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"The realization in the United States that the war in Iraq has been lost is perhaps the most momentous fact of international politics in 2006."

What? When did that happen? Where was I when it was -- in "fact" -- announced that the US realized the war in Iraq was lost?

Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Fischer, but didn't we win the war in like, what, 3 weeks? It's the post-war insurgency that's proving to be a tough nut to crack.

Your basic premise is flawed, Mr. Fischer. Try again.

As early as the final years of the Cold War, America's foreign-policy elite increasingly came to perceive the United States as a Gulliver tied down by political midgets,
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The question today is whether the current crisis of American consciousness marks the beginning of America's decline or, let us hope, the beginning of a return to multilateralism.

Translation: Hey! Over here! Look at me! I'm important too!

Not to mention Fischer is a lying piece of shit.
In 2001, Stern magazine published five photographs of you in action that day. What these pictures depicted was described by Berman in a deeply informed 25,000-word article, "The Passion of Joschka Fischer" (The New Republic, Sept. 3, 2001). The photos showed you, Mr. Fischer, inflicting a "gruesome beating" on a young policeman named Rainer Marx: "Fischer and other people on the attack, the white-helmeted cop going into a crouch; Fischer's black-gloved fist raised as if to punch the crouching cop on the back; Fischer's comrades crowding around; the cop huddled on the ground, Fischer and his comrades appearing to kick him . . ."

As Berman reported, Mr. Fischer, you rose in public life as an important figure in the anti-American, anti-liberal, neo-Marxist, revolution-minded German radical left of the generation of 1968. This was the left that produced and supported the Baader-Meinhof Gang (or Red Army Faction), which, as Berman wrote, "refrained from nothing," including "kidnappings, bank holdups, murders." You were not a terrorist yourself, but you were a good and active friend to terrorists, weren't you, Mr. Fischer?

In 1976, to protest the death in prison of Baader-Meinhof founder Ulrike Meinhof, you planned and participated in a Frankfurt demonstration in which, Berman wrote, "somebody tossed a Molotov cocktail at a policeman and burned him nearly to death." You were arrested but not charged. In 2001, Meinhof's daughter, Bettina Rohl (who gave those damning photos to Stern) told the press that you were responsible for the throwing of that firebomb. Other contemporary witnesses, Berman reported, said that you "had never ruled out the use of Molotovs and may even have favored it." You denied it, for the record.

In 2001 the German government put on trial your old friend Hans-Joachim Klein, who had been an underground "soldier" in the Revolutionary Cells, an ally of the Red Army Faction and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Revolutionary Cells helped in the murder of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich in 1972, and Klein himself took part in a 1975 joint assassination operation with Carlos the Jackal in which three were killed.


Can anyone tell me of a Joschka Fischer foreign policy success?

Charlie,

Iran might consider Fischer's foreign policy to be successful.

A striking feature of many German gardens is the plaster gnome. I’ve often wondered why. After all, German horticulture is neat and tidy, sometimes obsessively so. The grinning, garish little gentleman does seem out of place. But that may well be his purpose: to abate the tedium of an overly cultivated landscape.

When Joschka Fischer turned up in the Eighties, he broke up the monotony of another landscape, the German political one. It didn’t surprise me that he became one of Germany’s most popular politicians. This was the German garden gnome in another incarnation.

With his small stature and mischievous, wide-eyed face, Joschka Fischer even looked like one. No wonder women liked him so much. Gnomes, according to Freudians, are fertility symbols.

It was the revenge of the runt.

I, too, became fond of him; and so I was shocked when “Stern” published photos of another Joschka, this one bearded and in black leather, kicking a policeman lying on a Frankfurt street. Not once, but repeatedly, and with relish. This wasn't the gnome I knew, but an ogre.

Oh well, sins of youth, and all that... So, on to the subject of this thread, “The Curse of Unilateralism.” (Hmm... “Curse of Unilateralism.” “Poisoned gift of unilateralism.” Sounds like a Fu Manchu epithet. Does this reflect the state of the rhetorical art at Princeton?)

The Gnome informs us that the war in Iraq is “lost.” And though I, too, opposed it, for the better part of valor is discretion, may I ask: The removal of a dictator and holding of free elections don’t count? How about not calling it a war, but just another battle in what looks like a long and necessary struggle? Even if future historians call the invasion a strategic blunder, isn’t it better to face up to a threat as best as you can than to run from it?

What sayeth the Gnome? American unilateralism is over “objectively”? Is this yet another great German thinker allowing us a privileged peek at the truth behind the curtain of history? Or the butcher’s son with the father fixation, whose thinking, since his conversion to liberalism, still hasn’t entirely freed itself from reflexive obedience to lessons learned from the 1968 generation patriarchs Hegel and Marx? (Question for the gnome: is this why you got along so surprisingly well with the right-wing Hegelians in Washington when you were Foreign Minister? Because you and they are one in spirit--no pun intended--though heading in different directions?)

The Gnome counsels America to return to multilateralism. Let me venture a guess as to what that means for the major players:

A Franco-German partnership running the EU, with the little countries in the East and the South given a voice, but not too big a one, so that the wheels of EU foreign policy may spin smoothly–and Russia should have a say, too, at least as long as it meets European energy needs (and Gerd does need a job);

A reform of the United Nations, but not too deep a reform, lest the corrupt wheeler-dealers and petty dictators who are among its members decide to disrupt our historical mission of peace and understanding; and of course Germany, not the EU, must have a permanent seat on the UNSC;

Finally, just to make sure that all this works, and to ensure that Europeans are not overly burdened by the brutal laws of power politics, or suffer losses of blood or deplete their treasuries, the Gnome would like America to enter into an equal partnership with a reformed United Nations, which, suitably instructed by Europeans, and especially Germany, would play “good cop” and furnish legitimacy, while all over the world "bad cop" America pulls the chestnuts out of the fire.

Mit Verlaub, Herr Professor, Sie verarschen uns doch.

I was never convinced of Fischers approach to the Iraqi Question.

Actually his proposal to drop the bonding of UN veto right and WMD arsenal status can be seen as an indication that he himself is not really convinced of his own approach.

But I guess those Americans who blindly believe in the media always like what the taxi driver has to say about the historical townhall of Münster.

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