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Before the ware, here, in the US, we were told we could expect 10,000 civilians dead, and about 2,000 US soldiers, many more if Saddam had unleashed WMD. (By the way, if Saddam had unleashed WMD, it was assumed he wouldn't care if it landed on his own troops or any innocent women and children.) It was a calculated risk, and every moral person had to take this number into consideration. But, not even Howard Dean had speculated about 200,000 civilians killed. That is a ridiculous amount.
Although it is a ridiculous figure, and a little "sexed up," one might say, it is understandable in the sense that no one knew what would happen before the beginning of the war. It was anyone's guess, so it's not necessarily a lie. Not so with Nobel-prize winner, Guenther Grass. On April 7, the day the Coalition troops entered the city of Baghdad, and took the airport, the Los Angeles Times published Grass's opinion piece, entitled "The US betrays its core values; Having learned from its past, Germany rightly rejects Bush's war and his disdain of the UN."

Despite the fact that the troops had taken Baghdad with a bare minimum of casualties on either side, incredible caution regarding civilian populations using expensive pinpoint accuracy technologies, and the discovery of thousands of corpses in mass graves along the way, Grass perpetuates the myth that the war was costly in human lives, when, in fact, the opposite had occured.

Here's a little Grass: "I declare myself pro-American. I protest with [many Americans] the brutalities brought about by the injustice of the mighty, against restrictions of the freedom of expression, against information control reminiscent of the practices of totalitarian states and against the cynical equations that make the deaths of thousands of women and children acceptable so long as economic and political interests are protected."

According to Grass's revisionist version of history while it was taking place before his eyes-- two days before Saddam's statue was torn down (a historic moment reminiscent of young Germans tearing down the Wall)-- it was America that was responsible for injustice, totalitarian control, and the deaths of thousands of women and children. How blind could you be, Herr Grass, to what was going on around you? How can you lie to yourself and others in this manner? And, of course, the biggest lie is that you're "pro-American." Well, that's a very curious definition of the term...

There is an interesting, related piece today in "Spiegel Online" (which, as I know, some of you resist to read), in which the Israeli ambassador to Germany talks about the situation in the Near-East. On "Der Spiegels" question whether Israel was not using unjust measures against the Palestineans Stein aptly answers (not verbatim): "You are in a lucky situation -- you are relatively secure in Berlin. In such a position one can elevate oneself over practical issues of fighting against terrorism" A standpoint which of course could be applied to every "coffee-table" discussion that took place in Germany in the last 2 years, from 9/11 to the Israeli/Palestinean conflict to the situation in Iraq.

Futhermore Stein says (not verbatim): "what Israel does today to defend itself is but a fraction of what we could do in actuality. From a military standpoint we could easily go further. We try hard to apply only the most minimal of measures rather than going the full way".

for the entire interview see: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,265782,00.html

@Ray D.: Right, of course the criticis against incorrect predictions from war-critics is somewhat smaller compared to the criticism of projections and pre-war "evidence" coming from the Bush-administration:

Because the actions following any of these rethorics carried a far greater weight on the side of the Bush-administration: They actually are now occupying forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, changing history.

We could perhaps agree on saying "the left barked false predictions, but was irrelevant", but you can not deny that it is more important to look at the pre-war rethorics of those who actually change other countries by means of war than loooking at those who don't actually sit behind the trigger.

And it wasn't me who made the France comparison, but Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Please tell him it was absurd.

Since another replier seemed to take issue that my Wolfowitz-quote was a "selective version", where can one find the surrounding passages from your quotes of German politicians?I couldn't even find the original article at the Adenauer-Stiftung - your google-cache link in the earlier article went dead (Adenauer-Stiftung is, btw, - the "coincidence"! - close to the Conservative party in Germany)

You say you are concerned about unfair and unbalanced media. You are partially right that some German media indeed goes a bit overboard and there are leaning from few folks to a rubbish "anti-Americanism", but the same could be said for US-conservative media, which displays at times an "Anti-Europeanism". And these same conservative sources ironically tend to not only bash the German media for being too Bush-critical, but also blame large parts of the British media ("biased BBC", etc.) or even the US-main TV-networks, etc. as "too liberal" and too Bush-critical.

So I wonder if it is the German media which is isolated in its views or perhaps a certain conservative media-tone (though this conservative media is certainly a growing trend). It seems at times anything short of a enthusiastic Bush-support isn't welcome these days.

@Adian: Weak reply. Obviously nothing selective about it - Wolfowitz did indeed bring up the images of French liberation in his quote. Thank you for confirming it.

And interesting how your quote talked about "words of an Iraqi American" - if you and me shall start nitpicking on selective wordings, I would be interested if this person indeed held double citizenship or if it was an American citizen of Iraqi origin. (Is Henry Kissinger a German American then? And Arnie an Austrian-American citizen?).

Also noteworthy that you called my quoting selective, but then this "Iraq American" becomes an "Iraqi" in your own words.

And polls are a method of manipulations. One tends to quote polls only if they prove one's own point, but bash them if they produce unpleasant numbers. Let's not get into poll-fights, I just wanted to note an apparent political partisanship which I am beginning to sense here, far from the objective ideals of "only wanting to point out unfairness in the media". :-)

"Study: More than 100,000 Iraqi Civilians May Have Died in War"
--> http://www.voanews.com/english/2004-10-29-voa1.cfm
And even if only 50,000 Iraqi Civilians have died in war, the politicians were right with their warnings!

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