Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
When I first head of the Obama speech, I felt bad about it. [German] media star Obama is an almost perfect Aushängeschild (c. figurehead) for German Atlanticists, and with them numbering high in German media, Schröder's rebellion over Iraq could prove not a turning point, but a footnote in the history of the vassaldom of the German political-economic-media elite (and thus, by and large, the country) to the USA...

This was bothersome to my anti-Atlanticist self on one hand because of where Obama might (want to) lead his European fans. You wrote:

Of all places in Berlin, I think this is the worst. ... and third, though the Brandenburg Gate is in sight, the speech will have moved from a monument for liberty to a rotten monument for militarism and war.

Well, I think that's just right for any viable US Presidential candidate today, including Obama. See this from the SPIEGEL English article 'Tough Love' Expected in Obama's Berlin Speech:

At the same time the senator from Illinois must take care not to seem overly pro-European. Many Democrats still recall how their presidential candidate John Kerry four years ago gushed about his good reputation in Europe only to be successfully and pejoratively labelled as "European" by the Republicans as a result.

"We are aware of that risk," said the advisor. "A voter in North Dakota doesn't care much for the trans-Atlantic agenda. He would rather ask: What is Obama planning to do for me?"

 It's therefore unlikely that Obama will wax lyrical about Europe's leadership on combating climate change or health insurance. And he won't shy away from some "tough love" in his speech, said the advisor, noting that he would spell out clearly that Europe needs to assume more international responsibility, especially in Afghanistan, and perhaps in Iraq as well.

...and then there was the glee of Atlanticists in advance. The worst bit:

Koalition: Streit um Obama-Rede verschärft sich - Deutschland - FOCUS Online Coalition: Controversy over Obama speech intensifies - Germany - FOCUS Online
Der Koordinator der Bundesregierung für deutsch-amerikanische Zusammenarbeit, Karsten Voigt (SPD), schlägt über den Streit hinaus vor, ,,dass wir künftig jedem US-Präsidentschaftskandidaten anbieten, nach Deutschland und Berlin zu kommen". Er ,,wäre glücklich, wenn wir eine solche Tradition begründen könnten", sagte Voigt zu FOCUS. Denn bei Deutschen wie US-Amerikanern sei das ,,Freiheitssymbol Brandenburger Tor tief verankert".Karsten Voigt (SPD), the coordinator of the [German] federal government for German-American cooperation, proposes beyond the dispute "that we should offer every US presidential candidate to come to Germany and Berlin". He "would be happy if we could establish such a tradition", Voigt said to FOCUS. Because for Germans like for Americans, "the freedom symbol Brandenburg Gate is anchored deeply".

So if Britain is the 51st state, Germany will give the 52st-67th states?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 18th, 2008 at 01:41:28 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series