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Stern: "America is Destroying the West"

(By Ray D.)

(Update: Here is our latest response to Mr. Guessgen's second article: "Is America Destroying the West?")

Stern magazine has finally discovered why life is so rotten in Germany these days. The Western world is breaking apart and its all America's fault. This time it's a commentary in Stern magazine with a dramatic title: "America is destroying the West." Like so many Stern pieces, this article has all the tell-tale elements of the perverted view of America that has come to dominate and cloud the minds of many in the German media establishment. The article's introductory lines read:

"Commentary: America is Destroying the West

By Florian Guessgen

First the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, then the debate over the abduction of Khaled al-Masri. This week shrilly brought to our attention how deep the rift is between the USA and Europe. The West is threatening to break apart. 

Two times in the last week we experienced up close what rights the America of George W. Bush lays claim to for itself when it is trying to achieve its objectives.

Because this state wants to deter potential murderers, murderers are executed in many of its states. Merciless(ly). Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. In its selection of methods the state has made itself like the criminal."

As we mentioned earlier on this blog, the furor over the Tookie Williams execution allowed many in the German media an opportunity to gush moral outrage over one of their favorite pet issues: The death penalty. Mr. Guessgen makes no attempt to hide his intent, citing Tookie's execution as evidence of the supposedly "merciless" nature of the "America of George W. Bush."

But perhaps Mr. Guessgen doesn't realize that Williams' first trial on four counts of first degree murder and two counts of robbery began in 1980. The President at the time was Jimmy Carter. Williams' case, like so many death penalty cases in America since 1976, went through a rigorous and extremely expensive appeals process that lasted nearly two and a half decades. The vast majority of Williams' appeals at the state and federal level were heard and rejected long before George W. Bush was ever elected President. (See "LA County District Attorney's Response to Stanley William's Petition for Executive Clemency"  For a moral evaluation of Tookie Williams, check here.)

Due to the particularly violent nature of his crimes (killing his victims at point blank range with shotgun blasts), his role in founding one of America's most violent street gangs and his assaults on others while in prison, Williams' became one of a tiny fraction of murder convicts actually put to death in the United States. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, around one-thousand convicted criminals have been executed. That is less than one execution per state per year. Furthermore, the state in which Tookie Williams was executed, California, is a "blue" state that voted overwhelmingly against George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004.

But of course when someone gets executed in California, it is suddenly George W. Bush's "merciless" America that's to blame for many in the German media. No need to think, no need to understand the context, no need to differentiate. It's all very simple, just the way Stern's indoctrinated, spoon-fed readers like it: America is destroying the West and it is all Bush's fault.

Put another way, Mr. Guessgen isn't interested in a thoughtful debate on the death penalty or the Bush administration, he's interested in lashing-out at a nation and a leader that deeply threaten his political worldview. If he were genuinely concerned with human rights abuses and international law, he would be better served writing about his own government's business dealings with Sudan. He would be better served chronicling the Chinese government's mass executions or investigating Gerhard Schroeder's questionable service to Gazprom. He might even take a moment to question the German media's relative indifference to the thousands of killings and kidnappings perpetrated by Russian troops in Chechnya over the past several years while Germany and Russia were doing multi-billion dollar business deals for everything from trains to planes to automobiles to gas pipelines. But instead, Guessgen continues his commentary by comparing the United States to the "dark rogues" of the Russian mafia and writes:

"Methods like the Russian Mafia
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. The same principle is also used by the USA in the worldwide hunt for criminals. Because George W. Bush and the CIA are hunting terrorists - mass murderers, they allow themselves the right to kidnap and torture - without consideration for principles of justice or international rights. The ends justify the means. There that German al-Masri is just kidnapped for a short time from the Balkans, dragged to Afghanistan, shut-in, interrogated, probably also tortured. The USA, the home of the "West" works with the same methods of the dark rogues of the Russian mafia."

Davids Medienkritik has no interest in debating the obvious: There clearly have been cases of torture, abuse and mistaken identity in the war on terror. We would openly concede that, at times, the Bush administration has dealt poorly and indecisively with these issues. But Mr. Guessgen's assertion that the United States and its leadership have no "consideration for principles of justice and international rights" is simply absurd and symptomatic of an ideological disconnect from reality.

To claim what he claims, Mr. Guessgen must have completely missed the intense and ongoing debate in the United States on civil rights, torture and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that has permeated all levels of American media and politics since 2001. He must have completely missed the Senate's overwhelming 90-9 passage of John McCain's anti-torture bill and President Bush's recent decision to finally support the measure. He must have also completely missed recent statements by Condoleezza Rice on torture during her recent Europe visit. Mr. Guessgen's overwhelmingly one-sided statements further serve to confirm his disinterest in an honest, balanced and unbiased analysis of what is really happening in the United States today.

Guessgen: American Democratic Principles in a "Deep Freeze"

A second major theme of Guessgen's commentary is that the "George W. Bush's America" is a nation systematically violating democratic principles. Not surprisingly, Guessgen makes absolutely no mention of the emergence of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan when he writes:

"Liberal Principles in a Deep Freeze
The America of George W. Bush (falsely) imagines itself to be in a state of war, both domestically and abroad. The feeling of threat therefore justifies all means - the liberal (democratic) principles, so it seems, have been put in a deep freeze for an indefinite period of time. The West, equally a mythical place and normative credo, threatens to break apart in this war waged in a total manner. Only now is it becoming clear that the German-American quarrel over the Iraq War was, independent of Chancellor Schroeder, a symptom of a fundamental conflict that could shape the transatlantic relationship for decades: The American state is acting in a systematically anti-liberal manner."

By "liberal" Mr. Guessgen means democratic in a manner consistent with individual rights. One has to wonder how he could claim the American state is acting systematically against democratic principles when it has secured democratic rights for over 50 million people formerly governed by horrific dictatorships? Few people would deny that the United States has made numerous mistakes in its efforts to defeat oppressive regimes and terrorist organizations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but where would the peoples of those nations be today had the world followed the "moral" leadership of the German left and simply stood by and done nothing? Where would the people of those nations have been in ten years or twenty or thirty? Where would their children be?

Obviously, Mr. Guessgen never considers such questions. Instead he simply characterizes recent American actions as "baseball bat democracy." He writes:

"Democracy not as a torch but instead as a Baseball bat
Presently the USA assumes a world, like Thomas Hobbes, that is dog eat dog. At the least the President views the state as a protective community that has been permanently empowered by its citizens to protect them with all means. The state a la Bush is a Hobbesian “Leviathan,” an all-powerful being whose mission cannot be infringed upon by secondary discussions of values. That Bush resembles the dark Lord Voldemort more than the white magician Dumbledore in this, that is calculated. The global mission of the Bush warriors, that consists of bringing the world democracy and the USA security is unavoidably taking on irrational fundamentalist characteristics in all of this. In the hands of George W. Bush democracy is not a torch, but instead a baseball bat.”

Baseball bat democracy? It would seem that Mr. Guessgen is unaware of the Bush administration's recent commitment of $15 billion to combat AIDS in Africa. It would seem that he missed America's extensive rescue and humanitarian efforts and enormous financial contributions on behalf of tsunami victims in East Asia earlier this year. It would seem he overlooked massive US airlifts of aid and monetary donations to victims of the recent earthquake in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It would seem he slept through recent democratic transformations in Ukraine, Lebanon, Kosovo and Bosnia that were vigorously supported by the US government both financially and logistically. It would seem he never heard of ongoing, multilateral US diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve conflicts with both North Korea and Iran over their nuclear programs.

But here we must ask the question: How could someone not blinded by ideology have possibly missed all of these things?   

Americans According to Guessgen: Traumatized and Burning for Revenge

Guessgen concludes his article by suggesting that Germans take the moral high road and continue to "confidently extend a hand" to the American friends. He actually suggests Germans visit the US more through exchange programs to gain a better understanding of how "traumatized" Americans supposedly are. His final paragraph reads:

"Perhaps direct contact with the USA will help Europeans to also understand, how much the attacks of September 11, 2001 have changed the psyche of this land. America seems caught in a traumatic state, such as perhaps only relatives of murder victims experience. Pain and sadness are mixed with feelings of vulnerability. And to that is added a burning desire for vengeance, an anger against those who destroyed ones own life as it was earlier. Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth. America is currently making itself into the violent executor of this feeling. The Europeans must understand it, but they can not accept it."

It is striking how Mr. Guessgen paints all Americans and all Europeans with such a broad brush throughout his article. In blaming America for the supposedly widening transatlantic rift, Mr. Guessgen himself exemplifies many of the simplistic, black-and-white views of America that pollute the German media landscape. Like so many other elites in French and German media and politics, he seems to feel it his good right to speak on behalf of all Europeans without considering for even a moment that anyone within a thousand kilometers might possibly disagree with him. This overbearing arrogance so common in German and French high society is one major reason that several eastern European members of the EU remain so wary of the Franco-German partnership. It is this condescending arrogance of the left-wing German moral elite that must be understood...but not accepted.

Stern5105

"Stern" cover 51/05:
New Stern series:
The history of the CIA
How America's Power of
Darkness Manipulates the
World

(You can leave a message for Guessgen here. "Betreff" means "Re"; "Nachricht" means "Message"; "Senden" means "Send". You may want to send us a copy of your input...)

UPDATE: Mr. Guessgen noticed our article and published a response featuring translations of our work. We subsequently published a second piece of our own in reply.

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Comments

Ignorance knows no bounds!

Germany is not in the West. Germany has never freed a people from tyranny, not even themselves. Gotta pay dues to be taken seriously.

@Ray,

Excellent piece! You've completely and systematically destroyed the authors biased view of the world. Maybe Florian Guessgen is just an East German who grew up under a family full of Stasi lieutenants - as speculative as his piece above...

Good fisking, guys.

If I might add: executions in the US are almost exclusively carried out by states; which is why it was important for you to mention that Mr. Williams was executed in "blue state" California.

That seems to have been a distinction missed by Stern's editorial team.

i am against the death penalty, but hey Germany, what about a little perspective?
you .. the land of dichter and Denker .. had to execute millions .. almost all innocent..
before you realized.. hey maybe we shouldn't do this..
we.. the dumme unkultiviert hinterwäldler Amis.. have executed 1000 in about 30 years.. most (hopefully all) of whom were TODSCHULDIG..
geez could you be just a LITTLE more patient with us?

Nice to see that Stern is staking out the moral highground in the land of theories and abstractions far removed from any sense of practical reality.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth

When this is used as an example of injustice and cruelty I always laugh. As many of you will recognize, this is a Biblical injunction. But it means that the punishment must be proportional to the offense and that care is to be taken to avoid excess.

murderers are executed in many of its states.

Including Arkansas. When Bill Clinton was governor and running for President, he left the campaign trail to return to Little Rock to handle a death penalty plea for clemency. The inmate was mentally retarded. Clinton denied clemency and the man was executed. Marc Rich, however, was merely a crook who helped line the Clinton coffers, so received a Presidential pardon on Clinton's last day in office.

The America of George W. Bush (falsely) imagines itself to be in a state of war, both domestically and abroad

Here is the crux of the argument - and the fallacy.
If Guessgen can assert that the justification for all of America's injustices - a state of war - is a false premise, then all such justifications are null and void.

But America is at war and this war is not an act of imagination. We have been attacked repeatedly on our own soil and overseas. Guessgen, were he a serious person, would be asking why Germany, a country readmitted to the civilized West after almost 150 years of betrayal of Western values, finds no obligation to defend and protect. Perhaps, because as an act of his own imagination, he has imagined a 'myth'.

The fact that someone can make such outrageous claims about the USA without being really challenged reveals not only the abysmal depths into which the German media has fallen, but also the total lack of political culture and understanding on the part of the masses. The fact that a hit piece that completely ignores facts passes for journalism in the eyes of the majority is quite telling of the level of total ignorance that exists in large parts of the German society.

This article, supposed to put America in a bad light, is in reality an indictment of the German media and its willing enablers, the people.

Is there an issue of Stern that DOESN'T have an obession with America?

Just simply too many different 'realities' now to keep track of. And the insanity appears not to be subsiding in any fashion. Be brave, be strong bold carriers of the truth. Even die holding the banner.

If any of you are in L.A. tomorrow? Then be sure to attend: "Statesman-like" funeral for ..... founder lauded as a role model for urban African-American youth ..... a grand memorial service in Los Angeles on Tuesday .....

Speakers at the memorial service are to include Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Bianca Jagger, Snoop Dogg

Oh, dear lord, please tell me this is not true.
The German government captured Hamadi in 1987. (Stethem's other three murderers--Imad Fayez Mugniyeh, Hasan Izz-Al-Din, Ali Atwa--remain free, and are believed to be in Lebanon, Iran, or Syria.) Hamadi was carrying explosives that were the same kind use in previous terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, Hamadi--who remains under indictment in the U.S.--was tried by the German government, not our. He was given life in prison without the possibility of parole. But there was always an understanding that Hamadi would be extradited to the U.S. to face justice, if the Germans ever released him.
Germany kept none of its promises and showed the world that it really has no resolve in fighting terrorism. The Stethem family learned Friday from the FBI that Hamadi was released to freedom. Despite life without parole, Hamadi was up for parole twice and served only 16 years in prison. And unlike all other extraditions sought by the U.S. under an extradition treaty with Germany, Germany violated the extradition treaty and Hamadi's extradition was not granted. Reportedly, Germany did this in retribution for reported CIA terrorist camps in Europe.

Germany Secretly Fress Hezbollah Murderer of Navy Diver Robert Stethem

Maybe we should have secretly released good ole Tookie - into the bowels of Berlin. Maybe Germany thinks Hamadi is redeemed also.

Some redemption.

What's worse is that Germany released Hamadi clandestinely and provided armed security to escort him to freedom in Lebanon, where his two brothers and other family members are high-ranking Hezbollah officers

Pamela,

Does this really surprise you?

It does not me. It should not surprise any American.

Oh please. Someone call and make an appointment with Dr.Sanity, to have their allusions explained to them!

PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFENSE MECHANISMS - A Review

Psychological defense mechanisms are psychological strategies used by individuals (and by extension--groups of indidivuals and even entire nations at times) to cope with reality and to maintain self-image intact.

http://www.drsanity.blogspot.com/

Go read the whole thing, afterwards recommend these
citizens of denial have a chat with the good doctor.

If the execution of Stanley Williams had been carried out on the basis of "an eye for an eye" it would have been appropriate to shoot him in the face with a shotgun and provide no medical care as it took him two hours to die.

"Germany kept none of its promises and showed the world that it really has no resolve in fighting terrorism. The Stethem family learned Friday from the FBI that Hamadi was released to freedom. Despite life without parole, Hamadi was up for parole twice and served only 16 years in prison. And unlike all other extraditions sought by the U.S. under an extradition treaty with Germany, Germany violated the extradition treaty and Hamadi's extradition was not granted. Reportedly, Germany did this in retribution for reported CIA terrorist camps in Europe."

This act is a hostile act which is ostensibly a declaration of law against the United States!

Americans in this blogg should immediately notify their representatives. Perhaps a boycott of German luxury cars would be a good start to get Chancellor Merkel's attention!

@GeorgeM
Americans in this blogg should immediately notify their representatives

First of all, I'd like to establish the veracity of the report. I know nothing of Debbie Schlussel. If it is true......then you're correct - it is the act of an enemy.

@me
I know nothing of Debbie Schlussel.

Holy shit, Batman! Check out her bio

Some blurbs:
In 1998, Schlussel went undercover, dressed as a religious Muslim woman, to the Islamic Center of America, North America's largest mosque, and reported, in The Detroit News on its support for terrorism, and anti-American, anti-Semitic hate. She was interviewed and quoted by Rolling Stone about the mosque and its radical imam, Hassan Qazwini,

1998? Wow. She was ahead of the curve.

In 2002, radical Muslim University of Michigan Regent Candidate, Ismael Ahmed, credited Schlussel for his election defeat--when she exposed his tax-funded Arab organization’s financial and moral support of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists.

Schlussel, who speaks Hebrew, Arabic, French, and Russian, works closely with several Federal law enforcement agencies, consulting on fighting the domestic War on Terrorism,

The granddaughter of immigrant Holocaust survivors, Schlussel's mother was born in the former Nazi concentration of Bergen Belsen in Germany

Oh man. Wait till I tell the reb.

The Bundesnachrichtendienst has inherited all the Stasi's contacts to Hezbollah, so I wouldn't be surprised if Angela Merkel was confronted by a revolting branch of her government in the same way the White House is with its own intelligence. How can Detlev Mehlis be seen as an impartial investigator on the Hariri assassination if the German government cannot prevent such instances of collaboration?

@FranzisM
The Bundesnachrichtendienst has inherited all the Stasi's contacts to Hezbollah

Interesting point. In today's Wall Street Journal (sorry, not online), Garry Kasparov writes about Schroeder's move to Gazprom.

Mathias Warnig, as head of Russian operations for Dresdner Bank, first brought in a deal to purchase 33% of Gazprombank in August. (Dresdner also helped the Kremlin pick the bones of the Yukos oil company headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now in a Siberian jail.) Accordingly, Mr. Warnig was given a top position at the North European Gas Pipeline Company. Finally everything was ready for the arrival of Mr. Schroder. The deal keeps everything in the family as Mr. Warnig was a spy for the East German secret police, the Stasi, at the same time Mr. Putin was running agents for the KGB in Dresden. As Mr. Putin himself has said, there is no such thing as a former KGB agent.

Excuse me. Tell me again who is destroying the West?

I thought the last few sentences of the WSJ commentary Pamela mentioned above was interesting:

"When Mr. Putin and his friends are swept out and independent courts are established in Russia, Mr. Schröder and other foreigners trying to make a quick ruble may find that oil leaves stains that are terribly difficult to remove. Out, damned spot!"

As the old saying goes: Payback is a MoFo.

Btw, does anyone know when the German government's independent investigation into the possible bribery of the former Chancellor is supposed to kick off?

Pamela: Your post leads into some things that I've been thinking about recently. America can't be destroying the West because the "West", in the sense of the post-WWII American-European relationship, is already dead. It really died in 1991 with the Soviet Union, but we didn't realize it then.

Here's how I see the new world powers alignments shaping up. Note that geography plays much less of a role than it has in the past.

* The Anglosphere. This includes the United States, Great Britian, Australia, Japan, India, Israel, Poland (and other Eastern Europe nations), Taiwan, and eventually some portion of what used to be Canada. This group stands for strong defense of contemporary Western values. I believe that eventually it will include all of the Pacific Rim nations. Note that membership isn't necessarily restricted to English-speaking nations.

* Dar al Islam. This will include most of the Middle Eastern nations, possibly Turkey, possibly some other Pacific island nations, and possibly parts of Africa and/or South America. It will basically be an Islamic empire. It may succeed in taking territory from Russia and Western Europe; in any event, it will gain many concessions from them. However, beyond this, its ability to expand will be limited. It will eventually split into factions, but much mischief will occur before this.

* The Franco-German axis (including Spain, Holland, Belgium, and several of the Continental micro-nations) will join with Russia in a half-assed revival of the Soviet Union. What they will soon discover is that one does not produce strength by joining weakness to weakness. This alliance will plod along with weak economies, being nibbled at by the Islamic caliphate while attemping to work deals with both sides of the street. It will eventually find itself effectively isoloated; not by decree, but simply because the other coalitions will not see any value in dealing with it.

* Latin America. Hard to figure out what will happen here. Most likely, it just plods along as it is. There's an outside shot that it aligns en masse with Dar al Islam. There's also an outside chance that it aligns largely with the Anglosphere.

* China will continue for a while to be a suitor / loose cannon with all of the other groups. In the long run, the Chicomms are doomed; they will eventually be either deposed, or simply ignored the way the current Vietnamese government is. What happens after that is not clear. China has cultural resistance to aligning itself with the Anglosphere, but it correctly proceeds that Dar al Islam is a threat to it, and the neo-Soviet Union has little to offer it. China might try to build its own sphere of influence, or it might just operate as an independent actor for a while.

@Cousin Dave - A scenario in which Great Britain and mainland Europe are parting ways does indeed require the assumption that geography played much less of a role than it had in the past. But closely look at the past role of geography, it was always thought to play a rather little role, until some boiling point was reached (like the Munich Agreement), and suddenly geography played the central role. The smooth world trade which ensures that geography currently is so irrelevant may unexpectedly be disrupted and the Atlantic be much wider than the English channel.

Except as a booty of Islam, Africa is entirely missing in your geopolitical model, although its relationship to Europe is unique from any of the other Asian and American cultures: Thanks to Islam it still is an enslaved force, but nevertheless Afrocentrism is the only political ideology in the world which is in a position to invent a prequel to European (and Western, and Islamic) history. Ghaddafis shift from Arabism to Afrocentrism is as serious as Mugabe with his outlandish decadence psychosis.

The shrill rhetorics over Governor Schwarzenegger's decisions is because his politics is put in the context of the characters he played in the American movie industry, the tone is well-known from the Reagan era. There is a deep concern on the side of those anti-cineastic old European alphabet fetishists that if Atlanticism is based on images rather than on words, then it may be questionable whether it will be able to stand Afrocentrism when the latter unfolds.

Kids do wallow in fascination that an image says more than a thousand words, but in the beginning there was the word and not the image. Since the exodus from the pharao the core narrative of Western civilization is of an alphabetic nature, and if it would for the first time in history be based on images, Atlanticism might indeed be destroyed when Afrocentrism rises from its current slavery. Everybody knows we all descend from Africa, though not the Africa that was reinvented in the Americas.

The author of the Stern article comes up with the accusation that it was the West who had chosen to retreat to "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth", that is to go back before the Ten Commandments to the Africa of the pharao. As an accusation against the West this is outlandish, but as a risk scenario it is not, Afrocentrism has shown in the Durban Conference on Racism 2001 that it can take a fraudulent moral high ground above Europe just as easily as Europe can above America, since it is the identity our ancestor.

"Presently the USA assumes a world, like Thomas Hobbes, that is dog eat dog." Interesting that the German author assumes that Hobbes's analysis of human nature is no longer valid. While I can't endorse Hobbes's proposed solution (despotism), I think his worldwiew was (is) a lot more realistic than that of Mr Guessgen. Ultimately, a political animal like Saddam Hussein or Mullah Omar respects power and nothing else. No amount of UN Resolutions, NYTimes editorials or Amnesty International white papers will change the behavior of a dictator or improve the lives of those who live under them. A liberal gasbag like Mr. Guessgen might deplore conditions in Saddam's Iraq or Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in one of his fine articles. But it was American power that changed the situation on the ground...I guess that's what he dislikes about us.

Interestingly the Hobbesian dog from Rays translation in the German original had been a wolf. The political animal can be tamed at different degrees. But the romantic naturalism that is underlying the anti-American argument is not aware of the watchdogs that shield it from intellectual encounters with the Hobbesian wolves. Mr Guessgen alone probably would already lose in a talkshow against Mullah Omar, it wouldn't even have to come to to any real exchange of power. If he can ideed treat his irrational fears of the Hobbesian self-destruction of the West with Harry Potter lecture, as he suggests in his article, then it's fine for him, the watchdogs and the book market.

The chief difference between this sort of crap and the Pravda of old is that no one really believed Pravda.

"Betreff" means "Re"; "Nachricht" means "Message"; "Senden" means "Send".

What means "Bite me"?


@Pamela -
As many of you will recognize, this is a Biblical injunction.

I thought it was Old Testament (Torah)? Either way, it has a central place in Muslim teaching and law as well.


@Cousin Dave -
and eventually some portion of what used to be Canada.

That part's called Alberta.

The Franco-German axis (including Spain, Holland, Belgium, and several of the Continental micro-nations)

I wouldn't be so hasty with the Holland. Sweden or Italy should work well in that mix though.

If you think, "the Germans"( a bit of overgeneralisation here, isn't it?) can't see "reality" well and you see it so much better, maybe you will care to discuss the point with one of those poor little deluded fools.

For starters I have 1 question and some background information:

the question:

Do you think, that there is more separation now between europe and the u.s. and if so what do you think is the reason for this?

the background information, concerning the case of Hamadi:

He was sentenced and has served his time in prison. His case wasn't handled any differently to that of a German who had murdered another german. This is just the way our justice systems punishes murderers. Normally they sit for 15 years and thats it. We can still discuss wether this is a reasonable law, but to change it the law would have to be changed. After WWII the western allies tought us this new concept, the rule of law, and as a result to imprison somebody there has to be a fair trial with an independent court and a law prohibiting the offence in question and describing the punishment.

Asking the Chancellor to imprison him further or to handle him over, doesnt work, because the Chancellor doesn't have the power to order this. You see, after WWII, the western allies thaught us this other thing as well, separation of powers, where we formerly only had one Fuehrer, and as a result the whole question is decided by the courts and the justice system and not the executive branch of government.

And by the way, it is forbidden here, as in other european nations, to exradite somebody to a nation, where he might be in danger of execution. Thats just the law, and it would have to be changed before this could be done. To do this you would have to persuade parliament and to do this the majority of germans would have to be more favorably towards capital punishment, which they simply aren't.

And in my eyes this is NOT a question of pro- or antiamericanism, but of values and ethics, which really seem to differ a bit on different sides of the atlantic. Still I feel it as a bit strange, that these values were previously taught to us by your ancestors. In this way I feel, as does the original author, that we might be developing in different directions, which strikes me as very unfortunate.

anyway, just some thaugts I had...

Cheers

Bernd

Bernd, interesting points, but "ancestors" sounds too far removed from modern times & you're coming accross as condoscending. Yes, yes, isn't it ironic that 'we' taught 'you' what 'we' have now forgotten. Please, that's just f-ing retarded & so very condoscending. And while I'm not sayin it to you specifically, & is a general phenomena I've noticed, it's arrogant in its own right for people to give unprovoked lectures to us on everything under the sun, & extremly naive to think that European nations are the ones playing by the 'rules' that only the US ignores.

The differences in laws, etc are valid, & from that standpoint Germany has plenty of reasons to let the guy go as having served his punishment, but it doesn't look good from over here to see a convicted terrorist like this guy getting set free and back into the world. Read up on this guy, it's not pretty. For some reason, I doubt this guy has "found Jesus" & is now on the straight & narrow path. I won't be surprised the next time I hear of this guy in the news.
The cynical person might suggest Germany let him go to a third country w/out such legal concerns so that the US could pick him up without violation of tender European legal sensibilities (hey,Germany's hands are clean). Why, it'd almost be like an extraordinary rendition, something Germany would NEVER do for any reason, I'm sure. They'd be simultaneously throwing a bone to their favourite ally, the good ol' USA, and would do wonders for the unemployment figures by allowing their journalists another days pay to write articles exclaiming how outraged one should be at the US for this obvious violation of human rights.

Cousin Dave,

Your analysis is much closer to the truth than many want to believe. It is already taking place. The focus of the US has shifted from Europe. We seem to be playing this game of engagement right now because we are still feeling our way in developing a new doctrine. This was much the same after WWII. When we finally settled on the Thurman Doctrine the US came up with the Marshall Plan, NATO, the UN and what is now called the trans-Atlantic Relationship.

Today we see India, Japan, Australia, the UK, and Israel all moving closer together. At the same time, we see the franco Germans moving away. In t this case it they who are moving away from the US. This is the choice they have made. They can say whatever the choose to say. What matters are the actions they take. To date their actions are accelerating this realignment and shift.

As for Africa and most of South America, I am not really sure they will become players of any significance in this. As most of them have a historical link to the eurolanders they could in fact join that alignment.

FranNiz,

So what you are saying as it concerns the UK – they would align themselves with the french and Germans rather than the US. You have been reading too much euro propaganda. Equally you do not only not know history you seem have learned nothing from it.

You must be on some really good drugs.


GeorgeM

While it will have no impact what so ever you could write the WH. I did and I must say sending a handwritten letter to the POTUS asking him to withdraw the invitation of the Chancellor of Germany to visit the US was most satisfying.

She can say whatever she chooses to say or not say. What matters is what she does. So far while I am sure her actions to date plays well in Germany and much of euroland they have done nothing to rebuild trust and confidence in Germany.


Bernd

Your comments are so self-serving they do not even warrant a considered reply.

They do however show your total lack of understanding and research on this topic. This unfortunately is most common of eurolanders.

But here is one fact you should know. After Hamadi was arrested while entering Germany, the U.S. vigorously sought Hamadi’s extradition to the U.S. The Reagan Administration Justice Department even told the Germans that it would waive the death sentence if Hamadi was convicted in U.S. courts.

To answer your question about separation between the US and Europe is a bit broad. If you narrow that to members of the chocolate summit and the US, then the answer is yes.

Hopefully this will accelerate in the near future. As to who is at fault is really immaterial. The important thing is it is happening. It is unfortunate it is taking such a long time to accomplish.

If your comments about Hamadi are an indication of what you are going to bring to the picnic, then you are wasting your time and the time of others.

GeorgeM

Here if you do not already have this:

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Amerika should try to understand the european states with their past and not judge and europe should try to understand that all our common values in the west are threatened by idealistic blinded people.
We in Europe in all states know what war means on own ground with all his cruel and destroying consequences. Thats why people here are so frightend and it is reasonnable. Its only 60 years ago.
I instantly hope that the sleeping of Dornröschen (europe ) will not be broken by atomic bombs of further "developing" countries.
kiss her awake but smoothly :-)

Amerika should try to understand the european states with their past and not judge

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

It's good advice even without the religious connotations.

@joe - Thriftier explanation, this is just the internet, so I remain a real-life European even on my virtual-reality visits to America. It's just like when I drink Californian wine, I still do have the headache here in Germany rather than in California.

So, yes I do think in the case of failure, Britain would be persuaded to appeasement by Germany, just like at the time of the Munich Agreement, but I also think that the question whether the Paris Agreement will become a rerun of Munich is still open on the continental level. Either the EU-3 will fail in the IAEA or not, but whether such a failure would take the form of an antagonism between the European mainland and the shelf islands is a question on which I spend just as much mindshare as on the question whether Texas might join Mexico.

I don't understand this article. I've read the Stern for the last 3 years. Most of the time Guessgen's articles are relatively good, but this...

Have no idea, why Guessgen believes that the death penalty is a symbol the segregation of Europe and the US. Actually, from my point of view, for these 50 or 60, who receive the death penalty a year, it's not even worth talking about.
If he would have found any other "measures" how the tense between Europe and America rises, I could at least understand it.

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