Just say 'Nein'

The German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has been letting it be known, in a rather forceful manner, that Germany deserves to occupy a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. He's telling anyone who'll listen to him that Germany —— after over half a century of rehab —— is finally ready to take on her global responsibilities. As if we'd be glad to hear such news.

 

At present, the only five nations which hold a coveted permanent seat are the US, Britain, China, France, and Russia.

 

Some Europeans may of course disagree, but that line—up already contains enough volatility without introducing Germany into the veto zone.

 

Not that there is anything wrong with Germany per se; it's just that after having observed the display of histrionics at the UN during the run—up to the Iraq war, it has struck many of us that there are probably three permanent seats too many as it is.

 

Apart from the outright cheek of such a request from the chancellor who never dyes his hair, there are plenty of very good reasons why giving Germany a permanent seat on the UN Security Council would be tantamount to holding a loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger.

 

Kosovo's current turmoil, five years on from NATO having flushed Milosevic's ethnic cleansers from the country, is the direct consequence of UN moral pontification and failure at nation building. Of course, it's this type of reconstruction of war—torn lands at which the UN claims to be so proficient. Go tell that to the Serb minority —— if there are any left alive.

 

The UN can't even be trusted to administer an 'oil for food' program without its own officials and their pals embarking on a looting spree.

 

The very act of trying to increase the permanent membership of the Security Council —— regardless of the identity of the hopeful nation —— would be to affirm that the UN isn't broken, and only requires some slight reform. It's more than broken.  It's a complete write—off.

 

However, since it's Chancellor Schroeder doing the asking, let's be perfectly blunt about why his veto request should be ignored.

 

Firstly, Germany showed itself to be completely foolish, incompetent and toothless in the run—up to the Iraq War, at a time when it was one of the rotating members of the Security Council. So, unfortunately for the Huns, we've already had a dress rehearsal demonstrating what we could look forward to if Germany had a UN Security Council veto. A seat for the Chancellor would be rewarding perfidy.

 

Another great reason to say 'nein' — again and again — to chancellor Schroeder is that France already occupies a permanent seat on the Security Council. That's enough duplicity at the table without adding the likes of the Germans at least in their present state of mind.

 

However, the best reason of all why the Germans must be locked out relates to the EU.

 

We are always being told by the EU that they want a single integrated foreign policy. In that case, it would make no sense for Germany to occupy a permanent Security Council seat as a separate nation within the EU.

 

Logic dictates that if the EU wants to be perceived as a single nation with a single policy then there should only be one permanent seat for Europeans at the UN Security Council.

 

My linguistic abilities are failing me at the moment so perhaps someone would be so kind to translate this into German: You can't have your cake and eat it too!

 

Michael Morris is our London Correspondent

The German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has been letting it be known, in a rather forceful manner, that Germany deserves to occupy a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. He's telling anyone who'll listen to him that Germany —— after over half a century of rehab —— is finally ready to take on her global responsibilities. As if we'd be glad to hear such news.

 

At present, the only five nations which hold a coveted permanent seat are the US, Britain, China, France, and Russia.

 

Some Europeans may of course disagree, but that line—up already contains enough volatility without introducing Germany into the veto zone.

 

Not that there is anything wrong with Germany per se; it's just that after having observed the display of histrionics at the UN during the run—up to the Iraq war, it has struck many of us that there are probably three permanent seats too many as it is.

 

Apart from the outright cheek of such a request from the chancellor who never dyes his hair, there are plenty of very good reasons why giving Germany a permanent seat on the UN Security Council would be tantamount to holding a loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger.

 

Kosovo's current turmoil, five years on from NATO having flushed Milosevic's ethnic cleansers from the country, is the direct consequence of UN moral pontification and failure at nation building. Of course, it's this type of reconstruction of war—torn lands at which the UN claims to be so proficient. Go tell that to the Serb minority —— if there are any left alive.

 

The UN can't even be trusted to administer an 'oil for food' program without its own officials and their pals embarking on a looting spree.

 

The very act of trying to increase the permanent membership of the Security Council —— regardless of the identity of the hopeful nation —— would be to affirm that the UN isn't broken, and only requires some slight reform. It's more than broken.  It's a complete write—off.

 

However, since it's Chancellor Schroeder doing the asking, let's be perfectly blunt about why his veto request should be ignored.

 

Firstly, Germany showed itself to be completely foolish, incompetent and toothless in the run—up to the Iraq War, at a time when it was one of the rotating members of the Security Council. So, unfortunately for the Huns, we've already had a dress rehearsal demonstrating what we could look forward to if Germany had a UN Security Council veto. A seat for the Chancellor would be rewarding perfidy.

 

Another great reason to say 'nein' — again and again — to chancellor Schroeder is that France already occupies a permanent seat on the Security Council. That's enough duplicity at the table without adding the likes of the Germans at least in their present state of mind.

 

However, the best reason of all why the Germans must be locked out relates to the EU.

 

We are always being told by the EU that they want a single integrated foreign policy. In that case, it would make no sense for Germany to occupy a permanent Security Council seat as a separate nation within the EU.

 

Logic dictates that if the EU wants to be perceived as a single nation with a single policy then there should only be one permanent seat for Europeans at the UN Security Council.

 

My linguistic abilities are failing me at the moment so perhaps someone would be so kind to translate this into German: You can't have your cake and eat it too!

 

Michael Morris is our London Correspondent