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Here's my message to Stern.de, I wonder, if they'll get it:

David's Medienkritik made me (one of the 300 million uncaring Amis) aware of Stern.de's latest example of reportage on America. I want to thank you for informing your German-speaking readership of the truth. No American cares for the rest of the world. Americans did not watch the World Cup Soccer (not real football) in Germany last summer. The World Cup doesn't even rate a mention in the numerous year end round-up on the news in 2006, as no real American cares about the sport that the rest of the world makes #1 and stirs their passions.

Americans don't care. Americans don't care that Germans and Europe condemn the death penalty. Nope, we don't care. Americans don't care that the Germans know better how to run the world and by all rights ought to be running the world. I lived in Germany for three years, studying and working. I know from being told numerous times how America is screwing things up. You know what, that was 20 years before the evil Bush stole an election and grabbed power. That was before the evil Bush started his illegal genocidal war on Iraq (not Afghanistan, our brave German allies are policing the streets of Kunduz far from any Taliban), so the invasion, occupation and slaughter of tens of millions of Afghans doesn't make the evil league of Iraq, due to the cleansing nature of German presence.

Thank you for again and again and again and once again warning your readers about the utter inhumanity of the Amis. I'm one of them and I know I lack all humanity, except for the time I was in Germany. Unfortunately, my experience of that pure German essence, including the exchange of bodily fluids didn't stick. I reverted to my inhuman state under the evil influence of America; McDonalds, Wal-Mart, NFL Football (actually I prefer College Football), obesity and the double-dare evil of the Death Penalty.

But with Stern.de reminding me and its other readers of my total lack of humanity, perhaps there is still a spark of hope that could save at least me. With Stern.de blowing on that spark of hope, maybe Stern.de could create a raging bonfire of hope.

Good luck and keep up that accurate and sensitive reporting, only Stern.de can save Germany and the world from inhuman America.

MfG,
John Tuttle

So, what do you think? Did I hit the right note?

Neocon: This is the best link for explaining America to Germans that I've read: http://usaerklaert.wordpress.com/

Here's an excerpt:

Bei den “Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika” ist der Name Programm: Es handelt sich um einzelne, souveräne Staaten, die einige wenige Aufgaben an einen Überbau abgegeben haben. Sehr wenige Aufgaben, so wenige, dass die USA noch nicht einmal einen Innenminister haben (es gibt zwar einen Secretary of the Interior, aber er verwaltet hauptsächlich die Nationalparks). Die Faustregel lautet, dass der Bund sich um die Außenpolitik und einige länderübergreifende Dinge kümmert und der ganze Rest bei den einzelnen Staaten bleibt, insbesondere der Teil, der mit dem Alltag der Bürger zu tun hat. Das ist etwas vereinfacht, denn die Grenzen sind in den vergangenen 220 Jahren an einigen Stellen verwischt worden. Aber als Faustregel reicht es.

This link will take you to a good explanation of the political structure of the USA: http://usaerklaert.wordpress.com/2006/06/25/die-grobstruktur-der-usa-oder-wo-man-vor-bush-am-sichersten-ist/#respond

And the USA Erklaert blog has lots of fun explanations of the differences between Americans and Germans. Also Football is explained.

Jabba, yes you did! I am reminded of when some British newspaper (the Guardian?) decided to ask its readers to write letters to the voters of Clark County Ohio asking them not to vote for Bush in the 2004 election. They were so embarrassed by the American smackdown they just called the whole thing off.

@Pamela
I did.
I sent my comment to the STERN, but I don´t know, if they will publish it.
Greetings

What the STERN means is, that the good Germans tried to bring luck, wealth, order and happiness to the world, 70 years ago. But they were badly disturbed, doing that, by those lousy, loud, shallow Americans. And they are still the same!
Okay "I keed" (citation: Triumph).
I love my country, Germany, I dont glorify the US (still better than the rest), but mostly I dont like self-righteous, biased guys like those of the STERN.

@ sheik and others:

First: Stern does not represent all Germans.

Second: We should not take Stern's stupid comments on Americans and use them as an excuse to make equally stupid, sweeping comments about Germans which have no basis in any fact. Let's not sink to their level.

I've read all of the comments posted here and think that there's a lot of Germany-hating here. Or at least as American, after reading all this, I would hate Germany. You create a total different picture of Germany than I have as a German. One person wrote that he had lived for three years here(Jabba the Tutt), but he wrote in such a angry way, full of hatred, that I can't imagine he knows Germany. In many comments it seems that Americans think they are hated no matter what they do. Also I read in one comment, it would be better if the Germans feared the Americans than giving them money or something. The most expect that the Germans have to be thankful and loyal to the USA because of the Marshall Plan. 1.Of course the Marshall Plan helped Germany a lot, but the USA didn't do it out of pure welfare but because of their fear of a "communismazation". 2.You can't be loyal to actions which you consider wrong, just because there are also good things. And Inkling wrote that Germans should be thankful for the engagement of the USA in world policies (he wrote about Iran and North Korea: there Germany is engaged as well in negotiating; and if you meant Irak, the world surely didn't become safer by this). Sheik yer'mami wrote: "I'm puzzled as to why these nut-roots hate America and demand that America has an obligation to save the world and pay their pensions." I don't know what nut-roots means, but it doesn't sound very friendly. And: nobody demands from USA to save the world or pay pensions. They just demand from the US not to destroy the world. There have been so many wars by the US in the last 60 years, everytime they thought they must play world-police and kill by that millions of civilians. In this Iraq war the most other countrys of the world warned the USA, but they didn't care, also didn't respect the UN (which has luckily bettered now). Most Americans wanted this war, they thought, it would last 30 days, they would bring justice and peace to the Iraqis. That's a good aim, but a really good action is responsible and trys to calculate the consequences. And now you see the situation: up to hundred Iraqis get killed every day, and also about three thousand Americans got killed. And now most Americans want their troops back, although then there will be totally chaotic conditions.

When I grew up (I'm 18 now), America was my favourite country. I used to pretend in tram to be American by using the few English words I knew. Once in primary school I had to laugh as an American boy of our class sang the national anthem because he was so pathetic. Then the teacher got so angry that she send me out of class. This boy also was very popular at my classmates, because, as they said "you helped us in the 2nd world war". We were 8,9 years old, knew nothing about WW2, except that. In this age you just adopt that what you hear by your parents and other adults. So, I guess, the adults also haven't been anti-American. When 9/11 happened I was very shocked. We discussed in school about it, were afraid that it would be forgotten soon. Most people were for Afghanistan-war in order to support the US. After 9/11 the USA were supported by the whole world, even in Teheran demonstrated hundreds of thousands! And then this slightly began to change. I can't say when exactly, but today most people I know are very USA-critical. We don't know many Americans who could correct our prejudices (Americans know nothing about the world, not even where the countrys are they want to invade, they are disrespectful - Abu Ghraib, superficial..). Here've lived many soldiers with their families, but they have their own shops, community, even their own hospital,..You can just meet them in some discos, that's all. If I would live in another country I would learn the language (perhaps there are some who do that, I don't know). Well but recently I read in newspaper that some soldiers here made Christmas with local disabled people, and my aunt has a nice American neighbor...

What I've written seems as if Germans were the clever, educated people. By switching on TV I can persuade me that this isn't true. I think there are so many prejudices in the world, you shouldn't believe on of them, just believe in the good of the people. What the Pope did (although I'm not a Pope fan) was very exemplary: he said sorry for his words to the Muslims, before he went to his trip to Turkey the Turkish papers wrote much crap, many people demonstrated, but after his visit many people changed their opinion.
So, I'm happy YOU are interested in what other countries are thinking, otherwise you wouldn't have posted here, and don't believe in everything what Stern writes! The people are just angry about US Policy. You should see how Angela Merkel was treated by the press just because of here clothes and hair. People here watch Simpsons, listen to American Music, so they surely don't hate America.

Sorry, Jabba the Tutt, I think I was a bit too severe...your link's very interesting!

Hatred? No, sarcasm. I was just agreeing with Stern.de and taking their views to their logical conclusion: "Illustrating absurdity by being absurd" Rush Limbaugh.

Vanna, you're 18. You're smart, you're informed and you write well in a second language. You just don't have the life experience to have a basis to make some of the judgments that I and others have been making. When as an American I get lectured by total strangers on what is wrong with America, who have no idea about America, it says something about those people and not about America. It's the same attitude that Stern.de has. I just wanted to show Stern.de, where their views lead to.

I'm sorry, I sometimes say my opinion to quick without further thinking..As I said, I don't know the USA, so I can't judge about it. I just wanted to say, that here are a variety of opinions on the USA, I know many people who are critical, many who admire the USA for its culture, but no one who hates. Some media love to give the prejudices I've mentioned above. Ok, that's not nice, but aren't there such voices in the USA, too? Certainly in England where the Germans are very often called evil people as far as I know. And thís in the biggest papers with hundreds of thousands of readers! After that you would think, it's not a good idea to go to England as a German. But I've been there twice and nearly all people have been friendly. So I think people just love stereotypes but in reality it doesn't really count. And people who really hate are in every country only a (relatively) small minority! I admit, I’m young, don’t know much about policies, but I’m very sure that no ideology of a country or religion being evil or somewhat is right. You can see at numbers that the Palestinians wanted the Hamas in their government and after that think that they want to destroy Israel. Or you can watch a documentation about Palestinians, and then you will mostly get the image of people who want peace. I think if you believe in the second that will have the better effect.
Good New Year’s Eve

>> In many comments it seems that Americans think they are hated no matter what they do.

Yes. Unfortunately, Americans don't just think so. It's real, and it's called Anti-Americanism. Maybe your age is the reason that you can't recognize the amount of this stupid and dangerous ideology in our country today.

You say you don't know much about politics? Here is my advise: Don't believe anything our mass media tells you, especially in regard to all foreign policy related themes. Inform yourself, use the internet, think for yourself. (And don't believe anything your "68er" teachers told you as well.)

PS: "People are just angry about US policy"? That's nice of them. Now let's hear the alternatives these "people" have to offer. Anyone... ?

PPS: The UN is a corrupt and immoral organisation.

vanna1

I will make you an offer. If you can get a visa to come here, our home is yours. We will finance your exploration of the U.S. You want to see the U.S.?
Good. I'm your fairy godmother - assuming you can get past homeland security.

David and Ray:

give him/her my email. (Note from David: vanna1, if you are interested in Pamela's offer, send your e-mail address to deutsche_medien@yahoo.de)

and give a heads up to jwlb.

@Vanna1

"Hatred" is a strong word. I don't myself believe that most Germans hate America.

However, there is substantial prejudice against and caricaturing of Americans and their government. Many of the German media articles criticized by Ray and David are proof of this.

According to a Pew survey (now posted on the "New York Times" site), the percentage of Germans with a favorable view of America has declined from 80 in 2000 to 37 percent in 2006.

This steep fall, you may say, is due to President Bush's administration and its policies. It is a reason, but not the only reason, and not even among the more important reasons.

What has been happening in Germany is a channeling of opinion against America and Americans. You can see this in the media, but you can see it elsewhere, too.

You may, for example, visit your local library and find that the "Oxford History of the American People" has been replaced by Michael Moore's "Dude, Where's My Country?"; you may find that your school is no longer reading "Animal Farm" by Orwell but "The Handmaid's Tale" by Atwood.

Keep your eyes open and make up your own mind.

Best wishes to you in 2007.

@David and Ray

RE comments policy

A danger to your blog may be anti-American "trolls" (in Internet parlance) engaging in identity deception. Attempting to pass as legitimate participants, they post hate-filled diatribes against Germany in order to discredit your blog and erode your credibility as a critic of anti-American German media reports.

Of course, such trolling is hard to verify, especially if the trolls are using proxies to conceal their identity.

Best wishes to Davids Medienkritik and its readers in 2007.

Excellent work in pointing the bias out.

Why do they hate us? This helps to explain why they hate us.
For some unknown reason I ventured in to the stern story and read the section about the Reagan years. I am speechless. How can any "objective" news organizazion publish this propaganda. The sad part is, all the Germans I know, (and it is quite a few), think this stuff is true and accurate.

I am going to be sick now, that is a problem caused by reading stern.

Well you changed my opinion. I’m now willing to inform myself about the USA better. And it’s true that many people have prejudices. They don’t know it better, but I think most would be happy if their prejudices were wrong. It would be sad if you now get a bad picture of Germany, like a cycle.
People are frightened that US (as the most powerful country on earth) don’t care about the world, and Stern wants to make money with it.
So thanks Paul, best wishes to you and the others too
PS We don’t read Orwell or Atwood, we read Shakespeare :(
PPS I think the survey shows that between these years 2000-2006 sth. has happened which lead the people to change their opinion on the USA, so I think it's due to US Policy - otherwise the magazines couldn't write such stuff

yanna1
otherwise the magazines couldn't write such stuff

oh please. don't be naive. read this.
A Genealogy of Anti-Americanism

Then read the book.

Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought

And the offer to host you here in the U.S. was made in all seriousness and the offer stands.

I'm sorry and generalized by saying German instead of 'German who believes histories about the US like this are fair'.

Also, yanna1, 'We don’t read Orwell or Atwood, we read Shakespeare'... If it’s not in English you’re loosing most of it IMO. Shakespeare is a great author in large part because of his interesting turns of phrases... It’s like an American class reading Baudelaire.... in English... most of it is lost in the translation... anyway, my two cents and a little ammo if you want to argue with your teacher…

On topic: the Stern articles are abysmal and I concede anti-American.

@Frogg:
Some minor corrections
The World Food Program has donations from the European Commission plus individual E.U. countries. In sum the EU donated 80% of the US contributions in 2004 and 66% in 2006. Yes, that is still less than the US donations.

Germany alone donated 670 million EUR in 2005 as Tsunami relief. That's about twice the US amount per capita.
http://www.dzi.de/presse.htm

I have not checked the other numbers.
Conclusions:
- US Americans are generous
- don't trust the first number you find on the net

@ Blue
One has to be very careful and selective when applying any numbers.
You are citing Germany's pledged amounts, not the actual.
Whenever statistics show up, They use Government contributions. Keep in mind that in the US private contributions are triple those of official numbers.
The US Government has an impact on private resources of less than 20%, while European countries are in the 60 to 80$ range. However, only Government numbers are counted in typical Socialist stats.
Also US military involvement such as ships, helicopters and manpower who came to their immediate aid are not counted.
There is more to this than meets the eye.

"Also, yanna1, 'We don’t read Orwell or Atwood, we read Shakespeare'... If it’s not in English you’re loosing most of it IMO. Shakespeare is a great author in large part because of his interesting turns of phrases..."

I couldn't disagree more. I guess that's one of the reasons Shakespeare is so great. Anyone who reads him can find something admirable; just not the same thing. He was, in fact, one of the greatest psychologists of all time. Stendhal, another great psychologist, idolized him for that very reason, and certainly not because of his fine English phrases. Stendhal did speak a little English, and perhaps I underestimate him, but the stuff he wrote for the British journals was in French, which was subsequently translated into (bad) English.

It makes my jaw drop to read Shakespeare's first 20 sonnets, and not because of the fine poetry, which I can't judge in any case. The philosophy and insight in those few lines is incredible. It's almost impossible to believe they could have been written by someone who lived 400 years ago. It's like a god came to earth.

"Well, if we use projection as a guide, then all the articles about Bush controlling the media, stamping out opposition, and starting an empire would mean they resent us returning their government to being a peaceful democratic republic / helping to throw out the NAZIs."

All of the above are absurd lies, but the point of the 'big lie' campaign is to keep repeating the absurd lies enough that the false image is embedded.
I hate making Hitler/Nazi comparisons, but these many examples of horrible, trashy, venemous anti-American propaganda media pieces evoke the image of Jew-baiting propaganda of the Nazi era.
For the European bigots, Americans are the new Jews. Oh, and, heck, throw in the Jews and Israel as the 'new Jews' too. We all can wear the yellow star.

As for this comment from Yanna that merely reflects the prejudice:
"They just demand from the US not to destroy the world. There have been so many wars by the US in the last 60 years, everytime they thought they must play world-police and kill by that millions of civilians."

This kind of anti-American statement, that totally neglects the good the US has done in fighting enemies of freedom for the last 60 years, turns good into bad and bad into good.
... over 60 years ago, our nation lost 400,000 lives fighting a war started by a German leader. Then we lost 58,000 in a war started by communist warmongerers. Communism killed 100 million in the 20th century. The US saved millions of lives in our actions in saving countries from much worse. The US had not only the Marshall Plan, but NATO for Europe's collective security (hint: it worked!), and the set up the UN.

The US has been unique in history in fighting wars in recent times not to expand empire but to defend freedom and sovereignty. When Saddam did to Kuwait what Hitler did to Poland (hate the analogy but it fits), was it right to stop him? And who was there to make sure that right won over might? Anyone, anyone? Germany, what did they do with their power? So now we are called 'warmongerer' for fighting the tyrants who make war. Phoooey.

It is a complete and utter lie to lay 'millions of civilian deaths' at the US feet. Where was germany? Heck, where *IS* Germany? Could we blame Germany for genocide in the balkans, just 300 miles from Bonn? Or Rwanda or Darfur? Should we blame Germany for giving chemical weapons to Iraq, nuclear power to Iraq and Iran and help to Libya?

I just demand that anti-Americans not destroy the world with their lies and smears. No world superpower has been more generous, giving and allied with freedom and progress than the US.

In the 1980s, the President was called a warmongerer. Ronald Reagan though managed to win the Cold War without the ugly prospect of nuclear war or a bloodied Europe. He did more for peace in the world than all his critics combined. later was it found out that some of the anti-Amerian leftists in Germany's politics had links to East German infiltrators and spies - pacifists, or traitors? Anti-Americanism's pedigree has always been about the left's animosity to the one country that stood up to defeat international communism.

The left has always hated the US for the best things the US has done, for beign a free and capitalistic success story, for exerting power on behalf of freedom. The left needs to destroy the image of the US, because it is only through destroying the US that the left can triumph internationally. This ani-Americanism was around well before Iraq, 9/11, Bush, and will be here long after it. Civilization will have its malcontents, after all.

"here are a variety of opinions on the USA"
Good, it's too bad Stern represents a bad extreme.

"It would be sad if you now get a bad picture of Germany, like a cycle."

David's media critic website gives a bad picture of some of Germany's *media*,
it doesn't make us readers think less of the German people (unless those
people happen to promulgate these wrong views further).

Actually, I see both Americans and Germans as victims of this scam,
as it pits two countries that could be natural allies as further apart.
Close to a quarter of Americans (including me) have some German ancestry.
I am very glad for David's Medienkritik to have this dialog and link;
it will help in bridging gaps in understanding.


Also, yanna1, 'We don’t read Orwell or Atwood, we read Shakespeare'... If it’s not in English you’re loosing most of it IMO. Shakespeare is a great author in large part because of his interesting turns of phrases..."

I couldn't disagree more. I guess that's one of the reasons Shakespeare is so great. Anyone who reads him can find something admirable; just not the same thing. He was, in fact, one of the greatest psychologists of all time. Stendhal, another great psychologist, idolized him for that very reason, and certainly not because of his fine English phrases."

Posted by: Helian | January 03, 2007 at 09:38 PM

Well, I agree to a point. I've also enjoyed Stendhal... and Baudelaire… in English. But I'm aware much was lost. I don’t want to put Shakespeare down, but what I enjoyed most was his cleaver use of language. If it were gone, via translation, then I would probably want to read someone else.

Blue, American By Choice, pointed out that there are many variances.

Besides the fact that American private donations for the tsunami relief total 1.2 billion, there was also our government's donations of atleast $350 million. It also cost our military 5 to 6 million per day during that tsunami relief effort (we spent $40 million in military expense in the first week, alone). All of that is in addition to the donations. So, the amount, per capita, by America was quite high.

Private American donations to the Pakistan earthquake relief were $78 million (in addition to our government charity).

Private American citizens send, on a yearly average, about $34 billion dollars in overseas charity. That's ten times more than the entire UN budget.

And, according to the World Food Program's official site....the US donated $1,216,124 of the $2,766,486 total in 2005.

The list goes on and on.

Americans believe it is their individual responsibility to provide charity (not the government). Europeans generally prefer government to government foreign aid. It is all honorable aid.

So, again, I stand by my earlier statement.....there are many generous people in the world ; and, as I've demonstrated.....America is certainly on that list. It is wrong and false for any German magazine to say otherwise.

@Frogg, AmericanByChoice
I am very much aware that there is much more to the numbers than meets the eye and that you can not be too careful when comparing them, as societies are different.

About the two points I addressed, both amounts are amounts paid, not pledged.
Sorry, I forgot to post the link to the WFP numbers (list of official contributions by year and country):
      http://www.wfp.org/appeals/wfp_donors/index.asp?section=3&sub_section=4
I am unsure about this, but I would think that the WFP payments are part of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) the OECD keeps track of.
I did not want to imply that the private donations to tsunami relief were all the US did, the military support was reported over here as well. I just wanted to point out, that some sites deliberately misrepresent non-US giving just as "socialist" numbers often disregard private giving and thus belittle US giving. So care has to be taken in to get a fair assessment in this complex field.

To repeat from my earlier post: US Americans are generous.

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