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"American liberals frequently tell the rest of us that we need to be more like those Europeans."

When I moved to Europe in early 80's I believed something like that. Then, in just a few weeks of exposure to the press, I too found out that "They make stuff up." Due to previous first-hand experience with the American press I was quite astonished to find that overall the European press was even worse than it was! Apparently things have gone even more downhill.

Another thing that burned down on May 29 was one of the many brothels which are operated by Americans for their own mercenaries and security forces, and whose existence in Kabul is an open secret."
Excuse me. Or not. Did not Germany import prostitutes and advertise brothels for the World Cup? As I recall, there was some concern that there was some human trafficking going on?

Lest I be percieved as parlaying moral equivalicey - I am in contact with soldiers in Baghdad and Kirurk.
Not one of them would fuck a Muslim if their life depended on it.

If Germany wants to claim moral superiority over Americans, you better start dealing with the honor killings.

~~~waves to David and Ray~~~

I'm back.

Just in case you didn't get it..
GERMAN cities are building mobile brothels and installing huge numbers of condom dispensers in the run-up to an expected boom in the sex business during the upcoming World Cup.

And lest I leave you with an easy out - not a chance

,i>Shortly before nine o'clock one Monday evening earlier this month, Hatin Sürücü left her five-year-old son asleep in their small apartment in the Tempelhof district of Berlin and made her way to a bus stop in the main Oberlandgarten Strasse.

Minutes later, a volley of pistol shots rang out but no one came to help Mrs Sürücü, 23, who was of Turkish origin. A bus driver discovered her body, with multiple wounds to the head and chest, about 40 minutes later and called the police.

Last week, Mrs Sürücü's three brothers, aged 18 to 25, who were arrested six days after the attack, were formally charged with the murder. They have pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody.

'How many more women have to die before this society wakes up?'


Re: Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) "making things up"

Let me first say that I highly appreciate Medienkritik´s work in general. To maintain your excellent standard, however, I think it is essential that you stick to sound research and facts yourself. Keep away from the cheap shots and the propaganda - and leave that to others.

I specifically refer to your remarks on an FTD-Op-Ed by Britta Petersen who wrote about brothels "whose existence in Kabul is an open secret". As you will see from her byline Britta Petersen has been working in post-Taliban Afghanistan for years and is in close contact with many Afghans. She knows what they are talking about and I regard her as a very trustworthy source. If you doubt her story, I think you need to provide your own substantive facts. Just refering to "Mr Google" certainly won´t do!

There is much more to this than just some vain nit-picking about a particular story. I think it is extremely important that Americans who have become sick of a general European media attitude do not fall into the opposite trap of ignoring any piece of information from Europe that feels unpleasant to them. This is just very, very bad intelligence! And it can lead to extremely costly mistakes.

Let me give you an example here: In 2003 FTD had its own reporter in Iraq. He was generally supportive of the toppling of Saddam and wrote a number of stories on the signs of hope and reconstruction. However, he also wrote a story about a town, where he felt anti-americanism was rampant and highly aggressive. I then had an e-mail exchange with an American gentleman who fiercely accused FTD of "biased reporting", "making things up" etc.

The town in question went by the name of Falluja. It became fairly famous a few months later.

So please remain open-minded and fact-oriented. I´d be more than happy to learn your own, substantiated version of the Kabul story, of course.

Christian Schütte

FTD Op-Ed & Commentary


"Lest I be percieved as parlaying moral equivalicey - I am in contact with soldiers in Baghdad and Kirurk.
Not one of them would fuck a Muslim if their life depended on it."

So the US Army is the first one not to enjoy the sexual amusements of an occupied country? I don`t think so ;)

@ Christian,

Thank you for your comments. Please feel free to email us with a counter-submission. We would be happy to post it as well and we will remain open minded.

That said: This recent piece by Thomas Klau in your online edition was an absolute catastrophe. If you feel it is necessary to avoid propaganda, you should avoid this sort of biased nonsense as well. Or, if you insist on publishing such work, at least put up a counter-opinion to balance it out. Here is our take on the piece. We were particularly surprised to see this in a paper as reputable as FTD.

Having said that, I hope Bob responds to your comment and we can clarify the issue. Thank you for your input.

"So the US Army is the first one not to enjoy the sexual amusements of an occupied country? I don`t think so ;)"

Sorry Dave, but I have to go with Pamela's ... let's say quite blunt ... description of what soldier's would or wouldn't do. I know quite a few who are in or have been to Iraq and every one of them I have asked have said the same thing as Pamela. The reasons vary from all of the danger involved to the "quality" of the merchandise in conjunction with where and how soldiers are based and the fact that a percentage of the soldiers are women. Do prostitutes exist in Iraq? You bet. Are U.S. soldiers customers? Possibly, but vary rarely.

As for Britta Petersen, it doesn’t matter how long she has been in Afghanistan. Her article is so ideologically driven and one-sided that I’m surprised it hasn’t been picked up by the NYT. Any half-assed reporter can "prove" anything just by knowing and interviewing a few people that will reinforce his or her own view.

---"Another thing that burned down on May 29 was one of the many brothels which are operated by Americans for their own mercenaries and security forces, and whose existence in Kabul is an open secret."---

Don't forget to include the frequent use of oxymorons such as "open secret". If being painfully cliche doesn't seem to bother the writers, then being anti-American certinly won't.

"I specifically refer to your remarks on an FTD-Op-Ed by Britta Petersen who wrote about brothels "whose existence in Kabul is an open secret". As you will see from her byline Britta Petersen has been working in post-Taliban Afghanistan for years and is in close contact with many Afghans. She knows what they are talking about and I regard her as a very trustworthy source. If you doubt her story, I think you need to provide your own substantive facts. Just refering to "Mr Google" certainly won´t do!"

I suspect that, in this case, your very trustworthy source is sucking canal water. Is this what "professional" journalism has been reduced to in Germany? One of your reporters makes a wild accusation, based on zero evidence other than the fact that brothels exist in Kabul, and the accused somehow automatically become responsible for supplying "substantive facts" to expose the smear? Tell me, when did it go out of fashion in Germany for accusers to bear responsibility for proving their accusations? If the secret of American "operation" of brothels in Kabul is so "open," how is it that your crack, reliable reporter can't provide even the faintest iota of evidence that this is the case? How is it that she can't provide a money trail? How is it that she can't publish the names of the people controlling the "operation?" How is it that she can't provide any substantive details of how the "operation" works, in spite of the fact that, if there were any truth to the story at all, it would leak in a heartbeat in the US media? Which military office or unit is directly involved? What funds are used? A few such substantiating details would not be hard to come by for any professional reporter worthy of the name. If she can't come up with any such facts, how is it that she dares to publish her baldfaced lies to begin with, and how is it that your rag dares to publish them? The reason your "trustworthy source" has not come up with such details, Mr. Schuette, is that she is a propaganda peddling shill, a liar who knows that her "editors" will only demand proof of the people she slanders. Anti-Americanism is, after all, where the money is, right, Mr. Schuette?

Mr. Schuette:

I appreciate you reading and responding to my article, even though I must take issue with your comments.

You describe Britta Petersen as a "very trustworthy source."  Fine.  But she's  telling us a story that has never been reported by any news-gathering organization (including FTD), nor by any anti-American political organization. It's never even been an Internet rumor!  Her only evidence:  the Yankee bordellos are an "open secret". This reader is skeptical.

Your reply:  "If you doubt her story, I think you need to provide your own substantive facts."  In other words, rather than having FTD publish the relevant "substantive facts" in its article you would have your readers try to prove a negative.

In addition, it seems that Petersen wants to leave her readers with the impression that American soldiers routinely machinegun Afghan civilians over traffic disputes. If this has ever happened, we need to know the details (she provides none); otherwise, what's her point?

Further, I would question Ms. Petersen's good faith.  It should be obvious to anyone that her project in Afghanistan would never have existed but for the efforts of American soldiers, living and dead.  In the midst of her insults, it would cost her nothing to acknowledge this, but of course she doesn't.

Bob Skinner

If this is such an open secret and Britta Petersen has been reporting from Kabul on post-Taliban Afghanistan for years, why did it take her so long to get this story?

I was in Jerusalem 25 years ago. I went into the Arab Quater and bought a sheepskin jacket and mittens. The Arab shopkeeper dragged me after an Orthodox Jew who walked by and we followed him for a few blocks in order to show me how the Jew murdered little Arab children.

The difference between me and Britta is, I didn't believe a word of his story and Britta did.

Christian
So please remain open-minded and fact-oriented.

Gladly. The only fact(s) in this article is that there was a traffic accident and people got upset and rioted.

See, I did it in one sentence. The rest of the piece is a forced extrapolation in order to bash America.

The context of the 'brothel' assertion is

How much longer does the U.S. want to show that it hasn't the slightest respect for the culture or citizens of a country whose dogged resistance has expelled every foreign occupier? Another thing that burned down on May 29 was one of the many brothels which are operated by Americans for their own mercenaries and security forces, and whose existence in Kabul is an open secret.

Well, frankly, the Afghans expelled the Soviets with American weapons and American money. It was a proxy war. The USSR lost and Afghanistan bled. Period. Too bad we didn't stick with it. Must have temporarily lost track of the imperial impulse and cultural disdain.

The empirical fact that Britta and/or her editor mentioned brothels run by Americans in a sentence following the assertion that Americans have no respect for the culture they are occupying is not lost on those of us with the ability to read critically.

It is an assertion with absolutely no evidence provided.

But let's walk it back a moment. Assume there are brothels in Kabul. Are the staff Afghani? Are they Muslim? Are they perhaps the detritus of the human trafficking that the European Parliament warned Germany warned about during the run-up to the World Cup while Germany was staffing brothels for the tourists? By the way, did German taxpayers fund those tourist attractions? Is there any public record of how much money was added to the German budget by prostitution? Just curious. Peterson doesn't tell us anything except that they are run by Americans for Americans. Maybe the Europeans just feel left out?

The European Parliament is warning about the trafficking of women and children during the 2006 World Cup of Soccer, being hosted by Germany.

Peterson's piece smacks of accusing Americans of behaving like the Japanese during WWII when they forced kidnapped Korean women into prostitution to service Japanese soldiers.

Now, do I CARE if Americans are running brothels in Kabul? Do I care that ANYBODY is running brothels in Kabul? In theory, no. Brothels in Las Vegas don't bother me. Sexual slavery, on the other hand, should be a death penalty offense.

I do care that Peterson feigns outrage about what she accuses Americans of when what was done in her own country defies any moral justification. I do care that what could possibly be a significant human tragedy is not addressed on its own merits but simply used as a bludgeon against Americans.

Oh, and one more thing. Do you really expect us to believed the Americans drive like crazy when we all know what life is like on the autobahn?


So all of this is based on a single German reporter?

Somehow this is supposed to be believed because she said it!

So if I say something about Germans it should equally be believed.

There is a question of facts. Fair enough. Where are the facts that FTD is prepared to present.

This only proves the mindless anti-Americanism reachs to all corners and levels of German society.

Are we really suppose to think of Germany as an ally of the US?

"Keep away from the cheap shots and the propaganda - and leave that to others."

Unreal! These people are like the Paris fashions. They defy ridicule.

I, too, went to my friend Mr. Google. Having served in the Army for 20 years, I did a search on Google using “Afghanistan” and “sexually transmitted diseases.”

Where ever there are whores, there is the clap!

I was only able to find this site pertaining to U.S. soldiers and Afghanistan. This is a site ran by the VA for guys deploying or returning to Afghanistan.

http://www1.va.gov/environagents/docs/AfghanVet302.pdf

This site warns:

Sexually Transmitted Disease Risks. Sexually
transmitted diseases are common in Afghanistan and
surrounding regions, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and
hepatitis B. According to the World Health Organization
(WHO), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases
are rapidly increasing in the central Asian republics,
including Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly among
injection drug users who share needles. Among
central Asian republics, the highest HIV and Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) rate is recorded in
Kazakhstan.

This site does not mention any history of veterans returning from Afghanistan with STD or HIV.

However, if you do a search on Google using “Afghanistan,” “soldiers,” and “STD,” you will find these two nice little articles:

http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/05/31/std-050531.html

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060611/soldiers_condoms_060611?s_name=&no_ads=

Here is the abrieviated context of one article:

Canadian soldiers' condom use way up: documents
We hand them out like Kleenex,'' said one military official. "(The soldiers) just walk into the dispensary and claim them. We don't ask questions.''
The troops are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and helping to protect a fragile democracy. They're training on bases at home to prepare for their perilous mission.
And in each of the last two years, they've used about $40,000 worth of lubricated, non-lubricated and non-latex female condoms, all paid for by the government.
Military brass do not keep track of where the condoms are distributed, so it's impossible to know how many are being used in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

So Bulwinkle and Rocky have caught the clap!

Gitte.....when you are walking the streets of Kandahar or Kabul, don’t confuse our guys with our neighbors from the great white north. They have little red and white flags with a red maple leaf on the sleeves of their uniforms....just like the little flags they carry on their back packs in Europe, so that you don’t confuse them with “boorish” Americans.

Gitte, while you are at it, you may want to check on the rate of clap for German troops in Afghanistan.

Article 134—General article
“Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.”

Article 134-38, United States Uniform Code of Military Justice-
The following subsection (2) was added by President George Bush, via Executive Order # 12473, on October 14, 2005:

(2) Patronizing a Prostitute.


(a) That the accused had sexual intercourse with another person not the accused's spouse;

(b) That the accused compelled, induced, enticed, or procured such person to engage in an act of sexual intercourse in exchange for money or other compensation; and

(c) That this act was wrongful; and (d) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces."

Maximum punishment

(1) Prostitution and Patronizing a Prostitute. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.

We are also not allowed to drink alcohol while deployed, as per General Order #1 of every deployment order. You will not see alcohol being consumed LEGALLY by American Soldiers on or off base. Of course you have those who decide to disregard general orders and end up in trouble. The majority of UCMJ proceedings and sexual assualts during deployments are usually attributable to the consumption of alcohol and other illicit substances.

This is not the Army of "Platoon" where Soldiers are either drunk or stoned all the time. A little research would bare this out. Of course, I can not speak about contractors as they are obligated to abide by General Order#1, but failure to do such usually results in termination and expulsion from the war-zone.

As for the condoms being supplied to the Canadian Soldiers- free condoms are also provided to American Soldiers and are readily available all over most camps. I know from personal experience during one tour, we could barely keep the condom bowls full enough. And this was on a base with about 15% females. The sheer majority of the sex was happening on the base. Period.

But what do I know, only two tours in Iraq and 19yrs in uniform.

Dear Christian SChluette,

a couple of month ago I saw here on german TV a documentary about german soldiers serving in Kabul.
One of the topics was about a german guy who after serving in Kabul left the Bundeswehr to open up a german Restaurant in Kabul complete with german beer and typical german food among it the german favorite menue "Eisbein" made of pig. In no way was this documentary critical about this lack of "respect" for the local culture where alcohol and pig meat are strictly forbidden. Why didn't you run an article about that?

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