The Best Defense

Our German problem

I don't feel a lot of sympathy for Germany being unhappy with foreigners. I remember someone once telling me that the history of Europe is essentially 2,000 years of "the German problem," with its tribes constantly getting frisky and invading westward, southward and, eventually, eastward.

That said, seeing Germany move rightward is not a comfortable feeling. Given a choice, I'd much rather put up with a bunch of self-righteous moralistic Greens than a bunch of self-righteous angry Browns. The latter can lead to trouble.

Juan Cole and others point out that if Germany wants an industrialized economy, it has to bring in hundreds of thousands of workers. Alas, it is too late to implement the Morgenthau plan.


The Best Defense

Sunni fighters returning to insurgency

It isn't surprising, but it is sad to see. I think it probably was inevitable, given the sectarian Shiite ascendancy and the ultimate victory of Iran in the war, as shown in this Guardian article. (I don't always believe British newspapers, which tend to report rumint, but the Guardian article is supported by the fact that old Maliki is visiting Tehran today. He supposedly also is going to Qom, temporary home of one Moqtada al-Sadr.)

More evidence, I would say, that the surge worked tactically (that is, improved security and so enabled Uncle Sam to edge toward the exits) but failed strategically (that is, didn't lead to a breakthrough in Iraqi politics).

I think the big question is how far the Sunni Awakening reversal will go. Is this the beginning of the next phase of the war? I dunno. And how much will U.S. troops be involved? Again, an open question. I am hearing through the grapevine that things are getting friskier.

(HTs to RS)

Mahmud Saleh/AFP/Getty Images