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Hi. I think you should consider to think about where you want to go with your weblog. Currently, it looks like there is not much of "Medienkritik" left. Instead of that, there is a lot of "why we think that Schröder sucks". Of course, it is your blog and you can write whatever you want, but I liked the "old" David's Medienkritik and I doubt it would have been as successful as it was if it wasn't for analysing the media from a (more or less) non-biased point of view. At least that was what kept me visiting this site almost daily for month. What you are doing now, "just" stating your opinion, is not exactly what this weblog used to be all about, or do I miss something?! I hope that you won't become some kind of Germany's Michael Moore or an Anti-Marc-Pitzke. In other words: more media-analysing and less opinion would be great.

Apart from that: Keep up the great work!

All those recommendations would make Germany a nation above others. German clearly has the economy to support and sustain it all. All it needs is the will.

Things could be worse for Gerhard. He could have to stay in elected office until he dies to stay out of prison like his good friend Chirac in France.

sick puppet, why don`t you mind your own business?

Hey! What about the 800 pound gorilla in the living room?

Immigration. I see the EU is holding off on the Service Directive till after the referendums.

DL, I agree with most of your critic, which is often brillant. But I guess these proposals go in a wrong direction.

There is not much Germany can do alone. Yes, it can make a difference. But not like the US who can got it alone. The difference Germany can make is to put its weight on the right side. In Europe that means to get closer to the pro-American governments. On a global scale it means to recognize that to go with America is both, useful for our material interests as well as for idealistic goals. Pacifing dangerous zones and ordering the chaos in a globalized world is necessary, and it works much better if Old Europe stops to dream of building a hostile coalition - named "counterweight" - that permanently tries to undermine the power who is doing this job.

You name the example Dafur. Washington would have done something, if Europe would have been on board. It was Bush who called it genocide, and it were the op-eds of NYT and WP who called for action (unfortunatly not accompaigned by FAZ or SZ). In continental Europe, the fact that estimated 15.000 people die in Dafur is not even noticed. Nobody knows about it. It doesn't happen.

American Grand strategy today rests on the assumption that the civilized nations must bring order and self-government to the people. If they don't, they get a feedback. The latest feedback was 9/11. That's globalization.

I am convinced that it's in Germanys interest to work closely with Washington in achieving those goals. Not because it's pressed by the American government, but because it has understood that this strategy is in the interests of Americans and Europeans as well.

In 2002, I expected Schröder to turn public opinion around. I thought he would, after the elections, explain to people what foreign affairs are and what the German interest are. I thought it would be a step to an "adult" Germany that begins to understand the world out there and takes its responsabilities to make it a better place. This was a grave error.

Instead, the red-green government began an enterprise that could be summed up as "liberation" from America (first against American FP, now against Capitalism). There is no strategy. Just the ressentment of people who feel themselves victimized by America. It's pure psychology, anti-politic.

In France there is a similar state of mind. The French resent very much their loss of power. There is a say that France could never accept having been liberated by America. France is looking for revenge.

Chirac and Schröder are both reacting on a similar psychopathology. The project of creating "counterweight" is THE French dream, since Charles de Gaulle. With Gerhard Schröder and a Germany in which only 16 percent of people have a positive view of the American president, this dream might become true.

The alternative to this non-sense-politics is not a Germany that goes it alone. The alternative is a wise and prudent foreign policy that balances ideals and interests.

--In France there is a similar state of mind. The French resent very much their loss of power. There is a say that France could never accept having been liberated by America. France is looking for revenge.--

Or just a continuation of the 1000 y.o. gaul-anglo war....

I agree that Germany is far from the force for good in the world it might be. All we need to do is compare the regions and countries that owe their freedom in large part to the actions of the United States to those who owe their freedom, to any extent at all, to Germany.

The United States: Western Europe (1940s), South Korea (1950s), Central America, Phillipines and Eastern Europe (1980s). The Middle East is now a work in progress. That's roughly a billion people.

Germany: Germany has certainly crushed the freedom of many in modern times. But I'm not aware of any country who owes Germany much in the way of thanks for its freedoms. Even the freeing of eastern Germany from Soviet domination owes more to Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul II than to any German.

In short, Germany's many offenses against humanity aren't merely sins of commission from decades ago. They're sins of omission in the present. Germans seem to be interested in little more than long vacations and extensive social services. Like France, their foreign policy consists of doing little more than opposing the U.S. and pumping up their economy by trading with thug regimes.

And yes, Germany (like France) isn't big enough and rich enough to "go it alone" in many areas. But they could follow the British and Australian example and stand behind the United States when it does something. Then they'd be playing a role in making the world a better place.

--Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle
Editor: Dachau Liberated.

@Riccardo:
As another admirer of this website, I agree that Davids Medienkritik should keep its focus on the media. Granted, it's often difficult to disentangle commentary about the media from commentary about politics, especially when the German prestige press cannot bring itself to question many of the tenets of German political thought about econonic and foreign policy. Nevertheless, there ought to be a separate sister site for articles purely about politics.

There's a lesson to be learned from the decline of the (detestable) Media Monitors Network website. When the project first began, it was very effective in getting people to question the discourse concerning Israel and Islam in American media; it was a treasure-trove of information on bias. Presently, however, the MMN is nothing more than a bulletin board for insubstantial rants about America, and I'm happy to report MMN is now ignored by its intended audience.

I hope the difference Germans seek to make in the world is for the better.

David

what is opinion of schoeder at the moment, is he still popular or is he in danger of being toppled like Tony Blair in a few years or months

Also are their not term limits in the German Constitution

Note from David: I guess Schroeder is still more popular than Angela Merkel, the opposition leader. But that's a meaningless statistic. If Schroeder's party (SPD) loses the North-Rhine/Westfalia elections this Sunday, Schroeder is in big trouble.
No, there are no term limits for a German chancellor.

Also when is the next German election likely, if I remember correct the last one was 2002, so is it normally a 4 year period

Note from David: Germany's next election on the federal level is in fall 2006.

@Ulrich Speck
You wrote - "There is not much Germany can do alone. Yes, it can make a difference. But not like the US who can go it alone. The difference Germany can make is to put its weight on the right side. In Europe that means to get closer to the pro-American governments. On a global scale it means to recognize that to go with America is both, useful for our material interests as well as for idealistic goals. Pacifing dangerous zones and ordering the chaos in a globalized world is necessary, and it works much better if Old Europe stops to dream of building a hostile coalition - named "counterweight" - that permanently tries to undermine the power who is doing this job."


You make an important point but one that takes as its premise a common misperception. There is in fact much Germany can do alone. I have seen both in the Balkans and Afghanistan the difference Germany can make on a small scale if the political will is there. And it certainly has the resources to do far more than it currently does. It is leadership, or political will, that is lacking. Who in government has appeared on late night talk television to explain why it is important for Germany to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan? Who in Germany knows about their accomplishments in Konduz? Instead, the government makes it sound as if the only reason it has troops there is as a favor to the Americans and to keep the friendship half-way balanced in light of its opposition to sending troops to Iraq. Leadership costs nothing. But your observation regarding the path Germany needs to take in order to make its leadership effective is spot on. It’s not about choosing sides with America or France in an attempt to return to mid-19th century balance of power politics. It’s about values, or as you say, Germany putting its weight on the right side. If Germany were to use values as its criteria for foreign policy it would find it wouldn’t have to worry about what individual nations do. More often than not, Germany would find itself surrounded by friends, the world’s democracies.

"Who in government has appeared on late night talk television to explain why it is important for Germany to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan? Who in Germany knows about their accomplishments in Konduz? Instead, the government makes it sound as if the only reason it has troops there is as a favor to the Americans and to keep the friendship half-way balanced in light of its opposition to sending troops to Iraq. Leadership costs nothing."
That's it. I agree entirely.
German policiticans live in a Cold War mindset. That's why we have soldiers in Afghanistan: We have to "give" them to America, because we depend from American goodwill.
What we have now is the rebellion against this mindset which prevailed in the first term of Schröder.
But the rebellion itself is still part of the Cold War-game. The only difference is that now, for the first time, the government is on the side of the protesters.
Leadership needs an ambiance. Tony Blair has his think tanks. Gerhard Schröder has - some old buddies from the Staatskanzlei in Hannover.

Germany is a great nation, it just has to make the decision to really look like one. It's not up to Schroeder really, it's up to the German people. Being a great nation isn't being a lap dog or follower of anyone or any other nation, Germany really can and should go it's own way.

Looking at todays reports of 0.2 growth in the last quarter for France I don't think that is a direction for Germany to go or emulate. Germany has to find a different and German way. Schroeder and his coalition do not appear to know the way back home let alone a way forward.

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