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IIRC, not too long ago, we were encouraging the Germans NOT TO engage in any military action beyond their own borders. (Due to some unpleasantness in the 19-teens, 30s and 40s).

Now, people are angry at the Germans for refusing to deploy troops abroad?

@Joe
Actually, the situation for German engineering is not as bad as you depicted it.

You`re right that German carmakers still don`t get the best quality ratings, but they are second only to Japanese manufacturers, and the gap has been closing over the last two years.

And German engineering worldwide is still on the rise, with solid growth rates as well in the North American as in Asian markets.

I am quite confident that if future reforms continue to give more flexibility to the German labour market, we will keep moving on.

Lets face it, the cultural lobotomy of the nuclear age has made this nation pacifist. This is not a complaint but a fact. I cannot see a reason why the German military was not dismantled after the cold war. The result of keeping it was its transformation into a largely ceremonial instrument of multilateral diplomacy. Schröder decided to send Bundeswehr to Afghanistan not to take a share of the burden, but to persuade Bush to an United Nations mandate under the green flag of Islam. When Bush chose to take the lack of political legitimacy in the United Nations as what it is, and build a democracy rather than an Islamic state in Iraq, a big fuzz was made about not sending Bundeswehr. I think the proper way to overcome the Nazi hangover would be to implement the full disarmament plans of 1945 that were shelved in the cold war. Now Europe is defended by the American troops fighting terrorists and in their host states and nuclear proliferation around the world, rather than by these that are still here even though their mission is long accomplished. Lets dismantle the Bundeswehr and it will help this culture to develop a realistic understanding how dangerous the world really is. A pacifist who gives up his tin soldiers might finally learn to differentiate between a conflict of interests and a conflict of values, and become able to see the Islamic death cult as what it is.

Europe defended by American troops? The American troops can't even defend themselves, having to rely on Europeans for watch duty because they're stretched way too thin.

This is really hilarious. Peters is a paranoid fool who doesn't know what censorship is and thinks he has a right to force other people to listen to his drivel.

Oh, and sorry, but "Schroeder's party" didn't suffer another monumental loss. It pretty much repeated the results of the previous elections. Statewide percentages are meaningless, since this was a local election, and SPD mayors achieved quite some victories in many areas. Compare to the losses of the CDU, which can only be called landslides. Best example is Cologne, where they lost no less than 12.5 percentage points, and have trouble stitching together a majority in the city council.

@michael..
you are right the Americans are not humble..
but then again neither are the Germans..
Are you a besserwessi?

@michael..
some leading germans have made criticism very much like yours.. Helmut Kohl calling the country a huge amusement park or something like that..
or doesn't that count? So America bashing is OK.
but criticism of Germany in any form is not?

--You`re right that German carmakers still don`t get the best quality ratings, but they are second only to Japanese manufacturers, and the gap has been closing over the last two years.--

Ehhh, maybe, maybe not.

There was an article floating around the American blogosphere that American cars have finally passed European cars for reliability, IIRC.

Michael, you get it! Congratulations.

Now we can move forward and have a constructive dialog.

@amiexpat
assuming the above two posts are yours:
yes i am a wessi - maybe even i'm a besserwessi
and of course criticism of germany is ok - it has even become a national sport of most germans nowadays to criticise everything about their country - critise germany for whatever it does or does not - what makes me wonder though is: can i criticise your government, without being called anti-american? - is there some how a way to make a distinction between america and her government? i yet have to make the experience that this is possible

@michael: America us quite used to discuss its own pros and cons, not only these of its governments but also these of its culture, and there are pro-American as well as anti-American voices in its public. It's even possible for an Anti-American to win an Oscar or a Nobel Peace Prize. You should be lucky that Germany finally begins adopting the culture of pros and cons, it is part of the process of becoming a normal nation rather than a reason for whining.

Hmmm.

The simple fact, regardless of the various diatribes here, is that Germany and America have gone their separate ways. No longer can we be considered as allies. No longer are we even friends. That time is past and the sooner we BOTH figure this out, the better. The continued presence of American forces in Europe is not warranted. Those forces should be reassigned to new bases in countries that are more amicable for American purposes.

The only real danger is that Germany might end up again an enemy. The EU isn't a very democratic form of government. It was created by the elites, to be controlled by the elites and for the elites. It's very possible that Germany, in some highly integrated EU future, might end up on the other side of a shooting war. That's always a distinct possibility when a nation is no longer and ally and potentially an enemy. Frankly the real definition of "counterweight" IS enemy.

But I have to say this. If America ends up fighting Germany again, for whatever reason. It'll be the third time and thus two times far too many. If that happens then you should expect that German will be a dead language.

@michael,

I sense that you too suffer from the same frustration as I surrounding the constant name-calling of our two once very close nations.

I will accept you point of Germans complaining about mostly everything, it must be in the culture here to do so. But I must arrest such perfunctory remarks when the USA becomes stereotypically responsible for every ailment that the world has. I was rather offended when my new elderly Prussian neighbour claimed that "wie, [wir] Amerikanner die ganze (his words) kaput machen wollen." I mean to say, that when one makes such ludicrous claims as that, one cannot expect to have an honest dialog. Were we destroying the WHOLE world when saving the lives of Kosavars, Bosnians and attempting Somalians only a short while ago?

However, I think that I was most offended with his comments, because I didn't even know the guy 10 minutes and he was already lecturing me on how we had ignored the UN. Excuse me, but as I recall, America has lost the MOST soldiers out of any other country in defending the charter of the UN, least we forget North Korea's invasion of the south in 1950 (maybe some NPD/PDS would like to challenge that point as well). Generally speaking, in most English-language cultures, it's considered impolite to insult the host, especially if you don't even know him.

But, I must report, this kind of behaviour is common place in your country right now. I need only go onto the Wies'n and be told by anyone sharing a table with me of the horrible things that America is doing in Iraq (even though she's not alone) and what is being done is the real issue. Furthermore, what is more offensive to me, is that even though I have lived here for 9 years, I have never made fun of any German about the whole of Nazism, the Holocaust, gleichschaltung, etc. I think that would have been inappropriate.

And No, I don't think that your country should be eternally grateful to America for the grateful deeds done by her, perhaps only decently and honestly remembered. Measure for measure. Americans are no longer grateful of the things that France once did for us during our Revolution from England.

Concerning the invasion of Iraq, I submit that it was controversial, but necessary. As I have yet to hear of another viable alternative to invasion.


@Alan

I think most Americans are annoyed not with the fact that Germany hasn't deployed troops, but on the country's endless sanctimonious rhetoric. In all honesty, I don't think that many American commanders would have wanted Germans in their front lines: the German military is not comparable to the USA's or Britain's. However, what would have been appreciated is not equating the USA's democratic government with that of the Saddam's despotism for the sense of personal/political benefit.

I find it rather hypocritical that most honourable Fischer would consider it important to remind the USA about the importance of the "rule of law" whilst he was a fanatic believer in its reversal on the streets of 1968. Does he think that Saddam had a better rule of law then that "imposed" by the coalition?


@leo

I agree with your point about not bothering with asking the Arabs regarding the future government (or any action for that matter ) in Afghanistan. I'm certain other regional powers would have come up with a predicable short listing : Theocracy, Despotism, that's it.

Here in lies the crux of the UN. The UN, although I find it necessary, is not the millennium. It only guarantees sovereignty of a nation, not it's security. What is rather silly on this issue is that Europe complains about the US having done this action in Iraq and that it was not democratic. Should we have invited the likes of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc to suggest appropriate forms of government? And what were the alternatives?

The introduction of a stable democratic country in the heart of the middle east would expose these opposing governments for what they were : failures.

@michael..
there are German friends of america who disagree with its government's policies.. Joschka Fischer is one..
I don't consider Joschka Fischer to be anti American... some people might, but I don't..
I have problems with Joschka Fischer myself, but
criticism of him doesn't make me anti German.

I don't know what kind of experiences you have had with Americans. I do know what kind of experiences I have had with Germans.. 95 percent of what I hear is negative.. prudes, arrogant, patriotic, no culture.. isn't that a form of Schwarz - weiss denken? All negative, no positive? Oh I forgot only George Bush and Americans think in black and white.
I have responses to each of those American stereotypes.. I would suggest you look in the mirror because each of them apply to Europe as well.. Want to hear my replies? let me know.
I for one am well aware of my country's shortcomings... after all I have them shoved in my face every day.
1. Arrogant? besser wessi, already covered..
2. No culture? Did you read that in Bild Zeitung or did Dieter Bohlen write a song about it? BTW Dieter Bohlen's books are bestsellers in Germany, the land of Dichter and Denker.
3. Patriotic? What if Germany had won WWII and was now the only world power? You would see swastikas on ever corner.. btw explain leitkultur to me.
4. Racist? Kinder statt Inder? Leitkultur?
and on it goes..
ironically I am of German extraction and am quite proud of my heritage believe it or not.
aber hier wird auch nur mit Wasser gekocht...

@michael..
If my tone was a bit harsh, it is because I am sometimes a bit bitter..
I am proud of my heritage and although I have problems with Germany, they can be expressed in a polite way.. same with criticism of America.
I am not some jingoistic yank.. I may live my whole life in Europe.. I just would like to see a little balance in the German attitude towards America...

How obvious a complaint: if you don't want to think of yourself as a VASSAL, then tell your generous younger-but-more-successful brother that you won't cash his checks any more. Move out of his basement and declare your independence. It's up to YOU.

If you don't do that, then don't complain that you are treated like a child. PROVE that you are not a child. Pay your own (defense) bills. You're still invited to Sunday dinner, but you must decide if you want to be on your own or DEPENDENT on someone else. Dependence is easy.

(Shoot, there goes MY chance of addressing the expo, too.)

Michael:
The multi-glot population of the US is in excess of 80 million people. The population of Germany? it is?....

Look, we are tired of hearing Europeans buoy their precious little egos with their misguided notion of people, races, states, and political systems. It's shameful.

Having worked with many euros, you have to just nod your head and nod your head, and then, at some point say: "allright. Are you done telling me that the stipes of my tie tracel in the 'wrong' direction? We have work to do."

Virtually without exception it is the same padantic story, EVERY time.

-- is there some how a way to make a distinction between america and her government?--

Nein.

Because the distinction really has never been made, we've been trashed for 200 years.

AND - if W's getting voted in but said people, how can you make the distinction?

The people have more control over candidates than most other countries.

@ Joe N.
>>Michael:
>>The multi-glot population of the US is in excess of 80 million people. The population of Germany? it is?....
So your point is the us population is larger...

@all
regarding german military:
i'm pretty happy that we lost our militaristic roots - it's for the better of all people, even if it doesn't fit your current agenda - and while your making fun of the german military, think of poland, which is in constant alert if germany moves one inch, think how they would feel with a german military build-up - same goes for all our neighbors - having said that, i also must admit that the current european military is not what it could be - the eu spends two thirds of what the us spends on its military; better coordination and planning could help a lot in creating a better european military - but national egos have to be overcome and that will unfortunately take some time - we need a better military because as events have shown, the us and europe don't share the same vision of the world anymore

regarding american-german relations:
even though most on this board hope for worse (and ralph peters is definitely one who works for it) i'm optimistic that the relations will improve over time - that of course needs work being done on both sides of the atlantic - i've caught myself defending the us and even it's government on more than one occasion - i don't like michael moore, i think his methods are disgraceful and i'm sometimes puzzled at my fellow countymen's fascination with him - concerning the media, there are media outlets in germany, which don't hide their agenda, but the same exist in the us (e.g. bill o'reilly used his nationally viewed show to ask his viewers for a boycott of french products. think of ulrich wickert - a german tv guy - using his show - tagesthemen - to call for the boycott of american products - i'm sorry but that's kindergarden)

i lived for quite some time in the midwest and got to know some wonderful people - a time i still cherish today - and everytime i read hatefilled stuff from a guy like ralph peters and see a guy like paul wolfowitz or read some of the sad things written here i know at least there are some people who don't believe it.

regarding cars:
i happen to work for a car maker in southern germany, and quite frankly i'm pretty happy with our product - it sells and contrary to popular believe we don't have a quality problem but there's always room to improve :-)

>> -- is there some how a way to make a >>distinction between america and her government?--
>>Nein.
that is actually pretty sad - so i can't criticise mr bush's policies and decisions without being anti-american - of course i don't want be anti-american - so i better be quiet - what a convenient position to be in
>>Because the distinction really has never been made, we've been trashed for 200 years.
you've been trashed for 200 years? - by whom? - you think germany hasn't been trashed? - e.g. watched any movies the last 60 or so years?
>>AND - if W's getting voted in but said people, how can you make the distinction?
i don't understand ???
>>The people have more control over candidates than most other countries.
really - what makes you think that? - in what way did you have control over kerry or bush?

Hmmmm.

@michael

" you think germany hasn't been trashed? - e.g. watched any movies the last 60 or so years?"

No offense but there's quite a bit of difference between America's situation and Germany's.

Germany hasn't spent trillions of dollars and millions of casualties over the course of more than a century defending freedom and promoting democracy. Moreover Germany didn't swear to launch an attack on the USSR if an American city got nuked. So while American cities were hostages for Germany's defense, Germans were parading around demanding the removal of the Pershing missile so Germany wouldn't be a target. etc, etc, etc.

So. How about a nice "thank you" and then we can all forget that we know one another.

It is time for the US and the EU to become untangled, "new" and "old". While I am an American of Euro descent, I feel no kinship whatsoever, and feel that the goals of our people, for our people, are not even close.

We shared a common enemy, and we no longer do. I no longer consider Germany or France to be allies, and with countries like Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, etc. we have more a partnership of common interest than a friendship.

I just want it over with, and I want each of us to be free to pursue that which our people want. The US is not for the Euro immigrant any longer; but for the Asian and Latin American. This suits me fine. We have much to work on with that part of the world. Our shared culture with Europe is over, and we will both be better off to recognize it.

What you fail to realize, Michael, is that we've been listening to you for a long, long, time. Whine, whine, whine, nothing constructive. And you wonder why we tune you out.

You want to be taken seriously, time to ante up. You had the opportunity after 9/11, it wasn't adequate. After what we did for you, the megabillions if not trillion or 2 we spent on you, the whining we've listened to for decades, you stick the knife in and twist to get your jollies and get even.

Fine - what your echo chamber of the MSM failed to tell you is that we actually have been listening to you. And with this wonderful idea of Al Gore's we can now have a computer-to-computer discussion.

We can go back 100-200 years and the "constructive criticism" we get from you now, we've gotten from your and our ancestors. Guess what? We're tired of the same old song. We are not you and quit projecting.

However, blowback is a bitch, and our "allies" are beginning to find that out. We may be loud, we may be boisterous, but we really don't complain like you do, we just go somewhere else. Check out frogistan's tourism and w(h)ine sales. They're not down just because the frogs are drinking less w(h)ine.

You are a 20th century "ally." We are now in the 21st. One the whole, the western Euro is statist, we are not. We're moving on, you've chosen to stay on the platform.

To be our equal or surpass US, you're going to have to blow up your social/economic underpinnings. And your countrymen are fighting flexibility tooth-and-nail. The EU is not your saviour, it is your doom. Communism didn't work and communism-lite won't.

BTW, the latest failure, Iran. All that jaw-jaw finger-waving doesn't work w/o backup and we're the backup. Whether you like it or not.

You do not understand US, you never have. But we were you, we understand you. You fail to realize that. We will work w/you when we can, won't when we can't. Strictly business. If you can't see which side your interests lie, then that's your problem, not ours. In short, son, welcome to adulthood. Bank's closed.

Hmmm, this may be the kind of "criticism" Michael means, via Biased BBC an employment rejection letter:

bloghd.blogspot.com/2004/09/educated-europeans.html

...Speaking personally however may I suggest that for European consumption you would be wise to omit details of your national service, which you describe with such evident and ingenuous pride?
The natural reaction of most educated Europeans to the information you provide is likely to be "so it was she who guided those guinships to targetted assasinations and the murder of women and children with indiscriminate bombing and strafing of refugee camps (refugee camps!!!! 50 years after your compatriots drove them from their homes - and you have done nothing for them ever since.)!". Most educated Europeans - and as a matter of fact a large proprtion of educated Americans too - now view 'Israel' as a brutal undemocratic (where are the votes for the indigenous inhabitants whom you have helotised?) colonial state, run by criminals who defy all international law and natural justice. And a sizeable proportion doubts the 'right' of Israel to exist....


"that is actually pretty sad - so i can't criticise mr bush's policies and decisions without being anti-american - of course i don't want be anti-american - so i better be quiet - what a convenient position to be in"

You must not have read the rest of what she wrote, as I understood it she doesn't believe the obsessive negative focus on the US from Germany has to do with criticism of the government - apparently no other "government" is worthy of such criticism, and as we've seen certainly not despotic dictators. And I don't think you would appreciate it as much either if everyday on the American news and in papers half the stories related to how bad Germans and Germany are. And how about a counterpart to DER SPIEGEL, except it only negatively distorts everything about Germany.

Germany hasn't spent trillions of dollars and millions of casualties over the course of more than a century defending freedom and promoting democracy. Moreover Germany didn't swear to launch an attack on the USSR if an American city got nuked. So while American cities were hostages for Germany's defense, Germans were parading around demanding the removal of the Pershing missile so Germany wouldn't be a target. etc, etc, etc.

Schön gesagt. Nur haben sich die USA seit dem 2. Weltkrieg die meisten Feinde selbst rangezogen.

Den Vietkong, gegen die Franzosen.
Die Taliban, gegen die Russen usw. usw.

Hinterher kommt dann die "Befreiung"

Europa hat 2000 Jahre ohne die USA funktioniert,
es würde auch nochmal 2000 Jahre ohne die USA funktionieren....

Frank - that which I would like to say I may not, due to the rules of descency observed by this blog.

An remarkable Article has the todays Austrian Newspaper "Wiener Zeitung"

"Europe is building up a new concept of an enemy"

http://www.wienerzeitung.at/frameless/default.htm?ID=M24&Menu=23369


@Franky

Historical note: The Taliban came to power after the Mujahdeen's funding from the CIA ended in 1989 along with the departure of Soviet troops. The Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia continued funding the embryonic Taliban.

You may want to, for at least posterity's sake, use facts in your contemptuous diatribe.

Further suggested reading:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0300089023/qid=1096374559/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/002-9015385-9014448

http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3426272601/qid=1096375454/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/302-9910920-4946402

@James: Just imagine the pullout scenario - without the American veto, the United Nations would collapse over Israel and probably become some kind of Holy United Nations of the Islamic Ummah. The all-too-clever Multilateralists have sold the soul of Europe to this body most of whose national delegates lack political legitimacy - should Kofi Annan or the General Assembly politely ask Germany or the European Union to introduce sharia then that's it. But the America I see through the prism of blogsphere still makes me hope, I think it is in the middle of understanding that the United Nations are the nightmare they are not because they would not represent the world but because they do represent it. I'm sure one day Afghanistan will have a President who can afford not to applaud genocidal anti-Semites such as Mohammed Mahathir.

That is a good article, fmj.

I thought this article was so good that I would translate it. Sorry for any bumpy parts

Criticism of the USA has become fashionable again
. . .

Note from David: Trish - many thanks for your a wonderful translation job. We have moved your translation to this posting.

Hmmm.

@frank

"Europa hat 2000 Jahre ohne die USA funktioniert,
es würde auch nochmal 2000 Jahre ohne die USA funktionieren...."

Without a credible military?

Let's face certain facts. Europe has a number of specific problems today.

1. It has an aging population that is beyond self-sustaining.

2. It has, almost for the very first time in modern history, a problem with high amounts of non-assimilating immigration that is looking to replace European cultures, not enhance them.

3. It is having to really deal with multi-ethnic issues and racism, something that a largely homogenous Europe enjoyed berating America about for decades. Which, as you might already understand, I find amusing.

4. It has an almost unsupportable series of socialized governments that are completely stuck. They must make cuts into the social welfare programs to improve their tax structures and their economies. They fear to do so because this would cause a voter backlash and the voters want MORE programs, not less. However the voters also want jobs, which requires an improved economy. etc etc etc.

5. The military services of the European nations are a complete joke. If the EU were to accept the entry of Turkey then it wouldn't be a joke any longer, but I'd imagine that Turkey would balk at the prospect of having to fund and provide the only real military force in the EU. And yes I am discounting Britain. I like Britain a great deal but there are some very serious military spending cuts being made right now that make the British military something of a joke. As of right now I'd suggest that Gov. Schwartzenegger has more military forces available than the Queen of Britain.

Then again if the EU accepted Turkey's entry then Europe is completely doomed. There is no possible way that Turkey's millions won't eventually overwhelm the European continent. Particularly with the proposed EU constitution. With that document ratified and Turkey admitted to the EU we'll see Europe an Islamic superstate in 50 years. Turkey has an almost uncontrollable border with other Islamic states. Cross border immigration would be almost impossible to control. At that point Turkey would be like a human syringe injecting millions of muslims directly into the "soft underbelly of Europe".

And if Turkey isn't admitted to the EU? Well they're not going to keep asking forever will they? At some point Turkey is going to get the opinion that the EU doesn't like them. Since the entire purpose of the EU is to assimilate nations into a single state, so as to avoid even the possibility of warfare, this exclusion would result in the formulation of a Turkey that could possibly be an enemy of a future EU. Yeah, that's the ticket. Let's reprise the whole of the 1100-1400 AD years.

Just don't come asking for OUR help. You're on your own. If you guys have to fight the Siege of Vienna all over again, I'll be watching it on TV and eating popcorn.

ed of all your points, I think only the first one describes a real scenario.

I don't think that the non-assimilating immigration is such a fundamental problem for Europe. In Germany, while there are without doubt many Turkish immigrants that cause social problems, there are also more and more who integrate in society. I personally have many Turkish co-students at my university, and the rate of new enterprises founded by people of Turkish origin is even higher than that of people of German origin. I don't deny there is a problem at the moment, but it will not become greater but instead diminish.
Having studied for some time in France, I met a lot of Muslim students with Maghreb origin. Surprisingly, they were as proud to be French as people of French origin, and were part of the same youth culture as their class mates.
It was really encouraging to hear that many Muslims spoke enthusiastically of the great advances that have been made regarding racism in France.

And the problems extensive socialism brought are being addressed, and will continue to be addressed in the future. I agree that right now socialism in Europe was granted some breathing time like in Spain and Germany, where anti-americanism helped them to win the last elections, but in the long run, hard economic facts will force Europe back on the road of liberalisation.

And the siege of vienna scenario is completely beyond reality.
If we assume the most negative demographic scenarios for Europe, its population will still be 2-3 times higher than that of Turkey within 50 years.
And European economic development has been very constant over the last 150 years, even if we account for such great crises like the two world wars.
It is thus very unreasonable to assume that the Turkish economy will be anywhere in the region of the European one in any foreseeable frame of time, given the fact that Turkish per capita income right now is about one third of the average of the new extended European Union.

Even under "perfect conditions" it will take Turkey another hundred years to be a serious antagonist to the EU.

CCTV, you see Germany's descent into the abyss through rose colored glasses. A credit to Deutsche Welle perhaps? German Socialism is an inoperable tumor. The Islamists can only digest failed states i.e. Somalia, Chechnya, Afganistan etc...The Islamists see Europe as a fatted calf ripening for slaughter. Germany may only be two or three major economic events away from a meltdown. A sustained oil price hike, A 9-11 type hit on financial infestructure, A resurgence of war in the Balkans (sans US), Etc...But do not listen to me when you can get it strait from the Islamofascists' mouths on their own websites and corroborate that info with abominable atrocities such as beheadings,Bali, Beslan, ad naseum. The Germans have a nack for being the last ones to know what's happening to Germany and by the time they figure it out the butchers' bill is staggering.

Del Hoeft,

the American and European economies are increasingly integrated to the point of becoming one. If Germany 'melts down' so will the rest of Europe, which will hardly leave America untouched, to say the least.

Btw, the strong Euro (1.23 Dollar) means that the Euro-Area is enjoying lower oil-prices than the US, since oil is rated in Dollars.

Del Hoeft everything you tell here is hot air. Socialism inoperable? There are lots of European countries that have succesfully addressed the excesses of the welfare state, just look at the astonishing impact liberalisation had on the economy and unemployment of formerly highly socialist countries like the UK or Spain. The problem is that socialism was pushed further and further and has expanded in Germany ever since the first "oil shock", it is only now that we suffer the full impact of its inefficiency. But I fail to see why this should be irreversible. The transition is never easy, but the fact that even a socialist government has accepted that reforms are necessary is a sign that we are already on a good way, especially as it seems very clear that the SPD will be replaced by a much harsher acting conservative government in 2006.

I have no doubt that the islamists would love to slaughter Europe, but this is only wishful thinking on their part. I can definitely say that the 3.7 % Muslims in Germany will not pose a threat now, tomorrow or in 50 years. Especially as immigration from Muslim countries has decreased over the last years. I am convinced that right now the rate of Muslims that integrate into our society is even higher or at least on par with the rate of new, not yet integrated Muslims entering Germany.
There was a quite interesting study by the University of Erfurt that suggested that already one half of the Turks are highly integrated into German society.
When facing life in a free and hedonist society, the dry Islamist "way of life" loses much of it appeal, especially for young people.
Two or three major economic events like 9-11 or another "oil shock" will definitely put the European economy in a very perilous situation, but the same is true for the US, Japan, or the rest of the world.
The fundamental economic data of the US is not that different from the European one - high national debt and problems for the manufacturing sector of economy. Very low growth rates and high unemployment in Europe face a giant trade deficit and high dependency on foreign capital in the US.

Japan has just recovered from the malaise of the 90s, with a record national debt - the margin of actions for the Japanes government has greatly narrowed when faced with another crash in the banking sector combined with other negative economic events.

And I fail to see what the nonsense about Islamist websites and beheadings has to do with anything in my previous posting.

Hmmm.

@CCTV

1. "ed of all your points, I think only the first one describes a real scenario."
I obviously disagree. The simple fact is that the aging of the European population and the severe reduction in the size of the following generations is starting to cause serious havoc in the European economies. One of the primary reasons for the induction of the Eastern European nations into the EU is to add their populations and to offset the muslim immigration, at least for a short time.

2. "I don't think that the non-assimilating immigration is such a fundamental problem for Europe."
Interesting. But that only describes a few of the muslims in France. In the Arab ghettos the situation is far different. There is a massive rise in gang-rapes and attacks by fundamentalist muslims. This is low-level terror is a fact of life in those ghettos. Girls who walk around without a headscarf, wear slightly short dresses or otherwise targeted as acting unseemly are abused severely. Sometimes for days. And all without any real action by the French police. What is the percentage of the French population that is actually Arab? 10%? 15%? 20%? How much longer until muslims, many of whom are fundamentalist, gain majority status? And what happens then to the French language? Culture? Will French Arabs, many of whom have gotten short shrift and virtual exile from employment or a reasonably productive life, really feel more French? Or Arab?

And how will the native French feel about this? Isn't the popularity of Le Pen increasing? Isn't the sentiment that "France is for the French" ever increasing?

In Germany how many Turkish "guest workers" are there that are actually *citizens* of Germany? How many generations have they lived in Germany? Isn't it a simple fact that guest workers cannot be citizens of Germany and retain their original citizenship? That even those workers who have only been taught German and know no other way of life are still NOT German?

All this against a backdrop where the native German population is decreasing rapidly.

And all this is a stable situation?

You don't see the potential for culturally and racially based conflict in the utter instability of Europe? As native Europeans attempt to reassert themselves and their traditional dominance?

3. "It was really encouraging to hear that many Muslims spoke enthusiastically of the great advances that have been made regarding racism in France."
Yes. Those Arabs who are fortunate enough to be able to go to a university probably are. Tell me. Did you discuss these issues with Arabs that have no chance at all at a university education or future employment? Did you go to the Arab ghettos where the furniture is made of concrete?

4. "And the problems extensive socialism brought are being addressed, and will continue to be addressed in the future. I agree that right now socialism in Europe was granted some breathing time like in Spain and Germany, where anti-americanism helped them to win the last elections, but in the long run, hard economic facts will force Europe back on the road of liberalisation."
How are they being addressed? Schroeder's party is almost dead from trying to enact even impossibly minor reforms in Germany. Chirac doesn't dare do anything in France for fear of strikes. In fact, IMHO, Chirac's most courageous move was to reduce welfare and unemployment benefits for out of work "entertainers" by two months. Something that really pissed off those out of work entertainers. So they went on strike. Amusing isn't it? Unemployed people going on strike?

Political courage to eliminate the socialist framework isn't going to happen anytime soon. If ever. It will probably take a really severe recession or even a depression to do that. For which America would no doubt get the blame. :)

5. "And the siege of vienna scenario is completely beyond reality."
I don't believe so at all. It's very telling that the Arabs still dream of the Reconquista. And again I point out that if Turkey becomes a member of the EU, with all of it's extremely lax border controls, then Turkey will become a conduit for other muslim populations. Could Europe really handle millions of illegal immigrants pouring in? Without catastrophic strain on the socialist framework?

And if Turkey isn't a member, how would that nation feel about having been strung along for so many years? Good enough to be a member of NATO. Good enough to be strung along by promises. But never good enough to be a member? I don't know. I can see there being a great deal of anger at this stain on Turkey's honor. And I'll point out that Turkey has 500,000 well equipped soldiers who are well trained. And the muslim views on honor, dishonor and insult.

You don't see a potential problem?

Hey ok by me. Just don't ask America to intervene. Even though I'm a Republican, I'd push to impeach a Republican President if he tried to help Europe in any war.

6. "If we assume the most negative demographic scenarios for Europe, its population will still be 2-3 times higher than that of Turkey within 50 years."
Not to be snarky but I'm sure the 1+ billion muslims in the world feel very safe knowing this. I'm sure that the 999+ million of these people, who live in relative poverty, wouldn't jump at the chance to sack and conquer Europe. Especially since many of them live so close to Europe already. Except for Indonesia. They'll have to take a boat.

7. "And European economic development has been very constant over the last 150 years, even if we account for such great crises like the two world wars.
It is thus very unreasonable to assume that the Turkish economy will be anywhere in the region of the European one in any foreseeable frame of time, given the fact that Turkish per capita income right now is about one third of the average of the new extended European Union."
*shrug*. EU annual GDP growth rate=? What. 1%? 0.5%? 0.25%? -0.5%? -1%? Does anyone really know? Will that change? The new higher price of oil is doing a good job in strangling most economies. How it'll affect the European nations will have to be seen. It's interesting though that Turkey is a primary conduit for middle eastern oil for Europe.

8. "Even under "perfect conditions" it will take Turkey another hundred years to be a serious antagonist to the EU."
Turkey could conquer everything from Greece through Austria right now if it wanted to and all by itself. I imagine that if Turkey sent out a call to the faithful to join a new Army of the House of War, it could do a lot more.

*shrug* hey. It's not my butt on the line, it's yours. I sure hope you're right. Either way I'll be there, remote and popcorn in hand. And before anyone get's the wrong idea, I don't hate Europe or Europeans. I just think y'all are, at worst, undeclared enemies and, at best, unreliable neutrals.

Hmmm.

@CCTV

No idea if you're even going to read this again but I'd suggest looking at the following article:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/685ozxcq.asp?pg=1

It's interesting.

Hmmm.

@CCTV

"If we assume the most negative demographic scenarios for Europe, its population will still be 2-3 times higher than that of Turkey within 50 years."

Sorry about not thinking about this comment more. I re-read this sentence and it doesn't make any sort of sense to me. Most European nations are experiencing a population implosion. The eastern European nations are maintaining their populations, to a point, but the eventual migration into the more depleted countries hasn't really started yet. So how is Europe going to continue having a population that is "2-3 times higher than that of Turkey"? Where is this population going to come from?

The largest single group of immigrants into Europe today are muslims. I can't imagine any reasonable argument that muslim immigration could be used to offset Turkey. Particularly since the primary issue with Turkey's ascension into the EU is the potential for Islamicization of Europe.

Could you explain how a Europe of 300+ million, with negative population growth, will maintain the current population ratio with Turkey and it's 83+ million and a positive population growth?

First of all, thanks a lot for the long and extensive post.


1. I absolutely agree that the ageing population is a severe challenge for
Europe, probably the biggest challenge Europe will face in this century.
It is really disturbing to see the apathy with which this problem is
currently addressed in Germany - neither do we really have resolute programs to raise birth
rates, nor do we have plans for a program of "selected immigration" of
people from Asia/India, who would probably create far less social problems
than Muslim immigrants.

2. French Muslim population is at about 5-10%. However, French birth rates
are at 1.9/women - probably the highest rate in Europe, and only little below
the sustenance rate of 2.1/women - while net migration to France is quite low compared to the EU average.
I agree that this does definitely not mean that a Muslim majority cannot possibly ever happen - just that it will take much longer than you seem to think.

Regarding the question of the influence of islamists on the French Muslim population, again I can only judge based on my personal experience.
I do not know of a scientific study discussing this problem - if you have one I'd love to see it.
You are right that the Muslim students I met are not the "typical Muslim". However, I saw a similar situation in St. Priest, the suburb where I lived during my stay in Lyon, with a much broader representation of Muslim population.
Although there are problems with crime rates and drug addiction, I only very rarely encountered young Muslims who tried to live according to the Qu'Ran - or who even knew a lot about it.
Instead, the general motivation seemed to be to copy the Hip-Hop style of Afro-Americans - and this was not restricted to young males. However, I think you are right in asserting that the rather isolated Islamist movement might grow much stronger if the social situation of Arabs in France does not improve within the next few decades.

4. OK, I admit that in France there is no real commitment to liberalisation.
Chirac will have a very hard time if he wants to make further reforms - the French strikes are almost legendary. During my stay, hardly a day passed without someone striking. This why I chose Spain and Germany and not France as an example :).
Seriously, I think socialism is on the retreat in Great Britain and more slowly in the Benelux countries as well. There are also some inspiring examples in the young Eastern European countries, like Slovakia - the fact that the recently liberalised countries are also those with the brightest economic development will not go unnoticed by the rest of Europe.

The problem in Germany is that Schroeder wants to do the right job with the wrong party. Actually, the majority of Germans wants reforms - and they will get them in 2006.
The CDU government will then be the first government since the mid-1990s who has a solid majority in both houses - while the SPD will have lost all credibility to criticise the reforms.

At least, that is my view using red-coloured glasses >), but I really believe that this scenario is quite probable.

5. Rebuffing Turkey is necessary and will surely insult the Turkish people.
France plans to hold a referendum on the question of Turkish admission, which has a quite chance to result in a French veto in my opinion.

A resulting military clash is IMO quite unlikely at the moment. Maybe it becomes more realistic in the future, but Europe will then definitely react. In the end the greater economic potential of Europe - combined with access to nuclear weapons - will make any possible conflict with the, in contrast, very poor Muslim world quite one-sided, regardless of the sheer numbers they can field.

7. Nothing to blandish here - right now the European economic development is pathetic, and we can only hope to reverse the trend. However, I still believe that European workers in general are very skilful and highly educated, and that the European economy will take up steam again in the long run. Especially if you account for the fact that right now the main problem is not that Europeans can't work or don't know how to - the problem is that they don't want to or are prevented from doing so by unions and state regulations.
The average German works on average for about 53% of the time that is deemed to be possible for an adult - while the average American works about 71% of this time.

Regarding the conflict with Turkey, I believe in general that the time of great conquests in Europe is over. Nuclear weapons have prevented the war between Russia and the US, and they will do the same job in a potential future conflict with Turkey.

"Sorry about not thinking about this comment more. I re-read this sentence and it doesn't make any sort of sense to me."

Well it might gain a lot more sense if you look at the right numbers :)
Right now the European Union has 450 million inhabitants, while Turkey has 70 million.
Even if we make the unreasonable assumption that growing wealth and industrialisation does not have any negative impact on the Turkish birth rats, Turkey will have a population of about 130 million in 50 years, while the scenarios for Europe predict a population of about 350-400 million. Which is well within the 2-3 factor range I asserted.

I already read the original interview with Lewis in Die Welt. I think Lewis prediction will become true if Europe does not react appropriately in the future - which is very unlikely in my opinion.

Right now, however, many Europeans do not want to face this problem, and it will take quite some time before they do.
Sadly, the main response to the article of Lewis I found among Germans was to dismiss it as another American islamophobia.

The germans dont have nothing!!!...

Präsident Busch ist kein Nazi
Deutsche Soldaten waren sehr gut ausgebildet als US Amerikanische wärend des 2 Weltkrieges.
In Deutschlad flogen die ersten Deutschen Düsenjäger Me-262 und die ersten Raketen V1,V2
vom Design, der technik und der feuerkraft war der Deutsche Tiger 2 dem US Panzer Sherman überlegen,beim Bau des Firefly richtete man sich nach dem Tiger 2. Die panzertacktig von Giderian wurde von Patton abgeschaut. In Westpoint hängt ein Bild von SS Scharrführer Steiner.
Amerikaner sind wie Vietnam, Korea und Iraq beweisen, schlechte Soldaten am Boden, bedeute schlechte Kämpfer.
emigrierte Deutsche und oder Deutschstämmige Wissenschaftler,haben geholfen die Atombome zu bauen.Kraft und Heinz der Erfinder von Ketchub kamen aus Deutschland. Und ein Deutsches U-Boot ergab sich nach der Kapitulation den Usa auf hoher See. Es war unterwegs nach japan mit einigen KG angereichertem Uran und einem zerlegten Düßenjäger. Es war bestimmt für Japan.
Damit wurde die Atombombe hergestellt die man auf Japan geworfen hat.Die Hauptlast des Krieges trug damals die USSR mit 20.000.000 Toten
die USA mischte sich immer erst zum Ende beider Kriege ein. Die USA Armee ist eine der schlechtesten Armeen, wärend des 2 Weltkrieges dessertierten laut eigener Statistik 20.000 G.I

Amen

God bless

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