Thursday, May 06, 2004

No friends left in Germany? 

One of the Unwilling becomes even more so, with reports that the leader of the conservative opposition in Germany, Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union, has revised her party's long-standing pro-American and pro-war in Iraq stance.

"Until now, Merkel has steadfastly condemned German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for his opposition to the US-led war against Iraq, accusing him of driving a wedge between Germany and the United States." Now she's obviously happy to help with hammering in that wedge.

Says Merkel: "The Americans were confident that they would be able to bring democracy to Iraq just as happened in Germany after 1945. But unlike Germany after World War II, Iraq has no democratic tradition to base a transition upon."

Well, good for you Germany. One would have thought that your not that distant history would make you more rather than less inclined to support the spread of democracy and human rights around the world. In 1945 it wasn't all that apparent that Germany would one day regain its status as a democratic and prosperous nation, and a respectable international citizen. With one third of the country already in the grip of Soviet communism, and the other two-thirds in chaos, it was the American (and to a lesser extend other Allied) determination to see the situation through that over time got Germany across the line. The US troops are still in Germany almost 60 years later - why not try to give Iraq a bit more time?


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