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I consider it already as a great success that we, Germans and Americans, meet here, communicate here and don't look at each other as enemies. I don't know how much influence David will have with this. We will see. I am here as a German with my American husband to get up against racism and anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism and xenophobia (Ausländerfeindlichkeit).

To hate Americans is nothing else than xenophobia. Usually Germans try to avoid this attitude but obviously not when Americans or Israeli are affected.

If der speigel is looked upon as "mainstream german media" as indicated above, I believe then that the entire country of germany lies in a protected fantasy bubble of utopian mis-information.. eerily similiar to previous generations who had propoganda blinders put on by those in power and the state controlled media.
I am not impressed that a primarliy fictional magazine with such pathetic hacks for writers is looked upon as "valid reporting" or carrying mainstream content. In due time this utopian fantasy bubble will burst (as it is now) and as germany looks around 360 degrees for assistance they will note that they are alone and that perhaps 6-10 americans would have a desire to come to their aid once again. And 1 of those 6-10 persons would be michael moore seeking protection in exile after having been pummled to hell by the america populace.
Germany- what will you do to prevent the country from imploding as we watch? It is up to the great citizens of germany to either continue on your current path which is demonstrating a multitude of failed policies and economic fumbling, or create a vision for yourself that is based on PRODUCTIVITY and some type of WORLD VISION that takes into account realities of the globe and does NOT involve the appointment of any additional red-caped Speedo-wearing "Super Commisioners".

>Are you in favor of WMD proliferation for the sake of curtailing US hegemony?

no way - US hegemony is fine with me (and I'm serious about this), what's not so fine is that when we don't support ONE certain step for good reasons (and I'm not even claiming Mr. Bush had no reasons to step in another direction) we are called supporters of terror and cowards hiding in our caves, because this description is wrong. All we claimed was the uncertain results of a war justifyed to use the approach of more pressure on Iraq and the work of the weapons inspectors. The pressure was delivered by the US and the UK and highly appreceated. There was massive progress in the work of the inspectors ONLY because that pressure was built up. So we saw that as an efficient way, particularly with the threat of war on Saddam, when he didn't cooporate. Now the leaders of the UK and the US did not share this view and they had their reasons, let's say good reasons BUT that does not mean our reasons to not support them were wrong. So it's just propaganda when someone is claiming there was only one solution to disarm Iraq. There was no way to achieve anything without the US. There was no way to achieve anything without a president of the US determined to attack the issue. In that you're right but claiming starting the war at the time it was started was THE ONLY way to disarm Iraq is not a well funded claim and it's insulting.

If you knew where I live, Lee, you really wouldn't have said that.

Sandy P.,

>Hussein was the largest money-launder in the world.

Let's say one of the largest. I never opposed that. He also was a cruel dictator, a mass murderer, a threat to his neighbours and a lot more, not enough time to write it all down.

>There's still questions regarding WTC #1 and a wonderful little conspiracy about Oklahoma City.

There are even more stupid conpiracies involving the CIA.

>And the bolshies and Nazis would NEVER align either. Riiiiiight, but according to history, they did.

Which is proven by facts. However, that argument could be used for anything, even for the supid conspiracies I mentioned above.

to N. Klaric ,
sorry I just wasn't sure if in your "quiz" ("You’re either with us, or with the terrorists.") you only referred to the bullshit they wrote on that letter you received, or to everyone who opposed the war against Saddam at a particular time (and not in general), so I assumed the latter and I guess I was wrong.
Or do you really mean just because we were not with you in the judgement of the best way to solve the issue of Saddams WMD we are with the terrorists?

David -
I know this but this was said some decades ago when German right-wing politics was still dominated by people like Strauß and Dregger. In this context Augstein defined himself as in case of doubt left-wing. But today we are living in a total different situation and all these people, including Augstein himself, are dead. We can discuss the usefulness of these terms and I do not want to deny anything but if you regard anti-Americanism as an all-German phenomenon and not confined to some left-wingers what makes "Der Spiegel" a left-wing paper? The revisionist stories about the Vertriebenen and WWII bombings of German cities? The "Das Boot ist voll" covers? The articles about criminal foreigners? Certainly not the kind of stuff that I would associate with German "left-left-wing". You say this is not meant in a "classical, socialism oriented sense" but what else does this imply?

Right then, Jens, I figured you to be a smart guy. Let us consider your statement that inspections were the way to "disarm" Saddam. As you noted, he did not even allow inspections to resume until he had 50,000+ US troops massed at his border. So, we have 150,000 US soldiers spending the summer in Kuwait so that the good Dr. Blix can complete his mission. What then when the inspectors packed up (according to Blix it would have taken until a few months ago), and Saddam is cleared and sanctions lifted? All of the corrupt Euro and Arab politicians get their pay-off and Saddam has an oil fortune with which to begin again, or pick up where he left off. Have you read the testimony of David Kay to the US Senate? It is quite revealing: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KAY401A.html

Please permit a few choice excerpts:

"KAY: We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441, with Iraqi testimony that not only did they not tell the U.N. about this, they were instructed not to do it and they hid material."

"KAY: I think when we have the complete record you're going to discover that after 1998 it became a regime that was totally corrupt. Individuals were out for their own protection. And in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated with what may turn out not to be a fully accurate estimate."

"MCCAIN: So the point is, if he were in power today, there is no doubt that he would harbor ambitions for the development and use of weapons of mass destruction. Is there any doubt in your mind?

KAY: There's absolutely no doubt. And I think I've said that, Senator."

"ALLARD: OK, I have one other question. What can you tell us about Iraq's efforts to restart its nuclear program in 2000 and 2001?

KAY: They started -- the main center is a center called Al Tuwaitha, which is -- in fact, I think you probably flew over it. You generally do when you go around Baghdad.

It's a large site, but the physical facilities had seriously deteriorated. They started building new buildings, renovating it, hiring some new staff and bringing them together, and they ran a few physics experiments, re-ran experiments they'd actually run in the '80s. Fortunately, from my point of view, Operation Iraqi Freedom intervened and we don't know how or how fast that would have gone ahead."

Well, you get the idea, but I urge you to read the whole thing.

Now, we get to the real point, and the point of this website. Both sides (American and German) were reacting to reactions created by media. German media: "the Americans are calling us cowards and Saddam lackeys. The Americans are daft warmongers greedy for oil to power their decadent lifestyles." American media: "the Euros are calling us cowboys and warmongers and this is all a political ploy to embarass the US in the international community or, worse, they want Saddam to stay in power because they want the oil deals for THEIR oil industry and care not a whit for our safety or the fact that the Iraqi people are suffering." Etc, you can increase the list.

There has been a sharp dichotomy in political vision since the end of WW2 between the US and Europe, and the Iraq matter was more than enough to bring things to a boil. It is now done and Saddam is gone. I believe we should both sides take a deep breath and tone down the rhetoric. There is still the matter of proliferation to deal with and, I said before, there is much that Europe can do to help in this regard.

--Let's say one of the largest.--

So, Marz, you read the book?

Not one of the - THE - largest at the time the book was written, IIRC.

The author was on WLSam.(com). Email Jay Marvin and he will give you the author's name to purchase the book so you can read it yourself. Jay has a lot of spam, tho, but he will get back to you. He's good about that.

Laurie Mylroie also writes books, have you read one of hers on the ME?

Did you check out Jayna's site?

And Marz?? We lost over 2700 people in one day by using our airliners against us. Taking down the WTC was the equivalent of a small nuke against us.

ANYTHING is possible now. And don't be surprised (and shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!) when things come to pass. Not the 1st time conventional wisdom was wrong, and won't be the last.

I see they're opening up the Oklahoma City investigation again, white supremists as bankers. Who knows where that will lead? Nicols did, after all, visit the Philippines.

----------
Jens, your response needs to be broadened.

Very good point, Mr. Klaric. After the $5+ billion oil-for-food boondoggle, we will not be looking to the UN with trust for some time to come.

A bit more from David Kay for Jens:

"KAY: So they kept the scientists and they kept the technology, but they came to what I think is a fair conclusion: Why keep stockpiles of weapons that are vulnerable to inspectors when you've lost your delivery capability? Wait till you have your delivery capability, and then it's a relatively short order."

KAY: We [the UN inspections] took the easy stuff out: nuclear reactors, big plants, large amounts of material.

And that gets to your earlier, very good question: Why did they change the strategy? They changed to the things that we were not particularly good at unmasking, that would allow them to restart the program as soon as they got rid of us.

NELSON: Your findings indicate that Iraq had only a rudimentary chemical, biological and nuclear program, and you've identified and you've said that weapons of mass destruction-related program activities. And I have to ask you, what does that mean? What are weapons of mass destruction-related program activities?

KAY: That includes, for example -- and take specific examples of the Iraqis -- a program to develop a substitute for a major precursor for VX using indigenous production capability and indigenous chemicals, so they would not have to import it.

It includes a study, for example, on a simulant for anthrax. Pre-1991 their anthrax was liquid. They had tried to freeze-dry it and get it down to a dry anthrax, which is stable and much more deadly, lethal, as we found out here. By using this simulant they actually pushed ahead about two generations the production capability.

Now, for this simulant, the same production capability that produces it is exactly the same that produces anthrax. So they, in fact, had moved ahead their anthrax capability by working on a simulant."

"CORNYN: Would you say, then, Dr. Kay, that it was just a matter of time before Saddam would build such stockpiles or have that capability in a way that would threaten not only people in Iraq, but people in that neighborhood and perhaps others?

KAY: I think you will have, when you get the final ISG report, pretty compelling evidence that Saddam had the intention of continuing the pursuit of WMD when the opportunity arose and that the first start on that, the long pole in the tent, was this restart of the long-range missile program."

"CORNYN: You said something during your opening statement that intrigues me, and something that I'm afraid may be overlooked in all of this back and forth; and that has to do with proliferation.

You said that there was a risk of a willing seller meeting a willing buyer of such weapons or weapon stockpiles, whether they be large, small or programs, whether it's information that Iraqi scientists might be willing to sell or work in cooperation with rogue organizations or even nations.

But do you consider that to have been a real risk in terms of Saddam's activities and these programs -- the risk of proliferation?

KAY: Actually, I consider it a bigger risk. And that's why I paused on the preceding questions. I consider that a bigger risk than the restart of his programs being successful.

KAY: I think the way the society was going, and the number of willing buyers in the market, that that probably was a risk that if we did avoid, we barely avoided."

This is from January, just after Kay resigned.

his non-polarizing opponent John Kerry

I don't quite know where to start answering this one. Maybe by suggesting a google of "Senator Splunge".

N. Klaric-

So Aust is a good buddy of Schröder and this makes "Der Spiegel" a left wing paper? Sorry but that is really funny. Why don't you address the points from my post?

Klaric-

I had no intention to "troll around". Just asking some questions. But name-calling is certainly a very mature way of discussion.

Had you read the Spiegel Online yesterday, you would have seen the first headline which showed the SPD approval rate at 25%. So you can hardly talk about bias.
Why should Germans not be able to comment about GWB? If Americans want to comment on Schroeder, feel free to do so. Just that Schroeder wouldn't be very important to them.
Whatever the Bush government does affects the world. So I think the world should have a right to voice its opinion. Everybody knows that this poll has no scientific meaning. So what?
The Spiegel still hasn't pulled the plug. I'd say they're having fun with it.

To "Someone who voted"

>>If Americans want to comment on Schroeder, feel free to do so. Just that Schroeder wouldn't be very important to them.<<

This is wrong I think. Herr Schroeder played very badly when he decided to use the always there anti-American ignorance in much of Europe to win an election. What fools the German people for rewarding him.

The division now between the US and Europe is not at all a good thing. Not at all. The pretentious Euro elite forgets his/her roots. They forget what treasure they have and what treasure is being lost by them. They look away to America in criticism to avoid the present and future reality. Western Civilization as we have known it may change drastically because of all this.

The German people then - fundamentally irresponsible and I would say cowardly.

>>Whatever the Bush government does affects the world.<<

You confort yourself with such a childish reading of the world, and the US. You probably do not realize many Americans look at this sort of snit as childish behavior. There is some growing up that needs to be done. And Europe will either grow up or perish. That is all of it. Grow up or perish. No childish temper tantrum against Bush will change any of that.

You have so little knowledge about what the President is in the US, what his power is, where it comes from, how tenuous it is. But all your own fear gets cast on the other (America, Bush, whatever).

Grow up and deal. Adolescence is unbecoming for a once great culture.

Michael, we'll see how grown up the American voters are in November. But since free speech is still allowed in Germany I will continue to voice my opinion about Bush and even give him bad marks if I want to.

If you call people cowards who refuse to participate in killing for reasons which seem to change every month, ok.

I'm not happy about the way Schroeder handled this diplomatically. But you know, that "once great culture" got a stern lecture from a US judge in Nurenberg, telling the Germans that they are not tried for losing the war but for starting it.

I think the Germans have grown up more than you could ever imagine.

Someone, interesting you bring up Nurenburg on the day that the US sends 50 attorneys to Iraq to help with Saddam's trial for war crimes and human rights violations. It was not the US who started this war, nor was it the US who provided Saddam with the means to terrorize the region that would be the responsibility of Europe and Russia. I think Michael may be right about those with your perspective.

No of course not, the US never sold Saddam anything. The US also never bought a drop of oil from Iraq after 1990.

And of course there never was an US ambassador who told Saddam that the US had "no opinion" about Saddams's plan to invade Kuwait.

Oh yes the 50 attorneys will be very busy. And after that you can send them to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea etc. to help with trials for human rights violations... by dictators financed and received in the White House and Crawford.

But of course, these are the "helpful" dictators. As helpful as Saddam was before 1990.

If my car ran with American hypocrisy I'd never have to buy a gallon of gas anymore.

The thing that is most overlooked when arguing the Iraq question is why? Bush cowboyism? Doing it for daddy? These questions and scenarios are the products of simple minds. Since 9/11 Bush and his neocons have really come to understand that the Islamic world is violently sick and it is unable to heal. Call it a mass mental illness or hysteria but there is something very wrong in cultures that cannot succeed in the 21st century or that refuses even to tolerate other beliefs and peoples. To Bush something had and was going to be done.

Iraq was chosen to begin this I believe for several different and important reasons. First Iraq was ruled by a thug dictator who defied UN resolutions and sanctions. Second the bastard was hated by most Iraqis and they would not fight to see him stay in power. Iraq has experience in secularism. And finally their oil reserves are a basis for a robust and dynamic ecomomy. Iraq does not border Israel nor is it the seat of Islam. The US is injecting a proactive virus into Islam. So now the terroist and Islamist need to worry more about the spread of democracy and modernization in the Islamic world instead of worrying what Americans are watching on HBO. My guess is it scares the shit out of them.

And I predict that most US military will be out of Europe by 2006

N. Klaric-

After some sleep and cooling down a bit I'd like to make the follwing points:

1. As you certainly know "Der Spiegel" conducts regular voter polls including politician ratings, so there is obviously no need for this kind of online poll concerning Schröder.

2. I have not doubted [or denied] that "Der Spiegel" is pro-Schröder and anti-American. But in how far does this consitute a left-wing agenda? Okay, if you mean this in a sense "left of the CDU" you are certainly right. As David already said in this case he does not use left-wing "in the classical, socialism oriented sense". I am interested to find out what meaning is intended. I also pointed at "Der Spiegel's" general viewpoint concerning social issues, crime and immigration which in my opinion does not fit the alleged left-wing agenda. Neither David nor you have addressed this.

3. I know from frequent reading of "Davids Medienkritik" that you are a regular poster here (I appreciate that) while I am not. But that does not mean that I want to "troll around" when I am participating in the discussion. Different opinions should be part of an open debate.

4. I think the central German problem are not fringe elements (that is the reason why I critized the usage of "left-left-wing" because it gives, IMHO, a wrong idea what "Der Spiegel" stands for) but that anti-Americanism is very much part of the mainstream and is deeply rooted in the center of German society ("in der Mitte der Gesellschaft"). And this is the position where I see "Der Spiegel" and Schröder. We may agree or disagree on that issue but that is certainly no reason to start flame wars. If you felt unduly attacked by my posts I apologize for that.

Cheers --- Jonas

> Jens, it seems you are so fixed on the "Look, Saddam had not WMDs!!!!" issue that your ability to make a reasonable argument on other things that matter is crippled beyond doubt.

Absolutely not. I think there are strong indications he had WMD. But I don't see that checking and then packing up was ever mentioned in one of Blixs reports. All he suggested was a time frame in which outstanding issues could be clarified by Iraq and usefull procedures of surveillance implemented. Now another approach was chosen. May be you get it wrong, I'm not sooooooooooo much fighting against the approach your president took. I'm just trying to show that the countries which didn't support you were not just "sitting there doing nothing". Some of my statements may sound a bit arrogant. My mistake. But it's not easy to stay calm when I see the position of some of the people who didn't support that war at that time being constantly distorted. I'm not at all in line with those fools who went on the roads in Europe and did there "no war" demonstrations. I just thought, the implications of a war justifyed to check if a system of effective inspections could be implemented and if the decission was made this is not an absolutely safe system, then to use forces to sort the things out. Now, many people had and have a different view on that, and I accept it, but hey that's no reason to put it like we were about to do nothing or even worse to forbid you to remove Saddams WMD.

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page5470.asp

PM Blair warns of continuing global terror threat
05 March 2004



Someone who voted 5, you are a true propagandist. "No opinion regarding a border dispute" is not "no opinion about a planned invasion", nor does it mean "go ahead and invade". And while I am calling out your BS, none of the leaders of the countries mentioned have been to Crawford, nor have they been financed by us (they have received some aid under Bush, but certainly not "financed"). Please, become a part of the solution, because currently you are only part of the problem (the problem of anti-US distortion of the truth).

Someone who voted:

The United States was and is not an angel. But it is also not the great devil you imply it is. Please note, for example, that the United was not Saddam's largest arms supplier. In order from larger to smaller, here's the breakdown for arms sales to Iraq from 1973 to 1990.

USSR 57%
France 13%
China 12%
Czechoslovakia 7%
Poland 4%
Brazil 2%
Egypt 1%
Romania 1%
Denmark 1%
Libya 1%
United States 1%

Before the first Gulf War, Iraq was a Soviet client state. The United States supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War only because Khomeini's Iran was seen as a far greater threat. And it wasn't the United States that came to hold the largest share of Baathist Iraq's foreign debt. Iraq owed larger, in many cases much, much larger, amounts to Saudi Arabia, Japan, France, Russia, and Germany.

America is a powerful country, but it is not the great puppet master of the world.

@ X

I am suprised that Germany did not make the list. Remember: before 1989, there were two Germanys. I remember during the First Gulf war, much of Saddams rolling stock was the ubiquitous LO 5000 2 1/2 ton truck, made in the DDR. This is same truck that you see rusting whenever you pass a former VEB (Volks Eigene Betrieb/ translated: Peoples'taken-over business) agriculture commune in the former Volks Republik.

Up to 1990, both the GDR and the FRG each accounted for less than 1% of total arms sales to Iraq. My guess is that this was because of what was sold. Tanks are much more expensive than trucks, and the USSR sold Iraq thousands and thousands of tanks.

95 % of the Germans would vote "1" if they had the same leader in a similar war declared on them - with the experience of anywhere near the same number of terrorist attacks as the USA has by militant Islamists - nearly 60 - see:
list in:
Prelude - http://www.thesahara.net/where_is_iraq.htm
Letter - http://www.thesahara.net/iraqi_war_letter.htm

N. Klaric-

No problem, at least we agree that the state of affairs is rather bleak over here. Anyway I hope you stay in Germany. It would be sad if the sane people leave the country ...

Vote often... The Florida way!!!
Heck, I did. And they don't even plant an "already voted" cookie in your cache. I knocked off three in a short time just to watch the tally for #1 rise!

N. Klaric-

Now that we hopefully have solved our little, ahem, zwischenmenschliches Problem I would like to ask you if there is some deeper meaning in your statement "Aust and Schröder were affiliated to the same political ideology". I mean, does that constitute some kind of a coherent program? I see two guys who made it to the top in their respective business and who support each other to remain there. If there is any kind of affiliation I'd say it is this common interest but not ideology or political conviction. It seems that you have a different perspective and honestly I would appreciate your input on that matter.

annette- BUSH "BOO" KERRY "YAY

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