Friday, March 28, 2003

the guardian: guenther grass - shaper of a nation's conscience:
"chancellor gerhard schroeder's refusal to join george bush's crusade to topple saddam hussein has made grass openly proud of his compatriots and the ruling elite for once. "every family in this country has the experience of two world wars, two lost wars, massive destruction, millions of dead, cities in ruins. people's mentality has changed. every generation has to face this and its consequences," he says.

he rejects the explanation, often used outside germany, that he and other germans have become pacifists. the more accurate picture, he argues, is that germans do not rule war out as a last resort but they have learned to think especially carefully before rushing into it. grass finds it ironic that germany was persistently urged by its western allies during the cold war to grow out of its status as a political dwarf. yet when it stands up, as schroeder has been doing over iraq, it is denounced."

yup, herr grass. agreed.