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>> There are legitimate, serious objections against Bush’s cannon boat democratization: Abu Ghraib! Guantanamo!

Abu Ghraib and Gitmo as objections are neither legitimate nor serious. Both, having come into being AFTER the initiation of hostilities, played no role in the rationale for the wars. I don't recall any legitimate or serious objections to the U.S. role in WWII based on the internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent.

>> How does a country that tolerated torture and created zones without justice stand for democracy and human rights?

If torture is tolerated why are people being held accountable and sent to prison? Gitmo is a zone without justice? No one held there is covered under the Geneva Convention guidelines. What codification of justice is he referring to?

>> It is appalling that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is still in office and Secretary of State Colin Powell had to make way

This may come as a surprise to the writer, but the role of the cabinet is to implement the POTUS policy. Rumsfeld did and does do that. Powell tried to implement the State Department's policy. He's gone. If you have a problem with Rumsfeld, you have a problem with Bush. Wait till Condi and Bolton get done with you.

>> George Patton obliged a thousand Weimarer to the clean-up work in the concentration camp

Actually, I believe it was Eisenhower (could be mistaken).and the camp was a Buchenwald satellite (Ordung?) One interesting thing Patton did do, though: Some of the Americans who liberated Dachau were so outraged they put the SS up against a wall and machine-gunned every one of them until their commanding officer could stop them. He dutifully filed a report with Patton in the event that Patton wanted them brought up on charges. Patton threw the report in the trash.

I'm short on time - back later

Of course in a perfect world democracy and the end of thugs like Saddam, Assad, Arafat, Mubarek, the Mullahs of Iran, all of these would fade from the scene without a shot being fired and not a single innocent injured

Sadly, we don't live in this utopia

So the choice is still there - support the effort to take care of these tyrants - or support the effort of these tyrants to stay in power

funny that while on the one hand he accept that freedom and democracy can sometime only be delivered by force, he still cling to the MSM perpetuated wmd as raison d'etre for the war in iraq. while this was the topic of debate at the UN, all speeches by the bush administration pertaining to the war also mentioned the humanitarian reasons, even colin powell's speech to the UN in the fall of 2002.
Thus the author has only peered out of the cave but not yet stepped out of the cave of german lemming unified perspective.

Perhaps all Germans should modify the sentence "the reason given for going after Saddam was WMD" to "the only reason ever covered in the German media for going after Saddam was WMD and the inference we were all in imminent danger from them"

Also conveniently not mentioned by the main stream media (MSM) were the 16 or so UN resolutions (not one, not two, not three, but 16!) totally disregarded by Saddam and his thugs.

Saddam, an admirer of Stalin, knew the UN was weak, and now, as we have learned, on the take and susceptible to corruption and pay-offs.

Chirac's 30-year relationship with Saddam is rarely ever mentioned by the MSM, either. Rumsfeld meets Saddam one time as a private business man in the 1980's, and that is played up by the left regularly.

When you live in Wonderland, you get to make up things as you go along.

Of course, it gets more diffuclt with time but I have great faith in france and Germany to spin this.

Even though Malzhan spends some words on Abu Grahib and Guatanamo, the overwhelming thrust of his comments are pro-American and a GWB apologetic to the German reader. Let's not spend too much time lamenting his criticism of two of the more notorious episodes of the Afghan and Iraqi wars.

He balances them with reminders of the brutality of the victor Patton and other US generals in the conduct of WWII and plays them off as small flaws compared to the German death camps of the day. His comparison is obvious. The hizzy fits the Euros have been throwing over the two prisons is out of proportion to the good that bringing the sword of democracy to the ME is. He is balancing the evils of war with the good of the resulting freedom from tyranny. I see much to admire in Malzahn's thoughts.

For Dachau

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/SoldiersKilled.html


Now imagine that images in the media...Roosevelt = Hitler ?

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In any human enterprise with 150000 men and women will ever be some bad apples, statistically there is a probablity that there are there murders , rapists, etc. In a 150000 city we would have muder, even organised crime probably etc. I think this was the case of Abu Ghraib.
Then there is good people affected by war that commit murder.

What matters, is how the authorities handle the situation, the behaviour of Commanders and the whole response of the army and if there is a systemic nature of that kind of problems.

That is completely diferent to Saddam asking to crush a village of a rebellious Iraqui tribe were even the children were incinerated.

Sadly, the language only can show mildly the true diference between them.

I must say I agree with Jane M: We should not dwell excessively on the few questionable presumptions that have crept into Malzahn's thought-process as a result of living in Germany.

All in all I believe that this article must be viewed as an overwhelmingly positive piece that makes a number of excellent points sorely missing from the public debate in Germany.

---Ray D.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/debatte/0,1518,grossbild-328691-344346,00.html

The color photo of KZ Buchenwald in the article.

Does anyone know the source of this photo? It looks too "clean" to be historical?

So, in other words, Germany will once again be on the wrong side of history...

Unfortunately the end of war did not at the same time mean the end of killing.

(Not even for the jews)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kielce_pogrom

Jane & Ray

I understand the sentiment you both express regarding Malzhan. However, he is perpetuating some falsehood even now. Do not not care more for truth than whether he agrees with the US or not?

Spiegel already had an English translation up.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,344679,00.html

@ Huan,

Of course I do. I agree that he makes a few questionable presumptions. If you want to question and debate those presumptions that is fine and absolutely legitimate.

But again, I don't think we should nitpick individual points to the extent that readers' appreciation of the overall postitive message is lost.

---Ray D.

"Patton’s 7th Army later went in part into the V Corps"

Patton wasn't the commander of the 7th Army. Patton commanded the 3rd Army. General Patch commanded the 7th Army. The 7th Army wasn't even in the same Army Group as Patton's Army. The 7th was in Dever's 6th AG, Patton's Third was in Bradley's 12th. Patton did command the 7th during the invasion of Sicily but was relieved after slapping a soldier.

"One interesting thing Patton did do, though: Some of the Americans who liberated Dachau were so outraged they put the SS up against a wall and machine-gunned every one of them until their commanding officer could stop them. He dutifully filed a report with Patton in the event that Patton wanted them brought up on charges. Patton threw the report in the trash."

Rubbish. The troops in question were with the 45th Infantry Division which was a 7th Army unit. This wasn't Patton's army. The "Commanding Officer" you are slandering was Felix Sparks. Felix later sat on the Supreme Court for Colorado. Felix commented on this himself:

"As I watched about fifty German troops were brought in from various directions. A machine gun squad from company I was guarding the prisoners. After watching for a few minutes, I started for the confinement area. After I had walked away for a short distance, I hear the machine gun guarding the prisoners open fire. I immediately ran back to the gun and kicked the gunner off the gun with my boot. I then grabbed him by the collar and said: "what the hell are you doing?" He was a young private about 19 years old and was crying hysterically. His reply to me was: "Colonel, they were trying to get away." I doubt that they were, but in any event he killed about twelve of the prisoners and wounded several more. I placed a non-com on the gun, and headed toward the confinement area.

It was the forgoing incident which has given rise to wild claims in various publications that most or all of the German prisoners captured at Dachau were executed. Nothing could be further from the truth. The total number of German guards killed at Dachau during that day most certainly not exceed fifty, with thirty probably being a more accurate figure. The regimental records for that date indicate that over a thousand German prisoners were brought to the regimental collecting point. Since my task force was leading the regimental attack, almost all the prisoners were taken by the task force, including several hundred from Dachau."
http://www.remember.org/witness/sparks2.html
http://www.state.co.us/courts/sctlib/87.htm

With the 45th that day was my Uncle. I was told at a very early age what the character of "German Culture" was made of. I've seen the pictures his unit took that day.

@Anonymous

And America thanks Bulgaria and Italy for their assistance, and a job well done. Iraq is on its way to democracy, and Saddam Hussein and his vassals Gerhard Schroeder and Jacques Chirac have lost.

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