German Politics, Iraq, US Politics

A New World Symphony

When I woke up today, SWR3 radio was broadcasting a piece about the non-event that Angela Merkel’s visit is for the US media despite the “royal treatment” – she has been given by the US government, according to the NYTimes – thanks to Amiland for pointing to the article.

There’s much truth in what is said about her visit in the article, in my opinion rather accurately summarised by the following quote from Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican –

“Obviously, she’s the leader of the opposition party, but I do think the real objective here is to put back together and repair the damage that’s been done between these two countries, … Don’t allow America to define Germany by what the chancellor said, or don’t allow Germany to define America by using anti-American sentiments for political purposes.”

But what the article does not even allude to is how the price for her “royal treatment” is perceived over here. SWR3 was unusually harsh in its wording. The price for meeting with all those “you’re either for or against us”-officials is to renounce to a public opinion of one’s own – “a kowtow”.

Well, let’s just say that this is one possible interpretation. And should the NY Times article be read by some more journalists over here than usual, she might well get the some more press coverage after her return, for Angie apparently said that Rumsfeld was right to describe Germany and France as ‘old Europe” –

“… the Defense Department official who described her meeting with Mr. Rumsfeld said she had told him that, whatever his motivation, he had hit an accurate chord in his comments about Germany and France as “old Europe.” The official added that she had also commented that there “was a lot of truth in what he had said and that the discussion had served some good.”

– while she felt –

“… she has a little bit of new Europe in her…”

Lovely. I can already see the vultures. Last Friday, a friend described Merkel’s current political behavior with the following remark – “… she’s just not up to the job.”

Looks like she wants to prove him right.