For the first time in four years, Germany will witness a strongly disputed election process and, one more time, Gerhard Schröder will try to avail himself of the circumstances by using a demagogic anti-American rhetoric. In one of his meetings, Schröder condemned in advance any military intervention in Iran. In so doing, he forgot the objectives he had set forth and maintained a few weeks ago at the White House when he said to be of the same opinion with President Bush George W. Bush in relation to Iran and that the possession of nuclear weapons by Teheran was “unacceptable”
The chancellor hopes this trick will work out as fine as did his rejection of the Iraq’s war in 2002, which allowed him to win the elections then. Luckily for the German-U.S. relations this should not work now and Angela Merkel will have to become the first lady chancellor and at the same time the first to come from Eastern Germany. This will be a historical moment for Germany, mainly because it will help speed up and update the German economy.
In these elections, however, Angela Merkel will not only have to face the green-social-democrat coalition alone, but also a new left-wing party that fights globalization and advocates the retreat of German troops from Afghanistan. This party will have a role to play in the next Parliament. If its influence grows too strong, Germany will take the risk of seeing the emergence of a “great coalition” government. For the German-U.S. relations it had better not happen and this is why the German elections will be closely followed by the industrialized world.
«Germany’s Crucial Vote», by the editorial staff of the Washington Post, Washington Post, August 31, 2005.