*=recently updated

Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

<< current

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

A note on the Amazon ads: I've chosen to display current events titles in the Amazon box. Unfortunately, Amazon appears to promote a disproportionate number of angry-left books. I have no power over it at this time. Rest assured, I'm still a conservative.

Sunday, September 26, 2004
How the mighty have fallen: During WWII the German Army's blitzkrieg dominated Europe. The German warrior culture was so feared that for decades the world kept the country divided into East and West.

Today, one retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. can send the Germans into full retreat by suggesting that Germany only likes the U.S. troops for the money they spend in cities adjacent to their American bases.

HEIDELBERG, Germany — The German military has pulled out of the U.S. Army’s annual Land Combat Expo, protesting an opinion piece written by a controversial retired U.S. officer slated to be a guest speaker at next week’s event.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a noted author and frequent lecturer in military circles, wrote an opinion piece blasting the Germans in the New York Post on Aug. 19. The column came in the wake of criticism from Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign team of President Bush’s plan to reduce U.S. forces in Europe and Asia.

“Not one presents a reasoned strategic argument for maintaining wasteful garrisons abroad. And not one admits that the Germans only care about losing the jobs we provide,” wrote Peters.

“Regarding the Democrats’ claim that we’ll lose influence in Europe, the obvious question is, ‘What influence?’” Peters continued. “We’re not stabbing our French and German ‘allies’ in the back. They stabbed us. And they’ll do it again. Our troop posture in Europe doesn’t give us influence over the Europeans — it gives the Europeans power over us.”

In response, German army leaders informed U.S. officials on Tuesday that they’ve decided to pull out of the expo, said Col. Hans Kling, the chief German liaison officer at the Army European headquarters in Heidelberg. Kling said the decision to withdraw from the expo was made by the commander of Germany’s land forces, Lt. Gen. Axel Bürgener.

I'm pretty sure that a John Kerry administration could get the Germans to like us more -- but I don't think it would change their actions one bit. If a little criticism by a retired American officer can get the German Army to pull out of an exposition, then I suspect that two dozen bloggers making funny faces at them could cause them to unilaterally disarm.

Peters makes an excellent point:

“I think the fact that they’re pulling out is the best imaginable indicator of how weak our alliance is, how meaningless Germany’s contribution is,” said Peters. “If they pull out because they can’t stand one 800-word opinion piece in an American newspaper, how could we possibly expect them to stand by us in a violent crisis?”

In short, is Germany going to send troops to Iraq -- even if John Kerry is elected president? Don't hold your breath.

(via Davids Medienkritik)

9:19 PM

I've spent a bit of time in Germany, and for the life of me I can't understand why the US continues to garrison so many soldiers there nearly 60 years after the end of WW2 and about 15 years after the fall of the Soviet block. Germans have shown they would never reciprocate with the defence of America, they're only capable of slaps in the face.
I just met Mr Peters today at Heidelberg. Nice guy. He got an earful from at least one US Army Colonel about his comments, took them in stride, and made his point back fairly succintly.

Germany is in fact 180 degrees out from what it was just 65 years ago. Part of that is the German psyche. A good bit of it is the Americans, Brits, and French drumming into the last several generations "Look what you just did! Look what we just saved you from!" That, and the survivors remembered what it was like to have bombs raining down on them all the time (Try getting permission to fly a B-1 or B-52 over here. . . you can't, they won't allow them).

Modern Germany is to a large extent what we've made them. There is almost no good reason for going to war at all to them now, and they're too stubborn to change their minds.

Is it right? No, it's not. They often accuse the Bush administration of trying to paint things black and white, making hard choices too easy; they believe they have to explore all of the grey area before deciding anything.

Is it wrong? Not necessarily. Going to war is a choice fraught with peril and you're bound to reap consequences you never imagined. I like having someone I trust there to give me an alternate opinion. I can't say the same about the French.

We're not pulling completely out of here, but it is getting extremely difficult to train here, we get neither good groundspace nor airspace. We almost don't have a choice but to send everyone else home, or further abroad.

The Germans are with us in Afghanistan, and they're helping guard our bases over here. I may not like Gerhardt Schroeder's politics, nor the ordinary Germans' refusal to give us moral backing in Iraq. But they're my friends, I have no doubts about that.

-- Chris
Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger Pro™