This is so disgusting, so disappointing! Just when we thought the worst attacks from these awful American capitalist parasites were over...
HERE THEY COME AGAIN!!
From Handelsblatt, Germany's largest business daily: the U.S. investor Cerberus has acquired Baubecon, a German real estate company, which manages 50,000 apartments, of which it owns 20,000.
Can you imagine this scandal - the poor tennants of tens of thousands of apartments at the mercy of profit-minded American capitalists? I'm just so glad, we have IG Metall on our side, the largest trade union in the whole world! Remember IG Metall's courageous words against these American parasites: "Blackstone, KKR, Investcorp -finance investors from America are slaughtering German companies. They buy the companies, only to sell them a bit later for profit. The American investors don't show any consideration for people, regions or traditions. Like flies they suck the money out of companies, then swarm out, repeating the same pattern. People are the ones who suffer."
Now, Cerberus (which, according to Hoover's, is named after "a three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell") definitely fits into the company of "Blackstone, KKR, Investcorp"! No further proof needed here...
So, IG Metall - load the cannons! First, let's attack the treacherous German seller of Baubecon: BGAG.
BTW - who's BGAG? Ah well, let's not get into so many details... it's late anyway. I mean, why would you want to know that?
OK, you asked for it. The owners of BGAG, who sold out tens of thousands of low income tennants to American blood-sucking capitalists, are...
The German unions. (Sorry.)
Let me repeat this:
THE GERMAN UNIONS DGB, IG METALL AND VER.DI SOLD OUT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LOW INCOME TENNANTS TO A TYPE OF BUYER THEY ONLY RECENTLY CALLED BLOOD-SUCKERS!
The Magazine's Cover Reads: "US-Firms in Germany: The (Blood-) Suckers"
Of course Mr. Schroeder made absolutely no attempt to scold or criticize IG Metall for its over-the-top, anti-American racism despite the fact that he will be visiting the White House in a week. He was much too busy trying to win the union-members' votes and convince them about his government's reforms.
In fact, the General Secretary of Mr. Schroeder's SPD, Klaus Uwe Benneter, attacked FDP leaders' criticisms of the unions and the 'metall' cover as "near anti-democratic populism." And in the meantime, Schroeder's party Chairman, Franz Muentefering, (who has been a member of IG Metall since 1967,) has been busily attacking firms, most of them US-owned, as "capitalist locusts." But of course that is not populist or even "near anti-democratic populism" to the SPD. It is simply the party getting back to its Socialist roots.
Now that's convincing! The German government must be extremely confident that it is a good partner to the US if it feels the need to take out full-page ads in the Miami Herald...
Diplomacy at its Finest: The German-American "Friendship Bus" in DC
And if that doesn't convince Americans that Germany really is a good partner, they can be pandered to some more on German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger's German-American "Friendship Bus" down in Washington, DC. But let us give fair warning: Anyone wishing to board this bus should be sure to take along plenty of Dramamine, the ride might just make you sick to your stomach...
As a result of our articles on the recent cover of 'metall', the monthly magazine of Germany's largest trade union IG Metall, we received copies of numerous letters of protest sent in by our readers. Like us, they were deeply upset that IG Metall has chosen to portray Americans and American companies as bloodsucking parasites. Since then, the union has gone even further and defended the cover as a "good caricature" after it was sharply criticized by a prominent German politician.
The (Blood-) Suckers: US Firms in Germany
Many readers were also outraged that Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats, out of desperation in the run-up to the North Rhine-Westphalia election, opened the entire Pandora's box by comparing capitalists to a locust plague. The SPD also supported IG Metall when the union and its magazine cover were harshly criticized by German politician Guido Westerwelle. SPD boss Klaus Uwe Beneter described Westerwelle's criticism of the unions, including his objection to the 'metall' cover, as "near anti-democratic populism."
In other words, Gerhard Schroeder's SPD doesn't view the overt racism of IG Metall as "anti-democratic populism." Instead it attacks anyone daring to criticize the unions and their outrageous anti-American antics as near anti-democratic populists. But the grotesque hypocrisy doesn't stop there: Recently, the SPD-led German government has taken-out full-page newspaper ads in the United States, claiming that the Schroeder government is a partner for "freedom, peace and prosperity."
As David would say: You may throw up now...
Letter to IG Metall: "Unions are the "ball and chain around the ankles of the prison inmates" in the German economy..."
One letter of protest to IG Metall, which we just received via email, is so impressive that we wanted to share it with out readers. Here it is:
"IG Metall Board of Directors:
As a 65 year-old German who has worked in the States for over 30 years, I believe that I can contribute something to the current controversy about the last edition of "metall."
The article, which cites Davids Medienkritik and our recent coverage of the IG Metall "blood-sucker" episode, incisively examines yesterday's shattering SPD loss in North Rhine-Westphalia and examines the increasingly limited impact of anti-Americanism in German politics. Here are a few excerpts:
"Three years ago, Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder cynically used opposition to liberating Iraq to play
an anti-American card just before elections in which he trailed his
Christian Democratic opponents. He barely won a second term. Yesterday,
facing a likely loss in elections in Germany's largest state, North
Rhine-Westphalia, his Social Democratic Party's union backers played
another anti-American card, this time depicting U.S. investors as
blood-sucking parasites. Social Democratic chairman Franz Muntefering
compared hedge funds to "swarms of locusts." This time, the tactic
failed. Mr. Schoeder's party went down to a stunning defeat, losing the
largely working-class state, home to one out of five Germans, for the
first time in nearly 40 years. Last night Mr. Schroeder announced he
would hold national elections this fall, a year ahead of schedule." (...)
"The centerpiece of the
anti-American, anticapitalist campaign was a cover story in the
magazine of IG Metall, Germany's largest trade union, which has a
circulation of two million. The cover featured a fiendishly grinning
mosquito with an Uncle Sam hat and the caption US-Firmen in Deutschland: Die Aussauger ("U.S. Firms in Germany: The Bloodsuckers"). The article's headline: "The Plunderers Are Here." Medienkritik,
a German blog, pointed out that the artistic depiction and commentary
bore a striking resemblance to 1930s Nazi propaganda against the Jews;
it posted a cartoon from Der Stuermer depicting a spider with a Star of
David on its back and dead Germans caught in its Web. That caption read
Die Ausgesaugten--"those whose blood has been sucked out." (...)
"Yesterday's election results are
"a devastating defeat for Schroeder," political scientist Uwe Andersen
told a German TV station. "It's as if they've been thrown out of their
own living room."
Bad news for Mr. Schroeder is also
good news for America. The Christian Democrats have announced that
Angela Merkel, their pro-U.S. party chairman, will be their candidate
for chancellor in the fall elections."
Early National Elections Will Likely Take Place on September 18th
According to FAZ and other sources in the German media, new elections, if approved, will probably be held on September 18th. And if yesterday's election in North Rhine-Westphalia represented the SPD "being thrown out of their own living room", then September 18th may well be the date German voters decide to hand Gerhard Schroeder and his Green sidekicks the final eviction notice. Certainly, few friends of strong transatlantic relations will be terribly saddened or distressed by the downfall of the SPD after the party has time and again abused the United States of America as a scapegoat to distract from its own repeated failings. In fact, as Mr. Fund correctly indicated in his article, many who hope for a renewal of strong ties between Germany and the US will see the SPD's dismissal as good news and a welcome breath of much needed fresh air.
The "Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler" refers to our posting on the IG Metall's depiction of American investors as blood sucking parasites (thank you, Misha!).
The comments to the AIR posting are hilarious. I especially like this one:
How would they know if we are blood sucking parasites, because they never come to work. Tons of vacation and holidays.
A close second:
Blame the US,blame the Italians, blame the economy...it's the same tired old meme...blame anyone, except themselves.
Why the fuck did we help them rebuild?
A not too distant third:
Can we retroactively give Germany back to Stalin?
I'm not so sure the Russians of today would accept the deal...
Update: A latecomer:
I must honestly ask: who cares? It's sad that it's come to this, but Germany is neither friendly enough to be considered an ally nor strong enough to be respected.
The opinion of Germany's largest union registers exactly the same on my relevant-o-meter as the opinion of the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia sheriff's office. Even less, since the sheriff of the Ethiopian capital doesn't have an ideological stake in bashing capitalism.
IG Metall: American Parasites Descending on German Companies, Briefcases in Hand...
IG Metall Illustration: An American Parasite Belches After Feeding on a German Firm
This is all the more unsettling considering that 'metall' is Germany's most widely-read union magazine, witha circulation of 2 million. Clearly though, the most frightening aspect of IG Metall's "good caricature" is how similar it is to other German caricatures from about 70 years ago (1, 2):
A Spider with a Jewish Star of David is the Blood Sucker in this Nazi-era Propaganda (Source: Calvin College website)
In fact, the Stürmer caricature above has almost exactly the same title as the modern-day union cover. The Nazi propaganda reads "Die Ausgesaugten" - "Those whose blood has been sucked out" - the IG Metall cover reads "Die Aussauger" - "The blood suckers."
And the 'metall' article's content is not much better. The opening paragraph reads:
"Blackstone, KKR, Investcorp - finance investors from America are slaughtering German companies. They buy the companies, only to sell them a bit later for profit. The American investors don't show any consideration for people, regions or traditions. Like flies they suck the money out of companies, then swarm out, repeating the same pattern. People are the ones who suffer."
FDP Chairman Guido Westerwelle Slams IG Metall
A major argument subsequently erupted in Germany when FDP Chairman Guido Westerwelle heavily criticized IG Metall and the depiction of American investors as mosquitos at his party's recent 56th annual convention.
Mr. Westerwelle Had the Following Harsh Words for IG Metall's Anti-Americanism:
"And ladies and gentlemen, just this on the topic of where we have arrived in the meantime. This here is the current magazine of the IG Metall, issued by the Chairman of the IG Metall, from Mr. Peters. I show you this not because it is red-green, instead I show you this because here on the cover page of the official organizational organ of the IG Metall, issued by the Chairman under the title "The (Blood-) Suckers" - inside, of course they talk about those who suck blood and the like - the investors, the entrepreneurs are portrayed as mosquitos, of course with a golden crown in their mouth that glistens. And this mosquito, the investors, that haunts and sucks the blood of one German company after the other - it is all described and illustrated in there - of course is wearing an American hat.
Ladies and gentlemen, I say this as a liberal with the greatest clarity: I am against hate of foreigners from the right, but I am also against hate of foreigners from the left ladies and gentlemen!" (extended applause)" (Audio Clip of Quoted Passage/Entire Speech)
Mr. Westerwelle's speech is certainly not to be taken for granted in a Germany where anti-American sentiment has grown very popular in the nation's mainstream media. The FDP leader was widely criticized for allegedly being overcritical of the unions.
According to SPIEGEL ONLINE, the SPD's General Secretary Klaus Uwe Benneter criticized Westerwelle's remarks as being "near anti-democratic populism." Green party representative Markus Kurth called Westerwelle's criticisms a "permanent lowering" of the niveau of political debate. Just looking at the 'metall' cover and article, one would think that the magazine's publishers have engaged in "anti-democratic populism" and a "permanent lowering" of the niveau of political debate. Apparently the SPD and Greens don't think so...welcome to the topsy-turvy political world of the German left.
June 15, 2005 in Frankfurt on the Main: IG Metall Boss Juergen Peters Greets the Bundeskanzler at the Union's New Headquarters
"6 May 2005 - IG Metall: The fallout of Westerwelle against the members' magazine 'metall' is grotesque and ridiculous
Frankfurt/Main - The IG Metall accused FDP boss Guido Westerwelle of seeking a distraction from the unpleasant state of affairs relating to the current capitalism debate with his attacks against the cover picture of the union magazine 'metall'. His critique is grotesque and ridiculous," said IG Metall spokesman Georgios Arwanitidis on Friday in Frankfurt.
The caricature on the cover page of 'metall' metaphorically highlights the problem of a particular firm strategy, particularly American firms, and thereby fulfills all the criteria of a good caricature. "The firms mentioned in the 'metall' title story in fact do come out of the USA," said Arwanitidis. At least because of that, the accusation of "hate of foreigners from the left" is absurd."
Mr. Westerwelle's critique "grotesque and ridiculous?" This from a spokesman who believes that the characterization of American businesspeople as parasites is "a good caricature?"
Here is the contact information for IG Metall and the editors of 'metall' for those of you who would like to contact them:
American Mosquito Parasites Descending on German Companies: This is How IG Metall Portrays American Entrepreneurs...
The article's introductory paragraph (in blue) reads: "Blackstone, KKR, Investcorp - finance investors from America are slaughtering German companies. They buy the companies, only to sell them a bit later for profit. The American investors don't show any consideration for people, regions or traditions. Like flies they suck the money out of companies, then swarm out, repeating the same pattern. People are the ones who suffer."
OK, Goebbels probably would have preferred to have the Americans look more like Jews, like in these two famous pieces of German anti-Semitic art (1, 2).
But then again, the IG Metall folks aren't professionals yet. They are still working on their education - following the teachings of the chairman of the Social-Democrats, Muentefering - and their results are certainly promising, at least from a Nazi point of view.
Give them more time. Nazi Germany wasn't built in one day either...
Update: Apparently, Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the FDP (Free-Democratic Party in Germany), took notice of the 'metall' cover and harshly criticized it at his party's convention. Bravo Mr. Westerwelle! If only more German politicians had the courage to do the same. Here is a photo:
To listen to a brief audio clip of Mr. Westerwelle criticizing 'metall', click here. Click the link that follows for the English translation...