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German diplomat. Oxymoron.

Thanks for a great translation, Ray! I hope we can all make a difference...

Thomas

With friends like these...

Anyway, one thing that is clear is that this guy sits in his fancy apartment and surfs leftoid sites on the web. Or he's profoundly full of himself. All his "observations" about America are twisted notions that a guy in an Internet cafe in Kenya could pull out of his butt. He actually read the US tax code? And his opinions about US civil rights were created by reading a fundraising flyer, er, "report" from AI? One wonders if he actually knows any Americans - or at least any whose time he didn't waste hearing himself making noises. This reminds me of sportswriters not bothering to go to games and reporting on them by reading the summaries on the web.

Ancient rule: you never learn anything with your mouth open. And I have little doubt that any Americans this dude met were so dumbfounded by his rants that they didn't reply, making him think that numerous leading Americans "agree with him".

One hopes this diplo isn't attached to the German spy service. If so, he should be fired for gross incompetence and wasting vast sums of the German taxpayers' money, if nothing else.

American diplomat. Just moron.

Hi Ray,

This German "diplomat" must have worked for the Stasi.

Does anybody know if German diplomats, e.g. Ambassadors, are appointed?

If so, I smell the blood-stained hands of America hater Joshcka "I never threw molotov cocktails at anyone, nor was I really a member of Baeder-Meinhof" Fischer.

I pray that Frau Merkel will do a thorough house cleaning starting this September. Germany cannot go on with sheise like this...

PacRim, SixPac? How about we all agree that the vast majority of Diplomats suck? You both write pretty well regardless of whether your rationales are correct- use your talents for something a little better and leave the infantile name calling to lesser lights like myself.

At any rate, looks like the diplomat has been surfing over at DU a bit too much, or went out drinking with some Dean backers. The halfwit message is the same, just delivered by a halfwit with more expensive tastes.

Do you have a name of this guy? how can you know this was true? Without telling who this guy is I give a BS about what this Mr. Stephens said! Maybe he just made it up to get some readers on this lousy site opinion-blahblah.com !

This jerk's comments are consistent with those of Schroeder and the German ambassador to the US. These folks should be kept in office until Merkel can remove them. Their antics and insane comments should receive maximum exposure until then.

Bret Stephens is also a bit of a sketch journalist. Recall he is the one who saw nothing wrong with Eason's comments at the World Economic Forun about American troops targeting "journalists." Here he sees nothing wrong with not arguing with a jerk to his face for his wife's sake, but then writes about it in one of the country's largest newspapers.

This is outrageous. In this case, I completely agree with you.
However, I would be nice to know the exact position and rank of this diplomat.

Perhaps the diplomat in question can be "kicked upstairs" to some vacancy on the European Commission? That would be in keeping with the retreading of disappointing/dead-end political hacks onto that body. :)

He should think of running for the Senate in Illinois.

"Bret Stephens is also a bit of a sketch journalist."

I BEG YOUR PARDON???

I am not an unbiased source, but if you go through his work both for the Jerusalem Post (remember that he was one of their youngest editors ever, and at the same time one of their best) and for the Wall Street Journal, you will not come up with one article that is not significantly above average. And attacking someone for respecting his hosts, even if they do not deserve it, is a bit weak, too.

And finally, your assertion that he "saw nothing wrong with Eason Jordan's comments" is a blatant lie, and you know it.

Deletion of Norman's post appears warranted.

Relax Thomas - you should be used to this by now

Attack the source - Democrat 101

When they can't refute the facts - as is here and often the case - attack the source

You'll see this in full bloom with the Ed Klein book on Hillary

Actually I cannot believe that story. German career diplomats generally tend to be more conservative than average, that's the reason why the Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, had always been at odds with the people who worked for him at the Foreign Ministry.

While I can absolutely imagine that some parlamentarian from the loony left, be it the SPD left wing, the Green Party or the PDS would make outragious statements like the one mentioned in the article, I don't think a diplomat would.

Germans acting badly? Who knew?

All that good European education and upbringing . . . and he can plumb no deeper than the depths of michael moore's sophistries???? ROTFLOL . . . .
Just another example of the more "complex" and "sophisticated" european mindset.
In America they are called redneck bigots and work at gas stations ~ in deutschland they seem to consider that educated and nuanced enough to be their diplomats.
I keep hearing how we have "so much to learn from the Europeans . . ."

Tyranno

I love Germans, but this story sounds more to me like the classic folly of a German attempting American-style humor.

I had a completely different reaction to this story. I am a big fan of open and honest conversation. The Germany government has been pissing on my head and telling me it's raining for years. Too much smarmy, two-faced, lying bullshit in the dialogue between our two nations. Give it to me straight, please. At least I can disagree and still respect the honesty. Thank you Mr. Diplomat for not blowing more smoke up my ass. You're doing the best job of speaking for your government than any of the other official German blowhards in NYC.

I'm not a big fan of trying to get people who say stupid things fired. Americans who try to have this misguided soul fired are merely confirming the paranoid beliefs of the EuroLeft.

I'm a big fan of putting these creeps on a pedestal. Give them an open microphone. Encourage them. They can do far more damage to themselves than we can do to them.

Oh! The Gulag gave its victims a trial of sorts.

I respectively submit that this German idiot be taken for a tour of real Gulags in Cuba, North Korea and Falluja (prior to the Marine liberation of that city).

Maybe this Germanic jack ass is trying to let us off the hook by favorably comparing the criminal Andrei Vyshinsky (of Gulag show trials fame) with the Stalino-Fascist goons of the ACLU and the National Lawyers (Liars) Guild.

Forget about it, it is already over.
The significance you are giving to the comments of a German government representative is really kind of archaic. This would have mattered more, early in the 20th century, when Germany mattered more. Germany matters much less now, by every measure. This is uncontestable. So relax, there is nothing to get worked up about.
It is almost quaint that they make these ridiculous comments, insist on their prejudices, trying to convince themselves that they matter, to deny their growing insignificance. They resort to preposterous bluster precisely because the shrinking is getting all too clear. Whatever rise they can get in you perpetuates the good ol' days, and postpones the day of reckoning.
The comments of this German are just like the saber-rattling of that loyal, forward-stationed Japanese soldier well after the war. When the war was on, he got a rise out of us. But when it was over, the same soldier just seemed pathetic.
Same imperial uniform, same saber, same rattle, but he didn't matter anymore.
It is over.

I must admit - the Bush admin was brilliant in putting its detention center in Gitmo

We have finally gotten the Europeans concerned about human rights in Cuba

Nonetheless, I suggest emails be sent to all the addresses listed above. Even if the fellow is called back to Berlin for private congratulations on sticking it to old Uncle Sam, the government will be aware someone on this side of the water is paying attention. In my emails I said he should be replaced with someone whose sanity is not in question, but you can do better.

excellent line pogue.. will file for future reference.

While I agree with the general condemnation of these comments, I really cannot see the sense of this appeal.
I mean you dont know the name of the diplomat, and the journalist is too concerned about the social life of his wife to be of any assistance...

The German "Auswärtige Dienst" has about 10000 members, a good estimate would probably be that at least 500 of them work in the US, quite hard to single one out by this article.

@ CCTV

First of all, he is not concerned about his wife so much as about his journalistic integrity, which he and his employer, unlike quite a few papers on this side of the pond, value. And he has been of more than significant assistance.

As for the 500 people working in the US (and the number strikes me as too high by a factor of 5 to 10), there shouldn't be that many high-ranking Germans in New York, and his reaction should be quite telling.

@CCTV

"The German "Auswärtige Dienst" has about 10000 members, a good estimate would probably be that at least 500 of them work in the US, quite hard to single one out by this article."

I disagree. There is 1 in Washington and then 7 across the country.

"meeting a relatively senior German diplomat posted to the New York consulate. My wife--also German--knows his wife socially; our children use the same playground. They had invited us to their home for Sunday brunch."

So New York has 50-70 workers say. How many of them are married males with children? How many are then relatively senior and how many of them invite journalists to Sunday Brunch? How many have invited Mr. Stephens and his wife to Sunday Brunch recently because their wives know each other and their children play together?

I think everyone at the embassy knows who this is alright. Just have to hope its not the guy that people are writing the letters/ mails of complaint to. Good reason to group mail it to a few people at Washington and Berlin too.

It just occured to me, Civil rights in North Korea? They only have one ethnic group, what the hell?
I guess you could divide it pretty starkly into the have's and the have-not's or, to be precise, Strving and the friends of Kim Jong Il.

Personally, I'm having difficulty believing that ANYONE can read the hundreds of volumes of the US Tax Code and make any kind of sense out of it! Even "experts" employed by the Internal Revenue Service have a 25% error rate (or worse!) on their "advice"! When the Internal Revenue Service can't read its own literature, it's doubtful that a foreign diplomat can make heads or tails of it... and it's time to scrap the entire thing!

I sincerely doubt that this mystery diplomat read anything beyond the annual instructions for filling out a 1040A.

Ray & David,

Thank you so much for providing this website and this information, and especially for all the contact links. It is utterly astonishing to me when I think of the way the current German government relates to the U.S., not to mention its media, though ours is nothing to crow about either. I am an American of German heritage, I've visited Germany several times between the bad old days of the Cold War in the early 80's, and as recently as a few months before 9/11. I am totally in shock that a country and a society that for my entire life I considered among, if not, my nation's best friend now makes comparisons between the U.S. and North Korea. When I hear Europeans say Americans are naive and unaware of the larger world, and then you hear nonsense like this, it makes me wonder who is really clueless. That a diplomat could say such a thing is astonishing. Keep up the good work!

Mike Walker

O.K. my 2 cents:

What we have here is maybe a anonym German diplomat talking terrible nonsense in a private conversation. Bad enough. If he’s really a diplomat and he knew that he was talking to a journalist, even worse. I would say it’s OK to do a whistleblower to his boss. After all I’m paying this guy with my taxes to represent my country and not for spreading hate and nonsense. I don’t care for his private opinions, but I expect him to consider his job even in private conversation.

You can argue that this guy is maybe just summing up all prejudices, stereotypes, conspiracy theories, fears, envy, snobbism, lack of understanding and bullshit the average Kraut on the street is carrying around under the label “anti-Americanism”. You’re on the receiving end of this stupidity, and upset about it - rightly so.

But aside from the anger this behaviour caused, please ask yourself, if this story is really enough to come to a general conclusion about Germans and Germany as a whole or if you’re not just “feeding” your own prejudices and stereotypes.

I don’t want to sing the excuse song for the diplomat, but I pray to consider: If this story is true as it was told to the public (we didn’t know the name of the diplomat, and we didn’t hear his version), it’s just the statement of an individual German moron, it’s certainly NOT a statement made by the German Administration, and of course not a statement made “for” the German people. It’s NOT even a public statement, but the published content of a private conversation held in his own private rooms to the husband of his wife’s friend.


I don’t know if I’m the only one here feeling a bit unease, maybe because it could also happen to me. I just imagine myself in the shoes of a guy who had said some terrible stupid things after a couple bottles on a party in his home and having to read this in the morning paper the next day, just because one of my guests happened to be a journalist and thought it’s worth to tell the public what I think about my boss when I’m drunk.

If the story is true, I think the diplomat should get a chance to get heard and get a notice, but I don’t approve the way of journalism that led to this result here. To me the lesson learnt is: Don’t have a private conversation to the husband of your wife’s friend, he could be journalist and put it in the paper to make money out of it.

Cheers,

Andy - the reality is that this diplomat is indeed representative of the opinions of the German educated elite and increasingly of the German people in general

The point of this site is to demonstrate how the German elite that runs the media has been singing from the same hymn sheet for years now and the effect is clear

More and more Germans agree with this diplomat

As I stated above, this persons usual experience in NYC when expressing those same views has been either indifference ( everybody says that don't they? ) - or agreement

Are you telling us this diplomats opinions are different from those of most of the German intelligensia? The ones who run the media?

Go on - pull the other one

@Mamapajamas -

When the Internal Revenue Service can't read its own literature, it's doubtful that a foreign diplomat can make heads or tails of it... and it's time to scrap the entire thing!

I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think foreign diplomats even pay taxes here.


@AndyW -

But aside from the anger this behaviour caused, please ask yourself, if this story is really enough to come to a general conclusion about Germans and Germany as a whole or if you’re not just “feeding” your own prejudices and stereotypes.

If this story were an isolated event it would certainly not be enough; as it happens, it's hardly isolated. I used to frequent a discussion site that I really liked for its diversity - it was about 30%-40% American/Canadian, 40%-50% European, and the balance scattered across NZ, Oz, etc.

There were 6 regular German participants there, aged from late teens to late twenties. Five of them uniformly subscribed uncritically to the same sort of trash this diplomat does, propagating and defending it routinely, impervious to any and all empirical evidence that might be contrary to their opinions. The sixth German never seemed to agree with them, but neither would he disagree publicly; he avoided any controversial discussion these other five participated in. Had I not been involved there for some few years, I probably would not have known he disagreed at all.

It is not a story like this which forms general conclusions about Germans; it is the experience of meeting and talking to Germans, especially where they feel no particular obligation to restraint (on the Internet, or in Germany itself). If a story like this comes along, it reinforces -- rather than forms -- the conclusion. It shows that such ideas and attitudes are not just those of an ignorant or belligerant minorty or class, but that they appear to be uniform even at "elite" levels of German society.

LouMinatti posts:
"I'm not a big fan of trying to get people who say stupid things fired. Americans who try to have this misguided soul fired are merely confirming the paranoid beliefs of the EuroLeft.

I'm a big fan of putting these creeps on a pedestal. Give them an open microphone. Encourage them. They can do far more damage to themselves than we can do to them."


You mean allow him to be the Howard Dean of the German Diplomatic Corps?

Tyranno

I've just written an email to the German Consulate General and the Coordinator for German-American Cooperation telling them that I feel that what that diplomat said in the interview was not ok. It is ok to criticize the US even for a diplomat but it is not ok to do it in an insulting way. That man has not kept to any standards of hospitality and etiquette, neither German nor American ones. I also wrote them that I feel that a German diplomat is always representing me as a German citizen and that I feel not represented by that man and can't believe that what he's doing for my country or nation.

And that's an order!

(As if the Bush governement needed to invent this story - I'm sure we've all met many types like this German diplomat.)

Dear Commentators,

I had a good laugh reading both the complete bullshit the diplomat said AND the reactions on this page. Especially reading Mike Walker talking about "the average Kraut" and prejudices against Germans in the same breath is just fantastic.

Some of you should ask yourself whether you are really in a position to criticise this diplomat, for you are also full of prejudices against Germany. "Growing insignificance" since the "early 20th Century"? Come off it! 95% of all Germans absolutely and fully condemn the Nazi reign; if they miss anything at all it is the strategic and economic importance Germany had in the Cold War after the Wirtschaftwunder (when "Made in Germany" was still a label of quality). The remaining 5% are just some poor fucks who will never know better.

So please: Before you all start blathering about prejudices, get rid of your own ones. There is more than black and white, right and wrong and just because this diplomat is a jackass doesn't mean everything your government does in Guantanamo, Iraq and elsewhere in the world is right...right?

Yours sincerely,

An average German Bratwurst

@ Henning:

I think Henning has a point folks. Not everyone has been fair and civil towards Germany and Germans in their comments. Let's not bring the conversation down to the level of this diplomat.

But that said: Henning, in all fairness, I don't see how criticism of the outrageous comments of this diplomat equates to the uncritical 'black-and-white' acceptance of everything the US government does. In fact, we have clearly rejected that on this site. Could you explain that? I think you are unfairly accusing us of something we have never advocated.

And as far as having a black-and-white view of things goes, what do you think about THIS?

Yours truly,

A German-American Sauerdog

Dear Ray,

if you read my comment closely you might come to the conclusion that I only wrote about the comments in this blog entry. Of course you are right: The black/white thing does not apply to the blog's view on US-policy in general.

I apologize for that. I was just a bit upset about how the diplomat's way of thinking mirrored in the commnts.

Regards,

Henning

@ Henning:

No problem and no need to apologize. Sometimes people DO go too far in the comments section and I think you were right to point that out and I think it is good that someone reminds us. Then again, the people who comment on this site are probably not diplomats working in Germany. But again, I agree with you and I will say that over-the-top comments are not something we like to see here. Unfortunately, we cannot check every single comment, so sometimes bad comments are left around.

Thanks for visiting our site, comments like yours make us think and are welcome.

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