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The Bavarians will never let such a thing happen in Grafenwoehr. The Bavarians and Swabians are some of our best friends in Germany and they would not tolerate such a resurgence of hatred.

Funny isn't it? The more economically successful parts of Germany are generally more America-friendly while the blackened cities of the north are breeding ground for hate. Yet another indicator that the hate stems from deep seated insecurity. No doubt Amihasser is one of them...

By the way, Germany does have bases in the US in Texas and New Mexico. Last time I checked there was no anti-German group seeking to do the same thing.

Very interesting discussion !

I have some time left so i'd like to make a point.

- americans are europeans who moved on to a better place. Some data about germans : Ancestry of U.S. Population by Rank (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762137.html). 15% of americans think they have german roots, some 42 million americans, much more then english, irish, italian, mexican, french, ... ! This could be interpreted as "a third of the germans live in america". War between america and europe is like the father fighting his son. I think that is too far fetched.

- america is a succesfull version of the "european union". One language, one currency, one army, economic growth, ... Right now it is even uniting with south americans, which by all accounts are descendants from europe, every year 100's of 1000's of mexicans and south americans are pouring in, so desperate they are to flee their socialist countries. The composition of american society is constantly changing, and ever more people are attracted.

I think this is the biggest source of anti-americanism : the frustration of the people left behind in the mother countries. They lose all their brightest and smartest to the usa, it is so frustrating (when I studied, the best reseachers went to the usa and the smartest guys worked for american companies or started their own business).

this is also happening with china, india and russia. If america really opened its borders, tens of millions of the best people from all around the world would flee and start a prosperous life in the usa.

The reason is obvious : more FREEDOM in the usa. All competent people want freedom and would make the trip to the usa any time. That's why the usa model will continue to dominate the world : China will grow, but the chinese who are not part of the nomenclatura will move to the usa. This will always keep the usa in front.

There are 2 ways to counter this decline of power (everywhere) compared to the usa :
1. DESTROY THE USA, the ultimate dream of neo-nazis, communists, fascists, islamofundamentalists, socialists, "third way" liberals, ... : the left. Then people will have no place to move to anymore and the old absolutistic power hungry politicians will spread their wings again.
2. TAKE OVER THE USA MODEL AND CATCH UP. the dream of liberatarians, conservatives, free marketeers, ... : the right.

The first option is practically impossible, the second option is theoretically very easy (it just means : politicians, hands of the economy !). But of course the existing administrations will try to prevent that, they want to stay in power. You need DEMOCRACY and a FREE PRESS (the internet, like this fantastic website) to do this. And indeed, in Ireland, Iceland, Eastern-Europe, china, russia, and soon in the middle east this is happening.

I think the march of freedom is, even at this moment, much stronger then the reverse. I see the neo-nazis, communists, islamofascists, socialists as the last remnants of a bunch of dying control-ideologies desperately fighting back the advance of freedom throughout the globe.

So, to conclude, since it is impossible to destroy the usa and so easy to copy the usa model, I think that's what will happen. Europe should (and will, i'm certain of that) firstly deregulate its economies and secondly open its doors to : south americans (and to a lesser degree : chinese and indians), and shut its doors entirely to islamists. South americans will flood europe like they to in the usa and in less then 10 years completely outnumber islamists. Then a lot of problems are solved :
- european economic growth restored
- european self confidence and power restored, and thus the reason for potential conflict with usa (inferiority-complex) removed;
- islamic influence and eurabia scenario destroyed;
- aging populations problem solved;
- europe growing faster then its competitors and taking back its place next to the usa as a beacon of civilization
I even think they should take over english as official language. Hell, they could even merge with the usa ;-)))

Enough, now eat ;-)

Good morning Vilmos!
>>YESSS!!! That's my home country. For people not familiar with it, a few info. It is about the size of Indiana, and the population is 10 million. When I was a child (30 years ago) the population was more like 11 million. Now it is barely over 10. It is a small and weak country, and foreign powers (Germans, Turks, Austrians, Soviets) always liked to occupy it

Hungarian, eh? Listen, don't sell the place short. Does the name Szent-gyorgi ring a bell? I used to hang out with a family member who was doing post-doc work at the Nat'l Inst. Health in Bethesda, MD. Through him, I learned alot about your country's history. True, too small to be militarily strong, but culturally one hell of a dynamo. Plus, I saw some family photos from WWII on - mostly Budapest - beautiful place. Budapest and Prague. You can keep Paris. Oh, to say nothing of how this woman who loves to cook appreciates paprika for its culinary powress!

Klaus:
>>By the way: how "German" are the USA?

It depends on when your ancestors got here. Pre-WWII there would be quite a few. Now most of the immigration is Hispanic and Asian. But my quess is that at least 50% of living Americans have at least some German ancestry. For example, my mother's family got here in the 1800s. All but 2 were German. My father's family started in the 1600s and one German entered the line in the 1800s. And I don't this this blog is pro-Bush. I think it is anti-anti-American and in that context strives to correct European mis-apprehensions about the man. Example: raging religious fundamentalist whack job. That one makes my hair catch fire. But get us started on his immigration policy and watch the fireworks.

>>One historical irony: the system of economy and values of the US of today have their origins and roots in - the Germanic culture, guess what.

Yes, to an extent, but don't forget the Brits. Most Americans still consider Great Britain the 'mother country'.

>>Vienna-based philosopher Hayek (or Hajek), whose "The Way to Serfdom" was printed in countless numbers - in English.

Unfortunately, you won't find many Americans under a certain age who would recognize the name let along have read anything he (or Strauss) has written. Orwell, maybe some essays. McLuhan, probably. Marx, a little (but tell them how he gathered his statistical models and risk getting called right-wing 'dupe').

I must say I always enjoyed the "We don't hate the USA - we just hate Bush and his neo-con supporters" line of defence from any european confronted with less than full approval for his "Its the US's fault for ( fill in issue here ) " nonsense

Of course I was happy to reply - "oh, I see, you don't hate ALL americans - just those like me" :)

Hilarious since they have been so brainwashed as to expect any Bush supporter to appear in overalls, without shoes, spitting tobacco and carrying a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other

Frankly I don't think Bush or I would be the popular choice for the majority of those in Europe even without rampant media propaganda against these views

But I have to think the people in europe would split a little more evenly if they were allowed to hear both sides of the issues

oh well - redeploy the troops and wait for a real 9-11 to hit europe - then we'll see what happens

First of all, I have to correct myself. The picture of Chirac as a whore was not in an american newspaper, but in a british one (Sun).
However, you can find various examples here and here.

I have an idea as to how to how we can perhaps settle this issue of german brain degradation-
Take 100 female US troops stationed there, have them remove their uniforms and leave their weapons on base.
They can meet up with these welfare sucking half-wits at this local gymnasium and listen to thier thoughts on US citizens before promptly kicking the living hell out of them.
These skin-headed freaks and their admirers who allow asylum seekers to destroy the fabric of their own culture seem to have lost their original focus. They create such a loud and vocal stink across germany, one that could easily be silenced by the fists and boots of the female US soldiers they chastise.
The chimp looking fool with a name like Uwe would look much nicer with a pair of soiled panties stretched across his skinny face.

This is moving a bit off the subject, but I am ignorant and wondering: what does the U.S. still owe Germany today, based on its historical pledges following World War II? When Germany (West Germany) moved from being a defeated country under Western occupation to a self-determining democracy (and when exactly was this accomplished?), did our U.S. occupying military become only "Amis" based there at Germany's pleasure and with their consent (in part protecting both them and the U.S. interests from the Soviets)? Or did the U.S. then (and do we still) have a moral obligation to protect Germany militarily because Germany was forbidden to (then? or ever again and still?) rearm itself at will?

I have felt that if Germany does not want the U.S. military presence there, then we certainly have no right to be there. Have the German people spoken to this as a whole or voted on this since the fall of the Berlin wall? Is Germany still under some international prohibition not to raise its own military to whatever size, and do we still have a legal and moral responsibility to protect them? And if so, protect them from whom?

@ Bernd:

You write:

Journalists writing about the US are at best as cliché-reproducing as they are in their reporting about any other region of the world, and not very different from conservative american reporting about other countries (France!).

As I said earlier to Chomskybot, show us examples in the mainstream media that are as egregiously anti-German or anti-Europe as the examples we bring on a daily basis from major publications in the German media. Have you ever seen the sort of bias in Time or Newsweek that we see in Spiegel and Stern. Again, if so, examples please!

BTW, the point of this blog is not to defend the US media when it is biased or makes mistakes. But just because the US media is sometimes biased and makes mistakes does not make it wrong to point out bias and mistakes in the German media.

"But there is surely one difference: I think it was Thomas Friedman in one of his NYT columns who wrote that all the mainstream thinking on both sides of the political spectrum in Europe would well fit in the Democratic Party mainstream in the US, while there is nothing relevant comparable to today's Republicans in Europe. I think he is right. So, a Republican government seems to most Europeans out of touch with modernity and almost every wisdom and value we share - even more than it does for the anti-Bush half of the american population. Media is part of this society and will of course reflect this sentiment."

There is also nothing comparable to the German SPD, Greens, CDU or PDS in the United States. I disagree that "mainstream" European thinking would fit "well" into the Democratic party. Many Democrats were for the Iraq war. Many Democrats would choke at the level of taxes and welfare in European societies. This is a gross over-generalization and reflects Mr. Friedman's ignorance of the complexity of both European politics and the Democratic party.

To most Americans who look over at Germany, the Germany's Socialist government and media seem out of touch with modernity: German unemployment is on the rise and at record highs in what was a once booming economy, extremism is on the rise, the bureaucracy is out of control. Fewer Germans have internet access than their neighbors, German schools aren't what they used to be. The German "peace" Chancellor wants to sell arms to China and raise the EU's weapons embargo on that nation to help out the failing German economy. Discrimination against minorities still runs rampant in the housing sector.

As far as the media goes, the media's job is to inform, not to parrot the popular political opinions of the day. When it comes to informing Germans about America, and particularly about American conservatives, the German media is failing catastrophically. Spreading stereotypes and ignorance is not the correct way to inform people about Americans.

---Ray D.

@ chomskybot:

I don't want some website, I want specific examples from major US media publicatons comparable to the examples we bring from the German media. How hard is that?

---Ray D.

@chomskybot,
I am with Ray..
yeah the French are not loved in the US, but neither are they loved in Canada. but
there is not an anti French obsession in the US.
I believe the book by Revel is in French titled 'the anti American obsession'.
I believe at a given point in the past 8 out of 10
books on the French best seller list were anti American screeds. One book about how 9/11 was a conspiracy by the CIA was also a best seller.
anti French sentiment in America? yes,, but nothing in comparison with anti Americanism in France.
Go check out no-pasaran.
but if things continue as they are going, there will be rising anti Europeanism in the US.
I am an AMerican living in Germany, and I inform my friends and relatives as to what goes on here.
We may be a bit slow on the uptake, but things do sink in after a while.

dont know if its just germany our far right party the bnp in uk dont like you either.you must be doing something good

@chomskybot..
by the way, citing the socialist party newspaper as a serious source? the is laughable..
I thought Americans are 'weltfremd'...
so we are busy being viciously anti French when we are not being weltfremd.

@ Ray D.

>As I said earlier to Chomskybot, show us examples in the mainstream media that are as egregiously anti-German or anti-Europe as the examples we bring on a daily basis from major publications in the German media. Have you ever seen the sort of bias in Time or Newsweek that we see in Spiegel and Stern. Again, if so, examples please!

Well, what I do see is that Journalists writing in Time or Newsweek often share the views of Spiegel or Stern when it comes to Bush politics. What can you do - they are not stupid:-) To be fair: Many times they don't. But it is of course not so easy to give you other examples, because - as most of you are criticizing - the US mainstream media is more liberal and share many european views. Go to Fox News and you will find enough evidence.

>There is also nothing comparable to the German SPD, Greens, CDU or >PDS in the United States. I disagree that "mainstream" European >thinking would fit "well" into the Democratic party. Many Democrats >were for the Iraq war. Many Democrats would choke at the level of >taxes and welfare in European societies.

Friedman included the allover european spectrum in his observation - from Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi to Gerhard Schröder and Dany Cohn-Bendit. Think about it again, it is not as wrong - and hardly ignorant.

>To most Americans who look over at Germany, the Germany's Socialist >government and media seem out of touch with modernity: German >unemployment is on the rise and at record highs in what was a once >booming economy, extremism is on the rise, the bureaucracy is out >of control. Fewer Germans have internet access than their >neighbors, German schools aren't what they used to be. The German >"peace" Chancellor wants to sell arms to China and raise the EU's >weapons embargo on that nation to help out the failing German >economy. Discrimination against minorities still runs rampant in >the housing sector.

Well, although I agree on one point or the other (China!), this list is more or less the same stereotype view you are criticizing.

By the way, I agree that German media information about American conservatives is poor. We should really know much better what is written in National Review and Washington Times, we should know much more about Rush Limbaugh or James Dobson, we should be better informed about Gary Bauer and David Frum. Only I am afraid that this might not do good to the german perception of America....

Greetings
Bernd

@ Bernd:

You write:

"But it is of course not so easy to give you other examples, because - as most of you are criticizing - the US mainstream media is more liberal and share many european views.

You are right on that count Bernd. I have to give you some credit, at least you don't believe the "gleichgeschaltet" myth that Bush controls the US media.

"Friedman included the allover european spectrum in his observation - from Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi to Gerhard Schröder and Dany Cohn-Bendit. Think about it again, it is not as wrong - and hardly ignorant."

The generalization is so broad as to be meaningless. The Republicans also have a lot in common with many major European politicians. This really doesn't tell us much about anything.

"Well, although I agree on one point or the other (China!), this list is more or less the same stereotype view you are criticizing."

So what part of my list of German problems was untrue? What was a "stereotype?"

"By the way, I agree that German media information about American conservatives is poor. We should really know much better what is written in National Review and Washington Times, we should know much more about Rush Limbaugh or James Dobson, we should be better informed about Gary Bauer and David Frum. Only I am afraid that this might not do good to the german perception of America...."

I agree with you that the information on American conservatives is poor. This is especially true of the reporting done on what conservatives actually say and think. The words and ideas of conservatives are shamelessly sliced and diced in the European press to make them appear like fanatics. I think Europeans should take a long look at what these people really stand for and really have to say and decide for themselves.

---Ray D.

Ray D: Like I've said a couple of times this week, I'm new to this site. It's clear that I don't agree with your overall tone, though I certainly don't disagree with lots of your particulars. And I certainly respect the fact that you devote the time, effort and resources to maintain the site. Bottom line, while I'm game for debate, I don't want to be an ingrate.

All of that said, I do have one question. You've asked for comparable cites from the US press regarding Germany (the noxious, simplistic, stereotyping variety). And, fair enough, I'd be the first to admit that comparables would be tough to find. However, what about the flip side. Do you really think that the American press (liberal, conservative, counterculture or big city freebies) have anywhere near the coverage of Germany in an average month that the German press devotes to America in an average week ? Maybe even an average day ?

And that gets to the crux of my objection to much of the tone here.

We all know that America is the big dog. America is the big brother. America is the big swingin' . . . well, you get my drift. And the German reaction seems to me to be a pretty predictable mixture of envy, petulance and resistance - and even (grudging) admiration - that you'd find between siblings or unequal sports matchups (think about the bad press the Yankees, Cowboys, et al get).

Anyway, that's my point. In terms of sheer volume, the German media puts out way more on America than the reverse. Germany in general leans further left than America does. So it's not at all surprising to find more, and more extreme, examples of anti-Americanism in the German press than vice-versa. But I don't think it's particularly valid to pick out the extremes and at least insinuate that they represent the whole.

End of rant. Thanks for your patience and your work on this site.

Cheers,

@Rofe:

"So it's not at all surprising to find more, and more extreme, examples of anti-Americanism in the German press than vice-versa."

Logical fallacy. The fact that more is written in general about America in Germany than vice-versa does not mean that we should expect to see more examples of extreme anti-Americanism. It would be equally possible to see more neutral or favorable press, if the German government and press did not find that anti-Americanism sold papers and garnered votes.

"But I don't think it's particularly valid to pick out the extremes and at least insinuate that they represent the whole."

The fact that this kind of anti-Americanism is so common as to permit daily examples to be posted here suggests that these examples are not really all that "extreme" in the German press. But readers here would, I'm sure, be glad to see the rest of the "whole" that you talk about. If, for example, you can find some pro-American cartoons in German newspapers, why not put the links here?

Part of the problem is that some of the elements of American politics are missing in most of Europe.

Our "first-horse-past-the-post" method of election forces parties to form coalitions before the election, not after. The Democrats have simply failed to assemble a large enough coalition, since some of the current members cannot abide potential members, including some blocs that went over to the Republicans (remember the Reagan Democrats? I'm one!). Bush (and any other US politician) speaks sometimes to one coalition partner, sometimes to another. Americans recognize this instinctively, but Europeans do not.

There is also a disconnect between European conservatism and the American variety. The blood and soil, Little England, vive l'empereur stuff is represented here as well, but has not been the dominant conservative stream of thought since the Roosevelt administration. True social conservatives here are more likely to be ordinary workers and small business owners than aristocrats and gentry.

There is also a strain of resistance to government power and government control of the economy that is very strong in both parties, but stronger in the Republicans. When Europeans conflate their conservativism with ours, they make a fundamental error. Their conservatives were on one side in 1848, but ours were on the other. We are the political descendants of the Whigs: "The power of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished."

Thanks for the headsup. I sent an e-mail to everylink you supplied (Lugar, Biden, Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rice).

Without the anti-American slant there would be a comparable amount about America in the Euro press as there is about Europe in the American press

Don't you understand that?

@ Rofe:

"Anyway, that's my point. In terms of sheer volume, the German media puts out way more on America than the reverse. Germany in general leans further left than America does. So it's not at all surprising to find more, and more extreme, examples of anti-Americanism in the German press than vice-versa. But I don't think it's particularly valid to pick out the extremes and at least insinuate that they represent the whole."

I don't think we are trying to insinuate that the anti-Americanism we see in parts of the German press represents the "whole" of Germany or the "whole" of the German press. Nothing in any media anywhere can represent an entire society.

However, the anti-American attitude we point out on this site does represent a significant, influential and (unfortunately) growing sector of German society. That bothers us and we are here day for day trying to point it out to people and raise awareness about it. The problem is that many of the anti-American "extremes" you talk about are happening in Germany's most widely-read news magazines, books and newspapers, not some backwoods, small-town newspaper or underground leaflets. Michael Moore's books (and other books attacking America) were on the top of the best-seller lists in Germany for months on end. Two of Germany's three largest weekly news magazines (Spiegel and Stern) are highly anti-American often to the point of propaganda. A number of widely read newspapers exhibit the same trend. That to me is the fundamental problem.

Otherwise, I agree with much of what you wrote and thank you for recognizing how much work this blog really is.

---Ray D.

Bernd

We should really know much better what is written in National Review and Washington Times, we should know much more about Rush Limbaugh or James Dobson, we should be better informed about Gary Bauer and David Frum. Only I am afraid that this might not do good to the german perception of America....

The caricature of American conservatism that is often mistaken for reality in Germany and elsewhere, would likely not survive honest contemplation and examination of the positions of those journals and individuals you list above.

By the way, I am a Republican (former Democrat till I got a job, a mortgage and a kid) and what Bauer or Dobson have to say on any topic, matters not to me. I place those two and the likes of Jerry Falwell and some others in the same catagory, camera hogs who the media is only too eager to trot out in an effort to discredit the whole of the conservative movement.

Also, the writings of those you cite are all available on the web, expressly for the purpose of "knowing much better about them".

Any German who cares to understand American Conservatism as it actually is should visit National Review Online. It's an absolutely top-shelf publication and most of the site is free.

Thanks for the blog Ray...it's one of my favs.

Getting back to the original issue of the "wannabe Nazis" being on the upswing in Germany, creating some anti-American training facility near a U.S. base and the local obersturmfurher publishing some screed about the glories of the "honorary Aryan" Al Qaeda "warrior culture" attacking the U.S., I have a few things to say.

The first priority is--don't be afraid of these little twits. They are simply being provacateurs.

There are probably going to be clashes between members of the U.S. military and these NPD twits. While it will be regrettable and occasionally messy, I doubt that the rule of law in Grafenwoehr is going to suddenly dive to the level of a wild west cowtown. Those Americans who cross the line should be tried by the relevant authorities, and I would bet that any NPD thugs will be taken care of the same way.

If I were a German, I would just take the NPD on head on, instead of trying to find a way to strangle them to death with local bureaucracy. From what I have noticed, Germany suffers from being excessively afraid of its past, to the point that they do not really address Nazism in the best way possible--which is not by pointing out its (obvious) evils, but by pointing out that it simply didn't work! The Third Reich failed because of it's slavish devotion to an ideology that corrupted and compromised the nation, the armed forces, and its relations with its neighbors. They ruined the country that they had promised to make into a "Thousand Year Reich". Leaving out the death camps, the wars of unbridled aggression, the bookburning and the pillaging of Europe, they took a country that had been built up, and they utterly destroyed it physically and (arguably) psychologically. On a purely practical level, why would anyone want to entrust power to their poltical descendants?

The wannabe Nazis of the NPD are simply leading Germany down the same failed path. They have simply co-opted some of the anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism of the current "respectable" German left. I fail to see what the anti-capitalism or anti-Americanism has accomplished for Germany in the last 30-40 years.

Does the NPD have a solution for Germany's unemployment problem? No.

Does their "Germany for Germans" sloganeering contain any solution to the problem of a shrinking "ethnic German" working population that is needed to fund German social programs? No.

Do they have a solution for who Germany is going to count on for support or friendship in the world, if they create some kind of break in relations with the U.S.? I'm sure they will suggest some combination of China/Russia/EU. But considering most big EU countries have the same exact same problems Germany has, and that Russia and China do not share anything really resembling a free, mostly uncorrupt political system, or even a economic system that is as humane as the Euro-reviled "Anglo-Saxon" system, do Germans really think that tying their fate to these nations is going to be a step forward?

Is the NPD even consistent on opposing "imperialism"? No. They want to "dissolve" the U.S.? Dislike American warfare if you want, but is the U.S. intent on "dissolving" Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or any other country you can name? Quite frankly, even if they could carry out their desire to dissolve the U.S., doing so would make them bigger imperialists than anything the U.S. has ever done in Vietnam, Latin America or the Middle East.

And what would "dissolving" the U.S. accomplish? Ok, you now have 280 million stateless Americans nestled between Canada and Mexico. Are you going to rule them as some sort of overseas German dependency? 280 million Americans would quickly overwhelm 80 million Germans both politically and demographically. If you divided the current U.S. between Mexico and Canada, instead of Mexicanizing America, you would Americanize Mexico. Americans are AMERICANS, a seperate, very distinctive nationality and culture, and unless you plan on lobotimzing the lot of them or firing up the concentration camps and cattlecars for a go at an American "final solution", then simply as a people they are going to absorb or disrupt pretty much any nation that tries to absorb them.

And if you did essentially destroy the U.S. in the process of dissolving it, how would this be good for the German economy, or German culture?

The NPD are simply a bunch of poseurs, who are trying to get attention with rhetoric because they have no practical solutions to the issues that face Germany.

Now, Germany obviously needs some serious restructuring, both economically, and possibly psychologically and morally. What that specifically involves, is not my place to say since I am not a German, and I don't know what would work in Germany.

The only thing I would suggest, is that as a starting point Germans take some genuine pride in all the good things that happened before World War I. Feeling a little national pride (about something other than soccer) does not necessarily mean that some dormant German gene is going spring to life, and the next thing you know you will be maurading across the steppes in a tiger tank, or out gathering up the "subhumans" in an effort to get your neighborhood the first one in the city to be declared judenfrei.


Thumbs up, Steve.

Indeed, very nice comment Steve!

Indeed, very nice comment Steve!

MfG

Ch. Arm
http://brushfiresoffreedom.blogspot.com/

@Ray D.

> The Republicans also have a lot in common with many major European politicians.

Now it is my turn to ask you for examples - and please don't quote Republican minority moderates.

As to your list characterizing Germany today and what I call stereotypes in it: These are of course not anti-German stereotypes, but conservative ones:
- calling the red-green "Hartz IV" government "socialist" sounds like a real bad joke and has much less rationality than calling Wolfowitz a warmonger. At best it is the same level.
- "extremism is on the rise". Only in parts of Germany, as you know. In the Schleswig-Holstein elections, they didn't play any role, nor will they in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Nevertheless it is too much, being the worst problem the fascists' influence on young people - therefore there are a lot of government activities on all levels to work with young people and to counter these activities. But what you are suggesting or at least insinuating in this blog is that it is the same spirit of "anti-americanism" that motivates Schröder, Spiegel, taz and the NPD. This is, of course, nonsense. From these examples, only the fascists are anti-american.
- "the bureaucracy is out of control". Oh really? How come I didn't notice? I mean, life in Germany could be characterized as "bureaucracy out of control" from an american perspective for most of the past 150 years or so :-) but it is a stereotype...

And so forth. It is the obvious purpose of the combination of points that makes it biased and stereotyped, very much the same what you blame the german media for if it comes to America. For me, your list simply sounds like the equivalent to characterizing America as country of badly educated arms bearing racists who meet at McDonalds after church.

But one last comment on the term "anti-americanism" that you obviously use for american views on America also (Michael Moore and others). This is not only ridiculous (how can a blockbuster in the USA, written and directed by an american, watched and discussed by americans, be anti-american?) In Germany we once had the historical experience of political opposition being characterized by government as "antideutsch" or "undeutsch". We wouldn't like to see that again, not in Germany, not in the US. I always thought american democracy was all about this: To allow your political opponent to speak without trying to exclude him from society.

And by the way: Intellectually, the "anti-american!" rhetoric is by any means really billig.

Greetings
Bernd

@ Bernd:

"Now it is my turn to ask you for examples - and please don't quote Republican minority moderates

That is a very telling sentence Bernd. You assume that Republicans are all radicals because they cannot be moderate, or if they are, they are a small minority. In fact, I would characterize most Republicans as very moderate, mainstream, everyday people.

Now: As far as examples of what Republicans have in common with major European politicians. Well, we need look no farther than Tony Blair or Silvio Berlusconi or the leaders of most of Eastern Europe on Iraq. Most Republicans and European leaders share a strong belief in democracy, open societies and open markets, constitutional rights, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom of the press with many European leaders. This is just a very small list of things these two groups have in common, I could go on, but it is not my intent to write a book here.

(And just to be clear: There are other nations in Europe besides Germany and France.)

"calling the red-green "Hartz IV" government "socialist" sounds like a real bad joke"

Ok, so how would you characterize Red-Green Bernd? As laissez-faire capitalists and neo-cons? The fact that they are making minimal reforms to a broken German Socialist welfare state (Hartz IV) does not suddenly make them free-market conservatives. These people are just doing what has become painfully obvious and necessary to alleviate the incredible unemployment and economic stagnation in Germany today.

"But what you are suggesting or at least insinuating in this blog is that it is the same spirit of "anti-americanism" that motivates Schröder, Spiegel, taz and the NPD.

We have repeatedly pointed out that the NPD's anti-American slogans are remarkably similar to those of the German left and vice versa. "No Blood for Oil" "No to US Imperialism" "No to American Wars" etc.

That is completely different from saying that they share identical motivations and ideologies. Perhaps they share a few common motivations and ideas, but it is obvious that they each have a different and unique set of reasons for disliking America and Bush. Again, we are simply pointing out that they share a common dislike of the US and Bush and share numerous slogans. That is an absolute, undeniable fact.

""the bureaucracy is out of control". Oh really? How come I didn't notice? I mean, life in Germany could be characterized as "bureaucracy out of control" from an american perspective for most of the past 150 years or so :-) but it is a stereotype...

Really? I must not have lived in the same Germany that you do. Have you ever owned a business in Germany Bernd? And oh yeah, is that something like half of the world's literature on taxes is in German? Is that because Germany has such a streamlined, efficient tax code? Is that because Germany is so free of undue regulation and bureaucracy? I can hardly think of another democratic nation in the world with more bureaucracy than Germany.

"But one last comment on the term "anti-americanism" that you obviously use for american views on America also (Michael Moore and others). This is not only ridiculous (how can a blockbuster in the USA, written and directed by an american, watched and discussed by americans, be anti-american?) In Germany we once had the historical experience of political opposition being characterized by government as "antideutsch" or "undeutsch". We wouldn't like to see that again, not in Germany, not in the US. I always thought american democracy was all about this: To allow your political opponent to speak without trying to exclude him from society."

Wow. It doesn't get much more "billig" than that Bernd. Comparing us to Nazis. This is sadly typical. I can't tell you how many times I was warned in Germany by all of the self-proclaimed America Experten that American flag-waving and patriotism was going to lead to Fascism.

For the record Bernd: I said that Michael Moore's book is one of many that attacks America. I am not trying to exclude him from society or deny him the right to speak. He has every right to speak and I would fight to protect his right to speech. In fact, you completely contradict yourself by pointing out that Moore has made millions by selling his books and movies all across America. Doesn't sound to me like Moore is exactly being excluded or shut up in the USA.

Again, we support freedom of speech for everyone. But it is our good right to exercise our right to free speech and criticize others as we see fit if we disagree with them. And that is exactly what we are doing here. If you want to misconstrue that as us trying to shut somebody up, then you are simply dead wrong.

"And by the way: Intellectually, the "anti-american!" rhetoric is by any means really billig."

I am truly sorry that we don't meet your high "intellectual" standards Bernd. It is clear that we simply cannot comprehend the nuance and complexity of your lucid and enlightened arguments.

---Ray D.

@Bernd: "the bureaucracy is out of control". Oh really? How come I didn't notice?

Well, I just saw a program on GermanTV about a German village on the border with Austria, that as a protest voted to leave Germany and align with Austria. The Germans, including the Mayor were telling tales about how things happen in Austria in days, that takes months or longer in Germany. The gasoline is cheaper, so the local gas station is closing. Something like 40% of the German workers are working in Austria, the local hospital has been closed, ER doctors are 60 kilometers away and businesses are closing.

I saw another report about how a city government closed a brothel/spa/club, which was the town's biggest employer. They were closed because in the town's plan, sometime in the future, across the way, beyond the woods, a housing subdivision will be built. The brothel's in an industrial zone. Years from now, houses are going to be built, so the business must be shut down now. Businesses all through the town, taxi, salon's, beverages, etc, have had to let workers go.

I've only had GermanTV/ProSiebenKabel1Welt for 3 weeks and I've watched several other reports like this. Is the German media inventing anti-bureaucracy stories out of whole cloth?

@bernd..
michael moore makes comments like
'the dumbest Brit is smarter than the smartest American'. When he goes to Canada, he changes the comment from Brit to Canadian.
do a google search on it, or go to www.moorewatch.com.
That may not be anti Americanism (I think it is tho),
but it is cheap propaganda. Telling people what they want to hear. They want to think Americans are stupid.. that is what he tells them.
Thus people flock to his appearances and buy his books.
If people who attend his appearances and buy his books do recognize this (that it is propaganda), why is he so popular?
Could it be that they have actually swallowed his line of BS?
and if they believe statements like the one above, isn't that an example of black and white thinking.. oh wait, only George W. and the Amis think black and white, so THAT can't be right.
Moore wrote a letter to a major German newspaper.
He said, Don't follow us, we are stupid and a screwed up society. (in a nutshell)
Many Germans are so desperate to feel good about their own country (and to be honest, they can be proud of what they have built here), that they must tear down others so they can feel good.
and yes, Michael Moore is popular in the USA, but in Europe and Germany he has achieved cult status. I have had people quote 'stupid white men' to me..
Moore is their Jesus, and his books are the Bible.
who says the Germans aren't religious?


let the dogs out and no mercy !!!!

Not wise, NPD. When it comes to a confrontation whom do they think will prevail? A bunch of amateurs on their day off or the US Army? Perhaps they think they are facing the stoned-out German Army? Not the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan?

It should be interesting to see what Stern makes of this. A war crime against poor innocent Germans? Probably....

"The German NPD, a hard right nationalist Neo-Nazi party"???

Don't be ridiculous! Socialism or irrationalism or Fascism has never been RIGHT. The NPD is HARD LEFT!

@ Ray D.

> As far as examples of what Republicans have in common with major European politicians. Well, we need look no farther than Tony Blair or Silvio Berlusconi or the leaders of most of Eastern Europe on Iraq. Most Republicans and European leaders share a strong belief in democracy, open societies and open markets, constitutional rights, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom of the press with many European leaders. This is just a very small list of things these two groups have in common.

OK, and most of them have two arms and walk on their feet also. I mean, most Republicans share those views with most Democrats, so your examples are quite meaningless.

As to red-green: They have social democrat, welfare state background and roots, but have adopted neoliberal thinking in their economic policy. I wouldn't know one single expression to characterize it (there where those attempts labeling it "neue Mitte" or "new labour" in the case of GB, but I think it falls short.) By any means, it is really not "socialist".

Bureaucracy: As I said, from an american perspective, Germany for the last 150 years or so must appear quite over-regulated, over-bureaucratized. You are right that we are struggeling with that because business-owners find it harder to get started in Germany than in other places of the world. But the reason for that is not that suddenly German bureaucracy got "out of control", but that globalization and opening the eastern european markets rised the pressure.

As to anti-americanism and Michael Moore: I did not want to compare you or anyone posting here to Nazis, that would really be billig and deadly wrong, especially for a German. What I wanted to explain is why listening to this term always rings an alarm bell. I did not say that Michael Moore is actually denied his right to free speach - would have been ridiculous regarding his succcess and popularity. I just mean that using the term "anti-american" for liberals or people from the left does exclude them rhetorically from your nation and claims a unique definition of "american" values which is hardly acceptable for your political opponents.

And, by the way, (this is @ amiexpat) although I like Michael Moore's humour and think he has made some important points, especially in "Bowling for Columbine", a lot of what he does or says is indeed very billig, very black and white. While his success in the US pleases me, because I think in the american national debate people know what they are talking about, his international success raises some concerns about the risk of black and white painting and supporting clichés. Many Germans indeed are not informed enough to perceive Moore's polemic as what it is - polemic.

Greetings from Berlin
Bernd

Here in my neck of the woods is a town called Frankenmuth with it's Bavarian Village. It's the number one tourist destination in Michigan and represents the American stereotype of Germany. I can't post pics, but here's some links, see for yourself.
The Zehnder Family owns what seems like half of Frankenmuth, which was founded in 1845 by German Missionaries to convert and aid the local indians. You have the Bavarian Inn, Das Glockenspiel, the covered bridge, and the Frankenmuth Brewery, rebuilt after being destroyed a decade ago, a black day in my book. Yup, here's how us rube, redneck Americans view the evil Germans. Frankenmuth gets bigger and better every year. Check out the Frankenmuth Festivals.

@ Bernd:

"OK, and most of them have two arms and walk on their feet also. I mean, most Republicans share those views with most Democrats, so your examples are quite meaningless."

The comparison is at least as valid (or meaningless) as saying that Democrats and European politicians share common values. This is simply a very broad (over)generalization that indeed has little real significance.

"But the reason for that is not that suddenly German bureaucracy got "out of control", but that globalization and opening the eastern european markets rised the pressure.

So why are other Western European nations doing so much better in terms of economic growth and employment? Take Holland, Ireland, Austria, Great Britain, etc. They face the same challenges of globalization and losing jobs to cheap labor markets in Eastern Europe and Asia. The difference is they don't have the stifling bureaucracy and over-regulation of business and labor. They also don't have the overgrown unions that Germany has and in many cases, they have lower taxes on businesses.

"As to red-green: They have social democrat, welfare state background and roots, but have adopted neoliberal thinking in their economic policy. I wouldn't know one single expression to characterize it (there where those attempts labeling it "neue Mitte" or "new labour" in the case of GB, but I think it falls short.) By any means, it is really not "socialist".

Well, I guess by those standards, the only real "socialist" nation left is North Korea then. In that case, it is a good thing that Socialism is on the way out.

"because I think in the american national debate people know what they are talking about, his international success raises some concerns about the risk of black and white painting and supporting clichés. Many Germans indeed are not informed enough to perceive Moore's polemic as what it is - polemic."

I think you make a valid point here Bernd. It is difficult for Germans to know when Moore is playing on cliches and when he is really serious. Many just accept the entire work as fact. I remember standing on a train station platform the day after our Mainz rally and hearing two young women talk about an American friend but then mention Michael Moore's books and "really knowing what is going on in America," as if Michael Moore was the great revealer of truth about the USA.

I can tell you from my own personal experience that a scene in "Bowling for Columbine" is total nonsense. I lived for many years as a boy in Jackson, Michigan about a mile or so up the road from the Michigan state penetentiary. Despite the nearby prison, many of my neighbors left their doors unlocked. I found it amusing when Michael Moore tried to claim that all of the people in Michigan were fearful door-lockers and all of the people in Canada were relaxed and left their doors open. He must have gone to a particularly bad neighborhood near Detroit. I'm sure there are cities or neighborhoods in Canada where most people lock their doors as well. It was simply revealing in that it showed me how Michael Moore cherry-picked facts to get the dark, paranoid picture of America he wanted.

---Ray D.

I assume that some of you have read P.J. O'Rourke's essay, "Among the Euro-Weenies." It was published over 20 years ago. I've blogged some of his comments from the essay. The kooky hatred really isn't something new. In fact, when you read the essay all you have to do is replace "Reagan" with "Bush" and "Qaddafi" with "Saddam" and his essay could be reprinted today.

The NPD rants about the same things as the kooky left.

http://louminatti.blogspot.com/2005/04/more-things-change.html

@Bernd..
you have your head on straight (that is a compliment). I disagree with the way Michael Moore distorts facts (sometimes), but I think he does the US a valuable service in that he keeps up dust. If he makes people think, dig for facts and evaluate (which he often does), he is doing a very good thing.
That said, I will never buy anything he has his hands on. No way will he make a dime off of me.
Bernd, I appreciate your postings...
and to be honest I appreciate Michael Moore's humour as well, even though I don't agree with his politics. I saw Roger and Me years ago- loved it.
It is just that living in Europe has soured me on him.
steve

Would someone be good enought to tell me EXACTLY where this "National Center" is located? I have a sister who lives there and teaches US Army military dependents (kindergarden). She doesn't know where it is and would like to avoid it.

Note from David: This picture most likely shows the tennis hall the NPD bought. The neo-nazi in the forefront has been copied into the picture, but I guess the building is for real.

Would someone be good enought to tell me EXACTLY where this "National Center" is located? I have a sister who lives there and teaches US Army military dependents (kindergarden). She doesn't know where it is and would like to avoid it.

Here is a picture Joe Brassard:

Tennis Hall

---Ray D.

The German press rant about America because they have nothing else of note to discuss. The American press make almost no mention of Germany because almost nothing German of note happens on the world stage. In other words, Germany is weltnil.

I'd like to grab a piece of this Uwe, say his head, and mount it on my wall! If this is where Germany is heading, let's go for a pre-emptive strike!

Thanks Ray

I am starting to think our US military should stay in Germany. They will act as a tripwire when the next German Fascist or Communist movement/government threatens world peace. It also will serve as a base for our Intelligence operations when and if Germany starts selling advanced military technology and arms to China or Iran.

The US presence in Germany is not because of NATO, or that Germany is the friend of the US. The US military presence in Germany is due to Germany's aggressive wars of the last century. The US needs to stay in Germany to enforce the treaties that ended WW2.

@Bernd:

"I just mean that using the term "anti-american" for liberals or people from the left does exclude them rhetorically from your nation and claims a unique definition of "american" values which is hardly acceptable for your political opponents."

Then you will be pleased to know that the term "anti-American" is not generally used to describe liberals or Democrats, or their policies or values. It is used to describe statements or positions that are explicitly against the United States -- its very existence, for example (in the case of the neo-Nazi slogans), or the right of its people to exist (in the case of Ward Churchill), or the general stupidity and evil intent of its population (some of which appears in the German press and has been reported on this site).

As for your fear that liberals and/or Democrats are excluded "rhetorically" from participating in public debate in the U.S., you might want to read the op ed pages of New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, New Yorker Magazine or New Republic, or watch a U.S. TV news report, or attend a class at Columbia, Berkeley, or any number of American universities. Then tell us if you still fear that Democrats and liberals feel excluded from political speech in this country.

Also, when making comparisons between the use of the terms "anti-American" and "undeutch," please recall that when people were called "undeutch" in Germany it was the precursor to being put in jail or a concentration camp. If you can point to one example of this happening to an American liberal or Democrat based on their political speech, please let us know.

On the other hand, I note that Dutch politicians who are deemed insufficiently liberal in their thinking are in danger of being either shot dead on the street, or kept in jails or military bases for their own protection. When and if this trend ever reaches America, I'm sure you will read about it in the American press.

Lots of posts over the last three days, so I skipped some and parts of others. Anyway, there are a few things I am wondering about (some of them were already brought up, but not really answered).

In a free country, what is one to do against Nazis buying a building? They are allowed to have rallies (especially on private property), post things on their websites (reading npd.de really saddens me), print newspapers with outrageous claims. They receive the public's money to finance elections and maybe it was even used to buy this hall. But this is all within German laws. And, as other people have pointed out and as it happens very often, those laws are very thoroughly applied when the NPD performs another publicity stunt. One could even say that the NPD is treated unfairly* by the German political establishment. Where is the outrage about that? Freedom of speech? Not in post-3rdReich Germany! [* Of course, they don't deserve any better treatment since the NPD is, well, a Nazi-Party.]

Also note that Germany has the 5%-Hurdle-Law (not applicable to communists in the freshly unified Germany and Danish minorities) to keep parties with "new" opinions out of the political game. For years, this 5%-Hurdle has kept the NPD, DVU, Communists, various fundamental Christians, Greens, et al out of the parliaments. Unfair? Well, it is not working anymore anyway with the right extremists* (as we tend to call them, not "hard" right/left/whatever) winning significantly more than 5% of the votes in some of the states. Wait, 3 to be exact. Extremism is on the rise, but only the part it plays in everyday politics. I am not aware of any significant increase in the number of racism-related criminal assaults (No English summary, but here's the full text, starting at page 28 or so.) [* There is more than a left and right in the political spectrum. However, the term left extremists is reserved for rock-throwing pacifists and punks. And considering the official political agenda of the National Socialist German Workers' Party is missing the point. If free-market capitalism would have gotten them more votes, they would have been called National Open Market and Wealth for the Courageous Investor Party and committed the same atrocities. For the same reasons, the NPD is now using, among others, socialist slogans in (almost ;) post-communism East Germany.]

Yes, we are very sensitive about our history or what we believe our history to be. We might have forgotten some minor things (like armed Americans visiting us before American tourists did), but racism is frowned upon by most people. "Racism", that is something directed at people that look different. Our racist-radar does not go off on anti-Americanism, since Americans are white (in our opinion). (Well, we would be calling it racism if you come from East Europe even though you are white, but that's because you are probably dirty and want to steal my VW.) There is also an ongoing effort to make people forget about the "good times before '45". Many things that could be related to the glorification of the Third Reich (often simply reminders) have been banned long ago, e.g. Mein Kampf, Nazi insignias etc. (Correct me if I am wrong.) Today, Nazi websites get a similar treatment as child rape websites, being actively searched and shut down by special (understaffed) police forces (as laws allow, since, unlike child rape, there is always a certain amount of racism/hatred/bullshit covered under freedom of speech). NPD rallies are countered by left extremists as well as more moderate lefts&rights, even if the NPD boys wave "Stop Bush" flags. They are also hit by the full force of German bureaucracy (but organizing a demo does not require an enormous amount of bureaucracy in general, so our possibilities are limited here.) (I am repeating myself ... repeating myself.)

So, what does it mean if real Nazis decide to provoke American and German citizens? Nothing good, but we didn't expect anything good from them anyway.

What does it mean if Germans try hard to keep the NPD out of (t)here?


And now, on a completely different note, and not related to this but to one of the comments, and not really the "cream" of my post:

(Re the post by Ray D. | April 8, 2005 04:37 PM)
To most Americans who look over at Germany, the Germany's Socialist government and media seem out of touch with modernity: [...] Fewer Germans have internet access than their neighbors

Umm, what does the accessibility of the internet have to do with the Schroeder government? The reason the government kept most of the Deutsche Telekom after privatization is to make money. Since that didn't work out as planned, they haven't sold their shares yet in hope of better days. If they could have sold the entire Telekom to get rid of their debts, they surely would have. I see the monopoly on expensive local phone calls (more expensive than calls to the US from competing companies) as the historical main reason for the lack of internet in Germany. With free local phone calls, ISDN dial-up would have kicked ass 10 years ago ... oh well, I am dreaming. And the Telekom is, after all, a private company now. Would you favour Schroeder forcing the Telekom to offer a Volksnetz?

It's late and I hope some things made sense. Have a good night!

I'm not particularly concerned. If anyone's forgotten how things turned out the LAST time Nazis and American soldiers tangoed, just look around Germany. Some places, the craters are still there.

The reason for this extremism is that Germany does not have a truely conservative party which is Christian oriented and defends the right of expellees to return to their home country based upon international law. The leading figures in Germany today thrive on a concept of Germany's "collective guilt" which, by the way, is totally illegal.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@ Niko and others,

Please keep in mind that Peter is originally from a part of the world that was once a part of the German state and that his family was forcefully driven from its home when he was young because of the war. Not many of us can say that this has happened to our immediate families. I am just asking people to recognize that and to be considerate, ie, don't judge others until you've walked a mile in their shoes.

Having said that, I find it difficult to support redrawing international borders after 60 years, I just don't know how that would be accomplished. I believe that if German families want to go back to their ancestral lands, they ought to have the right to buy back the land and eastern European countries should not be allowed to make that illegal, but I just can't see giving parts of present-day Poland, Russia, etc. back to Germany. Peter, what would you suggest as a solution? Perhaps we have to agree to disagree on this particular point. My German great-grandparents are originally from Karlsbad (Karlovy-Vary) in the present day Czech Republic, but I still can't see asking that country to give the land to Germany. Perhaps if some of us want to go there and buy back the family farm, etc., that would be ok.

I do completely agree with you that the German left likes to exploit Germany's historic "collective guilt".

---Ray D.

@ Niko,

Good point. This is a very difficult issue because you have to consider what is fair for individuals and families and also what is fair for nations. Sometimes the two conflict.

---Ray D.

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