Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holy Schadenfreude!

Twitter has been alive and yesterday with stories about South Africa making a series of mis-steps in its reactions to the events in Libya.  At a time where we might be expecting South Africa to playing a bigger role around the continent, we find, instead, that its policies are marginalizing itself.  Does this sound familiar?

Yes, it does.  We would call this Germanizing one's foreign policy after Germany's keen ability to make itself irrelevant even when it comes to events impacting Europe rather directly.  Yesterday, former Chancellor Kohl was quoted thusly:
Former Chancellor Kohl, 81, who oversaw Germany's reunification, has warned that Germany is "no longer a reliable force, internally or externally" and lacks "a compass" in matters of foreign policy.
"We have to return urgently to our old dependability. We have to make clear to others what we stand for, where we are headed," the former leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) warned in the latest edition of Internationale Politik, a foreign policy journal. source
Chancellor Merkl pushed back feebly because, well, that is what she does.  Germany must be embarrassed to see France get heaps of glory along with the Brits and the Danes and the Italians????  Yes, the Italians are getting some credit while the Germans are on the sideline.  So much for Germany being the great power of Europe in the aftermath of reunification (realists will have to check their great power matrices and get back to the world on when Germany will rise again).

So, we have a new term to describe a country that tries to make itself irrelevant in the world around itself--to Germanize.  South Africa is busily Germanizing itself.  One could argue that heaps of Republican candidates would do Germanize the US if they have the chance.

Any other countries engaging in Germanization?

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