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One of the dirty little secrets about the famous photo of the children running from the fire-bombed city... the Vietnamese did the fire-bombing, not the US. Yes, it was South Vietnamese who did the bombing, but they were not under US command. Note that the children are running to safety BEHIND the US lines, not the other way.

Mamapajamas, proof of your statement Kim's Story.

Still trying to equate Vietnam and Iraq? Unfortunately my German is too poor to bother struggling through this latest quagmire of wishful thinking, but I did check out the photo of the girl running from the village, since I knew the story behind it and wondered what der Spiegel would claim it was. I was surprised to find they were rather honest in their description. Like I said, I'm not going to try reading the article, so I can't judge the context of the photo's use, and it may be completely gratuitous--indeed, it's hard to see how it could possible be relevant, to judge from your translation of the first paragraph, so that the photo is just a bit of button-pushing meant to call up the appropriate political response. But it's notable, particularly since you've framed this as an exercise in anti-Americanism, that the caption actually describes what happened to Kim Phuc afterwards: "The girl was later abused by the government for anti-American propoganda. Ultimately she fled to Canada."

"...predicting American doom..."

Could you imagine what would happen if their predictions came true? I suspect not many have thought through this one, or if they have and still push their wares, they're truly pathetic.

An interesting tidbit from an article I was directed to yesterday:

How did we get it so wrong?
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/comment/0,12956,1140549,00.html

"US analysts were not alone in these views. In the late spring of 2002 I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly 20 former inspectors from the UN Special Commission (Unscom), established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did.

Other nations' intelligence services were similarly aligned with US views. Somewhat remarkably, given how adamantly Germany would oppose the war, the German Federal Intelligence Service held the bleakest view of all, arguing that Iraq might be able to build a nuclear weapon within three years. Israel, Russia, Britain, China, and even France held positions similar to that of the US; Jacques Chirac told Time magazine last February: "There is a problem - the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq." No one doubted that Iraq had WMD."

It's a commentary by Kenneth Pollack, "a former CIA man who was the Clinton administration's Iraq expert on the National Security Council." It was actually written in August 2004, before the presedential election.

Expect more of this stuff to be brought up as the US Democrats make their own attempts at re-writing history. So far, it doesn't look like it's working too well.

Democrats: Bush lied!

Republicans: But, that's not what you said BEFORE the war. Let me show you...roll the video...

Democrats: Wha..? There's video...?

Send Germans a message they understand: Don't buy anything made there.

Thanks LC Mamapajamas, I wasn't aware of that. I saw that picture on the cover of Time back when I was a kid and, like everyone else, have seen it many times since. I always just assumed that U.S. forces had done the bombing. If everyone knew that it was the Vietnamese who did the bombing then I doubt we would see the picture again.

Moving on to the story in general...

I am not very religious, but my mother forced me to attend our Lutheran church regularly as a kid. The whole thing always lasted a little less than an hour, and the only things that ever changed were the sermon and the hymn numbers. The statue of Jesus above the altar, the Bible scenes on the stained glass windows, the saying of the Lord's prayer -- all those ceremonies and symbols that bind the participants and reinforce their faith -- remained constant and somehow comforting.

Consider now the pictures of Vietnam, Ghandi and Che and the comparisons to Vietnam. These are some of the icons of the Left, and Spiegel is preaching to the flock here. And the flock needs lots of comforting these days. With Bush getting reelected, Schroeder getting defeated, riots in the Islamic People's Republic of France, free and fair elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, America winning in Iraq (yes, America IS winning) and the U.S. economy booming while the German economy stagnates the flock is in danger of losing its way. But Spiegel is there to let them know that America is evil and they are good, like Che and Ghandi.

Leftism is a religion -- and a dangerous one at that. The question is whether the Leftists are going to move toward jihad, or one day decide the world is too rotten to live in and line up to drink the punch ala Jim Jones.

The only truth in that article is that some people in America (the political Left) are still not over the 70s and Vietnam. They still constantly accuse the government of lying, nefarious undisclosed intentions, and automatically believe every outrageous story of alleged war crimes.

People tell me "you need to get over 9/11" I say "it's been 30 years and the Left still isn't over Vietnam. When they move, 30 years later the Right will move on from 9/11" ;-) Except the difference is Bush is not out for "revenge" but to stop these people since modern multicultural pacifism has allowed them to run rampant over the world.

Terrific job. It would be nice if Der Spiegel offered a weekly counter arguement on its website. It would do its readers a world of good to escape the echo chamber occaisionally.

It doesn't matter: within a few years, Germans will enjoy the pleasures of either an Islamic or a Communist/Fascist state. By comparison, Che will truly seem like the peaceful alternative. Let them stew in it! They deserve it.

Hello,
it seems nobody noticed Franziska Augstein (daughter of the late founder Augstein) criticism on Spiegel-Master Aust.

Here is more:
http://www.handelsblatt.com/pshb/fn/relhbi/sfn/buildhbi/cn/GoArt!200012,201197,988855/SH/0/depot/0/Fehde_zwischen_Augstein-Tochter_und_%E2%80%9ESpiegel%E2%80%9C.html

Dear David and Ray,

On behalf of my two friends from high school whose names are engraved on the Vietnam Memorial, Ken and Danny -

THANK YOU

When you guys get pissed, you are downright righteous.

If Germans actually believe Che was a man of peace, then they are a people of willful ignorance. I'm tempted to say it has always been thus because that ignorance provides the excuse for all their failures.

What has Germany ever EVER done for the world?

My disgust knows no bounds.

Good comment Beimami.

I practice law near Lowell, MA. Lowell has the 2nd largest Cambodian ex-patriot population in the world. (No. One is Long Beach, CA). I have worked with some Cambodian refugees. What is conspicuous is that both sides are represented in the local immigrant population. There are victim/survivors of Pol Pot.....and there are victim/perpetrators of Pol Pot. Sounds familiar? All Cambodians consider themselves victims of the Kahmir Rouge.

I know two gentlemen that are community leaders. One owns a liquor store and is very prosperous. He was an officer in the Kahmir Rouge. The other is thirty-something. He survived by playing a flute for Kahmir Rouge officers while they executed his neighbors and friends. He is now a youth counselor. How ironic that the former communist is now a prosperous capitalist.

It is interesting that there is still a rivalry between former Kahmir Rouge refugees and non-Kahmir Rouge refugees. The rivalry extends all the way to the motherland. The prosperous capitalist and his cronies send money back to Cambodia to support politics in that nation. Obviously, socialism or Marxism is no longer relevant to these people. After all it failed.....badly!

So why do these same people still have political rivalries? I think that it goes back to the tribal system in Cambodia and perhaps all of South East Asia. The rivalry seems to be the same as those Sunnies who support the return of the Baathist in Iraq....my tribe, right or wrong.

Bringing this theory up a notch.... Is the German Left’s propensity to support blinded socialism and to sympathize with strong-man dictators a characteristic or a part of a Euro-tribal rivalry? Why is it that the German Left and their friends in the German MSM are newly labeling anything laissez-faire, or freedom of choice: Anglo Saxon?

Were Euro tribal rivalries a factor in the First and Second World Wars? Is this a factor that the larger countries, such as the US, India, Japan and China, have to deal with when dealing with Europe?

George M

It's the same with the Vietnamese. A few years after Saigon fell, I had about 7 of them on my team (I was team lead) - all related by marriage somehow or other. The inter-familial rivalry/hierarchy dynamics were some of the ugliest I have ever seen. One woman's sister-in-law actually came into my office (she was not employed by our organization - she just walked in off the street) and demanded to go thru her sister-in-law's desk. I had to have security throw her out.

It took me 3 months - I explained, I cajoled, I bribed - and finally I just kicked ass. I had a little sign made for my desk.

"Welcome to America. I'm the Boss. Get over it."

Never. Again.

"And, in a very real sense, the magazine's willful decision to gloss-over Communist atrocities in Southeast Asia is remarkably similar to its willful decision to largely gloss-over Saddam Hussein's repeated campaigns of mass murder and invasion."

How true. I might point out that, in retrospect, the die was cast for everything that we're seeing from the leftists today in the 1950s. That is when, after Kruschev's takeover of the Politburo, word about Stalin's atrocities began to leak out. After an initial period of shock and disgust, the Left made a conscious decision to gloss over it. Having done so, they backed themselves into the ultimate intellectual and moral corner of all time. As the full scope of Stalin's mass murders started to become known in the 1990s, the Left had to continue to defend the ultimate indefensible, because to do otherwise would be to admit that they were wrong about, well, pretty much everything. And now, for all of their moral preening, we know why the Left condemms the Holocaust -- not because of the atrocity that it was, but simply because Hitler double-crossed Stalin. Had Hitler maintained his alliance with Stalin, the Left would today regard him as a hero, and you'd see stupid college kids running around in Hitler T-shirts.

This is diverting the discussion a little bit.....it has more to with the Paris riots .....but it still has both a Vietnam and a German theme.

When I was in the Army, I had access to intelligence from East Germany. (The DDR). This was during the Jimmy Carter years, between the fall of Saigon and the election of Ronald Regan. At the time, the DDR was more prosperous then other communist regimes in the old Warsaw Pact. Things were going good enough for the DDR that they had labor shortages.....after all, millions had moved to the West before the Wall went up in 1961.

The Honecker regime, (Erik Honecker, raised in the Soviet Union, was the strongman of the DDR), decided to take a big step for socialist solidarity and import workers from “struggling” third world communist regimes: mostly form Cuba and Vietnam.

There were frequent reports from intelligence sources that there was racial tension where these “guest workers” from the third world worked, especially with those who were from Vietnam. There were reported incidents of violence throughout East Germany between German and Vietnamese workers.

It goes to show you that even in a socialist paradise such as the DDR, there were racial tensions amongst the proletariat.

It would be interesting to hear from older “Ossies” that can either verify or debunk these stories.

This is the kind of excrements that the German media regularly throws in the face of Germans. Most Germans are convinced it is chocolate cake, they wipe it off their face and lick their fingers. ALL the Germans I personally know live in a parallel universe, where large parts of reality never come through. The huge chunks of reality that are missing create a distorted view of the world that is absolutely mind boggling. Still, this doesn't stop them from claiming absolute knowledge with an amazing serenity.

Europe as we know it will go down! Not because of a miserable SPON article, but because the majority of its people live their daily lifes in a web of half-truths and outright lies. It will go down because the people can not and do not want to escape the suffocating grip of the media and the EU dirigism.

The communists always dreamt of creating the "new man", superior to and better than free thinking people in free countries. Their criminal system failed, but they managed to create the "new man". The homo communistus lacks moral values, respect, sincerity, ambition, diligence, just to name a few. Communism is gone but homo communistus still lingers in Eastern Europe. Now, another grotesque experiment is undertaken, and again, for "noble reasons". The supposedly unstained-by-the-past cousins of communism, the EU left, together with parts of "conservative" Europeans, dream of an EU-topia, which is better and more noble than anything man has ever seen. This EU-topia need bodies, EU-topians, so, with the eager help of the media they work at molding the minds of Europeans according to the EU-topian requirements.

If they have to sacrifice a few truths in order to create and establish the myth of a superior society, so be it ! Truth and values should be relative anyway in modern societies, like EU-topia.

Maybe this experiment will stop before it irreversibly infects whole Europe. Maybe some of the much touted "cooler heads" will manage to prevail. Maybe not.

@WhatDoIKnow

"ALL the Germans I personally know live in a parallel universe, where large parts of reality never come through."

Some are worse than others, but your statement reflects my experience perfectly.

@George M.

You wrote "Bringing this theory up a notch.... Is the German Left’s propensity to support blinded socialism and to sympathize with strong-man dictators a characteristic or a part of a Euro-tribal rivalry? Why is it that the German Left and their friends in the German MSM are newly labeling anything laissez-faire, or freedom of choice: Anglo Saxon?

Were Euro tribal rivalries a factor in the First and Second World Wars? Is this a factor that the larger countries, such as the US, India, Japan and China, have to deal with when dealing with Europe?"

I think this kind of fits in with the comment I made above. In order to overcome the tribal rivalries you mention, the Leftists at the EU and UN have constructed "the enemy" -- namely the U.S. and Isreal. The method is as common as it is effective. In Hitlerian Germany it was the Jews, Capitalists and Communists.

There is no better uniter than a common enemy. That also explains why the Leftists appear to have arranged a quiet truce with the Islamonazis; they have a common enemy called democracy. The last thing either one of them wants is people making their own choices.

People should definitely read this speech delivered by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska - possibly our next president)yesterday in Washington DC. Hagel has a different take on Iraq, and a different take on the Vietnam War - maybe because he was actually there and was wounded in combat.

Here is a key excerpt from Sen. Hagel's speech:

"Vietnam was a national tragedy partly because Members of Congress failed their country, remained silent and lacked the courage to challenge the Administrations in power until it was too late. Some of us who went through that nightmare have an obligation to the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam to not let that happen again. To question your government is not unpatriotic – to not question your government is unpatriotic. America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices."

It's only unpatriotic if we question Hagel or the Senate.

Perhaps it never occurred to you that your domestic opposition to the Vietname War--which was started by Democrats and ended by a Republican--caused the deaths of thousands of those troops and ultimately caused the war to be lost. There's a word for such perfidy and it's not "patriot."

I think the correct Vietnam analogy for today is back to 1919 or 1945 when the US rebuffed Ho Chi Minh and sided with French Imperialism to keep South East Asia stable.

We don't think like that anymore. I think we should have take a risk with Ho Chi Minh. I'm glad were taking a risk today with Sistani. A lot of risks but I think we'll be better off today. We probably would have been better off with a different choice in 1945.

I had begun to worry that there was a shortage of the Kool Aid VIC and associates so dearly love to drink.

VIC has surprised me with his comment. It almost is on topic for a change.

Well, VIC while I lost my prediction about dear Gerhard remaining the head of the German government, I am on much firmer footing with the political scene in the US.

As Hagel more times than not is a RINO, you must believe he will run as a demo if you actually think he might become POTUS. He surely will not win the nomination as a Republican.

Joe,

I disagree. Hagel is a very attractive candidate for traditional, mainstream Republicans.

He may not appeal to the political and religious extremists in the party, but their influence seems to be diminishing (rapidly).

This Socialist world appears evidently loves institutionalized genocide and graft. How can a person romanticize genocidal dictators and terrorists, and belittle hard work, personal accomplishment, real freedom and sacrifice.

What will it take? The Iraqi people have freely walked in the millions through the streets of their own neighborhoods in public defiance of terrorists to vote in the millions. Sons have carried their mothers on their backs for miles because she had to vote before she died. The Iraqi people have lived the communist/socialst fantasy and have decided that Freedom and Democracy hold more promise for their children.

Do we need MTV's Real World to go global? I'd love to see Real World Cuba, China, Iran, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Saddam Iraq, and Taliban Afghanistan. It's evidently terrifying to be a blogger and a decent human being in Egypt these days. I wonder how many public lashes with the cane or how many digits/heads the "French" rioters would have paid in Bangladesh, Thailand, Saddam's Iraq, or the Taliban's Afghanistan.

I truly just do not understand. Where do we go from here?

Great stuff!

As an aside, I always find it faintly amusing when I come across, in whatever context, Gandhi, the early promoter of a "peaceful solution" in the Middle East.

Does anybody remember by WHOM he was killed?

"To question your government is not unpatriotic – to not question your government is unpatriotic"

Questioning the Government is indeed a hallowed right of those of us fortunate enough to live in the free democracies of the world

On the other hand - slandering the Government with insinuations of deliberate malfescence without a shred of evidence- indeed with a mountain of evidence that indicates there was no intentional malfesence - is not patriotic in any sense.

Legitimate criticism is welcome - political grandstanding should be called what it is.

I'd like to know what Hagel thought and said about Iraq from 1991-2002

If he KNEW Saddam was WMD clean - surely he told someone about this knowledge

Oh, yeah, Vic, w/comments like this:

Maverick GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel said Sunday that U.S. power and influence in the world is in decline, then added, "That's good news, I think."

I question whether Sen Hagel does indeed "think"

We know he speaks - but thinking does not appear to be his strong suit

Guess who's trial started today!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3286721.stm

How come the German MSM is not covering Germany's most interesting trial since Goering and his gang? Does it hurt the Germans to admit that they too have "amerikanische Verhaeltnisse?"

@Vic:

"I disagree. Hagel is a very attractive candidate for traditional, mainstream Republicans."

Ain't gonna happen. Consider what just happened with Harriet Meiers. If that isn't enough, here's an exercise:

Identify three issues on which Hagel's position differs in any way from Howard Dean's. I'm betting you can't.

>>How come the German MSM is not covering Germany's most interesting trial since Goering and his gang? Does it hurt the Germans to admit that they too have "amerikanische Verhaeltnisse?"<<

Amerikanische Verhältnisse, indeed, and wouldn't you know those vile Republicans were at fault then as now? As we read in Wilson's Almanac:

Alferd (or Alfred – he preferred the misspelling which he took from a badly done tattoo) Packer (November 21, 1842 - April 23, 1907) is often known as the only American ever convicted of cannibalism, though in reality his conviction was for murder, not cannibalism.

Legend has it that Judge Melville B Gerry sentenced Packer with “There was seven Democrats in Hinsdale County, but you, you voracious, man-eatin' son of a bitch, you ate five of them. I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until dead, as a warning against reducing the Democratic population of the state.”

OFF TOPIC -- Did anybody catch the ZDF news (or was it Heute Journal?) last night (16 Nov)? I almost fell over when the moderator said that Hurricane Katrina was as big as Germany itself.

Maybe the staff at ZDF are secretly popping in here to get the real news!

@Helian:

Your Packer article mentions that they named a cafeteria after him at the University of Coloroado.

I wonder if wacko professor Ward Churchill uses this venue for his pro Al Queda teach-ins?

Im Moment geht es "nur" ums Internet, aber es wird nicht dabei bleiben.


"Bedauerlicherweise ist die EU eine unappetitliche Koalition mit autoritären Regimen wie China und Iran eingegangen, um auf dem Gipfel für die Weltinformationsgesellschaft die Entmachtung von Icann und das Einsetzen einer anderen Internetregierung voranzutreiben. Diese Gruppe nutzt außenpolitische Fehler der USA, gewürzt mit einer Prise Populismus, denn in den Augen von Internet-Surfern aus Kairo oder Kuala Lumpur ist die verbliebene Supermacht noch unappetitlicher und menschenrechtsverachtender als die Herrscher in Peking und Teheran.

Aber Abu Ghraib und Guantanamo sind schlechte Argumente, und die EU-Diplomaten sollten sich schämen, vereint mit autoritären Regimen die Skandale für ganz andere politische Zwecke zu missbrauchen.

Bei der Internetregierung geht es darum, so wenig und so unauffällig wie möglich das zu regeln, was zu regeln ist. Man kann den USA in diesem Punkt nichts vorwerfen...."

http://www.ftd.de/me/cm/30758.html


@George M

The answer to your question as to why the German press is not covering the trial of Armin Meiwis is that this is nothing new. For example, the one member of the Donner Party who ever admitted to eating human flesh was a German, Lewis Keseberg.

And in answer to a previous question you asked, my wife, who lived in East Germany for over 30 years, is not aware of any racial tension or violence between the Vietnamese and the Germans in the old DDR. She doubts that more than one or two incidents ever occurred, if that many. Reasons for her thoughts are:

1. The Vietnamese were kept in physically separate housing.
2. People from Communist countries must always travel in groups when they are abroad, unless they have special privileges. Groups of Vietnamese would leave their housing or factory rarely and only for a clear, specific purpose, such as medical examinations.
3. Working in East Germany was a step up for the typical Vietnamese compared to life back in Vietnam. Any Vietnamese who gave even the slightest hint of causing a problem for anyone would have been shipped back to Hanoi on the next plane and upon landing would have had a reception that neither he nor his family would have ever forgotten. In other words, every Vietnamese worker had great incentive to avoid trouble.
4. In a communist country, one avoids association with foreigners. To illustrate, when my wife was a teenager, she once spoke to a French soldier who was on patrol in East Berlin, since she wanted to practice her French. This display of initiative was rewarded with a hearty interview conducted by several local Stasi officials. Any casual contact with Vietnamese workers by an East German would have been treated the same way.

The incidents of violence began only after the collapse of the DDR, which just illustrates how unreal such a socialist workers' paradise was.

"Das Veto der USA gegenüber allen Ansätzen, deren dominierenden Einfluss an der
Steuerung des Internet (Internet Governance) zurückzunehmen, macht das deutlich.
Das Beharren der USA auf ihrer unilateralen Rolle bei der Aufsicht über die Zonefiles im
Internet Root hat imWSIS-Prozess zu einer unnötigen und gefährlichen Politisierung
der Diskussion über die Zukunft des Managements der Internet-Ressourcen geführt.
Immer mehr Staaten, aber auch die EU, wollen schon zurWahrung ihrer Völkerrechtsinteressen
nicht akzeptieren, dass sie bezüglich des Internet zwar bislang gut versorgt,
aber faktisch doch quasi bevormundet werden und im Konfliktfall entmachtet sind."

http://www.wsis-koordinierungskreis.de/presse/pressematerialien-wsis-2005.pdf


Worum geht es eigentlich? Ausgezeichnete Leistung durch die USA, aber man deklariert das als Bevormundung und Entmachtung?! Was ist denn die Alternative?! Hauptsache gegen die USA scheint denen ein unheimliches Machtgefühl zu geben.

This outpouring of Vietnam derangement syndrome is due to the fact that a certain interpretation of the Vietnam war was the largest common denominator of the alternative reality which served as the placenta for the post-suicidal rebirthing of Germany in the 1968 cultural revolution.

It is not a statement of political interest, but a projection of inter-generational conflict into international politics. The parents of that generation would rather wail about the Ostgebiete than pass on the knowledge that the Asia-Pacific conundrum is centered around the Korean 38th parallel just like European politics were around the Berlin wall, so the alternative Vietnam war simulacrum was applicable as the major consensus narrative in which the fresh start of Germany could take place.

The free-floating interpretation of the Vietnam war served as a temporary workaround to bring people together to reinvent something into the moral vacuum of the post-suicidal society. Though it once emerged from the idea that stability is not a value in itself, it was omnipresent background for so long that it has not yet become fully visible that this cycle was now closed in America. John Kerry had finally proven for everybody to see that the two extreme positions "Anybody not against the war shut up!" and "Anybody who has not served shut up!" can easily be flip-flopped into each other.

The underdogs of 1968 have become the top dogs, and the Vietnamese still make the best fastfood. Victory in Iraq will be a great opportunity to let that placenta finally go, so the farewell wail of a sinking lead medium would be expected to be uninhibited navel-gazing. Still, it is absolutely amazing to see what degree of cultural fragmentation was possible under the shield of the NPT in the post-1968 period.

>>"Your Packer article mentions that they named a cafeteria after him at the University of Coloroado.
I wonder if wacko professor Ward Churchill uses this venue for his pro Al Queda teach-ins?"

I'm shocked at your levity regarding such a serious matter, George M. Obviously, if one consults the historical source material, it becomes much less difficult to understand the means by which the Republicans gained dominance in the red states. Indeed, one begins to grasp how a phenomenon such as George W. Bush could have occurred in the first place.

As for the Vietnam Iraq comparison?
I believe it is QUITE applicable.
When this Nation endures a Catastrophic Event it undergoes a Paradigm shift, which if taken at the cusp can lead political figures to power.
Pearl Harbour was such an event and the Leaders coming out of that conflict rode it to Political Power for a generation.
Vietnam in itself was such an event and the Peace Warriors rode IT to Political Power for a Generation.
9/11 is the Catastrophic Event of our present generation and like those before them the present Old Guard, does not see it as such and are trying, as has been tried before to do what has "worked" for them for the last generation.
Iraq IS the Vietnam of the 21st Century.
I believe the Electorate is undergoing a Change of State, and things should get very interesting in the near future.
Yes Iraq is the 21st Century Vietnam, but not in the sense that the Newest Old Guard realizes. It is a new Paradigm shift in America's Psyche.
Like their Fathers before them they have not seen the
Winds of Change, they continue to wave the Bloody Shirt of Vietnam, not realizing that is now THEY who are the Old Guard hanging on to the Tiller of the Reactionary Past.
And Like those they replaced they will be replaced.
History does repeat itself.

the 21st Century Vietnam
The Paradigm Precipice

Beimami, Great comments.

If you're interested, there is a website somewhere that has Vietnam Vets who were "there when..." setting straight some of the canards that came out of that war.

One story I remember involved another famous photo of US military torching a Vietnamese village.

The truth behind that photo is that a photographer from AP was assigned to follow a particular patrol group around for a couple of weeks to shoot pics of everything they did. Well, the problem was that nothing was happening. They went out on patrol after patrol, just getting wet and returning to base. On the last day he was there, desperate for some "action" photos, the photographer asked them to demonstrate their flame thrower on a long-abandoned village that was in their patrol area. The soldiers shrugged and "burned down the village". The photos went out over the wire WITHOUT the point that the village was abandoned. One specific picture from the series became rather famous. Eeeevile America strikes again! The photographer claimed that AP dropped the correct captions for the pictures, but we may never know the truth about that part.

Personally, I trust the soldiers' point of view on that, since no "frightened villagers" can be seen in any of the pictures. And after what's been going on in New Orleans and Iraq, I will never EVER trust the news media side of any story again.

If you're interested, I'll try to hunt down that website. I've seen it before, so I might be able to find it again.

@ambrose wolfinger

"The answer to your question as to why the German press is not covering the trial of Armin Meiwis is that this is nothing new. For example, the one member of the Donner Party who ever admitted to eating human flesh was a German, Lewis Keseberg."

If you look into history of most brutal serial killers and canibals, the usa has a "nice" record of such sick indviduals..........Dahmer, Fish, Shawcross are just a few of them.........! Maybe you should do some research before talking BS!

@Pamela
"What has Germany ever EVER done for the world?"

jesus did you really said this? maybe germany has brought some of the most important inventions and some of the most important "thinker" and "composer" and other scientists to THIS world! Maybe most of the post WII technology of the usa was invented and probably made in germany!
Remember? without one german invention you would have to use your feet to get your lunch at mcdonalds! now guess what invention this could be

Firstly its IMHO really silly to compare some wars with other wars, unless like VDH you are looking for trends within them. Sure there may be similarities: US troops are abroad and a Gulf is involved as examples but as FranzisM points out, the need (because it is a NEED) to compare Iraq with Vietnam is an inner German discourse and has very little to do with the actual events or the inner American discussions. It has everything to do with the 68 Generation, which did not just oppose the Vietnam war but rather attempted to declare itself cleansed of its past by opposing the Americans. These street fighters came to power and with a unified Germany now back in the heart of a non divided Europe have taken their rhetoric into official foreign policy to justify one war and to win an election by opposing another. As long as Iraq remains Vietnam in their minds then the Germans were correct and "good", the Americans wrong and "bad" and we can all be proud of our Friedens exKanzler and his foreign minister. If Iraq isnt Vietnam, then Germany has to ask serious questions of herself that go back a lot longer than the SPD and Green government. These questions are toughies so this "alternative reality" as FranzisM puts it is a cosy world to live in at the minute for the Spiegel readers.

@ Ambrose W.:

I suspect that you and your wife are on target. Communist states do encourage xenophobia. There was never a relationship between Soviet troops in East Germany as there were was between NATO troops and West Germans. I believe that Soviet officers highly encouraged their soldiers not to make contact with the local population. The Stasi, as your wife experienced, did the same with the local populace.

I had a personal experience around 1979. I took a tour of East Berlin with other American soldiers. We had to wear our uniforms in East Berlin. This made us really stand out.

Suddenly a bus load of Russian tourist pulled in. They seem to be excited to see Americans. They were all waving and smiling. The East German tour guide, a young woman, looked like she was about to have a nervous break down. The bus did not open its doors until we left.

The information regarding riots between Vietnamese and East Germans most likely came from refugees seeking asylum in West Germany. Just as we have recently learned in the Iraq war, intelligence information is not 100% accurate.

@ Ambrose W.:

I suspect that you and your wife are on target. Communist states do encourage xenophobia. There was never a relationship between Soviet troops in East Germany as there was between NATO troops and West Germans. I believe that Soviet officers highly encouraged their soldiers not to make contact with the local population. The Stasi, as your wife experienced, did the same with the local populace.

I had a personal experience around 1979. I took a tour of East Berlin with other American soldiers. We had to wear our uniforms in East Berlin. This made us really stand out.

Suddenly a bus load of Russian tourist pulled in. They seem to be excited to see Americans. They were all waving and smiling. The East German tour guide, a young woman, looked like she was about to have a nervous break down. The bus did not open its doors until we left.

The information regarding riots between Vietnamese and East Germans most likely came from refugees seeking asylum in West Germany. Just as we have recently learned in the Iraq war, intelligence information is not 100% accurate.

/replace/largest common denominator/lowest common denominator

PIMF!

Re "what has Germany ever done for the world" there is no other country which can reject the claim that the Islamic terrorists might make at some point: that nuclear fission would have been an Islamic invention in the first place. Just like without the Indians there would be no possibily to prevent them from legally claiming the Zero as their intellectual property.

"Obviously, if one consults the historical source material, it becomes much less difficult to understand the means by which the Republicans gained dominance in the red states. Indeed, one begins to grasp how a phenomenon such as George W. Bush could have occurred in the first place."

@Helian

I'm suprised that the Gore people didn't make this claim in Florida.

@LC Mamapajamas
Yeah, that sounds interesting. If you find the link, post it here somewhere or send me an email.

@Doughnut Boy Andy
You sum it up well, as usual.

@Beimami; I'll start looking around for it. Wish me luck... the last time I saw it was sometime last year! I'll see if I can find it :).

@Dan Kaufman: "Like their Fathers before them they have not seen the
Winds of Change, they continue to wave the Bloody Shirt of Vietnam, not realizing that is now THEY who are the Old Guard hanging on to the Tiller of the Reactionary Past."

This is a basic truth that I've been trying to get across to my liberal friends who think they are being such wonderfully dissenting rebels, and isn't it exciting? Support for the war is the dissent position, not the "peace" movement!

There has been a major paradigm shift, and the "Old Guard", as you called it, is trying to run the clock back to 9/10, when they were still pretty much in control of things.

But now the news is no longer controlled by the Old Guard. There are too many other ways for information to get out.

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