A German Perspective On The Next US President

German reporters for Der Spiegel reviewed for their readers the current situation in American politics and what Europeans can look forward to after the departure of George Bush from the presidency. The situation in the Democratic race is still unclear as Barack Obama added the states of Wyoming and Mississippi to his collection of primary wins. Clinton and Obama are fighting one another tooth and nail, but both are united on some basic issues regarding the necessity of change in American foreign policy.

According to Der Spiegel’s take on the current race: ‘Obama, Clinton and McCain have one thing in common. They have recognized that maintaining the status quo in Washington is not an option. They know that one of their main challenges will be to reestablish fundamental confidence in the United States, which has plunged worldwide. In this respect, each of them is a step forward for all Europeans, the overwhelming majority of whom are looking forward to the current president’s last day in the White House.”

Allthough we respect Der Spiegl’s analysis, we beg to differ on their interpretation of Senator John McCain. Although he does not have the bombastic style leadership of George Bush, the senator from Arizona lacks a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of change necessary for peace in the Middle East. He is too linked with military solutions and less understanding the military can only accomplish its goals if civilian efforts are successful.

  • chris

    ya cause germany has a great and colorful history of picking good leaders, like that guy from austria, the corpral during world war one, the guy that got bounced from art school, wrote a couple books. who was it?? man i cant think of his name. can i get some help?

  • Peter

    All three candidates have called for the Germans and other NATO allies to carry their fair share in Afganistan. Maybe Der Spiegel should take the pulse of Germany and find out which candidate could actually get them to fight. The media is obsessed with Europeans liking us again and “repairing the damage caused by George Bush.” Unless it results in material changes in their policies, its worthless.

  • Vince Hill

    Only the liberals in America care whether the Europeans like us. Most people here know the only people from the other side of the Atlantic we can depend on are the British. We and the British drove the Nazis from Western Europe. We protected Europe from the Soviet Union until it finally imploded. It took our involvement in Yugoslavia and Kosovo after years of European inaction to get the situation under control. We freed Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny and are now freeing Iraq.

    When the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, America went to war. When they blew up the trains in Madrid, the Spanish surrendered. Europeans must understand that Americans act, think, and are different from them. We don’t want to be like Europe. Problems here are addressed and fixed. We don’t let them fester. We changed our failed strategy in Iraq and now are succeeding. Opinions here regarding Iraq are slowly changing as people become more aware of the successes there. Nothing is cast in stone. If you don’t like America or what we’ve done, well you’re entitled to your opinion but it doesn’t mean I have to care what you think.

  • Peter

    Well said Vince

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    Of course you neglect to mention that 70% of the German armed forces were fighting the Russian army. I think that sort of helped the British and Americans to defeat Germany in western Europe. By the way, the Containment Policy was enunciated by a liberal Democratic president, Harry Truman. A liberal President John F. Kennedy stood up to the Russians in Cuba. There is one thing for sure,-Bush ain’t no Truman or Kennedy!
    Admiral Fallon just resigned because of differences with Bush and General Petraeus over Iraq policy.
    I do love it when people like you lightly say “we changed our failed strategy.” Over 3,000 Americans died because of your “failed strategy!” George Bush lied to wonderful young Americans, and thousands of them died. All you can say, is “failed strategy!”

  • Peter

    What specifically are you referring to when you say Bush lied?

    How many shifts in strategy/change of General did Truman go through in Korea or Lincoln in the civil war? They were successful because they believed in what they were doing and had the courage and resolve to stay the course. George Bush will be remembered in the same way.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    Neither Lincoln nor Truman lied to their troops about the reasons for fighting. Bush lied to the American people and to those he sent to fight. Today, five years later, Bush doesn’t even have a clue what is meant by “winning.” He is among the most inept leaders in American history.

  • Peter

    Again, you toss out that he lied. You are buying into your own bumperstickers. Where is the lie?

  • Longo

    The Islamists declared war on America long ago. Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton looked the other way. Bush 43 had the courage to come up with a comprehensive strategy to deal with the enemy, a democratic Iraq. George W. Bush is a great American.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    In Pakistan, the Islamic parties got 85 of the vote, in Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation, they received about 9% of the vote. Turkey is ruled by a moderate Muslim govt. The Algerian govt. has been fighting Islamic militants for about 10 years, Morocco is not fundamentalist, etc..You don’t know anything about Muslims. There were no terrorists in Iraq until Bush brought them. George Bush will go down in history as the greatest friend to Muslim militants. That’s why he is in their Hall of Fame.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    Sorry, it should say 8% of the vote.

  • Chris

    Peter,

    The lie was in the changing reasons for going into Iraq. Initially, the reasoning was because of WMDs. However, once we couldn’t find any WMDs, then it was said that Saddam was a bad guy and he had to go. it was at this point that the lack of finding WMDs became only a secondary concern and “really didn’t matter”.

    Huh? Wasn’t the reason for going about the WMDs?

    And not to mention the fact that, before we went in, the administration claimed to not know for sure how much the war would cost (heck, Paul Wolfowitz said that once the Iraqi oil fields came back on line, the war would pay for itself). Funny how, once we had went in, they then said we need well over $80 billion dollars. Now it is 5 years and close to $700 billion dollars later. And counting.

    It is for these reasons and the overall gross mismanagement of the war on both the political and military fronts that has Mr. Stopsky levelling the criticism that he has. And understandably so.

  • Friend

    Dear Vince, America waged a war against Christians in Yougoslavia, though Islamic militants declared a holy war against the USA at least in 1812. Even small militant refugees from Kossovo tried to return to US military assets in NJ to destroy them after they had grown up. Yes, Bush 43rd recognized this war after 200 years of ignorance but instead of uniting with US allies
    in the East, he crushed any enemies of Islamic militants and brought militants even to Iraq.
    In the same way like crusades converted predominantly Christian Palestina and Egypt into Moslem states, Bush made about one mln local Christians in Baghdad move abroad. The largest genocide of Christians since 1915.

  • Peter

    Chris,

    You need to go back and check speeches and interviews by Bush, Blair, Rice, Clinton, Kerry,,,.
    They consistently pointed out multiple reasons for regime change. As a matter of fact go back to the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act signed by Bill Clinton. All the reasons are layed out in there.

    The change in emphasis away from WMD makes sense because they werent there. They may have been wrong about WMD and in their cost projections but that isnt a lie.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    I asume you refer to the war with Barbary pirates. The Barbary pirates were waging war on all nations and were crushed by a US marine expedition prior to 1812.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    Since some people have already forgotten the past, let me repeat. George Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A recent release of documents from Great Britain reveals the original statement that Blair used in claiming there was an immediate threat from Saddam did not contain any reference to WMD. Blair put that statement in despite his own people saying no such weapons existed.

  • Chris

    Peter,

    I had never said that going in because of WMDs was false; I was merely stating that, to de-emphasize that fact once you didn’t find the WMDs and simply say ‘well, that not important now” is disingenuious.

    And how can you say that the cost projections weren’t a lie? A person in their administration who gave out a figure of roughly $100 billion was ‘pooh-poohed’ by the administration, then forced to resign. However, if they truly didn’t know how much it would cost, then why, in a mere couple of weeks, did they immediately request $80 + billion in spending? It was so to make the war more ‘sellable’ to the American public. Go and look at the timeline. It’s there in black and white.

    But my major beef was the mismanagement of the war afterwards. Yes, the surge is working (but not for the reasons you may think); however, if Rumsfeld would had listened to Gen. Shinseki (former Army chief of staff), then the surge would not had been needed and things may had turned out differently….

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    1. For over a year I have cited the Shnseki argument.
    2. The real cost of this war will not be known for about 50 years due to the large number of soldiers being discharged with disabilities. About 50,000 already have hearing disability payments.
    3. The war most probably will cost at least $3 TRILLION.
    4. The “surge” is not working as well as Bush or Petraeus claims. Note the rise over the past three months in the number of bombing attacks after those figures had been declining. You ignore the growing anger of Sunnis who cooperated with Americans and still confront a hostile Shiite government.

  • Paul in NY

    What can Europe expect from the next US President? How about – what can the next US President expect from Europe. The US should begin to reduce its committments to Europe. The EU is becoming a soft-dictatorship under the bureaucrats in Brussels and the political correctness of their elites. It will be an increasingly unreliable partner for the US and will probably slip into chaos again in the next 1-2 decades.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    That is an interesting perspective coming from New York. You inhabit a nation which annually runs deficits of $400 billion, has a national debt that will go over $10 Trillion this year, has lost respect of the entire world, and is led by a clueless man. And, you think the EU is heading for trouble!!