« Wenn Iraker Wale wären... | Main | "German Book Prize 2004" For Michael Moore / Der "Deutsche Bücherpreis 2004" geht an Michael Moore »

Comments

No sane person can deny that WWII has its roots also in the appeasement policies of Western Europe. After only 70 years, Western Europe chose again appeasement of terror.

But you know what ? This time it is (supposedly) TOTALLY different... Right.

What is the difference ? I really don't know, but I guess nobody doubts the resourcefulness of appeasers when it comes to rationalizing the appeasement; even to the point of making a virtue out of it.

>From left to right: French President Jacques Chirac, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero, Sheikh Osama bin Laden (attending on behalf of the NGO "Al Queida"), Palestinian Chairman Yassir Arafat, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

As you feel it's necessary to come up with such helfull comparisons, here one that can compete with that level of stupidity:
While the US and their old Euope allies the UK, and France appeased the dictator Stalin the only one to topple him was Hitler and his allies from new Europe, like Italy.

Note: The caption beneath the picture of Hitler and Moussolini is not in the original article, but was apparently chosen by the makers of this blog.

@jens
It IS the "hellful" comparisons that are right on and accurate and FULLY correlational to the current german/french axis of imbecilic behavior.
Current comparisons to the not so distant past are what schroeder, fischer, chirac and the studio-tanned showboat di villipin did NOT consider at the time of their attempt to keep the saddam regime in power.
And again- that is ALL they did- try to keep saddam in power. There is no other way to look at it.
For what it's worth when one lays in bed with fleas you will awaken to bite marks and red bumps. You are also judged by the crowd you hang out with.
I am not sure of the reaction in germany, though it is highly predictable- but in france the reaction to saddam coming out from his hole (as the french thought the US was still trapped outside baghdad) was more shocking and dis-heartening to them than the death of 15,000 old citizens who perished in warm weather paris this summer. Then in december the weekly french magazine came out with a cover story saying in bold print "The man who ruined are year- Bush!" under a picture of GWB.
I am surprised that the sun itself, perhaps the moon, or even a manufacture of air conditioning units (available to all modern countries who know about them) wasn't instead blamed by the french for their misery.
These people are germany's top ally now, and you guys are happy?
Your statement that the italians and germans defeated Stalin is insane piece of logic.

Im tired of this propaganda. This blog has become a laughing stock. This comparison is absolutly ridiculous and in no way appropiate. For me, there's no way to take this blog and the fanatic followers anymore serious. All you can is pointing at others and paint the world black and white. Remain in your limited world view and keep up the ignorance. You do good, Pato. bye bye

Wow, does no one here have a sense of humor? Lighten up people, it's a joke...

It's not as if Germany needs more humorless people...

@Ray D.

I think it's clear that the caption wasn't meant for real. But if Germans make similar crude comparisons with American politicians, there is screaming of "Anti-Americanism".

It seems - also when I read comments on freerepublic.com - conservative Americans would like to have special status: "We can bash with insulting terms and comparisons all we want, but if anyone bashes us, we scream foul and yell 'Damn Anti-Americans!'"

As I asked once before, what is the correct English translation for "Wasch mich, aber mach mich nicht nass"? "To want the cake and eat it too"?

And lighten up when US-politics is critizised. Less hysteria would be good IMO.

To clear it up:

I actually *like* such crude polemic humour a bit, like the above.

But I am missing vice versa from conservative Americans a tolerance for the same: Even slight criticism is interpreted as "anti-American" and any *crude humour* on US-politics (like mentioning dictators in one sentence with them) would probably have conservative Americans go through the roof and hurt in their pride.

They can dish out crude humour, but often seem to throw a hissy-fit when being the target of it. just my 2 cents. Thus: Lighten up when critizised. We all want the same, only sometimes greatly differ on how to get there.

Jokes are not [i]helfull[/i] Ray. Unfortunately this humor hits too close to home for some people apparently. So Dennis (you're now gone of couse...), what fanatics are you speaking of? Fanatic anti-appeasers? Fanatic anti-terrorists? Probably just fanatic different opinion than you. And guess what, some things are black and white or at least in my way of thinking. I imagine you're one of those types that would say, hey Al-queda do bad things sometimes, but they've also done some good therefore one shouldn't "point" at them. Or Hitler was pretty bad, but you can't forget he did do some good things with Germany therefore you can't say he was bad. That would be too black and white.

@ FKANB

There is one slight difference: You say yourself that it's quite obvious this caption WASN'T meant seriously. But those Bush-is-Hitler and blood-for-oil people mean every word they say. Now look at how some people already react to something that was meant as a joke, while on the other hand those same people don't accept the claim of anti-Americanism even when they talk about Bush-is-Hitler and really mean it.
What's even more, this caption compared recent politicians with historical ones appeasing Hitler and this already causes such fury. On the other hand, those Bush-haters often compare Bush not to the appeasers, but to Hitler himself. Two different dimension, as far as I can see it...

@Thomas

You should get out more to conservative US-blogs. The amount of "humour" directed against Germany or France there is quite bizarre and openly violent at times ("When do we begin bombing France?" - "Germans will never change from being Nazis") and I just marvel that those same conservative people suddenly get so sensitive when they are themselves relatively moderately critizised.

FKANB, David's Medienkritik has not been spotted by major players in the US so far. Actually, your whole comparison is a little bit off the map. People in Germany marched from time to time with "Bush = Hitler" slogans. Did the Bush administration care? No. People in the US marched from time to time with "Bush = Hitler" slogans. Did the Schröder administration care? No. People in Germany have uttered "Bush = Hitler" comparisons in public blogs. Did the Bush administration care? No. People in the US uttered "Germany = Nazi" comparisons in public blogs. Did the Schröder administration care? No.

But still I have to see a major US publication depicting Schröder as an idiot, a megalomaniac, a shoot-first-ask-questions-later-cowboy. Go browse this weblog for examples of that manner exposed by German news outlets towards the Bush administration. Do you really think there's equal prejudice and ridiculing on both sides of the Atlantic? I'm not talking about freerepublic.com here, or about private town hall meetings. German anti-Americanism has gone large-scale, and it's hurting German-American relationships for years to come.

You have to admit that the US has been getting slammed pretty hard the past few years by our friends in Europe...no harm, no foul. We Jacksonians are known to have a crude sense of humor anyway.

Personally, I can appreciate a well-turned joke at America's expense...international political friction tends to be fleeting after all. Blink your eyes and everyone is friends again (stranger things have happened).

The joke has to be current and on target, though. The Bush=Hitler meme is too old as well as being off target. Bush=Cowboy is on target, but not considered an insult over here. Bush=Liar doesn't get much traction...all politicians lie when their lips move. Bush=Monkey is the type of offensive humor I have never liked in any situation.

So, give us your best shot! But at least do quality work.


To be honest, I don't care that much about 'conservative US-blogs' - as much as I do, there are some jokes I find funny and some that probably go too far. Nevertheless, the difference remains: Those ARE (or at least are said to be) jokes, although sometimes bad ones. Andreas von Bülow's tens of thousands of readers (and the 'master' himself) don't see his 9/11 conspiracy theories as jokes. People indirecty blaming the Americans for 9/11 because of their way of life don't mean this as a joke. Peter Sloterdijk isn't trying to be funny when he says that more than 2000 deaths wouldn't be something remarkable statistically and that he is proud to primarily associate Adorno's birthday with the date. Günter Grass means what he says when he's talking about blood for oil and evil George Bush. Herta Däubler-Gmelin isn't joking when comparing Bush and Hitler. Spiegel's, Stern's or RTL's journalists either mean what they are writing and saying or are very viciously making money using anti-American sentiments.
All those people (and many more who said similar thing) have been or are important persons in this country, some of them can even be said to be opinion leaders still, and this is worrying me enormously.
So, I primarily care about the atmosphere in the country I live in and I care about the attitude Germans have towards a country that has been their friend for more than half a century, that has helped us and still does so against three kinds of totalitarianism (that are NOT just American inventions), a country that is - inspite of all that - seen by many as a threat to world peace, ruled by a war-addicted cabal of Jews and oil companies, with a stupid cowboy as their puppet. I care about many people's lack of understanding of those dangers that DO exist, their lack of resolve to do what it takes to stand up for our way of life. I care about double standards and phony moralism in this country. And what I care most about is that those strains of thought seem to own such a vast majority here. And this is another important difference: Whereas those U. S. conservatives that probably go too far in what they are writing about represent a relatively small minority, opinion polls show that up to or even more than half of the German population believes that Israel and the U. S. are a threat to world peace and large numbers don't see much difference between Saddam and Bush. Irrationalism is getting stronger and stronger over here, and this should really be a cause for major concern. Much more so than some U. S. conservative folks perhaps being a bit over the edge.

Thomas-
You are a good man who speaks a million truths.
History will prove your words were fact.

I can only underline Thomas's point. Whilst those across the Atlantic may see German anti-Americanism as weaseling impudence - an excuse for a tasteless trimuphalist joke or too, we who live here see it for what it is.

Anti-Americanism and Anglogphbia are ersatz anti-semitism. The same ugly, irrational reflexes are beging to twitch again in the German political body.

A

Jens, typical, damned if we do, damned if we don't. This is what happens when *the world and US citizens* want us to mind our own business.

The problem is that *the world* has finally gotten what it has ragged about for at least the past 20 years - we're paying attention to you. And with this wonderful invention by Prince Al Bore, we can see what your news prints, what you read and what you listen to.

*The world* cannot hide anymore. Blowback's a bitch.

We're going to defend ourselves. But now that we know, it's just in good fun, just needling us. No harm meant.

We like a good joke as much as the next. Here's a hint - we joke about nuking the frogs because we don't think we'll have to, we expect them to come to their senses at some point in time, even if they are an enemy of this country. Trust me, they've moved on from "ally" for a great many people.

We are not joking about the ME. They push us hard enough, the American public will put its' foot down and say, that's it, finish it and live w/the consequences, which I don't think will be a terrible collective burden. All options were on the table on 9/11 and they have not been taken off. And keep in mind, whether you think so or not, we're not pissed yet. If you don't want the thinkable to happen, then stop being a hinderance. At this point in time, you/the world are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, because you are blinded to reality. You guys don't trust W, fine, but we don't trust you, and after reading the crap you've been fed for at least a couple of decades if not more, why should we? Do you honestly think the world would be better off under Islam or the Chicoms? Cos those are the only other options, you've had your time. You had better start seriously considering the options, cos there aren't many. They have told you too many times to count they intend to kill you. Yet we're the problem. They take US out, you guys are the fish in the barrel, an easy mark. Spain already showed them they got you pegged. You think that document unearthed by the Norweigans was fake?

As Porphyrogenitus once blogged, "When my grandchildren come to me and ask why, it'll be easier to explain why we did it than why we didn't when we had the chance."

Ray and David,
We found it funny! Please go on with your great work.
Gabi and N. Hale

But still I have to see a major US publication depicting Schröder as an idiot, a megalomaniac, a shoot-first-ask-questions-later-cowboy. Go browse this weblog for examples of that manner exposed by German news outlets towards the Bush administration. Do you really think there's equal prejudice and ridiculing on both sides of the Atlantic? I'm not talking about freerepublic.com here, or about private town hall meetings. German anti-Americanism has gone large-scale, and it's hurting German-American relationships for years to come.

BINGO. That is the fundamental difference. Thank you for the excellent comment.

@Thomas

Great post, I wish I had wrote it :-) We live in Germany and in this forum we try to deal mainly with the situation in Germany. How does that saying go: 'erst vor der eigenen Haustür kehren'. The problem is that when the pile of dirt in front of their house door is too big, Germans(and not only them) choose to ignore their self-created pile and point to another pile, which they PERCEIVE to be bigger. That's the most distructive way to deal with problems. Or is it called 'constructive criticism' ?

The situation here is also for me worrisome. It is a shock to see how the MAJORITY of German people get so excited when they talk about the evil coming from the US that they loose ANY sense of rationality. I repeat, the MAJORITY of them. The differences among people within this majority is alone in the degree of intensity to which they get worked up.

I am wondering if the people who are offended by this photo are just as offended by the 'Bush=Hitler' signs of 'intelligence' seen all over the world. I'm not asking if they agree with them, because some of them may not. I am wondering if they get just as mad when they see those 'peace' signs ??

Why do I have the gut feeling that 'wisdom pearls' like 'Bush=Hitler', 'Israel=Nazi' etc doesn't get them too excited ?

@Thomas

While I appreciate your thoughtful reply, the only one to take serious for me would be Däubler-Gmelin, whose outburst I found troubling as well. Sloterdijk and Grass are artists like Sontag (is she Anti-American?) in their comfy ivory tower.

Your main argument of Bülow is interesting, because the same allegedly "anti-American" media here tore into him and his other conspiracy buddies like rarely before. Whacky German conspiracy theorists believe now that German mass media is in the hands of pro-American-reasoning and thus the reason why the media "ripped them a new one", as an English phrase goes.

And the apparent "crown-witness" Spiegel brutalized Kohl for years just the same as Bush - in fact, only two years after he became Chancellor, they began with covers like "Kohl - the end" and alike. He continued to ignore Spiegel and to reign for another 14 years. If you take Spiegel-covers too serious, you are just not doing yourself a favour. But perhaps it plays into one's own arguments? (Voices in papers like FAZ or SZ are more worthy to pay attention to IMO)

I frankly find it still all exaggarated and see stereotypes spouted all over the world. (I lived less than half of my life in Germany, btw)

@Aidan

I find your statement that Anti-Americanism is Ersatz-anti-semitism highly problematic and let me tell you why:

Anti-Semitism is based on the vicious lie that "the Jews dominate the world". By placing criticism against the US on the same ticket, one begins to blur issues, because the US - unlike the vicious stereotype against Jews - does dominate the world at the moment. One only needs to look at economy, military spending, number of military bases, number of military conflicts (main reason for deciding two world wars), etc.

So I find it rather cheap and problematic to be placing anti-semitism and "anti-Americanism" in the same boat - lying stereotypes about Jews and the factual momentary status of the US-administration in the world can NOT be compared and I find it a bit offensive against those who suffered from anti-Semitism.

If you happen to be the most influential country on the planet, you will have to live with considerably more amount of criticism than any other nation. Like Schröder whines right now as well for the wrong reasons about "evil German media" - if you are the most influential politician in Germany, you must live with bashings.

@Sandy

Don't argue that it is a choice between blind faith towards George or siding with Islamists.

George made some serious mistakes on Iraq and he's critizised because the West holds the US-administration to much higher standards than criminal terrorists. Terrorists don't need many words, they are criminals and end of story.

For the same reasons a John Kerry or Ralph Nader or many other Americans critizise Bush more than others - not because they want the Sharia or roll over to Osama, but because they hold George as the leader of the Western world to higher principles.

Sandy,

>typical, damned if we do, damned if we don't. This is what happens when *the world and US citizens* want us to mind our own business.

I see your point. Btw. when I'm criticising Mr. Bush pretty often for the way he presented his point (not for starting the war itself), you shouldn't assume that I think Schröder did any better. My point is the BOTH of them (and Chirac) have a good share in the tensions, where there shouldn't be tensions and some here tend to blame it on one side only.
Also, when I citicise that some people tend to put it like all Iraqis are happy now, all I mean is: "Hey this IS not the full picture of the current situation." I appreceate the efforts and I recognise the massive improvements, though we should be REALISTIC when we describe the current situation.

To those who clame all this old Europe=Chamberlain is jokes:
statements like "It IS the "hellful" comparisons that are right on and accurate and FULLY correlational to the current german/french axis of imbecilic behavior." do not sound like jokes to me. It is MEANT like its said, just like those idiots in Germany with their Bush=Hitler or even worse Bush=Monkey satements mean it. And it's both not only far from reality (repeating again, though it starts getting boring: having troops in Afghanistan, supporting placement of troops at Iraqs border, supporting a no fly zone in the north and the south, having inspecors checking every detail of WMD, threatening with war if there are no improvements in cooperation cannot be compared to giving Hitler part of an independent country in his hand in the hope he'd stay quiet), but it is insulting and causing tensions, where we definitely don't need them. The only ones who benefits from such propaganda from BOTH sides are indeed the terrorists. And you shouldn't assume the left wing people I meet here in the pubs are getting away unattacked, when they start talking.

Compare the reports about Kosovo to the reports about Iraq. Then you see where the difference are. In Kosovo there is still a kind of war after 5 years later. The same journalists who report about this failure and these difficulties there, write all these unfair reports about Iraq. The journalists in Germany are highly responsible for this high rate of hatred towards Bush and his adminstration. No matter what Bush did or does, it is always wrong, there is no understanding for his politics. The journalists helped to divide the Western world. I am afraid they don't realize their high responsibility for this dangerous developmant.

This morning the moderator in Morgenmagazin told us, that the USA punished Germany for her attitude in the Iraqi conflict, that the USA will withdraw about 60 % of the soldiers in Germany. He mentioned that the USA pretends to have a reason to do so. What a silly person! These moderators in Morgenmagazin are too stupid to understand world politics. Does this man really believe, Bush or Rumsfeld act like children? It is so frightening to listen to all these silly people here in German TV and radio and media.

Headline heute im Tagesspiegel (Druckausgabe):


"Alles Lüge?
Zweieinhalb Jahre nach den Terroranschlägen auf die USA holen die Geschehnisse Bush wieder ein. Sein ehemaliger Berater Clarke macht ihm schwere Vorwürfe. Und die Liste der Fehler – und vielleicht auch Lügen – wird immer länger."


Why this headline? So Clarke is right? Clarke does not lie, he it another truth-teller? I am disappointed of the quality of the German media.

The ONLY positive reports about the US that I've seen lately on German TV are the documentaries about nature and animals. This is not a joke ! (Of course, I don't pretend I've seen ALL the reports about the US). The rest that I've seen were just plain propaganda.

Probably most of those nature documentaries were made before 911. The ones made after that would most likely blame Bush for ... I don't know, pretty much everything what might be wrong with nature. (Well, hasn't he chosen to ignore the 'undisputable' scientifical truths on which the Kyoto protocol is based ?)

In my case, when I get literally sick of some of the incredibly biased reportings on the US, I just find consolation in the fact that German TV is much better than French TV. I would say that ALL talk shows that I started to watch on French TV were just an Europeanized version of Al-Jazeera (same talk without the mouth-foaming). Al-Jazeera wrapped in shiny paper for the European, sophisticated consumption. So, German TV, REJOICE !! You could teach French TV a few things about objectivity.

Some people are optimistic about the fact that, even against their will the Europeans will start to realize that the US are their only REAL friend. I am more of a very long term optimistic. I think that it's gonna get much worse before it's gonna get any better. (Nothing would make me happier than to admit that I was waaay wrong)

@gabi

"Alles Lüge?" was for an early rotation-issue?

The print-version on their website lists "Hand aufs Herz" as headline.

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/thema-des-tages/index.asp?gotos=http://archiv.tagesspiegel.de/toolbox-neu.php?ran=on&url=http://archiv.tagesspiegel.de/archiv/26.03.2004/1042813.asp

@WhatDoIKnow
The ONLY positive reports about the US that I've seen lately on German TV are the documentaries about nature and animals. This is not a joke ! (Of course, I don't pretend I've seen ALL the reports about the US).

Go watch German N24-newschannel. It's owned by an American (as Sat1, Kabel1 and Pro7 are - illegal in the US to have major networks owned by foreigners) and they frequently show documentaries about military topics, always greatly praising US-military as being the most patriotic and best and all that...(originally from US-Discovery-channel).

I would say that ALL talk shows that I started to watch on French TV were just an Europeanized version of Al-Jazeera (same talk without the mouth-foaming).

I once saw Richard Perle being grilled in a French talkshow, after the invasion of Iraq had begun. He did actually quite well and didn't shy away even from hardball questions - was quite good to watch.

@FKANB

If I remember correctly N24 started 1999. Since then I lived all over Germany, from the North Sea to middle Germany and down to the southern border. I was NEVER able to get N24 on TV, even though I always had cable TV. Only one month ago, when I moved again, did I get N24 on satellite.

When I wrote about documentaries on German TV I meant the channels that reach 100% (or maybe 99.9%) of the Germans (ARD,ZDF,WDR,NDR...). I don't think N24 can keep up with that. Also, as you know, Sat1, Kabel1, Pro7 don't really show documentaries.

That was a nice try on your side to somehow contradict my previous post ;-) Sorry, but what I said remains true, not because _I_ said it but because it simply reflects the reality.

You said it yourself : you saw Richard Perle 'ONCE' on French TV. I guess even the French keep their Al-Jazeera dogs away when they have Perle. Believe me, you have more chances to get rich finding Californian gold than turning on French TV and seeing Perle there.

Oh, I know. Only wanted to point you to some channels where you can find at least some comfort once in a while. ;-)

And also to note that we do allow the sale of an important TV-chain to an American - Americans keep a tighter control on their TV-ownerships and ban foreigners from gaining a majority on their US-networks.

I haven't watched German news for a while - gotta go check sometimes if N24 or Sat1 report more "pro-American" due to their US-ownership.

I must say that about two weeks ago I saw on N24 a documentary about aircraft carriers. Since the Americans have the most aircraft carriers (and the largest ones) a big part of the whole thing concentrated on American aircraft carriers.

The whole thing was 100% neutral, no politics at all, just simple facts about carriers and life on a carrier !! Highly surreal experience ...

I was totally shocked: I was missing the German 'balanced view' ! Nothing weird, not one single criticism. (I don't know how you could criticize carriers, maybe because they used the wrong paint color. Anyway, I'm sure that the spin masters from the national TV ARD would have found something that Bush or the US did wrong on the carrier)

Nowadays if you watch on TV something in which the US are not criticized (and also not praised) it feels like they support the US. Very weird times...

--George made some serious mistakes on Iraq and he's critizised because the West holds the US-administration to much higher standards than criminal terrorists. Terrorists don't need many words, they are criminals and end of story.--

Oh, YIPPEE! Another one who thinks police work is the way to solve this.

The police are there to preserve history - reactive. The military is there to be proactive.

--For the same reasons a John Kerry or Ralph Nader or many other Americans critizise Bush more than others - not because they want the Sharia or roll over to Osama, but because they hold George as the leader of the Western world to higher principles.--

Bullhockey - it's a police matter to Kerry and terrorism is overrated. He said it. EOS

Someone has told you on more than one occasion he intends to kill you.

What do you do????

As for not rolling over, words ain't matching the deeds.

I've been watching "the West" for 2 decades now. A lot of Americans have got "the West's" number. Everything we do/don't do is critisized. Our interest rates too high, too low, don't spend enough, spend too much.

--having troops in Afghanistan, supporting placement of troops at Iraqs border, supporting a no fly zone in the north and the south,--

Who provided the bulk? Who did the heavy lifting???

The Germans know what they have to do to get competitive, but they can't do that because it's an American business practice - and that was 20 years ago in the business section of the paper.

BTW, it's not W's policy, a lot of Americans knew what had to be done and what we might have to do. What are you willing to give up to get along before you say enough's enough?

Or is it "better red than dead?"

The problem is its history precedes it. And some of us had hoped Europe had learned.

That is why, on a previous thread, there was a discussion about being asked to help.

Should we have waited to ask to go back in to Kosovo? Or did Europe learn from last time? From over across the pond, doesn't look like they learned anything, including about the UN and it's failures.

>Who provided the bulk? Who did the heavy lifting???

The US and the UK. FULL STOP. I did not claim our politicians did enough. All I said was: comparing them to the appeasement politicians of the early 30s is simply wrong. That's what this page started with, that's what I didn't accept. It takes a strong determination to distort (or at least ignore) reality to call the inital comparison on this page right. It puts people who do it at the same level with those "they did it all for oil" fools, just on the other side.

There are so many comments I seem to find myself unable to keep up. It also seems that I tend to focus on the topics that seem to be of little general interest (LOL).

I do have a question to the comment that was posted . . . ." We all want the same, only sometimes greatly differ on how to get there.. . . "

Actually there are two questions. 1) Just what do we want. I would ask I guess what does each side want. 2) How do the two sides differ on how to get there"

I would enjoy reading various perspectives on each of these questions.

Thanks!

I will give Gerhard points for his stance on Spain.

The man gets it. I don't know if it's because he doesn't have a chance in hell to get elected dog catcher in the future and now feels free to go against the frogs or just let it all hang out, I don't care.

He's starting to get it, and some lefties are starting to get it. Didn't take 2700 people, only took 190.

If he's going to be excoriated by everyone, then there comes a point when one lets it all hang out.

He's got nothing left to lose, should start telling the German people some hard truths.

When you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't, your choice is what your conscience allows you to live with. We've all had to make some of those decisions in business and life. You do what's right even when everyone else thinks it's wrong.

I found the below report to be very interesting. I am not sure if this was a news report, part of a new report or program or just an opinion piece. No matter what it was it was at worse totally wrong and anti American and at its best just wrong.


“This morning the moderator in Morgenmagazin told us, that the USA punished Germany for her attitude in the Iraqi conflict, that the USA will withdraw about 60 % of the soldiers in Germany. He mentioned that the USA pretends to have a reason to do so. What a silly person! These moderators in Morgenmagazin are too stupid to understand world politics. Does this man really believe, Bush or Rumsfeld act like children? It is so frightening to listen to all these silly people here in German TV and radio and media.”


The only fact contained in the piece is that the US is considering withdrawing some number of troops from Germany. This is not news. It is not news to the German government. What might be a bit of a surprise is the numbers have gone up since the initial proposal was first discussed between the two governments.

A short bit of background on this reduction is it represents the strategic deployment of US forces overseas. The operative word in that sentence is strategic. It is something that I do not think a lot of Germans understand, as Germans do not think in these terms. Prior to the first Gulf War the US had 18 active army divisions with supporting units. After this war the army was on schedule to be reduced to 12 active divisions with a greater reduction in supporting units. Still more supporting units and their missions were transferred to the reserve components. The Clinton Administration reduced the active army by another 2 divisions and took more supporting units out of the force structure. This is the US Army of today.

There is a need to do more with less. There is an equally great need to have this smaller force able to deploy to likely areas of operation as quickly as possible. Large numbers of personnel stationed in Germany support neither of these requirements.

With any sort of even limited research the above would easily have been discovered.

So reading the comment all I can assess is that it was meant to be anti American. Even if that was not the primary intent, I am sure some listeners took it to be.

This is an example of the slow dripping anti Americanism which seems to infect the German media. The story reported is not at all about facts, but it all about motives. In this case the motive to punish Germany for it lack of support of the US lead war in Iraq.

Normally when you punish someone you tell them what you are doing and why so they will get the point and there is no misunderstanding. I truly believe if this was to punish the Germany government, the announcement would have said something like.

Today the US Department of Defense announced the future reduction of the size of US forces stationed in Germany. This reduction is a direct result of Germany’s failure to support the US lead war in Iraq. The economic impact to Germany will be in excess of 3.5 billion euros annually. A spokesman for the administration, speaking on background, stated that should Germany continue in what the US considers behavior inconsistent with that of a strong ally other reductions could follow as well as limiting German participation in future military cooperation. The spokesman also said that the redeployment of US forces happened to fit into a worldwide plan to address current and future threats to US strategic interests. The spokesman stated that the US Congress had been informed prior to the public announcment. Congressional leaders seem pleased as this will some what reduce the painful process of pending base clousres in the US.

A spokesman for the government of South Korea was quick to point out that while US/Korean relationships started at a less than agreeable level when the new Korean government took office, today Korea fully supports the US lead war on terror and has committed troops to support the creation of a democratic Iraq. While Korea expects to see some realignment of US forces currently stationed in our country, we have been assured it will not be of the magnitude of the reductions in Germany

Of course, with the exception of the part about South Korea, this is what the moderator of Morgenmagazin said.


We've been reducing troops there for what, 10 years now?

(I posted the original article on Rantburg recently.)

So, they bitch because we're there, and they bitch because we're leaving. (And yet Germany is also reviewing it's armed forces needs.)

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. (And some wonder why they're not listened to.)

Anyone who's been following this for the past, say, at least 2 years knows what's going on. Rummy went in to prepare our forces for the 21st century, not the 20th.

Geez, one of the German cities is asking us not to leave.

Via LGF, now it gets interesting, remember the Saudis, but ours are treasuries:

The camel’s nose pokes a bit further into the European tent: Islamic Bonds Provide Debt Relief for German State. (Hat tip: Allah.)

In order to help get its debt under control, state leaders are expected to issue Europe’s first Islamic bond within the next few months. Should they succeed, Saxony-Anhalt will be among the increasing number of Western borrowers looking to cash-rich Muslim investors as a source of funds.

Islamic bonds differ from regular bonds in that they pay no direct interest, which is forbidden under Sharia law. Instead, they make regular payments based on profits from approved investments. ...

Before the Islamic bonds can go on the market, a “Sharia-board” — a group of Islamic experts — has to check if the investment opportunity is in accordance with Islamic law. Not only does it forbid interest payments, it also bars financial links to industries involving alcohol, gambling, pornography, weapons or pork.

---

And if you do something the bondholders don't like????

This is the address of the Auswaertigeamt's english public relations website: twig2@germany-info.org. Back in November, they ran giant ads obviously addressed to U.S. decision makers on why Germany is such an excellent host nation. Too bad this ad can not be brought up from archives.

I cited this site to skeptical German friends that Schroeder and Fischer were kissing U.S. butt to have the GIs stay in Germany. None of my German friends believed that the U.S. military presense is an economic necessity, especially for some areas.

It is funny that the German media is now saying that we are leaving out of spite.

Das ist wirklich Schade!

>He's starting to get it, and some lefties are starting to get it.

Don't expect too much from Schröder. That bloke has changed his mind quite often. May be I'm a bit pre-occupied, but I cannot imagine that someone who's married for the 4th time can master difficult situations if an easy way out seems to show up.

George I would really like to see the explanation you gave your German friends.
How can the presence of 70000 soldiers be an economic necessity for a people that is more than 1000times as big?
Surely no reason for any German politician to kiss some "American butts"...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28