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Davids Medienkritik reports that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's popularity is still on the skids: Just 30 % of Germans still hold him and his policies in high regard. Now, the good news: Among SPD voters (SPD = Social Democrats; Schroeder's part... [Read More]

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Comments

For me it´s still very sad to see, that one lives in a country in which almost one third of the population agrees with Schroeders politics.

I mean: You go through the streets knowing that every thid person you see must be a complete idiot. :-)

...jo...das ist ungefähr die Zahl der SPD-Mitglider plus Gewerkschaften.

He's just elevating the heels that, he promised, he will not be clicking together for the USA.

Very Sad:

At least it isn't as bad as the US. I go down the street knowing that every other person I see is a complete idiot.

Starting with you, right John?

Well - from the same poll:

Number one (75% applause) Joshka Fischer

(ex-"terrorist"), green party, Secretary of State, and the reason why Schröder did take the antiwar approach.

If by the next election there is a war/antiwar proUS/antiUS question playing big again, Schröder and Fischer will win again.

Everybody is thankful the didn´t drag us into the US´s mess

Bernhard wrote:
If by the next election there is a war/antiwar proUS/antiUS question playing big again, Schröder and Fischer will win again.

Had Bush only waited another 6 months before drumming against Iraq, Schroeder would be in retirement today and we wouldn't have to bear with him until 2006. Another reason to be mad at Bush, no? (just kiddding)

And re: your statement ex-"terrorist": False factual claim. Not that Fischer cares about blogs like this, but you would be losing in court over such defamation.

Lieber Bernhard,
he did however share an appartment with Cohn-Bendit, an radical leftist in his day, and had Andreas Baader stay overnight. Now, what would you say if Colin Powell had had Osama over for a pyjama party?
Max

I think he is the leader the majority of Germans wanted. I do not understand this poll rating. He is against the war. He is as bernhrad pointed out or is thought of to be antiUS. I would think he would win in a landslide. He displays character, courage, principles and leadership all which the German people can and should be able to identify with. Am I wrong?

Did I fail to mention that he is also cute?

@ Max:

I know that Klink will to into one of his "Hogan!" tirades, but Fischer was also an accomplice with Carlos the Jackel in the Kidnapping of the OPEC ministers in Vienna during the mid seventies.

@George M.
And you're right I'll rant, because one has to KEEP THE FACTS STRAIGHT and not just make fantasy presentations. I am shocked at this apparent careless attitude of yours.

1. Andreas Baader did not sleep over

2. Fischer was not an accomplice with Carlos the jackal in the kidnapping of the OPEC ministers in Vienna during the mid seventies.

Hint to both: Magrit Schiller, Hans-Joachim Klein.

One can read this FAZ-article on the Klein/OPEC-story.

Klink,

We are going to deal in fact now. This should get to be very interesting. GREAT!

Fischer spielte "zentrale Rolle" in der Sponti-Szene

Erstmals hat Fischer eingeräumt, in den 70er Jahren im Straßenkampf in Frankfurt eine zentrale Rolle gespielt zu haben. “In der Tat habe ich eine wichtige, vielleicht sogar 'zentrale Rolle' gespielt”, gab Fischer in einem Interview des Nachrichten-Magazins “Der Spiegel” zu. Er sei damals bei fast allen Demonstrationen dabei gewesen (...)

Für ihn persönlich habe allerdings 1976 die Flugzeug- Entführung von Tel Aviv nach Paris einen Einschnitt bedeutet. An der Entführung waren damals auch deutsche Terroristen beteiligt, von denen Fischer nach eigenen Angaben Wilfried Böse persönlich kannte. Die Selektierung von Passagieren der Air-France-Maschine in Juden und Nicht-Juden sei für ihn “entsetzlich” gewesen, sagte der Minister.

Überdies seien er und andere zu der Erkenntnis gelangt, dass die von den Spontis praktizierte Straßenmilitanz in die Selbstzerstörung führe. Auf die Frage, ob er ausschließen könne, für Molotow-Cocktails gewesen zu sein, antwortete der Minister: “Das hat nicht meiner Haltung und Überzeugung entsprochen. Insoweit kann ich das ausschließen.” Das Werfen von Steinen gab Fischer allerdings zu.

In English:

For the first time Fischer admitted he had played a pivotal role in the riots in Frankfurt during the 70s. "Indeed I hadplayed an important role, perhaps even a pivotal one," Fischer admitted in an interview with [German magazine] Der Spiegel. He said he took part in almost all demonstrations (...)

But the 1976 airplane hijacking in Tel Aviv rerouted to Paris led him to a personal cut [with the movement]. Among the hijackers were German terrorists, too, one of them being Wilfried Böse, who Fischer knew personally. The segregation of passengers from the Air-France plane into Jews and non-Jews was "a terrible moment" for him, Fischer said [to the magazine].

He also said that he and others had come to the conclusion back then that street fighting as practiced by the so-called Spontis would lead to self-destruction. Being asked whether he could could confirm that he never endorsed the use of Molotov cocktails, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs told [the magazine]: "That was never in line with my attitude and conviction. Therefore I can confirm that." But he admitted that he took part in throwing stones [at policemen].

___

So clearly he was not endorsing terrorism. But still it is without precedence that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (being Vice Chancellor at the same time) of a Western democracy just some 30 years ago took part in stone-throwing and violent riots. Imagine that a story came up about Kerry that indeed he were taking part as a pivotal figure during violent riots at Vietnam peace marches. Clearly he would be out of the race within minutes.

In that FAZ article Col. Klonk provided one can find the following paragraph:

During his two hours of testimony, Mr. Fischer drew a line between the political militancy he practiced and the armed violence that his friend, Hans-Joachim Klein, took up. Armed attacks "are too much," he said.

Seems to be perfectly in line with Mr. Fischer's clandestine conviction that the political militancy as practiced by Palestinian freedom fighters were somehow legit while armed attacks as carried out by Israeli oppressor forces "are too much".

Now I understand Fischer's position on Israel even better, having read another paragraph at the bottom:

As part of the questioning, the court showed pictures in which Mr. Fischer and others beat the police officer in 1973. Mr. Fischer confirmed that he was one of the attackers. He said his memory of the incident was so vivid because he had decided for the first time to defend himself against the officers instead of simply running away.

If one group of people who share both a common belief and goal, and one sub group just beats up police officers and the other sub group shoots them. Then there is a difference on how this group is to be viewed?

---> (Hint: Check his feet)

It's a fact that Schroeder isn't Mr.Popular in the US as well as in Germany (to say it in a moderate way), but where is the "Medienkritik" in making fun of the fact that some people are smaller than others? If this blog brags to be all-knowing and an exemplar for media, it shouldn't be new to you guys, that in TV they actually use camera and/or "tricks" as boxes like this to "adjust" the picture so small people don't look that stupid standing beneath larger ones. Especially in politics.

Honestly, quite a retarded and unnecessary humor.
Is it "My Bush is bigger than your Schroeder." now? This blog can do better, I remember from docens of articles I've read with interest so far.

(Disclaimer: I'm no fan of Schroeder and even a fan of this blog you might say, but this comment just destroys the whole so called professionalism of this article and is as misplaced as my reply is among the "real" comments here. Stop making fun of such nonsense and concentrate on the real things, since this isn't meant to be some kind of a teenie messageboard, if I got the webmaster's intention right. The main message beside the picture is neat, though.)

"He displays character, courage, principles and leadership all which the German people can and should be able to identify with. Am I wrong?"

Are you for real? That's pretty much the quintessential caricature of a squarehead. As they say, scratch a German, find a Nazi. It's almost as if an Englishman or American wrote that little spiel to get a laugh. Those Germans sure do have an affinity for short, courageous, principled leaders that the German people identified with. Hard on Jews though.

By the way, does Gearhard dye his hair? It sure is a nice, jet black. I'm sure he dyes it. It's too dark to be his natural color. Love the picture of him on the bathroom booster too. My five year old has one just like it that she stands on when she brushes her teeth. Only I don't think hers is as elevated as Gerhards.

@ glimpse

what's wrong with a little fun in this sad comedy?
or is it a 'small man problem'?

sheer up

ninchen

Don't be so hard. He was elected. His party is in power. He must have done and is doing something right. It is never the statue of the man anyway. It is always about what he stands for that is important. I think in time people will see him for the leader he is.

or is it a 'small man problem'?

No problem with that, before someone writes a 500 word interpretation on my reply.

what's wrong with a little fun in this sad comedy?

Nothing's wrong with that, beside the fact that there is "funny" and "omg, look how funny that is!"-funny. The last one was new to me on this blog somehow and seems a little misplaced to me on political debates.
Or maybe I am just astonished that there actually is humor in a more humanly way in here.

Meh, alright. Guess I'm making a jackass of myself by playing this thing up.
Ain't so that I can't take winking humor.

Probably you are lying? Do you have any serious proof for that claim or are you just assuming that we are going to believe in you just because you wrote about it? But more importantly, if in fact his popularity is decreasing, why is that? Your political bias seem to prefer not to answer these questions.

Here's something interesting from a person involved in the hijacking.
http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.asp?ref=/comment/comment-pacepa021403.asp

Col Klink:

Did any one simply ask Fischer if he took part in the Vienna OPEC kidnapping?

It is my understanding that the kidnapping was financed by Mohmar Ghadaffi. Master terrorist Carlos the Jackel was in charge, Klein was his deputy. Fishcer's contribution was to secure the plans of the building where the OPEC ministers were meeting. Fischer did this by contacting the Romanian equivalent of the Stasi. Ceauceseau's former secret service head, a retired General, has spoken out on Fischer's role in this operation. If Fischer had a role in the Air France hyjacking, why is it not plausible that he had a role in Vienna? And the word of a retired Romanian General must be worth something, even if he is an ex-communist?

Hogan

Not really on topic, but there was a great Themenabend on Arte last night. Part of it (discussion forum) is scheduled to be repeated this afternoon, according to Arte's website. I missed the first part of the multi-part show last night, but what I saw was about as lucid a description of the psychotic mentality so widespread in Europe that fosters belief in all sorts of conspiracy theories. Pascal Bruckner was given ample opportunity to explain his perceptions. The show did a great job of pointing out the similarity between extreme right and extreme left in Europe and the link between anti-semitism and anti-Americanism.

There was a journalist from Der Spiegel (?Latschner?) who, in spite of his repeated swipes at Bush, cogently explained the delusions of his countrymen, many of whom never recovered from the shock of the fall of the wall and collapse of communism. As he put it, rather than attempt to adapt their world view to the changed circumstances, many simply took the same world view and joined the ranks of the extreme right, spewing out the same conspiracy theories as before. This is the second such Themenabend that I've seen on Arte, and both were superb. The show was self-critical of the press and the way it lends credibility to extreme conspiracy theories by failing to distinguish between news and entertainment.

The only weakness was on the discussion panel. The journalists did not explore the issue of how their obvious dislike ("hatred" might even work) for Bush and the unbalanced coverage that it produced feeds the psychotic conspiracy believers. The French moderator even took a few jabs at Le nouvel Obs and L'Express for engaging in "infotainment" by giving uncritical coverage to conspiracy theorists. Too bad they did not take the same jabs at the likes of Der Spiegel and Der Stern for their contribution to anti-Americanism in Germany.

To Karl:

22.20 Uhr


Gesprächsrunde, 25 Min.
Moderation: Daniel Leconte

Studiogäste:
Gunther Latsch, Journalist "Der Spiegel"
Philippe Val, Chefredakteur "Charlie Hebdo"
Rémi Kauffer, Schriftsteller und Journalist


@Arty
As they say, scratch a German, find a Nazi.

A must-read for all Germans here on this blog. What other stereotypes can you utter? Perhaps your "As they say" about French, Arabs, Blacks, Jewish or Hispanics? Don't be shy now...

@Jim
Do you have any serious proof for that claim or are you just assuming that we are going to believe in you just because you wrote about it? But more importantly, if in fact his popularity is decreasing, why is that?

David's cited survey is serious. And you seriously ask why his popularity is decreasing? Is Germany totally unknown territory outside of Germany & Iraq?

Because Schröder is just a fancy mouth-piece who mostly cares about his own vanities. Germans would have voted him out of office already in 2002 (he initially already trailed then) if it wouldn't have been for the unfortunate stand of the conservative leadership on Iraq. (the conservative base is far more against the war, when one looks at the overall polls)

@Karl B.
There was a journalist from Der Spiegel (?Latschner?) who, in spite of his repeated swipes at Bush, cogently explained the delusions of his countrymen, many of whom never recovered from the shock of the fall of the wall and collapse of communism.

Amusing sidenote: Leftists conspiracy theorists believe by now that SPIEGEL is part of the "US-capitalist-conspiracy" and that it must be SPIEGEL's "job" for the establishment to discredit their whacky theories to the German public (SPIEGEL has done a cover-story and several articles on those whacky folks, exposing them for their nuttiness, drawing in return severe heat from them). Similar goes for many German newspaper-journalists or TV-newsprograms like "Panorama" who outed those people.

Since we are going to wander a field, I would like to address some of the problems the SPD faces and how this is in some ways supported by the previous post on the panel discussion of the mental attitude of many Europeans.

Most in Europe assume that growth is a given and will just happen. Many of the elected leaders from either the right of the left are much more concerned about redistribution of wealth and “social justice” than they are the creation of wealth.

I would think most would agree the efforts and the transfer of wealth from the West to the East in Germany has been a failure. None of the policy goals and objectives have been met.

Now there are two somewhat competing ideas coming from the political leaders in Germany and to a lesser degree from some of the existing EU members. In Germany there is talk of creating special economic zones in the East where there would be almost no taxes on those who actual create wealth. Many of the restrictive policies effecting the creation of wealth would be either eliminated or radically revised, compared to the West. This seems like an excellent idea and should result in private investment and the creation of jobs. Some are resisting this as would be expected. The leaders of this resistance of course are the labor unions.

A comparison of the impact of a policy of transfer payments to a policy of creating an environment where the creation of wealth is encouraged can already be seen in the growth of the economies of the former Warsaw Pact nations and that of what was East Germany. The gains of these former Pact nations are impressive in comparison.

The second competing idea coming from Germany and some other member nations of the EU is to pass laws equalizing taxes across the expanded EU. The fear is the transfer of wealth creating activities to those lower tax and more business friendly nations who are to become new members. This would erode the ability of these nations to continue to spend on supporting their social welfare systems, as their tax base would be growing ever smaller.

As the world becomes smaller, as markets become more integrated businesses must be able to provide their products at a competitive price. The failure to do this means sales will go down, factories closed and jobs lost because some other company will offer a similar product at a much lower price. Businesses will move to where they see a competitive advantage allowing them to meet their goals and in doing so provide employment wherever they locate.

It is interesting how on one hand the political leaders see the advantages of polices to create wealth in the East but at the same time want to implement polices preventing this same creation of wealth in other nations, all who will be members of the EU.

While these are complex issues I am postive that not only the German people see solutions to these but the leaders they have elected do also. I feel very positive that Mr. Schroeder will display his leadership and lead Germany forward in the areas of job and wealth creation.

@George M.
If Fischer had a role in the Air France hyjacking, why is it not plausible that he had a role in Vienna?

Fischer had no role in the 1976 Air France hijacking. You are beginning to be as credible as German leftist conspiracists -> check that earlier Cox & Forkum cartoon *really* close, it contained a nice message.

Stone wrote:
The fear is the transfer of wealth creating activities to those lower tax and more business friendly nations who are to become new members. This would erode the ability of these nations to continue to spend on supporting their social welfare systems, as their tax base would be growing ever smaller.

The actual argument used right now is even more direct and pointing the gun at those poorer nations: It would erode the ability of the rich EU-nations to continue to financially support those poorer EU-nations, who are handing out generous tax-cuts. (Or one could say in meaner words: Poor EU-nations plan to use the huge financial EU-support from rich nations to be able to finance big tax-cuts. Cut it out or we might stop showering you with money)

I feel very positive that Mr. Schroeder will display his leadership and lead Germany forward in the areas of job and wealth creation.

ROFL....LOL. You made some quite valid points, but your conclusion leaves me baffled (aside from Schröder's own personality, he is stuck too deep within those leftist lobbies he has to please). But your words in God's ears, as we Germans say. Though Schröder surely won't get my vote this time either.

Let's face it: Gerd's a git. It's as simple as that, and I am absolutely astonished that some people here attribute him, the greatest opportunist of all times, with character.

What really concerns me is the photograph, though. Does he carry the box he stands on with him all the time, or are the TV stations obliged to provide a fitting box in order to elevate the dwarf precisely to the journalist's eye level?

Schröder ist eine "taube Nuss". Vier Ehefrauen und kein einziges biologisches Kind...

I am confident that even the left will have to in the end support Schröder. He might at this point not appear to be a great leader but you have to admit he did bring the SPD back from almost sure defeat in the last election. I think his use of the pending war in Iraq was very clever. I also believe that by creating a firestorm both within Germany and with the United States on having some of his party members call Bush Hitler was brilliant. It was as if he created his own 3 11 bombing. It put before the people an entire new set of issues to consider. No longer was it about jobs or education. He changed the focus from his weaknesses to his strenghts. It was as if the campaign was only a week long. The SPD was clearly ready and the CDU was caught completely off guard. When the CDU did respond it was clumsy and not in a coherent way which failed to connect with the voters.

I am confident he will again be able to carry the day when the time comes.

Statler wrote:
Does he carry the box he stands on with him all the time, or are the TV stations obliged to provide a fitting box in order to elevate the dwarf precisely to the journalist's eye level?

Naaa, the prop in the picture is known in media-circles as "the Blüm-box" and was still available from those days. :-)

How tall is Schröder anyways? I found only one reference of 172cm (close to 5'8''). With all this Randy-Newman-type dwarf-humour around, one shall also not forget: Many ARD-commentators (like Deppendorf in the pic) are *really* tall...I am well over 6' and find myself usually to be a short person besides most of them.

Stone wrote:
I also believe that by creating a firestorm both within Germany and with the United States on having some of his party members call Bush Hitler was brilliant.

Däubler-Gmelin neither called Bush directly Hitler (no need to warm this issue up - we both likely know it in detail) nor would I believe that she would sacrifice her own career for this guy. In fact she was just about the only SPD-Government-member I had respect for and felt saddened by her silly slip-up at a small local union-meeting.

Note: I will add from now on an e-mail addy, where David or Ray can easily verify that it is me, if necessary, as there have been several other "Col. Klinks" in the past weeks. (like the above stupid "taube Nuss"-remark again, etc.) Of course THIS posting could now also be from an impersonator, but the definitive Oberlehrer-style with my unique notorious grammatical errors should quickly tell them if it's the real deal or just a cheap imposter. ;-)

How in the world did she even manage to make such a comment. Still even it was not by intent I believe it did have an impact on the results of the election. It took the many issues the CDU had on the table off and replaced them with emotional ones which suited the SPD.

As for the question whether Schröder could create more jobs, there's this saying that "there's no way for a manager to find the secret recipe for motivating his workers. But there's hundreds of ways to give up demotivating them."

The same principle applies to Schröder. It does not count if he's a leftist or conservative politician. He can't create new jobs (Helmut Kohl did not create jobs either). But he can stop hindering the creation of new jobs.

The "high" of chnacellor Schroeder:


Europeans stretch for edge over New World
(Filed: 14/04/2004)


Americans have lost their height advantage, reports Kate Connolly in Munich

The New World has lost its superiority over the Old - at least in terms of physical stature - and John Komlos has the evidence to prove it. His records, including files on "runaway slaves", "indentured servants" and "West Point graduates", bear testament to the American decline.

Prof Komlos's research over more than 20 years has documented the heights of almost a quarter of a million people from the 1700s to today. The findings, he says, provide the most accurate gauge to date with which to measure the development of the human physique.


Click to enlarge
"Americans have stopped growing while Europeans are increasing in height at quite a pace," says Prof Komlos, 50, a leading "anthropometric historian" who studies such development. He spreads out files on a table to prove his point.

The heights of soldiers who fought in the Crimean War, of American slaves, of present-day Norwegians and the poor of 18th century London are among data he has gleaned from libraries, military academies and passport offices, and assiduously plotted on to detailed graphs.

He has discovered, for instance, that American men were about three inches taller than the Dutch in the 1800s. Now, the tables have turned, and the Dutch - the tallest people in Europe, with an average height of around 6ft 1in - stand three inches above Americans.

While the average American man was, at 5ft 9in, two inches taller than the average Briton at the time of the American War of Independence in 1775, nowadays the former is about half an inch shorter than the latter.

The slide, says Prof Komlos, an American who works in the department of economic history at the University of Munich, dates back to the mid-20th century, and the reasons, he argues, are probably socio-economic.

"From being the tallest in the world for 200 years with the highest per capita income this suddenly stopped," he says. "By the 1950s, the welfare state was already well-established in many European countries. It is an achievement that cannot simply be ignored."

The Dutch, he says, won their anthropometric advantage by creating the world's best pre- and post-natal clinics. Over the same period, America's rich-poor divide has been widening.

Eight million Americans are now unemployed, while 40 million have no health insurance. Infant mortality is twice as high as in Scandinavia, while an increasing reliance on fast food in America means that even the better-off are tending to expand outwards rather than upwards.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/04/14/wgrow14.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/04/14/ixnewstop.html

Stone wrote:
It took the many issues the CDU had on the table off and replaced them with emotional ones which suited the SPD.

The real election-helper was Bush, all the rest was just side-decoration - and not even by the issues, but the way he brought things across and sold them to the world. I bet the German conservative election-managers cringed every time Bush made one of his big black-n-white speeches.

Schröder should have sent Bush a thank-you-note past elections. (still mad that he managed to survivie another term - a media-skilled Blair instead of Bush in the White House would have created much less antagonism around the planet.)

Um ....Mathesar, I really hate to burst your bubble, but if on average Americans are smaller, it probably has to do with the huge number of immigrants from Asia and South America - not the health care system, and not the diet.

regarding the height difference, the europeans have more and better fertilizer to deep their children's feet in.

Do you think the Americans actually care about what Europeans think?

@ All

If the Europeans are taller than Americans, then why is Nowickie and a few Bosnians the only Europeans playing in the NBA?

If the Europeans are taller than Americans, then why is Nowickie and a few Bosnians the only Europeans playing in the NBA?

Because ten men handling a mutated version of a soccerball with something as easy as their _hands_ and many only heavily relying on their natural height is utterly boring to most people outside the US and thus only few learn it?

Now if those tall men would be using their feet one day and put that basket onto the ground to give everybody a fair chance...it might catch on and drive as well billions of spectators into a frenzy like football (sic!)? *g*

Just kidding. :-) (I am more a MLB-fan, when it comes to US-sports)

--The Dutch, he says, won their anthropometric advantage by creating the world's best pre- and post-natal clinics. Over the same period, America's rich-poor divide has been widening.--

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, the Dutch and Europe are more inbred.

A lot of our immigrants are shorter, Asians, Hispanic.

The tall of a man is either controlled by genetic factors but mostly by nutrition. In the past we have in Europe the secret of the "Schrumpfgermanen" who lost more then eight inches in two generations. The reason was the change of nutritions, because the Teutons would be farmers and in sequel they ate less meat and more cereals.

Jean: The exploration was made by analyzing young soldiers...

@stone: Do you think the Europeans actually care about what Americans think?

I am glad that this article is not be written by an german media....otherwise it may be called "biased"

But to calm down the american patriot, they may not longer the tallest people, but for shure the heaviest one in the world.

@ Mathesar:

"But to calm down the american patriot, they may not longer the tallest people, but for shure the heaviest one in the world."

Not unlike the virtueous German people who are the laziest and most unemployed people in the industrialized west.

Mathesar, your scientific premises sound like they were hatched in Koyoto!

*smile*...every nation has to bear his burden

Gabi, thanks for that info on ARTE. I find their website a bit difficult to negotiate. Now I'm going to google Daniel Leconte, who has been excellent in keeping the focus on European media. Leconte mentioned that there would be another show "next month". The "Themenabende" run for several hours as best I can determine. They weave together several documentaries and a discussion on a related topic. Leconte and ARTE sure have added balance to the entire debate over the war on terror, Iraq, and media balance.

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