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when is the grman media going to distinguish between torture and abuse?

even abc, nbc, cnn et al never use the word torture to describe abu graib, simply because it wasnt torture. it was abuse.

@ biasedspon

Isn't the word "torture" associated with trying to achieve something, i.e. extract a confession etc.

Abu Ghraib did not involve torture, much rather abuse.

@ biasedspon

Isn't the word "torture" associated with trying to achieve something, i.e. extract a confession etc.

Abu Ghraib did not involve torture, much rather abuse.

Typical agit-prop from Spiegel...Goebbels would have been proud.

Once again, they need to help Schroeder deflect attention away from their failing economy and increasing dichotomy between the old east and west Germany.

I expect they'll be using those photos (to demonize America) for years to come. How else can they rehabilitate Hitler (and thereby their own history) without demonizing someone else?

This dynamic in modern day Germany would make a great study on mass psychology.


Don't you mean mass pathology?

Try as they might, but SPIEGEL just can't seem to make Abu Ghraib the greatest issue in human history. Nobody is going to buy the comparisons between Abu Ghraib and what the Soviets and Nazis did as what SPIEGEL seems to be implying, there just is no possible comparison. And it must come as a horror to SPIEGEL that pretty much nobody cares about Abu Ghraid, it's old news. The fact that SPIEGEL obsessively tries regurgitating it is telling.

"Why is it that the war against terror, called into being by President George W. Bush, is conducted at the front lines with brutal methods similar to those used by the opponents?"

Every part of that sentence is totally ridiculous. Similar methods? Whatever you say. By the way, I bet this guy hasn't had a bad thing to say about the "opponents" and their methods.

Yup - we used similar methods to Saddam. In Saddam's Abu Ghraib, prisoners were eaten by dogs as a matter of state policy. In the US-run version, a breakdown in the chain of command and poorly-trained guards resulted in dogs being used to frighten prisoners. Dogs, prisoners, and Abu Ghraib were involved in both situations, therefore they are identical, right?

Bonus points for those playing at home: how were these different?

Zur dunklen Welt der Folter gibt es gerade eine kleine aber aktuelle Geschichte aus dem islamischen Land, in dem die Welt noch in Ordnung ist.


Just checked the online dictionary for the difference between "abuse" and "torture"

1.To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: abuse alcohol; abuse a privilege.
2.To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use.
3.To force sexual activity on; rape or molest.
4.To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile.
5.Obsolete. To deceive or trick.

1.Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
2,An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.
3. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture of waiting in suspense.
4.Something causing severe pain or anguish.

Looking at the above definition, torture is obviously the wrong noun for the mistreatment of those prisoners in most cases that we know of so far. Hence I concur with "biasedspon" on this assesment. It was appearantly mostly "abuse" under 2. of the definition. I guess that the difference between "Folter" and "Missbrauch" in German language having other conotations makes it difficult to see the difference in English.

What makes me angry is that we still get confronted with pics from the prison at every possible and impossible situation, but pics from killed and tortured hostages are in the best case only news of the day, mostly however "to cruel to show"..........

I can only recommend to check out "drink this" blog every now and again. TallGlassofMilk has a permanent and updated lists on all the hostages and the atrocities commited to them. Some of the pics and footage is quite grafic, so beware if you have a soft stomache.


Actually this is not as bad as one might think.

If SPIEGEL" is popular and people really do read this and this line is picked up by the rest of the media, then what else are the Germans not reading, paying attention too, or discussing?

One of the things I am sure this article is and that is a distraction. It is a distraction from the declining standard of living in Germany, the lack of investment, the continuing unemployment, the under performance of their education system, the brain drain, increasing debt. This list grows longer each year.

Because as Arnold would say “the girly men” who lead Germany are not willing to risk the change which is required to correct this. They and many Germans labor under the delusion of the social welfare state and the concept of social justice,

Of course, should President Bush win in November, this will give the elites who are leading Germany down a road of despair even more time to hide their failures. Before the Germans realize what is happening to them in their insulated little world, they will have a standard of living of less than Spain.

Like all hangovers, the cure is going to be painful. They will doom a generation to more pain.

Of course, this will some how be America’s fault. So one can expect even less support and more anger from Germany. This will only make Americans more indifferent.

"mit Schmäh und Schmuh und Emotion", schreibt Marc Pitzke heute im Spiegel-online über Schwarzennegger. Die richtigen Worte für die journalistische Leistung des Herrn Pitzke und viele viele andere in Deutschland. Argumente hat man schon lange nicht, da helfen nur noch Appelle an die dunklen Gefühle der Deutschen.

Propaganda pur und niemand merkt es, und niemand will es gewesen sein, und niemand hat mitgemacht, und niemand ist verantwortlich.

I thought I could not be amazed anymore by the anti-American bias of the European media, yet this Spiegel-article is unbelievable in its outrageousness. Seems as if Der Spiegel and its French counterpart Libération are competing in stupidity. I am beginning to resent the French-German leadership of the European Union. Where will this lead to? I hope sensible Germans will not buy this disgusting type of journalism.
I have an unpleasant recollection: long ago -during the Vietnam-period- I took Der Spiegel quite seriously as a source of unbiased information and sound opinion, just as the French journal Le Monde. But I guess now that it was not really very much better at the time. So probably young people, who are not more intelligent than I, will still take outrageous articles in Der Spiegel, such as the one cited here, damned seriously.
Hector, I endorse your view: agitprop, Goebbels would have been proud. The horror, the horror, the horror!

Please do not let this turn into anti-Germanism.

because :

The LEFT are to blame generally for the present state of mind, the econonmic situation etc. 35 years of obstructionist effort and takeover of media by the Left combined with the inability (due to historic past) of the conservative/right sector to gain influence is what has produced this situation.

The Left have the the moral high ground by default.
The conservative/right have the low ground because they allow themselves to be shouted down.

Ah....the high ground.

Hopefully, this will sustain the German people in the 21st Century.

Actually I think this is pretty hilarious. Ensnared by dark forces, yep, that's us! Much of the U.S. media is just as ludicris. The New York Times called for the elimination of the Electoral College the other day and in today's edition struggled to explain why the French hostage situation proves the world has nothing to fear from Muslims. I don't know what they're smoking but I want some.

So, no, Wolfgang, this is certainly not grounds for anti-Germanism. But it is a good jumping off point to discuss the Left's (German and U.S.) deep disaccociation from reality and to speculate at what point that disassociation becomes barking lunacy that even they cannot deny.

I got an email from someone who posts here. She said a Mannheim newspaper's website was carrying posts from Germans to the effect that the U.S. has concentration camps for children. I guess no Americans are aware of such a thing because the Bushitler administration is a) in bed with corporate media or b)stifling American media with the Gestapo tactics of John Ashcroft's Justice Department. Pick your poison. Actually, don't forget your meds.

" the lack of investment, the continuing unemployment, the under performance of their education system, the brain drain, increasing debt. This list grows longer each year."

Joe - for a second I thought you were speaking about Ohio.


"Please, don't let this turn into anti-Germanism"
Yes, because generalized hatred towards a nation or a people is always wrong in principle. Even...
BTW, anti-Germanism was for a long time a familiar phenomenon throughout Europe. It is not unlikely that the more Germany becomes transformed into a nation of appeaseniks par excellence, the more anti-Germanism will dissappear in the neighbouring countries. Aren't the French and the Germans becoming closer and closer?

I just read today what the late Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Sica said - "moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, forty-eight percent indignation and fifty percent envy."

I don't know what he was talking about, but I know that it describes perfectly the situation in Europe today. Don't be fooled, Spiegel's propaganda draws a lot of attention but by no means are they the only ones in Germany who resort to this type of "journalism". Other German media outlets may not be so openly vicious, but the difference between Spiegel and them is only in the degree to which they demonize the US.

I don't know how much the ordinary German can be blamed. In German journalism not a very wide political spectrum is represented. The daily diet consists of news that start at a Democratic Undergound level and stops at NY Times level. There is nothing beyond a NY Times level. Only emptiness... I guess a TV channel like Fox News or radio stations like in the US wouldn't be very popular in Germany. (At least not in the beginning). Not because Germans are too stupid for that, but simply because those things would be so alien, so strange, so... different. And yet, it is Germans (and Europeans) who are so convinced and so proud of their open-mindedness. It's such an eerie feeling living in the European version of reality.

Let's see if the German media picks this up.

"Some of the prisoners had eyes and ears drilled out and others had their limbs and heads cut off. Some males had genitals cut off and shoved in their mouths. There was evidence of rape to men, women and children," according to the report.

"Al Sadr Linked to Mass Murders"

Not. Holding. Breath.

Niko, 'schwermacht'?


Well if our "true allies" france and Germany were performing as poorly as you believe Ohio is they would be in the streets having a party. The SPD would have a clear majority and Gerhart would be Chancelor for the next 15 years or until he died.

I suggest you make a comparison "jo" to where you are and from where you were. As I said, I am sure Berlin would welcome you with open arms should you decide to return to the land of social justice.


To insure you understand my position, I am not anti German. That takes far too much emotion, which I find not be worth the effort.

My attitude is one which ranges from pity to indifference.

@Niko: Sie überraschen mich immer wieder mit Ihren "Fundstücken" und jedes Mal bin ich sprachlos....

Judging by the BBC world service, it is true - the European left HAS just discovered Ohio. They then counterpoint with California. It's just silly.

They have their 'Newcastles', we have our Ohios. The smart people look at their own individual skills and talents and adapt by either going into business for themselves, try another profession, or move.

Either that of they keep wondering why all is not well in Youngstown which spent most of it's history at the hands of either the mafia or the most extreme and pyromaniacal part of the Union movement.

Joe N. - that knowledge of Youngstown would require research the place. Too much work.

Are there any East Germans here? Do your views differ from West Germans?

Niko, thanks. The definitions I found for 'schwer' were too numerous to be helpful.

Well, I've never lived in Ohio, but have relatives there, and since it's fairly close, and have heard of newspapers, I can tell you that my characterization of Youngstown isn't that different than most Ohioans. I have lived in East Germany, but not eastern Germany- so I don't think I can help there, but I can tell you that such an experience makes a latter-day communist American college kid or retiree look mighty naïve to me.

Anti-Germanism? No, just some basic criticism...and why is any criticism of Germany automatically labelled as anti-German?

Sound familiar? ;)

Anti-Germanism? No, just some basic criticism...and why is any criticism of Germany automatically labelled as anti-German?

Sound familiar? ;)

Wie schmeckt ihr eigenen Medizin?


you did not understand.

And don´t get funny and tell me anything about own medicine. I did not begin a tone like that.

Generally :
If the method of this website is to point out nonsense
and baseness in German media, that´s fine.
If it is : " You sh%t on us, we sh%t on you " then , while it may have some effect, I think the former method is more effective.

Hi mr. (or mrs) WhatDoIKnow,
You said, concerning the German media:
"The daily diet consists of news that starts at a Democratic Underground level and stops at NY Times level".
I am afraid the same can be said about the daily newspapers and television in Holland, with which I am, as a Dutch citizen, more familiar. For instance, about the Swift Boat Veterans: total silence. Well educated people who are confident that their high quality newspaper is a reliable and impartial source of information never heard that Kerry's allegedly heroic past as a Vietnam-veteran perhaps might be questionable.
"It is such an eery feeling living in the European version of reality."
You said this probably because you used to live in the US. But believe me, it is an eery feeling for some Europeans as well. For some Europeans have become more and more suspicious about their own media and occasionally have a look at the US media (which has become very easy through the various online editions on the internet) and immediately notice the amazing differences.

You wrote:
"35 years of obstructionist effort and takeover of the media by the Left, combined with the inability of the conservative/right sector to gain influence is what has produced this situation."
Seems plausible to me. But how do you explain the review of Spielberg's latest flick in the FAZ, cited above by Niko (remark the fat print), given the fact that the FAZ is allegedly a conservative newspaper? Is this because, as you put it,"the Left has the moral high ground by default and the conservative/right have the low ground because they allow themselves to be shouted down"? I think, if the FAZ-journalist belongs to the conservative/right sector (or does he not?), he deserves to be shouted down.

@ Kees Rudolf,


I know nothing about Spielbergs movie, so I can´t say.
But :
yes, I have heard weird things from Conservatives. Stuff you would not have heard from them 20 - 30 years ago. They simply are being influenced also and are " by nature " not necessarily all (or purely) pro/neutral-American. Partly they are jumping on the anti - bandwagon now that it is en vogue and they must fear NO criticism by the Left ( as was the case
earlier ) .

Consider that the center has moved.

When you consider this, then the right now is much closer to where the left use to be. The left has moved even more to the left....

Of course those on the hard left will continue to push in this direction. Because there has already been such a leftward shift, their position is much more acceptable than the extreme right.

This will continue to move the center to the left. As there is really little space in German public opinion to think outside of group think, this will continue until such time there is a huge shock to the nation.

But relative to each other there is a left and a right.

Fair enough but I lived in your country long enough to be choked with a nonstop diet of besserwisserei from the Germans. My statements were directed at those on this board who enjoy demonizing my country. If it touched a nerve with you, perhaps there was a reason...

I agree that we should be talking about the German left and its crony media but I have heard nothing but dehumanizing messages from most of Germany since 2002. Thankfully, people like David are fighting against such thoughtless demogogery.

"Besserwisserei". Nice German word, but I don't think that what it denotes is something specifically German. It characterizes the behaviour of many leftist people who are convinced of their own moral superiority. You see this kind of people all over the world, including in the US itself.BTW, Hector, perhaps you should be glad you didn't live in France. Don't underestimate the Besserwisserei from the French intellectuals!

I actually moved to France and have found the anti-American vitriol to be less prevalent than in Germany. The besserwiss is an ever-present dynamic in conversations with German lefties who believe that somehow they are genetically superior to any American. Try being an American in your country and you'll see what I mean.

Trying to be an American would be rather difficult for me, as I am Dutch. I visit France and Germany only occasionally and mostly for holiday purposes. In both countries I frequently met really very nice and open-minded people, though more frequently in Germany than in France. Of course I dare not present my own individual experiences as a sort of scientific evidence for supposed differences between European people of different nationality in general. But I regularly glance through both the French and the German newspapers and weekly magazines. I assure you, the anti-American vitriol in French journalism is not much less than it is in German journalism. And on the whole Dutch journalism is only slightly better (as far as America is concerned).
Instead of trying to be an American, I sometimes try to be openly pro-American and make favorable remarks about Bush or about American foreign policy in general. It's not a means to become very popular in my country. Among the Left you will as a rule meet with utter contempt. Fortunately I've got some good friends who are of the same opinion as I am, and to a certain extent it is possible to be good friends without having the same opinions.
I have long abandoned the very idea that one's nation can be something to be either proud or ashamed of. As a corollary, I detest anti-Americanism, but likewise I detest anti-Germanism or anti-Frenchism. Yet, after 9/11 especially, if I happen to meet American people in Holland, I feel sometimes the inclination to apologize for the stupidity of many of my fellow-countrymen. Small consolation that there are quite a few stupid (leftist) Americans too, competing in anti-American demagoguery.

Then you are the among the rarest of people in modern Europe: someone who is willing to stick for America when others want to hate us. Dank U wel!

To be an expat American in Europe is to feel hate every day. If this keeps up much longer, any semblance of a relationship will be unrecoverable.

I stand by my statements that the French are currently less anti-American than the Germans. There has always been a sort of background noise of anti-Americanism in Paris but not much in the rest of the country. In today's Germany, the left is doing anything possible to make us look like the Nazis of their own history. If they can make us look evil (just like the Nazis), they can indirectly rehabilitate themselves. The French are not trying such mental gymnastics so their vitriol has been less shrill by comparison.

In the end, they do not realize how much of their venom makes it back to people in the States. I just hope Europe never needs us again because I don't think America would want to help.

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