The Aspin Institute’s man in Berlin, Jeffrey Gedmin, has been annoying me for some time now with his rants about the uppity Germans’ opposition to the Iraq war. Apparently, anyone who does not view the strategic situation on Earth from this man’s perspecive must barely be in the same star system as he. Gedmin’s take on Germans’ “view from Pluto“:

It is easy to get a rise out of people in Germany. Just mention the 45-nation coalition that helped the United States and Britain in Iraq. “Yes, Micronesia and El Salvador!” comes the cynical, hooting reply. … It is a source of great frustration that “real” countries joined the coalition — nations like Japan, Australia, South Korea, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal.</p> Regardless of whether anyone actually uttered this unattributed hoot, the point of this criticism was — and remains — the rediculous pomposity of the Bush adminsitration to claim a vast coalition when only Britain, Australia and Poland (and a couple of token Danish and Dutch officers somewhere far from the front) actually had any troops on the ground in Iraq. Heck, there were actually more German troops in harm’s way than Spanish: the Bundeswehr’s ABC-detection and disposal team never left Kuwait.

I won’t get into a detailed fisking of the rest. One other thing, though. Why is the wire service UPI reprinting opinion pieces from the conservative National Review? Could it be because the venerable agency is now part of News World Communications, the media empire of the Unification Church under Rev. Sun Myung Moon? Or that its leadership is stacked with conservatives from both sides of the Atlantic? Here are some more details if you thought this was anything other than a “fair and balanced” source of information.