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» Genocide: U.S. calls for more sanctions against Sudan, but Germany sees business opportunities from Atlantic Review
UPDATE 12/02/05: FirstDavids Medienkritik featured this post, and then the Wall Street Journal criticized Germany's participation in the Khartoum trade fair as well. If you are not a WSJ subscriber, you can read an excerpt of the WSJ article at this [Read More]

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You guys are certainly on a roll this week. It's a pity you so much fodder for your cannons. Keep up the good fight; without doubt your blog is making a difference.

Too bad this commentary is not open content, but even from the excerpt quoted here one thing can be said for sure: If Europe wants to successfully address external moral issues, it first has to settle its internal moral issues.

If there weren't unresolved moral issues between the European nations themselves such a blatant attempt to divide Europe over relations to America as it can be seen in the "suspension of voting rights" campaign would not be possible. The most important such internal moral issue that needs to be resolved after it had been temporarily papered over during the cold war are the consequences of WWII to Eastern Europe:

Merkel has said she will also seek agreement with Poland and other countries who suffered under the Nazis on how to remember the suffering of ethnic Germans expelled from Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe at the end of the war.

Poles fear a "Center Against Expulsions" planned in Berlin by a German foundation's could reopen wartime wounds and encourage those who were expelled and their descendants to claim compensation.

The new German government has said it supports erecting a "visible sign" in Berlin as part of a European network of memorials to acknowledge the suffering of all those driven from their homes in the war.

"That has something to do with our own understanding of history. But it also has something to do with the trust of others in us," Merkel said in her debut speech to parliament on Wednesday.

When Germany wants a central memorial site, and Poland insists it does not belong into the political capital, why can't we agree to install it in Munich where the collapse of pre-war diplomacy began? The building where the Munich Agreement was worked out does still exist.

Great that the WSJ wrote:
"its companies wouldn't be able to attend trade fairs in Sudan
anymore."

The WSJ got it from Davids Medienkritik, which got it from us at Atlantic Review. And we got it from Neokomplott, but we digged deeper and found the German Pavillion website. And Neokomplott got it from Extrablog.

Bloggin is like science. Isaac Newton's bonmot "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." applies to blogger as well. One would only hope that the WSJ and others who stand on our shoulders, would give more credit!

@ Atlanticus,

You are right. This does demonstrate the power of the blogosphere. And it is a great thing.

As far as giving credit goes, I can say that we mentioned and linked to everyone involved in the development of the story who we know of and whom you mentioned (in your comment above) in our Sudan piece. In fact, I'm quite sure that our links brought all of those sites significant traffic increases. So please let me know if there is anyone we missed and whether there is something more we could do to provide the appropriate credit to those involved in the development of this story.

As far as the WSJ goes, I'm pretty sure its safe to say they picked up on the Sudan issue (and the bloodsuckers issue) right here first. I am personally flattered that they wrote on it and think they did a wonderful job. We have no burning desire to be recognized by them any more than we already are and the articles themselves are recognition enough as far as we are concerned. For us it is about the message.

Wow - I'm impressed!

@ Ray,

I am sorry, I did not mean to criticize you. I just wanted to describe how the "trigger up"-process worked. Extrablog, Neokomplott, Atlantic Review and DMK all did their share and all gave credit to each other.
Only the WSJ did not give any, but they don't have to.

Let's see, if any other paper picks up the Sudan sentence in the WSJ and then does some googling and finds one of our blogs and then covers this issue more in depth.

The MSM is increasingly using bloggers, but only few MSM dare to acknowledge bloggers as they would acknowledge newspapers. It's okay. I wrote "using", rather than "abusing".)

I agree, it's not about getting credit. The message is more important for us as well.

I think the idea of a Center is a marvelous one - but there are many candidates for an appropriate site. I personally favor some Polish sites, such as the Warsaw Ghetto (lots of missing Jews) or the forest in Poland where thousands of murdered Polish officers were found after WWII. The Ukraine could contribute sites where the bodies of thousands of 'dispossesed' turned up. There are parts of Paris and Lyon which harbored thousands of Jews before the war - but they somehow seem to be missing now.......

Apart from that, why not site it at one of the old favorites such as Auschwitz or Buchenwald? Or the village in Limosin which was wiped out in a reprisal against the French Resistence?

@Don - The rationale to have the Vertreibungszentrum in Berlin was because it was thought as a counterpart to the Holocaust memorial, not as a replacement of the existing programs on the sites of crime, but as the addition of a kind of German Yasukuni shrine. This function requires a site in Germany, though not necessarily in Berlin.

Like its Japanese counterpart, this is a religious institution, with the 1950 Charta der Vertriebenen that is at the heart of the campaign claiming "the right to our native land ... as one of the basic rights of man, granted to him by God." When it is built, politicians will visit it, and it will be on the media radar beyond our borders just like Yasukuni is. Only that Japan had the real estate before it settles the issues, while in the case of Germany it is the other way round.

The challenge is to find a context where this floating claim can be anchored in consensus with our neighbors, so why not take the root cause to which every discussion of the legitimacy of the Vertreibungen boils down with Godwin's-law-like certainty - Munich? Bringing back the Munich Agreement into the present might also help to prevent the Paris Agreement with Iran from turning into another Munich Agreement, lest the pandora's box of 1938 never be opened again.

A massacred French village probably would be the worst of all choices, given the political climate in France it would only be turned into a memorial site for the Jenin hoax. The objective of setting Europe's internal moral issues before external issues are addressed cannot be achieved with the focus on a specific crimesite or a certain type of war crime, but only when it is put on the political origin of the lawlessness that enabled the crime.

So it does not make a difference anymore if the USA or China or Saudi-Arabia violates human rights, tortures people etc.? You don't have higher standards than these other countries? OK I'll keep that in mind for future discussions :)

You are right, FranzisM. The USA should adhere to higher standards than morally inferior states like China and North Korea. And of course it is a lot more alarming to the European public to notice the slow but constant erosion of the concepts of civil and human rights in the most important allied country. Especially as it first put those ideals into practice. At least partially.

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