A look back at the reunification of Germany and the skepticism that made many believe it would never happen
By Abdennour Toumi
Paris, France — Those decades were a time when every internationalist and nationalist, and even Hollywood directors, had skepticism, waiting for a clash and the ultimate destruction of the imaginary enemy.
Germany’s twenty-fifth re-unification anniversary, the removal of the infamous Check Point Charlie between the two Germanys. German families were separated by a Wall that had been a symbol of ideological dystopia, and an epoch that made political scientists and journalists wonder about the so-called Cold War and its impacts on international relations.
It was an ideological fight between two economic models and governing systems: on one side, a block led by the U.S. and its allies, on the other side, the Soviet Union and its satellite States and Republics. Those decades were a time when every internationalist and nationalist, and even Hollywood directors, had skepticism, waiting for a clash and the ultimate destruction of the imaginary enemy.
Fortunately, the apocalypse didn’t happen, and the course of history went faster than was predicted. All the myth of the Cold War and with it the tyrant regime of Erich Honecker, his secret police (Stasi) and others in the region vanished like a sandcastle. The West once again emerged victorious; after militarily defeating Nazism, it had politically and economically defeated the pensée unique paradigm of communism.
Hence, the pattern of change took off rapidly; people in the region got on the Glasnost train, pushed by the wind of the Perestroïka. The breeze of change was also blowing and caressing the shores of the Mediterranean Basin as far as the shores of Yemen. In this instance, Yemen gathered in a family reunion between the North and South in 1990.
If Germany is greatly enjoying its family reunion — one that has proven its political maturity and societal civility — Yemen is on the brink of another family disunion, Sudan split, Iraq dislocated, Syria imploded and Libya dismantled…
Years later, while the international community was enjoying tranquility, some stability and hope (beginning with the Oslo Accord between the Palestinians and the Israelis), the unimaginable happened and the whole post-Cold War international system crashed.
A New International Disorder emerged in light of 9/11. Here are the real Boiling War, as the utopians on both sides of this new international disorder equation put it. This is a new struggle between the West and the peril of radical Islamism — after the red came the “green.”
This suspicion and mistrust terribly damaged the era of multilateralism that was born post-89. George W. Bush and his foreign policy ideologues, who were the champions of an apocalyptic vision of the world, buried the multilateralism paradigm, replacing it with the “Either with us or against us doctrine,” the post- 9/11 foreign policy. However, their utopia did not last long and was buried in the sands of the Middle East and North Africa.
Consequently, the defeated Soviet Union re-emerged as the Federation of Russia. It came back from its long coma, unexpectedly showing up stronger on the international scene, exploiting the neo-cons’ delusional world view and President Obama prudent and wait-and-see foreign policy.Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev (L) reaches out his hand to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (R) as former U.S. President George Bush applauds while attending a ceremony of the Konrad-Adenauer foundation to mark the upcoming 20-year anniversary, in November, of the fall of the wall which once divided communist East Berlin from capitalist west Berlin, in Berlin October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
President Putin, who was at the centre of attention last Monday in New York city, where he took the UNGA floor to lecture the world [West] on peace, stability, human rights and international order, other words restore the Federation of Russia pride.
Oddly, emerges like the winner of the post-Cold War is in the MENA quagmire and the West; awkwardly, where the Soviet Union buried the Red Army supremacy, and later its Empire’s ideology of fear and monism. Yes, the world is full of irony: currently, a former proletarian (the Soviet Union) is becoming a bourgeois, and a bourgeois (America) is rescuing its proletariat class, questioning its economic model!
While the people in the Middle East and North Africa are looking for more good stories like the German one to get inspired by their hospitality and competitivity spirit. No more walls and checkpoints; people are sewing solid curtains of social and cultural interaction, and they are tearing up the infamous iron curtain of injustice, intolerance and tyranny.
In sum, Germany has 85 million inhabitants, is the world’s second largest exporter after China, and is reunited for the second time in its modern history. Germans would rather look forward than backwards. The question is no longer, how is Germany doing,? But where is Germany heading? Alles Gute zum Geburtstag.
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