June 27, 2006
JOSCHKA FISCHER LEAVES GERMAN POLITICS TO TEACH IN U.S.
- Joschka Fischer, the German Green Party leader who, as his country's foreign minister, opposed the invasion of Iraq, is leaving politics and coming to the U.S. to take up posts at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and at the Council on Foreign Relations, Deutsche Welle reports today. The German public radio and television news service notes that Fischer was "the most popular German politician for a long time," and led the Greens into a coalition government with the Social Democrats and their highest electoral score ever. You can read Deutsche Welle's truncated summary of Fischer's career by clicking here.
Fischer was famous for being unafraid to confront powerful U.S. leaders. For example, when asked his name by President Bush, he replied, “My name is Mr. Fischer. What’s your name?” (October 22nd, 2005). And to Donald Rumsfeld (at the 39th Security Conference in Munich), after a Rumsfeld peroration in favor of the Iraq war, Fischer looked him in the eye and told him, "Excuse me, I am not convinced."
In a May 29 Washington Post op-ed column, Fischer argued for negotiations with Iran and opposed a military strike against the Tehran regime and its developing nuclear capacity, arguing that " the military option -- destruction of Iran's nuclear program through U.S. airstrikes -- [is not] conducive to resolving the issue. Rather, it rings of a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is no guarantee that attempts to destroy Iran's nuclear potential and thus its capability for a nuclear breakout would succeed. Moreover, as a victim of foreign aggression, Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions would be fully legitimized. Finally, a military attack on Iran would mark the beginning of a regional, and possibly global, military and terrorist escalation -- a nightmare for all concerned."
In its account of a June 25 speech Fischer gave here at the Center for International and Strategic Studies, TomPaine.com reported that Fischer "believes there are two and a half major challenges facing the West right now. The first is how to integrate Asia peacefully into the global economy. The second is how to resolve the mess in the 'greater Middle East'. The final half is what to do about Russia's current boisterousness.
"The core of the first challenge, Asia, is the region's rising demand for materials and energy. 'China needs average growth of 10 percent to fix its domestic problems,' making energy one of the most important challenges facing the west, Fischer said. Fischer recognizes that this is a problem with roots in our own modern economies. Therefore, Fischer believes that 'a reconstruction of the West is crucial,' and asks, 'How will the world economy be organized so that we are not in world conflict about resources?'
"Indeed, Fischer could not overestimate how important the energy question is. During the question and answer period, he chastized a member of the audience serving in the U.S. Commerce Department for attempting to place the blame on the lack of a U.S.-E.U. energy consensus on the European bureaucracy. Fischer retorted that it is America's intransigence on energy that is the major stumbling block and that the proper forum must be the Group of Eight industrialized countries -- a forum Bush has avoided engaging seriously over energy. The G8 reference only underscores Fischer's believe that this problem is rooted in resource economics within developed economies."
Fischer sketched a new transatlantic consensus, summarized in this report: "'Where the old consensus was based on a common view of an external Soviet threat and the need for a united external policy, the next consensus must be fundamentally different. We "need a common strategic understanding,' says Fischer--an understanding that in order to integrate 1.3 billion Chinese and 1.1 billion Indians into the global economy, our own economies must change, starting with energy. From that foundation, then, we can address the Middle East and Russia with confidence." You can read the rest of TomPaine.com's report on Fischer's speech by clicking here.
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Posted by: jack | Jun 16, 2009 3:54:36 AM
Joschka Fischer has indeed a very controversial career behind him - from a "street fighter" to the foreign minister and vice-chancellor. This man represents the pragmatic wing in the Green party, and he must be credited for making Greens "ready to govern". Many of his http://canadian-online-medicine.com/pills_online/prilosec.html more radical party friends (like Jürgen Trittin) didn't achieve anything significant when they became ministers, simply because pure criticism of old days doesn't make any better government. As for the assault on worker's rights - their defence was never on the Green agenda.
I was amused to read that http://canadian-online-medicine.com/pills_online/premarin.html Mr. Fischer was not afraid to face Mr. Bush or Mr. Rumsfeld - why should he? Germany is still one of the world's most powerfull economies, our social and health system is relatively good, and unlike some other countries we pay our contributions to http://canadian-online-medicine.com/pills_online/flomax.html the UN. :)
I think Fischer is very much worthy of being given credit. Rather than mounting the usual puling and substanceless Green opposition to military humanitarian intervention, in Iraq and at large, http://canadian-online-medicine.com/pills_online/glucophage.html Fischer's stand-down of Rumsfeld et al was an articulate expression of frustration with the arrogance and incompetence of the Bush administration, which he felt would certainly undercut the essential good of ridding Iraq of Baathism. Fischer, along with people like Bernard Kouchner and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, is part of an intelligent, anti-totalitarian European Left. He is very much worth listening to.
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