June 25, 2005


A War of Diplomats (Ralf Beste, 6/26/05, Der Spiegel)

The German foreign minister was the first to bear the brunt of rejection for his country. Just over a week ago, with Joschka Fischer standing at her side at the US State Department building in Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained that the Americans had discussed "at length" Germany's wish for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. However, she added, "the only country that we clearly support is Japan."

A week later it was German Chancellor Schroeder's security and foreign affairs adviser Bernd Muetzelburg's turn. While touring the United States to promote Germany's cause at the UN, he opened up the paper in New York last Thursday morning to read that next to Japan the best the US government could do would be to support "a developing nation's" bid for a permanent seat. It was, as the New York Times wrote, "a harsh setback for Germany."

When German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder sits down with US President George W. Bush for lunch at the White House on Monday, he'll experience first-hand just how little support Germany can expect from its major ally in its efforts to land a permanent seat. US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns has already clarified the Bush administration's position on the matter, noting that more than two new permanent members "could be damaging."

The Americans' clear signaling of their plans to block Germany's nomination is the most serious consequence to date in a typically behind-the-scenes diplomatic battle.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 25, 2005 2:25 PM

Given the desires of the EU to encompass foreign policy and international trade issues, etc., shouldn't France lose her seat on the security council and the EU share one seat?

Posted by: Keith R at June 25, 2005 2:31 PM


Posted by: ghostcat at June 25, 2005 2:38 PM

Even with Merkel coming in soon, the current German government is delusional if they think we will reward their petulant anti-Americanism with a permanent Security Council seat. France already gave us enough trouble, why add to our burdens in the future?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 25, 2005 2:48 PM

Fair's fair. Either the EU gets one vote, or we get 50 votes and some more votes for the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the American Virgin Islands. Did I leave anybody out?

Posted by: erp at June 25, 2005 3:43 PM

How about this for an idea:
The US should tell Germany, "Hey, no sweat---you can have OUR seat." And then stand up, pick up our nametag, and walk out the door.

Posted by: ray at June 25, 2005 3:46 PM

There is no way that one can justify a seat for Germany without giving one to Japan, India and probably Brazil.

Three vetoes for Old Europe. And the Germans aren't swine?

Posted by: bart at June 25, 2005 3:51 PM

The Germans don't understand that they are on the way down, not up. They therefore have to learn the hard way - by getting doors slammed in their face. This was one of the first.

Posted by: ZF at June 25, 2005 4:11 PM

The only reason not to give a seat to everyone who asks is that the President still believes that the UN can be a force for good in the world.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 25, 2005 5:00 PM

Payback's a hillary, y'know.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 25, 2005 6:02 PM


You forgot the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Posted by: John Thacker at June 25, 2005 6:48 PM

Mike, that was tacky. /roflmao!

Posted by: Scott Ferguson at June 25, 2005 10:41 PM

Thank you Mr. Thacker. We're so imperialistic, it's hard to keep up with all our conquests.

Posted by: erp at June 26, 2005 9:23 AM

It breaks down like this: For forty years if a nation kicked the US in the shins WE apologized to THEM. Now if you kick us in the shins we'll take a baseball bat to your balls. But some nations are having a hard time getting that WE'RE the angry ones now because it was almost half a century in which the US geting angry was against the rules. The idea that we're pissed at them is kind of like faster than light travel or a perpetual motion machine. Even though they see it, they're having a very hard time believing it.

Posted by: Tom at June 28, 2005 12:59 PM