(Deutsche Übersetzung siehe unten)
(By Ray D.)
It seems that the German media's so-called America "experts" could either use a refresher course in remedial US history or are simply rewriting the history books as they go along. Recently (Nov. 29, 2003), several members of the German media (FAZ, tagesschau, N24) were so desperate to downplay the success of President Bush's stunning Thanksgiving Day visit to US troops in Iraq that they printed the following "historic" comparison:
"Still observers point to the fact that a short visit in Iraq will not change everything with one blow. The American troops in Iraq have to reckon with continued resistance and the expected rise in popularity for Bush could also be over very quickly. They point to former US President Lyndon B. Johnson who visited the troops on a spectacular trip to Vietnam but then clearly lost the 1968 election to his opponent Richard Nixon."
A mistake of this magnitude might lead some to reach the conclusion that most of the "America experts" in the German media were too busy throwing rocks at police and getting high back in 1968 to pay close attention to the US Presidential election.
Just to clear things up a bit, Lyndon B. Johnson didn't even run for the Presidency in 1968 after announcing he would not seek re-election at the beginning of the year. Not only that, but the 1968 election between Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat Hubert Humphrey turned out to be a hotly contended race which Nixon won by the thinnest of margins and was by no means "clearly lost" by the Democrats.
German journalists frequently and gleefully report on the "ignorance" of the average American, always with a hint of condescending superiority of course. It seems, though, that they aren't quite the brilliant know-it-alls they fancy themselves to be either...