Freitag, März 18, 2005

Mood Swing?

Here´s the transcript of the chat with ARD-correspondents Tom Buhrow and Jörg Armbruster. Much of what they said was quite encouraging. Maybe I´m too enthusiastic, but I think we are witnessing some kind of mood-change in the german journalistic elite. At least they begin to realize that the U.S. administration is serious about its democratization attempts in the middle east, and that it´s not all about oil. I got the feeling that they are at the same time surprised and impressed by this. Of course, they are still very critic of the Bush administration in general. Some quotes:

Armbruster: "Unfortunately, the americans have made almost every possible mistake in their attempt to create something like a democratic state structure [in Iraq]. I am still sceptic, but I won´t rule out anymore, that in the end there will be something like a new democracy. Even though it will at first not have much to do with our understanding of democracy."

[The next quote shows that they really start to understand what the foreign policy of the Bush administration is about. That´s not something ordinary for the german media.]

Buhrow: "In the view of President Bush his policy in the middle east is two sided: On the one hand he´s concerned about the security of the U.S. and its allies (which we also belong to). He believes, that one cannot fight terrorism by fighting particular groups, but only if you bring the people in the region freedom and hope. Then - so his calculation - the breeding ground for terrorism would dry out. The second aspect is the following: He really believes in the mission of spreading democracy and in the constructive power of democracy."

Armbruster: "The Iraqis want democracy, but they have no experience. They still have to learn, just as we have learned after World War 2"

Armbruster: I don´t think it was the elections in Iraq. Therefor Iraq is perceived too much as a scaring example. Much more important is, what is happening in Libanon at the moment. The opposition managed to force the government to resign. This is egregious in the middle east."

[This last quote is quite revealing. It shows the reluctance to give the Bush-administration any credit for any possible democratization processes in the region outside of Iraq.]

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