Secretary of State John Kerry at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate: There is

hope in Europe that Kerry may be uniquely able to recast the E.U.'s

image in the United States.

 

 

John Kerry: Hope for Recasting Europe's Image in American Eyes (Der Tagesspiegel, Germany)

 

"Thanks to his personal interest and experiences, Kerry can help clear up some common misconceptions. Many Americans overestimate the importance of Asia and underestimate that of Europe. Most of them have heard of the dynamism and growth rates in the Pacific, but only a few know that the exchange of goods, services, and investments across the Atlantic is much greater, and that more jobs depend on it."

 

By Christoph von Marschall

 

Translated By Jonathan Lobsien

 

March 1, 2013

 

Germany - Der Tagesspiegel - Original Article (German)

America's newly-minted secretary of state listens intently to a translation of the words of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. In Europe, the Kerry appointment is proving popular.

 

YOUTUBE VIDEO: Secretary of State Kerry with German Foreign Minister Westerwelle, Feb. 27, 00:09:36RealVideo

The U.S. has its sights set on Asia in particular. Still, new Secretary of State John Kerry can introduce his country to a different image of Europe.

 

Visits to Berlin by American secretaries of state were once symbolic. The things people will remember most from John Kerry's first are that he rode a bicycle through the Brandenburg Gate when he was a teenager; his grandparents were Jews from Silesia; and apart from that, he came mostly to talk about Syria. Can such a man revive transatlantic relations? Around the world people are talking about how the United States is now governed by its first "Pacific president" - with an eye on Asia. What effect, if any, do such biographical impressions have on foreign policy? Didnít Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice map out their itineraries based on current crises and challenges?

 

The new secretary's emotional ties to Berlin and France, where he spent several summer vacations as a child, will not fundamentally change Europe's place in American geopolitics.

 

He cannot shape U.S. public opinion to the degree the president can. The days when Berlin was a divided city, hub of a divided continent and thus of American global politics will never return.

Posted By Worldmeets.US

 

But thanks to his personal interest and experiences, Kerry can help clear up some common misconceptions. Many Americans overestimate the importance of Asia and underestimate that of Europe. Most of them have heard of the dynamism and growth rates in the Pacific, but only a few know that the exchange of goods, services, and investments across the Atlantic is much greater, and that more jobs depend on it.

 

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SEE ALSO ON THIS:  

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On the other hand, Kerry has touched on the fact that he wants to see historically successful components of the Atlantic partnership applied elsewhere. The example of the Marshall Plan is far from original - but it still works. How comforting it would be for America and Europe alike, if security systems similar to NATO and crisis warning systems that existed at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union were in place in Asia. The island dispute among China, Japan, and Korea, with all its nationalistic overtones, reminds some observers of the atmosphere in Europe a hundred years ago, when a few shots in Sarajevo were enough to trigger a world war.

 

Kerry makes his inaugural visit at a time that, for a variety of reasons, presents an opportunity to reshape America's images of Asia and Europe. In Asia, the opportunities are shrinking and the risks are growing. Growth rates are declining, while border disputes and domestic conflicts within each nation are on the rise. In Europe the trend is the reverse. The United States has overdone the gloom and doom surrounding the euro crisis. In many areas, Germany is a model when it comes to formulas for overcoming the economic crisis. And the debate over the Atlantic [free trade] agreement puts the economic power of the E.U. back in the spotlight.

 

Kerry can enhance America's domestic political debate. But for this he will need the help of self-aware Europeans.

 

CLICK HERE FOR GERMAN VERSION

 

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Posted By Worldmeets.US Mar. 1, 2013, 5:59am