Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

The Germans' Problem

The Times of London reports [link via Best of the Web]:

GERMANY edged closer to a U-turn on its policy towards Iraq yesterday by making clear that new evidence of President Saddam Hussein’s weapons plans could dilute its resistance to a war.

Leading Social Democrats are starting to open a line of retreat for the Government. They are suggesting that new evidence, beyond the Blair dossier, could bring Germany into line with other European countries.

The problem with all this is that the Social Democrats can't run Germany alone - they don't have a majority in the legislature. So if Herr Schröder wanders too far in this direction he will hit the adamant Green position, which shows no sign of softening:

Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister, was yesterday showing no signs of wanting to shift the Government position and was dismissive of Tony Blair’s dossier setting out Iraq’s supposed war plans. “The dossier is being tested, but, on first glance, it seems to just record known facts,” he told Stern magazine. Herr Fischer said that Germany would not take part in a war — “that is a central election promise” — nor contribute to a military presence after an attack on Iraq.

It is highly unlikely that the Greens would remain in the government if the government moves substantially towards the US position. This is because the Greens were re-energized in the last election by the return to the voting booth of many Green voters who had become disaffected by previous Green compromises.

No. There is unlikely to be a further rationalization of the German position until much more has changed. And make no mistake about it: There will be extensive consequences from this election and the attendant acts of the rank stupidity (Bush=Hitler, etc) that seems to have again resumed its periodic permeation of the German mind, consequences very much to Germany's economic and political disadvantage. Boycotts of German goods, which German business is beginning to fear, will eventually be the smallest part of it - in my opinion. Just how stupid do the Germans think they are entitled to be? As I believe Bugs Bunny once said: "They've buttered their bread, now they can sleep in it."

Comments: Post a Comment