Beware: Germany's New World Order

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by PoliticalChic, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Oct 6, 2008
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    Brooklyn, NY
    1. Germany’s present coalition government, judged by its tumultuous first four months…“Chaos and confusion”… unwieldy mix of incompatible personalities and policies that go to make up Germany’s current federal leadership….reported Der Spiegel. “Merkel has been accused by members of her Christian Democratic Union of failing to show leadership, and opinion poll ratings for her coalition of conservatives and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) have been falling ahead of an important regional election in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, in May” (February 1). A Void at Germany’s Helm | by the Philadelphia Church of God

    2. The Times Online ran the title, “Iron Lady Angela Merkel vanishes amid trouble home and abroad.” The Economist headlined an item “Waiting for Angela.” “Angela Merkel, once billed as a kind of Iron Lady, has become the Invisible Chancellor,” the Times commented.(January 25)

    3. In a keenly focused view of Germany’s present need for assertive leadership, the Times observed, “Ms. Merkel looks more fallible. The first 100 days of her new government have made almost no impact on her countrymen. What is needed now is a shift from passive to active leadership, the kind that governors need in order to demand sacrifice from the governed” (op. cit.). Germans pine for more assertive leadership…

    a. The once greatest export nation in the world suddenly finds itself knocked into second position by China.

    b. Unemployment gradually bites deeper into the German economy amid the global economic crisis.

    c. The Times rightly pointed to Afghanistan as being one of the major questions on which Chancellor Merkel’s leadership will either wax or wane. “It is a deeply unpopular war. Ms. Merkel has yet to tell the Germans it is a necessary war. Nor has she tried to drum up popular support for the mission of the German troops there. … Ms. Merkel does not know even how to start to be a war leader; there hasn’t been one in modern Germany …” (ibid.).

    4. Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, has even broken a postwar taboo in Germany by mentioning the German term krieg (war) in direct association with the Bundeswehr’s engagement in Afghanistan.

    5. The contrast between Guttenberg and Merkel is marked.

    a. He is a devoted Roman Catholic, she a somewhat diffident Protestant.

    b. He hails from the Bavarian rightist Christian Socialist Union, she from the more centrist Christian Democrats.

    c. He is known for his decisiveness, for taking a position and not backing down easily. She has employed a leadership style that, in the words of Times journalist Boyes, “waited for issues to cluster…as she has always appeared “slow to deliver an opinion or enter a debate” (ibid.).”

    d. He is out front leading and powerfully influencing the debate in Germany on the nation’s foreign-policy question of the moment: Afghanistan… [telling] the German people that their troops are involved in a necessary war and that he actively seeks popular support for Germany’s combat role in Afghanistan.

    e. He has already declared that he is not going to be led by Washington on matters of security and defense. Guttenberg is cutting his own path in his present portfolio—and Chancellor Merkel seems either unwilling or unable to resist this.

    6. Guttenberg changed the whole game for German politicians by mouthing one word: “war”! Until Guttenberg shot into the forefront of the German political scene, using that word to describe German operations in Afghanistan—use of the term in association with the Bundeswehr—was simply taboo.

    a. He has announced that the Bundeswehr is definitely engaged in a war outside of Germany’s borders.

    b. He has gained an extra troop commitment to the Afghanistan campaign and gained the endorsement of the chancellor of that commitment.

    c. He has announced a new German strategy for the war in Afghanistan and asserted that he will not be influenced by Washington in carrying it out.

    7. Journalist and commentator on European affairs Luigi Barzini once noted, after long experiencing the German people in wartime and peace, that “Germany is, as it always was, a mutable, Proteus-like, unpredictable country, particularly dangerous when unhappy” (The Europeans).

    a. The mood in Germany is seen, not just in the infighting at the political top.

    b. Media commentators are not happy with the government’s poor performance, observing that the coalition is unable “to find solutions for a society that is drifting apart” (Spiegel, op. cit.).

    c. In Germany, politically and racially motivated crimes by the far right increased to a record high of over 20,000 in 2008, according to figures released by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) December 17. “There’s a real danger to people’s lives because far-right attacks tend to be very spontaneous, brutal and violent,” said BKA president Jörg Ziercke. WorldWatch | by the Philadelphia Church of God

    d. The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency published a report on December 9, based on a survey of 23,500 people, stating that many minorities in the EU suffer regularly from racial discrimination. All these developments indicate that right-wing extremism is surging into mainstream Europe. Ibid.

    e. On January 12, two of Germany’s top military manufacturers—Rheinmetall and MAN Group—announced their intention to merge their military vehicle production. The resulting combine will produce a new national champion and leading supplier for wheeled military vehicles in Europe. According to MarketWatch columnist David Marsh, the German government “has been providing behind-the-scenes assistance to make sure industry goes in the right direction” (January 18). The new combine “meets the long-held German desire to build industrial companies with world scale in the defense field,” he said. Germany’s corporate revival is just the precursor to a much larger, non-peaceable event. Ibid.
  2. mightypeon

    mightypeon Active Member

    Aug 4, 2008
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    Berlin Germany (NOT MASSACHUSETS)
    Germany has always been one of the top competetiros for "number 3 in weapon dealings", right after the USA and Russia, and it filled a bit of a market niche particularly for relativly stable devoliping nations.
    While German military equipment is not as cost effective as Russian ones (who generally win most "bang for the buck" contests), and it is also not possible to get huge discounts by beeing politically pliable (which is largely how the US sells their weaponry, the weapons are ok, but usually quite overpriced), Germanys is often seen less threatening than the "Big Guys" (US Russia China) or the "Old Colonizers" (UK France).

    However, I really doubt that the world has any reason to be afraid of us. After all, us Krauts currently struggle to maintain some 3000 troops in Afghanistan, meaning that any other attempts at world conquest are likely quite out ;D

    Merkel herself made a bit of a journey to the left, however, this, coupled with a abortive SPD (democrat equvilant) attempt to move to the right did shatter the SPD, and gave the Union the political leadership.
    One could also see her relative "invisibility" as an attempt to depolarize the political situation.

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