Gerhard Schröder won the previous elections basing his campaign on the international policy. He introduced himself as the peace chancellor, challenging the United States. This would tip the balance in his favor. Schröder will use again that method now though this time the anti-American rhetoric won’t be necessary to work.
There is a great parallelism between the Iraqi issue and the Iranian crisis and Schröder might use it. The Bush administration said that the Iranian nuke could be handed over to terrorist groups. Washington’s statements are based on reports from the intelligence service and the White House does not rule out a military attack on Iran. But, there are no more similarities. The Iranian nuclear program is an established fact, not a simple statement made by an intelligence service: Iran’s lies to the IAEA are a fact and Germany, together with France and the UK, has sided with the United States to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear ambitions. The failure of the negotiations goes to Germany too. Therefore, Berlin cannot leave Washington alone to settle the problem. Advocating peace before North Korea would neither be a good strategy. However, such topics will be dealt with after elections.
There is a high risk of attack in Germany just before the elections, which might have an impact on them. This would make Germans gather around power. But for Germans, it is more likely to demolish Schröder’s statements about the security he would have given to Germany. It would be inappropriate for Schröder to brandish the foreign policy issue since his balance in that field is not good. He mishandled the request of a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. Germany’s initiatives for peace in the Middle East are insignificant and the “Germany-France-Russia” axis has not but turned tense our fragile relations with Eastern Europe countries. Besides, lifting the embargo on arms sales to China added fuel to the fire of transatlantic relations, and the debate about the Turkish adherence is an absolute chaos in Europe.
This time, the word “peace” won’t save Schröder.

«The ’peace chancellor’», by Andreas Jacobs and Karl-Heinz Kamp, Washington Times, August 29, 2005.