Thursday, January 24. 2013
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Thursday, January 24. 2013
I am surprised to read the headline "Can the E.U. become the world's policeman?" in the Washington Post. Anne Applebaum's latest op-ed about French policy in Mali concludes that Americans should "stop giggling about cheese-eating surrender monkeys and start offering logistical and moral support. Europe may not be the best superpower. But it's the only one we've got."
Wow. Thanks. But that's too much praise. Of course, the EU will not, cannot and does not even want to become the world's policeman or a superpower in the foreseeble future.
Still it's nice to read this as we approach the 10th anniversary of the transatlantic quarrels over the Iraq war. On January 24, 2003 the NY Post published the “Axis of Weasel” cover story about France and Germany and a play on George W. Bush’s denunciation of the “axis of evil”. And then there were the Subway ads, which SuperFrenchie campaigned against.
Anne Applebaum assumes that Europe has changed so much since the Libya operation and makes a big deal out of the French intervention in Mali and its context. I think she exaggerates, but she also makes important observations, which will change American perceptions of France:
Continue reading "What a Difference 10 Years Can Make"
Thursday, October 14. 2010
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Thursday, October 14. 2010
"An American drone killed eight German citizens in Pakistan [last] week. Germany's non-reaction says volumes about its role in the war on terror," writes Cameron Abadi in Foreign Policy and concludes "Judging from their eerie silence this week, Germans generally seem willing to let America handle the world's dirty work abroad." It's a great article and I recommend fully reading it and some of his links.
I tend to agree with him, but I also have the impression that the German public does not worry about terrorist attacks in general. They do not consider the US as acting on Germany's behalf and doing "the world's dirty work abroad."
Even the NATO mission in Afghanistan is not given credit for uncovering and disrupting the plot to attack European targets. I have not heard or read a statement in Germany along the lines of Con Coughlin's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: The Afghanistan War's Dividends in Europe (Free access, if you use Google search):
German parliamentarians find it increasingly difficult to tell their voters why they always vote for extensions of the Bundeswehr mandate for Afghanistan, but they don't use the disrupted terror plot aimed at European cities (Paris, Berlin) as a chance to convince voters that our participation in the Afghanistan mission has made us safer. Or what am I missing here?
ENDNOTES: Reuters: "Italy could begin pulling out troops from Afghanistan next summer, the foreign minister said on Tuesday, as the nation mourned four soldiers killed in an insurgent ambush at the weekend.
Germany was elected to the UN Security Council for the next two years. (Canada, I am so sorry!) So, Germany might be less quiet in the years to come. Remember the "fun" we had in the run up to the Iraq war? Any chance for a deja-vu regarding Iran in 2011 or 2012?
Monday, October 4. 2010
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Monday, October 4. 2010
The US, the UK, France and now Japan issued warnings of a Mumbai-styled terrorist plot against European cities. Every government warns its citizens of an increased chance of attacks. Everybody? No, a small country at the Baltic Sea appears immune to fear mongering and minds its own business. (Hm, I tried to paraphrase the introduction of the Asterix comics, but probably failed.)
German authorities seem to be much less concerned than Washington, London and Paris. I wonder why. Any theories? Are Germans ignorant ("nobody will attack our peaceloving country" because the Age of Aquarius has started) or are we the only non-fear mongers, who are skeptical of "the Al-Qaeda brew"? German analysts have not yet interrogated Sidiqi. Perhaps that explains the difference? Spiegel points out:
Friday, September 24. 2010
Counterterrorism officials in France, Germany, Britain, and the United States have given warnings this week about the rising threat of attacks by Al Qaeda and its affiliates, especially in Europe. Are our politicians listening? Are you concerned?
"Al Qaeda and its allies are taking aim at Europe, according to US and Western intelligence officials, who say there are indications a terrorist plot is in the offing" writes the Washington Times. (HT: ACUS)
While FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that Al Qaeda continues to be "committed to high-profile attacks directed at the West," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stressed the increasing threat of smaller-scale attacks, which require less planning and fewer pre-operational steps and therefore are more difficult to detect before they occur.
Continue reading "Terrorism: Should Europe and the US Go to Red Alert?"
Monday, August 9. 2010
Posted by Joerg Wolf in German Politics on Monday, August 9. 2010
Tuesday, January 27. 2009
Werner Schultz is running for the EU parliament and told the delegates of the Green Party congress last weekend: "Today the people are more afraid of their investment adviser than of Al Qaeda." A remarkable quote that was cited in many Germany newspapers.
There are many indications that a growing number of citizens in Europe (and also in the United States) are less concerned about international terrorism than a few years ago. 9/11 is over. It is back to normal. This is not just due to the financial crisis, but also because Al Qaeda and co have not had a major attack in recent years. Complacency would be a dangerous, and Obama knows it since he said in his inauguration speech: "Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred."
Germans, however, never felt at war with this terrorism network. They don't worry much about the recent terror threats due to Germany's involvement in Afghanistan. And German politicians don't dare to describe the Bundeswehr mission in Afghanistan as war.
Sunday, October 19. 2008
Posted by Joerg Wolf in US Foreign Policy on Sunday, October 19. 2008
Ulrich Ladurner writes in the respected German weekly Die Zeit:
These days, Die Zeit is even more pessimistic about the power of the United States than usually. Jan Ross writes about the Heroes of the Retreat:
Sunday, May 18. 2008
Posted by Sonja Bonin in European Issues on Sunday, May 18. 2008
While Swiss media are reporting Al Qaeda bomb threats during the upcoming EU- soccer championship (taking place in Switzerland and Austria), Eric Grover warns from an Islamic "World War IV" against the West on blogactiv. This entry was cross-posted from blogactiv with permission and without further editing. It does not represent the Atlantic Review's opinion on the matter:
"A resurgent fundamentalist Islam is engaged in a global war against the West and the rest of the infidel world. In World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism former Commentary editor in chief Norman Podhoretz calls it WW4.
Republican presidential frontrunner John McCain believes "the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists." Mitt Romney said the “philosophy of radical jihadism says, ‘We want to kill.’” In stark contrast, Democrats, George Bush and many European leaders talk about combating terrorism – a means, disembodied from any animating ideology or purpose. It is as if in WW2 Roosevelt and Churchill had called for waging war against Panzer tanks. UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in a positively Orwellian construction now refers to Islamic terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.”
21st century Europeans and Americans no longer understand men motivated by and willing, indeed eager, to kill and die for their faith.
Continue reading "World War IV: Europe on the Front Line"
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