Germany and America: Soul-Searching Over the Realpolitik of the Iraqi War
Germany is a place where, a couple of years ago, a big city police chief was cashiered because he threatened to torture the kidnapper of a 9-year-old boy if he did not disclose where the boy was being held.
Clearly, as was generally recognized, the police chief was acting in the interests of the boy, who, it turned out, had already been killed. Still, the policeman lost his job, not for torturing the kidnapper, but for threatening to.
A similarly absolutist morality seems to be involved in the political scandal.
But a strong argument is being made by some here that what the former leftist coalition did — oppose the Iraqi invasion publicly but offer help privately to the United States once it began — was not, after all, the act of unadulterated hypocrisy that many Germans have been proclaiming it.
Is it really so shocking, that argument goes, that a German government would have quietly done what it could to help its American ally, while at the same time holding together the Atlantic alliance and even providing some militarily useful information that might have saved some American lives? Surely, even if the government did the wrong thing, there were some good reasons for what it did.
comments powered by Disqus
- Richard III Really Ate and Drank Like a King
- Where’s the one place in the world where nobody’s messed with WW II relics?
- Secrets of the Clinton Library
- Beloit College is out with its annual list of what freshman know ... Tiny Tim? Carl Sagan? Forget about it.
- India Bans Indira Gandhi Assassination Film
- A prominent historian of science dies and no one takes notice
- A pro-Hamas Left emerges among historians, complains Jeffrey Herf
- Classicist Mary Beard celebrated by the New Yorker as “The Troll Slayer”
- Ilan Pappé praised in Iran as a "prominent anti-Zionist Israeli historian and intellectual"
- It's hard to be an optimist today, but Juan Cole is