Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 03:58:52 PM EST
from the front page. Title edited and some content moved below the fold. --Jérôme
You would think that the US neoconservative establishment would be thrilled with Angela Merkel's performance in Washington on Friday. She was tactful; she did not bring up unpleasant matters like torture, rendition, the disaster in Iraq. She almost reminded us of Helmut Kohl's well-behaved Mädchen. But the editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal is still angry at Chancellor Merkel's muted criticism of the US gulag at Guantanamo:
It would be nice to think that all is now well between Germany and the U.S. Not yet. Take Mrs. Merkel's decision publicly to broach the subject of Guantanamo, which, she told the German newsweekly Der Spiegel earlier in the week, "can and should not exist in the longer term." This was putting the matter with great tact. Yet the fact that it was put at all suggests how much remains unwell in this relationship.
No, the neoconservative editors at the WSJ are furious at the German people for failing to see the wisdom in a policy of unilateral preemptive war and torture. Things are developing splendidly in Iraq and the world - thanks to the brilliant courage of the Dear Leader George W. Bush. But the German people are too ignorant to see this, and this is damaging relations between America and its erstwhile protege:
But they are also typical in that they indicate the degree and extent of ignorance and misinformation common among Germans about U.S. policies and American life. One-third of young Germans reportedly believe the Bush Administration instigated the attacks of September 11. Amerikanische Verhaltnisse--"American Conditions"--is a term of disdain in German politics, meant to suggest the inhumanity of American capitalism. Press reports repeatedly portray the U.S. as a place in which the have-nots are savagely exploited by the haves, where civil liberties are in rapid decline, and in which a government that is by turns buffoonish and cunning schemes to gain control of world oil supplies.
Now how could people get an impression of the "inhumanity of American capitalism". The videotape of the human catastophe from Hurricane Katrina must have been fabricated by the German media. Civil Liberties in rapid decline? Why would should they be upset that millions of e-mail and telephone communications of American citizens are being intercepted by the NSA -without court order and in violation of the US constitution - each hour?
The WSJ ends its anti-German piece with a threat:
Until Mrs. Merkel deals head on with the moral and intellectual rot that now passes for sophisticated discourse in Germany, the battles of the past will not lie and the alliance will not be restored.
But the true moral and intellectual rot is the policy of the Bush administration and its enablers in the media led by the editors of the Wall Street Journal.
(cross-posted at Dialog International)