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hopefully germans wont be this dumb again and "re-elect" that spineless do-gooder schröder.

Color me surprised!

Hmmm ... can't Germany just share the European SC seat? I mean, New York and California have to share the US seat. Aren't Britain and France enough?

India, Japan & Brazil make more sense right now, sorry.

As long as France has a seat at the UN, Germany will want one, too (and to a certain degree, rightfully so). Why not solve two problems at once: Just give the French seat to Germany!

;-)

I suspect that the U.S. will hold it's nose and vote to support Germany getting on the security council. The U.S. wants to get Japan and India on the council, and tends to support Brazil having a higher diplomatic profile, so to accomodate that, they will probably vote for the entire package.

This is not to say that Germany deserves such a spot. Europe already has 3 permanent security council members with Russia, Britain and France. Germany doesn't provide the "developing world" perspective that India and Brazil do. And most of all, frankly I think the security council already is enough of an "all talk, no action" (recent non-Iraq examples: Myanmar, Darfur, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe) organization without adding yet another member who seems committed to talking about problems as opposed to solving them.

Wolf said, "Just give the French seat to Germany!" Would anyone notice? I mean, France has had the keys to Germany's foreign policy ever since Gerd discovered what a swell chap Jacques is. I'm sure the over-the-top anti-American rhetoric would be pretty much the same...
/sarcasm off
Seriously, if the Germans are foolish enough to elect Schröder again and his band of merry socialists, then I will probably lose all hope of better German-US relations.

I think a UNSEC seat should be given out to any nation that asks for one.

According to Manfred Güllner, director of the Forsa polling institute, it would be, indeed, very difficult for Schröder to play the Iraq card again.

"He will try to present his Iraq policy as one of his accomplishments, but I don't believe it will be a big plus this time," Güllner told Reuters.

"The war has already happened. It simply isn't the divisive issue it once was."

Everyone expected this. Schroder doesn't have a record he can run on. This stratgry will not get very far.

The problems facing Germany are far to numerous for the people to be fooled by this.

I think (or hope) that CDU and FDP will respond to Schröder's attempts to use the Iraq war to his advantage by reminding the German people on his policies regarding his behaviour towards Putin and China. Those might not be issues of the highest importance to the electorate but they help to discredit his claim to be a politician of peace and all this bullshit.

terrible English:-): please ignore the words " regarding his behaviour"

I dont think Schroeder's SPD will "play the iraqi card" like in 2002 - but here s something americans will be happy to hear:

If the Linksbündnis keeps getting votes, the CDU wont be able to take over with the FDP anymore -> than the CDU will have to work together with the SPD.
Doesnt that sound promising? :P

But hey! Maybe Schroeder will play the "USA prevented us from gaining a security council seat!" -card

Ahh politics is so much fun - i love it :))

@zyme

So funny! Germany will decay into even further political gridlock unable to make any evolutionary reform. Germany's economy will soon be surpassed by the United Kingdom. That will really be a big joke on those Americans!

Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten.

A few weeks ago, someone posted a link (either stern or Spiegel) which had a chart showing daily poll results. Does anyone have a link?

Thanks und danke!

General Comments.

Steve - You are nuts. Will not happen

Gerhard could eqully take credit for preventing the cold war from turning hot if he wants to take credit for keeping Germany out of conflicts.

True he has no record. That does not seem to matter much to the German people. He had no record before but won.

A grand coalition of the willing or the unwilling. Either way, this should make the average German happy as nothing major will happen to the social welfare state and social justice will rein.

Think four years of this. Where will Germany be at the end of this period? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

This would once again prove Germans have trouble with choices. Must be a culture thing. Good enough reason for no UNSC seat

@ james

I dont know whether you are having a tough life or not, but what i know for sure is that you SOUND like you are having a tough one :D

@ Joe

"True he has no record. That does not seem to matter much to the German people. He had no record before but won."

Charisma is more important in germany than records, true. He had the charisma of a savior after the great flood in eastern germany in 2002. Right now, there s no flood in sight, so he wont be as lucky this time.

"This would once again prove Germans have trouble with choices. Must be a culture thing."

100% correct - thats why i d love to see a strong president as powerful as an Ersatzkaiser who decides for us ! Governed by aristocrats for thousands of years, our people dont act rational within such a new responsibility.

I like Putin's saying: "Democracy where it works"
This should be applied to Germany as well, and no one could whine about our hesitation anymore.

Would we fit into the council this way in your opinon, Joe? :)

Zyme

I find your observation about Germany's heritage of discomfort with choosing her leaders interesting. The national psyche of a nation is a fascinating subject, especially an important one such as Germany. Do you think that given a few more generations under democracy, that Germans will grow more easy with the process of choosing their leaders?

@ jane m

With thousands of years living in aristocracy, i doubt that a few generations will be enough. It would rather take a few centuries i d say.

Though you have to keep in mind one thing: In germany everything is done to the very end (i explained this once here, referring to the second reich, weimar republic and the third reich, its part of german mentality). So when there s a constitution which was intended to divide power in EVERY possible way (the current Grundgesetz is shaped absolutely this way), than there will never be some kind of political party that is in full charge for more than two or three years. Obviously thats not enough for tough decisions if a party wants to be reelected - and which party doesnt ;)

Our current republic is running towards a big wall in a way, its like a train heading into a tunnel which is still under construction, and no one knows how to deaccelerate.

Therefor in the long term, people will rather realize that its more promising to have one powerful and charismatic person to lead the country out of this mess than to do it within the current system i guess.

Can someone impartial please explain why Germany should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council? Brazil, India, and Japan are much better, more logical candidates.


amazing to watch the deteriating quality of this blog. not only that medienkritik in the meantime was able to create some sort of visionary power by predicting Gerhard's election spirit, it just adds a little bit of the ubiquitous anti-american main stream media topic (which has been fought very bravely in lafayette park) and a spicy hint for germany's run for the UNSEC. you guys perform pretty well.

i just wonder why many commentators exchange their antipathy for germany on this blog after repeatingly saying "they are doomed anyway, but in the end we don't care".

Deutscher: Need I remind you, Arbeit macht Frei.

Germany should stop trying to get a permanent seat in the UNSC. And stop paying.

I doubt that Schröder can make points with Iraq again. On the other hand, Merkel doesn't look good for the average Joe, either. Her desire to raise sales taxes from 16% to 18% is pretty idiotic. And the girlymen and lapdogs around her, like Pflüger and Hintze (who the hell is Kauder?)...well. Good men like Friedrich Merz (who wanted to drastically simplify the tax code, and was intellectually able to fight the left) are gone. It's like the late Helmut Kohl all over again. The three reasons I can see to vote for Merkel: a) she isn't anti-amercan, b) she doesn't want turkey in the EU, and she will be hard against islamic fundamentalists - at least harder than anybody else. I don't know if this is enough for the most Germans (in Germany, the immigrant group that is causing much trouble right now are russian Germans).

And there is a new player in town, "Die Linkspartei" ("The Left Party"), a fusion of the Union based, west german former "WASG" ("Wahl Alternative Soziale Gerechtigkeit" - "Vote Alternative Social Justice") and the former PDS/SED (the remains of the east german communists). They get a lot of media attention (what surprise), and their two exponents, east german Gregor Gisy and west german Oskar Lafontaine (former SPD Chairman!) are very eloquent and perfect propagandists. Polls locate the "Linkspartei" between 10% and 20%, they might get the most votes in east germany.

If Germany suffers terror attacks, like those going on in London, Schroeder may actually succeed in destroying the SPD, the oldest political party in Germany.

@Jabba

I don't think so. In fact, terror attacks could be helpful for the SPD. In the proportional voting system of Germany, the real Moonbats ("Greens" and Linkspartei) part from the not-so-looney Left like the SPD. Most SPD voters are somewhat conservative and will not accept the appeasement of the Dhimmi-Lefties.

Hartmut said, "the immigrant group that is causing much trouble right now are russian Germans."
I would qualify that statement a little. We have a lot of Spätaussiedler here in RLP, most have integrated well, others have not and of course these are the ones that cause problems and are involved in a lot of criminal activity. Additionally, many in this area belong to the Pfingstgemeinde, and although they tend to isolate themselves, they for the most part do not cause any trouble whatsoever.
"...three reasons I can see to vote for Merkel..."
May I add a couple? 4. She isn't Gerhard Schröder. 5. Her party, whilst far from perfect, is at least not the Moonbat Lunatic Fringe. 6. Her party does have a few people that understand the subject matter, unlike the present gov't that knows so little that all they can do is hire their party-buddy consultants at outrageous fees to provide Gutachten that reveal only what they wanted to hear in the first place. 7. Did I mention that she isn't Gerhard Schröder?
BTW, I liked Merz as well. I was very sorry to see him go. :-(

@ Scout

True, I agree. Some of the russian Germans do integrate very well already. Fischer must fell very sad.

Ooops. "feel"

@NJ Sue

"Can someone impartial please explain why Germany should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council? Brazil, India, and Japan are much better, more logical candidates."

Germany right now has about 6000 soldiers employed in international peacekeeping missions. I think that makes us third behind the US and GB (by a huge margin of course).
How many troops have Brazil, India and Japan abroad?

The real point is that the Security Council should be reformed. It still reflects the world as it was half a century ago.

@fuchur: Actually, if you want to define international peacekeeping as UN missions only, then Germany comes in at 39th (not far behind the US at 30th). Pakistan is number one.

http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/contributors/2005/june2005_2.pdf

/sarcasm on
Of course, we are all aware of the German contribution in Afghanistan, but since it's not UN, it doesn't count. Just like the 130K the US has deployed, they don't count either.
/sarcasm off
But seriously, this only goes to show you that a "UN Mandate" is neither a panacea nor prerequisite for doing important work in the world. Considering how the UN is run, one might go so far as to say that the lack of a UN mandate means that something might actually result out of it. ;-)

I have a thought.

Perhaps France's seat on the UNSC should become the EU seat. Once a year a different state from the EU should represent the entirety of the EU.

It would solve the problem of Germany on the UNSC. They would have a permanent vote once every 25 years.

How does that sound?


@Scout

Oops, obviously I did India a great injustice :-)

But I still don´t see any reason why India, Brazil and Japan should be "much better and logical candidates than Germany".

(Btw, here´s the link for the Bundeswehr Auslandseinsätze
http://www.bundeswehr.de/redaktionen/bwde/bwdebase.nsf/CurrentBaseLink/W264VFT2439INFODE)

@fuchur: Well, I didn't say it, but if you are looking for reasons, consider that France and the UK are already permanent members of the UNSC, and the Euros are supposed to be one big happy family, right? And Germany only does what France says in foreign policy anyway, so it would be a bit redundant. Oh, and besides that, Vlad is already there, and to interpret the German press, he looks after German interests much better than the evil Americans.
India is the world's largest democracy. Japan is crawling out of its shell and is Asia's economic first team... maybe not with the reserve potential of China, but China is already in and I don't think we need any more Communists... For me, Brazil is the weakest argument, but maybe it's to represent all of South America.

"The real point is that the Security Council should be reformed. It still reflects the world as it was half a century ago."

Actually, it is more correct to recognize it reflected the world as it was a quarter a century ago; regardless, the whole UN enterprise, relating to its primary purpose of international, collective security, is a profound failure and should be disbanded.

Just ask the Rwandans, the East Timorians, the Somalians, the Bosnians (to be kind I'll skip over European complicity, impotence and failure of will in dealing with genocide in the Balkans) and the Darfurians. The UN is an exceedingly cruel joke the international "talk a good game but do nothing" Left plays upon everyone else, especially the captive citizens of dictatorial and authoritarian states.

Finally, if "peace-keepers" are the measure of warranted Security Council seats, can anyone tell me why China merits a seat?

@ Tina

That sounds like a good joke! :)

@hartmut

> Germany right now has about 6000 soldiers employed in international peacekeeping missions.
> I think that makes us third behind the US and GB (by a huge margin of course).
> How many troops have Brazil, India and Japan abroad?

Italy right now has around 9000 soldiers all around the world (source: italian ministry of defense at http://www.difesa.it/Operazioni+Militari/presenza+militare/) and, as you probably know, is one of the strongest opponents of a german seat in the UNSC (and lobbing for a UE seat instead). I don't think yours is a strong point. Probably more so for the the german financial contribution to the UN (third after US and Japan).

> The real point is that the Security Council should be reformed.
> It still reflects the world as it was half a century ago.

This is certainly true, but I don't think that the geopolitical role of European countries (3 perm. members) is greater now than then, so incrementing european members does not make much sense to me.

Most Germans in the end don´t really want a seat.
It will just cost more and be more responsibility.
They can hardly cope with what is at hand.

It is just an ego thing pressed on by the SPD etc, once more without much thought on what it actually means.

Schäuble is right on.

Well, maybe Gerhard can pull this card out again plus the UN rejection card and fire up the Germans and win again in September.

This would be perfect for a large segment of the German population.

It surely would be interesting to watch a third Gerhard term. He would probably continue on the same course he has traveled to this point.

However Germans should not be surprised if there are more words than actual actions or results.

But then again does that really matter? He is and will be telling the German people just what they want to hear.

@ PacRimJim

what's your message?

Oh the bright side I glimpsed an article saying that Michael Jackson might move to Berlin.

Sure it might give them something more about Americans to hate, but personally I am glad that wacko Jacko would leave the states.

Have fun, Berlin!

Or perhaps Germans always loved him, which would be further proof of the mindset there.

"Germany is the horse, France is the rider". If Germany got a seat France would't have to dismount while at the Security Councel. The Frogs like riding high in the saddle at others expense. And just What, pray tell will Germany offer the world in 2010? As the old adage goes "ya just can't fix stupid" and at best Merkel is Thatcher-lite.

Notice the US getting closer to India, hmmm. Let Europeans wallow in their self importants. The rest of the World is moving on.

Great site! Glad I finally found a place where all the Germany 'experts' meet.
Are you people into fact based discussions too or are you usually working the faith based, stereotype filled angle?

Can someone please help me out? I urgently need links documenting Schroeder's anti-American stance during the last elections for a student paper which is due tuesday.
I want to shove that paper up my teacher's butt, proving to everyone that the pinko/lefty theories he keeps spewing forth are in fact bovine excrement!
Thanks in advance for your help! If this works I'm going to post the paper.

n00b!

n00b!

@n00b: "Are you people into fact based discussions too or are you usually working the faith based, stereotype filled angle?"
First you lead off with a comment like that which implies, to your way of thinking
- You haven't seen any facts yet here
- People of faith don't deal in facts but only deal in stereotypes
... not to mention that the inverted commas around 'experts' was a very bad move if you meant it seriously. This person of faith at least is sceptical as to the sincerity of your enquiry.
Then you ask for help with links. OK. You may want to try this link first of all:

http://www.westegg.com/unmaintained/carnegie/win-friends.html

Learn some manners and how to express yourself without resorting to the crude language, and then we'll talk.

Oh my god,

"Berlins Innensenator Ehrhart Körting geht nach einem Wahlerfolg der Union im September von einer möglichen neuen Gefährdungslage für Berlin und Deutschland durch Terroristen aus - steht im morgigen "Tagesspiegel""

http://www.achgut.de/dadgd/index.php

That's just disgusting: Erhart Körting who is a senator of Berlin and member of the SPD claims that Berlin and Germany would be in greater danger of a terrorist attack if Angela Merkel becomes chancellor.

Now that's good mannered political campaigning.

Hey, its like Bush playing the 9/11 card for Iraq --- which are as related to each other as Bush and knowledge of the English language.

@Jeff: I'm still praying for you. But in the meantime, don't go away angry. Just go away. OBTW, before you start attacking the President's English, may I point out that "it's" needs an apostrophe if used in place of "it is." I suppose you forgot about that. Your comparative half-sentence also was a bit rough, and the "to each other" raTHer superfluous. Pot, meet Kettle.

@scout: I was serious about the paper and about the shoving part, but so far I haven't seen all that much useful evidence on this site.

I'd appreciate if anyone opened their bookmark file and give me some links.

Thanks!

@n00b: If you Google "2002 wahl antiamerikanismus" you'll get 100 hits or so that will lead you perhaps in the direction you intend. Realise that anti-Americanism was only one facet of the SPD's campaign in 2002, and only one characteristic of what you might call "pinko/lefty theories." You could just as easily, and perhaps less emotionally discuss the government's intervention in labour and market forces (eg failed construction business, selling to China, automobile industry) among other things. The SPD as a rule punishes ambition and success whilst subsidising the status quo and failure; it should be no surprise to Germany watchers that they therefore get much less of the former and more and more of the latter. I would actually encourage you to look more in this direction; after all, anti-Americanism is not confined to the SPD, and better examples of the failure of Socialism can be found in the economic area. Have a look at the archives at http://www.welt.de as well as http://www.faz.net for a start; they cover the economic/productivity/labour angles well enough.

@Scout

You assume that @n00b speaks German. Somehow, I don't think he does. And something about him smells TROLLish to me. I could be wrong.

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