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Tonight the ARD's first story was an attempt to try and package the President's talk of new changes in American tactics in Iraq (after this current wave of violence) as some kind of admission of overall failure there. That's the last thing it was, of course, but they can't help it. We HAVE to fail in Iraq, you see. They've invested way too much into proving to themselves that we will. We won't, of course, but that won't interest them later, either.

"... the publication details one particularly gruesome and sensational murder. Yet instead of treating it as an isolated incident, the article transitions the horrific murder into a broader discussion of mental health within the U.S. military."

Is it isolated, or not? This article gives no proof in all directions.

"it was the American soldier who stood guard along the Iron Curtain"

They did not stood guard for Germany. They stood for themselves (the US of A). Stalin made an offer to join Germany as a free_of_blocks Germany like Austria. Guess who denied?

(Note from David: For an unbiased account of the "Stalin note" of 1952, check here. For purely selfish reasons I'm glad Adenauer didn't accept Stalin's kind offer: I grew up in post-war West Germany and enjoyed - up to this day - freedom and a life style that would not have been possible in a "neutral" Germany. Thank you, America.)

"The ultimate loser is the German news consumer and anyone interested in transatlantic understanding."

US main stream media is not needed ("no need"=sinnlos) to understand something. All you need is DSL and some basic understanding of English language.

@derigon
Stalin made an offer to join Germany as a free_of_blocks Germany like Austria.

derigon, I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're trying to say by 'free-of-blocks Germany like Austria'. Would you be kind enough to clarify please?

"They did not stood guard for Germany."

@derigon, where did you ever get that idea?

You know it is interesting that you show the Spiegel cover depicting the very picture that proves that the leadership of the US Army has done a lot more to "Dehumanize the American Soldier" than all the media in Germany or elsewhere.

"Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse scandal—that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis—may do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the interrogation trade."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4989422/

Only veterans of the interrogation trade know this method, but yet only a few MPs were prosecuted. Soldiers that were just following orders. Those orders dehumanized them as well as their captives. The people responsible should have been punished because they are the very people responsible for "Dehumanizing the American Soldier".

@derigon

There are no bad questions or statements. My reply as best as I can. (The questions are meant as geopolitical thought experiments, and not sarcastic put down.)

If West Germany really wanted to accept the offer from Stalin, then there wouldn’t be much the US could do.

You seem to imply that there would be a bright and sunny history for West Germany. Think it through. Actions have reaction, ideas have consequences.
You think that everything would of turned out the way it has, or even better. Communist parties through out west Europe would have been more powerful. US support for a free Europe would have been a harder pitch to the ultimate decider, the American citizen. Financing for the Marshal Plan, and countless other moneys and credits would have been reduced, slowed, or not at all. Not so much as punishment, but more along the lines of why bother.

Further, what do you think would happen with West Germany with a few friendly Soviet advisors, like Egypt? You don't think that the Soviets would be all over your politicians and parties Think Bader Mein Hoff( sp? ) times a hundred. Militarily would the US be off in the distance, and Germany like a tease would call if she needed? Would we come? There were many times from the 1950 where the US was extended and pre-occupied and perceived as weak, even finished. You think the Soviets wouldn’t have acted? Do think that they couldn’t find enough West German heroes of Marxism to lead the German state into the loving hands of the People’s Republic?

And what would a nuclear France and Great Britton think? And do? Circles within circles and things fly apart. Germany, and Austria wouldn’t have the economies that they have had or the liberties.

For the first time in well over 140 years, Germany is united and has no enemies on its borders. It is the most prosperous in its history. Its people have never been healthier. The same goes for mainland Europe as a whole. And what presence is it, force even if you will, what force of energy and optimism these last sixty years has oppressed Europe to such an outcome? (Hint, it wasn’t the Soviets.)

Anyways, I’d like to make a point. Today Michael Barone, conservative author and columnist, wrote about America, “Now, most things are demonstrably better. As I noted last summer, levels of warfare around the world have reached a historic low, so that even the loss of one American life in Iraq can land on the front page. The world economy is growing as never before, with millions of people rising out of poverty every year. The American economy continues to surge ahead.
Since 1983, we have lived through just two brief recessions, one at the beginning of each decade, and otherwise have had low inflation and steady economic growth. Crime and welfare dependency have been approximately halved in the past 15 years. Our air and water are much cleaner than they were when there were 100 million fewer of us. Our life expectancies are longer.” (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/10/uneasy_for_a_reason.html)

So to Europe. Germans should not take council of the press and writers daily exposed here at Davids Medienkritik. I don’t find these people so much ideological erroneous, as much as I do just plain sick. There’s something wrong with these people. Someone needs to find a word that describes such an unreal and darkness. I don’t so much worry or care about this press and these writers on what they say about America. Have at it. What bothers me is the effect it has on ordinary Germans. There are realities in the world. The press has a duty to accurately, and precisely deliver those realities to its citizens, and then let them decide. What I read is doctored, adulterated, falsely infused reality deliver as plain news. If these papers where German beer, they would be illegal.

Does this distortion just occur with the US, I doubt it? I get the feeling it moves through many press subjects and themes. But forget the US/Germany/press thing. The problem lies with the effect of tens of millions of German citizens and their conversation amongst themselves.

Germany is in a good place and getting better. Not by any grand schemes of elites, but by each free German pursuing his potential and opportunities worldwide. Anyone tell you anything else is just trying to keep you down. They are down and enjoy the company. Walk on past, because that is what you are hearing, the past.

@UBetcha

Well again, we have that old reality disconnect problem. Five to seven military MPs, on one single boring night, abuse these prisoners. The incident is reported and investigated by the Army, before it even becomes public or a ‘scandal’. As if the Army, or any police department, or prison anywhere isn’t aware that these things will happen. Which of course they do, which is why there already laws to punish guards for such things.

In fact, the event is rather humdrum, boring, to be expected. It happens. But that won’t sell papers will it?
And for those who already have a rigid template burned into their conscious and sub conscious minds, the singularity of the event also doesn’t matter. The context doesn’t matter. The left, never a good viewer of concrete reality, always more at home with image, film, text, art and icons plugs in with the images it wants.

The Left has the story they want to hear, the script cast, the actors lined up. All it needs are props.

In a way, the soldiers and the left are the same. The soldiers had mental images of themselves and their prisoners and created their own, albeit temporary morality play, with themselves of course as the good guys. So too the left towards the American Army. The left knows what it knows and by golly that is that and no amount of boring facts are going to interfere with the delicious confirmation of what they already knew.

The work one does, the people one lives with all has a bending effect. Tradesmen become gruff. Engineers precise. And those living and working and most comfortable with symbols feel that the symbols are the thing itself, and not just but one, partial representation of reality, distant in space, time and context.

Is what is to be expected a scandal? Or was a scandal already wanted for, hoped for, dreamed about and needed such that when the predictable happened, that was enough, and a huge amount of leftist tension in a psycho-leftist orgy was released with great and blinding pleasure. It has been a long time since leftist have had much to be relaxed and satisfied about. I suppose one gets one release where one can.

I have a personal problem with the man on the "Rambo" cover being represented as a US soldier.

The man is wearing blue shirt, gray or tan slacks, a beard that would be illegal in the military, and a hat that looks like a Wal-Mart fake camo hat, not like regulation military issue. The tools on his belt make him look more like a private contractor than a military man.

The only thing vaguely "military" about him is the gun and the heli in the background, which may or may not have anything to do with him.

What was the purpose of this cover photo? An attempt to make it appear that the military is going "off the reservation" as they reputedly (and not actually) did in Vietnam?

I think this man is some sort of contractor who just happened to be around when the photographer shot this picture.

So what is Der Spiegel attempting to illustrate with this cover except a blatant lie?

@Mamapajamas,

The guy with the beard is probably Special Forces (i.e. Green Beret) in Afghanistan. It's his job to blend in and having a beard and dresses as he pleases is part of it. Contractors normally appear more military than a lot of SF and SOF guys. When my son is assigned with SOF teams he doesn't look much different other than wearing his hat the right way.

As for the idea that a large percentage of current and recent soldiers are psychos with terminal cases of PTSD, one must remember that this is the same view that the press and Hollywood have presented for Vietnam vets -- a view that is provably false. Of course, why should they let facts get in the way of a good story?

Don M... thanks for the explanation. It makes sense now.

Yes... I recall the "amazing discovery"... along about the time of the Gulf War... that the Vietnam Vets were actually NOT a bunch of psychos, but rather people who had pretty much blended back into society without much trouble.

Also, there is the problem of having to list a KNOWN disorder to get help from the VA. If you're having some vague problems with bad dreams, it is in your interest to get the VA to look at it as "PTSD" in order to get some counciling, however minor it might need to be. The biggest problem we have with our VA system is that if it isn't on the list of "official ailments", you ain't sick! It literally takes an act of the Supreme Court to get a "new ailment" on the VA's list of "legitimate" ailments (examples: agent orange, PTSD from the Vietnam Era). So I would guess that a lot of the current crop of "PTSD" vets coming home from Iraq are in that category... people who might need counciling, but actually DON'T have PTSD, but need to claim it in order to get help from the VA. I don't know that for sure, but I have a working knowledge of how the VA operates, and massive numbers of PTSD vets from Iraq doesn't smell right.


UBetcha

These reserves probably watched a lot of the History Channel and learned the technique from the Germans.

Some people are obviously too lazy to copy and paste a URL into their browser and read the whole article before posting stuff.

@joe
Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse scandal—that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis—may do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the interrogation trade. "Was that something that [an MP] dreamed up by herself? Think again," says Darius Rejali, an expert on the use of torture by democracies. "That's a standard torture. It's called 'the Vietnam.' But it's not common knowledge. Ordinary American soldiers did this, but someone taught them."

The History Channel does not mention the special interrogation method developed in another war in the 60s. Maybe the History Channel has a lot about that war, but never about that method. Oh, and even though we Germans are actually pretty good with torture (I need to remind my fellow Germans about this pretty often, we even laid the groundworks for a lot of the "special interrogation methods" used in Gitmo now) this technique was not developed over here.

Also I doubt that Carl Spackler read anything about the Abu Ghraib incident, because (I didn't think I had to quote this, too):

"There were 1,800 slides and several videos, and the show went on for three hours. The nightmarish images showed American soldiers at Abu Ghraib Prison forcing Iraqis to masturbate. American soldiers sexually assaulting Iraqis with chemical light sticks. American soldiers laughing over dead Iraqis whose bodies had been abused and mutilated."
Three hours of show in one night? Didn't think so either.

You may throw up now.

UBetcha

As I wrote, dealing with you is an psychological effort. Not that I think it would penetrate the mental baggage you drag around you, but I’ll try one more time. You said that these are special torture/interrogation techniques. You then write these methods are commonly and long known to Germans citizens. You say therefore that they are not special and unknown. That’s a factual contradiction, and typical of your mental mush.

I don’t expect you to understand anymore than a street person who thinks the CIA has implanted devices in his head. Enjoy the voices.

@all
Sorry, time is not on my side, sometimes ;)

This inclusion from David is a good link. West Germany, and Adenauer, surely want the connection to the USA and the western world.

I think Stalin was sincere because the effect would have been the same. A no mans land. But without weapons stationed.

And there would have been a chance the communists could take over the country.

And so GI's stood guard against the Russians to defend the western world. Not to defend Germany. Germany was the first, planned battleground in the next world war. Ok, it is history ...

Regards
derigon

...here's a difference...Putin and Russia *will* send someone to kill individuals working for that mirror reflecting its own psychosis (and perhaps Shroeder, talk about a lapdog)...whereas they believe the United States won't...at lease it hasn't come to that...yet.

You sense the fear they project...

I think coming out of the forces into civilian life takes a lot of adjustment.

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