Another great Christopher Caldwell article on the politics of Germany and US relations with Germany.
Germans tend to overestimate the part personality plays in America's shifting views. The snubs that followed Mr Schröder's election - including the lack of an official welcome for Mr Struck during a "working visit" to Mr Rumsfeld, and Mr Bush's unwillingness to schedule a bilateral chat with Mr Schröder in Prague - are not just personal. The administration is rightly worried about the potential appeal of Schröder-style anti-Americanism in other European countries. Using a sort of Nato equivalent of the domino theory, Mr Bush means to establish that no such sallies will go unpunished.
So, paradoxically, Mr Schröder has run into trouble by underestimating the appeal of the anti-Americanism he let loose. He now seeks to reassure the US by giving away the diplomatic store. He signed the Nato communiqué promising "effective action" against Iraq should Mr Hussein not comply with UN inspectors. His Yes to the US-favoured Nato response force was lightning fast, even while his pacifist base was attacking it as a plan for an "American foreign legion".
See as well this previous post on Caldwell on German Anti-Americanism as German Nationalism. Christopher Caldwell's writings on Germany are consistently knowledgeable and full of insight.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 28 11:00 PM Europe and America|