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Ray,

There is one thing you didn't mention:

> As an historic reminder to Mr. Mascolo, the United States suffered
> 81,000 casualties and 19,000 combat deaths in the Battle of the Bulge
> alone, and the nation was certainly not too weak to finish the task of
> occupying Germany.

Now the US' population is almost 300 million. Back in the 1940's, the population of the US was less than half of today. http://www.npg.org/historypop.html

This makes your argument way stronger.

Vilmos

Deja vu all over again?

Remember in the beginning of 2002, just 5 months after 9/11/01, Hamas and the PLO went on a suicide bomber campaign in Israel? Sharon responded by surrounding Yasser Arafat in his headquarters and by sending the Israeli Army to the terrorist hot bed, Jenin.

The Euro press was in a grand chorus about "the cycle of violence," "disproportionate response" and "humiliating" Arafat. Meanwhile, synagogues were being burned throughout Europe, mainly France.

I distinctly remember the German press in a chorus asking "why doesn't Bush do anything?" It seems this line is still in the official 68er American hating play book.

@ Vilmos

Great point.

It also proves that a great deal of complaint about the United States is cynical, made in the full knowledge that it really isn't true, that the Americans are just nice enough to keep taking it on the chin without actually resorting to any of the evil of which they're accused.

Sit down and be quiet, Germany, and watch how the master, President Bush, gets it done.

There are calls for American involvement in a positive and unhypocritical way, as well. The historian Michael Stuermer on what will happen if Israel exhausts its military capabilities in this war (I don't think this will happen): "God only knows what will happen. Then it's up to the Americans [to help Israel, since the European countries will not]."

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2095983,00.html

Stuermer's analysis of the whole situation was a refreshing read. Does he have any prominent journalistic counterparts in regards to his position on the U.S., Israel, and the war on terror? I'm a fairly recent observer of the German press (and think this blog is wunderbar), so any insight would be appreciated.

I think Bush knows exactly what he's doing - giving Israel the time it needs to wipe out the rats' nest. He's stood up strongly for Israel's rights, but not too strongly. That would only bring the knee-jerk reactions (and stronger denounciations)of the anti-American "World Community". He doesn't want Bush hatred to bounce onto Israel.

The Left and closet anti-Semities are unusually slow to arousal this time. They've got some real problems getting their propaganda right. Gaza wasn't "occupied" (unless you count Hamas), so there's no right of resistance. Ditto Lebanon (unless you count Hezbullah).

Their beloved "international law" is clearly on Israel's side (by any reasonable reading). The initial attacks were clearly "acts of war". Israel clearly has a right to defend herself. Although you've heard some condemnation of "civilian casualties", it's been a little softer this time. Yes, there's many governments that are slowly awakening to the Islamist threat and secretly hoping Israel "gets some". But I think it's something else, especially given the relative restraint of the Media.

It's the unrealistic 1977 Protocols or to some, the Fourth Geneva Conventions. Trying to extend "protections" to terrorists that don't observe any of the conventions while hamstringing the other side. They can't protest too much about civilian casualties, because some might want to take a closer look at what a civilian is. Who's to say if that casualty is combatant or civilian? They're dressed the same. Who's to say if a civilian was targeted? Terrorists are purposely comingled with them.

Several of my acquaintances here in Germany also hold this self contradictory view. When I point out to them that they are putting the US in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position, they usually explain that America, as the only remaining superpower, is the only country that is powerful enough to handle such conflicts, therefore it is their responsibility to take action, but they don’t do it the right way. Or in other words, it’s rotten, but it’s the only show in town.
My response is that although the US is the most powerful single country, it is only a fraction of the total world power. If the countries that that are so critical of the US would get together and form a coalition of the weaklings, it could be as powerful as the US. So why don’t they finally get together and accomplish something, instead of sitting around on their multilateral asses complaining?

Germerican,

Two reasons.

1) it is too hard

2) they might be held responsible for their actions.

The natural conclusion of this state of affairs is that some of the elites in Germany, and likely around the world, regard the US as a parent. Anyone who has brought up children - or anyone who remembers such thoughts flitting past, barely understood in their own childhood - knows what it is like to be both honored with this overestimation and cursed for not making the world good.

This is often suggested in America in conservative circles, but I always thought it was a harsh assessment of the European elites (and many of our own as well). Perhaps I also fear to look at reality. What America needs are other adults, preferably as allies, and perhaps we err by treating intelligent adolescents as if they were adults.

Is "Spiegel" the German word for "Onion"?

well come on, the article is questioning the position of USA regarding the middle east crisis ...and what the author means with "call for US leadership" is just that the USA had always the broadest influence in middle east and that the US government shall make up their mind about the situation but thats done with the G8 conference where all particpants came to a final statement (and hey, there was also Germany and hey, they also have signed that paper which was made as a compromise between the differences of russia and usa in this matter, but how comes, we are always sooo against US)...I read your articles since a while and I wonder, you're going to lose your objectivity...not everything what comes from Germany is ment to be against the US...we are allies !!!

If you are German and you honestly feel that we are allies, that is a good sign. Thank you. It is promising.
I guess it could now be said, one down, 80 million to go.

@ Thomsen,

We have never said that everything that comes from Germany is meant to be against the US. In fact, we are very specific about the offending publication in question in virtually every post we write. We do believe that an influential and sizeable portion of the German media is clearly biased against the United States and we've documented that on this site. That reality impacts the way that normal Germans think. Take for example the recent poll showing that more Germans felt America was a threat to world peace than Iran. To not acknowledge the problem would be far worse than to risk being labeled biased.

Let's turn him on his head:

"The escalation in violence in the Middle East calls for German leadership. Despite that, Berlin...

Do you think Mascolo could ever finish this intro?

The problem isn't lack of leadership - it's that the leadership isn't doing what Georg Mascolo wishes it to do - which is to tell the Israelis to stop dead in it's tracks and do nothing. Nothing while Hamas tortures a kidnapped soldier to death, nothing while Hezbollah kills Israeli civilians with rocket attacks from Lebanon, nothing when missiles hit Israeli warships. Nothing. In the name of protecting the 'innocents' - which Israeli soldiers and civilans are not (in Mascolo'a world-view).

The Final Solution, part II, Georg?

@wc
yes I am German and yes I see the US as well as the UK and all other countries involved in the war against terror as allies... Germany has troops in Afghanistan and Africa and thats what we can do...you remember, it were the US/UK/Russian which have Germany (after WWII) not allowed, again to build up a strong army, it was only allowed to build up a so called "defense army"! Sure, it was right but how can anyone now expect that Germany can spend the same effort in military as US/UK/Russia can do, we just don't have the ability and capacity...Well, let me point out one more thing, when Germany already had troops in Afhanistan was it G.W. Bush who put Germany on a list called "list of the unwilling countries" well, we landed up there beside Cuba...
But for me as German, dear fellows, please get over that "final solution, master race s*** when you talk about Germany or Germans'"...thats insulting...the thing, is why Germany is always so hesitating about military employments is just that we've learned from our history and we believe in a diplomatic and peaceful solution as long as possible...and if it's not possible then send and has Germany always sent what was possible to send...

Yes of course we are allies, that goes without question. As far as the lack of military support, the US and it's people have always understood and respected the reason's why. The problem comes with the anti-Americanism,(Bush hatred) spread like Hitler's propaganda by the previous government and the German MSM. If Gerhard would have just said that we do not agree with the war and we are going to remain neutral on it, Americans would have respected that. But when he used Bush hatred just to win votes, and he even threatened to not allow US flights in German airspace, that was unacceptable from a so-called "Friend and Ally". Do you realize what that meant. He said that if a solider gets injured in Iraq, the US Air Force could not fly him to Ramstein to go to a US hospital. This was to coin a German phrase, "ein große frecheit", in Texas it is just called BS.

Yes Comarde Schröder did a lot to damage relationships just to keep the funds from Saddam coming to him and his friends in France. (And his buddy Kofi-corrupt son - Ahnunglos)

Americans always did have so much respect for Germans and Germany, but I think it is all seen in a different light now. The true colors are showing. What is so sad is that the German and American peoples are so similar, so alike and have so much in common. The Germans are unfortunatley so brainwashed, however, it will be difficult to find common ground for a long time to come.

Again, and I mean this sincerly, thank YOU for being an ally. Remember, Americans will not let down a friend.

@Thomsen: A couple of things. First, as far as Germany's demilitarization, I think you have some of your history wrong. There have been times in the post-WWII era when Germany had a much stronger army than it has now. True, West Germany was discouraged from rebuilding its military in the period immediately after WWII, but that changed as the Cold War ramped up. In the '70s and '80s, West Germany had far more military capability than it has now -- heck, for most of the '80s, West Germany was widely regarded as Europe's economic and military leader. True, it never matched the U.S. military in sheer numbers, but its training and technology was regarded as equivalent. It was after the fall of the Wall, when the reunited Germany's government decided to cash in their "peace dividend" and de-fund most of its miltary in order to pay some of the costs of reunification. Subsequent governments found this convenient for the purpose of expanding social programs. (The same thing happened, to a lesser extent, in the U.S., and the military here has had to work hard to catch back up since 9/11. One of the points made recently is that, if missile defense research had not ground to a near-halt during the
90s, we might have a national missile defense system fully developed and ready to engage North Korea now.)

Having said all that... I'm genuinely glad that you regard the U.S. and Great Britian as allies. I would like to regard Germany as an ally, but at this point, I'm having a hard time seeing the country as anything better than a neutral. The scoreboard right now shows:

Good:
* Germany has troops in Afghanistan (and that is much appreciated).
* Germany's intelligence services (at least parts of them) have provided sub rosa cooperation to the U.S., at considerable political risk to the government.

Bad:
* Germany sided with and continued doing business with Saddam right up until the eve of the Iraq War.
* German officials were involved in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal (although not up to their necks in it like, say, France or Russia).
* Germany has released several terrorists wanted by the U.S., in violation of mutual extradition treaties.

That's my perception... as far as the general public perception in the U.S., well, I don't think most people think much about Germany at all, one way or the other. It simply doesn't register on the public consciousness here. Germany can regard itself as fortunate that the Schroeder government didn't inspire the kind of negative backlash in America that the French government did. Now that Schroeder and most of his cronies are gone, I'm cautiously optimistic that Americans will begin to regard Germany more positively again.

@Thomsen

You are correct about being allies, technically if not in spirit but allies for now we are.

Thomsen.

"well come on, the article is questioning the position of USA regarding the middle east crisis ...and what the author means with "call for US leadership" is just that the USA had always the broadest influence in middle east and that the US government shall make up their mind about the situation but thats done with the G8 conference where all particpants came to a final statement... I read your articles since a while and I wonder, you're going to lose your objectivity...not everything what comes from Germany is ment to be against the US...we are allies !!!" Posted by: Thomsen | July 17, 2006 at 10:53 AM


Well blah blah blah and lah tee dah. I've hear Germans cry about "European Diplomacy", "American Imperialism" and "Cowboy Bush" for so long I can hardly hear you. Speak up. What was that?

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