Dimplomacy is a difficult art of communication. History is full of examples of unskilled German diplomacy. Looking at Europe’s history I sometimes think Germany should join France and let the Quai d’Orsay handle things for us… As for examples, here’s one more:
While the US administration is still sulking following Gerhard Schroeder’s campaign promise that Germany would not participate in a military action against Iraq (note: apart from all the stuff the pacifist public won’t be able to see and possibly more after the Weapon inspectors will have been thrown out early next year and Germany will be the chair of the UN Security Council from Febuary 2003 on when the war resolution will likely be voted on.), Osama bin Laden (or what/whoever is threatening the Western World and Russia using this name) is threatening Germany for its cooperation with the US.
So after praising the terrorist attacks on civilians in Tunisia, Karachi, Bali and Moscow he asks – “What are your governments intentions in allying themselves against the Muslims with this bunch of criminals in the White House? Don’t your governments know that these criminals in the White House are the biggest slaughterers of these times? [..] I’m explicitly naming Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany and Australia.” (retranslated from German – source). Stuck in the middle.
OK, I know that the recent row with the US administration was not about cooperation in the war against terror but about different approaches in strategic foreign policy. I also know that being on Osama’s list is a consequence of Germany (now) being an integral part of the west and not a consequence of any specific kind of anti-terrorist cooperation. The list therefore is also a confirmation that the main German policy goal since WW2, integration in the west, has been successful.
So we’re possibly good at structure. But definitely bad at diplomacy ;-).