Pity the poor President. He can’t do anything right! Or at least not according to Der Spiegel. After furiously condemning him for lethal drone attacks, murdering civilians in Afghanistan, and personally eavesdropping on German phone conversations via a direct line from the NSA, the editors are now upset with his pusillanimous lack of warlike spirit in Syria. In an article on the Spiegel website entitled “Barack Obama’s Syria Policy: President for Procrastination and Delay,” Washington correspondent Sebastian Fischer dolefully informs us that after not one, not two, but three really serious, we mean it this time, warnings from Obama, Assad blew him off and attacked his own people with chemical weapons anyway. Assad “gives a whistle” about US threats. Wringing his hands, Fischer wonders, “How can this be? Is Obama too weak?”
It would seem so, as Fischer continues, “Particularly alarming for Obama: The indifference of the dictator Assad isn’t an anomaly. The US President isn’t getting through to Egypt’s military, either. He can warn and scold as much as he wants, but the new rulers in Cairo pay no attention to him. And what of Russia’s President Putin, the only one who might still have a shot at reigning in Assad? He’s done his best to show how unimpressed he is with America.” Spiegel’s man on the spot goes on to tell us that, “In Washington, this kind of impotence is received with bitterness.” Ending his piece with a bit of humor, Fisher writes, “On Wednesday Obama’s press secretary was asked just where the President’s ‘red line’ was located in the case of Egypt. ‘Well,’ joked Josh Earnest, ‘I didn’t bring along my red pencil.'”
Aficionados of US-German relations will remember wistfully how we were assured at the end of the Bush Administration that the advent of Obama would usher in a golden age in relations between the countries. I can assure the lay reader that the honeymoon has been over for a long time. Readers of German who need a good laugh should look at the comment section after the article. In keeping with the time-honored German tradition when it comes to articles about the US, it contains numerous revelations of various “plots” by our government, many of which are mutually contradictory, yet, we are assured, “proved” by oodles of evidence. In this case, the commenters are as full of novel insights as ever. One HäretikerX assures us that Obama is a “Bush puppet.” Ihawk explains that any intervention in Syria “must and should be under the leadership of Russia,”(!) apparently because Syria belongs to the Russian sphere of influence. Eppelein von Gailengen chimes in, “A toothless tiger has come undone. That’s especially true of Obama and his policy. No bite, no concept of the future, no recovery in the job market as a result of a lack of any economic growth worth mentioning.”
Well, what of it? Should we write off Germany yet again? Far from it, dear reader! Even at the peak of the latest high tide of anti-Americanism in Germany at the end of the Clinton and start of the Bush Administrations, when the media there from right to left was full of furious anti-US propaganda every day, and it was often difficult to find anything on the Der Spiegel website about Germany because of the number of incredibly vile, hatemongering, foaming at the mouth attacks on Amerika, there were always a few decent and honest German bloggers and commenters who defended us. As a good atheist, I can only say, “God bless them!” It seems to me there has always been more of that type in Germany than in any other country, and especially more than in the US. Now there seem to be more of them than ever. Here are some examples from the comment section of Fischer’s article:
From a Spiegel reader on Facebook:
When the US attacks, bad! When the US doesn’t attack, bad! As far as some people are concerned, America can never be in the right, and is always responsible if anyone is killed. What about Europe and its responsibility? Oh, right, European politicians don’t have a clue. Well then.
According to the comments in forums like this, Obama is a “toothless tiger” if he doesn’t do anything, and “interfering in the internal affairs of other states” if he does. As far as the usual Spiegel commenter is concerned, he can never do anything right.
When the American’s play “big brother,” and intervene – if necessary with armed force – in some conflict, then they are accused of striving for hegemony (imperialism). But if they stay out of it, then they are accused of failing to use their power to pursue “humanitarian” goals. What the heck! No matter what the Americans do, it’s always wrong!
So this time the Americans are standing aside… and they still can’t please anyone… apparently the professional leftists have discovered a problem that doesn’t have a political solution.^^
…and many more similar entries. Write off the Germans? I don’t think so. Taken one commenter with another, they’re saner than most.