The Schröder era was not a complete wasteland. Otto Schily, the dour interior minister--a Green turned Social Democrat--was tough as nails and proved a serious ally for the United States and others. But the debate about Islamic terrorism during those years was mostly silly and irresponsible. Mathias Döpfner, the chairman and CEO of the Springer publishing company, wrote a searing column a couple years ago in which he argued that the German debate had been reduced to the goofy and lazy formula "Bush is dumb and bad." The events of the summer have at least gotten Germans' attention.• Fareed Zakaria opines in Newsweek that "Washington has a long habit of painting its enemies 10 feet tall—and crazy:"
It's 1938, says the liberal columnist Richard Cohen, evoking images of Hitler's armies massing in the face of an appeasing West. No, no, says Newt Gingrich, the Third World War has already begun. Neoconservatives, who can be counted on to escalate, argue that we're actually in the thick of the Fourth World War. The historian Bernard Lewis warned a few weeks ago that Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, could be planning to annihilate Israel (and perhaps even the United States) on Aug. 22 because it was a significant day for Muslims. Can everyone please take a deep breath?• Jan Ross writes in the German weekly Die Zeit about the increasing importance of foreign policy in Germany, the decreasing public support for Bundeswehr missions and the need to better explain international politics: "Welterklärer, verzweifelt gesucht." He also compares German think tanks with their US counterparts: Continue reading "About Terrorism and Security Policy Debates in Germany and the United States"