"Germany has a new superstar. With the publication of his new book "Five Years of My Life: a Report from Guantanamo" ["Fünf Jahre Meines Lebens: ein Bericht aus Guantanamo"],
the former Guantanamo inmate Murat Kurnaz has been all over the German
media. Even before the book's official release on April 23, there had
already been a feature spread on the Web site of the popular weekly
Stern, an empathetic review on the rival Spiegel-Online, and reports
featuring the star author himself on both of Germany's public
television networks ARD and ZDF. Typically glowing reviews in all of
Germany's major papers quickly followed. In light of such a media
barrage, it is little wonder that just two weeks after the release
date, Kurnaz's book, co-authored by the German journalist and sometime
novelist Helmut Kuhn, had rocketed to 14th place on the Spiegel's
hardcover bestseller list for non-fiction. (...)
It is clear, however, that the fascination that Kurnaz holds for the
German media consists not in the facts of his case, but rather in his
leveling of seemingly ever more outrageous and implausible accusations
of torture and abuse against the United States. The unquestioning
repetition by the German media of these atrocity stories -- like their
unquestioning repetition of analogous claims made by alleged extraordinary rendition "victim" Khaled Al-Masri -- helps to explain the climate of hatred and distrust toward the United States that reigns among the German public today.
Claims that he was beaten and subjected to electroshock by his American
captors are a regular part of Kurnaz's repertoire, as are charges of
Quran desecration. But his accusations also include far more inventive
fare, such as the claim that American medical personnel at Guantanamo
made a regular practice of amputating the healthy body parts of
Kurnaz is Germany's new anti-American propaganda hero. As always, the media is jumping to accept unsubstantiated facts and wild accusations as truth simply because they cast the United States in a negative and villainous light. Let us suggest this: Since Germans are so utterly outraged at Guantanamo - why not send all the remaining inmates to live in Germany - preferably in the neighborhoods populated by Germany's media elites. Being the world's wisest, fairest and most generous beings - they would certainly not object. (Posted by Ray D.)
For years now "Guantanamo" has been the rallying cry for German journalists and politicians to denounce the U.S. government and Amerika in general as deliberate violators of international law. They also portray Americans as capriciously torturing and humiliating (presumably) innocent folks who simply suffered the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
You would expect that any chance to free the poor Guantanamo souls would be enthusiastically welcomed by these German self-proclaimed humanitarian experts. Certainly they would be more than willing to grant asylum to Guantanamo detainees - as they did in the case of millions of asylum applicants from all over the world in the last decades. The German Left, looking back on a proud history of hysterically bemoaning the cruel fate of each and every victim of "American imperialism", would, without a doubt, in powerful public demonstrations (candlelight vigils come to mind) request the immediate release of as many Guantanamo detainees as possible to the cherished land of social justice and humanitarian aid: Germany.
As a measure of Europe's true concern for the men held at Guantanamo, we offer the story of 15 Uighur inmates there. Captured in Afghanistan where they were for reasons that remain unclear, the men are not considered "enemy combatants" by the U.S. military, which wants to release them. Only these Uighurs can't go home to China. Beijing brutally represses this Turkic-speaking Muslim minority of some 8 million that lives in the country's northwestern corner. The Chinese government considers any Uighur who wants independence a "terrorist," and these 15 Gitmo alums aren't likely to be welcomed back with open arms.
Washington is looking for a third country willing to grant these men sanctuary. Sweden, France, Germany, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are, according to news reports, among the countries that have been approached. You'd think that Europe, so critical of U.S. detention policies, would jump at an opportunity to shrink the size of the prisoner pool at Gitmo. You'd be wrong. Not a single country offered to take them in. (...) America has provided shelter to the world's oppressed for centuries, and assuming these men are no threat, it could do so again. But the Uighurs are not America's problem alone. After all, they were picked up during the "good
Is this the hundredth article SPIEGEL ONLINE has done on the "tragedy" at Guantanamo? Are the German people obsessed yet? Is it (along with Abu Ghraib) the new Mai Lai? Do we have enough material to hold over the Americans' heads now? Does this cancel out the Nazi crimes? The Amis murdered the Indians and the Eskimos too...
This article is called "Guantanamo: Cry for Help before the Tenth Suicide Attempt." It tells of the "horrible" conditions and injustice of Guantanamo. Like this recent Sueddeutsche article, it portrays Guantanamo inmates as hapless victims of America's war. They're all terrorists innocent Afghani vegetable gardeners after all. Wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're all committing suicide and going on hunger strikes. The Horror...The Horror!
Well, let us make one suggestion in the interest of balance: How about SPIEGEL or Sueddeutsche or Stern or any of the other cynical, self-righteous propaganda rags do just one front-page article on the children and relatives of the nearly 3,000 victims of September 11, 2001. Remember them? Yeah, the families of the people who slowly burned to death in a metal hell. The people who fell 100 stories and splattered their guts all over the New York pavement. The people held captive in airplanes until they were instantly immolated. Maybe the German people should read just one article about the plight of their families. (Let's not forget that some of the victims were German.)
More American inhumanity in Iraq...
And after they finish with that, SPIEGEL & Co. ought to write a few more articles on the hundreds-of-thousands of victims lying in Saddam's mass graves. They ought to write a few more about the hundreds-of-thousands imprisoned, tortured and murdered in North Korea and Iran. They ought to write a few more about the millions murdered, imprisoned and forced into exile in Cambodia and Vietnam by Communist thugs. They ought to write a few more about the German government's current business dealings in Sudan.
But hey, none of that matters. This is all about America and America is evil baby. Face it. That's what Germans are going to read about. It's on our agenda. We've known it since 1968. We'll keep on pushing back until the Nazi crimes don't hurt anymore: Indians-Slaves-Mai-Lai-Vietnam-Abu-Ghraib-Guantanamo. Until we get our moral authority back. That's right. Until we don't have to feel so "grateful" to the American "friends" for "liberating" us and "protecting" us anymore. Eben.
In the repeated rush to judge the United States from the moral mountaintops of Europe, most German media have long forgotten Saddam Hussein's reign of terror. A morbid obsession with American crimes, real and perceived, has replaced most authentic concern for international human rights.
It's much the same with Guantanamo Bay. The American prison has become a perverse national obsession in Germany while most Germans ignore the plight of hundreds-of-thousands imprisoned, abused, tortured, and murdered in North Korean, Russian and Iranian prisons. Where is the balance? Where is the sense of proportion?
In pointing out these contradictions, we need to be very clear on one point: It is not our intent at Davids Medienkritik to quell or discourage discussion on the legitimacy of Guantanamo as a means of dealing with stateless enemy combatants or the very real abuses at Abu Ghraib. The very opposite is true: These are vitally important issues and we believe they must be discussed and debated openly and constructively.
But that isn't happening in Germany.Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have become little more than populist baseball bats with which leftists media and political elites repeatedly bludgeon the United States and George W. Bush. Why? Because Bush and fellow conservatives represent a massive ideological threat to everything they stand for. Fairness and objectivity have long been replaced by a sick moral relativism, as the cartoon below (from Tagesspiegel) demonstrates:
"I should have also made such pictures of my crimes at Abu Ghraib. Then maybe I also wouldn't have been held accountable..."
This cartoon is just another example of a media mentality grounded in an array of cynical, flawed assumptions. In this case they include:
The false assertion that President Bush ordered or supported criminal acts at Abu Ghraib and therefore must be held accountable. Unlike Saddam, who knowingly ordered the mass torture and execution of men, women and children, Bush has repeatedly condemned the crimes of American soldiers found guilty of torture and abuse.
The equation of Saddam Hussein's systematic, systemic and intentional mass-murder, torture, invasion and aggression with sporadic abuses committed by US soldiers in clear violation of US law.
A lot of well meaning people on both sides of the Atlantic talk about the need for greater dialog. But many of the same people don't understand how much damage the German media is doing. The central question is one of constructive versus destructive criticism. When we look out across the German media landscape over the past three to four years and beyond, we see far too much of the latter and far too little of the former. That has to change. If it doesn't, meaningful dialog will continue to grow increasingly difficult and the German-American partnership will continue to disintegrate.
"Guantanamo and George Clooney There should be something for everyone at this Berlinale. That the festival also wants to satisfy a demand for the political was also important to Kosslick on Monday. The director, who is heading the Berlinale for the fifth time this year, said that he points especially to the film in the competition "The Road to Guantanamo" from directors Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross. For this film he actually even has a special wish. "I would really very much like to greet the 450 inmates, who are being held and tortured at Guantanamo in opposition to human rights of any kind, on the red carpet," said Kosslick and so closed the circle from sex to the wonderfully important food up to the present political reality.
Kosslick was briefly asked what made him personally especially proud about the Berlinale this year. "That we like one another," said the director in reference to his comrades. It was further asked whether there wasn't something else. Indeed, said Kosslick. He had recently met his good friend George Clooney. He greeted him with the words, "You look good." To which he (Clooney) answered: "You too." That would be spoken about further at this Berlinale assured Kosslick."
We at Medienkritik also have a very special wish: Why not send all 450+ inmates from Guantanamo to live with Mr. Kosslick in his house and in his neighbors' houses in Germany? After all, if you're willing to roll out the red carpet for hundreds of Al-Qaeda and Taliban Islamofascists, why not go the extra mile and take them into your home? Put your money where your mouth is Mr. Kosslick, not just your foot.
Update: The Berlinale also has several German media partners including: Der Tagesspiegel, Deutsche Welle, Radioeins, RBB Television and ZDF. Clearly, Mr. Kosslick is a prominent and well-respected member fo the German media. His online biography states:
"Dieter Kosslick is vice president of the European Film Academy EFA, which awards the annual European Film Award. He is also a member of the Administrative Council of the German Federal Film Board in Berlin, an executive board member of the European Film College in Ebeltoft and a member of the ZDF Television Board. Furthermore, he is a founding managing director and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cologne International Film School (IFS). Dieter Kosslick has been awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit and belongs to the Franco-German Film Academy. He also holds the "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" as well as the “Golden Screen”, awarded by the Association of German Cinemas (HDF)."
The fact that someone as extreme as Mr. Kosslick could advance so far in German media and win so many prestigious awards really speaks volumes. On a final note, is anyone surprised that George Clooney considers this man his friend?
(Emphasis ours except in headline "Guantanamo and George Clooney")
Just a week before her scheduled trip to the United States, SPIEGEL ONLINE published an interview (extracts in English) with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Not surprisingly, the opening foreign policy questions addressed German-American relations. And quite interestingly, Germany's first woman Chancellor clearly went against the grain of SPIEGEL's opening line of questioning. Note the assumptions inherent in the publication's first question:
"SPIEGEL: There has been considerable harmony on the foreign policy front, which is disconcerting to many because that's exactly where the differences were once most salient. The relationship with the United States remains distanced, while that with Russia is amiable. Where do you see differences with the SPD?"
So the journalist's premise is that German-American relations remain "distanced" while German-Russian relations are "amiable." Could we interpret that as bias?
And guess what? Chancellor Merkel clearly does not buy into SPIEGEL's America-hostile viewpoint. She makes that very clear with the following responses:
"SPIEGEL: In the past, your party in particular emphasized the German-American friendship. Now you're just talking about relations. A deliberate downgrade?
Merkel: Oh, please! I can just as well call it "friendship." The German-American friendship! Is that better? We're splitting hairs here. I want to improve the quality and substance of the German-American relationship.
SPIEGEL: Does the word friendship also describe the German-Russian relationship?
Merkel: It's more of a strategic partnership. I believe that we do not share as many values with Russia yet as we do with the United States. On the other hand, we have a strong interest in Russia developing in a reasonable direction."
It would seem that German-American relations are far more "amiable" in the eyes of the German Chancellor than German-Russian relations. That must have come as quite a rude awakening for the staff and editors of SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Merkel Critical on Guantanamo - Calls for Dialog
As the interview proceeds, however, the new German Chancellor also makes it clear that she does have her differences with the Bush administration, particularly on the issue of Guantanamo:
"SPIEGEL: In the interest of threat prevention, can German officials be sent to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay to interrogate detainees?
Merkel: An institution like Guantanamo in its present form cannot and must not exist in the long term. We must find different ways of dealing with prisoners. As far as I'm concerned there's no question about that.
SPIEGEL: Will you address Guantanamo with President Bush?
Merkel: We will certainly talk about the whole issue of combating terrorism. (...)"
One interesting point here: Despite her criticism of Guantanamo, Ms. Merkel is clearly not interested in exploiting anti-American sentiment for political gain. She points out that the German-American relationship should be based on an open willingness to "always discuss all issues" and work through disagreements. And let's be honest: Germany and the United States have never completely agreed on absolutely every issue. The important question has always been how the two nations have dealt with their differences and dealt with one another. And Ms. Merkel's administration represents a decided shift away from the frequent exploitation of German war fears and anti-American resentments that marked her predecessor's administration and unfortunately continue to mark the German media.
For quite some time now, leading thinkers including Jeffrey Gedmin have been calling for a transatlantic dialog on international law in an age of global terrorism. Gedmin writes:
"It all distracts dangerously from a more serious debate about how we fight the war on terror. Critics argue that the United States cannot have carte blanche to do whatever it wants in Guantanamo. The Bush administration says, Read the Geneva Convention—it does not apply to Al Qaeda prisoners. Both are right. Why does it take so long to get to the inevitable: the development of international law to meet the needs of the current era. We have done this before. That's how we got the Geneva Conventions. Now we need laws that apply to combatants who do not wear a uniform, who hide among civilians and who deliberately target unarmed innocents. These are not the criminals our domestic judicial systems or the international law have been equipped to deal with."
But for far too long, Europe's elites stood on the sidelines, content to morally condemn the United States while refusing to engage the world's only superpower in a meaningful discussion on the application and adaptation of international law in an age of international terrorism. And make no mistake, bashing the United States has unfortunately proven to be a highly profitable activity, both financially and politically, in many parts of Europe. Gerhard Schroeder's re-election in 2002, Michael Moore's book sales and Der Spiegel's covers certainly prove that.
So it is about time that both nations determined to sit down and civilly discuss the issue in an atmosphere of true partnership and even friendship. The time for exploitation and political posturing is hopefully over. An opportunity for transatlantic healing has arrived. Schroeder is off building a pipeline with Putin and Chirac may also soon be gone. The Bush administration can and should engage in an open and meaningful discussion with the new Merkel administration on how to deal with international terrorism but also on all other issues of relevance and importance to German-American relations. As the new Chancellor herself made clear:
"(...) But it's also important to me, and I'll make this clear during my visit, that our relationship with the United States is not reduced to questions of fighting terrorism and the Iraq war. German-American relations were so good for so many years because they extended deeply into the normal lives of people."
Ms. Merkel has taken an important first step. As we pointed out at the beginning of this posting, she has largely refused to buy into the German media's negative assumptions about German-American relations. Next week's visit to the White House should be an interesting one. Stay tuned...
Update: Excerpt from the Daily Press Briefing (Jan. 9, 2006) at the State Department with spokesman Sean McCormack:
QUESTION: The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview published this weekend that Guantanamo prison shouldn't exist and --
MR. MCCORMACK: I'm not sure that's exactly what she said, but look --
QUESTION: Should not continue to exist like that in the long term, she says.
MR. MCCORMACK: I think everybody hopes we get to a point where we don't need facilities like this, but that is -- we are not at that point. Guantanamo serves a purpose and it's there for a reason. It keeps people who are very dangerous away from civilized society. Make no mistake about it; if these people were released, they would be right back in the fight. We've seen instances of that before. There is a legal process that is in place to review their -- the circumstances of their detainment. There is a -- the ability of the International Red Cross to have a 24-hour-a-day presence there. But Guantanamo Bay serves a purpose.
The European Council's commissioner for human rights has described conditions in the prison in France's most august court building as the worst he has seen. ...
Alvaro Gil-Robles said the cells in the historic Palais de Justice in Paris were squalid and inhumane.
Describing them as "dungeons", he said: "It is incredible that people are imprisoned in such conditions, without ventilation and without natural light. I have never seen a worse prison." Mr Gil-Robles, 60, an academic lawyer and Spain's former national ombudsman, spent 16 days in France last month inspecting prisons, detention centres and mental hospitals.
The palais is situated on the beautiful L'île de la Cité, a few hundred yards from Notre Dame cathedral. But in its "dépôt", human rights organisations have uncovered evidence of prisoners, mainly illegal immigrants, going without food, drink and lavatory paper as they huddle together for warmth. There have been numerous violent attacks and cases of detainees mutilating themselves and smearing their blood on the walls.
Compared to the Palais de Justice in Paris, Guantanamo looks like ClubMed. I guess the German media will be furious about this blatant French disregard of human rights, as they are in the case of Guantanamo... This will be a media firestorm!
Many Americans know that most Germans don't really care about Guantanamo and human rights. They march in outrage by the thousands to protest Bush and Guantanamo, but at the same time they condone and ignore far worse human rights abuses by Russia in Chechnya while their government does billion dollar deals with Vladimir Putin. Or how about massive weapons deals Gerhard Schroeder has in mind with China (another paragon of human rights) or the big business he did with the princes of Arabia on his last multi-nation tour of the Middle East?
No ladies and gentleman. Don't be fooled when you read articles in the German media criticizing Gitmo. It isn't about human rights. This is about tearing down the United States of America and especially conservative Americans. It is about the intellectual German left winning back the moral high ground, and America is perhaps the single greatest obstacle to that objective. Especially that part of red-state America that stood firm during the Cold War in the face of Soviet Communism. So what do the German elites do? We've documented it on this site: They shamelessly criticize anything and everything about the United States. They lie, twist and distort the facts about America to manipulate public opinion.
Now we know that at least one American writer has also not been fooled. Who you ask? Ralph Peters of the NY Post. Mr. Peters spent ten years in the military in Germany and knows a thing or two about the Euro-snob mentality towards his nation. His most recent article in the NY Post, entitled "Gitmo Cocktail" is a take-no-prisoners slam-dunk. Here are some excerpts:
"THE demands to shut down our Guantanamo lock-up for terrorists have nothing to do with human rights. They're about punishing America for our power and success.
From our ailing domestic left to overseas America haters, no one really cares about the fate of Mustapha the Murderer or Ahmed the Assassin. The lies told about Gitmo are meant to undercut U.S. foreign policy and embarrass America.
The Gitmo controversy is about many things, from jealousy of the United States and outrage that we refuse to fail, to residual anger that we won the Cold War and exploded the left's great fantasy of a dictatorship of the intellectuals. But the one thing the protests aren't about is human rights.
Except, of course, as a means to slam the United States. (...)
Has the Bush administration made mistakes regarding Guantanamo? You bet. The biggest one was attempting to placate the critics. By launching a new investigation every time a terrorist had a toothache, our government played into the hands of its enemies.
The truth is that the terrorists and their defenders have something in common. It's not courage, which is one quality violent fanatics don't lack. It's that neither can be appeased.
Any concession only increases their appetites. The Clinton administration's reluctance to respond to terrorist strikes encouraged al Qaeda. If the Bush administration closed the Guantanamo facility, any alternative holding center would be attacked just as rabidly and dishonestly.
If we put our captives up at the Four Seasons, we'd be condemned because somebody smelled bacon at breakfast.
You can't negotiate with terrorists. And you cannot reason with ideologues — whether they're Islamist fanatics or pathetic old lefties fishing for a cause to give meaning to squandered lives. Terrorists, French and German neo-Stalinists, and our own democracy-hating intelligentsia aren't interested in facts. It's all about the comfort of belief.
Let's get this straight: Nothing we could do would appease those who feel a need for our country to fail. We must stop trying to satisfy them. (...)
Oh, and thanks to the "mainstream" media for assuming that our country's always wrong.
There is a culture of torture in the world. Blessedly, America isn't part of it. When a few of our troops make mistakes, they're punished. Given the magnitude of our task and the unprecedented conditions we face, it's remarkable our errors have been so few.
What should enrage every decent citizen is that the real torturers — from Zimbabwe to China, from Syria to North Korea — get a pass from the political left. If terrorists behead defenseless captives on videotape, it's simply an expression of their culture. But if a handful of U.S. troops play an ugly round of Candid Camera, that's a new gulag.
As someone who takes human rights seriously, I'm appalled by the lack of sympathy the left feels toward the victims of any regime other than the Bush administration. Let's shout it to prisoners everywhere: If you're not harmed by an American, your suffering doesn't count.
The left's hypocrisy is immeasurable. The grandchildren of those who defended Stalin are mortified that Saddam Hussein will stand trial. By taking such irresponsible voices seriously, we grant our critics a strength they otherwise lack and simply help them keep their lies alive.
No matter what our country does, we will never please a global intelligentsia outraged that all their theories came to nothing. We can't satisfy al Qaeda, and we can't please those discontented souls who need to blame the United States for their personal inadequacies. It's time we stopped trying."
Read the entire article. Mr. Peter's has put his finger directly into an open wound. His article is a much-needed breath of fresh air.
As we wrote in an earlier piece: Many Americans realize that much of the criticism they hear blaring from across the seas is not fair, balanced, constructive and heartfelt but rather dishonest, biased, destructive and vindictive. Far too many critics of America would rather see the country go down in failure and flames as opposed to changing the nation for the better, and Americans know that.
And until that changes, until America's critics show some sign of fairness and proportion, there will be no basis for real change. Until the leftist Euro-critics show that they are genuinely interested in human rights violations, not just those allegedly perpetrated by the United States, there will be no real basis for change. And Americans should view any and all criticism coming from the European left with extreme caution and with heavy reservation until that fundamental change takes place.
No one here is defending torture at Gitmo or anywhere else. The fact is, though, that Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, etc., are used as propaganda bludgeons to bash America by people who could care less about the suffering of the victims of torture at Gitmo or anywhere else. You don't have to be a genius to tell there's a huge difference between the impassioned but principled condemnation of abuse at Gitmo and elsewhere of people like Andrew Sullivan, or, a little further to the left, Josh Marshall, and exploiters of human suffering like the editors of SPIEGEL and STERN, who are transparently indifferent to the victims of torture, virtually ignore it anyplace in the world but the U.S., and are transparently more motivated by hate, malice and envy than any humanitarian desire to remedy human suffering. Guys like Andrew, Josh, and many others have real concerns that places like Gitmo are more dangerous to American core values and freedoms than any combination of terrorists you could name. I tend to think they're right. Unfortunately, the rug is being pulled out from under them every day by leftist hate peddlars whose over-the-top America bashing rhetoric is an easy mark for those who demand security at any cost. Andrew, Josh, et. al. have no traction at the moment, because of the entirely justified outrage of the American people at the usual double standard of the leftist elites.
"I am lucky I went there, and now I miss it. Cuba was great." ...
The food in the camp was delicious, the teaching was excellent, and his warders were kind. "Americans are good people, they were always friendly, I don't have anything against them," he said. "If my father didn't need me, I would want to live in America."
Asadullah is even more sure of this. "Americans are great people, better than anyone else," he said, ... "Americans are polite and friendly when you speak to them. They are not rude like Afghans. If I could be anywhere, I would be in America. I would like to be a doctor, an engineer - or an American soldier."
These boys can't be taken serious, of course. Brain washing adolescents is a well known CIA tactic...
Wenn es eine Anschuldigung an die Adresse der US-Regierung gibt, die sich leicht für die Aufnahme in die Kategorie "Kompletter Schwachsinn" qualifiziert, so ist es die angebliche Mißhandlung der Gefangenen auf Guantanamo. SPIEGEL ONLINE, stern.de und andere haben verschiedentlich das Los der armen Heiligen beklagt, die dort gefangen gehalten werden. Der deutsche Innenminister Otto Schily sagte, es handele sich um einen Verstoß gegen "elementare Grundsätze" des Völkerrechts. Das sollte man gegenüberstellen den Tatsachen, wie sie von Botschafter Pierre-Richard Prosper, Office of War Crimes Issues, US-Außenministerium, in einem Briefing zu "Guantanamo-Gefangenen und andere Fragen zu Kriegsverbrechen" am 13. Februar 2004 präsentiert wurden.
Julia Melendez und ihr Kind waren auf dem 107. Stock im Restaurant Windows of the World,
als das Desaster geschah. Auch ihr Mann war anwesend - auch er kam um.
Für ihre Bereitschaft zum Kämpfen, zum Weitermachen lieben wir die USA
Am 11.9.2001 war ich auf einer Nordsee-Insel, in Langeoog, um ein paar Tage auszuspannen.
Um 15.15h deutscher Zeit - 9.15h Ostküste USA - erhielt ich auf meinem Handy eine SMS meiner Frau:
"Eben sind grad zwei Flugzeuge ins World Trade Center".
Diese SMS, in großer Eile eingetippt, ist heute noch auf meinem Handy. Ich werde sie nie löschen.
Ich bin sofort in mein Hotelzimmer, stellte den Fernseher ein - und weinte. Der Anblick der vom WTC fallenden Menschen, die Gesichter der Fliehenden, der Zusammensturz der beiden Türme, brachen mir das Herz.
Es ist nicht zu glauben, daß sich gerade einmal zwei Jahre nach dem 11. September 2001 in Deutschlands Medien und in der Politik ein arroganter, zynischer Antiamerikanismus breitgemacht hat. Es gehört heute fast schon zur deutschen Staatsraison, Georg Bush und die Amerikaner herabzuwürdigen und mit Häme auf die Opfer der Amerikaner im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus, in Afghanistan und im Irak, herabzuschauen.
Die Reaktionen der Nutzer dieses Weblogs zeigen mir, daß nicht alle Deutsche den Antiamerikanismus hierzulande kommentarlos hinnehmen.
Nachtrag: Zum zweiten Jahrestag des Terrorangriffs auf das WTC erinnert der SPIEGEL an das Leid - der gefangenen Terroristen! Titel: "AMERIKAS RECHTLOSE GEFANGENE - Ins Mittelalter zurückversetzt". Zitat: "Die Drahtverhaue von Guantánamo Bay, jenem Gelände, das die USA seit 1903 von Kuba gepachtet haben, sind zum Symbol für das neue amerikanische Rechtsverständnis geworden." Vielleicht mag Herr Sontheimer, bevor er zur nächsten journalistischen Geschmacklosigkeit greift, einmal nachschauen, was die New York Times am 10.9.2003 über die Familie Petrocelli schreibt. Die Petrocellis haben ihren Sohn am 11.9.2001 verloren, und nach und nach werden Teile seines Körpers gefunden.
At some point, the Petrocellis instructed the medical examiner's office to notify them whenever any of Mark was recovered. They could not imagine allowing parts of Mark to go unclaimed. No matter how painful, they felt a responsibility — a primal need, really. Mrs. Petrocelli could just imagine her son meeting her in heaven and asking, "You left me there?"
On Sept. 25, 2001, the Petrocellis learned that Mark's death had been confirmed through dental records. On Oct. 26, they were told that his upper torso had been identified. On Nov. 11, some soft tissue and muscle. On March 21, 2002, four parts, including his heart.
"They found his heart," Mrs. Petrocelli said. "What do you say?"
Tomorrow, on the second anniversary of his death, more of Mark Petrocelli will be buried at the Cemetery of the Resurrection. And the Petrocellis — all of them — will continue on with his absence an integral part of their lives.
"We're new people now," Mr. Petrocelli said.
You might see them someday in the shops and restaurants of this city and notice what they are wearing: Al's bracelet that bears Mark's name, Ginger's pin of the steel-girder cross found at ground zero. Or you might pass them on a highway — the B.Q.E., or maybe the Belt — and see the silhouette of the World Trade Center skyline adhered to their back windows, along with Mark's name and the inscription, "We Love You, We Miss You."
They are the Petrocellis of Staten Island. Of New York.
Ob wohl auch nur einer der Gefangenen, deren Wohlergehen Herrn Sontheimer so sehr am Herzen liegt, mit Mark Petrocelli tauschen möchte?