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Comments

Obviously, these abuses need to be investigated and the perpetrators (as high up the chain as this goes) punished.

But regarding your sarcastic point: I thought Bush was commander in chief, and therefore ultimately accountable for what the military does in Iraq? Not quite the same as Schroeder and a prison in Brandenburg, is it?

Note from David: It's not the formal responsibility of Bush - or the lack thereof - that feeds the German media's frenzy over torture in Iraq. The German media couldn't care less about who's responsible and who's not. It's Bush, the person, who drives the media cracy.

You guys are comparing apples to oranges. Iraq is in the limelight right now, because the Western World is trying to win the hearts and minds there and this scandal might be a major setback. That is why it gets attention.

Prison abuse inside the US gets much less attention in Germany. Check out Human Rights Watch, which has a lengthy section on the situation inside US-prisons. (HRW also articles on human rights abuses in Germany - to give you guys material for future odd comparisons of apples and oranges).

Note from David: Just lost my bet. I thought you're nbr 1 in the comment list of this post... What's up with you?

"It's Bush, the person, who drives the media cracy."

Note to David: It's pictures of torture and abuse by the American military and its contractors in a country they are ostensibly liberating that is driving the media crazy. This is a MAJOR setback in the remaining rationale for the Iraq invasion, namely the spreading of pro-Western democracies in the Middle East.

Not everything boils down to "It's just because of irrational Bush hatred".

Incidentally, what did you mean by "the formal responsibility of Bush - or the lack thereof"? Where does the buck stop again?

@David
Note from David: Just lost my bet. I thought you're nbr 1 in the comment list of this post.

Don't despair: I lost my bet as well - I thought you guys would already bring this domestic prison story last night when I first saw it on SPIEGEL.
(Totally OT: Check out the ad in the middle... Six Feet Under starts next tuesday on German VOX - great show from HBO, I loved it!)

"Not everything boils down to "It's just because of irrational Bush hatred"."

Well said.

more....whatever: It's pictures of torture and abuse by the American military and its contractors in a country they are ostensibly liberating that is driving the media crazy

May I kindly point out that you are dead wrong. The media craziness started long before the abuse story.

I don't know when you landed on this planet, but the Big Media craziness started long before the Iraq war. Of course, do not worry, I do not expect you to ever admit that.

You are right in one point though: Not everything boils down to "It's just because of irrational Bush hatred". Not everything, some of it is irrational US hatred, coming from within and from outside the US.

What... whatever: when I said "is driving the media crazy", I meant within the context of this discussion, as I believe David did in his note attached to my initial post. I would have thought that to be obvious. If I had wanted to refer to Big Media craziness down through the ages, I would have said something like "started driving the media crazy a long time ago". Instead I used the present tense in a specific context.

Big Media craziness did start long before the Iraq war, and I have no problem asserting that, but as I understood it, we were not talking about that, but about the media reaction to the abuses and torture in Iraq.

Not everything boils down to irrational US hatred either. This is a big subject because bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq is central to the coalition's mission in Iraq, and the abuses have just dealt the coalition a huge setback in this regard.

One does not need to hate the US - either rationally or irrationally - to be angry about this situation or to want to see it resolved properly and swiftly. Before this situation became public, nothing was done about it - the same people continued doing their work in Abu Ghraib, and the contractors were not instructed to change their methods.

Before this situation became public, nothing was done about it - the same people continued doing their work in Abu Ghraib, and the contractors were not instructed to change their methods.

Bullshit. Completely wrong. See here for a large collection of links. After it was reported in December, the three guards were swiftly suspended awaiting court martial scheduled in late January-- the guards opt for non-judicial punishment instead of court martial. In January, the commanding general, General Karpinski, was formally admonished and suspended. By late February an initial report was written, and by April 9th, again before it became public, an Article 32 hearing was held against Staff Seargant Frederick, who had not opted for non-judicial punishment. The hearing found enough information to procede to a court-martial.

WhatDoIKnow
You are right in one point though: Not everything boils down to "It's just because of irrational Bush hatred". Not everything, some of it is irrational US hatred, coming from within and from outside the US.

I thought you would think like this.

Thank you for the links, John. I was indeed mistaken in saying nothing was done about it. Some things were done... but evidently not enough.

As for my specifics ("the same people continued doing their work in Abu Ghraib, and the contractors were not instructed to change their methods"), I was referring to Stephen Stefanowicz (sp?) whose employment according to the Taguba report was supposed to be terminated back in January, but who was apparently still present at Abu Ghraib quite recently (you can google Joe Ryan's diary), and to the reports that CACI, one of the two contracting companies that was implicated, had not received instructions to change its methods.

So I apologize for casting the net too wide, and in doing that I was wrong. It's true, though, that not enough was done as a result of the report in January, and torture was allowed to continue.

One reason that some of the people weren't terminated immediately is that, unless they voluntary accepted non-judicial punishment, they have certain civil rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If they want to fight the charge, then they get some months to prepare their defense, etc., and they get their day in court.

It is completely true, though, that domestic prison abuse is disturbingly widespread in many, many, countries, and people in general (plus the media) don't really seem to care about it. Not just the obvious torture that was routine in Saddam's Iraq, but also widespread reports of abuse in Germany, the US, Japan, etc. As some have suggested, it is perhaps not coincidence that the guards involved in abuse were prison guards themselves in their civilian lives.

The media reaction to the abuses is a continuation of something that started in the past, more exactly after 911. It's just more of the same. Just as David said, the German media couldn't care less if Bush is responsible or not. They got (in their opinion) a new reason to go after him, so they do their "job".

You said: Before this situation became public, nothing was done about it I don't know if you know what you are talking about. I don't mean to be patronizing, but informing yourself before making accusations would be a good idea. It was NOT CBS who broke the story, it was the DoD. This shows any normal person that they weren't afraid to tell the truth. Investigations started before the story came out and they will find and punish the perpetrators. (It's true, the US military moves slowly in punishing them. They weren't executed on the spot)

the abuses have just dealt the coalition a huge setback in this regard. Only time will tell. You say it's a "huge setback", I say it's a hickup. (Not the abuses, the setback)

I was stationed in Hanau, Germany 1972-75 in HHB 3rd Armored Division Artillery at Huttier Kaserne on Lanboystrasse. An NCO took me to buy a used car at a junkyard nearby. When we arrived the Polizei were dragging a guy out of the office by his hair. They (about 3-4 officers) started beating him with their night sticks (which seemed to be made of a plyable material) repeatedly about the head and body. This lasted for about 5 minutes. My NCO told me to stay in the car, to keep my mouth shut or I'd be subjected to the same treatment. It was painful to watch.

After they left, the junkyard owner told us that the guy had tried to rob him, but that he body slammed the guy and kicked his ass, then called the cops. They guy was already subdued and beaten before the Polizei roughed him up some more. I got the impression that this was not an isolated incident, that it was standard procedure.
I never looked crosswise at a German cop after that.

I bought a 1966 NSU 1200 for $200, two bottles of Jack Daniels and a case of Marlboros. That was my first car. I loved it.

In another incident, one of my friends was arrested selling LSD at a concert by the Polizei. They beat him continuously in the police van until he was unconscious.

@Klink

In the memory of those (rare) instances when you posted interesting ideas, I will respond to your non-posting.

Now, I am not 100% sure I understand your posting (which is nothing new), but when I said: some of it is irrational US hatred, coming from within and from outside the US, I was talking about the media frenzy, not the media criticism. I know, for you there isn't any frenzy, only "constructive" criticism, but for me the difference still matters.

The other thing is that, in my eyes, there is only about 10% criticism in the German media. The rest is junk. Again, I know you believe that German media is unjustly and disproportionately criticezed on this dark, righ-wing-almost-fascist board.

Now seriously, I don't know how somebody could claim with a straight face that German newspapers and TV are NOT heavily and dishonestly biased. But then, I don't see you face...

"One reason that some of the people weren't terminated immediately is that, unless they voluntary accepted non-judicial punishment, they have certain civil rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If they want to fight the charge, then they get some months to prepare their defense, etc., and they get their day in court."

And in the meantime, they can simply remain on the job...?

WhatdoIknow:

Are you suggesting the German media should not consider this subject newsworthy, out of concern that they might be seen to be critical of Bush?

"I don't know if you know what you are talking about. I don't mean to be patronizing, but informing yourself before making accusations would be a good idea."

I responded to this already, you may have missed the post: yes, I was wrong in casting the net too wide, but as far as I know my specific points were correct and show that certainly not enough was done to deal with the problem.

"It was NOT CBS who broke the story, it was the DoD."

When did they do that? I was under the impression that it was the Seymour Hersh article that dragged it into the limelight.

And in the meantime, they can simply remain on the job...?

I have no clue if they are still on the job. If yes, that's bad. OTOH I can't imagine that any of the soldiers on those pictures are still on the job. I have no evidence for that, but it's just hard to imagine. I don't think the DoD lies when they say they are mad about this whole story.

Are you suggesting the German media should not consider this subject newsworthy, out of concern that they might be seen to be critical of Bush?

NEVER !

Again, I don't want to seem to be patronizing(because I am not), but you either 1)don't know much about German media or 2)know about German media but believe everything is fine.

If 2) is valid, don't read any further. Have a good day !

.........................

If you are still with me, it is maybe because 1) is valid. Then, I will tell you NOT my opinion, but the FACTS: German media has lost a long time ago its "fear" (:-)) of being "critical" of Bush.

They moved to the next level: they fear they are not "critical" enough of Bush. Their idea is: the more the better.

Again, if you are somewhat new on this forum, you could read older postings and get an idea. If after that you believe that German media is doing quite fine, maybe just sometimes a "little" harsh, then go to 2).

I know some things about German media - my spouse is German - but am always willing to learn more. I will read through the archives here, thanks for the tip. Incidentally, is there any German magazine that you would consider praiseworthy, or at least the least bad?

As for some of those people still being on the job, I was referring to this Stefanowicz guy - see earlier post at 4:15.

I imagine Lynnie England (the woman in what is probably the most well-known of the abuse pictures) is going to have a problematic homecoming.

Instead of German magazine, how about German news source - didn't mean to narrow it down so much.

@WhatDoIknow
I was talking about the media frenzy, not the media criticism.

Okay. It had sounded a bit general, being in a lone paragraph.

I know, for you there isn't any frenzy, only "constructive" criticism, but for me the difference still matters.

There is anti-American frenzy (like Pitzke's New York-reports) - I only marvel that often used as examples for "frenzy" are criticism on political issues. Two different pair of shoes. It appears some here are using "frenzy" as a defense-shield against political criticism? Like calling political criticism back home unpatriotic?

The new person asked you whether the German media should not consider this story newsworthy, to which you replied "NEVER". Do you think the German media could have reported it in any other way to get your and David's approval or doesn't almost any critical reporting on US-politics trigger some reflexes by now? (I knew that the above domestic prison-story would end up here ;-)

Like the "pressure on Rumsfeld"-example: SPIEGEL gets slammed on here for this, while Washington Post, NY Times or BBC reported in similar tone.

Funny, but it seems anti-American bigot Marc Pitzke hasn't written a thing about this outrageous example of torture in a country that promotes itself as the "conscience" of the world. Must be another example of his "Eiertanzen." He hasn't corrected his lies about U.S. media coverage of the Abu Ghraib torture either. I'm shocked! For those of you who have been numbed into imbecility by SPIEGEL's "objective reporting" about the American media, and who therefore couldn't predict the obvious, Abu Ghraib is once again the headline story in every major American newspaper and on every TV network today. The "Washington Post" has a large picture of a female soldier holding a prone, naked male Iraqi with a leash around his neck at the top of page one. In another classic example of American media "Eiertanzen," the "Post" reports that the photographs, "...appear to provide further visual evidence of the chaos and unprofessionalism at the prison detailed in a report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. His report, which relied in part on the photographs, found 'numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses' that were inflicted on detainees." Oh, yes, and do you remember the Tillman story, that egregious example of inflated American hero worship? There was no mention of it whatsoever.

Incidentally, why do you think there is anything wrong with criticizing Bush?

@more human than human

"Incidentally, why do you think there is anything wrong with criticizing Bush?"

Are you asking me? I don't have a problem with criticizing Bush. I do it all the time myself.

I take great pride in the fact that the German media expresses greater outrage when Americans abuse and torment others than when they themselves do it, or Arabs do it to Jews or each other, ....

It reinforces my superiority complex.

Of course, it's tough to compete with the Israelis for the top spot.

Helias, no I wasn't asking you, sorry, I should have addressed that properly. I was asking WhatDoIKnow.

WhatDoIKnow:

Why do you think there is something wrong with criticizing Bush?
You seem to imply that there is something positive about the media having a fear of criticizing Bush, whereas I think it should be the opposite: the media should have the urge to analyze and criticize him as well as any other democratic country's leadership (as well as non-democratic countries, of course). An instance where I think erring on the side of caution is not the right answer. The more criticism, the better.

more..: Why do you think there is something wrong with criticizing Bush?

Huh, what ?! When did I say that ??

You seem to imply that there is something positive about the media having a fear of criticizing Bush

What ??? I really don't understand where you got that one from... I said exactly the OPPOSITE: German media doesn't fear in any way criticizing Bush. Why should they fear it ??? In fact, they enjoy it, that what gives them a purpose in their "professional" life.

A last suggestion for today: re-read my postings. If you still don't understand what I'm saying, no problem, there is always a tomorrow. A new day might bring new luck...

For those of you not here in the States, for those of you who are not Amis, let me shed a bit of light.

Across all political spectrums, across all war/anti-war spectrums - this is being viewed as abhorrent. No one is making excuses. There is no excuse that would not be just about as ugly as the offense.

The offense neither justifies nor negates the rational for the war.

Do not conflate the two.

David, by posting info on abuses in German prisons, you do me, personally, a disservice.

I am not responsible for abuses in German prisons. I DO, most certainly, consider myself, as an American citizen, responsible for abuses committed against any prisoner held in my country's custody at whatever level.

I do not require community guilt to assuage the malfeasance of those in the service of my country.

The malfeasance of those in the service of my country will be dealt with, I hope, with transparency and honor.

I do not know what went wrong here, only that something did go very wrong.

Whatever it was, it is up to us to fix it and we will. And everyone will get to watch. In the meantime, no abuses in the German penal system are relevant and no rationale for or against the war is relevant.

Arguing over who "broke" the story is a matter of semantics. Certainly the DoD wasn't going to go out of its way to publicize it-- especially before the court martial was held. The ensuing publicity forced everyone to apologize and condemn the incident, and treat the guards as guilty already. UNFORTUNATELY, this gives the accused guards a fun civil liberties defense, where they can argue that their trial is prejudiced since the higher ranks of the military have already determined their guilt and publically condemned. And that's why the DoD asked CBS to wait until the court martial had been held to run the story.

OTOH, the DoD was definitely investigating and taking action long before it was publicized. CBS and Hersh didn't break the story to the DoD, nor did they cause the investigation, but they did result in others getting informed.

I strongly doubt that the accused have been allowed to be around prisoners since then (certainly not unmonitored), but they can't just throw them in the brig and let them rot, so I imagine that they've been transferred to some kind of desk position or makework position-- both of which could easily have them still at the camp while awaiting courts martial. Accused do have civil rights, of course, even in the military. All I see from the diary reports that you said to look at, "more human than human," is that Steven Stephanowicz is still present enough for Joe Ryan to have played golf with a week or two ago. That certainly doesn't suggest that he has anything to do with interrogating prisoners currently.

It's kind of ridiculous to see all these people jumping up and down and insisting that punishments recommended in a preliminary investigation be implemented before the courts martial and investigations are finished. Whither the rights of the accused?

WhatDoIKnow:

"Why do you think there is something wrong with criticizing Bush?"

"Huh, what ?! When did I say that ??"

I got that impression from the latter part of your post at 5:16 above along with your stated dislike for German media - who, as you say, got over their "fear" of criticizing Bush and are now criticizing him the more the better. Perhaps I misread you and you think criticizing Bush the more the better is a good thing, in which case maybe you can point out some other reasons for your dislike for German media.

"I really don't understand where you got that one from... I said exactly the OPPOSITE: German media doesn't fear in any way criticizing Bush."

Yes, and you dislike German media, and therefore I made the connection that you thought that fear would be a good thing.

John Thacker, we'll have to see what is revealed down the road. It's certainly possible that Stefanowicz is still hanging around somewhere near his old buddies at Abu Ghraib without being in contact with the prisoners.

However, when I take this bit of information in conjunction with the fact that CACI (the company Stefanowicz works for) claims not to have received any instructions from the Pentagon to alter their methods, then I think it starts to look a little different. More information needs to be provided, but I think they would have clarified that they had been instructed to remove certain employees from direct contact with the prisoners.

We shall see.

more... : I made the connection that you thought that fear would be a good thing

Well, definitely one connection too much there ...

Yes, I strongly dislike the German media. No, they don't fear and never have feared criticizing Bush. (Nor do I think that they should fear).

Yes, they believe (among other things) that the more they criticize Bush and the US the better they are.

I am a strong believer in quality over quantity. German "journalists" (I don't consider most of those people real journalists) obviously believe otherwise.

I have absolutely no problem reading a REAL critique, based on FACTS, of the US or Bush, but 90% of the critique in the German media is ideological. That's what I abhore. Obviously, there are people, even on this forum, who believe that the criticism in the German media is more or less balanced.

WhatDoIKnow: Fair enough. Makes sense and I see no reason to quibble with you.

Back to my earlier question: which German news source do you think is best, most praiseworthy, or at least the least abhorrent?

John Thacker: Looks like Stefanowicz is not just hanging out, removed from his post and sitting at a desk, preparing his defence, while still finding the time for the occasional round of golf with his buddies. It's a little bit worse - it looks very much like he has been on the job as if the report never existed:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5677-2004May5.html

I see nothing here that would make me conclude that Stefanowicz has been moved away from direct contact with the prisoners or charged with anything. Basically, as a result of the January report, with regard to Stefanowicz (and who knows who else), nothing happened.

Try this:

Die Zeit

www.zeit.de

So it is back to that old question again.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it really fall?

Because Big Media did not investigate this story at the time it was reported by DOD it was not a story.

Today we have Big Media in a feeding frenzy. The democrats are in a feeding frenzy. It would appear that the German media is in a feeding frenzy. The Arab masses are in the streets.

The world is spinning out of control and it is according to Klink all Bush's fault.

I am sure this has been a huge bump up in the polls for the SPD.

I keep telling you guys the SPD is going to get another 6 years when Germans voter again.

IS THIS WHAT THE GERMANS WANT?

MAY 6, 2004
House wants U.S. to sever U.N. ties; Senate against it

The Associated Press
PHOENIX - The Arizona House voted to urge Congress to pull the United States out of the United Nations, but the Senate decided it didn't want to even scold the multinational organization.

The House had passed a memorial urging a pullout, but it was watered down in the Senate to merely urge Congress to rebuke the United Nations for usurping American powers.

The Senate rejected it Thursday on a 15-14 vote, one short of the 16 votes needed for passage by the 30-member Senate.

Most Republicans voted for the memorial while most Democrats voted against it.

Several opponents said the measure could be interpreted as a rebuke to President Bush because his administration is now seeking greater United Nations involvement in Iraq.
"I'm going to stand with my president," Sen. Carolyn Allen, R-Scottsdale, said.

Sen. Robert Blendu, R-Litchfield Park, defended the memorial, saying the United Nations deserved to be scolded because of allegations of corruption in the organization's oil-for-food program for Iraq.

"It's completely proper that we as Americans monitor those organizations to which we belong," Blendu said. "I'm for accountability."


@WhatDoIKnow

Some demo operatve must be reading your posts. It would seem your comments are taken more serious than you believe.

Check out the link below. Seems it this might be the start of something....

http://www.lowcountrynow.com/stories/050704/LOCroe.shtml

@Joe

Funny ;-) That was another thing on my mind: how does Clinton feel about this ? I can imagine he still has a lot of influence in his party. Comparing the personalities of Kerry and Clinton, I couldn't imagine Clinton being too happy about Kerry. Looks like Clinton and me feel the same :-) Maybe he could give me a job in their staff. I believe Clinton was the Master of Dishonesty, but what the heck... If he pays me well :-)

@more...which German news source do you think is best, most praiseworthy, or at least the least abhorrent

First of all, I'm not an expert on German media. Since this would involve searching through infected garbage, I don't want to do this to myself.

There is not ONE particular German news source which is the *best*. Even the most radical one throw in, once in a while, a *different* point of view, so that they can't be accused of being 100% biased. You know, the difference between 100% and 99% is huge... It's like cooking a meal for ten people and throwing in a pinch of salt. Nobody really feels its taste, but hey, it's there !

As a newspaper I believe Die Zeit is quite good. They often have good analysis and REAL critique, mixed with some "normal" biased articles which could show up in the Spiegel. Der Spiegel is a magazine, strongly anti-everything and influential (despite what other people on this forum may say). Their true journalistical value unfolds when they get lost in anti-American (not necessarily anti-Bush) orgies.

What German TV channel is better for informing yourself ? None. Really. You shouldn't rely on German TV to get informed.

Hey all.
I don´t care what the Germans do in their Prisons.
Or the French or the russians or the Barsoomians or the Klingons.
I do care what we do!!! The Americans!!!
Because since we are the Good guys i expect more from us as from the OTHERS.
speaking as a Veteran theses assholes have disgraced the military. Their country and their Families.
Of course this is a giant Freebie for Critics.
I hate the self rightous asses. but i can´t change the Facts. These Jerks are a disgrace and have opend up the door for our critics to say that we are all this way.
I was reading that jerk in the Bild Zeitung (Wir bilden dir deine Meinung) this morning (Wagner).
And he stated
"Lynndie England ist das Produkt der amerikanischen Bildungskatastrophe, des Stumpfsinn-TV, des Junkfood".

That makes me want to puke.
So according to Herr Über Depp all of america is guilty. that she is the natural and expected end result of american culture.
That´s why I´m so angry. Because of a few moraly bankrupt people ALL of America is said to be the same.
and don´t rag me for reading the Bild! It´s a kind of a "MAD Magazine" for adults.
and ya gotta love those Cannibal stories. ;-)

Doug

@Klink

"The new person asked you whether the German media should not consider this story newsworthy, to which you replied "NEVER". Do you think the German media could have reported it in any other way to get your and David's approval or doesn't almost any critical reporting on US-politics trigger some reflexes by now? (I knew that the above domestic prison-story would end up here ;-)"

I think you're missing the point here, Klink. The number of people in the U.S. who don't consider this story newsworthy is vanishingly small. I can't speak for everyone on the blog, but I consider it very newsworthy, and a very serious problem. However, it is entirely legitimate to criticize the German media if it deliberately lies in its coverage of the story to pander to anti-Americanism. There's not even a remote chance that SPIEGEL's reporter Marc Pitzke really believes the claims he made in his article on "Empoerung ueber die Empoerung." He lives in the U.S., and he's very familiar with conditions here, including media coverage of the Abu Graib story. He knows damn well that the story is not being minimized or rationalized here, and he also knows damn well that it's not being overshadowed by stories about Pat Tillman. Nevertheless, he still makes those claims, knowing full well that his story will be enthusiastically received in Germany, and that only a tiny number of Germans will make an effort to check the accuracy of his story. Is it really just "reflexive criticism of the German media" if we point out that major news magazines are lying to the German people? Is it illegitimate for us to ask why, for the most part, the German people don't mind being lied to? You criticize others for pointing out that the German media are obsessed with any negative news about the U.S., but virtually ignore related stories elsewhere. Your argument is that this is always an attempt to "relativize" or "rationalize" negative news about the U.S. This argument can only be based on the patently false premise that negative stories about the U.S. are invariably more newsworthy than similar stories elsewhere. What makes a story newsworthy? Should the goal of journalism be to expose abuses wherever they may occur? If so, one would expect the worst abuses to get the most attention. That's not what's happening in the German media. In fact, their goal is to villify the U.S. I'm convinced that, for the most part, they are entirely indifferent to the fate of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, or anywhere else except as they can be exploited for anti-American propaganda. The same goes for homeless people, abused children, unemployed workers, victims of racism, you name it. These problems are magnified beyond any connection with reality if they occur in the U.S., but are treated with relative indifference if they happen in Germany, and are virtually ignored if they occur anywhere else in the world. This kind of journalism is unworthy of the media of a free country, and comes at a high social cost. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the genocide in Sudan, and hundreds more continue to die every day. Why? Are their lives really that much cheaper than the lives of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib? Thousands of political prisoners have been executed by the Communist regime on Cuba, and dissidents continue to be rounded up and rot by the thousands in Castro's prisons. Are their lives really that much cheaper than the lives of the prisoners in Guantanamo? In China thousands of people rot in prison for the crime of advocating democracy without the Red Cross oversight that was promised by the Chinese government more than ten years ago. Should this situation continue because the prisoners did not have the foresight to be oppressed by the U.S.? I'm sorry, Klink, but the "objective criticism" argument was already lame ten years ago, and it's entirely ridiculous now. I think both Germans and Americans have a right to expect more from their media than politically motivated propaganda.

German media is a lot less controlled than US media. The US media is obsessed with flag-waving and afraid of being called 'un-American' bla bla bla. Fox News gives me an idea on how Herman Göring's ideal tv station would have been.

Bush is responsible for what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan as surely as German leaders were responsible for the acts of their soldiers during World War II.
Villagers in some parts of the Ukraine welcomed German troops with salt, bread and flowers in 1941 for freeing them from the yoke of Stalinism, yet a year later thousands of them were in the Soviet partisan movement, hounding the very forces that "liberated" them. In Iraq the photographs of happy crowds greeting coalition soldiers have given way to exultant crowds celebrating the macabre death of American servicemen.

I wonder how many new terrorists Bush has created throughout the Middle East? Military recruiters fill a good part of their quotas from the many dismal backwaters and slums of the Republic. They fill them with the kind of people who otherwise might not be employed at all. They undoubtedly get a disproportionate share of the people who enjoy killing and inflicting pain, the kind of people found in every society on Earth. When a contemptible, moral weakling like Bush sits comfortably in his leather chair and signs an order to invade a distant land, it is precisely the horrors of Abu Ghraib prison he necessarily releases.

There were several massacres discovered in Vietnam, and one cannot doubt others went undiscovered. More disgusting still was the slitting of about twenty-thousand throats, mostly village officials, by the brave men of the Special Forces. But even their Nazi-like slaughter couldn't compare to the work of the men flying jets, men still called war heroes in America, men who systematically bombed and napalmed countless towns, villages, and farms, producing enough victims to bury the city of Washington under a mountain of burnt flesh and gore, almost all of them civilians.

God forgive Amerika...

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