I guess we have learned to accept a certain amount of idiocy in the never ending quest of the German media to paint negative pictures of America. Still, every now and then you come across a piece that's even more outrageous, even more venomous than the usual run-of-the-mill anti-American crap you get used to from the German media. Here's a shining example from the liberal weekly "Die Zeit": American soldiers playing soccer with severed heads of Iraqis.
Medienkritik reader CH made as aware of this story about a deserter from the American army because of the war in Iraq:
I am writing to you because I came across this article in 'Die Zeit'. Among other things, the article makes the claim that the American soldiers play soccer with the heads of dead Iraqis:
Josh has no fear. What should one be afraid of when one has stormed 75 houses in Ramadi and Falludscha and has seen how his comrades play soccer with severed heads of dead Iraqis? What should one still be afraid of, then, someone should tell him. No one can say that to him – not to him.
That which lies behind them is the stuff the people in Hollywood will make movies out of in ten years, when the Iraq war, like that in Vietnam, goes down in history as a great failure. In the film it’s about a simple religious man from Oklahoma who becomes
a traitor to his country. But the traitor possesses an amount of boldness and defiance that makes heroes out of men, and which is seldom to be encountered in an Army that demands unquestioning obedience. (...)
The patriot Joshus Key has become a man who is appalled over the destructive power of the war and his own naivety. (...)
For now Joshua and Brandi Key live off of donations, and lectures that Key gives. In front of unionists, pupils, students. He speaks of his experiences in Iraq and of the guilt that he feels – but that people not damn him, he was part of a system from which he distances himself and that he holds for wrong. He appears himself in Mosques and apologizes for the calamity that he and his men had wrought. That is how he sees it. There stands a young father of four, who might come from the lower class, who might have been apolitical, but who now hauntingly reports and sharply analyzes. And sometimes cries. (emphasis added)
I find the (I feel, unsupported) claim (of playing soccer with heads) (which is sort of just presented as a matter of fact typical thing that Americans would do) quite out of line. If something like that were happening then obviously I'd want it to be addressed, but it just seems to me that the journalists are using the claims of this deserter as fact in order to propagate the Amis = Terrorists crap (excuse me) that seems to be plastered everywhere in the German newspapers daily. I probably should stop reading them, since it makes me infuriated with Germany in general, and I know that (despite what it would seem like from the press) a lot of Germans are not wrapped up in this political tripe. I am still worried however at where this direction will lead, because I see nothing good coming from it. Hopefully more people will start to question what they read.