August 16, 2004
Auf Weidersehn

Yahoo! News reports that the Germans are concerned about the planned redeployment of 70,000 troops (and their 100,000 family members) out of Germany. The story is interesting because it only relies on one quote from someone opposed to the US presence in Germany—Green Party MP Alexander Bonde. The remaining quotes were all from leaders of the communities that will be adversely affected by the closures. While I didn't experience any outright hostility while I was in Germany (I left before the war started, and returned well after major combat had ended), only the locals and the people in Bavaria were friendly towards Americans; there was a certain standoffishness in the areas where the US had a small presence (Berlin comes to mind).

Contrast this with the report at David's Medienkritik, where the comments clearly reflect the disconnect between the Americans and the Germans, particularly the younger Germans who don't wish to remember the history behind our presence in their country. There are a number of sane commenters there, but there are a lot of disaffected Americans, and several Germans attempting to brush off the effects of our withdrawal. None of those who discount the beneficial effects of US military presence lives in a town that will be seriously hurt by the drawdown; if they were, they would probably not be so dismissive of the money that will not be spent and the jobs that will be lost if our bases close. I know that the tiny town in which my bae was located will not be able to recover from the closure; they have been attempting to turn the portion of the base previously returned into a business and light industry park, but they've had no takers.

posted on August 16, 2004 05:35 PM


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