding of the extent to which the US exercises true restraint, both in regard to the Middle East and to Europe, compared to our actual power, both military and otherwise.

If either France or Germany significantly interferes with our campaign against Iran when that time comes, I regret to say that they shall probably learn that to have done so was a profoundly unfortunate mistake.

The Islamist War _began_ in the US embassy in Tehran 25 years ago. The only successful path out of Iraq is through Tehran.

It can be assured that millions of Americans would be awaiting the arrival of these french "tech workers" at the airports carrying large clubs and hardened and stale baguettes to pound the hell out of the frenchman that they see. The germans would have to show that they dis-avow Schroeder and his band of moose antler wearing pansies, and would need to bring many beirs with them as a peace offering of sorts.
@bart-
Your assessment is correct regarding the potential for ANY french or german interference in the US's dealings with Iran.
Germans should remember- ANY interference, grand standing, hippy chants, and trips for the studio-tanned showboat de- villepen or the chestnut trussed Schroeder to the African countries trying to garner support against the US action to stifle tehran's nuke ambitions would find both germany and france reeling from such a forceful can-of-whoop-ass that they would truly never recover from the blows (military, or political) which would be fed to them by the US and it's people.
US action against Tehran began with the invasion of Iraq, and will truly come to fruition once Bush wins again in November. The air campaign will be amazing, and will bring peace and civility to the middle east in due time.
I do know that Christmas in Berlin can be miserable.

Ralf Goergens

I completely agree with you about putting this into perspective. I think you have failed to do that.

The economic impact on Germany of the withdrawal of a few thousand soldiers and their families will be minor. In fact, it will be totally a non-event except in those areas directly affected.

I however, think you miss the much larger picture. That picture is one of breaking the bonds, which have bound the trans-Atlantic alliance for the last 50+ years. This is what is going to be the real effect and the long lasting one.

What you are going to witness is the elimination of the concept of vital western interests. The only vital interests that will concern America will be her own. If these should coincide with those of Europe then that is one thing. Should Europe have some vital interest such as the Balkans and that interest is not shared by America then you are going to be on your own.

Of course, none of this may be of any importance to you right now. In fact, it may not be important next year or in the next 5 years or the next 10. Having said that, it will at some point become very important to you. But as I have said from this side of the Atlantic the window is closing and once it is closed it will not reopen.

How will this play out? It will play out in a thousand little ways. Some will be obvious and some not so obvious but the bottom line is we are with drawing from Europe and with that withdrawal goes our interest, our concern and most of all our commitment.

For those of you who question what I am saying it will be difficult to believe I am sure because all the right words are going to be said by everyone on this topic. It will not matter in the future if there is a Republican or Democrat President or which party controls which houses of Congress the future is going to be the same.

If you have studied America and Americans at all you will understand when I say you can be our ally or you can be our enemy but what you do not want be is a nation we are totally indifferent too. That is what france and Germany are rapidly becoming.


--No we do not get a daily dose of anti-Europeanism nor do we march in the streets. We calmly pick up bits and pieces from various sources about trans-Atlantic and international relationships and put these together to form an opinion.--

Don't forget the UN. And I think we need to be a little more nuanced - Western Europe, except for Britain - I'm certainly not feeling charitable towards Ireland, either.

And that's a typical American response. Some might not believe it, but we don't like confrontation. If we don't like a restaurant, we won't say anything, we just won't come back.
It's called, "Voting with your pocketbook." We are voting w/our pocketbooks. France is still having a problem, Americans drinking french
w(h)ine is down, yet we're drinking more Ozzie and Italian wines. Also tourism, I believe, but I could be wrong.

---

Ralf, I know we talked about it before at other blogs, but to jump-start your economy, you're going to have to adopt even more American principles.

Your country is not ready - I'm not saying you aren't, but the German mentality isn't there yet. They will be dragged kicking and screaming to do this. To admit/adopt these principles means we were right (again) and that is too much to swallow at this time.

The problem is who are you and frogistan going to drag down with you? We - the world - need(s) a healthy Europe.

For those who want to read the AJC opinion, and I'm surprised they printed it considering how left the paper is, bugmenot.com has provided the access codes:


Bud/bselig@bselig.com
bselig

great little site, bugmenot. Gives registration info so you don't have to.

german girl gone wild!
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1192096/posts

a humor injection into the fray-
a translated version-
Stinkefinger? Is that name for real? a literal translation not needed.
http://www.spiegel.de/sport/sonst/0,1518,313408,00.html

Yep, Stinkefinger means flip-off.

Niko, I believe that political asylum is the operative term. You just tell the embassy that you're not muslim.

The Atlantic Alliance is dead, and has been since 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. Unless it transforms itself into an out-of-area force-- that is to say, unless it sends troops to the middle east to support Iraq's transition, pressure Iran, and ensure that Saudi doesn't go up in flames-- there's little reason for the US to continue to devote so much time and resource to it.

All the major challenges to the US arise from the near and far east, ie ASIA. In these regions the continental Europeans (with the exception of Russia) offer no military assets, no political influence, no intelligence assets. And the French especially but also the Germans are purusing economic policies that actively undermine our efforts to expand democracy and rein in terror-abetting states (cf the W. Qurna oilfield deal struck in Nov 02 between TotalFinaElf and Saddam; cf Franco-German Iran policy today).

By contrast, where the continental Europeans actually can help us-- in intelligence-sharing and judicial and political cooperation re islamist cells and threats in Europe itself-- the Europeans are helping us to the maximum.

So if the Europeans cannot help us in the crucial regions, and are not harming us in their own region, why on earth are we wasting so much administration bandwidth on Europe?

Wrong century for that. Asian Century now. Time for the US to get serious about shifting our attention eastward and deepening ties with India, Turkey and possibly Russia as well.

Niko,

Ask jo how he got here. I am sure if he is allowed in the US, then it has to be really easy.

David,

Thanks for trying, but you are just pissing in the wind here. Here is another viewpoint, which I happen to know is held by most of my friends and family in the upper Midwest, which as you may know was largely populated by northern European ancestors.

Quite honestly, most Americans in flyover country don't give a flying fuck about the Europeans anymore. You all showed a brief moment of class in your expressions of support after 9/11 but between Schroeder and Chirac, we have seen all we need to understand where your hearts lie.

Personally, I think Europe is an excellent place for the Muslim masses to emigrate for their welfare needs. The faster that happens, the better, so the rest of the world can see what appeasement brings, and how well your socialist model really works.

And about bailing you out someday? It will be a cold day in hell I will vote for a President or a Congressman who will advocate coming to your aid. Kosovo was the last time.

You better hope your pathetically corrupt defense industries and rotten economies can come up with something like the Arrow or Patriot, so you can defend your own cities from the Islamofascists with the nukes in Islamobad and Tehran and Damascus.

-Skeej out.

Here on Instapundit, a link to exactly what I am referring to:
http://instapundit.com/archives/017188.php

Europeans tend to think of us Americans as Europeans gone wrong. That's not so. We are a Pacific power at least as much as an Atlantic power, and have much more in common with Mexico, Chile, and Brazil than with France, Germany, and Belgium. We also have a tradition of minding our own business — sometimes called isolationism. It would not take much for us to walk away from NATO first, then the UN. I am not joking — this is a very popular notion. Remember, we are largely made up of people who left Europe for one reason or another. If we had liked it, we would have stayed.

Perhaps we are, as the Europeans like to think, hopelessly primitive, even stupid. My personal view is that this opinion is most current among those who either fancy themselves aristocrats or those who wait upon them and ape them. Let me point out that our greatest supporters are those who have most recently known what a real tyranny looks like, not those who think everything would be grand if only the right people were in charge.

The Readers' Digest version of this is:
1. Europe is kindly invited to go to hell.
2. After we're through killing the savages who killed us, we will draw our oceans up to our ears, cuddle down, and go back to sleep for another hundred years.
3. Anyone with a brain and a heart, regardless of his origins, is invited to join us, either collectively as an ally, or individually as a new American. We have lots of room, and we'll leave the porch light on for you.

Hate to do it to the Germans reading this, but here is a fine example of the Amis complete lack of breeding:
http://www.thedropzone.org/europe/Bulge/kinnard.html

Maybe they don't like us because we're really the proletariat in charge!

Now that was the most insightful post of all. While Germans march in the streets and obsessively inform one another about all the sins and shortcoming of Americans, the USA is fast changing in population, outlook and policy. The 20th century was defined by the suicidal wars of the European continent, and it forced the US by necessity to change from an isolationist nation to an engaged world power.

But that age is now long past. The Germans, French, Spanish and other European nations have embarked on a new suicidal effort, the centerpiece of which is to alienate the US through non-stop actions and words designed to destroy American good will. Americans have been slow to react, but believe me, the message has been received loud and clear, and we now believe what so many Germans have been so eager to express: you are not our allies, nor even our friends. There are some law enforcement area where we can still cooperate, out of necessity, but Germans should remember the maximum that what goes around comes around. And the insults and actions of the past few years, which followed over 50 years of American friendship and generosity will not be forgotten. It is not revenge, or vindictiveness, but a clear understanding that Germans are not, in any sense of the word, to be trusted. Germans, after 50 years of American prtection, clearly believe that the main problem in the orld is the US, and that there is no problem or confrontation that can't be solved with a properly worded UN resolution. Well, ask the poor victimis of the Sudan killings, or Bosnians, or Rwandans, or Iraqis, just how much value and impact those fine documents have. What will happen if Germany itself is ever in need of friends and allies? Much like the US was after Spet 11? To Germany, good luck. You are getting your wish: a broken alliance with the US, and a bright future where any nation must ask: of what value is an "alliance" with the Germans?

complaining about the withdrawing of american troops
and it's effect on the local german economy, perhaps the genius's in the federal government will retaliate against america by imposing tariffs on imported american goods and the socialist workers will boycott all other american goods, movies, clothes, music etc. causing the americans to BAN the import of ALL german made items including ALL GERMAN AUTOMOBILES.....
if you think that is far fetched.....10 years ago you would not have, in your wildest dreams thought america would withdraw totally from germany, it's now happening, slowly but it's happening....the
simple americans realize one thingfor sure, the eu is not an ally, but now a compititor, so compete we shall. germany has bigger problems than the government tells them, they have joined hands with the french, who see themselves as ordained to lead this union, where does this leave the germans, as subordinates to france, and as the last american
military leave german soil for good, germany is surrounded by nation states who would just love to get even with the germans for the last two wars it started. good luck to the haughty germans, they are going to need it.

The Germans and French fail to recognize the deep and residual appeal to most Americans-- liberals and conservatives, in both coastal blue states and religious red states-- of isolationism.

I knew it would happen sooner or later: "Come home, America" is the rallying cry of the Deaniacs and the Mikey Moore types on the left (Mikey was of course against ousting Milosevic and against overthrowing the Taliban).

Note also the supposedly brilliant speech of Barack Obama: it's foreign policy content was all about trashing foreigners (mainly Mexico and NAFTA) and foreign entanglements. In short, despite the Atlanticists and hard pro-Israel advisers whispering in Kerry's ear, the core of the Democratic party is moving to where the Republican party under Taft was in Truman's day: antagonistic to foreign intervention in the name of promoting democracy; suspicious of foreigners generally and wishing to concentrate on domestic issues as a way of preserving American moral purity. Is this really what Europeans wish Americans to follow?

By contrast, Bush is where Truman ended up, with an aggressive policy designed to defend and advance democracy in the middle east and south Asia. Already, three brutal terrorist states have been removed from the equation, and Iran and Syria are effectively encircled by American troops and moderate or outright pro-American states. This policy is little different from Truman's aggressive intervention to prevent Greece and Turkey and all of Korea from falling into the communist sphere. It's really no different from classical liberal interventionism of the sort that made Democrats a proud, internationalist party that welcomed engagement in the world.

The main difference between the Truman and the Bush Doctrines is of course the change in the importance of Europe.

It made sense fifty-nine years ago to give three UN Security Council votes to Europe and one the China; today it's plainly absurd. There should be one EU vote and at least three Asian votes: for China, India and Japan.

It made sense fifty-nine years ago for us to put a million troops in Germany and western Europe; today it's doubtful we should have any troops there at all, and such troops as we have should of course be stationed as close as possible to the middle east, in Italy and the south slav region.

It made sense fifty-nine years ago to foster intellectual and student and other cultural exchanges with European nations, as France in the days of Sartre and Camus and Europe generally for some twenty years thereafter was teeming with intellectual vitality, fresh ideas, cultural ferment. Today European thought is largely sterile and self-referential. European films by and large are so dull and pompous as to be unwatchable. ALmost no one cares about learning French anymore. In fact, today at leading US universities on both coasts one is more likely to hear Urdu or Mandarin spoken than French or German.

The choice this fall is pretty clear: one party has a crystal clear strategic vision that elevates Asia and relegates Europe to its proper place. The other party has no vision but a set of equally clear instincts drawn from the deep currents of isolationism in American culture and history.

Whether you like Bush or hate him, it's obvious that he and Rum and Wolfowitz recognize what the Europeans ahve long feared: Europe's relevance to the US is gretly diminished and declining each year.

My fellow Americans, to coin a phrase, let's MoveOn. Asian Century now.

--lex

It's not just the soldiers leaving. Following them is a giant logistical tail, with very deep pockets. It takes a lot of bucks to feed, fuel, and sustain a 70,000 troop force. And don't forget the Civil Service cut.

Germany we "Feel" the lose, Big Time...

Bird

PS: Life is Good

I'm sorry to tell my European friends that this is the beginning. The end of the cold war has made NATO useless and too expensive to maintain for an America with other enemies. We will probably move toward bilateral agreements with the new European states. Those that have helped us in Iraq will be next. The rest of Europe will have to defend itself. Have a great time over there. Don't bother to call if you ever need help. You're on your own. Bye.

Are the Germans really that bothered about losing more than a hundred thousand American soldiers and their support staff? I'm talking about the average stiff who simply works his, or her 35, hours per week, vacations 6 weeks per year, and unquestioningly sucks in what the German media tells them. Won't they be happy with over a hundred thousand less Ugly Americans with Guns taking up space in the EU?

And now for my own banal cliche. After the decades of WWI through WWII up to the Cold War, Germans seem to have not learned that evil must be fought, but that fighting is evil.

Lastly, I don't know a single American citizen, left, right, moderate, conservative, liberal, libertarian, college graduate, and high school dropout, etc., who DOESN'T want all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to evacuate Europe, Japan and South Korea. We're not wanted "over there", and we want our boys and girls back home. It's a win-win, and it befuddles everyone why it hasn't been done earlier.

Bill Brown-

Wow, Bismarck, who introduced the Sozialistengesetz as the founder of the socialist system in Germany. If the Sozialdemokraten of the late 19th century only knew ...

so he decided to give the populace just as little of what they believed they wanted to keep them quiet
That's what you usually call reform and confirms what I already wrote.

Robert: 10 years ago you would not have, in your wildest dreams thought america would withdraw totally from germany. Correct.

And only three years ago, the level of anti-Americanism and anti-semitism(sorry, Sharon critique) all over the German media(and gradually German society) would have caused a huge uproar. Now... it's a bad thing NOT to do it. It means you switched over to the Dark Side.

While Europeans are convinced that their petty politics is in fact some sort of grand visionary politics, the world around them is changing. It is a relatively slow change, but its repercussions will be felt especially in Europe. The chess board is rearranging big times and, while Europeans realize that, they have a hard times adjusting. The multitude of problems - economical, social, cultural(through immigration), political(EU show) and most important, world terrorism - is overwhelming the Europeans right now. Those are huge problems, which could be also regarded as challenges. But for this you need another attitude, you need a "let's do it" mentality. In EU, this mentality has been forgotten. When you're used to cruising along, suddenly starting to race seems like an impossible task. You would rather have the others slow down. Like Gorbachev said: "Life punishes those who come late". I hope EU will be able to avoid this "punishment", but my fear right now is that they won't. May the future prove me wrong!


@Niko

Immigrating to the US is possible under certain circumstances, but not so easy. Check the forum on www.auswanderer-forum.com if you are interested. (I am fortunate to have the opportunity to move there permanently :-) I am grateful and thank GOD for that)

Niko and Werner,

those employment figures are going to improve a lot over the next years. The current problems are caaused by a complete unwillingness to reform so far, but that is changing now. Don't forget, many other European countries used to have problems just as bad, and reforms helped a lot there, too.

Look at it like this: Several European countries have economies that are as dynamic as the American one. The one thing that keeps them from developing their full potential is (unfortunately) Germany; there is no more Eurosclerosis, merely a Germanosclerosis. Once we stop being a drag on them, Europe as a whole will finally enjoy some serious economic dynamic. A little improvement on our part will go a long way.

Joe,

no matter what happens politically, the Transatlantic economic ties are becoming stronger, not weaker. Trade is only small part of it, direct foreign investments, both American in Europe and European in America are constantly increasing. At this point America and Europe are Siamese twins, as far the economies are concerned.

All talk of economic and cultural ties between Europe and America is moot without taking into account the changing demographics of Europe.

Muslim women in Europe are like cattle kept for breeding purposes. They have five or six or seven children per woman per lifetime.

Native Europeans have gone beyond zero population growth. They are not replacing themselves. In France and Italy the average non-Muslim woman now has 1.5 to 1.7 children per lifetime. Even if all Muslim immigration were halted today, the die is cast and the mathematics of population growth are irreversible.

Relatively soon, say within 30 years, the countries of Europe will be faced with a stark choice. They will have to round up and expel all Muslims, even native-born ones, or they will condemn their descendants to life under Sharia law.

The preening bureaucrats of the EU will dither and appoint commissions and pretend there is some other option, but in the end it will come down either to mass expulsions of Muslims at gunpoint, or a bloody, repressive Islamic caliphate over all Europe.

Mark my words, the world we know is changing and we face dark times indeed. Rivers of blood will flow in a generation or two, no matter what Europe does. Enoch Powell was right.

I lived and worked in Germany for 3 years from 2000 to 2003. From my experience during this time and from my unscientific observation Germany is suffering from something I would call "Schmarotzerwirtschaft" ("parasite economy"). It is worse than socialsim because as bad as socialism is - at least socialism is up front - "I'll take your money and redistribute it".

The German Schmarotzerwirtschaft is based on... schmarotzen ("scrounging, parasite, freeloading"). The characteristics of this unique system are:

1) The German state is schmarotzing from its citizens and businesses. With a overall tax index (including Gewerbesteuer, VAT etc.) between 40% and 55%, for individuals up to 70% and even more for high earners I can find no different expression describing this... however, the German state is not the only one who is schmarotzing...

2) All companies operating in Germany are schmarotzing as well to balance their losses of other elements schmarotzing from them. If you run a business and need 20 employees they will perhaps employ and pay arround 10 people. The rest of the staff will be employed through what I call "Schmarotzerprogramme" where the company is schmarotzing from both, the citizen and especially from the state. But not against the will of the state, but with full support of the state! They can employ fully qualified people who will in most cases work the same amount and time with the same quality than a regular employee for almost nothing - this is the so called "325-Euro-Beschäftigung". The company will pay 325 Euros for a full worker and in most cases the state will have to add social wellfare etc. for the citizen to survive. The state is financing low-cost workers for the companies. Of course you won't find a marketing director working on these conditions, but a lot of jobs which don't require high qualifications but otherwhise would be sufficent to pay for an honest living are being replaced by such jobs and similar programms. Sick!

3) With the state and the companies schmarotzing of course the citizens can't do without to survive. Well yes, the honest citizen will do and the honest citizens is the victim in this "Schmarotzerwirtschaft". But large parts of the populations have already got it and just live on wellfare...

I fear there is no simple reform that could help Germany. Hartz 4 will make it even worse.

As an American service member (Air Force) who served in Germany up until March of this year, I can tell you that the dramatic reduction of US forces in Germany would be a large hit to the German economy. Not only will the large amount of people who spend quite literally millions of dollars (Euros) yearly living in Germany be gone, gone also will be the millions in contracts as well as jobs for builders to build and maintain the facilities and houses needed to support our presence there. Also, the hundreds of jobs Germans fill performing services in on-post support agencies such as our exchanges and commissaries will no longer be there.

I must also stress that (at this time) this isn't a 100% withdrawal... Our NATO alliance isn't dead... Yet. However, a significant realignment has been in the cards for quite some time. As has been pointed out already, with the fall of the Soviet Union, there is virtually no reason for the US to continue to keep such a large force in Germany. There is nothing to guard against. At Ramstein AB, (where I was stationed) there is quite a bit of building going on because that will become the "hub" if you will for military movement in and out of the country as well as facilitating movement through Europe to other areas of the world. Other places will likely see reductions if not full out closure.

I don't think that the anti-Americanism is the cause, just a catalyst.

Niko,

I've heard that having a sponsor and/or family members who are already in America can be a big help when arguing for an immigrant visa...

To: Bird
"Have a great time over there. Don't bother to call if you ever need help. You're on your own. Bye."

Reminds me always of film parting scenes like these.

She: "I am leaving. Don't dare to hold me back!"

He: "No, I won't."

She: "This time it's for real. It's final, I made my decision."

He: "Ok. I accept it."

She: "You are such an asshole. I am leaving and you're not crying".

He: "I know, you told me so before. Would you please close the door behind you on your way out."

Ralf and Joe are right that the economic effect on Germany will be minor. How many local jobs are created for each US soldier stationed here? The ratio is no more than 1:1, I'm sure, so if 50,000 troops are stationed elsewhere, the impact might be 50,000 local jobs, a drop in the bucket compared to a total of over 4 million unemployed.

Those local jobs are mostly within a few miles of the bases, so the local impact of base closures will be pretty severe. But since I live in Hamburg, hundreds of miles from the nearest US base, the economic effect on me will be nil.

Militarily, stationing troops in Germany no longer makes sense. Germany no longer needs defending (or defending against). US troops should be stationed where they are needed.

I wonder if there'll be so much Angst when the Amis leave Iraq in 2063?

It's been 60 years. The Red Army is no longer at the border, ready to bulldoze through the Fulda Gap on its way to the Rhein. NATO has now extended to the border of the Ukraine. The draw-down has been extended long enough to cause the minimum of economic disruption. Time to say 'Tuess' and go where they're both needed and wanted, 'Mission Accomplished'.


The unfortunate truth is that a substantial troop reduction in Germany will not have the desired schadenfreude effect on the already precarious Germany economy that many (including myself) would like to hope for.

Nevertheless, I cannot argue in good conscience as to allow any benefit, financial and military and however minor, to pass onto a country whom childishly holds so much contempt for my own.

Still I will hope this may serve as the symbolic straw that broke the camel's back and later have the last laugh.

Ralf
Which other european countries with a dynamic economy do you mean?
Surely not Spain - just now the socialist government reduced the foreseen growth rate in 2004 the second time in weeks (2.6% - far away from EEUU)and this is still not the final data.
And believe it or not: guilty Mr. Aznar because of his support to the Iraq war -responsible for 30% of the oil priceincrease based on "studies" produced by the PSOE (Socialist Party)and published yesterday in all spanish medias.

What I've heard so far were invariably positive reactions. The overwhelming majority of Germans supports the decision to close US bases in Germany. As some people already pointed out, the effect will be minimal. If it will be positive for Germany (reduced spendings for NATO-burden sharing, less industrial spionage, the properties can be sold, less expenses for securing those bases,...) isn't clear right now, but it looks like a win-win situation for everyone - except of course for those people in close proximity to the bases.

As I've been told there were talks between the Germans and the US about when and how the US bases will be closed for nearly a year. The German government will be closing several military sites in the next few years and therefore considers how and when the US troops pull out.

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