Spiegel Shows A Blind Spot

This year marks 100 years since World War I and Spiegel Online is running a series of articles to commemorate the occasion. The most recent installment is  called, “‘We Saved the World’: WWI and America’s Rise as a Superpower“. It’s worth a read, especially for the allusions to Walter Russell Mead’s taxonomy of American foreign policy. It’s also worth a read for the (one assumes unwittingly) revealed, and rather amusing, blind spot contained in one of the final paragraphs.

Having (quite rightly, I think, and in keeping with Mead’s categories) linked the American invasion of Iraq to a moralistic, unilateral, and democratizing strain of American foreign policy that began with Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of the country’s entrance into World War I, the article then asks:

And the idealists? Has the missionary tradition of American foreign policy achieved any successes 100 years after the failure of its founding father, Woodrow Wilson?

It’s a bit rich for a German paper to ask that, and to also make no mention of Germany, isn’t it?* Whole books have been written about the installation of democracy in Germany after World War II. It seems like it’s working out alright.

Certainly there’s no obligation for Spiegel to have to point that out every time American democracy imposition fails (and it has, many times). I just find it entertaining that this time they decided not to.