UMD's Jeffrey Herf weighs in on Germany's decision to abstain from the U.N. resolution regarding Libya.
By Jeffery Herf, The New Republic
The first narrative downplays the connection between force and freedom. It deemphasizes the fact that only Allied arms defeated the Nazi regime, while tending to accentuate the role of Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik, the West German and West European peace movements, and Mikhael Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost as the causes of the end of the Cold War. In some accounts, the hard line taken by the Western alliance before and during the 1980s and the role of Eastern European dissidents who delegitimized Communist ideology get less attention or are mentioned only as factors that endangered peace.