Germany, and I mean post cold war Germany, lacks something very important: humility. We, or some of us believe that Germany can “play up there” with the United States of America, China, Russia or maybe The United Kingdom. I tell you what: we can’t, and here is why.
Our credentials suck!
But let me elaborate. The last “big” thing Germany is remembered for on an international scale is Hitlers reign. Don’t believe me? Ask any person anywhere in the world for a famous german politician. Go ahead, call a friend in Africa, Asia or the Americas and ask. If one of them says Willi Brandt or Richard von Weizäcker or Helmut Kohl, kudos to them.
But ever since Hitlers reign of terror ended, or rather more WAS ended, what have german politicians accomplished? The fall of the Berlin wall? Nice one, but we probably could have sat that one out, after Gorbachev cut Soviet support to the GDR, and maybe we did. The European Union? That was a group effort and it is still a work in progress. Our Involvement in KFOR? Again, a group effort. Our involvement in Afghanistan? The same again.
Meanwhile Great Brittain proved its determination on the Falklands, the USA have been constantly involved and invested in actions, military or otherwise and China has built the worlds largest Economy from scratch. Of course, not everything went well, like the US involvement in vietnam, not all were for good or right reasons, but what is important was: they went! Germany appears to be scared to take the first step. And indeed with the implications of our history we should be careful with that concerning military involvement. But what about economics?
Now would be the time to get involved, to lead, to find a way out of the financial European game of Dominoes. Nothing.
We live in a great country, we have a decent social system, but internationally we lack will. So please dear Mrs Chancellor, dear Minister for foreign affairs and dear Mr President. Show some humility and bring Ideas to the table. Don’t demand a permanent seat on the security council (G. Schröder), don’t think about joining the effort for lybia after the fight is over and don’t look down on your european neighbors like Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic. We are partners, we are in this together and their voice should be heard as loud as ours and France’s.