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I don't know if this comment about "explaining democracy to our American friends" is so much condescension as it is sarcasm. I read the original in German and I took it to be somewhat sarcastic, especially in light of the following paragraph:

Zum Schluss noch ein Zitat, ein klitzekleines aus dem Jahr 2000. Es stammt von Dieter Roth, dem Leiter der Forschungsgruppe Wahlen: "Und was den momentanen Stillstand in den USA angeht: Bei uns haben wir ja keine Direktwahl, sondern es werden Parteien gewählt – und wenn die einen Gleichstand haben, ist das kein Problem." Glückliches Deutschland.

@ JJfromBa

Now that I've looked it over again, I think it could be sarcasm. So I've just posted the first half of my work. I want to be fair.

The more false information fed into a people, the worse the decisions they will make. This costs a society at all levels, political, economic, and social. Eventually, those who educate themselves will have a competitive advantage over their less informed co-nationals. Savor it.

Oceania is at war with East Asia. Oceania has always been at war with East Asia. ......
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Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.
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"diminishing America as a moral force"

Katrina debacle, pervasive abuse of detainees, political leaders indicted:
I don't think we need the help of the German media...

Although it is true that the United States was the indispensable nation for German democracy during and after the Second World War,

During?

VIC

Don't you just hate the country you live in now.

Of course it will be so much better when you and the other moonbats take control.

Hope you have sent Air America you donation. They need all the help they can get.

@ Doug:

Yes, during. If the US hadn't fought the war, democracy would likely never have come about in the form that it did. So I think both fighting the war and sorting out the aftermath were critical to establishing German democracy.

@ Vic

Right, I guess when you only see the world from one point-of-view you don't really need the German media. You are already convinced!

Vic, "Katrina debacle, pervasive abuse of detainees, political leaders indicted". What the hell are you talking about? In the real world, weather happens. Always has and always will. Pervasive abuse of detainees? Are you talking taking pictures of panties on a prisoners head, or Saddam style institutionalized rape, torture and genocide, or are you talking slitting of guts and heads? Political leaders indicted? By whom and for what? Freeing 50 million people from genocidal tyrants? Get some perspective freak.

@Tom Penn - you might not have caught the evening's news, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted today for alleged campaign funding shennanigans. I don't much care for the guy, but something about the indictment stinks. I saw both him and the prosecutor grilled in separate press conferences, and my gut says the prosecutor is a guy who's trying to get away with something. Time will tell.

@RayD
Yes, during. If the US hadn't fought the war, democracy would likely never have come about in the form that it did. So I think both fighting the war and sorting out the aftermath were critical to establishing German democracy.

As written, it appeared to say that we were responsible for German democracy during the war. Of course, any democracy Germany might have had during the war was in no way owed to us, but I see what you meant now.

This kind of distortion is where Vic finds his "moral compass": http://www.zombietime.com/sf_rally_september_24_2005/anatomy_of_a_photograph/.

Fantom, tainted, staged, partial, meaningless, distorted... in other words, not the truth and not in any way "moral".

I'm no particular fan of Delay and I don't know what he's accused of (I'm sure Vic doesn't either), but I know and understand that whatever it is, even if true, would not compare to the moral crimes of Vic's default allies, Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Assad, the mad mullahs of Iran, Mugabe, the Franco dictators throughtout Africa, and all the other that he chooses not to organize under his selective, myopic, microscope, and those he chooses not to take a stand against.

I'm wondering if people who have been following the German media longer than the last five years can help me out here. Has the media always "belittled and diminished America as a moral force" or is this a recent developement? I live in Germany now, but during the late 80s and throughout the 90s I was only an infrequent visitor. I seem to recall that Germans (and I suppose the German media) were not too fond of Reagan (to say the least), but I don't recall them being overly critical of Bush Sr., and I certainly don't recall them having a problem with Clinton.

Given the bite in the comments directed against him, I presume Vic has a history on this site. Given his comment in this thread, however, I'm perplexed by the reaction it generated.

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath certainly didn't speak well for America - whether one is Democrat or Republican, partisan hack or independent moderate, Katrina was not our finest hour.

Pervasive abuse is a loaded term, but the evidence keeps building that abuse is extensive and therefore just may deserve to be called pervasive. Captain Ian Fishback (no moonbat from what I read) seems to be fighting for his career because he had the unmitigated temerity to point out abuse in the 82nd Airborne. Andrew Sullivan has commented extensively over the past few days on the Fishback situation (and I mention Sullivan since he, displayed prominently as an endorser for Medienkritik, presumably has some stature in the eyes of this site's authors).

Tom DeLay is clearly not any ole generic politician, but (one of) the most partisan and powerful Republicans in Washington. Just as clearly, he's been indicted. No, 'indicted' is not 'convicted', but the resounding message from an indictment certainly doesn't speak well for a prominent feature of our political landscape.

All of which brings me to my point. Ray D. noted above the 'success of the American model', presumably a model for at least Germany if not the rest of the world to aspire to. (My interpretation of Ray D's intent, obviously, so please correct me if I'm wrong.) It's a point of view that I subscribe to, incidentally. But subscribing to it doesn't mean ignoring the fact that the American model isn't perfect. Ray D. himself has pointed out numerous times that this blog does not ignore America's warts. Otherwise, this site would succumb to exactly the same kind of biased viewpoint that's the genesis of its beef with the German media.

So why the vitriol directed at Vic for merely pointing out a few things that every reality-based American would admit are faults ?

Cheers,

@ Tom Penn

". . . Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States ?"

Capt. Ian Fishback, in a letter addressed to Sen. John McCain.

That sums up quite concisely my view on your snipe at Vic and his 'default allies'.

Cheers,

@ Rofe,

Obviously I don't think America is perfect. But I'm not going to mistake the blemishes for the overall picture or engage in moral relativism.

@ Ray D.

I've certainly read enough of your posts by now that I wouldn't expect you to mistake the blemishes for the overall picture. And I see how often the German media takes the blemishes and trys to portray them as the overall picture. That bit of dishonesty drives me batty and it drives your blog.

I dunno, maybe you have a beef with Vic and that explains your answer to him. But it seems to me he makes a valid point. America should have responded better to Katrina. America should not torture or abuse prisoners or condone the practice. America should root out corrupt politics, be it at the level of the House Majority Leader or a Texas prosecutor. Perhaps I'm naive, but I don't even think there's anything controversial in those views.

The cases he mentions risk diminishing our standing, and the latter two risk diminishing our moral standing. It depends on how we respond to them.

Attacking the messenger won't do.

Cheers,

So why the vitriol directed at Vic for merely pointing out a few things that every reality-based American would admit are faults ?

Well Rofe, you’ve pretty much answered your own question in the first paragraph: „I presume Vic has a history on this site.“ I don’t think you would get much argument here if you were to classify Vic as a moonbat. In my opinion, the vast majority of argument here are reality-based. Occaisionally, a troll disrupts well thought argument.

As far as Cpt Fishback is concerned, I have not yet had the chance to do much research on the topic. However, when I do do the research, I will be just as sceptical of the facts regardless of who Cpt Fishback is. In my eyes, his rank does not automatically earn him credibility.

Yeah, we had Abu Ghraib, and there were crimes committed; however, we also had a media blowing this story WAY out of proportion. The military was conducting investigations months before the media got involved. Now we’ve seen people responsible for their acts, being prosecuted and doing the time. I would bet you that Vic would say that this would not have happened had not the MSM gotten involved. He doesn’t need any support for his accusations—it’s simply the truth (in his mind).

Hurricane Katrina and it’s aftermath is a similar case. Overblown reports of death, disaster, racism, violence, murder, rape, etc.... (Not to say everything was running smooth—what does after a catastrophe of this proportion). Where was perspective from our professional (ehem) journalists? It became a Bush-bash, and still is.

The Delay case, according to initial analysis (that’s right—I’m a talk-radio and blog freak and not ashamed to admit it. As an American living in Germany, where else can I get my info?), has many questions as to the validity of the indictment. It seems the prosecutor has a history of being a political hack. I don’t want to go into detail because we’re off-topic.

I’ll get to the point. Vic has a default position. He doesn’t need research of facts, because he already knows that Bush and America are evil. Why should we waste our time educating the convinced?

Rofe,

The problem I have is defining what is “Pervasive abuse”

Unless you are very naive what the good Captain has described would be hard pressed to be defined as abuse.

“Fishback maintains that he witnessed detainees being stripped, deprived of sleep and exposed to the elements at the behest of Army intelligence officers, who wanted the prisoners softened up for interrogation.”

People who want to use this term tend view the terrorists more like they have committed some misdemeanor such as shoplifting rather than they are killing innocent people and are some how complying with the rules of war. This is why they are outside of the protection of the Geneva Convention.

CPT Fishback was in Special Ops training at Fort Bragg when he started this campaign of trying to define for himself what pervasive abuse is and what it is not. Should he return to this course and get assigned to an A Team he will discover when he takes Advanced Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (ASERE) training what he has witnessed will have been mild in comparison as to what he will endure. This might go a long way in helping him define what abuse actually is and is not.

VIC is following what has become the standard template of the Left and their allies in M$M which depicts the US military as either being incompetently lead or as war criminals. In fact, this template goes to the point of making America the source of all evil in the world.

Rofe, since you have found time to read so much about CPT Fishback I hope you also find time to read about Ronnie Earle.

Here is a link to get you started.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007330

As to whether the Germans chose to follow the “American model” or not is something they will have to determine. I for one do not think there is an American model.

But if the Germans do follow a model, then let it be the one the french think so highly of. I am sure it will solve any current and future problems Germany might have just as it is doing for the french now.

Finally let me very clear on one point if crimes have been committed then those who have committed them should be punished. BUT just because moonbats say a crime has been committed does not make it so.


@joe

Where is that Fishback quote from? Here's what I found:

In a Sept. 16 letter to the senators, Captain Fishback, wrote, "Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees. I am certain that this confusion contributed to a wide range of abuses including death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment."
(http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/24/politics/24abuse.html)

Now, I was for the Iraq war, but I'd be hard pressed to come up with any other term for this than "abuse".

Germans are good at rewriting history. If you've visited Dachau over the years, you'll have noticed that the photos and artifacts have become less gruesome over time. Given enough time, Dachau will be known as a pretty work camp for unfortunates back in the 1940s.

It's the symbols that are being erased.

It doesn't matter if Germans remember history. Americans will remember. Auf Wiedersehen, Deutschland.

Aufbau macht frei.

You loons can't be serious about Germans forgetting about the role of America in WWII. In fact, Germans receive education on the subject almost every night in German TV. Why, just a few minutes ago I had the pleasure of watching something called "Kronzuckers Welt" on N24. It appears to be a kind of documentary series, with tonight's show titled "Little Boy - Die Geschichte der Hiroshima-Bombe".

After telling his viewers that it is still controversial as to whether the Americans dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima just because they had one and wanted to see what would happen, Mr. Kronzucker followed up with this classic line: "Dagegen gibt es keinen Zweifel, dass der Abwurf der zweiten Atombombe auf Nagaskai ein willkürlicher Akt war."

That's right people. Germans are getting a comprehensive education about the role of the U.S. in WWII. This sort of education used to be called the "Big Lie" or "Nazi propaganda", but is now called a documentary film.

The show will be repeated on N24 later tonight for anyone who wants to get sick to his stomach.

@ Rofe

"And I see how often the German media takes the blemishes and trys to portray them as the overall picture."

That is really the main point and we are in complete agreement on that. The rest is window dressing. Of course the US could have done X,Y and Z better. I totally agree that the US is far from perfect. Then again, the German and French governments could have handled the 2003 heat wave (in which thousands died) a lot better and also could have done many things better.

The key is to look at it all from a reasonable perspective and not from a negatively biased perspective as so much of the German media does. That is why we have such a resonance with people of all political views, because people of all political views readily recognize the major problems associated with that media bias and the dramatic impact it is having on transatlantic understanding.

vic:

If Katrina, a storm of a size that would have covered the entirety of France is a "debacle", with under 600 deaths, how did you describe the over 30,000 deaths in Europe from a heat wave? Or, did that ever come up in your conversations? The overall response of Europe's governments was essentially the Monty Python routine, "Bring out the dead!". Since 'debacle' is already in use for a matter far less deadly I can't wait to hear how you described massive losses in Europe due to a hot summer.

I recall Amnesty International describing Guantanamo as the "new gulag". You know, gulag, as in those tidy areas in the former USSR in which millions were sent to their deaths. Of course, no one has died at Guantanamo but, to some people, they're pretty much the same, yes?
Admittedly, there have been crimes committed in Iraq, by American soldiers. Those crimes were discovered by the US military, investigated by same, and prosecuted by same. So, after rejoining with East Germany, how many bloody Stasi officials and murdering border guards has Germany prosecuted?

And those "indicted" politicians? Just how far back in German history would one have to travel to find a government that failed because it was rife with corruption? Go ahead, test your memory. Then tell us who in Bush's administration has been actually proven guilty of misfeasance/malfeasance.

Recall the name 'Newt Gingrich'? While he was in the House of Representatives the Democratic party brought over TWO THOUSAND charges of ethics violations. Try to guess how many were shown to be true/accurate, go ahead...... TWO. What was he found guilty of, you ask? Why, he accepted fees for teaching college courses while he was in office. Truly vile! But, it was enough to tie him up for years in office.

Should the charges against Delay turn out to be baseless (as they apparently are, as brought by known partisan and Democrat who fails to actually delineate what Delay is accused of doing) I doubt you'll be here with a mea culpa for being gullible. I'm not a Delay partisan. I just despise political gamesmanship that undermines the law with frivolous attacks for partisan gains.

I might be concerned that you'd accuse me of glossing over real abuses or such, but, with that mote in your eye, I doubt you'll ever see this post.

Regards, Tom H.

The MSM has been busy today retracting stories that it wrote about New Orleans last month.

First, the death toll for all of Louisiana, not just New Orleans, is now over 800. Far from the tens of thousands that Mayor Nagin predicted.

Second, the rapes and the murders at the Superdome.....Never happened! One Journalist wrote his story in the first person, giving the impression that he witnessed these acts himself. Today, he was retracting his story. He explained his inaccuracies by revealing that he received his information 3rd hand from National Guard troops and that he was never on the premises of the Superdome himself. (Sounds like a good candidate to work at Spiegel!) This does not mean that there were not other lawless acts committed during the aftermath of the hurricane.

Third, there was a famous television interview with a crying middle-aged man who was grieving over his mother who drowned at an old age home in Louisiana. He claimed that he talked to his mother until Thursday on her cell phone. She repeatedly asked when was "George Bush" coming to rescue her.

It is now known that this gentleman is a parish (kreis) supervisor and is an activist in the democratic party. His mother did indeed drown at the old age home....but she died on Monday, the day of the floods! There was nothing that neither state or federal rescuers could have done to save her. Imagine using the death of your own mother as a political tool to damage the President of the United States. (His crying interview was carried by CNN to an international audience. I am afraid he did succeed.)

Fourth, Rita proved that FEMA evacuation plans were not perfect. Texas was better prepared than Louisiana. Although nobody in Texas died because of a mayor or governors incompetence, there was a major traffic jam exiting Houston and supplies to affected areas were spotty. Both storms were major events on the planet and no nation on earth could have withstood their onslaught.

About Tom Delay....Judge Politano, a former Federal judge who comments for Fox, noted that the indictment was light on facts. The prosecutor who has indicted Delay is from Travis County, Texas. He is neither a federal or state prosecutor but a county prosecutor. This would be analogous to the Staatsanwalt from Kreis Rothenberg, Hessen to indict Joschka Fischer for his role in the Vienna Opec Meeting kidnaping.

I hope some of you actually see the template being used by the Left and their M$M allies. It is the same one used in most of Europe when it comes to the US.

As of a few hours ago the total deaths from Katrina are one tenth (1/10) or ten percent of those france experienced in August 2003.

The coverage given these two events has been like night and day both in the US and in Europe. Both the tone and the amount of coverage given the french makes those deaths appear almost as a non-event.

You see the same type of coverage here in the WashPo, NYT, LAT, and major broadcast news, CNN etc. It is as if somehow the US is at fault. It does not matter what topic it is unless it is a pet rock of the Left the stories are the same.

Flux,

This is what CPT Fishback has actually stated publicly. This is what he has witnessed. The rest is speculation on his part or based on hearsay or at least it would appear to be so at this point. It is also the point of view of those who want it to be true.

If you read your link again all the things you posted have NOT been said by him. I would suggest you look at the source again. This is part of the standard template being used today. In this case the US military are a bunch of criminals.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-abuse25sep25,0,4578648.story?coll=la-home-world

If you chose to believe this, then you are equally prepared to believe anything, which is thrown out by the left.

This letter with the charges made could have been written by anyone. Either you or I could have written it for that matter. An if one was to look hard enough and long enough I am sure somewhere at least one incident could be found to support each of the points made by CPT Fishback.

It is unfortunate; CPT Fishback has become a darling of the Left. I do not think he intented this but that is what he now is. If anything it shows he is naïve.

Have been where CPT Fishback has been and been where he wants to go with his military career; I would not personally want to serve with him or to have him in my command. Surely not as an A Team Commander operating independently. He is the type of officer who jeopardizes both mission accomplishment and his men.

This assessment has nothing to with this incident or his personal sense of morality but his own display of naivety and maturity.

Today a roadside bomb killed 5 US Marines. This possibly could have been prevented if there was real time tactical intelligence. It is obvious none was available. Where does real time tactical intelligence come from? It comes from hostile combatants within the first 72 hours of their capture. What CPT Fishback does not address or does not want to address is how do you obtain this intelligence. He has no answers. Just as no one on the Left has any answers. In fact, the Left has little regard for the lives of American soliders so for them it is not even something to be considered.

So here are your choices. Do you engage in beatings, exposure to extremes of hot and cold, stacking in human pyramids, sleep deprivation, forced holding of five-gallon water jugs with arms outstretched or do jumping jacks until they passed out with the idea of obtaining information. In other words,do you stress these people both mental and physically?

Or do you just ask nicely for information and then send them off for tea and a shower?

Unfortunately those are real life questions that have to be answered. They are not topics of debate or discussion. How they are answered in many cases do have real life implications.

The Left both in the US and in Europe want to place these terrorists under the protection of the Geneva Convention, which they are not entitled to. Do not think for one minute the Left actually cares about the terrorists. What the Left is concerned about is a free and democratic Iraq.

The Left be they in the US or in Europe hope for nothing more than the defeat of America.


Below is a post by our moonbat friend VIC from 10 September

Pew Poll:"Bush's overall job approval rating has slipped to 40% and his disapproval rating has climbed to 52%, among the highest for his presidency. Uncharacteristically, the president's ratings have slipped the most among his core constituents Republicans and conservatives."
Heh: Most memorable quote from the last week:"Brownie, you're doin' a heck of a job." Where is he now?

Since VIC is such an avid watcher of polls I am wondering how long it is before he informs us of the news numbers contained in this link:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/29/bush.poll/index.html

Then again we just not might hear from VIC as this does not fit his view of the world.


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