by Atlantic Review
Mon Dec 12th, 2005 at 11:07:19 AM EST
from the diaries. Some of the text bumped below the fold. --Das Übergnome.
Sixty-Four years ago today, Germany declared war on the United States. To reflect on the evolution of US-German relations and the current state of our alliance, GM's Corner and the Atlantic Review are hosting a blog carnival.
Many Germans have had a high regard for the US for its support for (West-)Germany, civil liberties and the rule of law, its thoughtful political debates and critical press, and the establishment of international organizations. Many German friends of the US have felt increasingly estranged in the last couple of years due to restrictions on civil liberties and the rule of law in the US, an uncritical media during the run up to the Iraq war, and the perception of increasing unilateralism and of a bellicose foreign policy rhetoric of some politicians. Others just seized the chance to express their anti-Americanism more openly.
Many Americans have the impression that Germans are ungrateful, unsupportive, hypocritical and don't understand how the world has changed on 9/11 and that the war on terror requires new methods and thinking. The disagreements, however, are not primarily between Americans and Germans, but between liberals and conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic, and even within those political tents. Thus many liberal Americans and Germans argue that giving up moral values in the war on terrorism is surrender and does not defeat terrorists, but helps them to get more recruits.
The leading German weekly DIE ZEIT now calls the United States a "Torture State." The editor Michael Naumann even writes that legal executions could be considered torture. The Wall Street Journal hits back:
One of Europe's moral conceits is to fret constantly about the looming outbreak of fascism in America, even though it is on the Continent itself where the dictators seem to pop up every couple of decades. (...) More dangerous for the longer term, the Continent's preening anti-Americanism has also been duly noted on this side of the Atlantic. Europeans should worry that their moral hauteur may well be repaid by American popular opinion the next time they call on the Yanks to put down one of their homegrown fascists.
While these two venerable papers trade shrill insults and hurtful, exaggerated accusations, the 21 participants of our Blog Carnival
have written critical, but much more respectful and thoughtful opinion pieces on a wide range of topics on our transatlantic partnership.