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I was wondering when you were going to post about this.
I read it yesterday and thought it was interesting too that the WaPo used such harsh words against him.

...on Dec. 11, Schroeder took a job as an adviser to the Russian project that seeks to build a 1,243-mile pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany -- a clearly political project whose economics are questionable at best. Schroeder penned the deal on the pipeline a scant 10 days before he was voted out of office. Now, 15 days after vacating the chancellor's residence, he is working for it.

Needless to say, most German parties are crying foul, and even former ministers from within his own government are distancing themselves from Schroeder. (In true Schroeder fashion, the former chancellor is "considering legal action" against those who would dare imply that all is not on the up-and-up.) The implication of corruption has with a single statement undermined the entire Schroeder foreign policy legacy and left the SPD free to back away from sticking up for its own past.


Remeber the last time that a German newspaper hinted that Schöder dyed his hair? He then threatened to sue them (if this were only an American trait) for liable. He's such a hypocrite, it's okay for him to say that all of America is morally defunct because he felt Katria wasn't responded to quickly enough - that's not liable. Nor is it accurate considering 7,000 Germans died in the heat wave of August, 2003.

We need fair and free press because it will protect us from tyranny. Schröder doesn't understand that nor respect that - he want's to bend it to his will and benefit.

Schroeders’ lasting legacy will be that he engineered his own future at the expense of the German people. Many anti-American types still crow that the company Dick Cheney used to head is allowed to receive any government contracts at all, but government contracts is pretty much Haliburton has ever done. William Perry, Clinton’s secretary of defense, was a board member of SAIC who has made billions with it’s relationship with government insiders. I guess the Looney Left is only concerned with the deeds of Republicans.

How quaint.

I happen to be German, and Schröder's behaviour really makes we want to run away and hide somewhere. It's so disgusting, I can't find the words to describe what I am feeling. So now we know what Putin's and Schröder's oh-so-close friendship was all about: money. Awful amounts of it.

Enough to sell out human rights and other minor affairs.

Now a more general statement: I'm following this blog for a few weeks now, and it really opened my eyes, in a way. I am not really a conservative (in fact, I am pretty undecided in political matters) and therefore in most cases don't agree with the authors' political views, but i have come to realize the hypocrisy of Germany's political elite (at least, the biggest part of it) and the strong media bias we do have here. We're not on North Korea's level, yet, but it seems we're heading that way.

Cheers & Grüße aus Berlin

@ alexander

Thanks for your comment. One of the beautiful things about our blog is that you don't have to agree with everything (or for that matter anything) we write here to participate in the conversation. The point of our blog is to start a conversation about what is going on in the German media, particularly as it relates to the US.

Nice to see that coming from WaPo. I guess they see the hypocrisy of Schröder as well.

@alexander c b

Relax, you are not headed for "norkoreanische Verhältnisse," as Schroeder might term it. You have a point about the German media and political elites: They are not just biased, they are in fact power-hungry, deluded, frustrated lying Leftists with a massive Caesar-complex. Fortunately, that does not in general apply to the German people. True, many Germans I know are disturbingly anti-American and seem in some way almost addicted to negative press about the U.S.; however, I as an American with very pro-American views have absolutely no problem getting along with them and have lived comfortably in Germany for over twenty years. What the average German needs is exposure to other sources of information, like Davids Medienkritik.

Keep visiting and commenting. The discussions I see here are lively, honest and for the most part emotionally mature.

I have been reading this blog for a few weeks now, and as I understand it, it is about German media and its views of the US. I find it very interesting to read through the comments which sometimes takes quite a while. I like the idea of this blog, even though I do not support most of the authors' opinions. What I do not like that much, however, is that quite frequently you find among the finest trains of thought the most simple and unfriendly insults of other participants.

However, why I am taking part in the discussion here is because of a question:
Why is the WaPo's article about Schroeder an issue here?
I do not like what Schroeder did, neither do the authors of the blog. But if this blog is about observing the German media: it was not hard to find a lot of media coverage of the occurrence in German papers.
Even Spiegel Online, which seems to get most part of the criticism from this blog, is reporting quite detailed:

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,390117,00.html (Eine Schande für die Demokratie)
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,390182,00.html (Moskau applaudiert dem Genossen Schrjoder)
Even the WaPo's article is being cited by Spiegel Online:

So why are you not writing about the German media's coverage of the event?

"We can only hope that Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel, uses this extraordinary announcement as a reason to launch a new German policy toward Russia, one based on something other than Mr. Schroeder's private interests."

The German corporations and her own minister of economics Glos will teach Frau Merkel how important it is for the German economy to have good relationships with Russia. She is a smart woman and a fast learner, she will follow in Schröder's footsteps. And who knows for how long her coalition might last. Two years , maybe three ? Merkel , who speaks fluent russian is maybe even more qualified for a job at one of the big Russian energy companies once her political career is over. It pays off to be loyal to Uncle Vladimir.

@ apschke:

This is significant because the US media usually pay so little attention to Schroeder (and Germany) and now, for two days running, you have the Washington Post, hardly a conservative publication, blasting Schroeder's behavior. It is clear that most if not all German media are covering the situation, but we here at the blog simply found the American media reaction in this case to be highly interesting and worth writing about.

RayD, I was wondering about the same thing as apschke did though. A little note about the German coverage would have been a sign of goodwill as the article now tends to imply yet another failure of the German media in this case which just isn't appropriate.

In slight defense of Schroeder's new job it must be noted, in the WSJ for 12/16/05, that there is a strong possibility that an-ex Bush Cabinet secretary will be taking a job with the Russian oil firm Rosneft. This company grew substantially by acquiring most of the Putin targeted Yukos. Mr. Evans will probably be hired to reassure Western investors that oil companies in Russia are safe. However there has been no suggestion of a quid pro quo in this hiring unlike that of Schroeder.

The interesting question here is not why does Schröder do this but why can he do it. Why is the definition of Europe's future relationship to its Eastern neighbor open for anyone with the necessary unscrupulousness and knowledge to intervene in that way?

The answer is, the enlargement of the EU to the East has come on the heels of NATO enlargement, and without that encapsulation the EU is quite ambigous where Europe ends and where Russia begins. It's only clear, the Nazi flag on Mount Elbrus it ain't.

Certainly Europe ends at Russia's borders, and Kaliningrad is as Russian as the Crimea is Ukrainian, but parallel to Schröders sellout Putin has begun treating Ukraine in a way that suggests he already sees it as a part of Europe.

What Germany needs at this point is not a new policy toward Russia that would require to bypass Schröder, but instead a new policy toward Ukraine. If Gazprom acts as if Ukrainian NATO and EU membership was already fait accompli, then the customer countries must match it.

There may even be a good thing about Schröders new job, it may require him to take lessons what Islamic jihad really means. But only if Germany manages to motivates him enough over human rights in the Caucasus.

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