Germany, the country that won't help out in the war on terror, has suddenly figured out who is helping butter its bread. The problem is, the last of the butter is on the plate and they don't like it.
"The American withdrawal would be a catastrophe for us," said Franz Bohjm, mayor of Kitzingen in Bavaria, southern Germany.
Economically, maybe so. I can't tell from here. I do know that the base closings in the Philippines hammered the local economies for years, and given that the German economy isn't in the best of condition, I expect something of the same.
However... (You knew that was coming, didn't you?)
We rebuilt Germany, along with a lot of the rest of Europe, after World War II. We didn't start the war, but we finished it, then pitched in to clean up the mess. You're welcome.
We stood between Germany and points west and the Soviet threat for 50 years, and the American taxpayer toted the note for that defense. While the vast (and unfortunately silent) majority of the German public is friendly to, or at least tolerates, the US presence, the German government allowed its Greens and other assorted wackos to cause our people there all manner of difficulties. You're welcome--again.
When Europe stood aside and allowed the Balkans to go up in flames again, the US responded, and put an end to a situation that could have prevoked yet another European war. One last time--you're welcome.
When the US decided that Saddam had to go, the Germans threw every wrench, monkey and otherwise, they had into the works in an effort to stop us. (Could it be that they didn't want their part in his rearmament to come to light?)
Chancellor Schroeder, I for one am tired of footing the bill for the defense of your country, just so you can piss the money away on social welfare programs and use that to get yourself reelected. Your country is going to have to start taking care of itself and part of that is making the "guns or butter" decision. Oh, and remember, it's "guns OR butter", not "guns AND butter". LBJ tried that, and it doesn't work. See Economics 101 for details.
The US is fighting a war, just in case you missed that news flash. Just because the enemy is scattered and stateless, as opposed to being a nation-state, doesn't make it any less of a war. Our troops are bleeding and dying each and every day, and God bless them for their willingness to do so.
We need the troops in Europe freed up to take on those who have and will again do us harm. Your country, and the rest of Europe, need to grow up and start taking care of yourselves--and that includes your defense.
If you want to spend the money on butter, fine. If you want to buy guns, that's fine too. But if you go for butter, and someone, whoever it is, decides to come eat that butter for you, do not expect me to send my son or daughter to bail your Socialist butt out. It won't be a happenin' thing--got that?