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Re: questions for discussion
by Threehegemons
26 September 2002 22:54 UTC
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In a message dated Thu, 26 Sep 2002 11:57:12 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
boles@svsu.edu writes:

> My argument was that without Bush, Schroeder wouldn't have been elected,
> not because of the popular sentiment that he played upon, but because if
> the election hadn't been so close, he would have taken an ambivalent, or
> pro-US, position.  In short, it was an instrumental realpolitik stance.
> The anti-war German sentiment is just that.  It isn't an 
> anti-war
> movement.

I'm really not following.  If Schroeder had to say he was against war to win 
people's votes, it seems the people are against war.  Probably a mixture of 
familiarity with the implications for the mideast and world in general, 
suspicion of US militarism, and pacificistic tendencies.  Its likely that if 
the US invades Iraq, many of those same people will take to the streets, and 
the pressure on Schroeder to remain anti-war will be intense.  German elites 
may have their own reasons for opposing or supporting war (more 'realpolitik', 
I suspect), and they too will pressure Schroeder to do what they want.  But the 
anti-war sentiment, which actually led to an electoral victory, is quite 
genuine.  There have been protests in Europe against, I think, every US 
military intervention from Vietnam on.  And the first gulf war, Kosovo, and 
Afghanistan all had rationalizations that at least appealled to some European 
liberals.  This weekend a very large demonstration is anticipated in London.  
England, unlike Germany, doesn't have much of anything recognizable as a left, 
let alone the vital global justice movement in Italy, which is also certain to 
take to the streets against another US war...

Steven Sherman

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