Where’s Gazprom-Gerd When You Need Him?

Probably taking tea at the “dyed-in-the-wool democrat’s” dacha.

Ukraine

When it comes to Russia’s unsolicited visit to Ukraine, German officials go out of their way to say that gas, money or jobs play absolutely no role in Berlin’s predictably soft-spoken, low-keyed, muffled, namby-pamby, wussy, pantywaisted and yellow bellied response to said unfortunate visit.

So now we all know of course that gas, money and jobs are probably playing the biggest role in Berlin’s said sad response to said event.

“Imposing sanctions on Russia because of Ukraine would put German jobs in danger.”

Good Point

“While there are genuine pacifists in Germany,” as German President Joachim Gauck recently noted at the Munich Security Conference, “there are also people who use Germany’s guilt for its past as a shield for laziness or a desire to disengage from the world.”

Gauck

Very true. But believe you me, if he or anybody else out there seriously thinks for one cotton-pickin’ minute that Germans are suddenly going to seriously consider “a more muscular foreign policy” (use their army for what armies are actually intended to be used for) just because of any good points he or anybody else out there might make, he and that anybody else out there should be tested for doping. Ain’t NEVER gonna happen here.

Es darf nichts kosten (it can’t cost anything).

“Germany is really too big to just comment from the sidelines.” Duh. So? How does that saying go again? Germany is too big for Europe and too small for the world.

PS: Germans are still really good at blowing up stuff, though.

Boom

A Tale Of Two Titles

Syria

Wat denn nu (well which is it then)? Which of these two headlines is correct?

“Germany offers help to Syria chemical mission”

or

“Germany supplied Syria with chemicals up until 2011?”

Both are, you say? OK, I get it. I mean, I kinda sorta do.

Germany is ready to give finance and technical support to the international operation to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Saturday.

We Don’t Do Dirty Work

Yet again (this time not in Mali).

Mali

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “The deployment of German combat troops is not an option. And I have to mention just one more point. We Germans are highly involved in Afghanistan, where the French are hardly involved at all.”

The French are not alone in their criticism of Berlin. Political leaders in the US and Britain also find it aggravating that Germany presents itself as a peace-loving power and leaves all the dirty work to the others. Mistrust of Berlin has been especially strong since the German government abstained in the United Nations vote over the Libya intervention two years ago — the only Western country on the Security Council not to support the measure — and refused to provide its NATO allies with military aid. “As is usually the case these days, Germany … is keeping its head down,” wrote the British daily Guardian last week. Westerwelle’s “mealy-mouthed statements leave a bad taste,” commented the newspaper.

“We never explain what we want to achieve, we always talk about how we can stay out of things.”

Prioritäten Setzen

You know, to prioritize?

The refocusing of U.S. attention on Asia that marked Mr. Obama’s first term had already provoked much soul-searching among Germans about the relevance of the trans-Atlantic ties that for decades defined their existence.

The failure to announce any early state visit to Germany is still perceived in Berlin as a snub, and has helped fuel the urban legend that Mr. Obama has not forgiven Ms. Merkel for refusing to let him speak as a senator before the city’s heavily symbolic Brandenburg Gate landmark.

“Berlin is not only a place of German history, but of American history. It is the city where the Americans twice triumphed over evil, first the Nazis and then the Communists.”

Are We Having A Middle East Policy Yet?

Some German commentators argue that the violence shows that Obama’s Middle East policies have failed.

“US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. Like no president before him, he tried to win over the Arab world. After some initial hesitation, he came out clearly on the side of the democratic revolutions. … In this context, he must accept the fact that he has snubbed old close allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian military. And now parts of the freed societies are turning against the country which helped bring them into being. Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It’s a bitter outcome for Obama.”

“Obama was naive to believe that one only needed to adopt a new tone and show more respect in order to dispel deep-seated reservations about the free world. In practice, the policies of the Obama administration in the region were not as naive as they may have seemed at times, and the Americans have always been much more involved in the Middle East than the passive Europeans. But Washington has provided the image of a distracted superpower in the process of decline to the societies there. This image of weakness is being exploited by Salafists and al-Qaida, who are active in North Africa from Somalia to Mali.”

“One thing is clear: If jihadists believe they can attack American installations and kill an ambassador on the anniversary of Sept. 11, then America’s deterrent power has declined considerably. For a superpower, it is not enough just to want to be loved. You have to scare the bad guys to keep them in check.”

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