Jürgen Trittin, an ex-communist, is, incredibly, a minister in Chancellor Schroeder's leftist government, agitating on behalf of the environment. His appalling article this week in the Frankfurter Rundschau has received a lot of publicity. Trittin blames President Bush for Hurricane Katrina.
This is a most strange intervention on the part of one country's environment minister, reacting to the awful climatic misfortunes in another. But with an election looming on September 18th, Trittin clings to the talismanic faith this doomed German government places in anti-Americanism and its purportedly foolproof potency at winning votes.
Trittin, of course, is catastrophically wrong on all possible counts. His remarks are bad science: even if "man" (read: USA, in Trittin's view) has a significant effect on global warming, global warming has absolutely no connection with the formation of hurricanes. None. And even Trittin's beloved, handwringing, inutile Kyoto agreement, to which America doesn't subscribe, would, if implemented, have no effect on global warming for the foreseeable future.
Morally, the blog finds queasily repugnant Tritttin's crowing on the sidelines as thousands die, are injured and made homeless. Trittin should be soundly rebuked: it is simply no business of a minister - silly nitwit or not - to display Schadenfreude at such a time.
Trittin's regrettable handwringing is merely the latest installment of agitprop from a government which has never made the slightest effort to mask its deep-seated anti-Americanism - from Fischer's "we are not convinced" petulance, to the ex-Justice Minister's comparison of Bush to Hitler.
Trittin, a Green, is completely out of his depth as environment minister, hardly the most tasking of jobs. But he's not the only dud in the Bundestag - this has been the worst ever post-War German government, led by the weakest ever post-War Chancellor, and when they are all consigned to the dustbin of history on September 18th, it will be good riddance to bad rubbish in almost every conceivable way.
Frankfurter Rundschau online