David Hudson on Mon, 21 Jun 1999 00:45:43 +0200

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Re: Syndicate: recriminations versus prognostications

Bruce Sterling wrote:

>Speaking of which,  is 'insomnia' still alive?  

Yes, she is. You can follow her diary here, which ended on Sat, 12 Jun 1999, with what she called "an epilogue of sorts":


>At this historical point, personally, I feel quite inclined to grant the
>"German people," whoever the heck they are, a blanket moral amnesty for the
>twentieth century.  

I'd be careful about making such statements in public. <g>

No, seriously, a novelist by the name of Martin Walser did just that last October and set off months and months of more hand-wringing and soul-searching than you would think possible. Definitely the peak of hand-wringing and soul-searching since the whole debate he was indirectly addressing (over what sort of Holocaust memorial should be built in the center of Berlin) began all those years ago. Funny thing was, he was accepting a peace prize at the time.

There's a bit of background on that brouhaha here:


>With the New Year 2000, acts of benign forgiveness and
>heartfelt reconciliation are in order.   

Let's start with the easiest part: debt relief, and a bit more generously, please than the percentages just settled on in Cologne.

>After all, the Germans
>a very different people now than they were 50 years ago; their country has
>doubled in size, they're run by pinko green peaceniks... 

Mmmm, not really. The pinko green peaceniks were outvoted back in mid-May in a town called Bielefeld. 444 to 318, it was. More on that here, if it's still up:


(despite appearances, it's in English)

And that was pretty much the end of that. 

As for pinko, I don't see even the lightest, milkiest shade of pink in this:

"Europe: The Third Way/Die Neue Mitte - Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder"

Nor is there much green in the persistent extension of deadlines for the nuclear industry to pack its bags.

>...who bet their
>political futures on a struggle against European ethnic cleansing...

I honestly don't think Schröder and Fischer were gung-ho about circumventing the UN and engaging the German military actively for the first time since WWII. But it was a gamble which, in political terms alone, has paid off. The domestic scene is a mess and the only brownie points they're scoring from the German public and pundits are all on the foreign policy side of the scorecard.

None of this addresses your main point, I know, but it's late, and I'll take another look at that over coffee tomorrow...


  David Hudson -- Mon, Wed, Friday


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