The majority of Germans support Barack Obama for the US presidency, not because they believe he will radically change US policy, but because he is expected to return it to the familiar pre-Bush trajectory. This is the conclusion from my colleague Ben Heine over at atlantic-community.org
Ben and I have interviewed German, American and other attendees of the Obama rally in Berlin yesterday. We have asked some of the questions that you suggested on Atlantic Review. Here's our video with their responses:
What do you think of the opinions expressed by the interviewees?
This is a guest post by the US journalist David Francis:
As a journalist who covers U.S-European relations and as a U.S. citizen who hopes for better relations with Europe in the next administration, it was quite gratifying to see so many Berliners waving American flags to greet U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in Tiergarten yesterday.
Too often in the last eight years, Germany has greeted American politicians with disinterest, disdain or worse. The images of Obama standing in front of hundreds of thousands of cheering Germans are spectacular and a reminder that an American politician is still welcome on foreign shores. Many believe Obama's German reception is a harbinger of things to come.
Continue reading "By Giving a Speech in Berlin, Obama is Playing with Fire"
Finally, Serbia is back in Europe. Stephen Castle and Steven Erlanger write in the NY Times:
Europe on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of Radovan Karadzic not just as a victory for international justice, but as a vindication of the Continent's favored political doctrine: soft power. (...)
In the last few months the European Union has helped bring a pro-Western political party to victory in Serbia's elections while ensuring that it has powerful incentives to hand over war crimes suspects. The arrest of Mr. Karadzic demonstrates how effective the union's leverage can be, particularly with neighboring countries that have ambitions to join it.
Yeah, it only took a bit more than a decade...
But then again, how successful (and how costly) is hard power? Milosevic and Karadzic were not arrested during the many Balkan wars... (Well, obviously, without the wars, they might still be in power.) And capturing Saddam was much more expensive and demands from the US to a strong commitment to Iraq of at least a decade...