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Will Merkel Improve US-German Ties?

DW-WORLD readers this week commented on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's current visit to the United States and the chances for improved trans-Atlantic ties. They also discussed Iran's resumption of nuclear research.

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Merkel is visiting Washington for the first time as chancellor

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Merkel, Guantanamo and trans-Atlantic ties

I would like to thank the chancellor for her courage in expressing what European leaders should have expressed a long time ago. She alone came out for principles Europeans say they hold dear. In fact, she is doing us Americans a favor because she is upholding the principles which made America great (even while we ourselves neglect them). Right on, chancellor! As a woman, I am especially proud that it took a woman to tell our President Bush that you do not teach about human rights to the Arab world by disrespecting human rights under the pretext of fighting terrorism. -- Orayb Najjar, US

I believe that Chancellor Merkel should be strengthening European ties, and making it clear that Europe does not consider that US neo-con values are supreme. That "old Europe" has social and political alternatives to offer the world that will balance the US claim to domination, and help smaller countries maintain their cultural identities. -- Norm Ryder

I find the remarks of Chancellor Merkel about the US terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Cuba to be ironic. But then Germany has much more experience running prison camps: Auschwitz, Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka. In the future perhaps Chancellor Merkel could read a history book before making embarrassing comments. Maybe her Soviet history books did not cover that unhappy part of the German role in World War II. The US has had to deal with former Hamburg residents who crashed planes on 9/11. Maybe Germany could be more careful who they allow to immigrate. -- Joh n Ki n g

Angela Merkel will play a key role in repairing transatlantic ties. Her strength will come from very decisive, methodical, forthright communication. Her weakness would be vacillation, and "wishy-washiness." Right now, Germany can't afford being "wishy-washy.". I think it is vital Merkel stands with the EU more than the US or Russia. Any country viewed as aggressive or belligerent will not be tolerated by the common humanity with common decency and the right of freedom. -- Sta n Leo n ard Calgary, Ca n ada

Merkel will be successful. Why? First, the US needs friends, and after criticism of European countries (mainly Germany and France) in buildup to the war in Iraq, she will seek to repair those friendships; Washington has little cause for arrogance and great need for support, even if only vocal and atmospheric. Secondly, she is a lady; she will be less feisty and haughty than (former Chancellor Gerhard) Schröder, whom US officials didn't like. -- jssrt

Chancellor Merkel's track record would have been well known in the USA by now -- her prowess as a mediator in the EU; her New Year speech that galvanized people's hopes and aspirations. She is the daughter of a Christian pastor and inherited the Christian faith like George Bush. She is conservative in her policies like George Bush. Ms. Merkel will -- I am sure -- get a very warm welcome in spite of her Guantanamo opposition. -- r033121

The Chancellor will not be welcome in this country -- not on Thursday especially, because of the ongoing Alito hearings. She will receive virtually no media attention. Germany has done its best to undermine the US in recent years. Germany should improve its economic situation, primarily the unemployment crisis, by following the lead of the US and not be critical of our leaders or policies. -- dvdbls

Taliban Gefangene in Guantanamo

Merkel has said Guantanamo prison camp has to be dissolved

Perhaps Merkel would like the US to transfer the Guantanamo prisoners to Germany? I'm sure President Bush would seriously consider it, especially if Merkel guarantees they'll stay in Germany. I'm sure some of the residents in Hamburg would welcome them. -- jatherto n

If Ms. Merkel were an American, she would not have been entrusted with such power; therefore no, I don't think anything she has to say will be taken seriously by an American good old boy. -- dolli n ky

As a proud American of German descent I was hoping Merkel would leave behind the weak and cowering ways of Herr Schröder. Germany used to be a proud and strong nation willing to fight, albeit sometimes for the wrong reasons. Now Germany is little better then cowards in France seeing moral equivalence between the US which saved Europe not once but twice and the murderous butchers of the Islamic extremists. I am angered and saddened by Merkel's appeasement. -- jb24esq

Ira n 's n uclear ambitio n s

I think that the Europeans should accept Iran's objective guarantees about enriching uranium on its own soil and even deign to flatter Iran on its right to do so: At present, their insistence that Iran refrain form exercising her rights makes the whole issue far too politicized and plays into Tehran's hands: They should, rather, ask Iran to accept limitations and more monitoring of its program but step back from asking them to desist from enrichment entirely. -- Joseph Ha n n o n

I most definitely think Iran's resumption of nuclear research is dangerous. I think we all know Khamenei's hidden agenda behind the nuclear program. All nations need to respond to Iran now before it's too late and then we end up with another sad situation like Iraq. -- Cathy McKe n n ey , US

Iran should be taken to the UN Security Council. They should not be allowed to enrich uranium, and they have thrown down the gauntlet. If we do not act now they will go further and further past the point of no return. -- amorri

I find this editorial well below your normal effort. It is as if you want to say something but don't know just what. So you settled for the well tested doctrine of moral equivalency. Iran and Europe are both to blame. We all know liberal types have a problem defining evil and most believe it does not really exist. As to the success of sanctions, look at Libya, Rhodesia, South Africa. Remember Cassandra's predictions were correct -- her curse was not to be believed. -- Petraro n ish

Iran Atomstreit Demonstration in Berlin

Anti-nuclear demonstrations in Berlin

This editorial is one-sided. Anyone who has lived in Iran or followed the philosophy and actions of the ruling elite in Iran knows that they are after nuclear weapons and for what reason. Read history. Chauvinism and upmanship are the disease of the culture. I have worked in the upper echelons of the Iranian government and know what the goals of the ruling elite is. Your editorial provides them the food to justify what they are doing. You do not mention the 20-plus years of deception that the Iranian government practiced over everything, including its nuclear program. You do not look at the cruel nature of its policies, and you do not address what Iran is very likely to do when it does acquire nuclear weapons. -- n azarih

The Iranians must be sharply worried. The Germans are moving though the range: concerned, very concerned, critical, sharply critical, extremely critical. Let me suggest some more frightening words. Sharply consternated, worriedly exasperated, seriously disconcerted, angrily enervated. There are more if you are interested. And the Germans want a Security Council seat? Germany doesn't even rate a rating of Paper Tiger. How about the "mouse that wimpers." -- gstei n er

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  • Date 12.01.2006
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (win)
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/7mGZ
  • Date 12.01.2006
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (win)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/7mGZ