Whether you call it 'soccer' or 'football', the 2006 FIFA World Cup is sure to be a spectacular, memorable event for sports fans the world over. Less then a year away, the sports bonanza will also provide a much-needed economic shot in the arm to Germany, the host country. And some German cities are doing everything...and we mean everything...to maximize the expected economic gains from the games. The following example of uncommon German entrepreneurial spirit essentially speaks for itself. N24 reports:
"Catholic Women against World Cup Grand Bordellos
At its fall meeting a few days ago, the German Catholic Women's League of the Wuerzburg Diocese criticized plans for the football (soccer) world championship as inhuman. It is said that there is work taking place under high pressure to create suitable places of prostitution in World Cup game sites like Dortmund. The local director of the "Ordnungsamt" (Bureau of Order) proposed that the empty lots from surrounding home improvement (do-it-yourself) stores be made ready for this purpose. This is reported by the online newspaper "Kath.net".
Not "Voluntarily" in Germany
"Many of the 40,000 prostitutes that are expected from outside of Germany are victims of organized criminality. And even women who enter Germany "voluntarily" are monitored by bordello owners, exploited and abused," said the diocese chairwoman Elisabeth Stula in Wuerzburg.
Stula demanded that members of the Women's League write letters to the local authorities, the German Football (Soccer) League, the responsible state and federal governments so that the rights and dignity of women remains secure during the 2006 World Cup."
40,000?! Wow...we are definitely not in Disneyland anymore kids. And who says there isn't any "Gastfreundlichkeit" left in Germany? They are working overtime to ensure that fans can enjoy the game, a cold beer, and a good foreign hooker near the local do-it-yourself store afterwards. (no pun intended)
Prostitution is Legally Tolerated in Germany
Nothing like a little good-old-fashioned, wholesome "Grand Bordello" near the local Obi to keep the fans happy and the money flowing this coming summer. This much is clear: Next year's World Cup in Germany promises to be a high-scoring event!
The German media's 'Experten' warned us. They knew it all along: Iraq's new government is destined to be dominated by Shiite religious zealots. America's high-handed, utopian hopes for democracy were doomed to end in a dark theocracy of Mullahs from the very start.
What? You don't believe Germany's elite? Die Experten were wrong you say? Well you'd better have a look at this Mein Freund: N24, one of Germany's largest cable news networks, is confirming the worst fears of the lucid and noble German left:
N24: "Shiites win parliamentary elections in Iraq: The Shiite Alliance has probably achieved the absolute majority in the Iraqi elections. With that they could govern the land alone. Continued..."
You see...they told us so. What's that...errrrr...
Whoops! It turns out that our 'Experten' were not right after all...The amazing thing about this headline is that a purportedly professional news agency, N24, has managed to make two glaring factual errors in just two sentences on their homepage.
First off, the Shiites did NOT win the absolute majority, they won around 48% of the vote, which gives them a plurality, not a majority. Ironically, the N24 article accompanying the above headline explicitly points outthe fact that the headline is wrong, stating that the Shiite Alliance received 48.2% of the vote.
Secondly, and more importantly, N24 completely fails to recognize the fact that the Shiites' 48% result does not come even remotely close to the two-thirds majority they would need to control the 275-member National Assembly. So there is absolutely no way that the Shiite faction "could govern the land alone." In order to govern, they will need to form a coalition with at least one other party.
N24's assertion that the Shiites "could govern the country alone" is so far removed from reality that one has to wonder whether the network's editors are misinformed, uninformed or simply maliciously bad journalists. They certainly are not professionals.
Looks like the self-fulfilling prophecy just blew up in their faces...
UPDATE: This is an email I received from a reader who makes a good point. It is followed by my response:
Reader: "Be careful here. The most basic claim on N24 is that the Shiite party obtained 48% of the vote and that this will give them the majority of seats in parliament (140 seats out of 275). (...)
And, yes, they will not have a 2/3 majority; and yes, also, the N24 claim that the Shiites could govern alone is absurd. But it seems a mistake to say that N24 made a factual error in reporting that the Shiite party has won the absolute majority."
My response: "Ok, fair enough:
I see your point. N24 may have been referring to the number of seats in parliament. But in that case, they should make it explicitly clear that they are talking about the absolute majority of seats in parliament and not the absolute majority of votes cast. They do mention that the Shiite’s may receive 140 seats out of 275 seats, but they never say that the absolute majority they refer to in the headline is that of parliamentary seats and not of votes cast. The headline the network used likely misled many to conclude that the Shiites had in fact won the absolute majority of the vote. At the very best, this is sloppy journalism.
Of course on the second point, we agree that N24's claim that the Shiites could rule alone is just dead wrong. Thanks for your input."
We knew it wouldn’t take long for the German media to find a way to blame the tsunami disaster on the US. Today, N24, ZDF and Focus are all reporting on the alleged failure of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to properly warn nations of the tsunami danger after a massive earthquake shook the floor of the Indian Ocean. The story is based on reports that the “US Congress is preparing to investigate” the NOAA's alleged inability to properly and rapidly pass on potentially lifesaving information to nations in the path of the tsunami.
What is troubling about this story is not its content, but the way in which it is being packaged, presented and sold to the German public. As always, whenever there is a problem in the world, the finger of blame is inevitably pointed at the United States. Instead of asking why the EU or the UN failed to detect the tsunami and promptly warn those in danger, the German media is once again turning to the usual suspect: The world scapegoat USA.
Never mind that the United Nations would have been the most appropriate organization to set up and run a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean that could have saved thousands. Never mind that the EU (that great bastion of humanitarian soft-power) completely and utterly failed to detect and warn anyone of the tsunami. Never mind that wealthy Asian nations failed to invest in a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean in their own back yard. The German media is once again telling its audience what it so desperately wants to hear: It’s America’s fault!
The Truth: The NOAA Did Issue Tsunami Warnings
The headline, “Criticism: US Authority Did Not Pass On Tsunami Warnings,” is misleading in the extreme. It implies that the NOAA negligently failed to pass on information that could have saved thousands of lives. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The NOAA did, in fact, pass on tsunami warnings to several nations and made repeated attempts to warn them of the potential tsunami danger. In most cases, the nations warned either could not react in time or, as was the case in Thailand, chose not to react for fear of harming the tourist industry. It must also be noted that some nations (India for example) detected the oncoming tsunami independently of the NOAA, yet were unable to take decisive action due to a lack of time, coordination and infrastructure.
The main problem facing the NOAA was that it simply did not have the proper contact information for every nation in the tsunami’s path and, absent a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean, had no exact way of knowing where the tsunami was, where it was headed or whether it even existed. The NOAA’s inability to quickly contact the proper authorities due to a lack of coordination is the main issue that Congress would investigate. Here is an excerpt from the NOAA’s December 29 statement on the disaster:
“NOAA scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii went to work within minutes of getting a seismic signal that an earthquake occurred off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. NOAA issued a bulletin indicating no threat of a tsunami to Hawaii, the West Coast of North America or to other coasts in the Pacific Basin—the area served by the existing tsunami warning system established by the Pacific rim countries and operated by NOAA in Hawaii.
NOAA scientists then began an effort to notify countries about the possibility that a tsunami may have been triggered by the massive 9.0 undersea earthquake. The Pacific Basin tsunami warning system did not detect a tsunami in the Indian Ocean since there are no buoys in place there. Even without a way to detect whether a tsunami had formed in the Indian Ocean, NOAA officials tried to get the message out to other nations not a part of its Pacific warning system to alert them of the possibility of a tsunami. However, the tsunami raced across the ocean at speeds up to 500 mph.”
The fact that the German media has chosen to package the story with headlines that imply gross negligence on the part of the US government in this disaster is the truly troubling issue here. Legitimate criticism of the NOAA’s response time or lack of full coordination with affected nations is both legitimate and necessary. It is a problem, however, when the US and the NOAA are singled-out as a primary focus of criticism while the UN, EU and affected nations are largely let off the hook despite their many failings.
Conversely, it is interesting to note that the USA is not being singled-out for praise in the German media for its donation of $350 million in aid or for the fact that US helicopters were the first to bring aid to remote regions affected by the tsunami. This all further underscores the underlying bias prevalent in the German media.
How Major German News Networks Advertise Themselves:
"N24: We Get to the Point."
N24, a major German cable news network, recently used a full-page ad to make a blunt point: In their view, the Iraq conflict was and is all about oil. The ad is a particularly telling indicator of the current climate in the German media landscape because a major German cable network (with a format similar to that of CNN) is selling itself and its approach to reporting news. And clearly, the people who run N24 recognize the obvious willingness of many German consumers of news to embrace the "blood for oil" paradigm as a clever and incisive interpretation of American actions in Iraq.
Germany's New Groupthink: Universal Disapproval of Bush and Iraq
Apparently, N24 has chosen to exploit a propaganda method skillfully wielded by the Nazis in the 1930s. Take complicated ideas and situations and simplify them for the masses in order to exploit populist stereotypes and resentments. In this case, N24 is attempting to win new viewers by taking advantage of German anti-Americanism with a cleverly cynical "blood for oil" collage. Tell people what they want to hear. Leave out what might be uncomfortable. Don't bring up things like Saddam's mass graves, Saddam's wars of aggression, Saddam's chronic refusal to honor international law or Saddam's bribing of UN and European officials. In other words: Let people believe what they want to believe.
The same exploitation of German anti-American tendencies worked for September 11 conspiracy theorists who claimed the US government had a hand in the attacks. According to one poll, nearly one-fifth of all Germans and nearly one-third of all young Germans actually believed that the US government was behind the 2001 attacks that killed 3,000 people. With this many cynics running around the country is it any wonder that Michael Moore's books were record-breaking best-sellers?
Germany's Green's: Some Genocide Victims are More Equal than Others
In an article published last month on the German Green party's website, the Green fraction leader in the European parliament, Daniel Cohn-Bendit stated that:
"A military intervention is legitimate to end genocide."
Mr. Bendit went on to call for a UN-led intervention in the Sudan. The interviewer, sensing a possible contradiction, asked Mr. Bendit:
"Couldn't Washington and London support themselves with such reasoning and say: The Iraq war was also legitimate?"
Mr. Bendit replied:
"No. An intervention would have perhaps been legitimate when the Kurds were gassed in Halabja. It was, however, an entirely different situation than almost 20 years later the American intervention with the goal of overthrowing a dictator. Legitimate is an intervention to stop genocide that is taking place at this very moment."
So according to Cohn-Bendit, it would have been more "legitimate" to wait for Saddam to resume killing his people by the hundreds of thousands before taking military action. Just as it would have been more "legitimate" to wait until Saddam had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and the capacity to murder millions in a war before intervening. The thousands murdered by Saddam's regime from 1991 to 2003 apparently did not count enough in Mr. Bendit's eyes to warrant overthrowing the dictator. Perhaps someone should ask Mr. Bendit how many hundreds of thousands of people have to die in a given time-period before Europe's elite feels action is necessary and "legitimate."
Ironically, giving aggressive dictators the benefit of the doubt in the interest of "peace" and waiting for potential threats to become imminent threats is a strategy that has already been tried in Germany with disastrous results. Does the world need another Holocaust to learn that dictators cannot be coddled?
Cohn-Bendit: The UN is the Solution
According to Mr. Bendit, the institution best-suited to lead efforts to stop genocide in Africa is the United Nations. This despite the 1994 debacle in Rwanda, the French-led colonialist misadventure in the Ivory Coast and the recent sexual abuse scandal surrounding the UN peacekeeping force in Congo. Mr. Bendit states that the UN must form an African peacekeeping force to avoid creating anti-European resentment. This begs the question: Why hasn't this already been tried in Rwanda, Congo and the Ivory Coast? Is the UN even capable of such an undertaking? Does the UN need reform?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the European left is reluctant to question the UN's many flaws and failings. This is particularly true in the German media. The ongoing bribery scandal surrounding the UN's oil-for-food program has received very sparse coverage. This stands in stark contrast to coverage of American efforts in Iraq, where every American misstep, both real and perceived, is reported in great detail. Any form of progress in Iraq, such as the opening of schools and hospitals, has been almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media.
But what are the underlying causes of this widespread bias? It is important to understand that the European left has always feared American power and sought to contain and control it. The United Nations is one of the few bodies with which Europeans can hope to influence and restrain the United States. This also explains why the Angry Left is so angry about the US not joining Kyoto and the ICC. By rejecting these agreements, the US has denied Europe two further means of checking American power and economic growth.
That also explains why the left has been so eager to brand every conflict involving the United States over the past decade "the next Vietnam." The German media used the comparison during the Kosovo conflict, the Afghanistan conflict and continues to use it in Iraq. This despite the fact that each of the three above-mentioned conflicts have been fundamentally different from Vietnam in a number of obvious ways.
The fact is that the European left wants the US to fail because it fears American power and dominance. The repeated Vietnam comparisons and the exploitation of anti-American stereotypes by major German news organizations are robbing America's critics of any real credibility or influence.
Getting to the Real Point: European Impotence Breeds Resentment
US leaders would be well-advised not to allow the ranting and raving in the German media and government to influence their policy. These outbursts are motivated largely by a feeling of impotence, frustration and growing irrelevance, not by a genuine desire to voice legitimate criticism or improve the world. In the case of the media, anti-Americanism has also proven to be a hot seller of books, magazines and television time, so profit is also clearly a major motivator. Hopefully, the German government and media can eventually regain a semblance of credibility by finding some balance in their view of the United States and particularly their view of American conservatives.
Only when the new German "groupthink" ends can better German-American relations begin.
Human Rights Take a Back Seat to “Realpolitik” at German-Russian Summit
If the double-standards with which the German press and government treat the US and President Bush were not clear before today, German Chancellor Schroeder has made them exceedingly clear on his current visit to Russia. According to the German news channel “N24” the questionable arrest and incarceration of Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Russian government’s treatment of the firm is “not a theme" the Chancellor wants to address with his good friend Vladimir Putin. In fact, Schroeder has gone out of his way to make it clear to his Russian hosts that the matter is not something he wants to bring up. When asked about the Yukos matter, Schroeder stated, “I have no reason to believe that it (the trial against Khodorkovsky and Yukos) is not being conducted according to the state’s legitimate rule of law.”
The war in Chechnya, its countless victims and the lack of a political solution are also matters the two bosom buddies would rather not let disturb their cordial relationship. After all, big business ties are at stake, and apparently human rights have taken a back seat to positioning German firms on the Russian market for the Schroeder government.
In an article hidden far below the main features, Spiegel Online labeled Schroeder’s visit to Russia “a lesson in Realpolitik.” The publication went on to point out that big contracts were at stake, primarily contracts for oil pipelines from Russia to Germany to the UK and for the exploitation of Russia’s natural gas fields and energy resources:
“It was clear to the German delegation however, that such business would not be possible if it had the Russian government against it. That’s how it was in the past, and that is certainly how it will be in the future. Because Putin is on the best path to regaining control over the oil industry. (…) and his methods of intimidation are working.”
What was missing in all of this was the outrage, the condemnation and the indignation at Russia’s lawless trampling of detainees rights and at the war in Chechnya. There will be no Spiegel covers depicting Russian soldiers as drooling Rambos, there will be no covers belittling Putin as a power mad tyrant asking: “Will Russia be democratic?" There will be no impassioned speeches on German talk shows by Green politicians complaining of the Russian government’s illegal detention (or assassination) of anyone standing in its way. After all, being in bed with corrupt, brutal Russian officials is simply “Realpolitik.”
No, true criticism is specially reserved for the USA: A nation that liberated Germany from Nazism. A nation that helped rebuild West Germany after World War II and protected it from Soviet Communism at great expense. A nation that supported German reunification when France and Great Britain opposed it. This is the thanks afforded the United States by the German media and its leftist allies in the German government.
The most ironic and sickening aspect of it all is the deafening silence to be heard from the German left on the issue. No one is out beating drums, screaming “blood for oil” or waving rainbow flags in the streets. No one is angry that Germany’s big industry has priority over human rights when it comes to Russia. An ocean of ink has been spilled in the German media on Abu Ghraib, Iraq and Guantanamo. But articles on the shocking situation in Chechnya and abuses throughout Russia are a rarity by comparison. I guess we can’t be too surprised though. These were the same people who ignored Saddam’s mass murder for years on end and then flew into a rage when President Bush actually proposed putting an end to it.
We here at Medienkritik don’t intend on giving them a free pass…
NOTE: For those who haven't already read it, this is an excellent article by Jeff Gedmin which addresses many of the same themes. I can't recommend it enough.
As Iraq rebuilds after 35 years of oppression and cruelty under Saddam Hussein, seven men and their families will finally begin to repair the pieces of their lives destroyed by the former leader’s injustice.
The men had their healthy right hands amputated in 1996 for allegedly dealing in foreign currency. They passed through here April 5 on their way to Houston where they are scheduled to receive prosthetic hands at the Houston Medical Center.
“Besides having our hands amputated, we were scarred on our foreheads, between our eyebrows,” said Ala’a Abdul Hussien Hassan, one of the men, noting an “X” tattoo between his eyes.
A video of the punishment, made by Saddam's secret police, revealed the horror these men and their families suffered through. Donald North, video producer and former television correspondent, discovered the videotape and the mens’ stories while he worked as the senior adviser for the Iraqi Media Network in Baghdad.
“I was amazed and shocked by the tape,” Mr. North said. “It clearly showed doctors working with surgical instruments cutting through and severing these healthy hands. The victims were under anesthetics, and while they were still under, they had these black crosses tattooed to their foreheads.” (...)
The group will spend about six weeks in Houston where they will receive the prosthesis and rehabilitation. After their medical treatment is complete they will travel to Washington to visit Capitol Hill and serve as witnesses to the realities of the former regime, Mr. North said.
“It was evident that these gentlemen have a story to tell, and they are confident that the United States did the right thing in liberating Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Guy Parker, 469th Air Base Group deputy commander here. “They all agree that coalition forces found all the weapons of mass destruction they needed in the mass graves and the injustices against mankind, which are evidenced by these seven men. It makes me proud to be an American and a part of this great Air Force.”
“The coalition doesn’t need weapons of mass destruction to justify the war,” said Basim S. Ameer, another one of the Iraqi men receiving treatment. “The weapon of destruction was embedded in Saddam’s brain.”
Der um seine Glaubwürdigkeit kämpfende US-Präsident George W. Bush hat sich abermals einen peinlichen Fehler geleistet. In seiner Pressekonferenz in der Nacht zu Mittwoch behauptete er, in Libyen seien 50 Tonnen Senfgas sicher gestellt worden. Tatsächlich waren es nur 23,6 Tonnen, wie Pressesprecher Scott McClellan am Mittwoch richtig stellte.
Bush benutzte die falsche Zahl gleich zwei Mal. Zunächst, als er den Schritt des libyschen Staatschefs Muammar el Gaddafi, seine Massenvernichtungswaffen offen zu legen, als Erfolg des Irak-Feldzuges reklamierte. In dem Zusammenhang seien auf einem türkischen Bauernhof 50 Tonnen Senfgas aus Libyen entdeckt worden, sagte Bush. (Hervorhebung durch uns)
Ein türkischer Bauernhof in Libyen? Wir haben hier möglicherweise eine interessante Entwicklung übersehen... Aber dies ist die ursprüngliche Stellungnahme von Bush:
"They could still be there. They could be hidden, like the 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm," said Bush, referring to Libya's voluntary disclosure of weapons in March.
N24und AP Deutschland übersetzten also "turkey farm" (Truthahn-Farm) als "türkischen Bauernhof". Wie es ausschaut, haben sich die um ihre Glaubwürdigkeit kämpfenden deutschen Medien abermals einen peinlichen Fehler geleistet.
Vielleicht ist es ja ein türkischer Truthahn-Bauernhof in Libyen...
(Übrigens: Unsere deutschen Besucher werden sich vielleicht erinnern: es gab in den 60-iger Jahren einen Bundespräsidenten Heinrich Lübke, der für seine Versprecher berühmt war. Als die Queen einmal Deutschland besuchte und mit Lübke wohl etwas ungeduldig auf den Beginn einer Veranstaltung wartete, sagte Lübke (angeblich) zu ihr: "Equal goes it lose." Es wird sogar berichtet, Lübke habe zu später Stunde in aufgeräumter Stimmung zur Queen gesagt: "You can say you to me". Aber das mag eher ein Gerücht sein. Ich finde jedenfalls, N24 und AP erweisen sich mit dem türkischen Bauernhof in Libyen als würdige Nachfolger von Heinrich Lübke.)
The August 6, 2001, memo did not refer to a planned attempt to fly planes into skyscrapers. All it says is:
- Bin Laden since 1997 wanted to "bring the fighting to America".
- "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other US-held extremists."
So he planned hijackings of airplanes to press for the release of his underlings - hardly a pretext for flying these planes into buildings.
- "Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."
Note, that these are alternatives in the memo: "preparations for hijackings" and "other other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." There was no suspicion that the hijackings could lead to the destruction of buildings. Actually, the perceived threat to "federal buildings in New York" was based on the observation of tourists taking pictures of buildings in New York:
"...the information relating to the possible surveillance of federal buildings in New York, which was later determined by the FBI to be consistent with tourist-related activity..." (Fact Sheet, Press Office of The White House)
And here are headlines of German media reporting on the August 6 memo:
stern: Contradictions - Bush In Fact Warned Before 9/11 of the Terror Attacks?
Tagesspiegel: Protocol Feeds Doubts About Rice’s Testimony: Did Bush Know of a Concrete Danger before August 2001?
Al Jazeera: Memo contradicts Rice on al-Qaida threat
(Oops, Al Jazzeera is not a German media outlet, but the well know anti-Israel, anti-American, pro-Hamas, pro-Hizbollah Arab news organization. Don't know why they fit in here...)
While it is true that the actual reporting in the above-mentioned German media moves away from the impression given in the headlines, it's the headlines that stick in people’s minds.
My forecast: within a very short time the German media will regularly quote the "fact" that Bush already knew in August 2001 about the planned destruction of the WTC. And after a bit more time has passed - probably right before the election in November - there will be reporting in the German media indicating a conspiracy between neocons (Bush himself?) and Al Qaeda to destroy the WTC in order to ... (please choose one) create new jobs in the New York construction industry / grab Iraqi oil / undermine Saudi Arabia / throw Russia and France out of Iraq.
Anything's possible in the German media, if it fits into their anti-Bush agenda...
Update: I swear I hadn't seen this Cox & Forkum cartoon when I wrote the last two paragraphs...
Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder hat sich dagegen ausgesprochen, den inhaftierten früheren irakischen Machthaber Saddam Hussein zum Tode zu verurteilen. Das sei seine Grund- Einstellung für jeden, selbst wenn es sich um einen Diktator handele, der in übelster Weise mit anderen umgegangen sei, sagte Schröder der 'Bild am Sonntag'. (Deutsche Welle)
Die Menschenrechtsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Claudia Roth (Grüne) sagte am Mittwoch, Saddam müsse "ein faires, transparentes Verfahren bekommen". Der internationale Prozess unter Einbeziehung der Iraker sollte sich am Vorbild des Europäischen Gerichtshofes orientieren. Es dürfe keine Todesstrafe verhängt werden. (N24)
"Ich glaube nicht, dass die Verhängung der Todesstrafe die Toten wieder lebendig machen würde", sagte Amnesty-International-Sprecherin Nicole Choueiry. "Und ich glaube nicht, dass diejenigen, die sie verhängen würden, sich von ihm (Saddam Hussein) unterscheiden würden." (SPIEGEL ONLINE)
Um Haydar war eine 25-jährige irakische Frau, deren Ehemann Saddam Husseins Regierung verärgerte. Nachdem er 2000 aus dem Land floh, zogen einige Mitglieder der Fadayeen Saddam sie aus ihrem Haus und auf die Straße. Dort - vor ihren Kindern und ihrer Schwiegermutter - ergriffen zwei Männer ihre Arme, während ein anderer ihren Kopf zurückzog und sie köpfte. Funktionäre der Baath Partei sahen beim Mord zu, warfen ihren Kopf in eine Plastiktüte und nahmen ihre Kinder mit.(New York Times)
Als vorläufiges Ende einer Reihe entsetzlicher Entdeckungen meldete das US Militär am Donnerstag, daß es ein weiteres Massengrab fand, und zwar im Nord-Irak. Das Grab enthält vermutlich die Körper von 400 kurdischen Frauen und Kindern, die von Saddams Regime ermordet wurden. (ABC News)
Mehr als 30 000 dieser staatlichen Terroristen sollen im Namen Saddams Zungen und Hände amputiert und Köpfe vom Rumpf getrennt haben...Lügnern wurde das Rückgrat gebrochen...wurde die Zunge mit einem glühenden Eisen verbrannt...Frauen, auf die er (Saddams Sohn) ein Auge geworfen hatte, ließ er auf offener Straße rauben und ihre Begleiter foltern und töten...Man hat kaum eines dieser Mädchen je wieder gesehen...Wer über Saddam spottet, verliert seine Zunge. Die Zunge ist mit einer Zange herauszuziehen und mit einem Teppichmesser abzuschneiden. Dann ist die Zunge auf den Boden zu werfen. Alles das hat in Anwesenheit der Familie zu geschehen...Homosexuellen wurden die Hände gebunden, dann stieß man sie von einem Hausdach...etwa 200 000 Menschen ermordet und verscharrt... (Alle Zitate aus SPIEGEL 25/03)
Unser Vorschlag: Saddam wird in Deutschland Asyl gewährt. Knallharte zwei Jahre lang darf er nur in Begleitung eines Wärters an TV-Talkshows teilnehmen. Erst nach fünf Jahren darf er wieder für politische Ämter kandidieren.
Strafe muß sein.
Update: Henryk M. Broder hat eine wunderschöne Satire zum Thema verfaßt:
Ein Herz für Saddam
Noch nie zuvor konnte ein entmachteter Diktator mit so viel Mitgefühl rechnen. Was sind schon die Leiden der Getöteten und Gefolterten gegen die Demütigung, bei einer Speichelprobe gefilmt zu werden? ...
Während Exiliraker wie der Schriftsteller Hussain Al-Mozany von einer "Katastrophe apokalyptischen Ausmaßes" sprechen, die eine "aktive, multifunktionale Mordmaschinerie" im Irak hinterlassen hat, spricht der Kanzler nur von einem Regenten "der mit anderen in übelster Weise umgegangen ist", als würde es sich um einen Familienvater handeln, der im Suff seine Familie schikaniert hat. ...
Und während die Iraker ihre Toten ausgraben, um sich von ihnen zu verabschieden, gilt das Mitgefühl der Guten einem Massenmörder, der nicht mehr morden darf. ... (Hat tip to Kim Hill)
It seems that the German media's so-called America "experts" could either use a refresher course in remedial US history or are simply rewriting the history books as they go along. Recently (Nov. 29, 2003), several members of the German media (FAZ, tagesschau, N24) were so desperate to downplay the success of President Bush's stunning Thanksgiving Day visit to US troops in Iraq that they printed the following "historic" comparison:
"Still observers point to the fact that a short visit in Iraq will not change everything with one blow. The American troops in Iraq have to reckon with continued resistance and the expected rise in popularity for Bush could also be over very quickly. They point to former US President Lyndon B. Johnson who visited the troops on a spectacular trip to Vietnam but then clearly lost the 1968 election to his opponent Richard Nixon."
A mistake of this magnitude might lead some to reach the conclusion that most of the "America experts" in the German media were too busy throwing rocks at police and getting high back in 1968 to pay close attention to the US Presidential election.
Just to clear things up a bit, Lyndon B. Johnson didn't even run for the Presidency in 1968 after announcing he would not seek re-election at the beginning of the year. Not only that, but the 1968 election between Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat Hubert Humphrey turned out to be a hotly contended race which Nixon won by the thinnest of margins and was by no means "clearly lost" by the Democrats.
German journalists frequently and gleefully report on the "ignorance" of the average American, always with a hint of condescending superiority of course. It seems, though, that they aren't quite the brilliant know-it-alls they fancy themselves to be either...