« Exchange With a German Woman | Main | Iraqis: Only Minority Worse Off »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c42969e200d834213c2753ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Sensational Article in a German Paper... And It's Even Pro-Bush!:

» Three interesting news articles from Adventures of an American Girl in Germany
Here's three interesting news articles I found today. 1) Despite the fact that my Mom tells me people are starting to talk about a draft (complete news to me), this article says that soldiers are "re-enlisting at rates that exceed... [Read More]

» Meandering About... from Alphecca
Moving to new MT digs, Confessions of a Jesus Phreak is now here. And his son has his first gun. A pro-Bush commentary in a German newspaper? Hold onto your hats; David Kaspar has the scoop! I meant to link... [Read More]

» Meandering About... from Alphecca
Moving to new MT digs, Confessions of a Jesus Phreak is now here. And his son has his first gun. A pro-Bush commentary in a German newspaper? Hold onto your hats; David Kaspar has the scoop! I meant to link... [Read More]

» A Light in the Forest from Solomonia
David Kaspar has a translation from the German press that is as welcome as a tall, cool drink of water. Here's a little snip, but read it all. It's not long and worth your time. Davids Medienkritik: A Sensational Article... [Read More]

» A German challenges the consensus from Randal Robinson
From German blogger David Kaspar: A Sensational Article in a German Paper... And It's Even Pro-Bush! David makes it seem like that's unusual or something. Here's a translated excerpt: The worldview of the average German in 2004 in seven sentences:... [Read More]

» SPECTRUM from trying to grok
I don't know exactly why reading this at Medienkritik triggered something in my mind, but it did. Back when I was in my Swedish class, our teacher was trying to briefly explain the Swedish political parties to us. She drew... [Read More]

» Bush is Stupid and Evil from Occam's Toothbrush
Davids Medienkritik has posted an excellent article written by Mathias Doepfner in a German newspaper, Doepfner writes: The worldview of... [Read More]

» 'He who acts, makes mistakes.' from Spot On
A great editorial in a German newspaper actually believes Bush is neither stupid nor evil. Via Andrew Sullivan.... [Read More]

» Worldview in Seven Sentences from King of Fools
David Medienkritik points out this article (translated here) which presents the worldview of the average German in 2004 in seven sentences: The worldview of the average German in 2004 in seven sentences: Bush is stupid and evil. Iraq is the... [Read More]

Comments


Doepfner is the current CEO of the Axel Springer Verlag AG.

Axel Springer Verlag AG is traditionally very pro-Israel and pro-US. For this, read the publishing principles of Axel Springer ethics to which a journalist has to agree on AFAIK. (English language link at axelspringer.de)

Axel Springer Verlag AG runs many German newspapers, amongst them Europe's largest tabl...ehm, newspaper BILD (circulation of more than 4 million). So much for the conspiracy theory of Germany's one-sided media, duh?

Their flagship BILD is a bit the German version of "The Sun": Has a "if it bleeds, it leads"-attitude. I am not a fan of Axel Springer Verlag because of this, as you can tell. I am more of a fan of Heinrich Böll, I guess (Literature Nobel price winner who once wrote a revealing novel on BILD's working style).

klink, thx for "teaching" us again, but dont you have children to bother?

and why dont write emails with "literature nobel prize" winner (huh :O) g. "grrrrr the evil americans" grass?

I just cant stand you anymore, NOBODY likes you, NOBODY would wage a war for YOU and your freedom to waffle, go to the leftist blogs (they deserve to be punished) or just FOAD!

"I just cant stand you anymore, NOBODY likes you, NOBODY would wage a war for YOU and your freedom to waffle, go to the leftist blogs (they deserve to be punished) or just FOAD!" (about Klink)

Maybe Klink has an attitude to teach, but this is not bad for some american guests may not know about this (even if they don't care).

IMO, Klink would get the same kind of "appreciation" from a leftist blog for his opinion. And this makes me believe, that he speaks for far more people (reading this blog) than one would think.

"We are all individuals!" (Brian)
"We are all individuals!" (Chorus)

"We are all different!" (Brian)
"We are all different!" (Chorus)
"ME NOT!!" (an individual)

Klink:So much for the conspiracy theory of Germany's one-sided media, duh?

So German media is NOT one-sided ??? Are you OK ? I don't care who owns what, I can SEE the German media in action EVERYDAY. Are you watching-reading something else ? Are you living in a parallel world ????

Your logic(???) is something really weird, unfortunately facts contradict you. But don't let that EVER discourage you, you are in good company...

I personally NEVER discuss politics with weirdos. I just couldn't care less what they think. I did it with you because once in a while you sounded sane. Now I have doubts about that. But that's just my opinion...

@ch speicher

I provided in my comment valuable background information on the influential Axel Springer Verlag and its official ethics on the German/American relationship. You on the other hand made a personal ad hominem attack on me with little content.

NOBODY would wage a war for YOU...or just FOAD!

A statement like this suggests to me: You also haven't understood US-troops. They are there to protect even dissenting views. That's what makes them different and so much better than Soviet or Chinese troops.

A typical US-soldier might perhaps personally bitch at and disagree with the views of a Michael Moore, John Kerry or Ralph Nader or others, but (aside from some die-hard rightwingers which worry me) he'll risk his life to also defend their right to Free Speech and their right to even dissent with those in power who sent troops into combat. And that is exactly what makes America so great and why I think discussion culture in Germany sucks in contrast to America - Germans and politics often will end up in a "Shut up, can't we ban this?"-attitude. Verboten, verboten, verboten.

@WhatDoIKnow

You are right when it comes to things like TV - but Axel Springer is a powerful force in the German print-media. You never look at BILD or WELT?

Axel Springer Verlag AG runs many German newspapers, amongst them Europe's largest tabl...ehm, newspaper BILD (circulation of more than 4 million). So much for the conspiracy theory of Germany's one-sided media, duh?

So what proof is that for Germany's media not being one-sided? Because you, Klink, have labelled Axel Springer AG "pro-US and pro-Israel." A typical tactic of the left, guilt by association and labelling. It is interesting that you also chose this approach to attack the article, showing that in terms of discussing the actual substance of what the article says, you have no argument.

Hopefully future commentors will pick up on how significant this article is in terms of its substance...oh yeah, this kind of thing scares the hell out of Klink...make no doubt about it, now other Germans are starting to realize how stupid and superficial the Bush hate and US bashing have become over here and how counter-productive it has all been. The worm is starting to turn on them, the hysteria has only just begun.

And has anyone here ever claimed there is a "conspiracy" in the German media? Talk about delusions of grandeur. If anything, we would point to the formulation once used by James Keogh as the title of one of his chapters of his book "Nixon and the Press" that their is "not a conspiracy, but a conformity" in the media, i.e. a relatively consistent bias against the US and Israel, even among more "conservative" German publications.

Plus, BILD is not a newspaper that anyone here who is half-way intellegent takes particularly seriously, it is more like the National Enquirer than anything else. I'm sure tabloids in other countries also have large circualtions, that doesn't change the fact that they are not serious newspapers.

@Klink

Sometimes I disagree with your posts and thoughts, but this time in my opinion you are right

I served in the german navy and spent quite a time on the US CG 17, Harry I Yarnell (Missle guided Cruiser),
What really impressed me at that time, the US Navy Guys explained to me, their mission is to defend everybody not just America supporting the basic principles America stands for, even the greatest weirdos and liberal idiots - because free speech, personal and individual freedom, thats what it is all about

Impressive and so true

Freedom of speech and respecting the thoughts others share with us, it seems some people on this blog keep forgetting what the free world is standing for

Keep on reminding us, klink!

@ R Day

I enjoyed reading the article on sunday morning and I'm glad y o u posted it here on this blog
Thank you!

I never understood the stupid and unprofessional bush-bashing-hype in the german media, I really hope it will change

@Ray
Because you, Klink, have labelled Axel Springer AG "pro-US and pro-Israel." A typical tactic of the left, guilt by association and labelling.

Ehm - this association wasn't done by me, but by Axel Springer himself for his entire publishing house. The earlier link again.

Hopefully future commentors will pick up on how significant this article is in terms of its substance...oh yeah, this kind of thing scares the hell out of Klink.

I found the fact that it was written by the CEO as well quite significant - that's why I mentioned it first. I did see similar strong comments though before by folks in the lower ranks of Axel Springer Verlag like Georg Gafron, but Doepfner is definitely the top league of Germany.

Plus, BILD is not a newspaper that anyone here who is half-way intellegent takes particularly seriously, it is more like the National Enquirer than anything else.

BILD is bad, but I disagree on the comparison - National Enquirer is IMO just gossip, BILD does form opinions of the "masses", a bit like The Sun in the UK. It is a tabloid, but it is also one of the must-read papers for every politician and ever media-outlet in the morning.

Remember things like "Florida-Rolf"? BILD pushed it - Schröder suddenly changes laws *within weeks*. (Another example of how opportunistic Schröder can be)

BILD does form opinions of the "masses", a bit like The Sun in the UK. It is a tabloid, but it is also one of the must-read papers for every politician and ever media-outlet in the morning.

But, how can that be...I thought the Germans were so much smarter than their US counterparts? To me, BILD really is a cheap tabloid, if people in Germany really take it that seriously, it doesn't say much for Germany and the country's overall level of intellectual sophistication.

Ehm - this association wasn't done by me, but by Axel Springer himself for his entire publishing house. The earlier link again.

That may be, but such a position is rare and highly unpopular in the German media and general public today and that was my point. Doepfner rightly points to how Germans have allowed the media to dumb-down their world view to 7 sentences. This didn't happen because Germany has a predominantly pro-US/pro-Israel media. The fact that the Greens are now openly bashing Bush to get elected is a reflection of that.

That is the point made by the article that I think is worth discussing...how do we start an intelligent discussion between Germans and Americans that doesn't boil down to Doepfner's 7 sentences?

Here's a view from a smaller American paper:

http://www.newsherald.com/viewpoint/phillucas/040404.shtml

(via Dhimmi Watch)

If straight talk of savagery offends you, if you believe in ethnic and gender diversity but not diversity of thought or if you think there is an acceptable gray area between good and evil, then turn to the funny pages, and take the children, too.

This piece is not for you.

We published pictures Thursday of burnt American corpses hanging from an Iraqi bridge behind a mob of grinning Muslims.

Some readers didn’t like it.....

--A typical US-soldier might perhaps personally bitch at and disagree with the views of a Michael Moore, John Kerry or Ralph Nader or others, but (aside from some die-hard rightwingers which worry me) he'll risk his life to also defend their right to Free Speech and their right to even dissent with those in power who sent troops into combat. --

CK, the "Left" in America isn't that generous. You can support every idea but one, and you've wandered off the plantation/reservation and must pay the price.

While I know correlation is not causation, start visiting some bloggers whose views have changed after 9/11. They're in their 50s/60s, dems their whole life.

Ralf, is that you, G?

If so, how have you been and whatcha been doin?

Haven't read you around for quite a while.

Sandy P

I'm sorry, I guess you're looking for somebody else

@Ralf,

Well the Germans and french surely are not standing for very much.

Want to explain that to me......Thanks

Joe,
wow, you seemed to know the Germans and french, all of them very well- congrats

So tell me what do I stand for?
Reminding you I'm native German with a jewish family background, I lived for a year in the fantastic state of michigan and I served in the German and US Navy - tell me!

Gimme a break, I can't stand this anymore
The Germans, Americans, French, always all of them?
Come on, we are all individuals, not only member of narrowminded groups heading only in one direction

I remember history class, the nazis where thinking in 'groups' and 'sippen', " the jews ", which brought my grandfather to bergen-belsen

I can't stand the idiot Michael Moore, he his American, guess what, I don't believe he is representing "all" Americans

So tell me JOE, what do I stand for?

Ralf,

That was my question to you. Just what do the Germans and french stand for? I do not have a clue what they stand for.

They surely share little with Americans. Your own statement seems to indicate that.

Kind of on-topic but very educational, via Instapundit:


http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/000331.php

Someone went to a gathering of moonbats.

Joe,

its really odd and artificial to construct a gap between people, not individuals, by denying common values (what 'people' stand for)

I don't know what the french stand for, I got to know only a few french so far. Frankly I don't know what the germans stand for 'in general'
Don't tell me, you know what Americans stand for.
For sure, you know exactly what America stands for, I buy that.
But do you know what 'John Doe' in Parma, Michigan stands for? No, you don't.
I don't either. May be he stands for example for freedom, liberty, justice, domestic tranquility, general welfare, peace, fair trial, free speech and democracy.
America stands for that, 'Americans' stand for that, guess what, Germans I happen to know stand for that, may be 'all Germans' stand for that.
You won't like it, we share the same values.

The choice by the German goverment not to follow the USA to Irak doesn't proof, we don't share the same values. Don't get me wrong, I'm disappointed with Schroeders policies on Irak, I supported an active german military engagement within nato under american leadership.

But I also understand,
learning the lessons of history, terrible wars started by Germany leading to the holocaust and so far unthinkable crimes to jews, anti-nazis and minorities most Germans have a deep desire for
peace - unfortunatly for some at all cost

I personally had to explain to many fellow Germans why I choose to serve in the navy and why it is important to protect peace by force, when its needed. But people who oppose war for whatever reason still belief in what all modern western democracies stand for
- like it or not

Hey, Joe, why are you beating Ralf over the head with these questions? He's one of the good guys.

@Ray
But, how can that be...I thought the Germans were so much smarter than their US counterparts?

Have you been secretly reading Michael Moore? 'Fess up! ;-)

German highschools scored worse than US-schools in the recent PISA-study AFAIK. That German myth has turned to rubble. And I also read recently in a US-consumer mag that German cars aren't as reliable as they used to be. But hey, we still make great Bratwursts and beer! :-)

That is the point made by the article that I think is worth discussing...how do we start an intelligent discussion between Germans and Americans that doesn't boil down to Doepfner's 7 sentences?

Doepfner's 7 sentences are sadly actually quite on target. The problem of course for an intelligent discussion is a similar one as inside the US: Until November, everything boils down to partisanship (Arthur Schlesinger jr. wrote this week in the SZ how 45% of Americans can't stand Bush, 45% admire him and over the remaining 10% is being fought), like the article then as well.

@Sandy
CK, the "Left" in America isn't that generous. You can support every idea but one, and you've wandered off the plantation/reservation and must pay the price.

While I know correlation is not causation, start visiting some bloggers whose views have changed after 9/11. They're in their 50s/60s, dems their whole life.

Which blogs? In what way do you mean that? I know there are groups on both sides who won't embrace this general Free Speech (like also some conservatives are uncomfortable with Kerry's speeches shortly past Vietnam), but my general point is IMO still valid:

Free Speech is rooted inside America across all party-lines in a much deeper sense than I will ever see it even close in my lifetime here in Germany. Of course this is a generality, but there'll always be Americans around to stand up for even unwelcome Free Speech, which wouldn't be thinkable like this over here. Germans know what the words 'Free Speech' means, but I think most can't fully grasp the concept of it like Americans can.

Ralf's anecdote about time on a US-ship is not an accident IMO either - I also learned some of my understanding and also respect of America's basic values mostly from listening to Americans who served in the troops. Maybe cause it does have a different weight when one explains to you a certain concept and then says "and I fought for that". (and I don't view things like Vietnam uncritical - but one has to differentiate between politics on top and the ideals of the individual man on the field)

Ok, enough of the compliments. Now if only a miracle could happen in November and George be going into his well-deserved retirement. *g*

@Niko
Had you not written "influential" I might have given you a pass on this, for it's interspersed terms like that which give your observations such a spin.

Of course I spin - like most people do (Those who deny it are delusional). But calling Axel Springer Verlag "influential" is a trivial truth, not a spin. And I still think the print-press is relatively fair ("only" rough on Bush) and the problem is to me more the American-attitude in German television.

S A Smith,

No I am not trying to beat Ralf over the head with or about anything. I should make that clear to him when I complete my response to his last post.

I realize he is one of the good guys, as you say.

What I am trying to find out is just what does Germany and france stand for. I did not mean for this to become personal or to talk about individuals.

Ralf chose to talk about individual values, a topic that he felt I must have meant with my earlier comment.

So I am in the process of answering Ralf’s last post and then it is my plan to drop this topic from one, which I will comment on further.

Of course, still find I have to take issue with some of the things Klink says. Most are just either so wrong or just too good to pass on……..so on this please forgive me.

Ralf,

My reply is taking longer than it should. I seem to be having a problem with time management.

Please be assured that I am not beating you up. That was never my intent. Hell, I don’t even attempt to beat Klink up. He is too funny. In fact, I think I have broken some of the code to Klink’s comments. Most of what he says has to be satire.

Klink

Free speech is part of our Bill of Rights. It is the first amendment to the Constitution. Most Americans take these two documents very seriously because so many of our brother and sisters and our forefathers have died to protect those freedoms.

** As an aside, this is one of the problems the US has with the ICC. It violates our Constitution and Bill of Rights. In the case of the ICC, Europeans can take the moral high ground if they choose on the ICC but that high ground is nothing more than a pile of sand. **

I would agree with you also about the idea that Americans views on what free speech is differs greatly from those of Europeans. One of the hot button issues here is the burning of the US flag. This act has been deemed a form of speech and therefore it is protected. It does not matter that to the vast majority of Americans this is a hateful act along with being unpatriotic, and a long list of other things. The only way that this act, flag burning, could be ban would be to amend the Constitution, which is not an easy task. From time to time there are efforts in Congress to start the process to pass an amendment to prevent flag burning. I for one could not support this amendment as much as I find this act to be totally tasteless and disrespectful because what is being burn is actually a piece of cloth in one sense and not the ideals and principles or the nation represented by the flag.

So there has been an unofficial compromise reached on this issue in most locales. You get to burn the flag and because your actions enrages me beyond my self control, I get to beat the living tar out of you. You would be surprised out how well that defense works before a jury of your peers.

Of course, I do not find your comments in general surprising, as I believe Americans and Europeans view most freedoms differently. Part of this has to do with history. Americans have had to fight for their freedoms where the Europeans have not. So the words have different meanings because they have different values.

As for your miracle, I think you have a greater chance of getting that pony for Christmas you always wanted Santa Claus to bring you.

Klink,

How about this as an option. If you should not get the miracle that you hope for, would you help Kerry find a nice estate in france? That seems like a fair deal to me. Americans get a President and the Europeans get Kerry. Kerry is so well liked there; I bet he would need a summer home in the German Alps and some place on the coast of Spain when he is not in france.

Your personal efforts would go a long way in improving trans – Atlantic relationships. Hell, I bet a good many Americans would toss Clinton in to this mix too. Think of it as a two’ fer.


"DIE STEINIGUNG VON AMINA WURDE BESTÄTIGT!
>
> Bitte verteilt diese Nachricht :
>
> Zu wenige Unterschriften gegen die Steinigung wurden gesammelt. Das
> Obergericht von Nigeria hat das Todesurteil durch Steinigung
> ratifiziert. Sie haben nur die Hinrichtung um 2 Monate verschoben, um
> Ihr die Zeit zu lassen, sich von ihrem Baby zu trennen!
>
> Nach diesem Aufschub wird sie bis zum Hals in die Erde begraben und
> dann gesteinigt, wenn nicht eine Lawine von Unterschriften kommt, um
> die nigerianische Behoerde zu überzeugen.
>
> Amnesty International bittet Euch die Petition auf ihrer Webseite zu
> unterschreiben. Mit einer ähnlichen Unterschriftskampagne wurde eine
> andere Frau gerettet, "Safiya", die sich in einer ähnlichen Situation
> befand. Es scheint, daß zu wenig Unterschriften für Amina angekommen
> sind. Sie können unterschreiben auf der Seite:
>
> http://www.es.amnesty.org/nigeria/
>
> Für die, die kein spanisch können:
>
> PAGE ½ / Seite 1/2
>
> NOMBRE = Vorname
> Apellidos = Name
> Provincia = Stadt
> Pais = Land
> Seguir = weiter
>
> PAGE 2/2 / Seite "2/2
>
> Dann auf "acceptar"klicken. Bitte denk nicht, es wäre nutzlos, das
> Leben einer anderen Frau wurde so gerettet.
>
> Sendet bitte diese Nachricht weiter. Vielen
>
> Dank
>
> Claudia Nowotny

Die deutsche Regierung macht Wahlkampf mit dem Label "Friedensmacht". Deutsche Friedensmacht bedeutet aber auch das: Stell dir vor, es ist Frieden, aber nur bei dir. Tut er dann noch so gut?


Der Völkermord in Darfur

Dokumentation: Der UN-Report im Wortlaut

Die Schweigespirale um den Völkermord im Sudan wurde in den vergangenen Tagen von internationalen Medien durchbrochen, die westlichen Regierungen aber bleiben in Deckung, ebenso wie die Vereinten Nationen. Die EU-Außenminister sprachen auf ihrem Treffen am Montag nur außerhalb der Tagesordnung über diesen größten aktuellen Skandal der Völkergemeinschaft. Die Volksabstimmung in Zypern hatte Vorrang.

Das wahre Ausmaß des Verbrechens in Darfur geht aus dem Bericht der Organisation Human Rights Watch von Anfang April hervor, den wir hier dokumentieren, sowie aus dem Report der Vereinten Nationen über deren eigene Recherchen. Dieser offizielle Bericht der Weltorganisation ist aus politischen Gründen nach wie unter Verschluss. Der Text liegt der ZEIT und einigen anderen internationalen Zeitungen vor, wir haben darüber berichtet. Wir stellen den Originalwortlaut (englische Fassung) zur Verfügung:

Report of OHCHR mission to Chad (5-15 April 2004) (zum Download, pdf-Dokument, 5,6 mb)

http://www.zeit.de/2004/18/un_sudan

Niko
I doubt that. Anyone want to raise their hands?

It's trivial - you also spin, when you'll post more. Gabi spins. David spins. Take any world-event and read the various press-articles with their own spin on it. To give things a spin is normal - like if a US-General decides to use either the term "pockets of resistance" or "terrorists" - both a decision to spin in a certain direction. Not to mention election-campaign-managers of all camps.

One of the reasons why I got stuck here on this blog is that I saw a need for a forum on German-American relations. But I became disappointed to find a strong underlying spin beneath the surface towards pro-Bush/anti-Kerry here in this blog - which I find ultimately to be more divisive than growing-a-bridge.

Do you still stick to your claims that the print-press were relatively fair, i.e. that Israel and Sharon get a fair coverage? For Mathias Doepfner is on the right track, this is how a large fraction of the German print-press paints Israel and Sharon. Strange enough, you have already written yourself in the above post that "Doepfner's 7 sentences are sadly actually quite on target."

Doepfner wrote about Stammtische and Bürgersalons and I know that this is what many on the Stammtische will say. I think there is a difference between commentaries in the SZ and the Stammtische. You should hear what the Stammtische say on Schröder.

Ironically, Doepfner then quotes Leyendecker as a witness for his own theory on how Bush might be right on Islamic dangers - I don't see it though as a contradiction like Doepfner does in his pleading article for Bush, because the existing dangers of Islamic terror and the necessity to act are one issue. Another issue is how to target this problem - there are solutions which might turn out highly unproductive, like the clumsy run-up and preparation for Iraq by Mr. No-Mistake.

Here is a recent article from the New York Times, titled Militants in Europe openly call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam, which gives a fair picture on the dangers in our midst (and the need for a better approach here), but also mentions the influence of clumsy Iraq-handling for the propaganda.

"the problem is to me more the American-attitude in German television."

You mean "the anti-American attitude"? Just want to be sure I understand you correctly.

I meant how I said it. With a negative word like "problem" in my statement, an extra "anti" appeared a bit like a redundancy. Fair enough though to call it "anti" in the large parts I mean.

@Joe
Of course, I do not find your comments in general surprising, as I believe Americans and Europeans view most freedoms differently. Part of this has to do with history. Americans have had to fight for their freedoms where the Europeans have not. So the words have different meanings because they have different values.

And - since I've become a convert to the American way - it angers me how it is over here, cause I think it's also a sign of reflection of real democracy instead of believing in constant authoritarian regulation by "the Government". (Though on one field - the illegality of the Holocaust-lie - I do understand a different approach, as the horrors of our past are still not quite overcome. But other than this one specific issue....have more trust in Free Speech, self-regulating democracy and less relying on the letters of the law)

And Germany is even further behind in terms of democratic culture than some other European countries IMO, being somewhat more subservient towards the political class. (And don't misunderstand me. I embrace US-values, not necessarly US-culture: Things like capital punishment or others will always appear distant to me as a European - and there is nothing wrong with such cultural differences on the issues IMO)

As for your miracle, I think you have a greater chance of getting that pony for Christmas you always wanted Santa Claus to bring you.

Hey, "the hope dies last", as a German phrase goes. ;-)

Klink

Not a great deal of time today but I did want to comment on a couple of things you mentioned.

Yes, I most agree with you about the political class and the citizens of most European nations. There is a huge disconnected or it would seem there is between the two groups. I want to say it was in DW that I read about the reaction to Blair putting the EU constitution before the English people for a vote. In this article it actually spoke of the political elite. That shocked me or surprised me. Here when that is mentioned, the political elite, it is in what one is lead to believe a fringe right wing publication. It is never mentioned in a mainstream media source other than as a vehicle to prove the right wing is seeing boogiemen. Political elite is a term that has very negative meanings here.

Of course, one of the huge advantages America has is that it is for the most part a classless society. We did not have to deal with the historical baggage most European nations have. This is not to mean there are not classes here because there are. They just tend to be different and the mobility between them is a bit easier than in most nations.

Another advantage we have is the form of government we have in comparison to the one you enjoy. Here the minority has greater power than in your system of government. So there is always a middle ground that ends up as the solution. Where that middle is tends to shift from time to time based on the make up of the parties in power and out of power. There seems to be much more party discipline in most of the parties of Europe than here.

I personally find the concept of a social welfare state beyond my ability to fully understand. I do know that the more someone else controls your life the less you have control over it and the less you have a need to be responsible. What I personally think is bad is this changes and affects the culture and attitudes of a nation. I seem to find this in almost all aspects of social structure and organizations and intuitions in Germany and france.

By having a feeling of being less responsible and knowing there is a safe net this can create a feeling that the political system is something foreign. The idea that voters are too dumb to make decisions and that complex decisions should be left to the elite seems to go against everything good about living in the nations we live in.

Of course, one cannot cause people to engage if there is not a competition of ideas. From what little I can determine there is little competition of ideas in Germany. The institutions that develop and frost these ideas do not exist in sufficient numbers to have an impact on the debate. Part of this I believe is because the state is so involved in so many of these institutions as well as much of the media. So the state is more powerful than it should be. In most cases it also has legions of willing media types ready to do their bidding as they too view themselves as part of the ruling elite.

I am not making a judgment here as to if this philosophy is good or bad. It might be very good if it can be sustained. What I see is that it cannot be sustained. I am not sure how this is going to change but I do see it as occurring from some traumatic event or series of events.


Ralf, we all want "peace." When you talk to these people, ask them if they're talking about the western definition of "peace" or the islamic definition, you know, the world will be at "peace" when the world is under Islam.

Then watch their heads explode. Too much input.

----

--And - since I've become a convert to the American way --

AAAGGGHHHHHHHH!!

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE W/KLINK????????

Should I send you a shirt w/Member, VRWC on it?

(Member, Vast Right-wing Conspiracy.)

@Joe
Of course, one of the huge advantages America has is that it is for the most part a classless society.
...
By having a feeling of being less responsible and knowing there is a safe net this can create a feeling that the political system is something foreign. The idea that voters are too dumb to make decisions and that complex decisions should be left to the elite seems to go against everything good about living in the nations we live in.

Of course, one cannot cause people to engage if there is not a competition of ideas. From what little I can determine there is little competition of ideas in Germany.

Yes, yes and yes. (though there are IMO some countries within Europe who have "proud citizens" without a class-thinking, but not Germany.

Of course we would need to find a middle-ground between our welfare state and the US-system - a total adaption would be too difficult IMO. But I'd agree with the general idea also there - to introduce more "self-responsibility"-thinking and tickle the competition-notion in everybody.

There was a while back a conservative politician named Roland Koch who tried to introduce some of this into politics and even named the US as role-model.

Trouble was: He was the wrong guy for this task and has little credibility in my eyes. He had previously lied in parliamential hearings on election-fundings and also used xenophobic sentiments in elections. Additionally, the member of parliament involved in an anti-semitic scandal a while ago also came from Roland Koch's state and his party. (Hohmann)

I hope politics eventually finds someone better to represent such ideas. And for this, it might help if the transatlantic rift would grow together again - Bush is being more a divisive factor with his way of doing politics than one whom behind everybody rallies, not just domestically, but generally.

@Sandy P.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE W/KLINK????????

I have been that way for a long time - but I also happen to like election-slogans like "It's time for Americans to take back their country in November". *g*

@Sandy P.

"Should I send you a shirt w/Member, VRWC on it?"

Yeessss! Please! Do I have to donate big bucks to VRWC or is it for free?

I really enjoyed your comment.

Klink - all Germany has to do is take some economic caps off, your young and entrepreneurial class will do the rest. It's a lot easier than you think.

Of course you'll never adopt some parts of our Constitution, too radical and individual for you.

As to W, 'bout time you guys heard some plain talkin. You needed it. That's one reason you guys like Cash&Kerry, he's more your worldview.

And that's why I like W, he's not. Reason #4 I'm voting for him, it'll drive you guys off the cliff and I'm popping the popcorn.


---

Ralf, I have to go, will dig up a link to the shirt later.

I linked here from the blog of American journalist, Andrew Sullivan, and am glad I did so. I found the article itself well worth the time but also found "added value" in the discussion which followed (although it was a bit overheated at times).

FWIW the prevailing mood here in America seems to be increasingly anti-France and anti-Russia, primarily due to the UNSCAM which is becoming a more popular aspect of terrorist affairs. Time will tell if and what German associations there may be but American attitudes towards Germans appear to be less bellicose than at the beginning of the Iraq war.

There seem to be increasingly strong feelings that the veto of France and Russia could not be avoided due to UNSCAM involvement and culpability. They've apparently even found instances where some monies (fairly small amounts) were donated to American politicians.

I'm sorry to introduce these simplistic comments, based solely on personal observation, but thought it might still be of interest. There clearly are VERY strong, increasingly so, anti-French feelings while the attitude towards the Russians seems somehow more abstract. Conservative elements in the U.S. have long called for elimination of the U.N. It would appear that UNSCAM may make that movement broader and our conservative press seems bent on discrediting the U.N. here and now before it can become involved in Iraq.

I guess we'll know more when June 30 arrives.

One minor comment about the translation. I wouldn't translate "Bush ist dumm und böse" into "Bush is stupid and evil", rather I'd translate it into "Bush is stupid and angry". It does make a slight difference, though it's not really relevant to the rest of the article.


http://www.dw-world.de/german/0,3367,1534_A_1145134,00.html

"In den USA ist Mel Gibsons bluttriefender Jesus-Film ein riesiger Erfolg. In Deutschland ist "The Passion" höchst umstritten: Ist er antisemitisch oder ahistorisch oder unchristlich oder alles oder nichts davon?"

Klingt auf den ersten Blick ganz normal. Aber will dieser Journalist wirklich sagen, daß der Film in den USA nicht umstritten war und nicht debattiert worden ist?! Schon Monate vor dem Film begann die Duskission!!! So klingt es, als würden die Blut liebenden US-Bürger diesen Film nicht kritisch hinterfragen. Im gesamten Artikel erfolgt keinerlei Klarstellung.

Eine ebenso lesenswerten pro-amerikanischen Zeitungsartikel enthält die "Welt am Sonntag" vom 25.04.2004.

http://www.wams.de/data/2004/04/25/269607.html

A nice article, Gabi.

krote: Danke für den Link. Eine wunderbare Geschichte. Einer meiner Lehrer pflegte eine ähnliche Geschichte von sich zu erzählen. Nur arbeitete er in einer Kantine und fügte immer grinsend hinzu, daß er seitdem übergewichtig sei.

Ein Tabu: Liebe und Treue zu den Befreiern
von Peter Bachèr.

Danke, krote. Ich habe mal den Titel gepostet, damit noch mehr Leute neugierig werden und diese schöne Begebenheit nachlesen.

@Ralf

I am not sure under which link you are currently posting. As I want to reply to you, I shall post this on several links, as it seems to be pertinent to several of the topics.

It was not my intent to create a gap between people. In fact, I misspoke when I wrote my question. I was not clear when I posted my question. It was not about individuals, be they french, German or Americans. Therefore, what I should have said instead is “I do not have a clue what Germany or france stand for.” I do believe the attitudes of individuals shape the character of a nation, however.

I personally believe the gap you refer to has already been created.

Most of the values you listed come from the fact our two nations share a similar form of democratic government. As such, I would accept those valves to be the same or similar in terminology. I would also present to you those values have very different meanings to Europeans than they do to Americans. Realize too there are many nations in the world who use those same words and they do not share the same form of democratic government that the US and Europe share. It does not upset me at all for you to believe we share the same values we just define those values differently.

I would also grant you our respective nations share common trade and commercial interests. So that is another shared interest. We also at this point in time share an interest in working together on certain aspects of transnational terrorism. We do not see this terrorism equally as to the threat it presents or how to best address it.

After that I feel there is little we share in common.

Europeans are living in a postmodern world. They are allowed to delude themselves into believing the world is as they view it. Most of the world they see is Europe. They tend to believe all things can be accomplished by compromise and by words. They confuse words with actual actions. They seem to believe all nations can be treated as they treat each other. They believe in international organization no matter how flawed, failed, inefficient, or corrupt these might be. Europeans cling to the ideas of the UN, of NATO of the EU. They are willing to give away their sovereignty to these organizations.

They can do this because not only did the US give them their freedoms, those freedoms continue to be protected for them. Their focus is more internally than strategic. Still some of their governments want to be players on a much larger stage than just Europe.

The US lives in a world as it finds it to be. It is a world where there is good and evil. There are times when evil must be actively confronted.

I agree with you that most of Europe wants peace at any costs. There is a lesson in history for that too. Most of Europe prior to World War II wanted peace at any cost too. They failed to get the peace they wanted then. They will also fail to get the peace they want now. Where Americans and Europeans differ is that peace just like freedom is not free. There is a cost associated with both of those.
Right now I believe Germany and france do not see that. There is no need actually for them to see that because the US protects it for them.

Again, I have no personal problem with them choosing not to see that. What I do have a huge problem with is the US continuing to pay for the peace and freedom you now so enjoy.

I do not expect gratitude from the Europeans for what America has given them and done for them and still is doing for them. What I do expect is cooperation. If they cannot or chose not to cooperate, then I at least expect them not to actively oppose the US.

Most of Europe fears change. Yet we all live in a world that is in a constant state of change. This is the result I have to assume of living in a social welfare state where so much of an individual life is in fact controlled by the state as much of his environment is controlled by the state.

In most nations in Europe there is also a void of competing ideas. Ideas seem to be only for the elites. These elites are very much on the left. I would like to believe they do not represent the citizens of Europe but all indications they do. Most of the citizens of Europe have removed themselves from any process public discussion or debate. They have chosen to allow the elites to make decisions for them.

This I feel is not healthy for a nation because there tends to be only one point of view. You can see this somewhat clearly in those nations where there is less state control over the economy or the press or private think tanks or higher education or of the major political questions concerning the future direction a nation will take. I find it to be a bit interesting where there is competition of ideas not only is economy growth occurring, the press is more diverse, the governments tend to agree more with the US than they tend to disagree.

Many comments by Americans who have posted here refer to a growing anti-french sentient in America. This is very real. It surprised me too. The reason it surprises me is that Big Media and the Democratic and Republican parties do not support this or encourage this. It really is something that is coming from the grass roots. This has as much or more to with france actively acting against the US. I for one do not only consider france not to be an ally of the US, I actually feel france is an enemy of the US.

france has contributed little to the world in the last century. It is contributing even less in this new century. france’s position in the realm of international affairs is only secured by the fact it is a permanent member of the UNSC. If it were not for this then it would be thought of more like Canada or Mexico or Austria.

In my own mind, I am not sure where that puts Germany. I think many of the comments posted tend to share that sense of uncertainty toward Germany. It is quite clear that several things are occurring. First Germany has chosen to align herself with france. When she did that she chose by default to align herself against the US. The foreign policy of Germany is being made in Paris.

Still Americans I believe at this point in time are more willing to look the other way when it comes to German actions. I can only speculate the reason for this is they think the current government in power in Berlin does not really represent the longer-term position of Germany. I am not sure I agree with that because of the growing anti-Americism that is occurring within the German population. I think in some ways this is encouraged by the elites in Germany just as the rulers of most Arab nations encourage their citizens to be anti-American and anti-Israel. It serves their purpose to allow this avenue for the displacement of frustrations and angry toward an external entity as opposed to directing them internally. By directing them toward America it precludes the need to address many of the existing internal problems, which neither the citizens nor the elites want to face.

This or at least from my perspective was very much at play in the most recent German national election. The debate changed from an internal to an external discussion about the course of actions for a future government. The reality is the new government, while it won power again, did not stop the actions of the US. Germans are now just waking up to the fact that this government has not effectively addressed the issues that confronted Germany prior to the election. The economy is still not growing, jobs are not being created, your university and overall education system is still falling behind, and the social welfare system is heading toward collapse.

I am equally sure that we might disagree on how each of our nations should address the future. I am not sure what your personal position is. I know my own. It is the US should disengage from Europe from a security perspective. NATO should be disbanded and Europe should assume responsibility for its own security and protection. The US should take whatever actions and steps necessary to convey to the Europeans that it will not longer provide for the protection and the security of Europe. Europe should develop its own foreign and defense policies and should be given the freedom to implement those as it feels is in their best interest. Just as Germany chose to support france over the US because it felt it was in its best interest to do.

Then and only then will Europe become an equal partner with the US.

What you may or may not know is more and more Americans are coming to see the both the wisdom and the benefits to America in taking this course of action. This is not to say it will happen but in many ways it already is happening. It is also not to say that it will not be painful, for it will be for both American and Europeans.

So to close this long post, I still do not know what Germany and france stand for. I do know that while both I and ‘John Doe” of Parma Michigan might use the same words as Germans and the french to describe something they surely have different meanings.

I look forward to your comments.

LOL - Weiss selber nicht so recht wie ich hier gelanded bin. Also kurz gesagt, Davids Medienkritik ist ein totaler Witz. Kein Wunder, dass man so einen Unsinn bei einem Rechtsradikalen wie dem A. Sullivan blog findet.

Leute, ehe Ihr Euch so kritisch an die deutsche Presse ausdrueckt - vielleicht solltet Ihr mal ein paar Jahre im Ausland leben. Vielleicht hier in der USA? Wuensche Euch viel Glueck dabei. Deutsche haben keine Ideen? Und USA ist klassenlos. Please!!! LOL

I hope everyone who posts here is fluent in at least three languages (incl. German, of course) has lived years in different countries, and is well-read. And I mean REALLY well-read. Otherwise you are just typing :-)

schon gesehen, ihr seid bei andrewsullivan erwaehnt.

Notiz von David: Ja, Danke für den Hinweis. Der Sullivan-Link hatte uns an einem Tag mehr als 10000 Besucher gebracht...

@ Joe

Thank you very much for your comment.
Wow, you put a lot of work in it, I'm impressed.
Of course I reply as soon as possible here and on several links when returning from switzerland.
So I sincerly ask for your patience, thank you.

@Ralf,

Enjoy your trip. Be safe

Thanks for pointing this one out - I have that copy of WaS here and I remember seeing the tagline to the Leitartikel was "Bush ist dumm und böse" and well, didn't actually bother to read it, because quite frankly, one gets a little tired of editorials which may not have that headline, but certainly the content. Cynicism in a Welt am Sonntag headline, who'd have thought it?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31