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Being tall myself I can say that when posing for a picture with the vertically challenged I sometimes lean down to their level

What a good sport Bush is

By all means, Ray, print your post on letterhead (or in an e-mail), and send it to the Op-Ed page of the Miami Herald.

Other regular commenters on this blog, feel free to follow suit!

Here are the main addresses of interest:
Letters to the Editor
HeraldEd@herald.com
FAX: 1 (305) 376-8950
MAIL: The Readers' Forum
The Herald
One Herald Plaza
Miami, Fl 33132-1693
USA
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/

(PS: I wonder if they had a translated versioin of the ad in the daily's Spanish-language version...)

Howdy,

The German government appears to be running these ads in most major US newspapers. The same advert appeared in the Houston Chronicle earlier this week. In fact, I was gonna mention it here and forgot to.

It was a waste of your tax dollars, if you ask my opinion. As I've mentioned before, Americans don't really care about what Schroeder's government has or hasn't done. American vitriol, what there is of it, continues to be aimed squarely at France. Americans who are opinionated about Germany pretty much limit their anger to "Why are we still there?"

Is this another example of gleichgeschaltet in action? The nerve of Bush and his Miami cronies publishing this VNR the very same week as the Spiegel article (catalog #200503).

Miami? Houston? What? Are there business deals with German companies going down in those cities that might be perceived as shipping American jobs to Germany or something? Otherwise, most Americans don't give a rat's ass about the place, except as Lou noted "Why are we still there?"

Hi Volks,

What strikes me is the unmatched cynicism of this ad campaign! Back before the US presidential election, I searched the Kanzleramt site in vain for a photo of Schöder and his "good pal" from Texas. Back then, the chancellor was still riding on the crest of a wave of populist anti-Bush and anti-American sentiment. Never once did a member of the German government so much as question or challenge the fear-mongering and hateful propaganda oozing from every pore in the German media.

What tremendous balls the chancellor has! After failing to even try to help the German economy back to its own stable footing, the chancellor is hoping that those "evil capitalist/materialistic" fools in America can at least be enlisted to keep the German exports rolling off the showroom floors, strong euro be damned. How long does the chancellor plan to keep slapping America in the face -- and looking for new friends who find equal disdain for US growth, capitalism and common sense -- before the US press wakes up and asks what the hell that neo- and eco-socialist government in the GDR-Lite is really trying to pull!

BTW: Cheers for the excellent commentary and blog -- have been an (ir)regular reader for a couple years now: both while I still lived in D and afterwards, when I abandoned hope and returned to the comforts of the USA.

Mark

I would love to see this ad in GERMAN newspapers and watch how the German left would react :).

Oh, wait. Maybe I have that backwards. Maybe it's because Schroeder is trying to drum up support for keeping the US bases in Germany. But Miami? Houston? Nah, I still don't get it.

Maybe Mark is on to it - exports?

By the way, since Schroeder is now our buddy and all, can he explain France's latest position regarding the China/Taiwan issue?

"During a state visit to China, French Premier Raffarin threw support behind a law allowing China to attack Taiwan and continued to push for a lift of the EU arms embargo."

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1559253,00.html

So now the French support a brutal communist dictatorship in its quest to attack a peaceful, progressive democratic country. Does Germany REALLY want to be pals with the French? I don't think history will judge France kindly for this.

Hi guys,

Actually there's a real mundane reason for that ad running in both miami and houston. There's a real good chance that it's running somewhere in chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as well -- that's where all the US consulates are located.

Hope that helps quell the conspiracy theorists!

Karsten, I thought of that too. But I live in the Washington DC metro area where the actual Embassy is and there's nothing in either of the metro papers here.

It may well be that they are targeting "red" states where the image of Germany is hurting the most. That is my theory for now, and it is just a theory.

---Ray D.

Oh, Ray you just gave me an idea. Houston is in Dubya's home state of Texas, Miami is in Florida, where his brother Jeb is Governor.

tap tap tap

Is this thing on?

Miami and Houston are "blue" parts of "red" states. They are large cities with rich people and international airports. The German governnment wants to grow its economy, and employ its citizens, by attracting foreign tourism from abroad. Americans aren't thrilled with the idea of international travel right now; all Americans feel the animosity the world has directed our way, even if some of us were not thrilled with the way things happened.

I for one happen to think the ads are a nice gesture and constitute a small part of a pragmatic economic strategy.

Anyway, what would you have done with the $50,000? I think the German taxpayers got a bargain.

@ Nick:

"Americans aren't thrilled with the idea of international travel right now; all Americans feel the animosity the world has directed our way"

Exactly. And this Schroeder government has repeatedly exploited anti-American sentiment in Germany for political gain. And now they want to convince Americans they are their best buddies to "grow their economy?" This ad is disingenuous bullshit at its worst nick. I just hope most Americans aren't fooled by this garbage.

---Ray D.

UPDATE: I went to the website on the poster. Very impressive, and (probably) cost the German tax payer WAY more than $50,000. Took literally one click to get to a page that explains how to get a visa.

"This ad is disingenuous bullshit at its worst nick. I just hope most Americans aren't fooled by this garbage."

I certainly have no reason to disagree with that statement. I confess to not knowing a great deal about Germany's domestic politics. It still looks like a ploy for tourism to me, despite the hypocrisy you allege.

Wow...this took real cajones. I mean really, "against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction?"

How can he say that? After seventeen UN resolutions had passed, Germany didn't want to do ANYTHING to Iraq. And "Peace?" How? By selling arms to China?

Yeah, I'd venture a guess that this has to do with tourism. Americans aren't going to Europe as much as they used to. Partially because of anit-Americanism, but also because of the weak dollar vs. strong Euro. Germany's economy could use some tourist dollars right now.

But that's all just a guess.

I'd say 99% of the American People would not be able to identify Chancellor Schroeder. The 1% who can, also know how anti-American he's been. Just from an effective PR point of view, they should've used a picture of the Berlin Wall coming down or some other well-known, indeed stereotypical images of a friendly Germany. Germany values it's freedom, thanks America for it's unity and works closing with America in Afghanistan for its freedom. America and Germany working together for Freedom, Peace and Prosperity for all. Man, they ought to hire me for that job, I need the money.

If that's a tourism ad, then Germany's got bigger problems. Besides, about a month ago E-nough had the lastest German tourism ads in France. Their slogan being "A Foretaste of Germany"

http://www.e-nough.hmdnsgroup.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi?__mode=view&entry_id=922

One, Foreign ads like this in American Newspapers are very rare. I'm 40 and this is the first time I've seen one. Ususally countries will have little "suppliments" in magazines stating the economic benefits of investing there. Sorry Karsten, but your "nothing to see here" explanation is week. Two, German tourist advertising is a lot beter than that. So WTF is the ad for?

The logo looks like the Brabdenburg Gate in flames to me. Maybe there is something they are trying to tell us.

Sorry, this link to the E-nough posters should work better.

http://www.e-nough.hmdnsgroup.com/archives/000922.html

I guess it could be a tourism play. Houston and Miami? A Catholic Hispanic socialist cool weather retreat in the middle of a Southern hot summer kind of appeal? Imagine how disappointed they will be to find these people are Christians. Could that be the design? It's pretty curious bullshit.

Either way, I'd be willing to chip in a few bucks to run the original ad in a thumbnail highlighting the "rewrite" content, perhaps with some carefully selected reviews from forum commentors in the German national press. Make it a parody ad for the DM website in Germany.

In the picture schroeder dos n't look comfortable in his own skin. I may be reading too much into it but it looks to me like Bush just told Schroeder to bark like a dog.

I'm curious, was this the same ad firm responsible for France's Woody Allen charm offensive toward the US.

Hi folks,
Think positive. First the dog bit you and now he licks your feet. Old German speciality.
Best wishes Mark Mallokent

Maybe the election of a German and conservative pope has helped Mr. Schroeder to re-locate his missing balls?

Perhaps he sees the handwriting on the wall?

First the reelection of Bush. Then the purple fingers of the Iraq election. And now Ratzinger.

Schroeder is a very smart man. Hey, he still has a job.(but not for long)
Since the Republicans are going to change the law so Arnold can run. Schroeder is going to slip in there to run against him. He has to pick up the southern states.
Of course, I could be wrong.

The advert appeared again today in the Houston Chronicle. Half page, 4-color, section A. The URL points to the German consulate in Houston.

If the ad hasn't been spotted in other US cities, perhaps the reason the ads are appearing in Houston and Miami are due to the fact that both cities are major ports and serve as trade hubs for Latin America. I can't say that I follow the logic, but those are the only similarities I can see between the two cities.

I don't buy the "advertising where the Bush brothers are" argument. Jeb Bush is in Tallahassee, in northern Florida about 500 miles away. GW is in DC and I doubt he reads the Chronicle.

If we had some reports from readers in other states who saw these ads it would solve the mystery. I'll be in NYC this weekend and will scan the newspapers while I'm there.

We saw this in the Houston Chronicle the other day. I laughed and laughed. I had no idea you'd be interested. You'll see that there's text in the lower left (in your image) that identifies the photo as being taken in Mainz. I told my boyfriend that Bush and Schroeder were no doubt chuckling warmly at the witty head-up-the-ass float you mentioned.

I think it's even simpler - Florida and Texas have two things: retirees from Germany and many reiterrs from the military - people who have fond past feelings for Germany from having been posted there.

Of course it was an earlier time when the prejudice wasn't as obvious. Time also blurs bad memories as well.

It's almose certainly an attempt to influence the public.

What are German consulates in foreign countries supposed to do? Promote a positive image of Germany! This ad still looks like a greenhorn middle aged diplomat kinda guy developed it with mediocre marketing assistance but we're getting there. German propaganda is, of course, not quite as efficient as the professional lobbying by Jeff Gedmin and the Aspen Institute in Berlin.

Just for the record: Germany does not intend to sell arms to China. The domestic export restrictions don't allow for that (were made by the Greens!). Fact is: Schroeder does his buddy Chirac a favor in promoting the end of the embargo. http://www.bundesregierung.de/-,413.816269/rede/Rede-von-Bundeskanzler-Schroed.htm

Just palin Bizzare. If it's meant as a tourist ad, it's ill cioncieved. No one knows who schroeder is and people don't necessarily care about politics when they travel. Also the cities don't make sense.

The thing that I notice, which is along the lines of Joe N.'s comment, is that Houston and Miami are hot spots for german tourists. I'm basing this on my personal experience, no hard data, but of the germans I've met go south, florida is huge and, oddly, so ids the south in general. Is there an anti german backlash in those areas.

Honestly it's too bizzare to contemplate. I'm really reaching here to get something reasonable.

Anyone know if Atlanta got one?

Frank, there's little, if ANY anti-German sentiment in the US. What little there is is contained on message boards. I'm sounding like a broken record, but any anti-European animosity is aimed squarely at the French, not the Germans.

Maybe Schroeder's attempting to buy an insurance policy in case the "EU Experiment" doesn't work out. Is it coincidence that these ads are appearing just as the so-called EU constitution shows signs of being in trouble? Just a thought.

Does anyone recall the ads that Saudi Arabia was running in various US publications? It was within the last year or two. Those are closest thing to this ad that I can recall, and they obviously weren't trying to attract tourists.

I haven't seen these ads in NYC but I do recall the Saudi ones

Oh, yeah, I remember those Saudi ads. A Wahsington PR/lobbying firm handled them. The Saudis are in a big public relations push in the U.S.

Too late. The only country that beats France on the U.S. we-hate-you list.

Gehard should be so lucky as to have Dubya pose that close to him. When will the voters throw the SDU out?

I saw this photo, and I think my inital reaction was typical of most Amerians who would see this:
1) "Why didn't the guy with the hairy eyebrows clip them before getting his picture taken with President Bush?"
2) "Why is the building logo dripping blood?"
3) "?"

Frank, I agree with Lou. I'm in Tallahassee (home of Jeb :D ), and agree that any anti-European feelings are aimed at France alone. For myself, although I know that there's anti-US sentiment in Germany, for totally illogical reasons of my own, I feel that it was either instigated or is being egged on by France, or both. But that's just me :).

@mjc: You got it. I think most commenters are missing the point. This ad is going to have zero effect. People are going look at it and say WTF? Someone wants to prove that they've had their picture taken with President Bush and is willing to spend $50K to print it in the paper, turn page.

The logo will be completely meaningless. No one knows the what the German flag looks like or that drawing of the Brandenburger Gate. German taxpayers just had hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted. Houston and Miami bedanken sich. ;^)

You've got it Jabba, the common refrain will be...Who? Although with the Saudi attempt to bolster their image, through ads, and the British MSM attempt to directly influence the election, the ad could backfire by causing more questions than desired. Such as...Why?

How do you spell Lie?

That is too simple. Schroeder

How many of the elderly Jews in south Florida do you think are going to swallow Ubergruppenfuhrer Schroeder's line of bulls**t?

A picture of Gerd and Vlad Putin is certainly more realistic.

Anybody read about the spy scandal? The Germans apparently caught the Russians red-handed. But because things are "so good" between Russia and Germany, I guess it's no big deal!

English Link:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/04/24/wgerm24.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/04/24/ixworld.html

German link (from 'Spiegel', 18 April): http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,351630,00.html

Should one be interested in writing letters to the editor of the "Houston Chronicle" and Miami Herald about these ridiculously hypocritical ads from the German Consulate, here are some addresses:

Houston: viewpoints@chron.com

Miami: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/contact_us/feedback/

While Houston and Miami may be "blue cities" in "red states", the distribution of their largest newspapers is statewide. I do think it's pretty cheap advertising (in every sense of the word "cheap") in 2 of the most POPULATED red states. Don't need much advertising in California and New York. The last time I was in NYC, there were so many German cars on the street, I thought I might have caught the wrong flight -- to Berlin. All the yellow cabs settled my nerves.

Maybe there isn't loud public criticism of Germany in America; however, I'd be willing to bet German products have not sold as well in America since Schroeder committed his treachery to get reelected.

Money talks.

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/www/en/laenderinfos/laender/laender_ausgabe_html?type_id=14&land_id=188

German exports to US (Euro billion)

--2000 61.8
--2001 67.8
--2002 68.3
--2003 *61.7*

I swear that I did not look this up before I made my bet. Well, anyway... it equals about a 10% drop in export value in one year. I'm not sure how much the Euro / Dollar exchange rates have influenced these numbers. But, I do find the "trend" interesting. I do not believe that Schroeders actions in 2002 had "zero" effect on these stats, nor a positive effect.


@James W,

Below the USD/EUR rate which also has had a large impact on making German made products appear expensive in the USA. Unfortunately, I don't think many Americans are aware of Germanys attitudes towards them when it comes time to thier purchasing decisions...

Feb 00 0.96280
Mar 00 0.95690
Apr 00 0.91130
May 00 0.92740
Jun 00 0.95860
Jul 00 0.92660
Aug 00 0.88910
Sep 00 0.88250
Oct 00 0.84760
Nov 00 0.87050
Dec 00 0.93890
Jan 01 0.93000
Feb 01 0.91960
Mar 01 0.88400
Apr 01 0.88660
May 01 0.84760
Jun 01 0.84660
Jul 01 0.87500
Aug 01 0.90840
Sep 01 0.91070
Oct 01 0.90070
Nov 01 0.89540
Dec 01 0.89040
Jan 02 0.86090
Feb 02 0.86500
Mar 02 0.87240
Apr 02 0.90110
May 02 0.93430
Jun 02 0.98760
Jul 02 0.98040
Aug 02 0.98070
Sep 02 0.98830
Oct 02 0.99030
Nov 02 0.99480
Dec 02 1.04940
Jan 03 1.07350
Feb 03 1.07780
Mar 03 1.09120
Apr 03 1.11600
May 03 1.17610
Jun 03 1.14840
Jul 03 1.12560
Aug 03 1.09790
Sep 03 1.16450
Oct 03 1.16250
Nov 03 1.19870
Dec 03 1.26130
Jan 04 1.24230
Feb 04 1.24250
Mar 04 1.22890
Apr 04 1.19880
May 04 1.22115
Jun 04 1.21670
Jul 04 1.20395
Aug 04 1.21530
Sep 04 1.24200
Oct 04 1.27205
Nov 04 1.32905
Dec 04 1.35925
Jan 05 1.30355
Feb 05 1.32735
Mar 05 1.32035

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