This time it is an RAF killer - last time a Hezbollah killer of another US service member. Of course the eternal apologists for all that is wrong with Germany will tell us we should "respect" German law. Sorry - no sale.
In other news, Joerg reports that Germany's travelers are being encouraged by their Foreign Ministry to lecture others on human rights abuses while abroad. This German habit of lecturing the rest of the world on virtually everything is growing extremely tiresome to many Americans (and others) - particularly since so little of the criticism is actually constructive or based on a full understanding of facts and circumstances. The credibility of Germany is further decimated by its Foreign Ministry when top diplomats attempt to deny that anti-Americanism exists in German media and society.
Perhaps Americans ought to respond to the endless barrage of stupid and predictable criticism by mentioning the release of the two murderers above and the outrageous epidemic of unthinking anti-Americanism in German media. The fundamental reason that Americans will never respond with the same intensity is because they generally view such lecturing as highly impolite and off-putting and often don't care for the uninformed opinions of biased foreigners.
For what it's worth, here is our list of favorite "pet issues" of the German media in their coverage of the United States:
- Perceived American religiosity and/or prudishness.
- Perceived American obsession with guns and violence.
- The death penalty.
- The perceived excess and superficiality of American capitalism and (non)culture (i.e. fat people, the super rich, SUVs, fast-food, M-TV/hip-hop culture, Hollywood, corporate scandals, buy-outs and "excessive" profits.)
- Perceived social inequality in the United States (i.e. amerikanische Verhaeltnisse, poor Americans are starving and freezing to death or at least struggling with 2-3 jobs and no health insurance while the rich live it up. Perception that America has no social safety net or a woefully inadequate social safety net.)
- Perceived American unilateralism/exceptionalism (i.e. Iraq, Kyoto, ICC, Guantanamo)
- Perceived American "hurrah" patriotism or "hyper" patriotism (i.e. flag-waving).
- Perceived American paranoia/overreaction about terror and obsession with security and the "war" on terror and the perceived willingness of Americans to sacrifice key civil liberties (the Patriot Act has become a favored target) and take extrajudicial actions involving torture, renditions, etc.
- The perception that the Bush administration controls (or at least dominates) the media and can somehow intimidate media into following the party line. The perceived view that there is a lack of diversity of opinion in US media and that FoxNews, talk radio and blogs are the menacing conservative vanguard of what all US media are becoming or have already become. (i.e. US media are "gleichgeschaltet" or in lock-step.)
- Anything that casts a negative light on the US military (i.e. Abu Ghraib, trials of US troops, bombings or killings of civilians real or imagined).
- Anything that casts a negative light on the Bush administration.
- Iraq is a disaster-quagmire-catastrophe-debacle perhaps unparalleled in human history. Iraq = Vietnam = defeat and humiliation for America, the US military and Bush.
- The perception of the US as an imperial hegemon out to expand its global power and military-industrial complex while using democracy as a convenient (yet false) excuse to do so. Oil = blood = Halliburton = war.
Interestingly enough - Stern's latest America correspondent - Jan Christoph Wiechmann - has already gotten off to a fast start. His first few articles are on problems with health insurance, the super rich and the sensational socialist extremes in New York City. He also dedicates a piece to defending Gerhard Schroeder and whines about a judgmental American professor (yeah as if there are no Americans who have not been through much worse with Europeans). Now all that's missing is a piece on guns, fast food, hyper patriotism or anything else that makes the United States look extreme, ugly or sensational to Stern's far-left Hate-America readership. We are sure Mr. Wiechmann won't disappoint us - he is welcome to use the list above for ideas.