The disturbing factor is, however, not so much the politics of Herr Schroeder as it is much of the population's distorted view of America.
Normally conspiracy theories remain in the realm of fringe minorities. Nonetheless, the popular "Column One" feature in The Wall Street Journal Europe recently reported: "In Germany, however, the [conspiracy] theories have legs, and over the past few months, wave after wave of improbable and outrageous assertions have received serious hearings. A recent public-opinion poll by Forsa, one of Germany's major polling organisations, found that every fifth German believes that 'the U.S. government ordered the [9/11] attacks itself'" (Sept. 29, emphasis added throughout).
One wonders if the effects in Germany of seeing conspiracy-theme, fictional movies made in America somehow play a role in this badly misguided thinking.
Many in Germany apparently "further believe that the American government is in turn controlled by a Jewish world conspiracy and that Mossad [Israel's CIA] is behind the suicide bombers in Israel" (The Spectator, Sept. 13).
Bear in mind that these trends are not being reported by sleazy and sensational tabloids, but by veteran journalists on the scene in Berlin for highly respected newspapers and magazines. The Spectator in particular has made it clear that "a venomous stream of anti-American and anti-Semitic resentment has burst forth in Germany during the Iraqi crisis."
To its credit the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has recently contributed 16 pages of a recent issue to debunking these preposterous conspiracy theories. Also, Germany and America recently pledged to cooperate in rebuilding Iraq. But as The Wall Street Journal Europe related in its feature column, "Lurking beneath the diplomatic bonhomie [or friendliness] is a suspicion that the U.S. is no longer the indispensable diplomatic partner it has been for the past half century."
Where will this disturbing trend ultimately lead? The Spectator article proposed an ominous conclusion: "The German opinion polls show rapidly increasing support for the idea of a European superpower to act as a check on American ambitions. 70 per cent of Germans now favour that idea, compared with only 48 per cent a year ago."
As late as March 30 of this year, Walter Russell Mead, a longtime American writer and commentator on international affairs, wrote: "U.S.-German relations remain today what they have been for 50 years—the cornerstone of the Western Alliance. Fix that relationship and the rest falls into place. Neglect it and the battle of Europe gets worse" (Los Angeles Times).
You need to understand the vital long-term, biblical significance of crucial events now occurring in Central Europe. Those who would like to know more should write for our free booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled. (Sources: The Los Angeles Times, The Spectator, The Wall Street Journal Europe.)