GDB: Whether you agree with Blair or not, at least he's prepared to be a leader, compare that to the German PM, who is just crowd pleasing to cover his economic failures and his constant policy changes since 1998, he really is what Blair used to be accused of, totally influenced by polls and populism.
There is that element with Schröder, yes; But it´s a common misconception
- as with Blair - that he was dominated by the polls.
With only cursory and occasional interest in german politics, this misconception may indeed arise. Still, it´s misguided. Both Schröder and Fischer have convictions and they´re following them consistently
. It may not be interesting enough for you to notice, but it´s still a fact.
If you should actually bother to look at the sequence of events, it roughly looks like this:
- Bush announces "Iraq is next".
- German objections about a) the legitimacy of such an attack and b) concerns about a weakening of the anti-terrorism and the Afghanistan campaign are just ignored at that point.
- Blair vows unconditional support for any of Bush´s plans without bothering to talk it through with his european partners.
- During the german Bundestag election campaign, the government´s official stance on Iraq is being questioned; The opposition and individual voices from the chancellor´s own SPD are trying to coax the government into participation under Bush.A somewhat garbled and certainly unfortunate remark by a (subsequently sacked) minister invites criticism.
- The unthinkable happens: Schröder and Fischer stay their previous course, which has always been that military engagement absolutely requires a solid legitimation and can only be the last resort after all other means have been exhausted. And those criteria are not suspended, not even for a close and valued ally. To end the speculations, Schröder announces that Germany won´t agree to an Iraq adventure. (The conservative candidate at this time, Edmund Stoiber, even declares he would prevent US forces from using their german bases for an attack.)
- Shrill demands and denouncments are voiced by both the White House and the Pentagon.
- In a reaction to the american abuse, France joins Germany in their position. Russia follows, then China, later most of the remaining governments represented in the UN.
- Britain, Spain and Italy, with strong US support just barely behind the scene, split the european position they had just days before agreed to. So much for "staying the course" and being a "honourable ally".
- Up to this day, Schröder and Fischer still haven´t left their course, a massive amount of threats and abuse notwithstanding. The priority still is - as it was five years ago when they started - that peaceful means to solve crises must always have priority over military ones if at all feasible.
So "the big veto Satan" France actually did not
initiate the great insurgency - it was Germany
under Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer who you´re so fond of mis
representing as "wimpy weathervanes". When you´re looking for that
quality, you´d have more luck with Chirac or Blair.
Sure, at this time, Chirac may be louder
than Schröder - at least partially due to his veto power in the UNSC
- but it might not hurt you to recognize the actual
chain of events, while you´re at it.
Donder10: Blair is not doing this to win some votes -he is doing it because he sees it as the right thing to do.
But since he has the same shitty evidence that isn´t enough to convince anybody else, I´m asking myself: What exactly is it
that Blair believes in?
Getting rid of Saddam? Everybody would agree in principle, but the justification isn´t apparent - nor would a military attack be legitimate
, as it stands.
Just "being with his master"? I don´t think so. Poodledom isn´t that
Maneuvering for "primary sidekick" position when Bush has finally achieved global imperial power
? As silly as it looks, this "we can´t do anything about it, so why don´t we just adapt to the inevitable" perspective has always been pretty popular with many people. And I must say, as hopeless
as this perspective is, somehow it seems to fit most plausibly with what Tony Blair has said and done through the past months. Every alternative theory seems to have minor or major discrepancies with what we´ve seen so far.
If true, it would basically amount to an abdication of a formerly sovereign nation
- ironically the same thing britons fear most from increasing cooperation within Europe.
Courage can be valuable, but it´s basically a secondary virtue
: Even Wehrmacht soldiers in WWII may have been courageous
, but their service was a gigantic mistake
, to put it mildly.
And if I were to choose between courageous leaders, I´d choose Schröder and Fischer
over Blair and Straw any time
FDXmech: By Chirac cutting off all compromise by promising a veto in return, it is he who is driving this into a crisis situation and ultimatally war.
Okay, so Bush has declared that a military attack is a nonnegotiable essential for him, while Chirac and the rest of the world reject an automatic attack. So that makes Chirac force Bush to attack? "He
made me do it! It´s all his fault!!!
FDXmech: No my particular definition of statesmen, in this case, is taking a position on a vital world matter based on hard realities (albeit extremely unpopular) not on political expediency which will undoubtably raise personal polling numbers but harm world peace long term.
If it was for expediency
, both Schröder and Chirac would have joined Britain
instead of challenging the USA
with all the mess that´s been following since (and probably will for some time).
Blair has chosen the apparently
easier path - it just didn´t go as well as he thought