During his Presidential campaign, Barack Obama expressed confidence that his penchant for diplomacy would change German minds. Apparently not. Sending more soldiers, or troops who actually fight, remains anathema in Germany. "There is a limit," Peter Struck, the parliamentary head of the ruling Social Democrats and former Defense Minister, said this week when asked whether Germany could do more to help defeat the Taliban. Maybe Mr. Obama's speech before adoring crowds in Berlin last summer was not so effective after all.Even at the time, I was told by one who was there and who is a vociferous Obama supporter, there was delirious applause and cheering whenever the then Senator spoke about solving problems like Darfur or global warming and ominous silence when he mentioned the need for a greater effort to fight terrorism. It will take a little time for everyone to get used to the idea that Barack Obama has been elected to the American presidency, a political post that requires political thinking and planning. He does not have a magic wand that will solve all the world's problems as perceived by clueless cheering crowds.
Another aspect of the forthcoming years and their problems will be that the excuse of Bush-bashing will no longer be available. Why will the European leaders and their acolytes in the media hate America under the wonderful new President?