Author Topic: Should the U.S. Embassy in Germany Have Moved from Bonn to Berlin?  (Read 308 times)

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Offline JBG

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On July 7, 1999 the U.S. Embassy in Germany moved from Bonn to Berlin. A bit of history is in order (link). The U.S. State Department's history is here (link) .

Before the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Germany in 1941, the embassy was located in Berlin. After the end of WW II Germany was split into East Germany, otherwise known as the Democratic Republic of Germany and West Germany, otherwise known as the Federal Republic of Germany. The U.S. initially didn't have diplomatic relations with either "Germany." We established relations with West Germany in May 1955 and East Germany in September 1974. When the countries reunited in 1990 we turned the East German embassy into a "branch." The German Embassy was in Bonn, where the West German embassy had been located. On July 7, 1999 we moved the embassy to a reunited Berlin.

One can argue that the move was deeply provocative to Russia. Russia had, just nine and one-half years earlier had effective control over East Germany. We were taking a stand on a regional controversy.
One could argue that we spent tons of money on the new embassy and received no tangible benefit. Some argue that we should get tangible benefits for embassy moves. I'd like to hear there's and other's views.
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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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As far as i know,  Germany was a united sovereign country in 1999  well past post cold war.  Russia had no business where embassies were located, and the US could put it anywhere Germany wanted it. 

Israel/Palestine and Jerusalem is a very different situation.

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Offline wilber

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East Germany was never part of the Soviet Union, nor was it inhabited by Russians. Russia has no territorial claims in Germany. Should the Russians also be upset about where western embassies are located in all the other former Soviet Bloc countries?
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC
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Offline JBG

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As far as i know,  Germany was a united sovereign country in 1999  well past post cold war.  Russia had no business where embassies were located, and the US could put it anywhere Germany wanted it. 

Israel/Palestine and Jerusalem is a very different situation.
East Germany was never part of the Soviet Union, nor was it inhabited by Russians. Russia has no territorial claims in Germany. Should the Russians also be upset about where western embassies are located in all the other former Soviet Bloc countries?
Israel is a sovereign country. East Germany was an East-bloc country subject to invasion in the manner of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Soviet/Russian claims were as genuine-- or not genuine, as the Arab claims.
Trump - Watch what he does, not how he says it.

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Offline wilber

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Israel is a sovereign country. East Germany was an East-bloc country subject to invasion in the manner of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Soviet/Russian claims were as genuine-- or not genuine, as the Arab claims.

Not really, Arabs had been living in the Holy Land for more than a millennium, the Russians had only been in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany for just over 40 years. These countries also had their own governments even though they tied to the Soviet Union, which by the way, no longer exists.
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Offline JBG

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Not really, Arabs had been living in the Holy Land for more than a millennium, the Russians had only been in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany for just over 40 years. These countries also had their own governments even though they tied to the Soviet Union, which by the way, no longer exists.
So none of Israel is "undisputed"?
Trump - Watch what he does, not how he says it.

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Offline waldo

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East Germany was an East-bloc country subject to invasion in the manner of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Soviet/Russian claims were as genuine-- or not genuine, as the Arab claims.

uhhh... the Soviet Union was a signatory to the, 'Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany' --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Final_Settlement_with_Respect_to_Germany

German reunification & the German initiative to reestablish Berlin as its capital city has nothing comparable (and fitting) to your artificially crafted/failed analogy. The benefit to the U.S. that you question is quite clear: in line with reestablishing Berlin as the capital city, infrastructure development included land settlements to effect new construction of foreign embassies within Berlin; accordingly, the benefit to the U.S. in moving its embassy was to follow the lead of the German government, to follow the path struck by other countries to move their embassies, in kind. 
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Offline wilber

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So none of Israel is "undisputed"?

I diidnít say that.
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Offline JBG

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Not really, Arabs had been living in the Holy Land for more than a millennium, the Russians had only been in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany for just over 40 years. These countries also had their own governments even though they tied to the Soviet Union, which by the way, no longer exists.
So none of Israel is "undisputed"?
I diidnít say that.
Then according the the Arabs what parts of Israel are undisputed?
Trump - Watch what he does, not how he says it.

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Offline SirJohn

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Nobody but the Palestinians seems to seriously dispute that the West Jerusalem is Israeli, so if the Israelis want foreign embassies to locate in West Jerusalem how is this an issue? I know the Palestinian leadership continues to rabble rouse by proclaiming all of Jerusalem as soon to be the capital of Palestine but that's simply nonsensical.

"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline waldo

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Nobody but the Palestinians seems to seriously dispute that the West Jerusalem is Israeli, so if the Israelis want foreign embassies to locate in West Jerusalem how is this an issue? I know the Palestinian leadership continues to rabble rouse by proclaiming all of Jerusalem as soon to be the capital of Palestine but that's simply nonsensical.

@the UN, these countries voted in favour of the U.S./Trump initiative to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

    Guatemala
    Honduras
    Israel
    Marshall Islands
    Micronesia
    Nauru
    Palau
    Togo
    United States

and @the Security Council level, 14 out of the councilís 15 members supported the resolution condemning the U.S./Trump decision on Jerusalem --- forcing the U.S. to exercise its veto power.

so ya, good summation on your part!  ;D
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Offline Omni

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Nobody but the Palestinians seems to seriously dispute that the West Jerusalem is Israeli, so if the Israelis want foreign embassies to locate in West Jerusalem how is this an issue? I know the Palestinian leadership continues to rabble rouse by proclaiming all of Jerusalem as soon to be the capital of Palestine but that's simply nonsensical.

Ah no, the whole peace negotiation process called for a two state solution with EAST Jerusalem as the capitol of Palestine.

Offline MH

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We seem to be moving on from the bad analogy in the subject line, which works for me.

Offline SirJohn

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Ah no, the whole peace negotiation process called for a two state solution with EAST Jerusalem as the capitol of Palestine.

I said WEST Jerusalem.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline SirJohn

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@the UN, these countries voted in favour of the U.S./Trump initiative to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

    Guatemala
    Honduras
    Israel
    Marshall Islands
    Micronesia
    Nauru
    Palau
    Togo
    United States

and @the Security Council level, 14 out of the councilís 15 members supported the resolution condemning the U.S./Trump decision on Jerusalem --- forcing the U.S. to exercise its veto power.

so ya, good summation on your part!  ;D

Nothing I said was incorrect.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum