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Hi,
Allow me to change the subject but I do need your help. I am german but live in the US. I also subscribe to the "Mannheimer Morgen", a local rag but it is my home town. The forum in the MM is mostly about america-bashing (surprise, surprise) with me the lonely pro-america voice. I would just love some company. Please contact me if you are interested.

Greetings Virginia!

My suggestion: Bookmark this page and become a member of our community. Hundreds of other people just like you visit us everyday. Before I joined David on this website, I too, felt that I was the "only one". It's not true, there are A LOT of people out there just like us and we are growing in number everyday! We don't have to accept the one-sidedness and bias in the (German) media quietly. That is what this place is for. Make yourself at home, visit us as often as you like, feel free to join in the conversation on the comment sections, you are welcome.

All the best,
Ray D.

Thanks for the invitation. I would love to join but have very litte to contribute because, well the Mannheimer Morgen is not exactly SPON and I simply do not have the time to read all the papers. I also don't hear what is beeing said on TV. But rest assured, If I have something to say, I will. I also voted am ZDF. Again, thanks.

Kerry ist, wie Kagan schon vor wenigen Wochen in einer Kolumne gezeigt hat, ein Isolationist. Wie man es auch dreht oder wendet: Bush tut Europa gut. Die transatlantischen Beziehungen werden sich aber mit an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit kaum bedeutsam verbessern, wenn weiterhin solche hetzerischen Artikel in hiesigen Medien ihr Unwesen treiben:

ANGST VOR NEUEM US-WAHLDEBAKEL

"Sieg um jeden Preis"

Von Marc Pitzke, New York

Schwarze Listen, verunsicherte Wähler, mysteriöse Computerdefekte: Wenige Wochen vor dem Stichtag mehren sich in den USA die Vorzeichen eines neuen Wahldebakels. Schon bringen beide Seiten ihre Anwälte in Stellung, um das Wahlergebnis notfalls anzufechten.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,315527,00.html

Virginia, check your mail.

Downer - Link bitte zur Kagan-Kolumne.
danke im vorraus.
Vic

Hier ist ein Beitrag vom MM, der mich besonders gestoert hat:
"Folterknechte richten keinen wirtschaftlichen Schaden an sondern nur menschlisches Leid. Staatlich sanktionierte Gewaltverbrechen, Konzentrationslager fuer Kinder (what on earth is he talking about?) Verfolgung und Misshandlung Andersdenkender sind nicht erst seit dem Irakkrieg feste Institutionen in Usaland.
Im Zeichen dieses Krieges wurde dieser Schmutz in den Irak exportiert, anstatt ihn davon zu befreien. Mit dem amerikanischem Terrorwahn kommen diese Machenschaften frueher order spaeter auch bei uns an. Das Freundschaftsgetue wird gegenwaertig dem Geld zuliebe gewaltig ueberstrapaziert.
Wer seine Existenz auf das Militaer gruendet wird immer irgenwann von dessen Zerstoerungsauftrag eingeholt".

Your commentary please in german because I would like to post it in the MM.
mfg

@Vic

... auf Deutsch:

Europa wird sich noch wundern

Mit dem Pazifisten John Kerry sind humanitäre Interventionen nicht zu haben
von Robert Kagan

http://www.welt.de/data/2004/08/07/315677.html?search=Kagan&searchHILI=1

Original:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29204-2004Jul30.html


Virginia,

Mein Antwort zum diesem Beitrag ist nur zwei Frage. Glaubt der Schreiber, ob die UNO genug ist, um Deutschland vor den USA beschutzen? Oder braucht Deutschland auf das französische Heer, französische Atemwaffen und M. Chirac zu vertrauen?

Senator Kerry's protectionist attitude toward American markets and jobs would have an even greater impact on the Canadian economy than Germany or the rest of Europe. And most Canadians, of course, have the same nonsensical antipathy toward the current president as many Germans do.

I recently came across an interesting paper addressing David's question, "What really motivates this sentiment...is it all based on logic?" The paper itself is rather long-winded, but makes some interesting points. The "anti-Bush" sentiment is really a veneer: no one like to admit they are a bigot, so they focus unstead on Bush as a more reasonable target. Hating an individual for his actions is far more acceptable than an entire nationality. But the real hatred is directed more at the U.S. as a whole.

The author further speculates (there's no way to prove it) that it is a part of the emergent EU. New indentities are usually forged in opposition to something else (e.g., the classic teenage rebellion). Anti-US sentiment provides both an outlet and a motive for pro-Euro sentiment. It is a great deal easier to dislike the US than tolerate the French. But if the French also dislike the US, then you have something in common with them.

I can dig up the URL of the paper (which primarily likens anti-Americanism with anti-Semitism: much of the above is my own interpretation of the author's speculations), but it would be best to e-mail me: I'm not always terribly punctual at reading my messages on weblogs. The e-mail address listed works. When it gets too full of spam, I toss it and get another one. This one's been good for about eight months with no major problems.

It really doesn't matter. America's future lies on the Pacific Rim. Australia, Japan, Korea and Tiawan are more important to America then "Old Europe". We have shed enough Blood in Europe. All that muss and fuss of the cold war and now Europe is going Communist by Choice! You can vote them in when they call thenselves Socialist, but voting them out doesn't work all that well. Europe has had it's moments of Glory. Now Europe can sit on the porch and learn to enjoy Islam. Return to the 8th century while America leads the rest of the world into the future.

It really doesn't matter. America's future lies on the Pacific Rim. Australia, Japan, Korea and Tiawan are more important to America then "Old Europe". We have shed enough Blood in Europe. All that muss and fuss of the cold war and now Europe is going Communist by Choice! You can vote them in when they call thenselves Socialist, but voting them out doesn't work all that well. Europe has had it's moments of Glory. Now Europe can sit on the porch and learn to enjoy Islam. Return to the 8th century while America leads the rest of the world into the future.

Note from David: I like your postings. But I don't like the alias you chose. Anyone searching for this term at Google will end up on my site.
Also, I don't want others to be encouraged to use porn aliases.

Try something else, please.

>The "anti-Bush" sentiment is really a veneer: no one like to admit they are a bigot, so they focus unstead on Bush as a more reasonable target

I was in Italy during Kosovo. (As an aside, at the time, I was against US involvement, not because Milo was a nice guy, but because I wanted the Europeans to handle it)

Anyway, I saw lots of graffiti saying "Clinton is a war criminal" and lots of anti-US stuff. It is not new. It did not begin on January 20, 2001. In fact, Bush's original foriegn policy was essentially NOT to be interventionist. 9/11 changed that.

I generally agree that anti-US sentiment is nothing new in Europe (nor in the US for that matter), but try convincing a European of the fact. In general, I have found that they deny it vehemently when confronted with it.

I also agree that Europe ought to play a larger role in global affairs. If they had to clean up their own messes, they might make fewer. But someonw has to clean up the mess, Europe generally can't, so it falls to the US to tend to matters. Witness the magnificent situation in Iran. Does anyone honestly expect europe to make a better job of it than the last time around? Their solution lasted what, four months? (I honestly don't recall, BTW, it could have been as many as eight months, or as few as two. For some reason the duration of that settlement has completely slipped my mind.)

Off-Topic:

DER SPIEGEL hat für Montag wieder eine richtig tolle Titelgeschichte gefunden: "Rückkehr in die Barbarei - Die Macht der Folter"

"94
Die Macht der Folter


102
Interview mit US-Oberfeldwebel Ivan Frederick über die Quälereien im Bagdader Gefängnis Abu Ghureib


106
Was drei Häftlinge in Guantanamo erdulden mussten
"

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/inhalt/0,1518,ausg-1618,00.html

Hartz-Reformen und Amerika-Bashing - Wenn es diese beiden Themen nicht gäbe, wüsste in der Redaktion niemand, worüber geschrieben werden sollte. Für mich ist dieses Magazin seit geraumer Zeit untragbar. Ab Januar 2005 soll auch ein SPIEGEL in englischer Sprache erscheinen. Bleibt nur zu hoffen, dass es ein Flopp wird.

Why would you want an English-language SPIEGEL to fail? (Assuming my rudimentary German allowed me to read that correctly.) If it is available in English, then the people they are most insulting can at least read those insults.

I have read it in Cicero 09/04 (www.cicero.de). I can imagine that this A/BBP (America/Bush-Bashing-Publication) made the Transatlantic Relationship more vulnerable.

Of course the "Anybody but Bush" doctrine (we have already discussed somewhere else that it is indeed a religious belief) is not good for Germany. It's not good for anyone. Of course an "Anybody but Kerry" doctrine would be bad as well. There is always the possibility of something worse out there, and if you have such a fanatical view, it is very dangerous. History can easily demonstrate that there are much worse possible leaders. So it's just childish and stupid.

Is Bush the best possible president that the US could have? Of course not (at least I don't think so, and I am going to vote for him). But I believe that John Kerry would be several orders of magnitude worse, at least for the interests of the U.S., and really, that's always my criterion for voting. Not if it would be good for some other country that never manages to ask *my* permission before casting their votes.

As for an English version of Der Spiegal, I'm sure it will be wildly popular. There are a lot of people in *this* country that hate this country and what it stands for, and have an obsession with European opinions about everything. If the Europeans think it, it must be true, after all. They are starved for affection from the Europeans and will do and say anything to try to get their approval. ::yawn:: Whatever.

stehpinkeln wrote: ...Now Europe can sit on the porch and learn to enjoy Islam. Return to the 8th century while America leads the rest of the world into the future.

you don't have the slightest idea about what you are writing. the "rest of the world" will give a bloody shit on america's "leadership". if someone ever searches for reasons for so-called "anti-americanism", just look at phrases like the one quoted above.

As I have remarked before, I truly do not think some in old Europe have really considered just what a Kerry Administration might actually be like in its relations with them. Like many things, which seem to affect the elites and the citizens of nations like Germany and france, they do not seem to be able to get past today. This might explain not only their attitudes about the current election in the United States but more about the conditions within their own nations and their reaction to them.

What is interesting is a few members of some European think tanks have just started to consider this. They have concluded that bottom line not much is going to change in the area of improving trans-Atlantic relations. Yes, the tone and timing might be different but the real policies are not going to change much if at all. Surely not enough to satisfy those who occupy the seats of power in Berlin and paris or in the media centers of these nations or on university campuses.

I agree with their assessment but will go even further. The election of Senator Kerry will cause more damage to this relationship than a second term by President Bush. My reason for making this statement is Americans will see clearly just what is going on in Germany and france. They will see that the protests and the attitude of the elites and the citizens had little to do with the personality of President Bush and more to do about their attitudes toward America. It will be difficult in the US for MSM to hide this from the American people. The American people will be reminded about all the promises a President Kerry made during his campaign about improving ties and gaining greater support for America and her allies in their effort to establish freedom in Iraq.

In other words there will be no place for these people to hide. They will either have to declare their support to the US ‘s efforts and then back those declarations up with positive forceful actions or they can continue to travel the path they have been on for the last 10 years and more importantly the last 3 years. This will all but eliminate the ever-thin line these people have been walking between being anti-Bush and being anti-American.

While this will have little or no impact on either Germany or france, it will have a huge impact on the attitudes of Americans toward these two nations. It will join both the democratic and Republican parties in a somewhat consistent view of Germany and france. What will be interesting is to witness how this plays out in the media, in the Congress and on the streets of fly over country. This change in attitude by the American people will have an impact on the citizens of these two nations.

As many have posted here, the citizens of Germany and france and to a lesser degree other Europeans don’t just get it. Well a Kerry administration will cause the American people to get it. Once we do we tend to get it for a very long time.

So it is very possible some in Europe will get just what they have wanted. I question if they really know just what they are getting.

I agree that the Europeans have built up thier expectations to an unreasonable level. There's a common business philosophy called "expectations management": the surest way to get someone ticked off at you is to promise something you cannot deliver. With every evil in the world being laid at Bush's feet, Kerry is seen as the cure for cancer. He can never manage that.

On another issue, I like the idea of more English language versions of european publications. Certainly they will be very popular with the US left. But they will also provide a great deal more ammunition in making the charge of anti-US sentiment stick. As I mentioned, no one (europeans included) likes to be branded as a prejudiced bigot. Everyone likes to think their opinions are based on rational analysis. Until the europeans (and by that I am obviously referring only to segments of europe) are force to admit a problem, they will remain in denial.

Like alcoholism or any other addiction, the first step is to realize you have a problem. My distinct impression is that many of the most virulent europeans continue to deny they are irrational. You need only to read some of the commentary on this weblog to see that.

Virginia,
The article you read in the Mannheimer Morgen and which you cited above is really outrageous. Unfortunately, stuff of this poor quality can regularly be found in newspapers or in weekly magazines throughout Europe, written by columinists who are paid by these media for there shit on a regular basis.
Niko,
Your comment on this article is really absolutely perfect. What I am curious about is whether people reading the Mannheimer Morgen will ever see your comment printed in this paper. Editors of newspapers and magazines usually reserve one or only half a page for printing readers comments and often are receiving more posted comments than there is room for on that (half) page. Perhaps they refuse to print your comment because they say it is too lengthy. Probably there will be no reaction at all on behalf of the MM-editors and during the weeks to come you will search in vain on the readers comments page for your comment. It would be interesting to know what comments newspapers in general are receiving and what selection eventually appears in print on the readers comments page. I am sure the editors responsible for this page have other selection criteria, apart from linguistic correctness, than only the length of the posted comments. The problem is they never will state openly what these criteria are, and certainly they will never admit that their own political prejudices often play a decisive role.
I am glad to find your comments on this site. For me witty comments like yours make reading this site far more interesting and satisfying than reading newspapers or weekly magazines.Even those labelled "high quality" are mixing selective fact reporting with opinion, have one or more totally stupid columinists writing for them regularly and present mostly a boring selection of readers comments. So thank you very much.

Vor allem die Erfolge der irakischen Fußballmannschaft aber waren es, mit denen der US-Präsident die Richtigkeit seiner Irak-Politik untermauern wollte. "Die Bilder der irakischen Fußballer bei der Olympiade, ist das nicht fantastisch?", frohlockte Bush in Oregon, nachdem sich die Iraker für das Viertelfinale qualifiziert hatten. Das freilich kam gar nicht gut an bei den mesopotamischen Kickern. "Das irakische Team will nicht, dass Herr Bush uns für seine Wahlkampagne benutzt", sagte Torschütze Salih Sadir der US-Fachzeitschrift Sports Illustrated. Sadir stammt aus Nadschaf, das gerade in Schutt und Asche geschossen wird: "Ich möchte, dass die Gewalt und der Krieg aufhören. Wir wollen nicht die Amerikaner in unserem Land haben."

Das sieht auch Mittelfeldspieler Ahmed Manajid so. "Wie wird er (Bush) vor seinen Gott treten, nachdem er so viele Männer und Frauen abgeschlachtet hat? Dieser Mann hat viele Verbrechen begangen", sagte der 22-Jährige aus der Rebellenhochburg Falludscha. Würde er nicht Fußball spielen, hätte er sich auch dem Widerstand angeschlossen, versicherte der Kicker.

http://www.berlinonline.de/berliner-zeitung/politik/369006.html

Salih Sadir said he was angry at Mr Bush's campaign adverts showing pictures of the Afghan and Iraqi flags with the words: "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations - and two fewer terrorist regimes".

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," said the Iraqi player.

"He can find another way to advertise himself."

He called for US troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. "We don't wish for the presence of the Americans in our country. We want them to go away."

Another star player, 22-year-old Ahmed Manajid, asked: "How will [Mr Bush] meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."

'Best people'
Mr Manajid, from Falluja - a hotbed of armed opposition to the US-led occupation in Iraq - said if he was not playing football "for sure" he would be fighting as part of the resistance.

"I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" he asked.

"Everyone [in Falluja] has been labelled a terrorist. These are all lies. Falluja people are some of the best people in Iraq."

The team said they were glad Iraq's former Olympic committee head Uday Hussein - Saddam Hussein's notorious son killed by US forces after the invasion - was no longer in charge.

But coach Adnan Hamad said he was concerned with what the Bush administration was doing in Iraq.

"My problems are not with the American people. They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything," he said.

"The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

http://www.notinourname.net/war/soccer-20aug04.htm

----------------------------------------

Some Iraqi soccers are angry they had been used in Mr Bush's re-election campaign ads. They like it better being used by the Bush-bashers. What do the other Iraqi sportlers say especially those who got tortured under Udai: it wasn't that bad? Gabi

What was brought to our attention from the Mannheimer Morgen by Virginia pales as a specimen of insidious opinion manipulation compared to the seemingly factual reporting of the Berliner Zeitung Gabi is drawing our attention to. The opinion in the Mannheimer Morgen can be dismissed by sufficiently critical minded people as just an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. What the Berliner Zeitung is doing in the manner of fact reporting is far more subtle and infuential on the opinion of its readers.

Gabi,
Of course it is a priori highly improbable that any Iraqi survives Udai's torture and after that becomes a sportler good enough to participate in the Olympic Games. But even more improbable it seems to me that German media like the Berliner Zeitung should have any interest in reporting a potentially Bush-friendly opinion from an Iraqi mouth, should they stumble upon a survivor of Udai's torture. This is not what they are looking for. Such is European journalism.

@Kees Rudolf

The article which I quoted from the MM was actually written by a forum participant and not a journalist. I fully agree with you on Nikos's retort. It is very well written, full of subtle ironies and just witty and it is already posted in the the MM forum. Da habe ich keine Zeit verloren. With the MM you can post immediately. There is no review first even though I think that there should be. Niko can expect some nasty comments, even obscenities. God knows, I would not repeat some of the comments which have been made about my person. Well, I got mad but I also got Niko.

"Was ich auch nicht verstehe - warum gehen die meisten Nobelpreise an Forscher in den USA?"

Diese Frage habe ich vor einigen Tagen in einer Diskussion mit einigen Hochschulabsolventen (gottseidank keine Naturwissenschaftler) gestellt. Die Antwort lautete: "Weil die Amis die Deutungshoheit haben."

Was soll man dazu noch sagen?

Niko,

wahrscheinlich mit amerikanischer Gehirnwäsche, die entweder durch Konsum amerikanischer wissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften, Forschungsaufenthalte in den USA oder den Kontakt mir amerikanischen Gastwissenschaftlern ausgelöst wurde ;)

If Germans are 'nearly unanimous' in hating President Bush, I would suspect that your media is seriously biased.

In contrast, Americans are nearly unanimous in not knowing who leads Germany.

A Kerry Presidency would not be a boon to Germany or France. The American reaction to any attempt on his part to 'improve' relations would be "He's a wimp. He's selling out America. He not only looks French, he thinks he is French." In order to retain credibility with the American public - the only public that can give him a second term - Kerry will have to have a much sterner foreign policy than Bush, or he will be branded a nuanced wimp. Bush, having shown that European opinion will not deter him from doing what he thinks needs to be done, will be given credit for any move that falls short of starting a war.

Kerry: Pro-Europe = patsy.
Bush: Pro-Europe = statesman.

Cowboys are much more respected than wimps.

Given the anti-American propaganda in the European press & anti-American behavior of the French & German governments, no liberal politician will be seen doing anything good for them.

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