Monday, May 23, 2005

Germany's Gerhard Schroeder Down for the Count!

A telephone conversation with Washington D.C. last night:

Me: "Yes Ma'am. He's gone, 1st Round Knockout from what I can see. Results? Tonto's watching the numbers coming in right now on ZDF. What the numbers look like Tonto?"

Tonto: "The numbers (election results) say he's gone. The voters in all 15 German states have told Chancellor Schroeder, the SPD, and the Greens it's time to pack up and get outa here."

Me: "Did you hear? Me too, I'm really happy to see him go too. That lyin', backstabbing, good for nothin' sapsuc........! This is cause for celebration. Mission accomplished I'd say. Can we come home now? We sure do miss the folks back home, you know?!? Pleeeassee!"

(Pause while I'm listening to caller speak.)

Me: "FRANCE!!! Oh no Ma'am, we don't wanna go to France! You know the last time I was over there I almost died from food poisoning. Plus they couldn't understand a darn thing I was saying, kept trying to convince me that all I needed was a shot in the arm. Oh no Ma'am, not France. What else you got in that deck of cards of yours? How 'bout Spain? At least the food is decent down there in..."

Just kidding of course..:-). Right.

I'm sure you've already heard about the brutal defeat handed to Germany's Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schroeder and his Red/Green Coalition in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) by now. The election results prognosis was ready within about 10 minutes after the polls closed last night and Schroeder & Co. were told to start packing! I'm a bit sad to see Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer go though. At least you could count on what Joschka said was what he (almost) believed.

The international news media is just in a feeding frenzy at the moment. If your Deutsch language skills are up to snuff then dig right in here at Der Spiegel's online edition. For English speakers here is what Der Spiegel's english language edition has to say about the NRW elections and you can also follow events on their new (pseudo)blog Daily Take over the next weeks.

I wonder who's next? Ch-Iraq?

Update May 24th:

The ZDF (Second German TV channel) website has a really interesting Macromedia Flash video presentation titled Schicksals Jahr 1945 about the end of WWII in Germany from a German perspective. Moderator is the infamous Guido Knopp, one of Germany's leading documentary film and video producers and The Authority over here on documenting what really went down. The ZDF Flash video includes German survivors of WWII giving their testimony about those last dark days as well, so check it out. Can't get this kind of stuff back in Kansas you know. Riveting.

3 comments:

Black River Eagle said...

For those of you who are really interested in following the present political crisis in Germany here are a few more links from Der Spiegel. When you really want to know what's up with the Germans you must be able to understand their language. There's a vicious press community over here, real rotweilers with a good nose for wounded animals and politicians. Very anti-U.S.A., but who isn't these days.

For those who cannot read and understand the German language, ask around. There's bound to be somebody you know who may be able to translate for you.

The first article is about why Gerhard Schroeder quickly called for new elections after his defeat in Nordrhein-Westfalen. The headline reads:
"Suicide in fear of Death"
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,357088,00.html

The second Der Spiegel article is about the new "Shadow Cabinett" being formed by the opposition parties (CDU, CSU, FDP).
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,357268,00.html

The woman up front in the (enlarged) photo is Angela Merkel, the future first woman Chancellor(ette) of Germany. The guy to her left is the present German President Koehler, former head of the IMF with a lot of background and experience on African issues. This guy could help Germany put together an effective strategic foreign policy toward Afrika. At present there is simply no foreign policy toward in Afrika other than the SOS.

The other male political animals surrounding Angela Merkel in the photo are her Boyz, who are supposed to follow her orders in the future new government which should be in place by September 2005. That is, if the German voters don't screw up yet again.

Brian said...

"I wonder who's next?"

Hopefully Tom DeLay and Republican control of the US Congress.

I think DeLay's likely to get pushed but the Democrats are probably too lame to take advantage come 2006.

Black River Eagle said...

Let's not get our wires crossed here Brian. My spotlight is on the European political scene at the moment, not Washington D.C.

Tom who?? Never heard of the guy (in the press) over here anyway. The Republicans? Everybody over here has heard or read about the Republicans. Real Axis of Evil those guys. The name alone strikes white knuckle fear in many European's faces, I'll tell you. I'm glad that Old Abe ain't around to see this kind of carrying on.

Ch-Iraq (Jacques Chirac) goes on trial next Sunday over in France. If the French people vote Non! to the EU Constitution, then you're going to see Realpanik! in the faces of folks in Brussels and Strasbourg. All that time, money, and effort for a Non! That kind of thing could spread you know.