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Germany is "the Center of Western Europe's Strategic Blindness"

Atlantic-community.org summarizes five press commentaries every day. Here's a sample from today, which exemplifies the Weekly Standard's simplistic weekly standard criticism of Western Europe, but it is full of catchy phrases, incl. its headline, and that is all that matters: "Old Europe, New Europe, Red Europe, blue Europe." And my colleague Jesse came up with an even better headline for his summary:
Effete Germany Cozies up to Russia, Scorns NATO

Seth Cropsey, The Hudson Institute | October 23, 2008

“Old” and “new” Europe parallel the blue and red state split in the US. ++ In old (western) Europe Obama is viewed as a “ray of hope;” new (central and eastern) Europe raises the question, “Who is Obama?” ++ This can be attributed to a difference in threat perceptions. ++ Nowhere is this exemplified more than in Germany. ++ There, a proto-Kantian foreign relations paradigm, coupled with the quest for a plushy welfare state, renders Germany at “the center of Western Europe’s strategic blindness.” ++ To Germans, “Russia is good… NATO is bad.”

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David on :

Don't those fools at the Weekly Standard understand that "Red State America" has been reduced to just a handful of states in the Old South? They are watching their world collapse and lashing out at Europe as a convenient scapegoat.

Pat Patterson on :

Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota are bastions of the "Lost Cause?" Who knew?

David on :

Those states you mention have definitely turned purple. Obama is within 10 points in S. Dakota and Tim Johnson will keep his senate seat there. John Tester has been doing a great job turning Montana blue. Look for at least one of these three states to turn for Obama on Nov. 4.

Pat Patterson on :

So because they are toss up states now they are no longer racist? That's an amazing transformation in just a month or so.

David on :

It could just be that the old Republican race-baiting tactics are no longer effective in most parts of the US. Here is something especially delicious: Obama is just 5 points behind McCain in his home state of Arizona - and leading McCain in the early voting there.

John in Michigan, USA on :

So, the King of race baiting on this forum, accuses the Republicans. Pot, meet kettle.

Pat Patterson on :

Or that the likely possibility that 95%+ of the black population that is motivated by race to reject voting for a white candidate is somehow less racially motivated then the apparent 50/50% split among white voters.

Marie Claude on :

booooh! The very famous one who said that we were the "old world" has turned his jacket... bahwoaha ah !!!!!

Robert Klemme on :

"To Germans, “Russia is good… NATO is bad.”" - I haven't read such a bullshit in a while. Here in Germany there is widespread distrust towards Russia. The only tiny bit of truth in the statement is, that Russia is a close neighbour and Germany depends on Russian gas supply, which - at times - leads to more balanced public statements. This is far from viewing NATO as "bad" or Russia as "good".

John in Michigan, USA on :

Robert, "Here in Germany there is widespread distrust towards Russia." The consensus of Germans and people living in Germany (on this site at least), is that Germans feel they have nothing to fear from Russia, that Russia can be trusted to never jeopardize its trade relations with Europe. You seem to be suggesting otherwise. What are some examples of the German distrust of Russia?

Robert Klemme on :

John, when Russia closed down gas supply for Ukraine a while ago this was followed very closely and people were discussing whether this could happen to us as well. There was common agreement that measures should be taken to reduce our dependency on Russian gas. There is also widespread conviction that Russia is by far not a real democracy and law is still rather a means to exert power than a independent system of rules (my English is failing me here, I hope you get my drift). And it's not only the media and people's pub talk: Angela Merkel frequently talks to dissidents when visiting Russia - something the Russian government does not like at all. She clearly states different opinions and I believe she steers a pretty good course trying to find a good balance between diplomacy and our interests. I have to agree though, that the previous government with Chancellor Schröder went down a quite different route; also, foreign minister Steinmeier seems to favour a more appeasing course. I am happy that Merkel does not follow that. Side note: there is currently the film "Anonyma" in German movie theaters that tells the story of Germam womans in Berlin that fell victim to rape after the Russian Army took control. Could be that this reminder causes the mistrust to increase.

Zyme on :

"Angela Merkel frequently talks to dissidents when visiting Russia - something the Russian government does not like at all." Well don't forget to mention that somebody else does not like this at all either - whenever she visits Russia, you can expect our export industry managers to shake in embarassement. From our current government, she is the only notable person who pursues this anti-Russian agenda - which brings me to the guess that it might merely be her own biography leading to this stance. Once she is gone, politicians of Schroeder's and Steinmeier's kind will clean up and polish the relationship again. "there is currently the film "Anonyma" in German movie theaters that tells the story of Germam womans in Berlin that fell victim to rape after the Russian Army took control. Could be that this reminder causes the mistrust to increase." Yes surely these kind of memories are a good reason for antipathy to contemporary witnesses. Yet they are no reason for those born afterwards. We shouldn't be so stubborn to let a great opportunity of the 21st century pass. Contrary to most other countries, the Russians have over and over proved their stance that our mutual past does not play a role anymore. Now it is up to us to do the same.

Pamela on :

"a proto-Kantian foreign relations paradigm" Anyone who writes like that should be horsewhipped.

Thomas on :

I agree. And it is totally unAmerica[i]i[/i]n

John in Michigan, USA on :

The Weekly Standard article is silly, but no sillier than the decline-of-America templates that are repeated everywhere as if they were fresh, original ideas, and defended as if they contain deep insights. Still, the Weekly Standard could do better.

Don S on :

"Germany is at the center of Western Europe's strategic blindness." I agree with this, as would many because it's utterly obvious. Not perhaps *all* Germans are blind, but the foreign policy of the country reflects blindness. "Surrounded by pliant neighbors and reminders of past horrors, Germans are strongly motivated to avoid any repetition of such calamities. Placing their trust in multilateralism, further European integration, and a proto-Kantian expectation that the universal embrace of pacifism will unite the international community, they hope for nothing more than the benefits of a continued and expanding welfare state." Ok, 'proto-Kntian' is a high-falutin' and silly, but the rest of the description is a spot-on if partial description of German behavior this decade.

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