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This is the beginning of a long and fragile process... It shows the both the desire and courage of the people of Iraq.

It is unfortunate that more free nations were not there to support these brave people.

What wonderful news.

It would have made no difference to me intellectually if turnout had been low: risking death to vote is no light matter. The US has had elections even in the midst of a civil war, and no one has ever said that Lincoln was an illegitimate president because the polls were shut while Sherman's army was stuck in Atlanta and Grant's was stuck outside of Richmond. So the legitimacy argument has always seemed inane to me (though I see the mental midget John Kerry is babbling it.)

But emotionally this is wonderful news. Many Iraqis may dislike Americans and the occupation. Life has not been good, and it is natural (if erroneous) to blame it all on those who wield the military power. But it is absolutely clear that they dislike the Islamist thugs more and have risked death (by the millions) to express their contempt for thuggism.

This means that, with just a bit of luck and a lot of patience and bravery, we shall win, and the world will win with us.

I still find it hilarious that Davids Mediedkritik puts itself on the same level as Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage by using the word "Islamo-fascist."

If you want to call them terrorists, then do so, put by using such ridiculous and meaningless words, you deny the fact that Osama bin Laden has very specific reasons why he is attacking us by using such vague and ridiculou terms. While religious fanatacism is similar to fascism, it's not the same. Go back and check out his full speeches/tapes, not just the media sound bites which never have any substance:

Six US policies bin Laden hates and repeatadly refers to in his video/audio tapes:

-US support for Israel that keeps Palestinians in the Israeli's thrall.
-US and other western troops on the Arabian pnensula
-US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
-US support for Russia, India, China against their muslim militants (Chechnya, Kashmir, Xinjiang)
-US pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low
-US support for apostate, corrupt and tyranical Muslim governments

The Iraqi people freed themselves today with deep courage and human dignity. It was a baprism of blood, as all advances seem to be in that tortured country.

The US did not free Iraq. At most the Coalition gave them the opprtunity to free themselves. But the coalition countries can justly pride ourselves on the honorable part which we have played in this drama of sheer human dignity.

Those who scorned the Iraqis and the Coalition should take a long, hard look at the part they played. Such as the inhabitants, government, and media of 'Old Europe'. They won't, or rather they will rewrite history to cover up their craven behavior. And them repeat it next time.....

@ Jarrod

Liberal hawk Paul Berman uses the term as well. Many others do. And for good reasons.

Have a look at the works of people like Sayyid Qutb who inspire OBL / AQ. Realize that, indeed, they are trying to establish totalitarian rule in the best tradition of fascism - often in almost identical words, e. g. when talking about Jews.

Have a look at OBL's aims that include regaining even Spain and reconstituting the ancient caliphate. And then come back and tell me if you still think that all those talking points that OBL has added to his litany to appeal to naive people like you are REALLY what he is about.

What a great day for the Iraqi people!!!

Mrs. Jane Arraf (CNN): What an extraordinary day!

Mrs. Sandmann (N24): The violence will go on... :-(

Mrs. Sandmann had nothing positive to say. What a poor mind!

Come what may, it's a great moment for the Iraqi people. What a revealing process this is and has been. The Iraqi's themselves and the American military put their lives on the line for this vote and then on the other hand you have the crud of Old Europe, Impotent and self absorbed.

Jarrod,

It is nice that you are part of the blame America first crowd. I know there are many of you in the world. I might suggest you do more research into what the position of Islamo-fascist believe and how they view your freedoms.

Their position toward you is they have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology. Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion,that is against the rule of God.

And to define fascism as a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

And all reports up to today indicate they are in fact people who practice Islam. So far there seem to be on Catholics, Protestants, or Jews who have taken up their cause.

So what would you like to call them? Liberals? Socalists? or just what..

So please continue to view the world as you do, you will be in for a huge surprise at some point. I am equally sure you do not like surprises.

Of course, depending on your race freedom and democracy might have little or no value to you at all. This seems to be the case with the blame America first crowd.

Jarrod,

Osama Bin Laden has no goals, no agenda. What ever he said, whatever he hates, I don't care. I see only a ridiculous person. We should get him and put him in prison.

Go on with your life: The Iraqi people have won already! Look into their happy faces. And don't worry about a clown called OBL.

@ the last poster. Why do you even waste your time to post. Have you read anything bin Laden has ever said? The list I posted was a translation from them. He does have specific goals and reasons why he's fighting us. Do your homework.

Yes, Osama Bin Laden has very specific goals. They ones you listed aren't his goals though but his excuses to fool people like you. His specific goal is to kill as many "non-believers" (including you!) as possible and spread terror through the world.

@ Joe

I invite you to take some sort of essay writing course or analytical writing course. Because I list reasons that Osama bin Laden has listed how am I in the blame America first crowd? If you posted a list of goals that lets say Hitler had, does that make you a Nazi?

And all reports up to today indicate they are in fact people who practice Islam

What reports? And are you actually suggesting all Muslims are fascist? And where are you getting your definition from?

"The word fascism has come to mean any system of government resembling Mussolini's, that
exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual,
uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition,
engages in severe economic and social regimentation.
engages in corporatism,
(WikiPedia

or read Meriam-Webster.

Remember I said it was similar? Because it is, but fascism is not religious fanatacism.

Jarrod

Your readings are incomplete Of course, I would not expect you to post anything which disagreed with your own position...

So I think you should really continue to believe what you do. Do not allow any light of knowledge find shelter in your mind. It was cause a serious overload for you...

@ Arik

So, I assume you're an expert in Islamic Studies, speak Arabic and have extensively studied Osama in order to be able to say with any credibility that those six very specific reasons are just to fool me. Care to offer any proof at all?

Is it not possible those are the reasons which lead him to want to kill infidels?

@ Joe

What readings are you refering to and how are they incomplete? What have I missed? If you think I've missed something important than say so. You're last post contains no argument whatsoever, just a silly ad hominim argument which would disqualify you from any proper debate.

Jarrod,

Have any terrorist assoicated with OBL been anything other than those who claim to practice Islam..

And of course I am not saying all muslims are all facists.

That is like saying all germans were nazis.

Jarrod, revisit your third point re occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. That 'reason' to kill infidels postdates...well, his massive killing of infidels on 9/11, or the Cole, or East Africa bombings. Go figure. I'm sure his reasons will remain moving targets, like his pre-election missive with bankrupting the US. Go figure. By the way, having 'very specific reasons' for doing anything doesn't preclude someone from being fascist, or a communist, or a capitalist, all of them would have some sort of problem with the world as it is. So do you have any other 'specific reason' for a problem with the Islamo-fascist label, other than you think it's an unfair or inaccurate label?

By the way, please name me the last time a western country was run by religious leaders. Fascists and religious fanatics differ in the west, but the church and state are separate, even in Jesusland. Now, in a ME society where church and state have not been split until recently, why would prevent fascists and relgious fanatics from being one and the same?

@ S Wood

The third point of course is the most recent, however the others are long standing. Perhaps I should have listed them more chronologically. However, you can't say that his reasons are "moving targets" because the list won't change, it will just get longer. The other points aren't changed or voided because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

On the "Islamo-fascist," the reason, as I've said, that I disagree with it's use is because firslty it was coined by the extreme right, and because it is often used to divert attention from the fact that Al Qaida does have explicit reasons for their attacks and goals. I feel the term attempts to avoid that by lumping them into the fascist category.


You say seperation of church and state hasn't lasted long in the middle east. What is your definition of "long" and where are you talking about? Iraq has been a secular state since its independence in 1932. Iran was up until 1979. Turkey has been since 1923, the list goes on.

And out of curiousity, the Mullahs in Iran for example. Would you call them fascists? Theocrats? Authoritarian? Fanatics? Radicals? What? I'm curious as they all of course invoke different things for different people. While I'd call the Taleban for example authoritarian, fanatical and theocratic, I wouldn't call them fascist.

Jarrod,

Here is a deal for you. We will call them what we believe them to be...

You can call them anything you wish - freedom fighter, liberals, democrats, socialist.. whatever you feel most comfortable with.

@ Joe

Thank you for yet another immature response. I've mentioned none of the terms you listed and in fact have been expressly saying we need to define the terms we're using so we can compare and see if it's just a misunderstanding. Instead of actually adding something to the discussion of semantics and terminology, you've thrown in your childish two cents.

First of all: Well done to the Iraqi people who defied violence and voted today. Let's hope that democratic values will prevail in the future.

With regards to the Islamo-Fascist discussion: I guess I have to agree with Jarrod on this one. This term is very vague. I think many people use the term without having a clue about what it means. This includes me and that's why I think terrorists should be called 'terrorists', 'religious fanatics' or 'murderers'. I guess these terms are pretty clear. But if you can define the term Islamo-Fascism, please do so as I would be interested. Maybe you could adress these problems I have:
1. There are lots of different kinds of fascism (Mussolini-Italy, Nazi-Germany, Spain under Dictatorship...). Which one compares to the current terrorists?

2. @ Joe: 'And to define fascism as a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism'

As far as I know, radical muslims don't want a nation-state. Instead they want the muslim world united under the law of the Quran. That means, nationalism, racism, centralization of authority under a dictator are out of the question. Remember that Saddam Hussein (a dictator) suppressed the Islamic movement in his own country because he was afraid of it. So I just cannot see how islamic terrorism today is comparable to Fascism and I am curious for explanations.

@ Jarrod,

Your attempts to argue the semantics of what we call Islamo-Fascists in no way disguises your obvious displeasure that the Bush administration's liberation of both Iraq and Afghanistan from brutal, repressive governments is succeeding enormously. What people like you fail to focus on is the mass murder that was perpetrated by both the Taliban and Saddam. And so you ignore the larger reality and begin to argue about petty nonsense like what the exact definition should be for blood-thirsty fanatics.

It's ok Jarrod, you can openly admit it: You are angry and bitter that Bush won and that his policy is succeeding. No need to dance around the issue by provoking bogus arguments about nothing.

---Ray D.

@ Ray D.

What level of education, if any, do you have? I begun an argument about the use of a particular term which I found to be incorrect. From that you're concluding that " your obvious displeasure that the Bush administration's liberation of both Iraq and Afghanistan from brutal, repressive governments is succeeding enormously"

Where exactly do you get that from? There's no logical way to deduce your conclusion, but rather that instead of giving a coherent argument regarding my post, or that of Phil, you resort to ad-hominim arguments which have nothing at all to do with the subject. That is just plain pathetic.

What I think about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has nothing to do with a discussion about a specific term.

Jarrod,

More than 70,000 French Jews were deported during the Nazi occupation and thousands of civilians died at the hands of the German army in France amd you wrote that only easily exitable Jews or people with no knowledge of history got quite upset about these rather HARMLESS statements of Jean-Marie Le Pen. I read this on your weblog and wondered about you. Do you have any problems with Jews?

Phil

I guess the Nation of Islam is really not suppose to be a nation after all. More along the lines of some who wish for a one world government run by the UN.

Jarrod

Most of us have defined it. You might not agree with the definition that of course is your right.

It would interesting to see how you define these people. It seems you might be from a race of people who can offer nothing other than disagreement.

And unless you think we are all europeans there is nothing that indicates we need to agree on terms anyway.

BTW are you a school board candidate?

Jarrod,

About Iran--authoritarian would be the most accurate--but that would also be vague, because any dictatorship would be 'authoritarian' by my definition of the word, but that would range from the Phillipines under Marcos to Saddam in Iraq, and the amount of violence inflicted by each regime was quite different. (Having large numbers of moderate candidates disqualified in their last election shows to me Iran is not quite a true democracy-- but not quite a dictatorship, either.)

Islamofascist actually seems to me a great improvement over 'Islamic fundamentalist', which is what the regime in Iran has been called, and is in general what any religiously motivated terrorists where called up through the 80s and 90s. Most fundamentalists--of any religion--are not terrorists, and many do not approve of coercive measures to force other people to their views. I come from a religious family that believes only Christians will be saved, (I don't really have much opinion either way). Having muslims, or Hindus, or anybody else believe the same thing about themselves does not both me. Using violence to enforce a religious view does.

But as far as OBL, this is worth a post somewhere, but again, having specific reasons for taking any action does not make that action legitimate if the reasons are invalid. By the way, I do agree that looking at the reasons are instructive, but we may perhaps see the validity of the claims differently. For instance post #2 lists having a US military presence in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, I think that is inaccurate, I would go further, I think Al Queda doesn't want ANY westerners at all in Arabia.

Well, that is not his or his followers choice to make. There are millions of other people on the Arabian penninsula and they perhaps think differently--I'm not talking the Saudi Royal family, either. In addition to being mass murders, Al Queda again annoys me on a fundamental level because it is a splinter group that claims the right to make decisions it has no right to make, and uses violence to try to terrorize people into submission. OBL is not Islam personified.

As an aside, I feel even more strongly about how disgusting Zarqawi is, and the fact he dares to try to violently coerce people into his worldview. He also has his reasons, and...they are in process of getting massively rejected by the Iraqis.

@ Gabi

My defense of American-style freedom of speech has nothing to do with Jews, the example you site was just that, an example. THere's no connection between me saying it's ridiculous to have laws against freedom of speech and me disliking Jews.

I wondered about this expression "easily" excited, Jarrod. That is not a neutral word to describe people.

@ Gabi

First of all, that's your opinion, second of all, why do you even care what I think about Jews? It has nothing to do with the subject. Why are people so quick to accuse everyone of anti-semitism these days?

To offend people with words is also a crime in Germany. There is no unlimited Freedom of speech. Do you complain about this limit too? Or do you complain only about people who cannot express their opinion that there was no/less Holocaust? Do you know Le Pen???

Gabi,

Jarrod is nothing but a troll.

He only wants you to focus not on this historical day but the positions he thinks are more important. It would appear he does not share in the joy of free people everywhere what has been accomplished.

I for one have decided not to feed him anymore.

Joe,

you are right: It is a historical day!!! I wonder how the Iraqi people here in Germany feel when they listen to our media.

CNN Europe version was very positive the last days!!! We wondered! What happened to them?

This was my comment, Joe. Gabi

@ Gabi

What is your problem? Because I attack the French and German laws regarding freedom of speech, I suddenly dislike Jews or think it's ok to say bad things about the Holocaust? Of course I have a problem with the limit, that's exactly what I said. Are you Jewish? Why are you so paranoid about anti-semitism? I'm American and we have a much greater range of freedom of speech than Europeans, so yes, I'm attacking the limits regardless of the topic it's on.

@ Gabi,

not sure I understand you. Are you saying that there should be a limit on freedom of speech (or in the case of Germany, should we keep limits on the freedom of speech)? And if so, who would get to decide what you are allowed to say or not?

Worüber man auch immer gerade diskutiert, hier eine Ausnahmeerscheinung in der Berichterstattung von SPIEGEL-ONLINE:

Die Grenzen des Terrors

Von Claus Christian Malzahn

Trotz der mörderischen Begleitumstände ist die Wahl im Irak ein Erfolg - für die Amerikaner, vor allem aber für das irakische Volk. Die Menschen haben mutig gegen den grassierenden Fatalismus votiert. Die neue Regierung wird internationale Hilfe brauchen - auch von denen, die bisher auf Distanz gesetzt haben.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,druck-339364,00.html

Phil,
I am talking about German law and German law has two limits of speech: 1. To deny Holocaust and 2. Offensive language (Beleidigung).

I wondered that Jarrod did not know Jean-Marie Le Pen from France.
And I wondered that he wrote that Jews are easily excited! This statement I did not like at all. Jews people worry about Anti-Semitism. 6 Millions got killed. They are not just easily excited people when it comes to Le Pen.


What the hell is going on with spiegel.. my translator surely has this article all wrong. It almost sounds a bit positive toward the US and her allies and a bit negative toward those other races and old europe.

Some how this does not seem historical correct if one can in fact still make references to history.

Sorry, there is a mistake in my sentence:
I wondered IF Jarrod

@ Jarrod:

"" your obvious displeasure that the Bush administration's liberation of both Iraq and Afghanistan from brutal, repressive governments is succeeding enormously"

Where exactly do you get that from?"

Well Jarrod, to get back to semantics, you labeled the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan "invasions." So I deducted that you are less than enthused about them. I guess you could say I can spot that sort of thing a mile away, and no, it doesn't take a PhD to be able to do that. Based on your your angry response, it is clear that my comments struck the proverbial "bullseye."

---Ray D.

Ray,

a troll is a troll is a troll.....

On the "Islamo-fascist," the reason, as I've said, that I disagree with it's use is because firslty it was coined by the extreme right...

Actually, I believe it was coined by Christopher Hitchens, not on the extreme right.

...and because it is often used to divert attention from the fact that Al Qaida does have explicit reasons for their attacks and goals.

I have concerns about the word because many people somehow cannot seem to come to grips with the idea that fascism is not dead. To these, if it isn't the historical European variety, or the ever-looming American variety, it just cannot exist. Therefore calling Osama et al "Islamofascists" causes them to cease listening altogether, which is useless.

The fact that Osama has actual concrete (although sometimes irrational) grievances does not absolve him of being a fascist. Didn't Hitler and the Nazis have actual concrete grievances, too? Many people thought so, before September 1939.

Jarrod, you are a ridiculous troll. Because you cannot take, and prolly, in your universe, cannot understand this amazing day, you seek out for something you can ARGUE about. You expected this day to turn out as some shit-talkers from your world predicted it to be, argued it to be, but since it didn't turn out that way, you are confused. So you just start babbling over something nothing.

You are of very poor mind and soul. Your question if some discussion opponent of you here has some shit degree in some shit just confirms this even more. You don't have a grasp at all, my friend.

I feel quite sorry for you as I do for my country Germany, because it is full of you.
Many of the Iraqis today, most of them having no degree you would recognize as to speak of, showed you and your like today what a great mind, soul, courage and freedom means. Those have more of a degree guys like you could ever dream about. While you are busy debating about the term "Islamo-Fascists", and whether or not this term is accurate, and what reasons for Bin Laden is opposing freedom, those Iraqis walked out their front door into the face of possible death to show what kind of degree they have that you will never even come close to. To me it seemed like they have a pretty good understanding about Bin Laden or those Islamo-Fascists, no matter how long you want to reflect on the proper definition, by doing just what the Islamo-Fascists meant to prohibit them from - being and living as free people.

I cannot even laugh at you - I just feel sorry for those poor, hatred-filled and simple souls like your's.

Cheers,

Alex N.

Anyone who cites Wikipedia as authoritative source is termed a Wikiwanker. Jarrod may be living under a bridge but he has already shown himself to be a fool by relying on a Wiki that may or may not be authoritative. His purpose is to distract and interrupt the discussion of the topic.

I a happy that a good turn out was had in this election in Iraq. Now the Iraqi people can start building a constitution and governmental system. This is the beginning of the process not the end.

I hope the German media gets it right at some point. But I don't hold out any hope. Too many people in Germany and Europe believe that this election isn't legitimate. That is surprising since the German governmental system was created under an occupation. Is Germany's government not functional? Is Germany's government illegitimate? Only crackpots could think such a thing.

Osama defiantly believes in Theo-fascism. Islamo-fascism is the correct term. Osama believes that the Arabic Muslims are superior to all others Muslims and must rule over all of Islam.

"Is Germany's government not functional? Is Germany's government illegitimate? Only crackpots could think such a thing."

Unfortunately, too many Germans DO think along these lines. Though not because today's German political system was founded during a time of occupation, but rather because the missing of fundamental understanding of self-responsibility - and thus, freedom - in the German mind.

The voter turn-out in Germany is usually pretty low, and many Germans you talk to have little admiration for their right of free vote. The typical stuff you hear is "Well, it doesn't really matter whom I vote for, the country is in disharay either way." or "the politicians are doing what they want anyway". Well, then MAYBE, it is time to wake up I say and go QUITE SOME DIFFERENT WAY, maybe vote QUITE SOME DIFFERENT PARTY, like the FDP, which is prolly the most pro-American party, and one which most advertizes the small state, free market economy, and self-responsibility around. But no, mostly IF Germans vote different to the 2 main parties, SPD and Union, they vote the post-SED PDS (communist), NPD (post-NSDAP), and, yes, also FDP. While the FPD gets more votes overall than those two extremist parties, it is not of a huge margin. If the mind of the German people would be healthy, all of those who could not decide on one of the two main parties (SPD or CDU/CSU Union) should actually vote FDP. But because it is not healthy, you get plenty who will instead vote Nazis or Communists. And, oh yes, the Greens. I don't even recognize the Greens as politicians, sorry. For me they are just a bunch of crack-smoking dreamers, and, if at all, socialist. My God.

So, just to come back to my point of beginning: Many people here in Germany don't really value that democracy they got presented with some 60 years back. Actually, I think it is because we are still doing too well. Well, I hope it is just that. This must be the reason for the political ignorance at least amongst the younger folks, I HOPE. I hope it is because they believe they can still afford not to care about how and by whom they are governed. Because, if this was not the case, it would mean that they have completely lost the principals and ideas of democracy, political process and involvement of the individual, thus laying the ground for some asshat turning up out of nowhere, sending democracy to hell. Seriously, I don't really see this scenario to happen, because I cannot comprehend and imagine it, but the fact is that the German citizen-mind TODAY is pretty DAMN CLOSE to that of the Weimar Republic, at least what I've read about it - meaning, no trust, believe and determination in the democratic political environment - and IF some young folks really go political, they go EXTREMIST. Either left or right. And I'm one of the young folks myself, so I know what I'm talking about. I just hope it's just a meaning-less illness (because Germany today is hit by the reality that it tried to deny via its welfare state the last decades) that will be overcome. I hope so. Yes, I do.

Regard
heartc

Whatever is wrong with Jarrod...

It is a great day for democracy! Not only in Iraq, but in the whole world. I'm glad to see so many brave people, risking their lives only to vote.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Thomas Jefferson

And it's worth to fight for.

Thank you, America! There are still some germans standing on your side.

Grüße, Stevie

Damn. This should have read "Regards, Alex N." Heart-C is my callsign when I talk to my flyer-buddies. Talk about obessions, lol.

Actually, when I reconsider my reasoning above, I see I was spelling doom to hysterically, prolly because I give idiots in this country too much of a meaning.
I have to say that something extremist will prolly not happen in Germany again. Because the German people have become way too free and actually, too American to ever accept a massive intruding into their liberal rights which would be a requirment for an extremist government. The German people today would never let this happen I think. What however might happen, in worst case, is a strong alliance between Germany and extremist states like Iran, or Authoritarion states like China or Russia (if Putin gets his way). This would be worst and sorry enough, though. And I see some routes being spinned towards that by our current government, unfortunately.

Regards
Alex N.

Alex N.,

haha, i know exactly what you're talking about...
but i do begin to lose any hope for old germany :(

I stumbled across this in the, Guardian. "This makes you wonder when the left forgot the proper name for people who bomb polling stations, kill election workers and assassinate candidates- fascists". That's from Michael Ignatieff. Perhaps a little intellectual honesty coming from the fever-swamp?

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