« Germany's Foreign Office: No Mention of Hamas | Main | "No" to "Paradise Now" »

Comments

The exact mirror image of this poster would have shown an Iraqi mass grave and been labeled "Had Schroeder had his way, Saddam's grave diggers would still be busy". Such a poster is, in a civilized election, out of bounds. Eventually, foul blows from one side are always replied to in kind by the other. There is plenty of material out there.

The US State Department get upset about this? No it would never happen. The Employees of the US State Department are closer in thinking to Rolf Schwanitz than to the citizens of the US. If it was left to the US State Department Employees we would still be lecturing Saddam for invading Kuwait. They would heartly endorse this poster.

Looks like your boy Gedmin is about to get a huge promotion for his neoconservative orthodoxy. Insider Steve Clemons reports.

What could the US government possibly say about this? In public at least? Germany remains an ally officially although Schroeder and the SPD are doing their best to end this alliance at heart if not officially.

The German people seem to want to end the alliance. And sooner or later it will happen.

So be it.....

Mr. Schwanitz also wrote me back in a slightly different version.

Sehr geehrter Herr Wanchik,

Ihr kritisches Mail zu meinem Plakat habe ich erhalten. Das Plakat
thematisiert die politische Auseinandersetzung in Deutschland über die
Frage einer militärischen Beteiligung deutscher Soldaten am Krieg im
Irak. Die schrecklichen Folgen dieses Krieges werden dabei eindeutig
angesprochen. Sollten Sie sich als Amerikaner durch das dargestellte
Motiv verletzt fühlen, so bedaure ich das. Dies lag nicht in meiner
Absicht. Von der Richtigkeit des deutschen Nein zum Irak-Krieg bin und
bleibe ich jedoch überzeugt.

Rolf Schwanitz

I have no problem with the "deutschen Nein" to the Iraq war. Schwanitz is still defending the poster. He's dead wrong, and I think he knows it. Time to take this to a higher level.

"Nothing should be made to look better than it is." Doesn't that sort of imply that nothing should be made to look worse than it is also?

I don't say this to offend anybody, but when I saw Mr. Gedmin for the first time on the Christiansen talk show I thought that guy must be either gay or an eunuch.
It's his high voice and his girlie smile I think, but even Guido Westerwelle and the gay major of Berlin Wowereit seem to be more manly than Jeffrey. He also looks a bit french.
Ambassador Timken might not speak German, but he was a successful buisness man and looks like a real guy. He deserves some respect.
Gedmin was a musician, who studied for some time in the communist GDR and wikipedia http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Gedmin says he was known as a left winger at that time and later turned into an Anti-communist. Most likely in 1990 like all the other ex commies.
I don't trust former communists, that's also a reason I don't like Angela Merkel.

Has anyone ever considered that maybe Germany and to some extent the rest of Europe is being written off.

Yes Germany is called an ally on both sides of the Atlantic but is it really? And just what does that mean?

Of course with the challenges, which face the West, more could be done if Germany were an ally of the US. More could be done as partners rather than separately. But it would appear neither the political class nor the citizens of Germany view this as very important. Many in Germany do not even view this as desirable.

So while some in the US might view an alliance with Germany important, Germans have made it impossible for it to survive. The Germans do not want it to survive. So why should America waste time trying to defend and build a relationship which is deemed unimportant by one side.

Dave and Ray agreed with what Julian Knapp wrote in the Washington Times. I for one did not. I did not because Knapp made it sound as if both the cause and the solution of the current condition of US German relations was somehow America’s fault. It is not.

It is not the responsibility of the US to explain its policies to the citizens of another nation. The US did not convince the citizens of its allies of its policies but it did convince their leaders. Their leaders in turn addressed the concerns of their own citizens. These leaders made difficult decisions and in many cases decisions which were unpopular. But that is what leadership is really all about. It is about making difficult decisions in the most difficult of times.

So if anything the current status of US German relations is more of a lack of leadership by the German elites and political class. This lack of leadership in Germany is on display daily for those who want to see it. For those who do not want to see it, then that goes along way in explaining the election results, the continued decline in Germany and the current status of US German relations.

This too follows what has become almost the “norm” for Germans. They want something but only on their terms and at no cost to them. They want reforms but only if those reforms do not effect them. They want job creation but do not want to invest in the creation of those jobs. They want security but they do not want to spend the treasure to be secure. They want to be allies but in name only.

So it really is time for the US to withdraw it forces from Germany and to move on. It would serve both nations. The US then could align herself with those nations which it shares a common view of the realities of the world. In fact, the US is already doing this. The Germans don’t see that either.

@Johannes Thust
1. Gedmin shouldn't be judged by his appearance. Attack his publications...
2. We are a people of nearly 80 million individuals, one of the biggest economical powers worldwide, and I say it's a shame that the US ambassador doesn't speak german! Why should he deserve any respect?
3. "I don't like Angela Merkel." What's your proposal?

@ joe

You write:

"It is not the responsibility of the US to explain its policies to the citizens of another nation."

I respectfully disagree. Right now, US taxpayers are paying to send people over to Germany to practice "public diplomacy". In fact it is the explicit job of certain people attached to the US Mission in Germany to do just that: Explain US policies to the citizens of Germany. I have met people who have had that job in the past. It seems to me they have a bureaucratic mentality that one shouldn't "rock the boat". I think America and Germany both deserve better!

There are people in the US government as well as in most private organizations whose job is one of public relations. Public relations in its most simplest form is to present the organization’s side of the story.

It still does not make it the responsibility of the US to convince Germans that the US position is either correct or incorrect. That responsibility lies with the leaders of Germany.

This is equally so of Germans explaining there positions to Americans. Fortunately, for the German government, American leaders have chosen not to explain the German position to the American people.

As to rocking the boat or not rocking the boat, I really do not have an opinion on that other than while I find this display of Americans to be distasteful it is not my problem or for that matter a problem for America. It is a problem for the Germans.

In fact, if anything it should tell all Americans more about whom the Germans really are. I say this because for this to be even considered much less done, is more telling about the character of Germans more than any words or ads the German government will ever produce. How used shows a total disrespect for both the living and the dead.

But it is obvious this was perfectly acceptable to more Germans than you would either like to believe or admit.

So you somehow think this is America’s problem. I do not. For Germans to think it is America’s problem is not at all surprising. Germans lack both the acceptance of either accountability or responsibility

So once again America is responsible. I for one find this to be tiring as well as old and have long since become indifferent to what Germans chose to think or not think.

joe - "Has anyone ever considered that maybe Germany and to some extent the rest of Europe is being written off."

I trust that the US will not write off even an hangoverish Germany, because an Islamic Europe would be a major blow to the US objective to defend Israel and establish democracy in Iraq. If we were the only stakeholders in our future then the underlying calculus might be a bit different. But the transatlantic relationship is of such an intertwined nature that it is practically impossible to cut some threads and keep
some others. Either the whole rope is cut, or not.

The current problem is, whenever the inverted-reality Germany is dealing with our thread of the transatlantic relationship it is because the post-war generation had to prove something to ourselves. Having this country reinvent itself will take its time (time in which I hope no nuclear war in the Middle East rocks our boat), what could be done immediately however is that the negative side-effects of the navel-gazing on the other transatlantic threads could be stopped.

Mr. Schwanitz is a good example at this point. The purpose of his stance on the regime change in Iraq is to prove that Germany now has become peaceful. As a result of their ignorance of Iraq, Red-Green looked out for another candidate to become the beacon of democracy in West Asia. This is why Turkey's EU accession talks are being exploited to cast that country into a role it can't fullfill. The democratization of Turkey is more likely to be inspired from Iraq than the other way round, just compare how both nations came to terms with their roles in the Kurdish resp. Armenian jihad.

FranzisM

The Islamization of Europe is not something the US can prevent. It is once again something the Europeans are going to have to do for themselves. It is totally how they chose to deal with a situation they have allowed to transpire with their own internal policies.

As for keeping some relationships and voiding others, this is not hard to do. All you have to think of is America’s relationship with either China or Russia. For the most part it consists of one of trade and working together in limited areas where common interest lie. Neither of these two nations I would think a sane person would consider allies of the US.

Therefore it is very possible to have the same relationship with france, Germany and the other members of the chocolate summit.

And do not under estimate Americans. Americans deal with what most Europeans consider impossible as a matter of routine.

I am not sure what you mean with your statement of the current generation having to prove something to themselves.

Put another way, just what has this post war generation proven and what has it accomplished?

I do not share your interruption of the actions of Mr. Schwanitz. If anything it shows just how different Germans and Americans are. It might say something to Germans but just what does it say. What does it reflect about the morality and the valves the German hold or have?

Turkey already is a democracy. What Turkey is not is a mirror of the values the Europeans hold in such high regard. If it were not so important to the long term stability of the Middle East, I could see many good points why it would be best for the Turks not to become members of the EU.


@FranzisM: "... because an Islamic Europe would be a major blow to the US objective to defend Israel and establish democracy in Iraq."

You have a weird sense of priorities. An Islamic Europe would be a major blow to Europe. Israel and a democratic Iraq would be flea bites in comparison.

"I trust that the US will not write off even an hangoverish Germany, because an Islamic Europe would be a major blow "

I would hope that the US will not have to write off Germany. Not because an 'Islamic Europe' is that much to be feared or is even likely, but because the friendship is a long one and 'writing off' Germany would probably require ending the NATO alliance - not a step to be taken lightly.

"the transatlantic relationship is of such an intertwined nature that it is practically impossible to cut some threads and keep some others. Either the whole rope is cut, or not."

I'm not sure I disagree with this, but I would add that it is my strong perception that the current German government and the generation now leading German politics, journalism, and even diplomacy are sawing away at those threads with all their energy. Using a poster of dead US soldiers for partisan political pusposes (as Herr Schwanitz did) just cut more of those threads.....

Germany wants the US as a friend only in times when it needs support and help that are beyond Germany's own capabilities. In times of (relative) peace and prosperity (albeit gradually dwindling), Germany has no need for the US as a friend.

On top of the existing anti-Americanism (or strong dislike of many things american), the US also have a "polarizing" President. Double insult. The poster with the fallen US soldiers is not only an indirect attack on Bush's policies, but also an attack on American sensibilities. There could have been other ways of attacking Bush and his decisions, but the poster is more than that. The anti-Americanism resurfaces in the poster, disguised as Merkel criticism.

People who find posters like this to be legitimate are abject human beings who are best avoided. America's ties with Germany shouldn't be severed, but they should be reduced as much as possible. It is more then obvious that a large part of the German political spectrum is rather coldly disposed towards the US. It is also obvious that an even larger part of the German population is very ill informed and therefore very easy manipulated when it comes to judging the US.

Jeff Gedmin does indeed a great job in Germany, but you can't force anyone to be your friend. Germany and most Germans don't want to be America's friends right now. I'm not saying that Gedmin, or Medienkritik for that matter should give up. No! Just to be aware that fighting the anti-American inertia in today's German society is a battle against windmills. Neverthelss this battle must be fought.

Better times will come for sure, eventually, but only when cooler heads prevail in Germany. Until then the US should disengage and maintain only vital relationships. Other than that, see you after the hangover, whenever that might be.

Yes it would probably be the end of NATO. Given what NATO is today and what NATO does this might not necessarily be a bad thing. NATO was established to accomplish one mission. That mission was the protection of Western Europe. That mission has been accomplished. Today NATO is an organization without a real mission. The current NATO members cannot agree on what missions should be undertaken. So what we see NATO doing is peacekeeping operations. NATO is no longer a combat capable organization.

This would free the US as well as members of the chocolate summit from the current alliances which have been formed as a result of the Cold War. It would allow those nations which hold the same views as france and Germany the ability to develop there own defense force independent of the US. This has been a long term goal of the french and has been aggressively supported by the Germans and is a common view held within by the EU elites.

Such an ending would also allow the US to enter into defense treaties with those nations, which share a common view of what the threats are in today’s world. For some nations in Europe this might create both difficult choices and decisions.

The problems this would cause for the US would be one of basing and use of air space. I am sure there are nations both in Western Europe, Central Europe and East Europe who would be more than willing to allow for the basing of US forces as well as use of air space and seaports when this would be combined with a bilateral common defense agreement.


Speaking as an American, FranzM is correct. We may loose Europe to the anti-American contingent but that will only make things worse for us. Think about it, Russia is a weak partner if it is a partner at all. China has a relationship with us until it suits their purpose to break it. South America is slowly turning away from us with animosity in Brazil and Venezuela. We already know where Islam stands in our world view. We need to keep as many on our side as possible, if we can't then we need to get bigger than we are now. We should reconsider throwing friendships away. I speak of us on a personal level.

Hi -

I've been trying to let this go and simply put it down to some poor fool in an office doing something stupid.

But I can't.

I've posted a letter to Schwanitz on my web site:

http://21stcenturyschizoidman.blogspot.com/2005/10/letter-to-schwanitz.html

Maybe he'll reply, maybe not.

I just can't let this go.

John

Some engagements with friends of our enemies facilitate dangerous technological and strategic transfer. For example, during the pre-Iraq UN "debate" these privileged "friends" used "friendly" information to activly work on behalf of our enemies, who turned out to be they're real friends. Saying someone is a friend does not make it true.

Trusting untrustworthy "friends" puts American lives, interests, and our real friends in mortal danger. Americans should stop calling enemies "friens, and instead strengthen our relationships with true friends, of which their are many around the wider world who have stood by our side, and who do not collaborate with our enemies.

Turns out Condi Rice made a great speech today and said it much better than I:

http://rightthinkingpeople.blogspot.com/2005/10/condi.html

I too sent a comment to Mr. Schwanitz's website. Here is the response that i received a few days later. Differs somewhat from the one posted at the beginning of this thread:

German

From: Rolf Schwanitz
Organization: Deutscher Bundestag
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 15:58:52 +0200
To:
Subject: Re: kontaktformular

Sehr geehrter Herr Pettengill,
>
Ihr kritisches Mail zu meinem Plakat habe ich erhalten. Das Plakat
thematisiert die politische Auseinandersetzung in Deutschland über die
Frage einer militärischen Beteiligung deutscher Soldaten am Krieg im
Irak. Die schrecklichen Folgen dieses Krieges werden dabei eindeutig
angesprochen. Sollten Sie sich als Amerikaner durch das dargestellte
Motiv verletzt fühlen, so bedaure ich das. Dies lag nicht in meiner
Absicht. Von der Richtigkeit des deutschen Nein zum Irak-Krieg bin und
bleibe ich jedoch überzeugt.

Rolf Schwanitz --
------------------------------
http://www.rolf-schwanitz.de/
------------------------------
Rolf Schwanitz MdB
Platz der Republik 1
11011 Berlin
Tel: (030) 22777937
Fax: (030) 22776937
------------------------------

A german friend gave me a translation:

I received your critical mail to my poster. The poster is subject matter of
the political debate about the possible participation of German soldiers in
Irak. The horrible results of the war are clearly addressed. I regret it if
you are offended as an American through this theme/motif.This was not in my
intention. However, I was and still believe that the German "NO" to the Irak
war was correct/right/just.

Ron, as a German his poster is highly offensive to me and to most Germans.
He is an idiot and just an insult.
i wonder if he would be alive today if US had not participated in
WW2...cause that would be the case if the Americans had his opinion then.

Notice my friend's comments at the end of his traslation.

"We may loose Europe to the anti-American contingent"

I think that 'we' have already lost much of Europe in this sense. Case closed. The price of keeping 'Europes' approval is to accept European control over the US economy (Kyoto) and over US defenes (UN and ICC treaty), and that price is way too high for the dubious benefits on offer.

"Russia is a weak partner <....> China has a relationship with us until it suits their purpose to break it."

Why do we need a partner? For what purpose? A policy of 'splendid isolation' served the US very well until Germany got out of hand in 1914. Germany is no longer a problem as it is well-embedded in the EU. China is a possible threat I will grant you - but only a possible threat at this point. China is not expansionist except economically.

"South America is slowly turning away from us with animosity in Brazil and Venezuela."

Balls. Latin America is far friendlier to US interests than during the 60's and 70's. Brazil is cooly friendly, as is Argentina. Chile is friendly, and Mexico reasonably so (though that may change). Venezuela is hostile - we should be concerned?

"We need to keep as many on our side as possible, if we can't then we need to get bigger than we are now."

We need friends, but the price of friendship should be considered also. Right now the price of close friendship (as opposed to the current cool friendship) with France and Germany is way too high. Getting bigger? Only in the economic sense I think. We aren't going to annex parts of Canada or Mexico anytime soon, though if Canada splinters I could see some of the Canadian Maritime provinces petitioning to join the US as states. Unlikely at best. We might expand NAFTA to include more of Latin America if they wish to join.

China is the wild card. As I noted they aren't expansionist right now. If this changes I think there will be no shortage of potential allies beginning with Japan,India, and Russia. But no need to anticipate trouble and overpay to maintain alliances which will be of little use in restraining China in any case - should that prove necessary.

Posted by: joe | October 01, 2005 at 01:38 PM

> Has anyone ever considered that maybe Germany and to some extent the
> rest of Europe is being written off.

Possibly. That wouldn't really be a very good idea, but given Rumsfeld's quip, I guess that the thought will appeal to the current government.

>Yes Germany is called an ally on both sides of the Atlantic but is it
>really? And just what does that mean?

Well, there is such a thing as the NATO treaty which lays out the responsibilites of the relationship pretty well. Pacta sunt servanda, I guess.

>Of course with the challenges, which face the West, more could be
>done if Germany were an ally of the US. More could be done as partners
>rather than separately. But it would appear neither the political
>class nor the citizens of Germany view this as very important. Many
>in Germany do not even view this as desirable.

The track record of the current USAian government is not too good, now is it? You don't lie to allies. You don't order them around. You don't exactly start a war under false pretenses. You don't let "stuff happen", when you occupy another country. You don't befoul your own moral agenda wrt. to human righta.

All of this has been acknowledged as having happened by US government officials of this same government, up to the cabinet level. The US government comes over like a mafia don mubling about "due respect".

>So while some in the US might view an alliance with Germany
>important, Germans have made it impossible for it to survive.
>The Germans do not want it to survive. So why should America
>waste time trying to defend and build a relationship which is
>deemed unimportant by one side.

It depends on what type of relationship is envisaged by the US. The impression is a liege-vassal Kadavergehorsam, no questions asked, no criticism. If that's your game plan, as Mr.Goldwyn so nicely put it, Thanks, but no thanks.

Germany on the whole sees the US-German relationship as important. But not unquestioningly so.

>Dave and Ray agreed with what Julian Knapp wrote in the Washington
>Times. I for one did not. I did not because Knapp made it sound as
>if both the cause and the solution of the current condition of US
>German relations was somehow America’s fault. It is not.

This position is of course your privilege. However, I'd submit that the whole of Iraq war including the current mess, Abu Gureib and Guantanamo are one protracted, drawn out PR mess. You seem to assume that it would be Germany's duty to convince itself that that PR mess was just a little blip. It is not. The USA have lost any moral high ground. It would have behooved the US to counteract that a bit more cleverly.

>It is not the responsibility of the US to explain its policies
>to the citizens of another nation. The US did not convince the
>citizens of its allies of its policies but it did convince
>their leaders. Their leaders in turn addressed the concerns of
>their own citizens. These leaders made difficult decisions and
>in many cases decisions which were unpopular. But that is what
>leadership is really all about. It is about making difficult
>decisions in the most difficult of times.

Ah, yes the "coalition of the billing" [sic]. Which is crumbling around their leaders...

Very well, the US did not sufficiently convince the German leaders. "I'm sorry, Mr. Secretary, I'm not convinced!" And neither am I.

>So if anything the current status of US German relations is
>more of a lack of leadership by the German elites and political
>class. This lack of leadership in Germany is on display daily
>for those who want to see it. For those who do not want to
>see it, then that goes along way in explaining the election
>results, the continued decline in Germany and the current
>status of US German relations.

So the leaders should have gone against the palpable will of the people? You seem to assume that democracy and policical accountability is something only for the US?

See it as you want. And if you are really upset, well, just petition your congress critter to pester the president to turn Germany into a glass factory. It won't matter, one way or another.

Jörg

The track record of the current USAian government is not too good, now is it? You don't lie to allies. You don't order them around. You don't exactly start a war under false pretenses. You don't let "stuff happen", when you occupy another country. You don't befoul your own moral agenda wrt. to human righta.

All of this has been acknowledged as having happened by US government officials of this same government, up to the cabinet level. The US government comes over like a mafia don mubling about "due respect".

This position is of course your privilege. However, I'd submit that the whole of Iraq war including the current mess, Abu Gureib and Guantanamo are one protracted, drawn out PR mess. You seem to assume that it would be Germany's duty to convince itself that that PR mess was just a little blip. It is not. The USA have lost any moral high ground. It would have behooved the US to counteract that a bit more cleverly.

@Jörg
Before I waste my time picking these comments apart, please try to answer a few questions honestly.

Are you even open to well supported arguments that may convince you to go against your current beliefs--or at least to put them in doubt?

Have you viewed several of the examples of German media propaganda here at Medienkritik? If so, what do you think about the information you're getting from your media? If not, do you view ANY alternative media that contradicts your MSM? Are you even interested?

You see, I want to know if I'd be wasting my time. I've debated with too many people over the last few years on the very presumptions you've raised. It didn't matter what solid support for my arguments I had, these people were already convinced. Are you?

If so, as you've pointed out,"This position is of course your privilege."

I have a question for David and Ray also. Do you guys feel that you are making any progress with people like Jörg? I mean, I'm sure he means well, and I'm not here to say that the current Washington administration is perfect. But, I guess it's the Jörgs of Germany (I'm guessing he's German) that were dealing with.

Sorry about being so negative today. Maybe it's the gray skies today in Hanau, Germany.

@ James W.

You ask:

"I have a question for David and Ray also. Do you guys feel that you are making any progress with people like Jörg? I mean, I'm sure he means well, and I'm not here to say that the current Washington administration is perfect. But, I guess it's the Jörgs of Germany (I'm guessing he's German) that were dealing with."

Well, I can tell you from my own experience. When I first encountered this website in September 2003 (just a few weeks after David founded it) I thought I was the "only one" who felt the way that I did about the German media and people like Jörg with their attitudes. Davids website proved that I wasn't the "only one" and I determined to help build it in any way I could. Since that day our audience has grown enormously and we have received many an email from others who thought they were the "only one".

But I guess if you wan to know: Will this site fundamentally change attitudes in Germany tomorrow? Will we reach all of the Jörgs out there? The obvious answer is "NO." But these are the first important and vital steps on a long and necessary journey. You can decide to embark on that journey with us or just stay at home beneath the cloudy skies. I would rather try my best and fail than fail to try. In a way it is motivating to be the underdog. So here I am everyday with my friends.

Believe me, I know how that German weather can get you down, but this site and my work here always made me feel better knowing I was reaching others.

---Ray D.

@ Jörg

I invite you to take a close look at our website and its archives.

---Ray D.

Thanks Ray.

Sometimes a person just needs another perspective.

I'm with ya. :)

Posted by: RayD | October 02, 2005 at 04:30 PM

>@ Jörg

>I invite you to take a close look at our website and its archives.

I've browsed your offerings. To what end, pray tell? Methinks I know thy errand, but do explain what it would profit me?

Jörg

I've browsed your offerings. To what end, pray tell? Methinks I know thy errand, but do explain what it would profit me?

@Jörg
If you understand the purpose of DMK, it may just show you that you cannot trust the media for reliable information that, it seems to me, you've built your world view on. How does it profit you to see the world, in my opinion, in a truer light? I don't know. Maybe, it would make you wish that you would have just kept the blinders on.

Posted by: James W. | October 02, 2005 at 04:05 PM

>@Jörg
>Before I waste my time picking these comments apart, please try
>to answer a few questions honestly.

>Are you even open to well supported arguments that may convince
>you to go against your current beliefs--or at least to put them
>in doubt?

Yes.

>Have you viewed several of the examples of German media propaganda
>here at Medienkritik? If so, what do you think about the
>information you're getting from your media? If not, do you view
>ANY alternative media that contradicts your MSM? Are you even
>interested?

1) Yes. Some are criticised correctly, some criticisms are overblown, some are things taken completely out of context. Quite a few are good examples of jaundiced worldview and agendas worn as fact-inverting filters, invincible ignorance and prejudices along all available dimensions and some made up ones in addition.

2) A bit like the curate's egg.

3) I tend to read, fairly regularly, the Times, the Grauniad, the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, less regularly the Financial Times. Sometimes I read the the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Fax News website and Newsmax, at least until my gorge becomes buoyant. Does that answer yor question?

3a) MSM tends to be a catch all phrase for "press that is unpatriotic and doesn't support the soldiers/war/government/yaddayaddayadda", about as useful and descriptive as "commie", "liberal", "greener", "feminazi" and other eptithets of that ilk. Use them at your liberty, however, to not assume to be taken earnestly, except of course by those that would use those words themselves.

4) I am interested to get a model of things happening that comes as close to reality
as possible. The question, as put, however, reminds me a bit of those guys that are asking questions like "do you want to have information that contradicts evolution, the heliocentric world picture, or the Big Bang". Maybe you mean differently, but your phraseology is atrocious.

>You see, I want to know if I'd be wasting my time.

It depends if you are coming over like the blog equivalent of a "Watchtower" distributer. In that case, probably.

> I've
>debated with too many people over the last few years on
>the very presumptions you've raised. It didn't matter
>what solid support for my arguments I had, these people
>were already convinced. Are you?

Well, Mr.Powell was very convincing, recently. So was the 9/11 commission. You'd have to present something fairly startling that would contradict those people, wouldn't you?

>If so, as you've pointed out,"This position is of course
>your privilege."

Of course it is.

>I have a question for David and Ray also. Do you guys feel
>that you are making any progress with people like Jörg? I
>mean, I'm sure he means well, and I'm not here to say that
>the current Washington administration is perfect. But, I
>guess it's the Jörgs of Germany (I'm guessing he's German)
>that were dealing with.

Let me put this in perspective. A lot of the criticism I see here, specifically the wording and the choice of arguments, is petulant, mawkish, overcome in snittitude [sic], tit-for-tat-ish and sulky [1]. In the course of the argument, things are pulled of of nether orifices. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus does diminish the position, even if it is tendentially correct.

It also appears that you are being defensive. You are not arguing from a position of strength [2]. A lot is just Retourkutsche (tit-for-tat response). That does not redound well on your argument.

I've come to the conclusion that currently a political dialogue between Germans and USAians is by and large futile because of complete lack of mutual comprehension. I for myself am not sure whether it is just with a vocal minority that populates the net or with the US population in general. Is so happens that, contrary to an analogy of Johnsons wonderful dictum, not in ervery German there is an American trying to get out (and that holds true for quite a few non-USAian peoples). Is so happens that the USAians are not like Germans. Assuming something like that is completely counterproductive.

As to well meaning, why do you assume that? I say, a pox on both their houses.

>Sorry about being so negative today. Maybe it's the gray
>skies today in Hanau, Germany.

No problem whatsoever. I understand. Germany is depressing.

Jörg

[1] English is such an amusing language, and yes, I'm making them up as I go.
[2] "You" is a generalised pronoun here.

Posted by: James W. | October 02, 2005 at 05:28 PM

>@Jörg
>If you understand the purpose of DMK, it may just show you
>that you cannot trust the media for reliable information
>that, it seems to me, you've built your world view on. How
>does it profit you to see the world, in my opinion, in a
>truer light? I don't know. Maybe, it would make you wish
>that you would have just kept the blinders on.

DMK's information being "truer"? If I am to distrust "the media", it would behoove me well to distrust "the web of lies" as it has been so truely called.

If we are talking about reliable reporting, accountability, reproducable sources, editorial oversight, research and journalisitc integrity here, DMK is just a web address. The evangelising that pervades some of the comments does not exactly strengthen the case.

"Truer light" is a religious metaphor. I do not like to rely on such.

Jörg

Here's what that backbencher responded to me:

Sehr geehrter Herr Stromberg,

ich halte es für völlig legitim, wenn die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik im Wahlkampf in aller Deutlichkeit thematisiert wird. Denn die Frage von Krieg und Frieden hat auch zukünftig für alle existenziellen Charakter. Gerade deshalb darf auch im Blick auf die damalige Entscheidung über den Irak-Krieg heute nichts beschönigt oder verharmlost werden. Dies gilt auch für bildliche Darstellungen des Irak-Krieges.

Offenbar bestehen bei Ihnen Unklarheiten hinsichtlich des Standpunktes von Frau Merkel. Deshalb möchte an den Artikel von Frau Merkel im Vorfeld ihrer USA-Reise in der "Washington Post" vom 20.02.2003 erinnern. Darin erklärte sie im Zusammenhang mit dem Irak, Gewalt als letztes Mittel dürfe nicht ausgeschlossen oder, "wie von der Bundesregierung geschehen, in Frage gestellt werden". Noch bezeichnender für Merkels damalige Haltung war jedoch ein Entschließungsantrag vom 13.02.2003, den die gesamte CDU/CSU-Fraktion unter der Drucksache 15/434 in den Bundestag einbrachte. Darin kritisiert die CDU den Bundeskanzler wegen seiner Ablehnung gegenüber einer militärischen Intervention im Irak mit folgenden Worten: "Deutschland hat jahrzehntelang von der unbedingten Solidarität der anderen Nato-Partner profitiert. Es ist inakzeptabel, jetzt, wo andere uns brauchen, die Solidarität zu verweigern." Weiterhin heißt es im Antrag: "Weil das Ziel erreicht werden muss (Verzicht auf Massenvernichtungswaffen; d.A.), kann auf die Drohung, als allerletztes Mittel die militärische Erzwingung einzusetzen, nicht verzichtet werden." Vor diesem Hintergrund forderte die CDU im Antrag völlig unmissverständlich, "... für den Fall, dass eine Erzwingung der Resolution 1441 des Sicherheitsrates mit militärischen Mitteln unausweichlich werden sollte, gemeinsam mit unseren Partnern in der EU diese Maßnahmen im Rahmen unserer Möglichkeiten – wie mit AWACS-Flugzeugen, MEDEVAC-Kräften, ABC-Spürpanzern, Patriot-Abwehrsystemen ... zu unterstützen ... ." Diese auf den Irak bezogenen Aussagen sind an Eindeutigkeit kaum zu überbieten. Deshalb ist für mich völlig klar: Sie hätte Soldaten geschickt.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Rolf Schwanitz

@Jörg

/start quote
If we are talking about reliable reporting, accountability, reproducable sources, editorial oversight, research and journalisitc integrity here, DMK is just a web address. The evangelising that pervades some of the comments does not exactly strengthen the case.
/end quote

Hi -

This is the reason for DMK: we don't trust the MSM for reliable reporting, accountability, reproducible sources, editorial oversight, research and journalistic integrity, because we see how the media in Germany violate all of these precepts time and time again. DMK might be "just a web address", but their track record to date has been one heck of a lot better than many others.

I repeat: almost every day when I read the newspapers and magazines in Germany, I can see sloppy journalism, inaccurate reporting, opinion masquerading as fact, an appalling lack of research, failure to properly disclose political and commercial affiliations and a failure of editors to stop this sort of sloppy behavior. Think I'm kidding?

I'll give you one example I saw today in Der Spiegel, 39/2005, page 22: in an article about EADS and a project to outfit civilian airplanes with anti-missile technology against hand-held anti-aircraft missiles, the writer brought up an example of the US Stinger missile that was given out by the hundreds in Afghanistan to the Taliban and implied that these were the threat against which this system was designed, that the US had armed terrorists.

First problem: the Soviets/Russians/Chinese have been selling literally thousands of these to pretty much anyone with cash. Not mentioned in the article: misleading reporting by failing to indicate that while the US developed the weapon type, others sell them world-wide to the highest bidder. Hence the threat isn't from American weapons, but rather from Russian & Chinese weapons.

Second problem: Stingers of Afghanistan vintage can no longer be used, as their shelf life has been long exceeded and are no longer operational. They rely on a very specific voltage supplied by a special battery that uses a thermal process to generate enough energy to cool the IR seeker of the missile and to launch it. A typical failure profile of this battery is to explode, since the chemical mixture has become unstable. Stingers are kept as trophies, a reminder of US help in the Afghanistan time of need. This is not mentioned in the article: inaccurate reporting.

Third problem: lack of disclosure. EADS is an advertiser in Spiegel, taking full-page ads and getting some pretty nice articles and interviews placed as well (see Spiegel 40/2005).

Fourth problem: the US delivered Stinger not to the Taliban, as reported in the article, but rather to a number of Afghan rebel groups. The Taliban came later. This is sloppy reporting that should have been picked up by a decent editor.

This sums up to be sloppy journalism and is typical of Spiegel when it comes to discussing military affairs. There's also the problem that EADS is doing work that Israeli firms did more than 5 years ago, and EADS is advising the government on a project that it'll probably benefit from. Spiegel acknowledges that this is a problem.

In one paragraph four major errors. Three of these only serve to make the US look bad. This is, for me, indicative of the kind of journalistic errors and errors of omission that make a site like David's Medienkritik critically important: it is, if you so prefer, speaking truth to power. Journalists like to think that they are the ones doing so: it is a conceit that defies belief.

And that is where we all come in. Welcome to our world: we don't acccept arguments from authority, but insist on the facts. The internet makes access to the facts simple: the journalists that I have come across don't even understand how the world has changed in this way. We can check up on these kinds of stories and point out the factual errors, the opinions hiding as supposed facts and the like.


John

PS: I've posted this on my blog as well:

http://21stcenturyschizoidman.blogspot.com/2005/10/sein-und-scheinbeing-and-appearance.html

Wow Jörg,

You certainly have engaged in a lot of high-brow intellectual tail-chasing. Congratulations. Now let me ask you something: Could you actually give us an example of something you disagree with on our site? What is "out of context" or "sulky" or whatever. And, BTW, if our site is so meaningless and not to be trusted, why are you even commenting?

"MSM tends to be a catch all phrase for "press that is unpatriotic and doesn't support the soldiers/war/government/yaddayaddayadda", about as useful and descriptive as "commie", "liberal", "greener", "feminazi" and other eptithets of that ilk."

That is a gross generalization. You've clearly never read anyone like Andrew Sullvian (www.andrewsullivan.com) who has big problems with the MSM but is by no means what you describe above. As a matter of fact, he has a highly interesting series of critical posts on torture and the military. And Andrew is one of the millions of diverse voices of all political persuasion out there in what we call the "blogosphere". If I were you Jörg, I would get to be a little more familiar with the blogosphere before writing it off as something not to be trusted. Like any other form of media, whether newspaper, magazine or television, there are good blogs and there are bad blogs, and that usually depends on the people behind them and their level of professionalism.

My point is that it would help if you actually knew what you were talking about (with regard to this blog and the blogosphere at large) before making comments and lecturing us.

@Jörg
1) Yes. Some are criticised correctly, some criticisms are overblown, some are things taken completely out of context. Quite a few are good examples of jaundiced worldview and agendas worn as fact-inverting filters, invincible ignorance and prejudices along all available dimensions and some made up ones in addition.

Out of context? Made up?! Oh please. When you make such accusations towards this website, it would be nice if you provided at least one example—especially for “made up ones.”

3) I tend to read, fairly regularly, the Times, the Grauniad, the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, less regularly the Financial Times. Sometimes I read the the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Fax News website and Newsmax, at least until my gorge becomes buoyant. Does that answer yor question?

It sure does. It shows me that you’re quite a confused person.

3a) MSM tends to be a catch all phrase for "press that is unpatriotic and doesn't support the soldiers/war/government/yaddayaddayadda", about as useful and descriptive as "commie", "liberal", "greener", "feminazi" and other eptithets of that ilk. Use them at your liberty, however, to not assume to be taken earnestly, except of course by those that would use those words themselves.

No, the MSM is what the MSM is. At the moment, it’s a media, there are exceptions, that is overwhelmingly and willingly slanted to one party’s, and one ideology’s, agenda—see Rathergate. Oh, so you don’t like labels. Liberals never do.

4) I am interested to get a model of things happening that comes as close to reality as possible. The question, as put, however, reminds me a bit of those guys that are asking questions like "do you want to have information that contradicts evolution, the heliocentric world picture, or the Big Bang". Maybe you mean differently, but your phraseology is atrocious.
It depends if you are coming over like the blog equivalent of a "Watchtower" distributer. In that case, probably.

Hmm, it seems that you think I’m some sort of religious zealot. I would understand your assumption if I would have made a statement even pertaining to religion; but, I believe you have some built-in “fear of religion” filter that makes you want to see something I did not write. I agree that I’m not a gifted writer; however, I don’t think my “phraseology” is the problem here.

Although I do believe in God, with my history and tattoos, I doubt that I’m going to see the pearly gates without going to confession MUCH more often than I currently do. I hope God has a good sense of humor.

Well, Mr.Powell was very convincing, recently. So was the 9/11 commission. You'd have to present something fairly startling that would contradict those people, wouldn't you?

Well, I’ve heard Mr. Powell’s interview in full context, and I’ve read a large portion of the 911 commission report. Neither of them has indicated that the war was built on lies—poor intel yes, lies no. So, in other words, they do not contradict what I believe. They DO contradict what you believe. “You don't lie to allies.”

Let me put this in perspective. A lot of the criticism I see here, specifically the wording and the choice of arguments, is petulant, mawkish, overcome in snittitude [sic], tit-for-tat-ish and sulky [1]. In the course of the argument, things are pulled of of nether orifices. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus does diminish the position, even if it is tendentially correct.

Please don’t confuse the comment section with the message of DMK. They don’t necessarily represent like opinions. Many of the comments are dead on correct, even if conveyed in a tone that may not appeal to you. If you were to say that this turns potential supporters off, I would understand your point. Sometimes the truth hurts.

The evangelising that pervades some of the comments does not exactly strengthen the case.
"Truer light" is a religious metaphor. I do not like to rely on such.

There’s that filter again. “Truer light” is, in this case, what the author (me) intended it to mean—to see things more clearly, period. I’m not a preacher.

Look Jörg, I have enough experience in these debates to realize when I’m beating a dead horse. We’re way off topic, and I don’t want to abuse DMK policy. You probably think that I’m the one with an unrealistic world view, and I’m CONVINCED that you are the one.


@Joerg

As Rayd said: You certainly have engaged in a lot of high-brow intellectual tail-chasing.
Let me add that despite that you haven't really said anything. Just like most professors at liberal colleges like to put good sounding words together in order to seem important, they do lose the message.

A Question, In another 2 Generations Europe will become Eurabia, because of the German laziness to procreate.
What will you do when confronted with the choice: Pray to Allah five times per day or die, you infidel. Will you embrace a new religion or be slaughtered?

It always amazes me that some people believe that raising their voices against the Government in a free country without fear of retribution is actually an act of heroism. No, try it in China, Russia or some third world country.
Now, when you do that, I will praise your courage.

joe - Our possible Islamization will hinge on developments in our West-Asian neighboorhood which are beyond the military and political influence of Europe. Call me a chocolatemaker if you like it sweet, but Europe has just as little influence on what will happen with the siege of Islamic tyranny that surrounds us as it had on the future of the iron curtain during the Reagan era. Bat Yeor has traced back dhimmitude policies to the early 1970s long before the 1968ers got any access to political power, this is not going to be fixed by a simple wakeup campaign. We have so long shared a hemisphere with Islam that we resemble it more than we would like to.

The difficulty with your comparison to China or Russia is that unlike Germany these are nations with a military capability of self-defense. The planning of an European defense force has been built on fantasy expectations how the world markets would embrace the euro currency. Anyways, if Germany ever became Islamic it would not be because we were defeated in a war but because we would fall for an illusion. To imagine a similar scenario in Asia you would have to think how a communist Japan would complicate the defense of Taiwan and the preemption of nuclear war in Korea.

Regarding the accomplishments or lack thereof of the post-war generation it can be said that the negotiation over what these accomplishments exactly are takes an important share of conversation among that generation. There is a constant need to discuss these accomplishments or lack thereof, and though that discourse is produced for domestic consumption a significant share of it uses other nations as props. In this respect the post-war generation resembles our grandparents more than it ever would admit.

Turkey still is the most democratic of the Islamic countries, but it is also a kind of Pakistan light where authoritarian government serves as a bullwark against political Islam. The desire for a way out of the dilemma of being caught between Atatürk-style authoritarianism and Islamic jihadism is what makes the Turkey want to join Europe in the first place. I think they will make it (they've already joined our alphabet), but to assume that Turkey could lead the other 56 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to democracy is just crapthink of the Iraq denial crowd. Instead the Turks will be busy reinventing themselves.


--3) I tend to read, fairly regularly, the Times, the Grauniad, the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, less regularly the Financial Times. Sometimes I read the the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Fax News website and Newsmax, at least until my gorge becomes buoyant. Does that answer yor question?

Well, that's your problem right there. You need to start reading Rantburg and Memri. Rantburg's a rough place, you'd better know your stuff if you're going to comment. You'll learn a lot.

Then you'll have the answer to your question, "To what end, pray tell? Methinks I know thy errand, but do explain what it would profit me?

Jörg

--

You'll get your head out of your.......

Posted by: americanbychoice | October 03, 2005 at 12:29 AM

>@Joerg

>As Rayd said: You certainly have engaged in a lot of high-brow
>intellectual tail-chasing.
>Let me add that despite that you haven't really said
>anything. Just like most professors at liberal colleges
>like to put good sounding words together in order to seem
>important, they do lose the message.

Is there any point to this "anti liberal college boy" diatribe? If so, it does elude me.

>A Question, In another 2 Generations Europe will become
>Eurabia, because of the German laziness to procreate.
>What will you do when confronted with the choice: Pray to
>Allah five times per day or die, you infidel. Will you
>embrace a new religion or be slaughtered?

A nice little Stürmeresque fantasy. The only thing missing is a loving description of Christian maidens violated by slavering muslims. Purty little quip about the procreation, though! Reminds me of the Merkin who told me that not even a Hitler could save Germany any more. Ho hum!

Que sera, sera. I don't think Eurabia is in the offing. As for Germany, oh well, I cannot make myself care too much. If this country goes too much on my nerves, well, "auch andere Mütter haben schöne Töchter".

>It always amazes me that some people believe that raising
>their voices against the Government in a free country
>without fear of retribution is actually an act of heroism.
>No, try it in China, Russia or some third world country.
>Now, when you do that, I will praise your courage.

I do not care a bent farthing. As I said, and as your posting abundantly shows, a dialogue across the Great Undrinkable is nigh futile these days. The gulf is so wide that these days it seems that it can only be bridged by shouting, and I'm not that interested in shouting.

Jörg

Posted by: Sandy P | October 03, 2005 at 06:03 AM

>>3) I tend to read, fairly regularly, the Times,
>>the Grauniad, the Daily Telegraph, the New York
>>Times, the Washington Post, less regularly the
>>Financial Times. Sometimes I read the the Wall
>>Street Journal, the New York Post, the Fax News
>>website and Newsmax, at least until my gorge becomes
>>buoyant. Does that answer yor question?

>Well, that's your problem right there. You need to
>start reading Rantburg and Memri. Rantburg's a rough
>place, you'd better know your stuff if you're going
>to comment. You'll learn a lot.

That does depend. I put not my trust in the political blogosphere. These days it is populated mostly by what is so nicely described in German as "querulatorische Randexistenzen", curmudgeonly bellyaching cusses with a Mission, a Message and all kinds of Attitude. A couple of decades ago they'd distribute their opinions via the letters pages of the newspapers or by hectopraphed pamphlets, these days they are a web page to a position of importance. That holds true for both ends of the spectrum, by the way.

The Web is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea -- massive, difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it (spaf).


>Then you'll have the answer to your question, "To
>what end, pray tell? Methinks I know thy errand,
>but do explain what it would profit me?

I don't think so.

>You'll get your head out of your.......

I'd as lief thay you not assume that any condition that afflicts you applies to me.

Jörg

Sandy P.,

An insufferably smug anti-intellectual like Jorg is, by his own admission, unreachable. He's simply trolling, since he cannot dispute facts and his only recourse is to faux-intellectual snobbery.

What is especially telling is that he makes a Nazi reference in support of a group that LOVES the Sturmer mentality and that allied itself with the Nazis during WWII. This disgusting anti-semetic filth will no doubt be spouting "Zio-naziism" next.

Treat it like a troll and move on.

@Joerg

To enable you to get a more realistic view of the world may I suggest a visit to your proctologist to perform a Lobotomy?

Is there any point to this "anti liberal college boy" diatribe? If so, it does elude me.

Oh Jörg, get off your high horse. Your quite nauseating.

It's not surprising that the point would elude you. You've got your nose stuck so high in the air (for reasons apparent only to you), you'd drown in the rain.

You want to preach about being taken earnestly. Well, then how about finally giving us that example of an overblown, out of context, made-up criticism of the German media made here by David or Ray. If you cannot, then why don't you just move on like all the other little trolls?

Hi -

Notice that Jörg didn't respond to a concrete example of how his oh-so-highly valued journalism made errors? Unless he does and addresses the actual problem: troll.

John

@John

It's baffling to me how these people keep getting smacked dab in the middle of the face with facts, and still do not get it. It's quite amazing.

Jörg wants to come off as an intellectual as if that gives credibility and substance to his babble.

I hope it's not contagious.

James W.,

It is precisely because they have an attitude towards reality that causes beautiful facts to slay their ugly, mass-murder loving collectivist theories that they react the way they do.

Whatever Rand's other errors, she pegged Joerg's type with a precision that Amsterdam's diamond cutters would envy.

Jörg -

However, I'd submit that the whole of Iraq war including the current mess, Abu Gureib and Guantanamo are one protracted, drawn out PR mess. You seem to assume that it would be Germany's duty to convince itself that that PR mess was just a little blip. It is not. The USA have lost any moral high ground. It would have behooved the US to counteract that a bit more cleverly.

These days you can get on the dogleash of your dominatrix under the aegis of the Mayor of Berlin, so I wouldn't bet too much on assumed psychological shocks from the view of the prisoner abuse pictures. If these pictures were so shocking to you, then because they probably were the first documentation of regional prison conditions that made it to your attention. Even if you believe Alice Schwarzer that Abu Ghraib was a conspiracy of the porn industry, a limited permeation of sadomasochism into politics still has a lot of moral high ground above the rule of sharia and its stonings, hangings and amputations. You seem to believe that the prisoner abuse scandal left behind the Americans not just with the imperative to improve their war prison conditions, but also with some kind of mythically permanent loss of face, although you probably don't want to see the interrogation of captured terrorists being outsourced to Islamic prisons either.

I doubt that you have held the Bundeswehr to the same standard when the Hammelburg abuse videos surfaced in 1997. Another case of selective outrage, I guess.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Joerg, I'm rubber, you're glue.

Your response was pitiful.

You want to learn, understand, so you say. The dead trees you're reading won't help your in your search. Who said Rantburg was political?

Only in the sense the commenters comment on the articles posted from around the world. Don't read the comments. (However, some comments are in the articles posted, just ignore them.) MEMRI translates what's being said or written in the Arab world. Make your own decisions.


bent farthing?

quite a brit response. You might like EU Referendum, discusses more than that topic.


So DMK is more or less crap, and MSM is not all that bad. Right.

Anyone who still makes such claims after the apparition of the "blog movement" is intellectually dead, no matter how much he intelectualizes. Someone who doesn't see the manipulative propaganda of the MSM (German and not only) is either openly ignoring the truth (lying) or has absolutely no discernment. No matter what, he is beyond hope. The downside of the internet/comments though is the fact that every single failure on the face of the earth believes he has a significant contribution to make.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31