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I don't understand this obsession with Schroeder. It's nearly as bad and nearly as exaggerated as the left's obsession with Bush. Both are neither appropriate, useful, mature nor healthy in my very humble opinion.

I can promise you, you won't be happy with the new Merkel government either, because individuals are important, but not sooooo important in shaping policies and statements.

Anyway, and now for something completely different: Does anyone feel that Bush is talking for you or about you when he said the following the other day?

"German Americans have played an important role in establishing America as a land where liberty is protected for all of its citizens. Each year on German-American Day, we celebrate the contributions the millions of Americans of German descent have made to our great Nation.

Among the early German immigrants, many saw America as a beacon of religious freedom and an opportunity for an improved standard of living. German immigrants helped pioneer the first American colony at Jamestown. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg served as the first Speaker of the House of Representatives; in this role, he certified the final version of the Bill of Rights.

Throughout our country's history, men and women of German descent have worn the uniform of the United States military to defend our country's freedom. Among these were Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet during World War II, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who went on to become one of America's Presidents of German ancestry. Today, German-American troops continue to serve proudly in our Nation's Armed Forces.

German Americans have enriched many other aspects of American life. Albert Einstein's advancements in the field of physics help define our understanding of the universe. Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, has captivated the imaginations of children for generations with his timeless classics. Baseball great Lou Gehrig's courage on and off the field continues to inspire the American spirit more than 60 years after his death.

On German-American Day, we also honor the important friendship between the United States and Germany. Our nations share beliefs in human rights and dignity, and on this day, I join all Americans in celebrating the bonds that tie our two nations and in reaffirming the importance of our continuing friendship.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 6, 2005, as German-American Day. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the many contributions German Americans have made to our Nation's liberty and prosperity.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.

GEORGE W. BUSH"
http://www.germany.info/relaunch/politics/new/pol_german_american_day_proclamation_2005.html

Atlanticus! What a beautiful post...except we're Americans now. Not German-Americans. Just Americans.

So um, back on topic, how do you think Germans will feel about Gerhard working for the capitalist pig company Merill Lynch?

BWAHAHAHA!

Oh, sorry.

Atlanticus

I think it depends on your expectation of what Merkel can and cannot do. If you are putting this in the context of German American relationship, then nothing will change. If you are referring to what she will do for Germans then I too fear she will fail. It will not be her fault as much as the hand she has been dealt. Then again, I do not think the majority of Germans want her to be sucessful. If they did, then they would have voted differently in the election. The Germans got just what they wanted and should be very happy with the results and the future direction this government will lead them.

To answer your question about GWB. No and no.

Had he have said something to the effect that German Americans have made a great contribution to our nation and this we all can be proud of. Americans have also made a significant contribution to Germany by sharing a common bond of security interests within the framework of NATO.

Today Germany has come of age as a full and mature nation leading Europe. Europe is both at peace and is secure. Therefore the mission of NATO has been accomplished. We will present at the next meeting of the NATO Ministers the US's plan to disband NATO.

Had he have said this, then Yes he would have been speaking for me.

Have you guys just heard Uncle Gerhards speech at the Unions Meeting on NTV?

OUCH!

I hope Gerhard enjoys his new career as a blood sucker for Merrill Lynch.

@Atlanticus: In contrast to Bush Schröder was caught red-handed in an attempt to steal an election. Just like the American Greens spoilt the Democratic Vote in Florida 2000, the Left Party spoilt his majority, and still he trued to keep up a claim of leadership. Even Al Gore was comparatively reasonable in conceding defeat.

After stepping down, he will hopefully become as irrelevant as Gore. They can pass him trough the talkshows so that he can tell again how he invented the internet.

"I don't understand this obsession with Schroeder. It's nearly as bad and nearly as exaggerated as the left's obsession with Bush."

I don't entirely understand it myself, Atlanticus, except that Schroeder has become the poster child for the infectious version of Tourette's Syndrome which has overcome the European Left (particularly the German press and political establishment).

Apart from running against Bush rather than his opponent in both 2002 and 2006 Schroeder personally hasn't been as bad as various current and ex-members of his government. At least until his parting shot a couple days ago, that is.

For a long time German politicians and press bemoaned how little attention the US paid them. Well that has changed - and it may yet finish off the NATO alliance.

It's very clear that many Germans don't believe they need NATO any more, so therefore it is at last time for the US to salute and take orders from Germany. What the 68'ers are missing is that the US doesn't need NATO - and never did, at least in the sense that Germany did. The Germans may have been freed from the threat of the USSR, but that doesn't mean that the tables have been turned.

Schroeder and his government behaved as though the tables had been turned and the US was a ally who needed them, but they never seemed to ask what threat the US face or what value Germany can bring to the alliance to justify the demands that the US follow Germany's orders? The overwhelming threat from Canada and/or Mexico, perhaps? China perhaps - someday. But how can Germany help against China - other than not selling advanced military technology to China - something Schroeder was determined to do against the wishes of most of her allies.

@Pamela: ...we're Americans now....Just Americans.

What means an american? A pseudo english with german surname or maybe
a pizza-eater from "little italy"??? I think americans should loose all
her european habits...and inventing a own national language just spoken in northern america but not in europe! "We're Americans now"...really?
I don't think so!

I don't understand this obsession with Schroeder. It's nearly as bad and nearly as exaggerated as the left's obsession with Bush.

Germans will have additional reasons, but for Americans it's because Schroeder has leveraged his political career on legitimising a socially acceptable and popular bigotry against us. We want the bigot gone.

I'd argue that it isn't the same with Bush, because he's done no such thing. He's guilty of nothing more than adhering to a political philosophy they despise more than themselves. Unless those on the left have an unvoiced (though often-expressed) affinity for and identification with terrorists, that is... in that case, I'll conceded that he's unquestionably leveraged a bias against terrorists, but I'll also posit that this bias should exist without him anyway. It's a bias with actual merit.

Do you see the stark contrast between Bush's attitude toward Germans and Schroeder's attitude toward Americans? Granted, your Bush quote could be expected to be little else than praise on the occasion of announcing German-American Day, but Bush speaks of Germans as respected partners. Schroeder speaks of Americans as distasteful lessers, who unfortunately must be abided because somehow they are inexplicably powerful. Honestly - can you see Schroeder proclaiming a "German-American Day" in Germany, or reciting any list of American "contributions to our nation's liberty and prosperity"? I believe that he'd prefer to erase any record of such contributions having existed.

But remember to chant "Bush alienates the whole world!" at least three times daily. Inculcation beats education, reality be damned.

And to answer your question - yes, I do feel he was talking about me, but indirectly. It was my grandparents who were German-Americans in my mind, and the subsequest generations are American. They unquestionably served and helped build this country; entrepreneurship, a Rosie the Riveter in WWII, military service in WWII and Korea, and moving forward to raise a fine family in this society and personify the American Dream. It's an honor to have their lifetimes of contribution recognized.

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