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Well, desecrating the dead is indeed a crime and a very bad thing to do. And of course there will be a scandal.
Nevertheless: Torturing people like the US did in Abu Ghraib is a completely different story.

Note from David: If "the US" tortured people in Abu Ghraib didn't then "Germany" desecrate the dead in Afghanistan? Nein?

@holygrail999
"Nevertheless: Torturing people like the US did in Abu Ghraib is a completely different story."
Different story, maybe but what does this tell us about german soldiers if they are already behaving like this not having even seen real combat. How would these soldiers behave under real combat situations and how would some of them behave if they would have to run a prison filled with insurgents?
I am not trying to play down what had happened in Abu Ghraib. What has been done by Lyndsey England and some others was an awfully bad thing but what is important is that they have been punished for that and that people realize that bad apples are in every basket. If we would now follow the logic of the german media we would have to go on the street and protest against those barbaric german Bundeswehr soldiers and their terrible and insensitive behaviour. Isn't this a proof that german soldiers are culturaly insensitive?

This is indeed an interesting situation that is now arising: Will the German media use the same rhetoric as in regards to the Abu Ghraib situation (i.e. like David already pointed out talk about "Germans" or "Germany" committing those crimes) or will they try to present this as an isolated event? From what I have read up to now and in light of the whole Kurnaz situation I find this not so likely anymore. Even Spiegel in their article about the freedom of press pointed out that the Government is too desperately trying to keep a lot of things under cover. So I guess there's hope that the mass media will at least to a certain degree focus more on the shit thats going on in our own government (be it the former SPD/DieGrünen or the current SPD/CDU one). This especially in light of the shameless biography of our former chancelor.

Despicable and inexcusable images indeed. The crimes will no doubt be fully prosecuted - particularly since they are Amtsdelikte, i.e. crimes associated with holding an official position.

Politically speaking, however, a couple of sick NCOs messing around with bones found on the side of the road while on patrol (such remains are probably found on a daily basis in Afghanistan) is a far cry from the institutionalized fraternity-style hazing (to put it mildly) of inmates that went on at Abu Ghraib. The only thing in common here is that there exist pictures of the sick bastards committing their crimes, as evidence.

Hasn't anyone noticed that the entire German special forces (KSK) has been literally crucified in the media and by politicians in the last two weeks because it has been alleged by a suspected terrorist (Kurnaz) that they supposedly pulled his friggin' hair?

The government is at fault in both of these situations only in so far as it refuses to pass on information to the public as to the nature and purpose of ISAF/OEF missions for fear of losing the next state or community level elections. The government's securtiy policy White Paper (first one in 14 years!) barely gets us any further. Here's a great article on it: http://www.welt.de/data/2006/10/25/1085300.html

I suggest those for whom Germany can't ever do the right thing get together their equally unpatriotic anti-Americcan counterparts at SPON to actually talk about how to pacify Afghanistan and the true consequences of failure - particularly as it relates to Germany.

"Nevertheless: Torturing people like the US did in Abu Ghraib is a completely different story."

Isn't this the fundamental problem with the European mindset? Whatever happens, whatever doesn't happen, there is always a BUT to remind everybody that in Europe, the news amounts to "a completely different story" (unlike whatever is the latest "outrageous" and "scandalous" piece of information that is rocking America).

Ausgeschlossen! German soldiers (these days)would never do anything like that. Oder doch?

If American soldiers break their laws - they should be punished. The same goes for their German comrades who break German laws. The same also goes for the officers and civilian leadership who order, encourage or tolerate any lawlessness. Period. At least one American General was relieved of her command because of Abu Graib and reasonable minds can differ as to whether the buck should have stopped there. So far, it does not appear that the German military leadership has been implicated in the current photo scandal. If they are - they'll get theirs.

As such, there are no "if's and but's" for this German here or in my previous post.

The sad result of the skull-fuck-photo-scandal will be that the German public focus will now be further deflected from Afghanistan's real problems, i.e., drug cultivation, resurgent Taliban and deployment distribution of NATO forces; to images of out-of-control German soldiers. This will embolden the left to reiterate their mantra that all German soliders should get yanked out of Afgh because they're somehow inherently evil and that there's really no threat anyway.

Moreover, future attacks on German soldiers there, will from here on out be blamed on the German presence itself and the photos, instead of increased Taliban aggressiveness. The former will increase momentum toward the political path of least resistance i.e., withdrawal; whereas the latter represents a true danger that Germans should actually be made more aware of. It's quite disheartening for those who see Al Qaeda and the Taliban as a threat that must be met head on.

If anyone is interested, there is a brief English summary of Germany's white paper located at: http://www.weissbuch.de/download/White_Paper_2006_Summary.pdf

what utter bs and could you clowns miss the point even wider!!!
you coward scum sitting in your safe european homes with your keyboards cant possibly fathom the reason why these soldiers would ever think of doing such a thing. maybe its a reaction to the gilding stupidity bubble you pc morons are living in?
why give them guns in the first place? why not just have them pass out the frickin stern to the 7th century fucks their supposed to be fighting?
do you know that in the stan anyone can walk around all day with a rifle and no one knows whos a what? but can you ask anyone to clean the shit off the ground or maybe the skulls?!!! no, we can't judge cultures by our own...
and I thought that in the atheist brave new world its just "medical waste", where do you come off with this christian "don't desecrate" shit?!!

only when it serves your agenda thats when, right?

this is all a bs/smokescreen/diversion because the leftist press in germany knows that germany has finally decided to send troops all over the world (five at the same time i think it said) and that is just not allowable in the pc calculus.


@playertwo

Wow. Just. Wow.
this is all a bs/smokescreen/diversion because the leftist press in germany knows that germany has finally decided to send troops all over the world (five at the same time i think it said) and that is just not allowable in the pc calculus.

Excellent point. I don't know how many troops Germany has that are actually combat-ready (instead of serving time emptying bed pans), but the force-level allocated for this is only about 14,000 - leaving under 3,000 troops per conflict, assuming 5 simultaneous conflicts. That is not a serious military proposition, it's a political 'see how we do our share?' punt. What I find absolutely appalling is the lack of serious understanding/support this exhibits on the part of Germany's military planners. They are using the lives of their own troops as nothing more than political pawns. Just how cynical can you get?

In this context, I think the pic David posted the link to is a perfect metaphor. The German 'strategy' is - how shall I put this - flaccid.

Torturing living people is in a different league than desecrating dead people, at least for me. The latter is bad enough. The German soldiers face sentences from a simple fine up to 3 years in prison. We will see the outcome eventually.

After the initial news, the KSK pulling hairs was only refered to as "Misshandlungen", the same term as used in Abu Ghraib.

You're all wrong! The poor German soldier is just under bad influence of violent American movies and videogames. He has the wrong role-models and is completely irresponsible for doing these crazy things. Only American cultural imperialism is to blame. And as blue stated Germans are greenhorns in this business anyway...

@Commander
The poor German soldier is just under bad influence of violent American movies and videogames

I hope that was satire. Because if it isn't, I will rip your lungs out and feed them to you. And even if it is satire, it sucks.

@blue
Torturing living people is in a different league than desecrating dead people, at least for me. The latter is bad enough

Of course it is. And I, as an American, am not here to defend the indefensible. Here is the most comprehensive reporting on Abu Ghraib I know of.
The Abu Ghraib files

This is considered a liberal American site, but I think they did a great, journalistically unimpeachable job. A true service.

The problem I have with the evolution of the cultural meme is that war creates monsters. Good luck with that. No war is required to create pedophiles, serial killers, etc. War does indeed provide monsters a theater in which to act out their monstrosities. But it is our job to distinguish.

It does not, per se, invalidate war.

@Pam: I'm not even writing violent things. War doesn't create monsters, monsters created war. Humanity is not able to keep pace with technology's development. You can't control human nature through laws only the individual controls what he or she is doing. When you're in combat you're totally on the edge. Soldiers are no machines they have to cope with what they experience in a warzone. If you're lucky you won't have to see these things in your whole life. If I saw my buddies blown up by RPGs day by day I would shoot at anything moving towards me. Stop moralising and apologising that's what the liberals want to hear from you to conform with their naive approach to reality.

war create monsters and monsters create war. Both is right to my opinion but it is only an academic question. The main point is that war is such a challenge for a human being that things like Abu Ghraib and now the pictures from the Bundeswehr can happen. they should not and every politician and military person who is responsible should organize the military that such things don't happen. but as long as people are involved, there is failure possible.

We need soldiers and should be grateful for them. I am. So I can sit here and can feel safe. People died for this.

Abu Ghraib was such a failure.

Watch the reaction in the world! What did German politicians and the media, the German people say?! Deutsche Soldaten foltern nicht (Struck said). That was arrogant nonsense. Abu Ghraib every day, everywhere, for month, for years. They made up an immense scandal. Very few explanations in our media like now, how the military is organized and how difficult it is to be a soldier under dayly threat.

I am sitting on my warm sofa. What do I know about kiling, fighting, war? NOTHING. Nobody can imaging what war is, to live and act under the threat to get killed.

But journalists in Germany put the US soldiers on the hunt. For what? For what truth? That war is cruel and killing bloody? Everybody knows that. But they better should have supported those soldiers who are fighting there for us and our security. Where were the journalists who did not blow the same horn about the ugly and cruel american soldiers? They helped to encrease the hate against the US. They still do. And soldiers died for that.

Torture? There is different kind of torture. German media did not differencate it. Torture was the key word. Compare Saddam's torture with Abu Ghraib. Saddam's victims would get up from their graves and laugh to dead (sich totlachen).

There was no understanding in our media (and not in the US in the Anti-Bush media).

We put our soldiers under risc when we react like the media world did with Abu Ghraib. this immense campaign has nothing to do with telling the truth. It was a campaign full of hate against the US soldiers.

David is showing us the difference how the media is reacting now. They should not repeat the Abu Ghraib behaviour. This was the worst failure the media did in the last years.

Media should understand their responsibility not only now when German soldiers are envolved, they should feel this responsibility also towards US soldiers. They fight for us too. When you don't understand it, stay calm but don't support the hatred. There is a big reacting crowd in this world. We should not feed them.

@Commander
Stop moralising and apologising that's what the liberals want to hear from you to conform with their naive approach to reality.

LOL! Well, it's quite unlikely I will stop moralising, but I don't understand what you think I'm apologizing for.

And I absolutely agree with you on this:

If I saw my buddies blown up by RPGs day by day I would shoot at anything moving towards me.

@Gabi

One of the best posts I have read in a long time. Especially the last two paragraphs!

Gabi, I have to agree with wingman. Whole heartedly.

Combat vets may pass judgment here; the rest of us should not. And it looks to me like the German media gets its rocks off slandering their soldiers, just like ours does. BTW, I don't give a flying crap about Abu Garib or Guantanamo either.

@Gabi: excellent. I need to add. These boys risk their life in a environment that is totally different, It's like middle ages, brutal, uncivilized, and hostile. God bless the boyz from Germany, Canada, UK and America. Freedom is not free.

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