« A Simple Question... | Main | An Open Letter to Markus Günther: Correct the Record »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c42969e200e008cd8dff8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Markus Günther: Hypocritical Americans Suppressing Memories of Slavery - Other Injustices:

Comments

If you stand where the American GI is looking down on you at Check Point Charlie you will be standing right next to the area that the crosses were removed early one morning on a July 4th. I stood there 3 days after the memorial was destroyed.
On the flip side our kids are taught from kindergarden about the slavery and what happened to the Native Americans.
But, what do I know!?! DW also wrote an article that stated that we Americans send our kindergarderners on a bus the 1st day of school and just hope they get home. I'm just a poor, unwashed, stupid American.

"King of Streets: Civil-rights icon has hundreds named for him"

http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128769304355&path=!living&s=1037645509005

"• At least 730 cities and towns in the United States have named streets after King, according to Derek Alderman, a cultural geographer at East Carolina University.

"• 39 states and the District of Columbia have named streets after King, Alderman said.

"• According to Alderman, 70 percent of places with King streets are in the seven Southern states of Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and North Carolina.

"• Georgia - King's home state - leads the country with 105 named streets."

Yep, sure sounds like suppression to me.

@Ray

What earthly purpose is there in sending expressions of outrage to this German journalist? That is going to make him see thelight? Change his ways? Such compaints will only give him pride in verifying the power he has in enraging his enemy, or in getting back at the Amis for their insult to Schroeder/Germany.

He is, and can only be, a representative German--a wide ranging type, encompassing 'good' and 'bad' characteristics, in innumerable ways, but still an identifyable type. Which is why we have useful words designating national, social, cultural types. A product of a social system which produced, included, used, continues to have, totalitarians, Nazis, communists, who teach and produce generations of similar types---and I know I am only mentioning the 'bad' types.

When encountering incidents like this, my mind always goes back to the day I visited (I believe it was) Dachau. I walked into the gas chamber (or was it ovens? so long ago I cannot remember) and there was a man re-painting it. I was disturbing him in his work and he looked annoyed. He was making everything white and clean. I felt suffocated by the paint fumes in the small enclosed rooms. I felt his anger at me for being there, disturbing him (and his past?). I walked through the rooms which housed people in rows of bunks. Everything was clean and neat. Wasn't so bad, I said to myself. And how typically clean and neat the Germans are.

I walked out from the camp buildings. It was a pleasant day, an almost bucolic setting. Right next to the camp were the comfortable homes of the citizens of Dachau. The camp was right in the town--an artists colony at that time, perhaps even now. There were children from a school on a compulsory tour of the camps: young children, running, laughing, screaming, enjoying themselves. As I approached the train station to return to the city, I saw that some jokesters had painted graffitti on the train overpass---"Fuck Bach".

I somehow feel these memories are not completely off topic.

It is my understanding that the Burns program is conducted by US and German groups:
http://www.icfj.org/burns/
I suggest you contact all of them as well as Steinmeier, the German embassy in DC and the newspaper editors of Markus Guenter instead of writing to this "journalist."

One additional point: Have a look at the cover of Guenters book:
http://www.ruhrig.de/gesichter_amerikas.html

While the book is supposedly about the many different faces of America, the cover only shows Americans with flags.
Yeah, right, every American is either waving a flag or dressed in a flag every single day. This is just what Americans do. They can't help themselves. Patriotism is so addictive.
Americans can't leave their homes and go outside without the flag. America is just like Iran, where women cover their heads outside of their homes.
Hell, no Americans even sleep in the flag. All bed sheets are in red, white and blue.

Seriously: Contacting Guenter won't change much. Contact some guys higher up. They should be more careful whom they give impressive prices to.

Maybe this guy should google before he writes. Although this is not directly in Washington D.C., it is close enough to be considered a monument to Slavery in D.C. Information was very easy to find on the internet.

http://www.usnationalslaverymuseum.org/home.asp

b.t.w - is there any other country on this planet that has anything similar to "Black History Month"?

I ve just translated the article. I hope I got it right. Guenters ironical parts were hard to translate, besides the point, that his article isnt of good quality in rhetorical points and of course in its matter. If there are any questions, feel free to ask. I ve added numbers to make references to important sentences more smooth:

"(1)A new memorial in Washington reminds of the victims of communism. (2)But the corpses in the cellar of the own history are ignored by the american passion for memorials wordlessly.

(3)Why is there no memorial in Wuppertal reminding the victims of the american slavery? And why isn`t there anything in Berlin, Frankfurt or Deggendorf reminding the expulsion of the native americans by settlers, gold seekers and conquistadores? Are these incongruous questions? That`s a matter of opinion.
(4) In the USA are as much memorials than telephone boxes - but the number of telephone boxes seems to get lower in the last time, while the memorials spread faster than the branch offices of some coffeeshops. (5) Whereever were heroic deeds, victims bemoaned or people suffered- in the USA they are remembered following the rule of thumb: The farther the suffering is away, the bigger is the passion for remembering. (6)There are over 100 american Holocaust-Memorials, reminding the murder of millions of jews in a systematic way by the germans under Hitler. (7)Furtheremore there are 27 memorials for the armenian genocide from 1915 to 1918. (8)But most of them seem rather small and modest, because with turkey (denying the genocide) are always embroilments. (9)Mahatma Ghandi of course received a memorial in Washington and the victims of cuban tyranny are mourned especially in Flordia.
(10)From this point of view it seems logically, almost overdue, that US-President Bush at last inaugurates a memorial in Washington for the victims of communism. (11)The number of those, the victims of Stalin and Mao, isnt reached by any genocide - also if it is unclear, how exactly the american founders of the memorial reached the exact number of "100 Million Dead". (12)This memorial has been planned and built for 17 years. (13)It resulted in some kind of mini statue of liberty. (14)George W. Bush didnt deny to come to the inauguration himself to mock the russians and chinese. (15)Followed by a sudden response from Peking about the "pretension". (16)Correct is, that the americans prefer to remind the victims of regimes far away, than their own corpses, which lay in the cellar of their own history. (17)The inflation of bemoaning and reminding comes along with the ability of suppressing and to let something fall into oblivion. (18)A memorial for the victims of slavery in Washington? A museum documenting the expulsions of the native americans? Or a memorial for Abu Ghoreib? Nothing like that. (19)And it is not planned. (20)Logically, the communistic party of the Ukraine has announced to do the same: The party wants to construct a memorial in Kiew, reminding the victims of US-imperialism."

Salutationes multae.

@ Joerg,

I agree with your comment. I will look for that contact information. If you have it already - please post or email it. Also - will you comment on this on your site?

UPDATE: I just emailed this to the Burns program:

To Whom it May Concern:

I am deeply troubled by a recent article on the United States published by German journalist and Burns award winner Markus Guenther. Considering the content of his latest article, I find it hard to believe that the Burns program wishes to continue its affiliation with Mr. Guenther. I have summarized my concerns in this online posting:

http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2007/06/markus-gnther.html

I hope that you will look into this and express any concerns that you may have directly to Mr. Guenther and his editors.

Sincerely,
Ray Drake

not sure when the article came out, is Vom=June?, but on June 19 Texas, that source of all cowboy redneck evil, celebrated Juneteenth, a rememberence of the day the news of the Emancipaton Proclamation finally reached here. While primarily a Black thing since 1870, the day was offically recognized as a state holiday in 1980. In my little corner of God's country we had a huge celebration planned, including all kinds of folks of differnet colors (that seems to matter so much to some people). Unfortunately it rained like hell- probably a Bush global warming plot to halt the festivities, but partying and speeches adjourned to drier venues. Slavery, we ain't proud of it, but we don't forget it.

@ WC

"is there any other country on this planet that has anything similar to "Black History Month"?"

Britain and Canada have a Black History Month.
I have started an Online Black History Month with Bill from Bremen, so that we have something in Germany. I have written two posts. Bill has written many more posts, not just on Germany, but Europe.


@ Ray
I will blog about it at the weekend. Probably in combination with a Black History Month post.
I don't have the contact info you are asking. And I am sorry, I don't have the time right now to search the websites, but I think it would be great if another Medienkritik reader would do that.
I think it is worthwhile contacting people in charge. I remember your success with STERN website about Americans not caring about the world. A blogpost supported by emails to those in charge is more influential than just a blogpost, which is not read.

Just a fact question, because I am sure it will come up eventually: Is there a memorial for the Vietnamese victims of the war?
The Vietnam memorial at the Mall in DC does not mention the Vietnamese victims, does it?

How is Vietnam taught in highschool? How much time is spend in the curriculum for Vietnamese victims (kids, women etc) compared to the US victims and the damage the war and the domestic debate about the war have done to US society?

Again, just a factual question. Whatever the answer is, it does not justify Guenthers commentary. And he does not mention Vietnam anyway, but I am sure that Remembering Vietname will pop up, when we continue this discussion on Atlantic Review or here or elsewhere. Thanks.

Sagredo, I understand your frustration with they way America is presented in the German media by utterly dishonest Germans who pose as journalists. You must not forget though that, just as America is not ignoring the past, Germany also is not ignoring the WWII past. Germans don't like the past, they are obviously uncomfortable with it, nowadays they like talking about the "good Germans" of that period, but they also do their best to present the past to younger generations as it were, without any rationalizations.

You are very correct in one respect. Germans had this very peculiar trait that enabled them to blindly jump aboard totalitarian systems. Ray said that: To state that Americans have repressed the memory of African slavery or the plight of the American Indian is outrageous, ludicrous and and an insult to the intelligence of all thinking people.

The words that stick out for me when I read this is thinking people. I know many Germans (including in my family) who in many aspects of their life are shutting down their critical thinking and relying completely on what they are told by the media, certain politicians, "elites" etc. Maybe saying that they "shut down their thinking" goes a little too far, but they definitely put a lot of completley unjustifiable faith in the "official", popular line. I found this trait to be very disturbing, long before Bush and Schröder came along. This often uncritical acceptance of distorted ideas makes them susceptible of falling into the trap of many ideologues.

Americans, OTOH, are at the exact opposite pole. The self-reliance and individuality of Americans make it very hard for ideologues to cast their spell over the American people. The need for individual independence enables American to be acceptant (or indifferent) of other systems, while the need for conformity of the Germans makes them very intolerant of other systems. Americans will never devalue the German "way", just because it's different, while Germans will always scorn "Amerikanische Verhältnisse", simply because they are very different. I am generalizing now, and this has been said many times already, but Americans perceive the new and unknown as an opportunity, Germans as a threat. This is probably the origin of all misunderstandings, and the damage done by individuals who spread lies and misconceptions in the German media makes it more difficult to find the lost common ground.

@ Joerg,

Vietnam is covered extensively in most high school History courses. Of course, as in Europe, the focus is on the victims of American actions - and little attention is paid to the far greater number of victims who died, were imprisoned or forced into exile or poverty by the Communist dictatorships in both Vietnam and Cambodia - particularly after 1975. You probably know that hundreds of thousands of refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have been accepted by and live in the United States and form a vital and largely prosperous community.

I can't wait for the US to close the rest of their bases in Germany. Let Islam have Western Europe.

@ Walter

What does your comment have to do with this posting? If you want to write hateful crap - do so on another site.

@WhatDoIKnow
I appreciate your thoughtful response to my post--it could easily have been intemperate defensiveness, like the article we are discussing.
@RayD
I thought your letter to the Jouranlist was right on the mark.

Every time I go into a casino, I am reminded of the great Native American Heritage :)
I once hired a Native American and was surprised that they get enormeous Tax advantages, as well as a generouslump sum payment annually from the Government for being Native American. I didn't realize that at the time and most people probably don't know about that situation either. I have no problems with that at all. However,I guess, it does not encourage people to go to work and keeps the unemployment statistics rather skewed.
Since there was no "Amerika" at the time of Native American "Persecution", but only European invaders, who should have rebuffed those slaughtering marauders, The Indian Fairy?
It seems to me that the German media is very fast in using name calling, even at the slightest hint of disagreement. For instance, they seem very upset about some polish magazin cover portraying Merkel with a Hitler mustache. " Slanderous to OUR Kanzler" etc. Didn't the same media compare bush to Hitler among other things? Where is the outrage about that hypocracy?
Oh well, special rules for the "special people"............

Actually, there are former slaves depicted in statutes in Washington DC.
There is a statue of Frederick Douglass at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site – at his former home in DC. Archer Alexander, the last slave captured under the Fugitive Slave Act, is depicted along with Lincoln in the Emancipation Memorial. The African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum includes a memorial statue to African American troops in the Civil War. Here are the links:

http://www.nps.gov/archive/frdo/visitor.htm
http://www.kittytours.org/thatman2/search.asp?subject=64
http://www.afroamcivilwar.org/

The Slavery Museum in Fredricksburg Virginia is currently under construction, but its first on-site exhibit, the Spirit of Freedom , including a sculpture of a slave breaking his chains,opened in the last week.

http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/062007/06222007/294279

Anyone know what percentage of the slave trade went to the United States?

http://www.uiowa.edu/~c016003a/mapslavetrade.gif

Something tells me it isn't the US that is denying their past.

http://www.u.arizona.edu/~mrankin/slavepercentages.jpg
http://www2.history.ubc.ca/lshin/teaching/images/150/slaves.gif

From school I recall the phrase "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." So from then till 1776 Europe had 284 years of their own legacy of killing Indians. The US has only existed for 231 years.

So where are all the momunments in Europe for the Indians and African slaves that Europe is responcible for? Is there even one?

"80 percent of the people, who respond to my articles, suggest that I am too much pro-American, too apologetic about the current administration, or too naive with regard to the real intentions and powers behind American politics."

I love it! The old, "But wait a minute, I can't be a racist. 80 percent of the members of the Ku Klux Klan think I'm too pro-black!" argument. (And, by the way, some of his best friends are Americans, too.)

Notice how he carefully avoids even the slightest attempt to actually address the substance of Ray's critique; that his article is factually inaccurate and slanted. But, hey, he's not the only one feeding the gross ignorance of the German people about America. All the other journalists do it, too!

@ Helian

I wouldnt generalize it: "All the other journalists do it, too!"
Of course not all, but quite too many. And they do it in such an extreme way, that it could stand for all. The few that dont participate in anti americanism are not read by many germans, so there is no money to be made with pro american articles. Futhermore, antiamericanism is an opportunity for every untalented journalist. They dont need to be eloquent, just write something, everyone will accept as true, because it fits with their own constructed truth. Negative aspects are to be found more easily and taken by the people. Positiv aspects of a country could improve and coming along with it, change their life. And people are frightend by any thought changes.

Here’s a couple of anecdotes in response toMarkus Guenther’sassertion that American’s have selective memories when it comes to honoring victims.

The City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire had a public works project to dig up one of its main thoroughfares. A backhoe digger came across some old wooden objects. The workers discovered a long lost cemetery of 200 of the city's forgotten residents. The workers had discovered the burial ground of the original African slaves that were brought to work in the New World in the late 1600s:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2006/01/23/a_city_faces_the_slavery_in_its_past/

Although New Hampshire became a free state shortly after America declared its independence, there was a significant community of slaves that were brought in by the slave trade. Most of the slaves were brought over from West Africa.

Since the disinterment of the “forgotten 200,” the city has truly treated the discovery as a major historical event.

One resident exclaimed that the discovery was very emotional for the city of Portsmouth. “There were voluntary pallbearers that helped the excavators remove the graves in a respectful way. There were members of the community that came by, paid their respects, asked questions or offered prayers.”

The city’s small (500) African American community has offered their DNA to see if any of the “forgotten 200" are related:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/13/eveningnews/main1312816.shtml

The city has several committees working on issues such as relocation and a memorial to the lost slave community. In the meantime, Archeologist are having a field day analyzing the data they have collected from analysis of the graves, the coffins and the remains of the individuals.

I contrast the above with two anecdotes that I personally experienced in Germany.

When I was serving the Army, I would participate in “border walks” with the Bundesgrenzschutz, (Federal Border Guards), checking out the boundaries of the old West/East German border. Our job was to account for all the border markings, some of them put up by the East German Government, some of them in existence since Frederick Barbarossa. In a meadow near the town of Herlesahausen was a cemetery consisting of approximately 200 graves. These graves were of Russian prisoners who died in captivity while working as slave labors near the city of Eisennacht, which is a city in East Germany, near the old West German border.

The graves were kept up, with small bronze plaques, with the names, serial numbers and ranks of the fallen Russian soldiers. It was very obvious that somebody was making a great effort to keep up these graves. The graves were located on the West German side of the border. The year was 1979.

In the tree line, where this same meadow stopped, I discovered a second grave yard. It was a Jewish cemetery. Many of the graves had Hebrew inscriptions. Some of the graves were at the time 70 years old. What was exceptionally eerie was that newest graves were from 1938. All of the graves were overgrown with heavy brush and forest. It was obviously that these graves were not kept up, forgotten and lost. Yet, this “dumme Amie,” yours truly, was able to find the grave just by exploring.

My German wife had a girl friend who came from money. I cannot say what city she is from, but let’s just say it is a place in West Germany. Her father made a lot of money after the war by being the largest baker in the community.

One day she took us to the town square. In the middle of the town square was an old building that was abandoned. My wife’s friend explained that is where her father started the bakery during the war. The family had to abandon the building later after the war when the business expanded. When I inspected the building, the “Fachwerk,” (The beams that are exposed to the outside, which are common in antique European buildings), had funny inscriptions carved into them. The inscriptions were in Hebrew. I asked my wife’s friend if she new anything about the history of the building. She replied that the old timers call it “the old Jew house.” She remarked that it was an eyesore and nobody knew what to do with the building.

I spoke to my wife in private. I speculated that this woman’s father, who got a draft exemption during the war, was most likely offered by the local Gauleiter the old bakery occupied by former Jewish owners. This is how he started and grew his business. To my knowledge, the “old Jew house” was still standing in 1997.

I seriously challenge Markus Guenther to reexamine his theory that Americans are hypocrites. Germany has still not seriously addressed issues related to the holocaust.

Jeez, so who peed in Mr. Guenther's Wheaties? What exactly was the purpose of writing this piece of tripe? Was there anything that triggered it, inspired it, or otherwise made it relevant to anything? It doesn't seem so. Assuming that he didn't just wake up one morning and decide to write an anti-American article, I can only come to one conclusion: According to his own defense, he's been accused of being too friendly with the enemy. Therefore, he needed to throw a couple of bombs to demonstrate his loyalty.

How typically modern-leftist. It's the same sort of behavior that John McCain engages in on many issues -- prostitute oneself in order to remain in the good graces of the leftist media. And it's the primary reason that Mr. McCain's Presidential campaign is tanking. You can't fool all of the people all of the time. (Especially not when Internet memory tracks your every word.)

Walter E. Wallis: "I can't wait for the US to close the rest of their bases in Germany."

Well, that's exactly what the German government are looking for, so they can make Adolf Hitler's dream of the Germanisches Reich (European Union) come true. Anyway, Americans such as you have no clue what's going on around the world. And yes, America cannot survive in isolation.

Back to topic.

Markus Guenther has obviously realized that one has to be a "useful idiot" in order to make a living in Nazi-Germany.

Germany is in big trouble. The economy struggles, the unemployment rate is rising (official numbers are faked), corruption and crime are everywhere, and hundreds of thousands Germans emigrate each year. Well, the American Way of Life is far better than the national socialist dictatorship in Germany.

Due to the fact that Russia is the new (old) friend of Germany, the German government and the state-controlled media are trying hard to blame the great capitalist "satan", the United States, for everything. Who else?

No doubt, I'm not amused by Marcus Guenther's article and it's a shame to support the Nazi-Propaganda. Shame on you, Marcus Guenther! How dare you?

By the way, we all should be proud of George W. Bush. He's the one who had the courage to send troops in order to defend America and the American Way of Life. May God bless him and the United States service men and women!

Jorg, I'm considered an official "Baby Killer" for having been in Vietnam from 65 to 67, so I think that notice 'was' given to Vietnamese casualties. We were also aware of two million Cambodian and one million Vietnamese casualties after the war ended. In terms of monuments I imagine that Germany is going to erect a monument for the Polish casualties and Some monuments for the Russian casualties and so forth. I'll be waiting for the announcement.

As far as the slaves are concerned, on the East Coast there is a series of small museums that trace the Underground Railroad and have been part of the National Park system for years. When one says museum, the sites are single homes with the hiding places that the slaves on the way to freedom were hidden in. Perhaps that will answer the charges that we're unaware of our history. The difference between the US and Germany is that we've admitted that we failed the test in the past and we've stepped up to the challenge of fighting any redux.

I'm curious. Where in Europe are there memorials to the victims of slavery taken in raids by Jihadists over a period of a thousand years? Talk about suppressing the memory of slavery. Europe is suppressing the memory of its own victimization, the enslavement of millions of Europeans by Jihadists.

Just do your own Google Search. Here's the title and first paragraph from an article on research from Ohio State University:

WHEN EUROPEANS WERE SLAVES: RESEARCH SUGGESTS WHITE SLAVERY WAS MUCH MORE COMMON THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new study suggests that a million or more European Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780 – a far greater number than had ever been estimated before.
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/whtslav.htm

Hmmm, that's a million European victims over a period of 250 years and doesn't count the other 800 years. Does anyone in Europe know about this?

The problem with all these facts is that they are missing the point.

The point here is not that it is wrong that Americans were suppressing the memories of slavery and the loss of native heritage. That just is so. The point is that Europeans are suppressing these events, and to continue to do so we need a prop to blame for precisely what we do to ourselves. It´s a typical pathological projection, that´s why this storyline enables that journalist to sell articles. Deep inside, we feel that there is a memory hole in our own culture, and these who lack the courage to face it enjoy to have their wounds nurtured by propaganda trying to normalise it, no matter that this propaganda hurts others.

The Nazis touched a wound which is open since 1.500 years and continues to be. They seized on the issue of Europe´s lost roots, and dealt out a fantasy ideology of the forgotten native heritage which worked along the psychology described above, with suppression and projections and props. They pushed an hollow ideal of superiority which is quite similar to that of Islam. After all Islam was developed when the Arabs saw the fundamental spiritual weakness of the European civilisation and understood they could exploit the situation that Europe had nearly lost its roots. The Nazis believed that by abandoning our Judaeo-Christian heritage they could be more Islamic than the Muslims.

Our ancestors were barbarians, but they knew something right that was lost in the process of civilisation, ultimately leading to the confusion that is haunting Europe today. They were living in mayhem, but they were in touch with the sacred plants and mushrooms that God made grow on this land. They were at the whims of nature, but they were spiritually rooted. Today we are civilised, but spiritually rootless. We do have technologies which allow us to consume and discuss views as expressed by this journalist, but we have alienated our culture from God´s gifts, calling them evil drugs and treating these who dare to disagree with that like criminals. And the forces of Islam and similar ideologies are rising above any highwater mark anyone has drawn.

The Dark Age is not over yet, the demand for pointing at the speck of sawdust in the eye of America proves it.

Just out of curiosity, where are the German monuments to the blacks they surpressed? As I live in Germany, I have yet to encounter any German who is even aware of their country's historical treatment of blacks as well. I smell hypocracy...

In total, some 65,000 Herero (80 percent of the total Herero population), and 10,000 Nama (50 percent of the total Nama population) perished. Characteristic of the genocide was death by starvation and the poisoning of wells for the Herero and Nama population that was trapped in the Namib Desert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herero_and_Namaqua_Genocide

@Ray and German Voice
Walter E. Wallis: "I can't wait for the US to close the rest of their bases in Germany."

Give the guy a break. You are both kinda hard on him and show somewhat of a lack of feeling. I remember when 50% of the US defense budget was for oversees bases, a very large part for Germany. I do not know what the figure is anymore, but it is still too large compared to the token amount of money the Europeans put toward defense.

Make it clear, it is in Americas vital interest that the bases are here. That should be the only reason. NATO obligations? Open for debate, although Gerhard kinda killed that idea...

as soon as the bases in Germany are no longer in our interest, (such as when new ones are built on friendlier territory), then good bye Commie pinkos, SPD, linke party, green morons...(did that cover them all without offending anybody?)

That of course will never happen however since the US is pouring over $800 Million in to Graf....

back to the original subject -
if there truely is no memorial to Slavery in D.C. directly - them maybe there should be...

just a thought

Thanks for all the comments on Vietnam.

Mike H.
Jorg, I'm considered an official "Baby Killer" for having been in Vietnam from 65 to 67,

Still? I thought this was only in the 70s and early 80s.

Some commentators have a great sense of humor.
Walter E. Wallis: "I can't wait for the US to close the rest of their bases in Germany."
Well, that's exactly what the German government are looking for, so they can make Adolf Hitler's dream of the Germanisches Reich (European Union) come true. Anyway, Americans such as you have no clue what's going on around the world.

Seriously: Why do so many Americans believe that US troops are based in Germany for charity reasons?
Probably for the same reason why Americans believe that the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent.

The US is such an altruistic power. There would be anarchy all over the world without the help from the land of the free and the home of the brave in world full of cowards and evil doers.

As Walter E Willis has put it so eloquentlyI can't wait for the US to close the rest of their bases in Germany. Let Islam have Western Europe.

Absolutely, the day the US leaves Germany, there will be a Muslim coup d'etat. A day afterwards all women will be forced to wear burkas.

Seriously: The US military bases are in Germany to serve US interests. Germany has been a major hub for US military operations in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa for many decades.

Even the new "Africa Command" is starting from scratch at a Germany facility rather than some place in Poland.

Dear Mr. Günther, you wrote:
“However, making me an example of this bias is going to confuse my few fans and many critics alike.”

Do you write for idiots?
Most Germans are not stupid.
But many are poorly informed.
Just explain why this article has factual errors.
This is your opportunity right here and now.
I guarantee that they will understand.

"Just explain why this article has factual errors."

I suspect that without the factual errors, the story he tells loses its impact -- because, in fact, there is no story.

Like someone else asked above, I'd like to know what motivated him to spin this tale at this time? Wrong side of the bed? A wild hair? Soggy parade?

At the risk of annoying Mr Gunther, and I apologize for the lack of an umlaut in his name, I owned no slaves. My ancestors owned no slaves, at least as far back as I can trace my family history. In fact, we weren't even in the US during the Civil War. My wife is an immigrant.

So why, exactly, am I hypocritical? I might as well try to pin the evils of Nazi Germany on Mr Gunther personally. I'll refrain, lest I sound like a fool.

Mr. Günther wrote a book called "The Faces of America - Dispatches from the Land of Endless Contradictions"

These are some of the titles of the chapters that appear in his book (from the link above http://www.ruhrig.de/gesichter_amerikas.html). Translation and comments in brackets are mine.

--God’s Work and the Devil’s Contribution – Missionaries and Millionaires: A visit to the trade show for “Christian consumer products” [Christian capitalists – check]

--Countdown to an Execution – The executioner of America’s “Execution of the Century” has promised to be efficient [death penalty – check]

--March Music and Gas Masks – On the eve of the war in Iraq America sinks into exuberant patriotism and hysterical fear [patriotism – check]

--Shopping for Comfort, Fun and Breasts – Christmas shopping in New York: The state is in debt and so are the people [irresponsible airheads – check]

--No Mercy for Christine Taylor – The full weight of the law: 20 years in prison for a crime as a juvenile [unfair legal system – check (even though she was 19, an adult, when she committed the crime)]

--Lynndie England’s nice and wholesome world – Big burgers, weak coffee and freedom on tap [as in beer] [uncouth soldier - check]

--The long shadow of the Ku-Klux-Klan – “Mississippi Burning”: After 40 years of silence a late search for clues [racism – check. This movie is shown very often on German TV.]

--First the war dead, then the weather report – America one year after the begin of the war in Iraq
[Americans just don’t care about anybody – check]

--The hooray patriotism has drifted into callous indifference. [They still don’t care]

--The Mormons as hosts to the world – Fear of terrorists, beer drinkers and other godless creatures at the Great Salt Lake. [Religious Americans are just silly – check]

--The Global Magnet – Gigantic, orderly, multicultural and full of loneliness: New York City [There has to be something wrong with New York]

--It’s all over on Easter Sunday – Passion plays American style: Crucifixion on over 100 theaters [Religious Americans – again]

--Lower standards but growing suspense – Politics in an apolitical society: Observations on the presidential elections [Americans don’t care again - check]

--Hitler dies after the commercial break – From the Axis Powers to the Axis of Evil: World War II as Reality-TV [I don’t quite get this one. The trivialization of history maybe?]

--Just some like it hot – The endless humming of the air conditioner is part and parcel of the American summer season, just like cold coke and upper respiratory infections. [My personal favorite. Americans and air conditioning: this topic usually comes up in Germany when talking about life in the US.]

--Cold winds, warm words – King for a day: George W. Bush starts his second term with pomp and pathos [Americans can only dream of being royalty – check]


In his email Mr. Günther writes:

"Only on rare occasions, like this one, I have had to deal with the assumption that I was Anti-American."

I don’t think it’s an assumption.

"No matter what the criticism is, I recommend to all, who question my professionalism and unbiased approach, to not only review a single article but rather follow my reporting long-term and compare it to the work of other German correspondents in Washington. That will most certainly change the perspective."

Based on the above titles for his dispatches (and the rest that I didn’t translate), I wouldn’t call his approach unbiased. My perspective wasn’t changed, it was strengthened.

"I do, by the way, share your concern that there is a highly problematic bias in German coverage of the US, and I am very much troubled by that."

I don’t believe him. Anti-American articles like these are nothing new in the German media. Actually, they are usually the norm. If he were concerned about this highly problematic bias he could have challenged it in his writings.

Sorry for the long post.

Dear Herr Gunther,

You are not being called out simply for anti-American bias.

You are being called out for being a manifest liar.

Go right ahead. Plead ignorance. That should be fun to watch.

Slavery was a *European* practice. It was introduced by Europeans, perfected by EUropeans and perpetuated by Europeans. The slave owners and slave traders who started this practice were ALL Europeans, born and bred in Europe. There was absolutely nothing *American* that contributed to the apparition of slavery. What Americans unfortunately did later on was to continue this despicable practice started by Europeans. This is undeniably true.

While America today honors the memory of slaves, Europe does nothing of the same. Can anyone claim that Europeans' hands are clean in this regard? Europeans like so much to search for "root causes", but in this case their critical thinking rests. How can they ignore the European aspect of slavery in America? Slavery was *entirely* an European creation. Why do they feel the need to blame it all on America? America definitely has her share of blame, but if we are really looking for "root causes", it is impossible to ignore the decisive role played by Europeans.

I am not trying to diffuse or minimize the negative role played by America. I am just pointing out that a vital point is missing in the slavery discussion, and the Europeans like it that way.

Another point about Herr Gunther's article. He ends it with a "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" point about the communist party in Kiev wanting to construct a memorial to the victims of "u.s. imperialism." Undoubtedly the communist party in Kiev is also planning a memorial to the 5 million Ukrainians who perished during the famine in the 1930s. Undoubtedly, Herr Shroeder, who speaks truth to power when he speaks with Assad and Putin, will give the speech to inaugurate such a memorial.

Some might think the US will not walk away from an investment in basing facilities such as those in Germany. They would be wrong. The US walked away from a far larger investment in the Philippines, when it returned Clark AFB and Subic Bay Naval Base or more recently the hand over of bases and the redeployment of US Forces from ROK and Japan.

The current and foreseeable trend is for the US to move forces out of Germany. This has been going on for more than 5 years. When the current redeployments, focusing primarily on USAREUR, are completed one can reasonably expect to see USAFE to begin a draw down.

US base structure in Germany becomes less and less important with each passing year.

As to AFRICOM, it is being stood up in Germany only because the assets are coming from EUCOM. AFRICOM will deploy from Germany. When that deployment takes place the net results will be EUCOM will be smaller and the overall troop levels in Germany will decrease once again. (BTW had the assets been located in Poland, AFRICOM would have been stood up there.)

The real question is about NATO. Today it is an alliance of the unwilling. The actions of the members of the chocolate summit made that clear some time ago and nothing has changed.. If these nations see no threat to their security and it is apparent they do not both by their actions within NATO and within their national budgets then the quicker NATO can join the scrap heap of history the better.

There would have been no European slave traders without Muslim slave hunters selling them their wares. Slavery is the very essence of Islam, a Muslim is a slave to their science fiction idol, the very word Islam translates to peace through submission. There may have been instances of slavery before Islam, but no other culture translated it into an entire system of belief trying to encompass anything.

But you´re making an important point. A culture that quietly disengages from slavery will have the proverbial but invisible skeletons in the closet. A culture that liberates its slaves will display the traces of slavery all over it even when the liberation happened long ago. Actually, it is an exceptional quality of America that this is the case. You just could have euthanised all the slaves and there would be nothing to see today.

* * *

Back to the issue of the military bases... is a return to the Monroe Doctrine really an option these days?

joe,
I agree with your analysis. There are many factors at play here.
While the American public doesn't realize the incredible backstabbing that goes on in Germany, one of these days someone will make this their pet project in Congress. Then it will be simply a project to save the taxpayers money by eliminating foreign Pork Barrel spending.
There will be more of a movement towards neutrality and disengagement from international affairs. Once this ball starts rolling there won't be any stopping it. If the Germans continue their snide remarks about the superiority of their race and mocking the stupidity of the American people,(which they will) regardless of who the next President will be, adjustments in EU/America relations will be made.
In the future, America will have to focus more on the problems in our own back yard (Latin America) and Africa. Europe will have to take a Balcony seat.It just won't be important any more, especially from a cost analysis basis.

Dear Mr. Günther,
I do not automatically assume that you consciously intended to write an anti-American article.
Unfortunately, intention is not a prerequisite for ultimately doing so.
Regardless of your intentions, you ended up writing an article with factual errors that defames Americans.
Making such errors does indeed raise questions about your professionalism. However, raising questions is in itself not a condemnation. After all, everyone makes mistakes. It is the raising of the answers that can eventually absolve you or condemn you, especially the answers to how you deal with errors.
Here are a few questions that I would be interested in knowing the answers to:
1. Do you notify all your publishers of the errors?
2. Do you make sure retractions and/or corrections are actually published by all your publishers?
3. Do you make sure that the errors are corrected or removed from the publisher’s website?
4. Do you write a new article with correct information?

Too often when I read German media, I get the distinct impression that the Goebbels disciples have become very lazy.
Mostly they repeat a headline and fill it with their own interpretation/opinion. I guess doing research just takes too much time and effort? They could get away easily with their misleading opinions if they just used the "?" more often. After all,it would take two fingers for these lazy individuals to type their lofty views, (one on the shift, one on the ?) requiring them to put down their coffee cup It also seems that the Internet with all the information available has made them this way. I would call it soft Plagiarism.

I have always wondered how the German MSM and the Government would respond to the same style of hatred in the US leveled against Germany?
It certainly would start a diplomatic row.
Of course Americans are at a disadvantage, they never learned from the greatest propagandist in the world, Goebbels.

Posts demanding of Mr. Guenther that he be fair in his factual articles are misguided. Despite the impression given by some journals and schools of journalism, there are no unbiased media. Get some distance from the subject and look at histories of the press--they are always labeled or at least understood to be for this or that party. In times past, this was always honestly acknowledged by all. Nowadays, we have papers, such as the New York Times, which profess to being unbiassed. What this means is that they are not only biassed, but lie about it.

So to test/question Mr. Guenther on his even-handedness, as some posters have done here, is equivalent to assuming he is the tooth-fairy. It makes matters worse by clouding the issue with false 'facts'.

The true problem we have to face here is a societal problem--German society as a whole has this anti-american bias which is being happily fed by those paid to feed consumers of lies. What Germany needs is a reasonable mix of pro and anti american bias so that each person has the ability to find the version of historical truth he/she is most comfortable with. The tendency of European masses to follow the leadership of their officially educated classed--a tendency mercifully absent in the US--is perhaps most extreme in Germany.

How this is to be solved in Germany and elsewhere is beyond me, but haranguing Mr. Guenther who is as mindless a cog in the wheel as his readers, gets us nowhere. Well, I do have one suggestion: send more German students to US colleges. Americans went in droves to Germany 100 years ago to learn science--do not be too proud or biassed to do a similar thing today.

@RayD
At least he has the guts to respond. Let's see what happens now...

Good work...I wonder if he will correct his errors in a MSM publication?

@Saqredo
Whatever you do, do not send German MSM people to US colleges. Than they would be 100 times more biased (anti-ami) than they are now!!

Sagredo, what is this?

What Germany needs is a reasonable mix of pro and anti american bias so that each person has the ability to find the version of historical truth he/she is most comfortable with.

blech. One is entitled to one's own opinion. No one is entitled to their own facts.

What Gunther wrote is demonstrably false and no one is entitled to be 'comfortable' with it.

Ray, I was thinking how wonderful your blog is. You mostly talk of „the“ Germans as if nearly all of them were anti-American, hypocrite, whatever. This way you help to create the same stereotypical thinking you are trying to criticize. And this, in turn, is what I would call “hypocrite” (a word so often stressed on this site).

In addition, the amount of silly comments posted on this site is awesome. Examples:

“Of course Americans are at a disadvantage, they never learned from the greatest propagandist in the world, Goebbels.”

“Let Islam have Western Europe.”

Real food for thought, isn’t it?
I hope you will start the same kind of blog in France, Italy, wherever, to bravely fight anti-americanism in the whole world. May god bless you and George Bush. Nuke the Germans/Europeans. Amen.

You mostly talk of „the“ Germans as if nearly all of them were anti-American, hypocrite, whatever.

Amazing how little one understands from a blog that has documented anti-Americanism in the German media for years...

In my city, we not only have at least one street and school named after Dr. King, but we're working so hard to forget slavery that within the last ten years we designated a route through the city "Richard Allen Way" - after a man who was born a slave and died a success. Just can't sweep it under the rug fast enough.

In the happy event that you should correspond with Mr. Guenther again, for his edification you might point out that the American founders of the memorial did not reach the exact number "100 million dead"; the authors of "The Black Book of Communism" did. It being eight years old and a central work in the post mortem of communism, it might be good if he'd at least heard of it.

I'd also be gratified if you'd mention to him that the suffering is seldom so far away from America; so many of your poor, your tired, and your huddled masses yearning to be free wind up on our shores. Holocaust memorials aren't far from the suffering when so many of the survivors are here. Cuba's victims are remembered especially in Florida? Well yes, because that's where they tend to run to. I learned of the Armenian genocide by meeting Armenians whose families fled here. Most of my own great-grandparents came here in an effort to escape Markus's. It's unfortunate that Markus could live here for years without learning at least that much about us.

And if telling the simple, unadorned truth about America is ferociously rebuffed as propaganda by his German readership, I can only imagine that he's already taken some time to reflect on the implications of that fact. I submit that Markus can use that mail as a barometer - if he writes an article about America and fails to receive the standard volume, he can assume that his journalism has probably slipped towards the dark side.

@Jorg -
How is Vietnam taught in highschool?

At the time that I was in school (I graduated 1987), it was taught poorly. I came out of school not understanding even the most fundamental aspects of the war; I had to learn it on my own in the years that followed. It focused on a handful of events, and spotlighted the effect of our homegrown gutmensch in getting us out of it, but did a miserable job of explaining trivial little details like why we were there in the first place. I reluctantly hope that it's better these days.

@ metaphysik_der_entropie

You write:

You mostly talk of „the“ Germans as if nearly all of them were anti-American

No. I don't. And putting words in my mouth won't make it so. I challenge you to find anything I have written on the site that says I think "the Germans" are nearly all anti-American. (By the way - I am a German citizen myself - David is as well). If you want to know what I really think - read this website's Mission Statement.

You also claim there are a lot of silly comments on this site. I disagree. As with every other blog or media website on the planet that allows comments - there are some stupid or silly comments now and then. (I actually responded quite firmly to one that you mention above.) There are, however, many more thoughtful, intelligent and insightful comments here that foster a meaningful dialog. For the record - I do not endorse any comments other than my own - and the comments do not reflect the views of this site - so judging my views on other peoples' comments is a bit absurd.

Finally, you write:

"Real food for thought, isn’t it?
I hope you will start the same kind of blog in France, Italy, wherever, to bravely fight anti-americanism in the whole world. May god bless you and George Bush. Nuke the Germans/Europeans. Amen.

It is really interesting that you accuse us of fostering stereotypes and then wrap yours up so neatly in a little ball of resentment: Americans are overly religious and brutally violent and support the most evil man in the world - George W. Bush.

Perhaps the real problem is not this site - but your own unwillingness to come to terms with your own deeply held prejudices.

@Pamela
"No one is entitled to their own facts.
What Gunther wrote is demonstrably false and no one is entitled to be 'comfortable' with it."

I shudder to disagree with a pistol-packing Grandma, but,...this blog, and practically every other blog, and practically all debates concerning historical event, are filled with statements which are facts to one party, 'facts', to another, distortions, to a third, and lies to a fourth. Of course there are always a few statements that are simple enough and documented enough to be be checked out true or false.
------------
Example Fact 1: How many memorials to ___ are in Wash. D.C.
Counterexample 'Fact' 1: (a) How many people died in the Holocaust. (b) How many Iraqi's have died 'due to U.S. actions. (c) How many Africans killed by Belgium during its occupation of the Congo. etc.
Example Fact 2: The US is fighting in Iraq.
Counterexample 'Fact' 1: (a) It is clear that the war is already lost. (b) It is clear that the war can be won as long as the US maintains the will to win it. (c) Bush lied to start the war. (d) The US is fighting Al Qaida in Iraq preference to fighting it closer to the US.

Simple Facts concerning human affairs exist but usually have as much relevance to what is being argued as the fact that 2+2=4 has to the solution to Fermat's Last Theorem.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Our Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

February 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28