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Well, before Oberlehrer does it I do it: The second one should translate to something like "Germany for us Germans" not just "the Germans".

Otherwise I share your disgust for the way Spiegel is exploiting the issue and distorting the image of the coalition troops. Not that I want anyone to keep silence when crimes are commited by members of the allied forces. Such cases must be dealt with publicly. But the way Spiegel does it does not give me the impression they are somehow interested in giving a complete image of the situation in Iraq and of the US-soldiers, who put their live at stake for the freedom of the Iraqi people. Oh no, let's rather show only the few madmen amongst them. Oh yes, and let's not talk too much about the fact that the ones responsible will be punished and not just the low ranks. Oh, and let's not talk about the disgust the vast majority of the coalition soldiers feels for such crimes. Let's just label them mercenaries and torturers in general. Spiegel has really done a great job for education and peace this time. I'm so impressed.

War klar, dass diese Ausgabe des Spiegels hier zur Sprache kommen würde - und in diesem Falle auch völlig zu Recht. Haarsträubend nicht nur das platte, verallgemeinernde Cover, sondern auch die Fotoauswahl im entsprechenden Artikel zeichnet ein Bild der Besatzungstruppen als "Ramboamis mit Kanone und Sonnenbrille". Besonders fragwürdig: die explizite Darstellung der nahe Falludscha gelynchten Contractors- und erst die im Text erfolgende Erklärung, was der Spiegel eigentlich mit "US-Söldnern" meint- auf dem Cover ist die Differenzierung zwischen Soldat und privaten Sicherheitsleuten nämlich nicht ersichtlich (das Foto hat mit dem Titel nichts zu tun) und in diesem Zusammenhang faktisch eine Verunglimpfung ALLER US-Soldaten.
Das haben sie mit Sicherheit nicht verdient.

Überlege schon seit längerem. ob ich mein Abonnement kündigen soll- diese Ausgabe wird mir die Entscheidung sicherlich einfacher machen.

My sense is that the photos show more theatre than anything else. It appears that intelligence officers are trying to convey a sense of hoplessness to the prisoners, setting the predicate for more effective interrogation. If that is not in fact true and real torture took place, then the perpetrators need to be indicted and tried under applicable statutes. Spiegel has apparently become the modern-day Der Stuermer.

Normalerweise bin ich ja der erste, der Partei für die USA ergreifen würde. Aber diesmal denke ich, muss man sich wirklich die Frage stellen, wie soetwas in der US-Armee passieren kann.
Womöglich muss man tatsächlich wählerischer bei der Auswahl der Soldaten werden. Oder bessere Überwachungsstrukturen einrichten.
Die Soldaten, die da lachenderweise wehrlose Gefangene demütigen, stehen für mich fast auf dem Niveau dieser barbarischen Verbrecher, die in Falludscha die Leichen der Amerikaner geschändet haben.
Dass sowas in der US-Armee möglich ist, hätte ich nicht gedacht. Ich bin einfach nur sehr enttäuscht.


Ja, ich bin auch angeekelt und enttäuscht, aber ich weiß doch ganz genau, daß es überall Verbrecher und Idioten gibt. Jetzt waren 16 unter den US-Soldaten. Deutschland hatte einen Kannibalen. Gerade ist eine Reportage über deutsche Touristen, die Kinder in Rumänien für ein paar Euro zu Sex zwingen. So sind manche Menschen. Was soll ich gerade als Deutsche noch alles aufzählen?!

Ich frage mich allerdings, warum die Bilder jetzt gebracht werden. Gerade ist eine Geisel entkommen, aber wie wird es sich auf die italienischen Männer auswirken? Hätte man nicht warten müssen, um deren Leben retten zu können? War die Sensation wichtiger als deren Leben?

Ihr könnt mal alle auf www.9neesan.com/massgraves gehen.

Warum bringt mal der Spiegel nicht ein Foto aus Saddam´s Folterfotos (die überall in Bagdad erhältlich sind) als Coverfoto raus ?

Wo war der Spiegel als im gleichen Gefängnis noch viel grausamere Fotos geschossen wurden ?

Und seit wann gibt es beim Spiegel Iraker, "die US-Soldaten bislang als Befreier angesehen haben" und jetzt abgestossen sind ? Von denen habe ich beim Spiegel sehr wenige gesehen.

How to compare and contrast:

In America, criminals go to jail.

In Saddam's Iraq, they get promoted for a job well done!

>Dass sowas in der US-Armee möglich ist, hätte ich nicht gedacht.

Ich denke das ist in jeder Armee möglich, genau so wie im zivilen Leben. Die Frage ist welche Konsequenzen gezogen werden. Bei der Bestrafung der Verantwortlichen war die US-Armee in der jüngeren Vergangenheit nicht zimperlich. Ein guter Zug, der auch ein klares Signal an die Soldaten sendet, dass Verbrechen nicht geduldet werden.

Ein Beispiel ist hier:

http://de.srd.yahoo.com/S=9167327/K=%2b%22Kosovo%22+%2b%22%c3%bcbergriffe%22/v=2/l=WS1/R=35/*-http://www.bpb.de/files/8120XQ.pdf

(Der Kommentar ist nicht meine Wellenlänge, weil ich aus der harten Bestrafung und der Untersuchung andere Schlüsse ziehe, aber was solls, denken soll ja jeder selber.)

Von Yahoo-news:
«Wenn wir verhindern wollen, dass Ideologien der Intoleranz und des Rassenhasses sich ausbreiten, ist die gesamte Gesellschaft gefordert.» Dazu brauche es Bildung, Zivilcourage und Bereitschaft zum öffentlichen Engagement. Ein offener Dialog sollte zudem Menschen verschiedener Kulturen und Religionen miteinander verbinden und einen Geist der Toleranz und Zusammengehörigkeit entstehen lassen.
An den israelischen Staatspräsidenten Moshe Katsav gewandt fügte Schröder hinzu, dieser habe wiederholt auf die Legitimität sachlicher Kritik an Israel hingewiesen - und auf eine «nicht hinnehmbare Hetze gegen Israel und die Juden»

Sollte das nicht auch für die USA gelten? Ist Antiamerikanismus weniger schlimm?

@ Gabi
Es ist nun mal etwas ganz anderes, wenn solche Verbrechen von Polizei, Armee oder anderen öffentlichen Institutionen begangen werden.
Diese Institutionen haben ganz besondere Machtbefugnisse, weil gerade von Ihnen erwartet wird, gegen Verbrechen und Unrecht vorzugehen - diese Befugnisse auszunutzen und ihren Zweck ins Gegenteil zu verkehren gehört zu den schlimmsten Vertrauens- und Gesetzesbrüchen überhaupt, und verdient absolut die Aufmersamkeit der Öffentlichkeit.

Wann sollen diese Verbrechnen denn aufgedeckt werden?
Keine Sekunde später als zu dem Zeitpunkt, da sie entdeckt werden. Solche Vorgänge dürfen sich einfach nicht wiederholen.

@ Samir
Anders als bei Medienkritik vermittelt, steht für die meisten Deutschen die USA eben nicht auf einer auch nur annähernd ähnlichen Stufe mit den Schurkenstaaten vom Schlage Hussein-Irak.
Keiner hat bezweifelt dass Hussein Gefangene foltert und ermordet, die "Enthüllung" davon ist also auch keine grosse Überraschung.

Dass sieht bei Demütigungen und Misshandlung durch US-Soldaten nun mal ganz anders aus.

Get ready for another wave of SPD-sponsored anti-americanism. The FAZ today has an article on how the Europa-SPD and the Northrhine-Westphalia SPD are planning large "anti-war" campaigns, timed coincidentally to coincide with the May 8 anniversary of the "liberation" of Germany by the Americans. (There are European and German Land elections coming up.) The SPD was so happy with how anti-americansim helped Schröder win (and take the focus off the disastrous economy) that they decided to pull out their old bag of tricks and have another go at it.

@gabi
Ist Antiamerikanismus weniger schlimm?

Es ist weniger schlimm und das hat was mit der Geschichte zu tun und mit der ungleich anderen Rolle der USA, so wie es auch weniger schlimm ist, wenn Amerikaner umgekehrt gegen Franzosen hetzen - "cheese-eating surrender frogs".

Am besten wäre es natürlich, alle hören auf, gegen andere Nationen zu hetzen, aber Anti-Semitismus mit solch anderen Dingen gleichzusetzen, halte ich immer für bedenklich.

To name now in the "Update" the SPD with an introduction "Speaking of strange bedfellows, the SPD (Germany's ruling Socialist party) is also playing the 'peace' card to get elected" directly beneath the right-extremist NPD is highly unfair to me. Consider this:

1. The SPD was the only party to vote against Hitlers Ermächtigungsgesetz. No conservative party had the balls for this.
2. Hitler banned the SPD
3. Many SPD-member went into prison or concentration-camps.

Granted that here is political partisanship and a grudge against Schröder and/or Germany - but was this necessary? You should be more careful here with NPD/SPD directly beneath each other and an "also" with no further historical explanation.

Think about it. Just my 2 Euro-cents.

Niko wrote:
Why? SPD = Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD, formerly NSDAP = Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.

Aua, Niko. I am afraid our common humour parted here, if this reply to my posting about SPD's persecution under Hitler was supposed to be meant humorous.

Niko
No. As you comment from time to time, "I was just mirroring".

No, it was the Kindergarten-joke which you cracked at a slightly wrong timing for me, which I found nauseating. What you write now would be more in defense of what followed from you about the SPD - and I had ignored it after the joke:

Niko wrote:
so [the SPD] deserves well to be reminded which movement she is now part of.

You might want to read the party-program of the NPD: You'll find other points with which you'll be able to link the other parties to as well, in case you ever wanna widen that logic. Someone opposed to the same goals as you doesn't make it "part of movement". When the US and Saddam were once both opposed to Iran did not make them "part of one movement" either.

Understand that. Or I'll keep reminding that the Republicans of the US are actually part of a movement with anti-German communists.

@Klink

Just what movenment is this?

The question has been brought up in this forum: Is anti-Americanism as bad as anti-semitism?

As an American Jew living in Germany, I would have to say that anti-Americanism is currently a more serious problem here than anti-semitism.

In principle, anti-semitism is worse, since the Amis are numerous and strong and no one has ever tried to exterminate them, or ever could, but in practice the current anti-American campaign is reaching disturbing proportions, while anti-semitism no longer has a powerful hold on the German psyche.

Seeing this cover today made me think: There is a systematic campaign going on to defame America which doesn't resemble any campaign I've seen against Jews in my lifetime (thought it probably does resemble the build-up of anti-Jewish feeling in Europe in the past).

@Joe
Just what movenment is this?

We recently discussed this in another thread, as I became interested in it and hadn't heard of it before.Here is Wikipedia's description of Anti-German communists, IMO even self-written by some of them. They sometimes demonstrate here with US- and Israeli-flags. A few of the Germans posting on this blog were apparently part of this leftist movement.

But as I said: Looking for common issues to then lump together is silly smear-tactic. US-Neonazis probably would have a similar position on other main election issues like gun-control or abortion like Bush: Smear for me to put it into one article.

Niko
I like that one. Actually, it reminds me of an interview with Daniel Cohn-Bendit where he told the reporter that he spoke recently with Richard Perle, and that he could not see Perle as a Prince Of Darkness but rather as a Bolshevik

You like? Nachtigall, ick hör Dir trapsen. Prince of Darkness was not mentioned. And the comparison was IMO more over the fanatic means. Cohn-Bendit said:

But recently, your government has been behaving like the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution. You want to change the whole world! Like them, you claim that history will show that truth is on your side. You want the world to follow the American dream, and you believe that you know what is best for Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Africa, Liberia, Yemen, and all other countries. Like every revolutionary, you have good ideas, but your problem lies in the means you want to use to realize them....
...After the war, you will neglect Iraq and shift your attention to Syria, then Saudi Arabia. Because you are Americans, you have the biggest army in the world—you can do anything you want. This is revolutionary hubris.

This was c&p - but I caught it by chance, when it ran. Fascinating. Perle is one of the few US-conservatives whom I like, because he is rather blunt and only seldom flees in political correctness-phrases. I'm sad he resigned to go private.

@ Klink:

Don't you think it should be mentioned that the SPD is using the same populistic issue in even stronger / "militaristic" terms ("Macht", "Entschlossenheit", "Stärke") than the NPD and that both are also prominently displaying the German flag?

Now, I would never want to compare the SPD - as much as I dislike many of her politicians and policies - to the NPD. But I think this "Friedensmacht" poster is absolutely disgusting (and, as a matter of fact, unjustified as well). And I think it's unbearable if the SPD uses similar populistic slogans and motifs for their election campaign as the NPD. If the party names were removed and the German flag on the NPD poster would not be heart-shaped - would you know which poster belongs to which party's campaign? I wouldn't. And this bothers me. You just can't do that. I believe the SPD should be made aware of this similarity and they should no longer use this poster in their campaign. And they should be more careful in their use of populism and should take a closer look at what it does to the political atmosphere of this country. They _have_ done harm and they are continuing to do so if they make the Iraq war and President Bush a central part of the European election campaign, although both issues have _nothing_ to do with each other and serve just to please the public and gain some votes. This is irresponsible. And this "Friedensmacht" poster is a perfect example of this.

(When talking about similarities to the SPD poster, I'm referring only to the left one of those NPD posters, of course.)

Thomas
Now, I would never want to compare the SPD - as much as I dislike many of her politicians and policies - to the NPD. But I think this "Friedensmacht" poster is absolutely disgusting

Fine. And my point wasn't to make anyone like this poster or even adjust their views about it. But why wouldn't it be possible to raise other negative images in a reader instead of a not-so-subtle "also"-connection to a Nazi-party, especially when the SPD suffered herself under the Nazis with all the brutal consequences?

I didn't like the poster as well and Schröder won't get my vote this time either. But anything with NPD is just way out there in the absurd (not even considering what NPD would like to do with the SPD, if they ever would get into power...)

Alright, good night.

@ kid charlemagne:
agreement so far, except one point: anti-semitism is definitely not out of the most germans´ psyche. though it´s not that obvious (except "fellows" like NPD), there is and, unfortunately, always might be an immanent hatred or at least scepticism against jews and israel. examples? just look at the biased "satiric" NDR view on sharon´s politics. most germans will probably agree with the "coverage" and they won´t find anything disgusting about it. this is germany 2004 - believe it or not.

I believe the SPD should be made aware of this similarity and they should no longer use this poster in their campaign. And they should be more careful in their use of populism and should take a closer look at what it does to the political atmosphere of this country.

Eher ist für mich übrigens die NPD der Trittbrettfahrer auf üblichen Politik-Slogans denn umgekehrt - oder nimmt den rechtsextremen Typen irgendjemand das mit "Frieden" im Plakat ab? Hat schon was von Zynismus IMO.

Man kann der SPD wohl vorhalten, daß sie den momentan Irak-Krieg immer noch leidlich ausschlachten, obwohl dort ja nix neues passierte, anstatt mal ordentliche Inhalte/Strategien vorzuzeigen. Aber dass nun grade die NPD auch das Wort "Frieden" entdeckte...

@Klink

Thanks


Some how I miss the connection between the anti-Germans and the Republican. Must be to complex or to shuttle for me to understand.

I still don’t get the connection.

@ Klink:

Antiamerikanismus war immer Teil der NPD-Agenda. Und wenn das bedeutete, die USA als Militaristen zu brandmarken und gegen einen von den USA geführten Krieg zu protestieren, hat man das gemacht. Dies war der SPD durchaus bewußt. Dennoch hat sie sich für diese Art der Kampagne entschieden und trägt damit zumindest sicher nicht dazu bei, daß solche Kampagnen wie die der NPD seltener werden.

Darüber hinaus ist meines Wissens das NPD-Plakat zuerst erschienen. Wenn dem so ist, ist es mehr als fahrlässig ein Plakat zu veröffentlichen, daß solche Ähnlichkeiten aufweist. Und daß beide Plakate sich so ähnlich sind, ist sicher nicht nur durch eine Annäherung der NPD an die Friedensrhetorik der SPD zu erklären, sondern auch dadurch, daß hier seitens der SPD schlichtweg einige Leute nicht genug nachgedacht haben, was sie da tun und einfach ein billiges, populistisches Plakat entworfen haben.

Es geht doch nicht darum, NPD und SPD in irgendeiner Form gleichzusetzen. Davon bin ich weit entfernt, und das sollte jeder Demokrat sein. Aber wenn beide ein Wahlplakat mit der selben populistischen Formel und der selben Betonung eines nationalen Symbols verwenden, ist das ein Grund hellhörig zu werden und sich dafür auszusprechen, dieses Plakat von der Bildfläche verschwinden zu lassen. Das würde die SPD zurecht bei der Union nicht anders sehen bzw. _hat_ es in der Vergangenheit nicht anders gesehen (Man denke z. B. an die "Das Boot ist voll!"-Debatte).

Ich denke, es wäre auch im Interesse der SPD selbst, das Plakat zurückzunehmen. Das ist in diesem Fall völlig unabhängig von der Partei. Wenn ich sehe, daß eine rechtsextreme Partei versucht, mit ähnlichen Slogans und Motiven Wahlkampf zu betreiben, sollte die erste Reaktion darin liegen, zu überlegen, ob man vielleicht selbst etwas falsch gemacht hat und nach einem Weg zu suchen, wie man sich klar von der anderen Partei distanzieren kann. Meines Erachtens _hat_ die SPD mit diesem Plakat einen Fehler gemacht, und _sollte_ sich deshalb davon distanzieren. Ich sage ja noch nicht einmal, daß die SPD nicht mit dem Thema "Frieden" auf Stimmenfang gehen soll, auch wenn ich es platt und unzutreffend finde und es bei einer Europawahl nichts zu suchen hat. Was mich wirklich stört, ist das "Wie". Und da sollte ein Hinweis darauf, daß man sich ähnlicher Stilmittel bedient wie eine populistisch-extremistische Partei, schon legitim sein.

http://www.mcall.com/news/opinion/anotherview/all-aview1.story

Americans should be wary of their European Allies

...This year, two of the most important differences between the two leading presidential candidates is foreign policy and how best to win the war on terrorism. Americans should not be fooled into thinking that we have staunch allies in Europe. For eight years, I listened to my European friends criticize us -- our presidents, our policies, our accent, our culture, our weather, the fact that we say, "Have a nice day" all the time.

We entered World War II too late and only after we were attacked. Our foreign policy is either too insular, or we are resented for nation building. When we captured Saddam Hussein in December, we were terribly inconsiderate in the way we announced it. The only true ally we have in Europe is British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has broken ranks with some of his own party members and his own Labor constituency. We must win this war and we must be careful not to partner with those who secretly -- and not so secretly -- want to see us lose.
---

So, since Germany doesn't want to be involved in Iraq, they're not going to guard our bases anymore, eh? Yet the Russkies don't want us to move out completely because we have a treaty w/a country which no longer exists.

A former blogger once stationed in Germany made an interesting observation, that it was a coincidence that about when we started moving our troops out of Germany, Germany's economy started tanking.

Just a thought.

The heads of your country must do what's best for yours, but we will continue to do what's best for ours. But a hat tip to Europe's "leaders" alienating a young, monied future tourist generation in about 3 years. Not bad.

Any bets we'll be back in about 25-30 years and not be late?

Sandy,

If the US Troops would be moved out of germany, it would be a serious issue for the surrounding region, but for the german economy it wouldn't be such a big issue as Germany still has the 3rd biggest economy, which IS tanking now. I also think, that the US Army doesn't want to give up the bases because of strategic reasons. As a world power it is essential to have Army bases all around the world, and Central Europe is a strategically important region. So I think, this issue is often used as threat to the german government by the neocons, but it is also totally unreasonable to do so. For intercultural matters too. There are quite a few german women married to US Soldiers, I believe. :)

As far as the Topic is concerned:
I share the concerns on anti-americanism, because the NPD stickers clearly show, that they recognized the popularity of anti-americanism in germany and want to exploit it for their cause. BUT please don't mix it up with things the SPD stands for. That said, I find the "bedfellows.." indication unappropiate and fuzzy as they clearly represent very diffrent positions in the policital spectrum.

I think it is clear to anyone who knows anything about German poltics that the SPD and NPD can not be compared in a general way. The only thing I am comparing about the two is the fact that they are both exploiting the "peace" issue for their own political benefit and in the process trying to profit from primitive populist anti-Americanism, something that is unfortunately widespread in Germany at the moment. Thus the "strange bedfellows" line, they are indeed strange bedfellows in their common exploitation of the same sentiments. The PDS is also featuring ads with white doves and I'm sure the Greens will play the "peace" card as well.

I think our readers have a right to know exactly what is going on here in Germany and it is our job to inform them.

Ray,

I believe it is clear to you, but maybe not to the occasional non-german visitor. And to prohibit prejudices, I'd like a more differentiated despiction of the issue. I think this blog can only win, if they leave out the polemic elements sometimes.

@Dennis
I believe it is clear to you, but maybe not to the occasional non-german visitor. And to prohibit prejudices, I'd like a more differentiated despiction of the issue. I think this blog can only win, if they leave out the polemic elements sometimes.

This blog seems to be sadly designed to widen the transatlantic rift and to seek confirmation for certain pre-existing prejudices, as in the good tradition of other right-conservative blogs. Anti-German IMO (not in the leftist meaning).

As Ray said: "to know exactly what's going on" - I think he truly believes that himself when he makes such presentations.

Klink,

You did not reply for my request to help Kerry find a place to live. I have to assume this means you really do feel he has a good chance to win.

While we might disagree on the results, I surely would not view it as a loss. I would view it more as an opportunity. It is unfortunate that you do not look at a President Bush reelection as an opportunity.

Today’sNYT is running an article that was picked up from the FT about how the EU is gearing up impose punitive sanctions on the US because of the Byrd Amendment. There are rumblings that goods from swing states in the up coming election will be targeted. This of course could probably effect employment and could affect the outcome of the election. I view this as an opportunity too.

I firmly believe that should Kerry win there will be 3 results. First, he will be the last democrat elected president in my lifetime or your lifetime. Second the republicans will gain working majorities in both houses of Congress in the election cycle of 2006 and 2008.

You are probably going to ask why these events will occur. There are several simple reasons all of which are more likely than not. The first is he will lose Iraq (assuming if it is in fact winnable). It will be on his watch. Terrorists will continue to attack probably the US and US interests abroad. Darning the Clinton years no one was paying attention to these attacks and no one had connected the dots. After 9 11 people are more aware. The Fed will raise interest rates. This will slow down job growth. It will dry up much of the easy money now floating around. There will tax increases on individuals and on corporations. This will also be a job killing formula.

So on Kerry’s watch: Iraq will be lost. Terror still active. Taxes increased. Jobs lost.

This will be followed by generations of republican control of government in the US. Much as the democrats controlled government for more than a generation.

Should the EU be so stupid to get actively involved by trying to influence the election in 2004, and then the game will be over. We will both witness an unwinding of history like few people would be able to envision. I do not think that any international organizations would survive. You could begin with NATO, then followed by the UN, the IMF, the WTO, the whole list. This would not mean that the US would become isolationists or more aggressive. It would replace these treaties and organizations with clear bilateral treaties. Some nations who are currently members of these organizations would not be offered bilateral treaties.

I assume it's Joe?

I have to assume this means you really do feel he has a good chance to win.

No, I think Kerry will lose, because repeating "security" and "terror" often enough will have a polarizing effect. I am also a bit impressed by the momentum of the aggressive right-wing movements on the Net. (While I am myself on many issues more in the German conservative camp, a fanatism from the right frightens me.)

It is unfortunate that you do not look at a President Bush reelection as an opportunity.

While this is mostly a US-domestic issue, I simply feel our Western world deserves a politically more skilled leader than George W. Bush to represent our Western values, when I look at where Western image stood at past 9/11 in the world and what has become of it since due to the clumsy handling of Iraq. Made our world more dangerous and less safe IMO.

This does not make me automatically a grand fan of Kerry, btw. You heard of

www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com?
(kidding! ;-)

There are rumblings that goods from swing states in the up coming election will be targeted.

Like it happened before with the Steel tariffs? I agree though one gotta be careful with such measures, they backfire easily for any country trying to influence another. (I remember Bush courting our Angela Merkel with a visit in the White House)

The first is he will lose Iraq (assuming if it is in fact winnable).

"If it is in fact winnable"? Such underlying pessimism now? I thought it will be soon a Western-style democracy?

Where was the "polemic" other than in the election ads Germany's politicians are using (at the expense of the US) to get elected?

I think some of you guys are afraid the ugly truth about how bad things have gotten here in Germany is getting out and you have to explain this to your US counterparts. No trans-Atlantic healing can begin unless we confront the ugly exploitation of US hate and the "peace" issue by the media and politicians in Germany. Certainly no US media is making its living by bashing Germany...or am I wrong there?

@Niko
you made a typo there. 'I simply feel our Western world deserves a politically more skilled leader than George W. Bush to represent our Western values' Shouldn't that read 'a politically more skilled leader than Gerhard Schröder'? I guess so.

Not really, since Schröder isn't leader of our Western world, thank God. And please do not mention two miserable failures in one paragraph - makes my head hurt.

Gerade kommt ein Beitrag über diese Moschee in Berlin, an der Terroristen agitiert haben. Dieser Mensch war im Trainingslager Afghanistan, kann Bomben bauen und hatte Anweisung, in Deutschland Israelische und US-Einrichtungen zu attackieren. Wieder dieser Zusammenhang von Israel und USA, über den sich Neo gewundert.

Schließen Sie jetzt auch von diesen wenigen Terroristen auf ALLE Mitglieder dieser Moschee, daß sie Terroristen seien? Oder sogar auf den ganzen Islam? Ich denke nicht, aber warum tun es so viele mit den mißhandelnden US-Soldaten? Warum sind hier wieder so viele und so gerne bereit zu glauben, daß dies typisch für die US-Armee ist? Klickt es denn nicht ein bißchen???

Klaus Jansen vom Bund Dt. Kriminalbeamter sagt gerade, die Hamburger Terroristen von 9/11 wurden IN Deutschland radikalisiert.

Gabi wrote:
Schließen Sie jetzt auch von diesen wenigen Terroristen auf ALLE Mitglieder dieser Moschee, daß sie Terroristen seien? Oder sogar auf den ganzen Islam? Ich denke nicht, aber warum tun es so viele mit den mißhandelnden US-Soldaten? Warum sind hier wieder so viele und so gerne bereit zu glauben, daß dies typisch für die US-Armee ist? Klickt es denn nicht ein bißchen???

Gabi, sowohl der Vergleich mit dem Kannibalen-Fall als auch nun dieser Vergleich hinkt.

Nein, all die beteiligten Soldaten waren weder Terroristen noch soll jemand deshalb glauben, dies sei typisch für die US-Armee. Doch dies macht die verheerende PR-Wirkung dieser Bilder um kein Deut besser.

Keiner meiner US-Freunde hat irgendwelche relativierenden Vergleiche angestellt so wie es hier mehrfach geschieht - alle waren nur angewidert. Und "reprimanded" sei bei weitem nicht genug.

b,
unfortunately you are right:
Antisemitism is very present in Germany today -
although it is sold as a critic to the current israelian government.
Similar to America-bashing and the Bush Administration.
And very amazing: most of the young people are absolutely biased about the "Great Satan" and his younger likeness.

Klink,

I agree that Anti-Americanism is spreading in Germany as well as in Europe. However, I'd like to note that not all criticism towards the US and Israel are to be regarded as hatred towards America and Israel - such an approach would render any thinking being helpless, for certain groups were spared from critic. Fortunately, only few Americans and Israelis play this rather unfair card, and it'S possible to have a fruitful debate about different approaches towards a shared problem.

To sum it up, not every statement against a decision the US-government made is to be considered anti-Americanism, and not every comment against Sharon's plans is anti-Semitic.

A formal request to Senator Kerry to direct his delegates to General Clark. Seriously.
The following letter will be a full page ad in the NY Times (assuming that the money is donated for it). This letter has
NOT been endorsed by General Wesley Clark or his supporters; in fact, MOST supporters decry its circulation in the
most strenuous ways imaginable because they believe the Republicans/media will twist it to undermine the future political
viability of Clark. (A few folks really liked it and didn’t understand why all the fuss.) Be that is it may….

“Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks
becomes a light and a power.” –Henry George

Dear Senator Kerry, We Respectfully Request Your Input:

We, the undersigned, are dissatisfied with how money, politics and media caused undue influence in determining the
Democratic nominee. And, as you know if you saw Wes Clark on Charlie Rose the night before he endorsed you, Wes
has, in effect, mirrored the sentiments that the process did not unfold purely democratically. To that end, we cordially
request you to indulge us in debating the merits of why your nomination better suits the nation than General Clark's;
because the process of finding the best man for the job should not come down to a game of who is better at running a
campaign, raising money and circumventing the media bias.

It is our contention that Wes Clark is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the man most capable of recapturing for the Nation
the ideals that the Democratic Party was founded upon. We don't necessarily doubt that you would make us proud to
have you as our Commander in Chief, but we believe wholeheartedly that Wes will be more capable in fulfilling those
duties, as well as being much, much more likely to fetch the potential Bush defector voters.

Though you must already be fully aware of just what a national treasure General Clark is, suppose that a genie offered
to create the ideal presidential candidate from your imagination. The fact is that your imagination would fall short….
because who would think to throw in that the man spent a month in a junkyard rebuilding a car because, despite being
a commander in the army at age 41, he simply did not have the money to do otherwise when he needed two cars for his
family and military duties. Talk about “a man’s man”!

In the spirit of the unity which we all share in recognizing that Nothing Is More Imperative Than Removing President
Magoo, and recognizing that this means that every vote counts more than ever, and that, moreover, the swing voters are
going to decide this election, we implore you to consider directing your delegates to Wesley K. Clark. Aside from our belief
that he will both be better for the Nation and more likely to beat the incumbent Embarrassing Insult (bless his heart ;) we
also feel that if you publicly retract your vie for the White House--on account of recognizing that some of your words and
votes could be considered unbecoming of a political leader--you would be doing your duty of illustrating to the electorate
that Democrats do, indeed, expect to be held accountable for how we act on the people's behalf. In light of the current
administration's complete lack of living up to any such standard (i.e., Bush’s quips of “What’s the difference?” and “I don’t
want to get into a word contest.”) we could really go for some actual examples of what that means. (We could also really
go for an example of basing decisions on facts rather than wishful thinking.)

Senator Kerry, the reservations which we list below are not meant with disrespect towards you. We believe that your intent
to serve your constituency has been sincere, and that, overall, you share our vision of how much potential America has if
guided by the right leadership. However, it serves the best interest of the nation if voters are aware of certain occasions
when you did not use the proper discretion when acting on behalf of the American public; or are, at least, strongly perceived
to have either used poor discretion or were inconsistent. Conversely, the democratic voters should have a fuller appreciation
of what makes Wesley Clark so deserving of the responsibility, the trust, and the authority that comes with being the
Commander In Chief. If the following does not deter you from claiming the mantle of the presidency, please, out of respect for
the first amendment and the democratic process, engage us in debate on why it is that, despite the very legitimate concerns
laid out here, you still think you’re best suited to defeat Flyboy, as well as being better able than Clark to foster the spirit of
unity so desperately needed right now. Because surely you must concede that the simple and obvious strategy for the
Democrats to win the election is for us to put our best face forward.

1. Your voting record on national security. As you must already be aware, the right wing media, including Libertarian Neil
Boortz, are having a field day with it. Even if we give you the benefit of the doubt that you could justify every one of those
votes, that will not change the fact that those potential Bush defectors are going to perceive you as weak and wishy-washy
on national security, as well as simply being an opportunist. There is also much contention on your post-Vietnam protests.
(To those Clark detractors such as Mr. Boortz who purport that “weasel Clark” is against the Iraq war, we suggest you
read the actual testimony General Clark gave before Congress in September of 2002 so you can see for yourself that he is
against the timing and pacing of the war, not the actual intent of neutralizing the threat of Saddam Hussein; http://armedservices.house.gov/openingstatementsandpressreleases/107thco )

2. You said on St. Patrick's Day: "I may not be Irish, but at least I'm not French." In hindsight you must concede that such
comments alienate our allies (not to mention foster the atmosphere to do so). You must further concede that it doesn't
serve our best interest to alienate our allies since the more allied forces we have in Iraq, the less of our troops will be in
harm’s way. ( Even Joe Biden used the example of “Freedom Fries” on Air Force One as an example of Mr. Bush’s backward
diplomacy tactics.)

3. You neglected to show up for the vote on the omnibus bill (which we lost by 8 votes) because you were campaigning.
That is to say, you were seeking to gain the people's trust that you would act on our behalf, yet failed to do so because
you were trying to convince us that that's what you are committed to. (Meanwhile, Clark took off time from campaigning
to testify against Milosivich.)

4. You have the greatest amount of questionable ties to corporate interests. So great, in fact, that most people privy to an
advanced copy of this letter all agree with the sentiment that “Kerry will never acquiesce to this plea no matter how clear
cut the argument is because he is just too beholden to mega-corporate money, so they wouldn’t allow him to.”

5. You undoubtedly have a firm grasp of foreign policy and national security matters, but no one can dispute that Wes
Clark commands that arena like no one else. Moreover, he brings to the table the Invaluable asset of already-established
personal relationships with essentially all of our “ex-“ allies. (And Clark’s command of economic issues is also on par with
the best of them.) Did you know that fifty-five ambassadors endorsed him!?

6. Wesley Clark's financial, regional, and spiritual background will garner him much more empathy votes than your
background will.

7. We have encountered, either first hand or through second hand accounts, countless examples of potential swing
voters who are quite comfortable with abandoning Bush or a third party candidate for Clark, but are less likely to defect
for you. (And we’re stating this very, very mildly, sir.)

8. Due to the media bias and the average constituent’s lack of motivation to become informed most people either
never heard of Clark or just know that he was a general. Invariably, however, once these folks learn of General
Clark's distinguished record of accomplishments, his unmitigated dedication, his fundamental grasp of both domestic
and foreign affairs, and an utter absence of ulterior motive, then they are quite convinced that you couldn’t ask for more
in a President (nor have a better chance of beating Bush). Conversely, most primary voters were not quite aware of the
shortcomings that make you vulnerable to the machinations of the Republican campaign team. (And it must be noted
that in most primaries Republicans were allowed to vote; think about that.) A successful democratic process is
predicated on voters making informed choices.

9. You called your secret service protection agent—a man sworn to risk his life to protect yours--a “son of a bitch”
after he accidentally knocked you down while skiing; and this was after the fact, not in the heat of the moment when
it happened. It’s hard to find a way to politely rebuke such decorum, particularly in someone seeking to convey presidentiality.
You also made the pathetic remark that “it’s not my SUV, it’s the family’s.” That’s just embarrassing.

10. The last one is bigger than all of the others combined: YOU WERE AMONG THOSE WHO VOTED TO GIVE AWAY
CONGRESS’ AUTHORITY TO VETO WAR. Do we even need to elaborate on how that was the most foolish and
dangerous decision in the history of decisions? Someone said to me today that we couldn’t run the nation purely by letting
everything come down to referendums for each person to vote on instead of just letting the elected officials act on our behalf
because, after all, the people aren’t intelligent enough to understand what they’re voting for. Right! We’re mostly very blind
folk and we’re especially driven irrational by fear, particularly after events like September 11. So we rely on our elected
officials to be the voice of reason, not to be subservient to our fickle, exaggerated fears. If the Democrats really wanted to
set a good example, they would all resign over having given the so-called commander in chief carte blanche pass to wage
war. It’s not like he hadn’t already proven that he’s The World’s Biggest Schmuck.

We’re talking about people who applaud him even when he fugging does a running gag about the failure to find WMDs.
Republicans don’t care that he read to children after being told “we’re under attack” and they think it’s perfectly hunky
dory that Mr. Bush DID NOT EVEN ATTEND THE FIRST PRINCIPLES MEETING ON COUNTERTERRORISM ON
SEPTEMBER 4, 2001, let alone that he did not consult with either Sr. Bush or Powell on war with Iraq—BECAUSE HE
BELIEVES THAT GOD ORDAINED THE INVASION, AND HE DOESN’T EVEN THINK HE SHOULD KEEP THAT TO HIMSELF.
So if that doesn’t wake you up to the fact that we cannot take anything for granted with swing voters then you're in as much
denial as the other side of the aisle.

You becoming the Democratic nominee couldn't please the dastardly Karl Rove any greater. He’s jumping up and down,
salivating at the thought of taking you out at the knees. In fact, the media did their part to have things go in your and
Edwards' favor because they believed that Clark would be their greatest threat to Mr. Bush’s tenure. Wouldn't it be doubly
glorious to turn the tables on their own game? Conversely, it would be catastrophic enough if Mr. Bush was put back in
charge, but especially demoralizing if the Republicans could revel in how they successfully manipulated the public through
their control of the media. How smug we could all feel to make all the attack commercials they’ve paid for in the months
leading up to the Democratic convention completely moot.

….Senator Kerry, sir, even if you believe in your heart that you are not any more likely to be defeated by President
Magoo than General Clark, and you also believe that, despite Wes’ proven administrative and political prowess within
the military, you have more direct legislative experience to implement a Democratic agenda, please, please, please,
look beyond the mere necessity for us to reclaim the helm from our Republican adversaries. Sure, any Democrat will
serve us better pretty much by just doing the opposite of what Mr. Bush is told to do, but bear in mind that between the
highly contentious 2000 election, the horror of September 11, the debacle of Iraq, and the thorough ability of the Bush
administration to polarize us both within our borders and beyond, Our Nation is in deep need of healing and reconciliation.

Simply put, Wesley is the only man suited to give us the Comfort we so desperately need because he’s the one ultra-
qualified person whom the most people will be comfortable with. Not to mention that he’s an inspiring guy. (Seriously, did
you not see that killer Flash Gordon parody of Wes saving us from the evil Bush administration?)
http://home.comcast.net/~freshlaundry/FLASH/

If we are going to truly begin anew with a genuine Spirit of Dedication and Unity—-between Americans and Americans,
and between Americans and the rest of the world Community—-we need to bend over backwards to embrace, and to
reflect, that Spirit of Unity and Reconciliation so direly lacking right now. If you are elected President most of us will
breathe a much needed sigh of relief as we watch the Bush administration leave on the horse they rode in on. But your
election will still harbor much contention, among both diehard Republicans and the Anybody But Bush contingent. There
needs to be the most highly charged atmosphere of inclusion and teamwork possible—-and a palpable feeling that we
can still have faith in the democratic process. Imagine the tone such a magnanimous gesture would set.

Obviously this kind of request goes beyond tilting at windmills, as they say; and to believe that a person in your position
would pass up the opportunity to hold the highest office in the land verges on pure fantasy. But, in light of the contrast
between the ultimate nightmare administration (as well as the ultimate nightmare of 9/11), and the ultimate dream nominee
showing up at our door at the most opportune and critical time in history, it doesn’t seem so farfetched to believe that a man
in your position would be capable of making such an unprecedented sacrifice. To pass up having your own chapter in
American history books will certainly be a hard pill to swallow…but such a pill will certainly go down a lot easier knowing
that the opening chapter to President Clark’s legacy will be preceded by the statement: There but for the grace of John
Kerry went the finest leader America and the world has ever been so privileged to have serve on our behalf.

P.S. One of the primary signatories of this letter declared that “Wesley Clark is not going to lose this thing on my watch!
….and if he does, then I’ll just have to have my Underdog tattoo surgically removed.” So, Senator Kerry, sir, it will be on
your head if a perfectly good Underdog tattoo gets destroyed.

P.P.S. As Thomas Paine said when he anonymously authored Common Sense: “Who the author of this production is, is
wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Man. Yet it may not be
unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the
influence of reason and principle.”

P.P.P.S. The more protests I get on this letter the more emboldened I get to circulate it since everyone’s concerns simply
show that this idea has the potential to back Kerry into a corner and acquiesce in recognition that his electability is very
flimsy. So, until someone simply addresses the question as to why it would be a bad idea for Kerry to defer his delegates
to Clark this letter will continue to be circulated as far and wide as possible.

P.P.P.P. S. When Howard Zinn was on Air America Radio he said that “At least with Kerry we’ll have a ledge to stand on.”
Is that what you democrats are willing to settle for? Just a friggin’ ledge?!

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