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Germany's Federal Minister of Economics Visited Baghdad

Do we have to apologize to The Wall Street Journal for not covering this?

The most remarkable aspect about the German economics minister's trip to Baghdad Saturday [July 13, 2008] was how unremarkable it was. The "surprise visit" by Michael Glos to Iraq, which only last year was deemed irrevocably lost, hardly made the front pages even in his own country. "The security situation has improved," Mr. Glos said, "and democracy is progressing." [...] "I have numerous companies with me," Mr. Glos told a German radio station from Baghdad. "They are practically the advance party for others who will hopefully soon come to Iraq to participate especially in the privatization."


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Joe Noory on :

[i]"I have numerous companies with me,"[/i] Yup, he's a European statesman to the core. What I want to know is: where's the travelling circus of anti-capitalist/anti-globalization/anti-human-development cranks when this kind of visit is going on? Where's the Indymedia blog burst?

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Do we have to apologize" "We" means German media? If German media would just cover the many improvements in Iraq and give credit to the Iraqi people and to The Surge, it would be all the apology that is needed. They don't need to mention the Wall St Journal :-) To be fair, US mainstream media (other than the WSJ and a few others) have been just as bad. It was milbloggers, particularly the embedded blogger/journalists, who realized almost a full year ago that Iraq was improving. Non-partisan journalists such as Michael Yon and Michael Totten even scooped partisan, conservative media such as the National Review and the Weekly Standard.

Joerg -- Atlantic Review on :

"We" was poor language. I am sorry. A better phrased question might be: Should I feel guilty for not covering the minister's visit on Atlantic Review? Is that visit really a turning point? Did it not get as much media coverage in Germany as it deserves? I don't know the answers to these questions.

Joe Noory on :

It's a turning point to the FM's staff I suppose, but the rest of us have seen this pattern developing as of about the 6 month point after the fall of Baghdad. There are some things that have broken through the barrier of preconception though: 1) the German government finally gets to act on the realizaton from a few years ago that deposing Saddam Hussein happened, and won't "un-happen", so they might as well exploit it for all it's worth. If they don't, others, mainly Europeans or Russians will. 2) They aren't as bad as the French have been in the past in the belief that they need to engage in political triangulation to secure energy supplies, but they're in it for the oil and to arrange or promote contracts for German industries. The old joke went that a French diplomat was boasting to a German diplomat about the extent they go to in order to - revolutions, diplomacy, sending the dictators' familiies to study in Paris, etc., to get their oil. The German retorts: "Really? We just buy it." 3) Iraq isn't going away, and to maintain what what a healthy bit of access as an arbitor in the region, they need to engage with the Iraqis. You'll recall their ability to mediate nicely from the late 1960s onward, and that it worked well until the 1980s. SInce then the German role as an interlocutor in the near east has been rebuilding steadily.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Should I feel guilty" Not at all. [url=]Based on this Google search[/url] of a selection of European blogs, there has been no mention of Herr Glos for the past 1 year. This means you've scooped all these other blogs re the minister's visit! Let me know who you consider your peers in the European blogging world and I will construct a search string for them if you are interested.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Fascinating! Thanks. Who are our peers? Good question. There are not so many. It would be cool, if some big bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, FP Passport and others could put us on their blogroll or link to some of our posts, but I lack the time for marketing... :-(

Joe Noory on :

I hate to deflate you Luftballon, but Observing Hermann scooped you by a few days. Nonetheless, it's worthy of non-comic treatment, so it sure wouldn't hurt to spam out a mass email.

quo vadis on :

Well, given that according to Nanne and Migeru of Eurotrib, Iraq was in a state of civil was only a few weeks ago, this news should come as something of a shock to the better informed of Europeans.

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