Trading Allies for Votes16 Sep 2002
One week before election day, Schröder has pulled ahead of Stoiber. As usual, the NY Times gets the analysis mostly right in For Now, Trading Allies for Votes. They forget that Bush and Schröder got off to a rocky start, as the Germans were blind sided a number of times in the opening weeks of the Bush administration. In fact, Schröder is not taking that much of a foreign policy risk by playing the Iraq card, since Bush doesn't seem to be listening to the Europeans anyway, and wouldn't have asked for German troops in any case. Not being on the Security Council, German support or opposition makes little difference. When the war does come, Schröder has left himself a rhetorical out, albeit a thin one, if Iraq can be linked to terrorism (and it will be). But Germany can forget about a permanent UN Security Council seat for a while.