Opinion

Schroeder must keep Germany out of Iraq

“If you want to see to the heart of the matter,” a British parliamentarian once told me, “put on your political glasses”. That was one half year ago and the discussion was on U.S. steel tariffs. When I think of some of our closest allies’ current reluctance to join the pro-war front against Iraq, I immediately don the prescribed optic wear.
Kanzler Gerhard Schr^eder of Germany declared to the Berliner Zeitung on Thursday, “Our people can count on the German and French governments…to keep the peace, prevent war and maintain security”. Herr Schr^eder has reiterated his dogged opposition to a war against Iraq since our government started propagating the use of force last summer. He has had several political reasons to take the anti-war stance.
First, Schr^eder sits atop an unsteady coalition between the center-left Socialist Democratic Party (SPD) and the extreme left Green Party. When it looked as though that coalition was about to break up before last September’s election, Schr^eder began campaigning on the popular note of bashing American foreign policy towards Iraq. The result was his re-election to the Bundestag leadership post and reaffirmation of the coalition that has made the SPD the most powerful political force in Germany.
Once re-elected, Schr^eder kept up his anti-war stance because he knew that the majority of Germans were for UN weapons inspections in Iraq and against a military campaign. Germany’s preference for moderation and diplomacy is a value shared with most Europeans. Generally, most Germans consider America’s combative approach to maintaining world order outmoded and threatening to their own national security.
Lastly, Germany’s constitution, much like Japan’s, was created under the supervision of the allied powers after World War II. The governing text of the Bundesrepublik states clearly that the country’s military forces can never operate outside German borders, hence the reason why German troops did not play a role in the last Gulf War. Indeed, it was only in the Balkans conflict that German “peace keeping” forces were used in NATO campaigns.
Alas, we must conclude that the interests of politics are what will keep Kanzler Schr^eder and Germany from participating in any future conflict against Iraq. His reasons for withholding are just as political as the Bush Administration’s motives for striking. To maintain his post, and his party’s leadership, it really must be Schr^eder first.

Gunnar Heinrich is a visiting 3rd year politics & international relations major from the University of Aberdeen, King’s College in Scotland.

January 28, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G6: Time again for the latest installment of the Canesfan Satisfaction ...

Syracuse student writer Matthew Gutierrez of The Daily Orange asked me to answer some of his questio ...

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.