Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Our German problem

I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for Germany being unhappy with foreigners. I remember someone once telling me that the history of Europe is essentially 2,000 years of "the German problem," with its tribes constantly getting frisky and invading westward, southward and, eventually, eastward. That said, seeing Germany move rightward is not a comfortable ...

PhotosNormandie/flickr
PhotosNormandie/flickr

I don't feel a lot of sympathy for Germany being unhappy with foreigners. I remember someone once telling me that the history of Europe is essentially 2,000 years of "the German problem," with its tribes constantly getting frisky and invading westward, southward and, eventually, eastward.

That said, seeing Germany move rightward is not a comfortable feeling. Given a choice, I'd much rather put up with a bunch of self-righteous moralistic Greens than a bunch of self-righteous angry Browns. The latter can lead to trouble.

Juan Cole and others point out that if Germany wants an industrialized economy, it has to bring in hundreds of thousands of workers. Alas, it is too late to implement the Morgenthau plan.

I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for Germany being unhappy with foreigners. I remember someone once telling me that the history of Europe is essentially 2,000 years of "the German problem," with its tribes constantly getting frisky and invading westward, southward and, eventually, eastward.

That said, seeing Germany move rightward is not a comfortable feeling. Given a choice, I’d much rather put up with a bunch of self-righteous moralistic Greens than a bunch of self-righteous angry Browns. The latter can lead to trouble.

Juan Cole and others point out that if Germany wants an industrialized economy, it has to bring in hundreds of thousands of workers. Alas, it is too late to implement the Morgenthau plan.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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