In front of the Victory Column [photo] - July 24, 2008
Excerpt - So far Obama has provided scarce details -- and he has generated criticism in the US for not being more forthcoming with his ideas. For days now, his advisors have been warning that Obama is still just a presidential candidate and not the president. As such, he can only speak generally about his vision, and he can't make any concrete policy proposals. But perhaps he also went too far in announcing that this was going to be a "keynote speech on trans-Atlantic" relations.
Nevertheless, it could be that the trans-Atlantic relationship needs a new tenor a lot more right now than it needs new political projects. The degree to which tensions in the relationship have developed in recent years was illustrated by lines Obama gave in his speech that under normal circumstances would be self-evident, like: "The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand." Or even better: "We will reject torture." … More by Gregor Peter Schmitz, SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL with 34 photos & video