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Comments

Those who can, do. Those who can't live in Europe and cultivate their irrelevance.

>That has to change.<

Agreed.


>If it doesn't, meaningful dialog will continue to grow increasingly difficult and the German-American partnership will continue to disintegrate.<

Don't think so. Since when does a partnership depend on the writings of a bunch of loonies? And I am sure that also Americans know about the existence of a blogger-scene here.

Maybe there is a simple reason for the fact that the media ignores the torturing in north corea or iran:
Those countries are not invading other countries in the name of freedom and civil rights. So it is not all that surprising, what is going on in their own countries.

The United States by contrast have invaded other countries in the name of freedom and civil rights. So it was simply more astonishing to see their soldiers torturing their inmates.

Dave,
you are saying we just expect more from ourselves. But I do not think that is true.

If we expected more from ourselves, then the Western media would also show front page news the atrocious behavior of France in Africa. But it does not. Yes, we have a free press and you can find information on how horribly France and Geramny and Belgium behave in Africa, but it is hard to find. Instead, we find "blame America" for the Sudan. When in reality the US cannot just go invade the Sudan, in part because France and Germany are already heavily involved there and would not stand for it.

The false perception that no one has been held to account for Abu Ghraib. Several soldiers have been charged, sentenced and imprisoned, the commander of Abu Ghraib was demoted.

I think they mean that if it's not at least a Rumsfeld landing in the slammer, then nobody has been held accountable--anybody of less rank is simply a scape-goat (in MSM think).

@James W.

“I think they mean that if it's not at least a Rumsfeld landing in the slammer, then nobody has been held accountable--anybody of less rank is simply a scape-goat (in MSM think).”

I did some research that I posted on this blog before. There were 240 to 600 Germans killed by East German border troops between 1961 and 1989. 260 East Germans went on trial. Most received wrist slappings as judgements. The only exception was the commander of the Border Guards, who received 8 years.

On the other hand, there is only 1 death attributed to mistreatment by U.S. personnel at Abu Grahib. There are 24 deaths that are still under investigation. There are over 100 deaths attributed to natural causes, escapes and Al Quida. (Remember back a while, Al Quida tried to break some of there people out. There were many prisoners killed in this attempt.)

The one death that has been attributed to mistreatment is working its way through the military justice system. None of the famous characters attributed to the Abu Grahib photos have been charged with murder. Ted Kennedy’s Oldsmobile has killed more people than Lyndie England.

This is a classic case of projection. Between 1961 and 1989, 240 to 600 Germans were killed by their own countrymen, under the questionable authority of a dictatorial regime. Yes, there was justice: but the average sentence for a perpetrator was a suspended sentence.

There have not been to date any Americans convicted for murdering Iraqis at Abu Grahib. There has been stiff sentences for the individuals that were guarding prisoners at Abu Grahib and who documented their unauthorized hazings. There has never been any evidence of torture: not on the scale of Saddam Hussain and his sons.

Oh, but Saddam *did* take pictures. Videos, even. One showed a guy getting his head sawed off while officers sang "Happy Birthday, Saddam". Copies of these videos were being sold on the streets of Baghdad not because Iraqis enjoy snuff films, but because they were that desperate for any clue to the fate of their missing loved ones. I can't imagine how the German media missed this, I mean, *I* know about it and I'm not a godlike journalist.

While I agree with the basic assumption of this blog that there is anti American biased reporting in the German media I don't think a Bush fanboy blog will change anything about that, because the gains in credibility by pointing out anti American media stories are more than eaten up by balant Bush cheering.

The current administration has been wrong on many things. Remember the WMDs in Iraq story? The same will happen to the "Iraq is doing well" story. The current rate of Iraqies dying of terror/sectarian violence/civil war (whatever you want to call it) is just too high for that.


Especially when it comes to Abu Ghraib I expect a little more truth and a little less fanboy attitude.

The real question behind this all is how far do we want to go when we need information from terror suspects. That question has been a major issue on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now. It involves those infamous CIA "torture flights" over German soil for example.

1. Can we torture if we think a terror attack is imminent?
2. If Germany/America does not want to torture, how does it deal with information about attacks gained from torture (remember the discussion about flying suspects to other countries to torture them and escape the legal implications in the US)?

Faced with those question the Bush administration decided in favour of torture (or special interrogation methods) however you want to call them. This has been documented. The problem ever since was "What methods are OK?" and who to torture.

Some of the pictures from the Abu Ghraib prision scandal show pictures of methods that were conceived of interrogation specialists. The soldiers that finally went to prision were never trained in those methods. That is pretty clear and direct proof that not all those responsible were held accountable.

Now how far do you want to go up the command? Put the specialists that also tortured into prision? The commanding general? Rumsfeld, who sent that general to Abu Ghraib, because he felt that not enough information was gathered there? Or even the whole administration for creating the legal and moral climate that ultimatly led to those pictures?

All this has been covered pretty well in the US printed media. Maybe you should read less German and more American media.

One more thing about that "msm" myth. Maybe the American main stream media is politically left of the American mainstream. But what exactly is left in current America? And what is American mainstream. The majority? Well, the majority is not always right. A majority of Germans voted for Hitler once (only sligthly above 40%, but since it was a multi party system his party got much more votes than any other one).

In all the press scandals lately it has become apparent that the American newspapers have a much higher standard when it comes to facutal reporting than the German papers. The Jayson Blair scandal would have hardly raised an eyebrow over here.

I forgot some links to go with this:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4989422/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9865301/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5092776/

@ UBetcha,

It seems that you have a selective memory:

"The current administration has been wrong on many things. Remember the WMDs in Iraq story? The same will happen to the "Iraq is doing well" story."

Not only was the current administration wrong about WMD, so were numerous prominent Democrats as well as German, French and Russian intelligence.

As far as the "Iraq doing well" story: Quite a few people and regions are doing quite well in Iraq. Schools and hospitals have been built and opened, power plants, roads and other infrastructure have been constructed. The problem is that the media almost never report on the positive, and so we are left with the false impression that everything is bad and getting worse. Obviously there is serious violence. There was a lot more under Saddam that rarely saw the light of day. Granted, the recent violence has been severe, but the media is simply frothing at the mouth waiting for a civil war to break out. That is wrong and it is poor journalism. No balance leads to a distorted view of reality.

"While I agree with the basic assumption of this blog that there is anti American biased reporting in the German media I don't think a Bush fanboy blog will change anything about that, because the gains in credibility by pointing out anti American media stories are more than eaten up by balant Bush cheering."

Asking the media to report Bush's viewpoint and side of the story is not the same as cheering for Bush. And please don't go back to the SPIEGEL poll gag and point to that as "Bush cheering." I think your assertion that all we do here is blatantly cheer for Bush robs you of credibility. Have you even read this blog on a daily basis? If you did you would know better.

"Or even the whole administration for creating the legal and moral climate that ultimatly led to those pictures?"

I love this "legal and moral climate" bullshit. What exactly does that mean? That is a nice sounding (hollow) buzz-phrase that Bush opponents can throw around to convince themselves they are right that Bush should be held accountable. Can you give concrete examples that justify the extreme abuses that we are talking about? Why don't you show us the "documentation" you claim exists.

It is true that some higher ups who taught the soldiers certain torture methods were never held to account. But even the links you provide state that it is unlikely that top administration officials knew of the worst abuses as they took place. The fact is that numerous soldiers broke the rules. The government has investigated and punished those it could find guilty.

"And what is American mainstream. The majority? Well, the majority is not always right. A majority of Germans voted for Hitler once."

OK. Now you reveal your true colors. Equating the majority of Americans to Germans who voted for Hitler. To compare the US in 2006 to Germany in 1933 requires a profound degree of historic ignorance. Go back and read some German history and then think about what you are saying. And you claim that we lack credibility?

Thanks for reading my post and answering it. Also reading my links is nice. But that last bit was a low punch. I don't compare the US in 2006 to Germany in 1933. I just don't buy into that msm bs that haunts this (and other) right wing blogs. So I wanted to show that a majority can be very wrong. The most drastic example that came to mind was Hitler.

"OK. Now you reveal your true colors." Right! Wrong! Black! White! You against me! ... I won't get into that, because guess what? There IS MORE than black or white out there, like some shades of grey.

Why should the media report anybodies viewpoint? That is exactly the difference between blogs, that represent the viewpoint of the blogger and newspapers that strive to (and fail when they do anti American stuff in Germany) report facts as such. And I have a very high regard of American newspapers for that, because they do a good job. But that is your whole msm bs talking again. Which is btw a whole different point. Maybe I shouldn't have included that in my post.

Some of the pictures from the Abu Ghraib prision scandal show pictures of methods that were conceived of interrogation specialists.

No, there was nothing about them that had to do with torture. And they were certainly NOT trained in torture, because any good detective or interrogator could tell you the "methods" portrayed in those pictures would be completely counter productive.

They were pictures of abuse by guards, the same that happens in many prisons in America and in other Western nations, though way on the extreme end.

@George M

There has been stiff sentences for the individuals that were guarding prisoners at Abu Grahib and who documented their unauthorized hazings.

Exactly! Many convicted murderers in Germany get off lighter--the hypocrisy of it just burns me. Recently, the parents of a little girl received less than 10 years (if my memory serves me) for slowly allowing their daughter to starve to death (torture in my book); there were also many other signs of neglect and abuse.

The thing is, it is true in a way. Sadaam was not held accountable by the Europeans, or the American left-wing. On the contrary, they made sweetheart deals with him.

On the other hand, it is not true in a way. George Bush is held accountable by those same lef-wingers. Had they the opportunity, they'd jump at the chance to dance on the graves of US conservatives. Not that Bush is a conservative, but they do support him in the war on terror, by and large.

They just might not like what happens in the aftermath of an American downfall or turn to isolationism. But they'll take a cue from Orwell and convince themselves things are much better.

@UBetcha

So you seem to agree that there is an anti-American bias in the German MSM; but, the American MSM is above all that and is basically reporting the facts?

Yeah....right.

Why should the media report anybodies viewpoint?

Journalists these days are constantly reporting their OWN viewpoints (often disguised as matters of fact). Let's just get both sides of the story. Often, the untold side of the story is where the truth can be found. The problem is that when a certain party, ideology, religion, politician, race, etc...is involved--the truth being told is, all too often, not the interest of those bringing us the "news".

You can deny American MSM bias until you're blue in the face--that won't make it go away.

Ubetcha,

Those three MSNBC articles that you allude to are all 2 to 3 years old. All of these stories are written with innuendo and conjecture: no facts.

Check out my article which is only one year old: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/03/16/national/w113007S95.DTL

My article lists by name every Iraqi in Iraq who has died in or under United States custody, and the circumstances in which he or she died in.

Again, there are only 24 cases under investigation and one in which charges have been made. You need to get off the Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey. The amount of deaths of prisoners under U.S. custody is minimal. More die from prison breaks and ill-health than die while under interrogation.

Also note that all of the stories pertaining to Iraqi prisoners under U.S. custody are pretty old. The U.S. media has already moved on and occupied themselves with other pressing issues such as Dick Cheney shooting his friend. (Ted Kennedy's Oldsmobile has still killed more people than Cheney's Remington shot gun.) When I made my Google search, the newest information was one year old. It is likely that there are now final dispositions to the 24 open cases that were under investigation last year. Since the MSM is silent about them, I must infer that there has not been any noteworthy indictments of U.S. soldiers.

@UBetcha: Hoo boy, where do I start:

"While I agree with the basic assumption of this blog that there is anti American biased reporting in the German media I don't think a Bush fanboy blog will change anything about that, because the gains in credibility by pointing out anti American media stories are more than eaten up by balant Bush cheering. "

In the liberal mantra, pointing out anti-Americanism *is* blatant Bush cheerleading. Or jingoism. Or mindless patriotism. In their world view, tt is politically incorrect to challenge anti-Americanism in any way, in any forum. All such cahllenges are morally invalid on their face.

"The current administration has been wrong on many things. Remember the WMDs in Iraq story? "

The evidence emerging now shows that Bush (and the French and German intelligence services) were absolutely right about the WMDs. Much remains yet to be told, but it appears now that most of it was moved out of Iraq right before the war (with Russia's help), and some other bits were destroyed.

"Especially when it comes to Abu Ghraib I expect a little more truth and a little less fanboy attitude."

And what, in your opinion, would the "truth" be? Give examples of tortue that occurred under U.S. control at Abu Ghraib. Be specific. Clue: The testimony of al-Q operatives does not constitute evidence.

"The real question behind this all is how far do we want to go when we need information from terror suspects. That question has been a major issue on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now. It involves those infamous CIA "torture flights" over German soil for example."

Which of course the German government knew of and approved of, even as they lied to the world about it. Actually, the first two sentences of this paragraph raise a good question, and there are no easy answers. Is it moral to tortue someone to get information about about a pending operation? What if you've got the wrong person? On the other hand, what if you've got the right person, and you don't torture and you don't get the info, and the failure to do so results in the death of thousands?


"Faced with those question the Bush administration decided in favour of torture (or special interrogation methods) however you want to call them. This has been documented. The problem ever since was "What methods are OK?" and who to torture."

Well, no, that's no the only problem. The bigger problem is what the definition of the word "torture" is. It is the official position of Human Rights Watch that merely questioning the detainees, without any form of coercion whatsoever, in it itself constitutes torture. I've posted the link to their position paper here before. It is also the official positions of Amnesty International and the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that the United States, alone among all nations in the world, is not permitted to hold prisoners at war at all.

"Now how far do you want to go up the command? Put the specialists that also tortured into prision? The commanding general? Rumsfeld, who sent that general to Abu Ghraib, because he felt that not enough information was gathered there? Or even the whole administration for creating the legal and moral climate that ultimatly led to those pictures?"

As other posters have pointed out, the "legal and moral climate" stuff is just meaningless liberal buzz-wording. Tell you what. Let's take your theory to its logical conclusion. Who elected Bush? The American people. Therefore, why aren't they responsible too? Why aren't you calling for ever single citizen of the U.S. to be tried before the ICC?

"Well, the majority is not always right. A majority of Germans voted for Hitler once (only sligthly above 40%, but since it was a multi party system his party got much more votes than any other one)."

You just stepped over the line here, bucko.

"In all the press scandals lately it has become apparent that the American newspapers have a much higher standard when it comes to facutal reporting than the German papers. The Jayson Blair scandal would have hardly raised an eyebrow over here."

The Jayson Blair scandal hardly raised an eyebrow with the American MSM at the time it occurred. If it hadn't been for the blogs, Blair would still be with the NYT. The paper only changed sides because it was politically more expedient to do so at the time. And in fact, the NYT has done nothing to rectify any aspects of their practices or ethics that led to the Blair scandal. The door is wide open for someone else at the NYT to do the same thing.


"And I have a very high regard of American newspapers for that, because they do a good job. "

They do a crappy job, and have for a long time. I could go back to the Corvair reports in the late '60s that launched Ralph Nader's career. The tests that "exposed" the Corvair were rigged. Car and Driver magazine obtained the original films and test data and blew the whistle on that around 1978. Then we had the NBC reporters who were doing a report on how dangerous a pickup truck was, but when they crashed the truck, it didn't blow up in a satisfactory manner. So they rigged it with explosives. And that brings up to the recent Hurricane Katrina coverage, where in the immediate aftermath of the storm, the MSM engaged in alarmist and factually untrue reporting that directly contributed to aid and security not getting to where it needed to be in New Orleans. And the recent scandal where CNN falsely reported that two miners in a West Virgina accident had been rescued, creating a chaos that delayed the rescue efforts. (And I never even mentioned Dan Rather...)

You ask what motivation the American MSM would have for maintaining a liberal bias. It's actually quite simple: for a variety of reasons, the crop of journalists in America these days consists largely of libertines, slackers, and people who live under the delusion that they are superior to other people and therefore deserving of special privileges. Back in the '60s, the left was where you found the dope smokers, the free-lovers, the welfare queens, and the people who in general expected to live their lives on someone else's dime. The crop of journalists found their kindred spirits in these dregs of the left, and in order to fit in, adopted their political philosophy (such as it was). That's pretty much the story. I have no doubt that if things had gone differently after WWII, and the Kerouac types had aligned themselves with the Right, today's American journalists would all be conservatives (albiet for all the wrong reasons).

"The evidence emerging now shows that Bush (and the French and German intelligence services) were absolutely right about the WMDs. Much remains yet to be told, but it appears now that most of it was moved out of Iraq right before the war (with Russia's help), and some other bits were destroyed."

I can see the movie: "WMD - MIA" starring Chuck Norris

@ UBetcha,

You may want to take a look at this book written by an Iraqi if you think the idea that Saddam may have transferred his WMD to Syria is completely groundless.

Some other good articles to read to balance perspective:

WMD in Iraq (Sada interview) Pt 1
http://townhall.com/opinion/columns/larryelder/2006/03/02/188299.html

WMD in Iraq (Sada interview) Pt 2
http://www.townhall.com/opinion/column/larryelder/2006/03/09/189159.html

Guantanamo better than Belgian prisons-OSCE expert
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyid=2006-03-06T180359Z_01_L06336874_RTRUKOC_0_US-EU-USA-GUANTANAMO.xml

New Book Shames French Prisons
http://www.studentbmj.com/back_issues/0300/news/55b.html

"The Head of the Snake" - Michael Totten exposes the evil in Iraq
http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001068.html

Of course, there are tons more. No doubt many Germans will seek out all sides to a story to find the truth. And, believe me, Americans welcome true, honest debate and suggestions on what to do with detainees in this "long war". However, before there can be honest debate....facts must be known in proper perspective and they must be known by people with open minds. I hope America can have a partner, in Germany, with solving these issues.

I can't believe there is a discussion about WMD "hiding" or something like that. American troops have been all over Iraq ever since the war ended and could not find a single trace or witness. Otherwise that administration would have been all over the news channels however small the evidence was. Remember the Nigerian Uranium?

On Wednesday evening the ARD (German public television channel) featured a documentary about the German intelligence service. The head of that service was on clarifying that WMD myth. He stated that it was one of their Iraqi sources that came up with some of the evidence later on used in the Powell briefing to the UNSC. German intelligence never blieved that source and were right. It was all made up. But someone else was eager to believe that source however insignificant it was.

The only people spreading the myth that French or German intelligence services were fooled are coming from the current US administration for obvious reasons.

So RayD. On the one hand you say the current administration were not the only ones that were wrong about WMD in your first answer and then you say the they were right, because they may have been transferred?

One more thing I don't understand here. You put up a link to an article by "The Smoking Gun" ( http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/jackstraw1.html ) about torture under Saddam. The sources in that story are human rights groups such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

If you think so highly of those sources, why don't we have a look at what those highly regarded sources say about the US:

http://www.cnn.com/US/9903/04/amnesty.women.prison/
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/13/global12428.htm
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/19/afghan12319.htm
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/24/usdom12517.htm
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/16/usdom12311.htm
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE140052006

That list goes on and on. Threatening people with rape, or mind torturing people (pitch black for days, strobe lights, loud music) doesn't sound as bad as drilling through hands, but is torture none the less and leaves the mind damaged. Nowdays "white torture" is much more in vogue, since it does not leave the obvious scars. Iran seems to like it, too:

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news/press/15199.shtml

Remember the pictures of Guantanamo where the detainees had their ears, eyes, mouth and nose covered and their hands in gloves? That was a very simple form of "white torture". Since not many people know how it works they even showed them to the press.

James W, that crime you mention broke my heart. My daughter was the same age as that poor little girl at the time. If people want to know what torture is, just read about that case (actually, here on DM):

http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2005/04/recently_spiege.html

"How the German Justice System Values Children"

"The above article is also interesting in that it appeared only a few days after another article, entitled "Judgement: Sentence of Many Years for Deadly Treatment of Karolina," appeared in the very same section of SPIEGEL ONLINE. This earlier article was also about a small, minority girl. But Karolina, a three-year old toddler living in Germany, did not end up handcuffed by police...

"Little Karolina was brutally tortured, burned and beaten over a period of several days by her mother's drug-addicted boyfriend. During one beating, Karolina was so afraid she soiled her pants. Her mother's boyfriend, one "Mehmet A." then showered the little girl under scalding hot water, ripped out her hair and severely beat her. The mother and boyfriend afterwards shaved her hair completely off. The burnings and torture went on for several days until Karolina had been beaten into a coma. The little girl, her small body swollen, cut and burned almost beyond recognition, was left to die in the toilet stall of a hospital. She was later discovered and hospitalized, but died two days later without ever regaining consciousness.

"For this particularly brutal, sadistic crime, the killer, Mehmet A. received a ten year sentence from a German court. The judge presiding over the case would not even convict him of murder, sentencing him instead on charges of "assault with deadly results." To top it all off, Mehmet A. will spend only three years of his sentence in an actual prison, after which he will be transferred to a psychiatric institute for "rehabilitation." According to the Hamburger Abendblatt, the sadistic child killer "has already been convicted on multiple charges of assault and battery and has 16 unsuccessful therapy attempts behind him." Obviously, he has been let back out onto the streets time and time again by the German justice system, and, for now at least, it would seem that he will likely be let out of jail again at some time in the future. So much for the rights of the child...

"And Karolina's mother, who looked on while her daughter was brutally beaten to death and failed to protect her, received a five year sentence and may only have to serve two more years because of the time she has already spent incarcerated during the trial proceedings."

@ UBetcha,

"So RayD. On the one hand you say the current administration were not the only ones that were wrong about WMD in your first answer and then you say the they were right, because they may have been transferred?"

You need to look at exactly what I said and stop putting words in my mouth if you want to stay on this site. I never said "they were right because they may have been transferred." I simply pointed out that General Georges Sada, a former advisor to Saddam Hussein, has just published a book in which he states that Saddam transferred WMD to Syria. General Sada explicitly calls upon Syria's leaders to turn over the WMD he claims they received from Iraq. Read his book and decide for yourself.

"German intelligence never blieved that source and were right. It was all made up. But someone else was eager to believe that source however insignificant it was.

The only people spreading the myth that French or German intelligence services were fooled are coming from the current US administration for obvious reasons."

Wrong. German and French inteligence were wrong as were many Democrats. If you don't believe me, read this BBC report from 2001. So do you think Bush planted that story too? Common...

"One more thing I don't understand here. You put up a link to an article by "The Smoking Gun" ( http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/jackstraw1.html ) about torture under Saddam. The sources in that story are human rights groups such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch."

Amnesty International certainly does have a reputation problem when it calls US prisons "the gulag of our time" while hundreds of thousands are imprisoned, abused and murdered in North Korea and Iran. I don't believe that they or HRW are always fair either. That said, I think they do an important job and I am not here to say that the US has a perfect record. If and where the US makes mistakes, it should be called to account and reform just like anyone else. However, we must carefully distinguish between state-sponsored and supported abuse as in Iran and North Korea and that which took place in Abu Ghraib which has been condemned by the US government.

@RayD

I am sorry, I didn't want to put words in your mouth. Thanks for clarifying this. And no, I don't think what this general writes in his book is in any way significant for 2 reasons, WMD were never used and if they ever were there the US administration would have dug up at least some evidence to show the world they were not making stuff up.

That BBC report is interesting. I used Google News Germany and put in Massenvernichtungswaffen BND Irak and actually got mixed results. For example NZZ writes Der BND war damals seiner Sache keineswegs sicher. Er hatte seine Bedenken auch nicht verschwiegen. Der irakische Ingenieur, der in Deutschland freimütig über die Produktionsstätten von Massenvernichtungswaffen plauderte, galt als suspekt...

And you are perfectly right about that we have distinguish between state-sponsored and supported abuse and things done by individuals. However, when I write about "legal and moral climate" (which you already denounced) I also refer to the debate between McCain and the White House that took place a short time ago in which the White House seems to have wanted to exclude the CIA from the anti-torture bill.

UBetcha, have you ever heard of a place called Halabja? How in the hell can you say that no WMD have been used in Iraq? Are you one of those simple minded people that only care about people as long as you can use them for an argument? Are you a ghoul?

I wonder, what is the purpose of being a European today? Never has Europe been so wealthy. Europeans are immersed in the history of the 20th century and its lessons of thugs with guns, and yet a days sail from Europe, or even a tankful of gas and a drive east, thugs rule, and Europe does little to nothing. Us Americans have to cross the Atlantic, pass Europe and fight, pay and die so that there might be a chance that for these ancient people to have a democratic government. A free, democratic Arab world would be such a boon to Europe. Muslims would return, as has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. The free economies would require not the military goods of dictators but the middle class goods and services of which Europe produces. And yet Europe does little, and the US, which is paying the majority of the burden, and could well afford failure, which Europe can not, is the foil for abuse.

Very strange.

If the US fails, then what for Europe? Don’t Europeans play at least checkers, let alone chess?

Well, I think the US will continue, as it is the right thing to do. We might well go forward poorly and badly, but will do our humble best. Europe collectively needs help, but how do you put an entire continent on a psycho analysts couch?

UBetcha said: "On Wednesday evening the ARD (German public television channel) featured a documentary about the German intelligence service. The head of that service was on clarifying that WMD myth. He stated that it was one of their Iraqi sources that came up with some of the evidence later on used in the Powell briefing to the UNSC. German intelligence never blieved that source and were right. It was all made up. But someone else was eager to believe that source however insignificant it was."

Oh, that explains it. It was all made up. And, of course, if ARD said it, it must be true.

Just one little problem (well, not just one, but you gotta start somewhere)...if German Intelligence didn't believe their source, why did they pass the intell on?

Okay, let's discuss another problem. If it was made up, then it was a pretty incredible conspiracy because the British and French intelligence services corroborated what the German intell said. And, let's not forget that the Germans were the most adament that Iraq would have nukes much sooner than everyone else felt. Multiple, international witnesses attest to that fact. So, if it was made up, we know who the "someone" is (hint: it's not the US).

Hear, hear, Carl Spackler!

@UBetcha

In some ways I wonder whether what you are writing doesn't actually make the case for 'MDM' bias rather than the opposite. It seems faily clear to me that certain matter of fact are being written ount of the public mindset (if not the public record) by simply not being mentioned.

The WMD 'controversy' is a perfect example of this. The assertion is made my many in the mainstream press that Saddam never had WMD's - so therefore Bush was lying. Saddam's regime used poison gas on Kurds in Northern Iraq. Several times I believe. They also used them in the Iran war. These are established facts. Poison gas is a WMD - also fact. So the claim that Saddam had no WMD's is nonsense - and most of the reporters and commentators making that claim are aware of it (or ought to in any case).

It is also a fact that before 2003 many in the French and German intelligence services believed that Iraq had a program to create an a-bom and might be close to getting it. As the link to the BBC story confirms. But that fact is not brought up today by the very people condemning Bush and the US for making that assumption also. Bush was 'lying' and the fact that it was a common assumption then is rarely mentioned.

I think perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge from the postwar translation of Saddam-era documents is that Saddam probably thought he had an effective nuclear program going, based upon the reports that his nuclear scientists were submitting to him! Put this together with what the intelligence services (French, German, US) thought this actually makes sense. It's extremely unlikely that they had spies actually working on site in the faux nuclear program. It's very likely that they were buying copies of those reports from officials in Bagdhad - so they saw what Saddam saw and were fooled as Saddam was.....

When do we see this kind of analysis from the US 'MSM', as perfectly obvious is it is? Much less from der Speigel? Never......

@UBetcha

And no, I don't think what this general writes in his book is in any way significant for 2 reasons, WMD were never used and if they ever were there the US administration would have dug up at least some evidence to show the world they were not making stuff up.

They have "dug up at least some evidence"--the Kay and Duelfer reports. The problem is that the media chooses to focus on those parts of the lengthy reports that fit the "Iraq had no WMD's" template.

Now, I have noticed that you have avoided the "Bush lied-people died" rant that the left embraces; however, you did imply that the world may think the administration was making things up. Let's take that a bit further and say that they DID make up the WMD claims about Iraq. Why on earth would they not then go all the way and "provide" that evidence--if you catch my drift? Not doing so, to me, makes no logical sense at all.

I mean the left has to believe that:

- Several of the worlds top intel services were wrong.

- The UN was wrong.

- The Hussein regime was telling the truth.

- 14 months(?) of trying to gain international support was not sufficient time for Hussein to remove/hide the WMDs (satellite photos and one of Hussein's top military men (the book Ray referred to) definitely indicate that this is plausible).

- the secret labs found in Iraq were just for the sake of science.

- countless destroyed hardrives and documents were just part of routine spring cleaning.

- Hussein gave up his lust for WMDs after he threw out the UN in '98--what a nice guy.

Those are just a few points from the top of my head--there are certainly more. What are the left's arguments that render my points invalid?

This is an excerpt from Richard Miniter's book "Disinformation", page 103:

[David Kay] also said that his work was hampered by "six principal factors," of which the first two were that "from birth, all of Iraq's WMD activities were highly compartmentalized within a regime that ruled and kept its secrets through fear and terror and with deception and denial built into each program," and "deliberate dispersal and destruction of material and documentation related to weapons programs began pre-conflict and ran trans-to-post conflict." What was being dispersed and hidden if there was "no evidence" that Iraq had WMD?

http://wewillnotbesilenced.cf.huffingtonpost.com/
As you can see Huffington Post sponsors this.
And http://thomhartmann.org/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/4851097651/m/2701098361
here is where I fist saw it.

So when they demand in the video "not one more" and one death is too many they loose all sense of proportion or balance.

In two other debates: one had said that at least no one died as a result of capitalism, another one could only defend the position of not sending troops to Yugoslavia was 20 deaths (10 in a train and 10 reporters in a building) vs. the estimated 60,000 that he quoted as genocide.

Keep up the good work!

“you are saying we just expect more from ourselves.”

This “expecting more from ourselves” exaggerated nonsense simply results in the sliming of the good guys while the bad ones are essentially ignored. Ultimately, it ends up in moral equivalency.

That video cracks me up RR. You notice that it shows graph "capitalism" deaths rising vs. "communist" deaths falling? Hilarious.

David T. what you're eventually saying that 'expecting more from ourselves' leads to moral equivalency. You forgot, it can also lead to death.

I would like to mention that the Saddam Tapes may have a number of clues. We ought to be demanding Bush release the tapes.

Saddam may have been creating a false trail about the status of his WMD programs to deter his enemies esp. Iran and the USA. Thus - ALL the Western intel agencies got it wrong. Saddam took advantage of what the west estimated was most likely. (for another prime example of such foolery based on expectation you might look into the German expectation of a channel crossing near Calais in WW2).

The Western Intel agencies believed the picture Saddam was painting. It had the opposite effect from the one Saddam desired. Such is history.

@UBetcha

>>"Faced with those question the Bush administration decided in favour of torture (or special interrogation methods) however you want to call them."

My opinions regarding the Administration's use of torture are probably pretty close to yours. I agree that there has been torture, and I agree, with Senator McCain, that it must be stopped. However, as its title implies, the goal of this blog is to provide critical analysis of the German media, not decide who is right about the torture issue. If you are really concerned about torture, it seems reasonable to ask whether the German media is part of the problem, or part of the solution. That question is also germane to the mission of this blog.

Apologists for the German media like to hide behind the "objective criticism" canard, as if criticism only came in one color, and distinctions between positive and negative criticism simply didn't exist. The people who run the German media have generally discovered that anti-Americanism sells. The idea that they are criticizing torture by the U.S. because they want to stop it is shear, utter nonsense. Nothing could be further from the truth. They thrive on torture, grasp eagerly at any new "revelations" about it, and present it as luridly and one-sidedly as possible. The reason is not principle, but money. The portrayal of the U.S. as an evil empire is a lucrative business in Germany. Don't believe me? Just go into any book store and look around.

Tell me, UBetcha, how much coverage have you seen in the German media of principled people in the U.S. on the other side of the torture debate, such as Charles Krauthammer? How much concern have you seen about torture if there's no anti-U.S. angle? How much concern have you seen for insuring that the scale and scope of torture is seen in its proper perspective? How evident have dissenting points of view on the torture issue been in the German media? The answer to all of the above can be summed up in one word: "miniscule."

The German media's slant and bias on the torture issue isn't only obvious to me. It's also obvious to the apologists for torture in the U.S. It plays right into their hands. If you've ever listened to talk radio, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Negative criticism that lacks any semblance of fairness or balance is an effective tool in the hands of the torturers. Objectively speaking, the German MSM is not an opponent of torture, but one of its most effective collaborators.

You can play along with the "objective criticism" charade if you want, but count me out. The difference between positive and negative criticism may be a mystery to you and the editors of Spiegel, but I suspect the difference is pretty obvious to most people. Are you really concerned about the torture issue? Do you really want to do something to stop torture? Then I suggest you join Medienkritik in exposing the media profiteers who exploit the issue to promote hate rather than apologizing for them.

Ray D: "Not only was the current administration wrong about WMD, so were numerous prominent Democrats as well as German, French and Russian intelligence."

Don't forget Saddam's Generals. They were stunned to learn 3 months before the March 2003 invasion, that they did not have WMD. Saddam kept this information very tightly held, successfully. If Iraq's top military commanders did not know, it's hard to blame Bush for not knowing.

Of course, this is beside the point. Saddam/Iraq signed a ceasefire. They violated this ceasefire on a daily basis. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to give Saddam/Iraq one more chance to comply with the ceasefire. They didn't and "serious consequences" followed.

What use is the UN, if it will not uphold its resolutions? This lack of credibility is what leads to miscalculations, like what we see Iran is doing now. Americans have supported attacking Iran, since 1979 and the attack and hostage taking by the Mullahs. It's going to happen, due in part to the feckless UN/EU and Euroweenies. United we could apply pressure and avoid war. Blaming America first, undercutting a real effort to get rid of the Iranian nuclear program is leading to war. Thank you France, Germany and Russia. Good going!

UBetcha: Here's info from that right-wing Bush Fanboy Club, the San Francisco Chroncile via Newsmax http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/4/17/141224.shtml

Jordan's King Abdullah revealed on Saturday that vehicles reportedly containing chemical weapons and poison gas that were part of a deadly al-Qaida bomb plot came from Syria, the country named by U.S. weapons inspector David Kay last year as a likely repository for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

"It was a major, major operation. It would have decapitated the government," King Abdullah told the San Francisco Chronicle.
[...]
King Abdullah said that trucks containing 17.5 tons of explosives had come from Syria, though he took pains not to implicate Syrian President Bashir Assad in the al-Qaida plot, saying, "I'm completely confident that Bashir did not know about it."

In his testimony before Congress last year, weapons inspector Kay said U.S. satellite surveillance showed substantial vehicular traffic going from Iraq to Syria just prior to the U.S. attack on March 19, 2003.
While Kay said investigators couldn't be sure the cargo contained weapons of mass destruction, one of his top advisers described the evidence as "unquestionable."
[...]
A car belonging to the al-Qaida plotters, containing a chemical bomb and poisonous gas, was intercepted just 75 miles from the Syrian border.

1. We have David Kay, who headed the group in Iraq searching for WMD suggesting that the Saddam sent his WMD to Syria.

2. We have possibly these same WMD being used in an attempt to kill tens of thousands of Muslims btw, in Amman, Jordan. I've read estimates of deaths, if this thing had gone off of up to 80,000 dead.

3. Al Qaida would set off such a bomb in Berlin, if they could. The Jihadis are conducting a worldwide war on Jews, Christians, Americans, Europeans and Muslims, who don't agree with their version of Islamic Heaven. See Taliban-ruled Afghanistan or the al Qaida/insurgent-ruled towns in Iraq. Once freed from these terrorists, the townspeople love the Americans.

4. The problem of media bias is that it misinforms the people. The people have the responsibility to make decisions at the ballot box. Misinformed citizens cannot then hold their elected officials to realistic account. Bad decisions that are destructive is the result. Don't you get it?

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