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So, IG Metall's position has been raised by a national paper, eh?

This could get interesting.

I do not think the red/greens will do too badly in September. They have a number of months before then to stir up all sorts of rhetoric. It has worked in the past, and will probably work again.

I think the problem is more one of dissatifaction with the failed policies of Schreoder's govt, not any positive desire to see a less socialist government. Indeed, most of those who voted against him in this most recent defeat probably think the big problem is that Schroeder is TOO liberal. They are seeing all the negatives (unemployment cuts, etc.) and none of the positives (which haven't materialized due to the timidity of the change) of a freer market.

I was recently surprised to find myself cheering the EU and stultifying economic policies in Europe. It is clear they will never see the error of their ways, and will continue to blame the US for everything no matter what. That being the case, I am only too pleased to see them cut their own throats a little more deeply each time. They will complain all the louder about the US as they continue to sink, of course, but it is rather like the yapping of a terrier and the growling of a wolfhound: while the terrier may make far more noise than the wolfhound, it is ultimately of far less consequnce, and may be ignored that much more safely.

I'm sorry, folks, but some time in the last few months I've simply given up on the bulk of the Europeans having any sense at all. It is perhaps better to let them do themselves in, after the style of the USSR.

What a treat to see David's Medienkritik in the Wall Street Journal!!

The next few months are going to be fun. I look forward to the blogs active particiation in election campaign. I watched the WDR coverage yesterday via the internet. What is striking is that Journalists press and TV alike questioned the electorate and their decision. Sound familiar. Let the German people show what they are made of and what they want for their country. Although in the past I have had my reservations about Angela Merkel, I think she will do a fine job. Things have to be changed radically to fix the economy. The CDU has the Bundesrat and the soon the Bundestag, as well as the state houses. If Germany cannot turn it around now all is lost. I know Germany will turn it around. The "System Question" will be asked and answered. The CDU Governours are strong politicians and they love their country. Franz Joseph Strauß asked in his election bid in the 70's Freiheit statt Sozialismus. Several decades later that question will be answered and Freiheit will win. Go for it Germany, fight it out!! It will be exciting to watch the discussion unfold, and I can only hope that the GEZ ARD ZDF and the rest are held to account. I look forward to the German Issue Blogs and the election. Hold your Press to account!!

GOOD LUCK AND GODSPEED

YES!!! This is a major mention :D. The WSJ is, of course, one of the major papers in the US, possibly in the world, and Fund is one of their best-known columnists. Congratulations on a job well done! :D

Why is it when I read the European section on BBC or the Times that Schroeder is always in France campaigning for the "Yes" campaign? Shouldn't he be more focused in domestic issues and with Germans voters who will decide his fate?

This blog and no pasaran have been daily "checks" for a while now...I applaud you both for your prodigious and insightful work.

With the fall of the SPD/Greens in NRW, there is now a heavy responsibilty being placed on the new CDU/CSU/FDP coalition to actually turn around the floundering economy. The people of Germany will have to take deep cuts in their social welfare system to make the economy more viable. The six weeks of vacation will have to be reduced. The costs of having an employee will need to be reduced so that a small business can actually hire a person without the high cost of government mandated benefits and job security. A bad worker should be let go when then don't live up to what is expected of them. Good employees should be rewarded for their competence. Among my students, I see a lot of deadwood, and I know that the businesses who have to keep them on the payroll, do it reluctantly due to the fact that the government protects the employee and not the employer. There will need to be stronger enforcement of any existing laws regarding working under the table and being on welfare at the same time. I know several people who have bragged that they do this and can get away with it. If you report anyone for this, the responsible person doesn't care. There are a lot of apathetic bureaucrats who are not interested in doing a competent job, they don't have to. Just show up and collect your pay, don't bother me with your problems, go to the next window please.

So the new Ministerpräsident in NRW has his job cut out for him. I wish him luck and godspeed. And thank god for the victory over the SPD/Greens in NRW.

randlose cites: "But did you remember the parties, Arnold?" Winfrey asked.
"I really don't," he replied


Well, those parties you don't remember are the really good ones. I know that. ;) However, this is pretty Off-Topic, don't you think?

--yes, that is also why the French disapprove of the US, ---

They always have.

It's the gaul/anglo war, it's still going on.

From my perspective, the, I hope, imminent tossing out of Gerhard and company may not make a lot of difference. I find it disturbing how all too easily the German people seem to be led in an anti-American direction. That would seem to me to be a problem more with the culture than with one party. I am not likely to seriously consider trusting them, or particularly caring about their welfare again.

What you should be asking Randlose is why over half of Americans - and many Eastern Europeans to add another bloc - do approve of Bush's actions - while there is such uniformity of opinion regarding his Admin in France and Germany and to a lesser extent in Italy, Austrailia etc

And do note the criticisms are many - the alternative suggestions are non-existent beyond the most generalized "understanding and diplomacy" reccomendations

my new fav quote come from Merkel - "Auschwitz was not liberated with diplomacy"

@randlose: Yes, Bush's actions fully explain why the Australians overwhelmingly re-elected John Howard.

If you believe that anti- or pro-americanism has much to do with German politics then I'll have to say that you don't know German politics at all.

The election 3 years ago was somewhat of an exception. Schroeder actually did pull that card after being clearly behind in the polls - and Germans generally were disgusted (Germany was mostly opposed to the war in Iraq - a different topic).

So what happened at the election? Schroeder won, right? Well, what happened was a disasterous flood of the Elbe river in Eastern Germany (the Czech Republic was hit, too) just in the weeks before the election. Schroeder went there, shook hands, gave speeches and didn't object to the National Guard being called to help by others. And suddenly the the polls turned because "he did such a good job with the flood". Truly a heavenly gift.

That's what happened and anti-americanism has very little to do with it. By the way, the polls turned again within a matter of weeks and Germans are still upset at the stupidity of voting for the flood instead of the politician - a fact easily seen in the fact that ALL states are now governed by opposition CDU/FDP coalition.

William,
Germans and being anti-amercan..., right.

Let's see: I am German, I live in Boston, MA, my sister does as well, my cousin in finishing his Ph.D. in Collogne and is thinking about coming here. Two friends from high school are somewhere in the US because of job and/or marriage, one friend from college is a professor in the Carolinas, 2 former girlfriends are both here, I know several other people from school who ended up here and my parents have several neighbors in that little town in southern Germany who regularly fly to the US because their kids are here. Just to be sure: all the people mentioned are Germans. It must be that anti-americanism that brings us all here.

Geez, check your facts, ask around, talk to people and most importantly, get a life...

Note from David: And, yes, I know a 90-year old who chain-smoked all his life. Oops, make that 2. So, smoking isn't all that dangerous, right? All you need to do is ask around, talk to people, and most importantly, get a life.
Don't worry about statistics that would tell you otherwise... It's your personal experience that counts!

@ Mike H.

"If you believe that anti- or pro-Americanism has much to do with German politics then I'll have to say that you don't know German politics at all."

With all due respect what Koolaid flavor are you drinking?

Schroeder opened the door of anti-Americanism as a political tactician. Especially in the East where anti-Americanism is latent after so many years under soviet domination. In the West the 68ers came to power, they have always been against conservative values, but that is not the point, the polls were against Schroeder and he played the WE ARE NOT GOING TO SEND A GERMAN SOLDIER TO IRAQ even though no one asked. Sure the floods were an issue and Schroeder promised money he did not deliver.

So what does the German 68er leftists do before last Sundays election, they start portraying the US as a bunch of blood sucking Capitalists, who are, not the Germans, no the American Capitalists, responsible for the miserable condition the German economy is in.

IT DID NOT WORK. GERMANS ARE SAYING THE PROBLEM IS A GERMAN ONE AND THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN FIX IT IS THE GERMANS!!!! THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AMERICA!!

No more hide and seek. The German economy went from one of the strongest in the world to one where no one in their right mind wants to invest in. The reason is that socialists want to regulate capital and entrepreneurs and business people. They don't need some parliamentarian who has NO experience in business ( and most of them don't ) telling them how to create jobs. Even the SPD has figured out that the government does not create job, the economy does. The smoke screen of the big bad ugly American blood sucking capitalist didn't work. People aren't buying it anymore. In fact people are not buying anything anymore - spending money anymore, why because they have no confidence in the future. This is about to change.

Schroeder made anti-Americanism Salon-Faehig (acceptable for small talk), he opened Pandora's box.

Now it's time to get back to reality and take the Americans as we are and not as the Socialist would like to make us out to be.

Like I keep saying this is going to be fun!!!!

Mike,

I would consider them being here a choice over being in Germany. It might be for a number of reasons such as jobs, freedom, opportuinty, a quality education, etc.

America is filled with people like you know. They come here by choice. That is one of the things that is great about America.

You did not address if any of them in their daily lives encounter anti-Germany emotions as many Americans do when they are in Germany.


BTW it might be these Germans are both risk takers and smarter than those they left behind. If this is true, then I find that to be sad as these are the people Germany needs the most today.

What Mike H. desribes makes sense logically, unfortunately these people aren't logical to begin with.

I had a Mexican friend, very much into Chomsky and the American conspiracies, specifically against Mexicans. He annoyed me to the point I banned him from entering the US, heh. Where is he now? He left Mexico and lives in Texas. I've heard plenty of big mouth Germans who talk it up in Germany about how stupid Americans are when they were working in the US for Siemens, then in the end permanently move to the US. Makes no sense, but that's how it is.

@Mike H.

Now that the Bin Ladens are no longer welcomed in Boston...sounds like your extended German family will keep the Euro discoteques in business around Kenmore Square. This is also certainly good news for Herb Chambers, the Mercedes dealer. He can now postpone adding a Lexus franchise for another year.

@ Sleepy Seatle

Remember what El Presidente Vincente Fox says: Illegal Mexician immigrants are good for the American ecomony because they are taking jobs that lazy Afro-Americans refuse to take.

Getting noted in the WSJ is a good thing David and Ray. Congrats.

So the election is going to be a battle of personalities. What about substance? The Germans have to care about more than hair dye I know. The German population has to have questions. What will the answers be? Will the German MSM let the political parties get away with a beauty contest?

@Randlos

Schroeder played the anti-american card long before we went to war. He played the card in such a manner that Germany laid it's cards out on the table for Saddam to see. Saddam could do what he wants, he could ignore UN resolutions and knew he would get away with it. He knew the largest EU country with the strongest economy was in bed with France. He knew that Chirac and Schroeder wanted to keep the status quo so putin and chirac could continue to milk the oil for food program.

Schroeder knew he could prey on the fear of war in Germany. He didn't stand up and say we will no longer have the UN made a mockery of. He did not say Germany knows what it is like to suffer under a dictator. He did no say Germany knows what it is like to be responsible for mass graves. He did not say that people arbitrarily placed in prison to be tortured was wrong and he and Germany was no longer going to look the other way. No, what he said was look at those bad Americans, they want to break international law. He doesn't believe in Freedom nor in the God-given rights of human beings to be free. He wanted to win an election. And he choose the cheapest possible of all paths to do it, praying on peoples fears.

This isn't an issue of people not trusting the US or Bush, this is an issue of people willing to step up to the plate for others. After over 25 years in Germany I will never understand how a country could ignore it's past, what happened to its people (loss of all rights and dignitiy under a dictator) and what it did to others (mass graves) and look the other way when others are suffering the exact same plight.

Maybe the new Mike H. from boston could get another name? Mike H. Spokane.

I'm shocked by the responses to the article of John Fund the WSJ has published.

One of the readers calls the German chancellor Schröder a "swine". That is ridiculous.
Another one says that he'll never forget what the Germans did to him (or his country) by having or spreading anti-American thoughts/claims. Therefore he won't buy any more German products or think of Germans as of friends? Why? What did we do? What did I do? Besides this guy will forget about the boycott the moment the next blockbuster directed by Roland Emmerich comes to US cinemas or something similar happens.

These replies demonstrate that there's much ignorance and anger on both sides of the Atlantic. Constant reports of anti-Americanism in Germany seem to work out in a way no one can want. Americans start to think about the Germans as bad as Germans are supposed to think about Americans. However, no American or German should have a (negative) opinion about all Germans or all Americans unless one doesn't know them all. We mustn't think about a group of people as a whole when we only know a few people out of that group. Stereotyping may be convenient, but on other fields than driving skills and cooking it's probably dangerous.

The article itself is biased. Well, that's the nature of the media (aka propaganda). We have this everywhere. But the way Fund does it here, I find it very astonishing. E.g. he does not mention that the FDP lost many votes in NRW (more than the Greens).
It is possible that German media report that biased too. Nevertheless it's surprising what is left after seeing both sides of a story (the German and the view of Fund - I'm thinking about the study fee issue, but that's another topic).

@woodstock

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The US press is far nicer to the Germans than vice versa. You would presumably be equally outraged if someone bloodied your nose after you'd broken his arm.

Mirrors are very useful things.

I said that "it's surprising what is left after seeing both sides of a story". Concerning the topic USA I only know one point of view and that's the German (media's) one. And I don't even know what all the newspapers write and the stations broadcast. Who does? I virtually don't read American papers. I don't know how US papers comment US politics. My point is that I can reveal biased reports from the US media, but I can hardly find them in the German media because I cannot compare both sides of a story.

However, when the WSJ publishes responds that are partially offensive[1] and full of "irrationality" (quoted from one of the responds to the WSJ article) this will only fuel the fire everyone in the US seems to fear. It's just not necessary and won't do no one any good.

[1] I hope that I did not offend anyone by myself.

Schroeder played the anti-american card long before we went to war. He played the card in such a manner that Germany laid it's cards out on the table for Saddam to see. Saddam could do what he wants, he could ignore UN resolutions and knew he would get away with it.

To be fair, that's not quite accurate. Germany wasn't to be seated on the Security Council when the second resolution would have come to a vote, and therefore had no bearing on what Saddam could or could not do. Not that a reasonable observer would have guessed this irrelevance absent that knowledgs.

Doug,

Am a bit confused on the time lines on this.

Would mind listing those as they refer to your post?

Thank you!

Woodstock,

With a growing segment of the American population Germany and Germans have burned the bridges between the US and Germany. It will take generations to rebuild these if they can ever be rebuild even if they want to be rebuilt. I can assure as much as some would like the relationship to return to how it was prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall or post 9 11 it never will.

What you are seeing in those comments are the feelings of some Americans toward your nation. This is a reasonable reaction given the position your nation has taken and the way it has chosen to portray America. You actually should not be shocked but more surprisingly pleased that comments were not worse.

What many Americans question, as I do, is a commitment to the defense of Germany? I for one no longer view Germany as an ally of the US. That does not mean I view Germany as an enemy of the US. I now place Germany some where in that group of nations like Brazil or the Philippines or Liberia or Austria. They are a nation, which we must at various levels interact with on many issues. I surely no longer trust Germany and I think neither do my fellow citizens or my government. There has been a huge sea change in this since 9 11.

Many here like to talk about what we share in common. I do not think we share very much in common. Pick any important issue and you will find Americans views and opinions are much different than Germans. Yes, at times we use the same words but the meaning of those words is different. Yes, we do share some things in common but much of what we share is universal and is not unique to or limited to German – American relationship

As an example, Americans believe in freedom. Germans believe in stability. Americans are more religious and are becoming more religious while Germans are becoming more secular. The list is long.


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