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I'm going to take a guess and assume that this German diplomat is struggling to get out of the US and be posted to a far more civilized country. Yup.

"No good deed goes unpunished."
It is a shame that President Bush cannot
run for another term. He understands that
the majority of American taxpayers are sick
of having their hard earned dollars "flushed
down the toilet" that is the "compassion" of the
Left.
After more than 50 billion dollars thrown into
Africa, what do we have to show for it? The
Left here plays the racist card when Pres.
Bush puts limits on who will earn our financial
aid. Our inner city public schools are a
great example of the the Left and their
control of the National Education Association
(the teachers' union) just give more money
while allowing us to take care of the student
self esteem with social promotion. Isn't is
wonderful that the kid who cannot read and
cannot understand basic math graduates thinking
he is special. Daily they scream about the
"No Child Left Behind" legislation that tests
for results and penalizes teachers and the
schools that are (how unfair can you be) not
teaching.
I really love the "we hate you but please
keep all your bases and all your military
personnel here, we really need their money
and the jobs". Sure it will help our Defense
budget to maintain bases in other more
appreciative countries.
This may be a very simple annecdotal
observation on my part but I have never known
a conservative/Republican that used drugs.
They drank lots of beer at school and continue
to use alcohol but drug use is not accepted.
Whereas the majority of the Democrats that I
know brag about their use of drugs in school
and joke about still smoking and sniffing
"socially". I have come to my own conclusion
that much of their behavior is due to damage
in the brain from their own use or that of
their parents. One of these days someone
will do a study that compares the brain function
of the logical to the brainwashed socialists
who cannot grasp history. In Germany the
history is not so long ago - it is discouraging.
Keep up good work.
Regards from Pittsburgh, Pa, USA

How incredibly rude of that "diplomat". I thought only so-called "ugly Americans" behaved like that. Oh, that's right, when I visited Germany (BTW, I'm not a diplomat, just a regular shmoe) I would never have dreamed of criticising the homeland of the people that live there, even if my criticisms were totally legitimate (which this guy's were not). See, in my country, we are taught that we don't dry our hands on the drapes after using the bathroom in another person's home. Which is essentially what this idiot did. Nice.

Sad as it is to admit it - this idiot's perception of what is acceptable is probably influenced by living in my hometown - NYC

I would guess that he has ruminated on the same subjects many times with American guests from NYC and generally found a positive reception for his astute analysis of why the US is the cause of most, if not all, of the worlds ills

Diplomats in NY ( ie: UN staff ) don't know anything about America from their sheltered and pampered world in Turtle Bay ( thats the part of NYC where the UN and most consulates are located )

He is German. Do you really expect him to know anything? He is much like Abe. He has had too much kool aid. He must be a dranking buddy of Hans.

And what topics do you expect him to engage in? Surely nothing about world diplomancy.

So the best he can do is to pick up the lines of his nation and their fight for world social justice, how Germany has always supported human rights, and how the european social model as implemented by france and Germany is superior to all others.

All that was missing was dribble about "root causes" and soft power.

And to think the taxpayers of Germany get to pay for this.

No wonder everyone wants to grow to be an elite. It means you never have to grow up and function in the real world.

This guy is a real extremist, now rude talks but next deeds ,he will inflict devastating harm.
With his diplomatic immunity and his rank , he can smuggle WMD or Al Qaeda guys into USA.

What happened to the Germany I fell in love with years ago?

When I read stories like this, I am just heartbroken by them.

Thank God I have another side to balance against these stories, namely my German friends and this blog.

...some day perhaps his granchildren will recognize him for the idiot he was...In this day it's obvious to me.

To this German diplomat and others of his ilk...Don't talk the talk unless you can walk the walk...You crawl while we sprint...again...please, check out Adam Smith.


meh

That was a real philistine - all opinion and no information! They are all around and really make me sick! If you check them out, you'll always find that they even lack the most basic knowledge of what they are babbling about. They are a real disgrace!

These comments are so bad, why does Stephens not publish the name of the diplomat? Surely he would give the German embassy in the US the chance to investigate and disclipine this guy.

Instead the guy remains anonymous and we don't even know if the conversation actually happened this way.

Apologies for my last post.
I made the comment before I read the whole article. He doesn't seem to be keen on publishing his name since their wives are good friends and since the conversation was a private one.

still, I think he should give us the name so something can be done. Diplomats like this are shameful for Germany and I believe that they don't represent German diplomats in general.

@poguemahone
"Sad as it is to admit it - this idiot's perception of what is acceptable is probably influenced by living in my hometown - NYC"
His perception may indeed have been reinforced by living in New York, but believe me, German universites are full of fools who believe that America is the root of all evil in the world, though many of them have never set foot in America. The diplomat discussed above is, unfortunately, repesentative of a rather large group German academics who seem to do nothing but eat, drink, sleep and hate America. They also seem to assume that everyone else feels the same, and are simply incapable of talking about anything else -- as evidenced by the discussion described in the post. It is useless to try and change the subject as Mr. Stephens did. The best thing to do is start asking why Schoeder doesn't pressure Putin more about Chechniya, or about the French oil deals with Saddam. This will shut them up, and also has the welcome side effect of removing you from their alternate reality; they will not only no longer talk to you, they generally won't even acknowledge that you exist, if they can avoid it.

Am I correct in presuming that he must work here?

If so then these quotes from the site stand out somewhat after reading this post:

Our Consular Section staff is there to help you, offering consular and legal assistance for U.S. residents and German citizens.
Honorary consuls are active in many areas that are beyond the scope of the Diplomatic and Consular missions. Our Honorary Consuls are well connected and have an in-depth knowledge of conditions in the local area.
Helping journalists do their job is the responsibility of the Press Division -- from up-to-date topics, to background information, to assistance with research.
The Cultural section offers a host of information on Germany’s cultural positions.

So you see.... the guy was just doing his job!


Although I respect Bret Stephens decision to not directly name the guy I think itd be great if people wrote to complain that this guy is representing them in New York. Even those Germans who arent great Bush fans surely cant be happy with this fool talking crap at expensive dinners on their behalf. If enough people complain then perhaps it will be noted. Trouble is youd probably have to complain to the Foreign Office....

When the story was mentionned in Rantburg we found the story did not sound right. The behaviour of the journalist sounded suspect: while you or I could be taken aback or be unable to find a way a counter on the spot, specially when subject to restrictive ROE (1) like when being a guest, this was a journalist involved in talk shows. And this journalist had not precisely a patriotic record. Now what I believe is that the journalist has narrated the experience who happenned to another person.

(1) a week ago I experienced this: I was the guest of a moonbat but I only found the adequate reply 15 minutes later, the initial one was so harsh it would have involved an instant break of the party. And in addition my best half and the moon bat work on the same project.

Consequences are a difficult thing here. You can´t really reprimand someone for making idiotic remarks in a private conversation at his own dinner table.
But Stephens "accidentally" included quite a lot of information, so it´s probably not hard for someone in the trade to guess whom he was talking about. I hope that some really senior diplomat will do this guessing and have a little chat with the idiot in question.

There´s one thing I don´t like about the way Stephens handled this, though: My point of view is: If you were too cowardly to say the things you wanted while looking the man in his eyes, then shut up altogether. Don´t start sniping from a save distance.

I give the diplomat a pass. Anyone who reads the US tax code would occur physical brain damage, the effects of which could take years to recover from. As proof I give you the politicians who wrote the laws and the lawyers who work amongst those acts. Hopefully, science will find a cure.

Hi -

Paul from Florida: the German tax code is even worse. A friend of mine here is a tax attorney and in his office there are three lawyers whose only job is keeping abreast of the contradictory court decisions dealing with how to implement certain aspects of the German tax code.

No one understands it: every attempt to create more equitable taxation ends up in an increase is tax inequality.

But the person in question is indeed a moonbat, and the fundamental point here is that this sort of pathetic, blunt, ignorant, empty anti-Americanism is still around exactly because there are no penalties involved. I live in Germany and I steadfastly refuse to comment on German affairs in business settings because it is not my place to do so, as a guest in this country of enormous potential and tremendous waste.

John

PS: That doesn't mean I don't do it on my blog. I do, when I get a chance...

@JFM

Ah, you might be on to something! I found this a bit strange, too: It sounds as if the only alternatives available to Stephens were either to shout "Shut up, you stupid idiot!" or else to remain silent.
But a journalist should have no problem to smash something like the North Korea comparison easily, and even in a perfectly polite way (if that was so important to him).

Sounds like the guy models himself on his a fantasist pompous windbag boss, the German Ambassador to the US. He said before Memorial Day:

"In the last year or so, as we've engaged in discussions about the transformation of the Middle East and democracy, I have told my American friends that the region in this world that has seen the most transformation and change is Central and Eastern Europe (since 1990)--without shedding a drop of blood. So don't preach to us."

I keep running into this sort of rant from Germans I meet socially, and have given up being polite. Here are some responses I use:

"That's bullshit, and you know it" (courtesy the late lamented Diplomad).

"When will your best buddy Putin have cleansed Chechnya?"

"Is it now German policy to support the extermination of the Jewish people"

"Are you guys still in the poison gas and missile export business? Or has the US put all your customers out of business?"

"Do you expect the Brits to overtake your GNP in 2007, or will it be later?"

After at most 2 of these, they start talking about the weather.

That Wall St. Journal is almost hard to believe. A [German] diplomat (or any 'normal' person) talking to a guest at one's home like that? Absolutely amazing and incredulous.

Lost post should read, "That Wall St. Journal ARTICLE...."

Bret Stephens describes perfectly the dilemma of Americans who have been raised with manners. It is rare that a German is responded to in kind by an American guest. Mind you, he was a guest in this man's home in our country and I was a guest in his country. I addressed this issue to German friends that Americans often choose to be well mannered in social situations rather than start a fight. I was told that I do not understand the German "Streitkultur" (Fighting Culture). Oftentimes the small talk of American social situations is described as superficial by Germans living in the US. It's not that the small talk is superficial it is that Americans choose to respond to impolite personal attacks with manners, waiting and praying that our attackers will find someone else to speak to so that we can enjoy our evening. "Wie du kommst gegangen, so wirst du auch empfangen" (your own behaviour dictates how you are treated).

Should this German Senior Official per chance read this blog, please go home and make way for someone who actually cares about the relationship between our two countries. Your behaviour proves that you have no diplomatic skills. Please make room for those who do.

Mr. Stephens absolutely should have met this dunderhead "head on," and engaged in the debate. Everbody knows that this commentary by the "diplomat" was intended to goad Mr. Stephens. A self-absorbed bully needs to be pushed back. Particulary with the absurdity of the US tax code comment. While our code is certainly in need of simplification, the German code as a model??? This is ridiculous!!!

John F. Opie,

In March I tagged along with a friend who has large share of in a metals firm in Bochum. I saw a lot of potential, as obviously my friend has too. But the regulations described to me were just crazy. Furthermore in a way I can't quiet put my finger on, the Germans seemed depressed, tentative, everyone waiting for something. This of course was before the state elections. I thought at the time, and still do, Germany needs a Ronald Reagan, someone positive, get the country moving again.

Trish

Re, "German Fighting Culture". When I moved from Massachusetts to Florida, a southerner explained to me that a true southerner will be polite to you right up until he kills you.

Stop being polite to these people.

If as tourists in the US or any other circumstance.

Stop being polite, " oh yes, we DO have problems, yes, things seem to be more sophisticated in Europe, yes we DO have a cultural deficit " . Balony !
If people are so " dreist und dämlich " in status of being a guest, give them Hell ! Give it back in spades.

From the bright side : The longer the zeropeans think their socialist model is superior, the less competition the USA will have from them.
Imagine the competitor europe could be if it would be capitalist, 450 million people!
Now it's only China to watch out for, perfect!
Divide et impera like the romans would say.

I used to be quite rude to moonbats too.
Then, for a while, i stopped with it because i thought it could harm some friendships.
But it's just so difficult to shut up while those LLL are barking, i gave it up.
I just love to bully moonbats, they are so incredibely retarded and i enjoy making fun of them in front of everyone.
The fun is just better then the friendship, and what's more, they always tend to come back !
A moonbat is like gum : it keeps sticking and however you insult them, they always come back.
Maybe it's because they hope next time they will win the argument.
But it's probably just typical leftish masochism : they like self-mutilation and hate themselves, so they don't mind being bullied !

So don't ever be afraid to be rude or impolite towards a moonbat, they like to be challanged and don't mind being ridiculed !

Paul from Florida
>>Furthermore in a way I can't quiet put my finger on, the Germans seemed depressed, tentative, everyone waiting for something.
I had a girlfriend who worked in Essen for at tleast 2 years - it may have been 3 - in the late 90's. My husband had a 10 day trade show in Cologne in '98. Apparently, what you observed had nothing to do with the elections. Both my friend and my husband found the most notable thing about Germans is that they seem unhappy. Not just reserved. Unhappy and depressed.

What do you expect? Germany is steeped in the nihilistic world view as fed by their cultural institutions such as the media and other intellectual elites. Nihilism philosophy produces malaise, depression, anger, resentment and despair. Collectively, German society has no hope. Such society is made up of angry, self-righteous sour-pusses who have no energy and no dreams. They have given up. They feel powerless to change the bad to good. If you spend time with such people you will catch this disease.


Hi Thomas,

We need Europe as a market as they need us too. The goal needs to be that they carry their weight and that we can do business with their strong economies. We would all profit from this. Presently anyone who has been dependent on US German business relationships is suffering. I'd like to see the European economies grow again. I know they will have to defeat socialism for this to happen, but in my opinion it is wrong to think that we would profit from a weak Europe. I am not interested in what Chiraq and Schroeder define as strong i.e. a counter-weight to the US. That ain't gonna happen anyways. We all need a Europe with strong national economies and if possible a strong Eurozone. This would certainly help my bottom-line and a lot of other businesses as well.

Kuch
>>Everbody knows that this commentary by the "diplomat" was intended to goad Mr. Stephens

I think you've nailed it. I think Mr. Stephens' error was in trying to be a polite guest, in this man's home because their wives are friends. Mr. Stephens appropriate response would have been, at the first insult, to gather his wife and to vacate in absolute silence. Not to cross the line into marital relations, but if I found myself in the same position due to a friendship of my husband's, husband would be getting an earful.

"This guy is a real extremist, now rude talks but next deeds ,he will inflict devastating harm.
With his diplomatic immunity and his rank , he can smuggle WMD or Al Qaeda guys into USA."

Not at all. He's just a parlour pink.

OFF TOPIC.

I can imagine this occurance with that German diplomat VERY WELL.
This country is simply fucked up. I want to share one account (out of many) which I just had some half an hour ago. An account which repeats itself at any opportunity here in Germany as soon as you as a German mention thoughts like "freedom", "self-responsibility", "socialism = state lieing to the people" and "America ain't that stupid".

I went to some bar here, here in Munich, which is one of the most capitalist German places as far as Germany goes. Still, you will have a hard time to find people who actually have an idea about how things work.

I had two leftist (SPD) guys debating against me. One saying, if anything else than the SPD, he would opt for the NPD (far right wing party - the follow up to the NSDAP of the Third Reich). The other guy was actually a business man, working towards establishment of a company. It started out as an inner-policy debate, but quickly turned global (cause that's what we're facing - one of the thigns they didn't get), and thus, also the US.

Lo and behold, the discussion, which remained somewhat civilized, ended up with them not being able to bring up any more points against my arguments, against my FACTS. They simply didn't want to believe those things. (US, which is a free market society, have higher economic growth, generally higher income, and less people out of work per %, while at the same time, 70% of the people who lost a job find a new one after 3 months, while in Germany this number is 30% - so how is a free market abusing the people - or isn't it rather that in a socialist policy, the state is lieing to the people?) Also I brought forward my own idea, how in a free market society, the employee is actually not only a cost factor, but can also be another competition factor amongst companies who wish to grow, other than in a controlled market, where everything is regulated by work-unions, thereby negating this factor. I brought that one up after they came up with the idea that free market would end up in de-facto slavery of employees. My idea was, as soon as one company would try to abuse its employies, another one could utilize that by offering better conditions.

It ended up with them saying - when they were no longer able to bring up any points - "What's up with you?? Are you payed by the US government or what?" I answered them that I'm just a free man who makes up his own mind and asked them whether this is allowed here.

Another thing they tried to come up with, after I told them that we have brought ourselves into disarray by our welfare-state idea - which they so heavily defended - was that "Germany multiple times has got itself out of trouble on its own merits". Kinda like "We don't need any lessons, and the least from Americans - what we have now is our very own achievement." And that "the Americans are the most stupid people on the globe." I asked them, how could that be, when Germany voluntarily voted AGAINST freedom by voting for Hitler, and it was only until 1944 that those stupid Americans landed in Europe and brought back the freedom to us - while we fought with the "Volkssturm" to prevent that until the last minute.

Well, the thing ended up in them looking stupidly and thoughtfully, not being able to counter that. Still, they tried to insist that our freedom we today enjoy, was based on our own merits and had nothing to do with them stupid Americans. That was the point when the old lady behind the bar went in, and said something like: "You fools. Have you been there? I was there when the Americans came. They have freed us from the Nazis. We did not do that on our own. We could not have done so." And she told a story how the American troops had supplied her village with food and resources, how they have captured SS men after official surrender ("Werewolves") who still tried to capture and kill her father for "surrendering", and how a US Army officer drove over 20 miles every day to provide her grandma with medical injections while she was awaiting a painfull cancer death.
I told her: "Never mind, that doesn't count for them, they have it in their heads that the Americans are the evil capitalists who are plain stupid, bent to disrupt any moral and good men."
They said: "No, I didn't say Americans are stupid!" While this was exactly what they said a few minutes before.

They and this whole country is so freaking fucked up that I'm just getting sick of it. Always keep one thing in mind - this one is always true: When politicians say one thing which sounds hostile or inappropriat, add about 2 or 3 times more hostility to it and you will get an idea what the citizens on the street think. At least in Germany this seems to be true (in general).

When I left the bar, I told them I kinda enjoyed the discussion - cause that is what freedom is all about. We might not agree in everything, but we can discuss it. The business man then told me, "No problem, I've also discussed with Nazis on some occasions." Yeah. Like I was a Nazi because I argued for free market and Americans. I told him, "See, there would have been my personal limit - no need to discuss with THOSE, because THEY are enemies of freedom." Then I just left.

I'll try to stick to it a little longer and hope for the best. Right now, I do not have the conditions to emigrate to the States. One of my grand-grand fathers did so - If my investigation is anywhere right, it was on the ship "Shirley" sometime in the 19ths century. If I'm not bound by a women or family in some future day, I will follow him. I'm sick of it. If my country seeks to destroy itself AGAIN by hatred against America or anyone else, instead of accepting reality and gettings its own ass up, their wish shall be granted. I can do HORSESHIT about it. I can just stick with it or get the fuck out of here. I'm just a man. If devastation is what my people seek, I can't do shit about it.

Sorry if I sound somewhat negative. After all, I can't deny my German heritage completely. ;) Just wanted to tell you that THIS is the reality you are facing here as a pro-American German as soon as you dare to enter certain topics. You'll find yourself in a load of dung immediality. Consequently, I want to thank David and Ray even more so for running this show here. There cannot be enough honor for their vigilance and determination.

Alex, you could always come in via Canada.

Keep your options open.

If the diplomat really said all this to a known journalist, he should be fired.
But the journalist doesn't impress me either.
He didn't know what to say? Jeez.
All he had to say was - and every journalist knows that:

CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?

As a service to all you outraged commenters for whom it's not enough simply to win every argument with your devastating wingnut repartee, I'll give you the name of the diplomat, so that you can launch some sort of protest campaign: his name is...Johan Bolstadt.

My sources tell me that in addition to being a renowned bully, liar and "fixer," he is also reputed to have forced his first wife to accompany him to sex clubs, which likely explains Stephens' wife's reaction. If only those Euroweenies could appreciate the importance of tact and respect, they'd have the same high standing in world opinion that we in the US now enjoy.

No need to thank me, though I'd consider your organizing a march quite the feather in my cap.

Alex N your post is sad and depressing. And frightening too I think. I'm trying to think of something to say to cheer you up.

Be glad you're not French?

Alex - don't worry - those idiots will be pushing around wheelbarrows full of worthless Euro's in a decades time - while their wives scurry through the streets in hijabs

BTW - I really LOVED the comebacks above - esp the "are you still in the poison gas and missile business or has the US put too many of your customers out of business"

@alex n..
I am an American who lives in Germany. This is a must visit web site for me.
Don't get down on your heritage, I could (offline) argue the good points of Germany.
(I am an American by birth, but my ancestors were all German)
Don't get me wrong, I agree with MOST of what is written here. This is a place where I vent and rant against the Gutmenschen.
Don't have the URL anymore so I will cut and paste the text (sorry Ray David). something out of the National Review.. hardly cheerleaders of the axis of weasels.

I have a post today in the new "Huffington Post" about the strange celebration of VE Day in Red Square. As NRO readers well know, the German armed forces surrendered on May 7, 1945. VE Day is accordingly celebrated in most countries on May 8. But the Soviet Union, refusing to join its allies, demanded a separate instrument of surrender and declared its own day of celebration on May 9. It is that distinctive Soviet VE Day that President Bush is flying to Moscow to commemorate.
There's something more that I'd like to say about this day, however. The thought was inspired by a superb article on German literature in that wonderful magazine, The New Criterion.
Sixty years after the end of World War II, the world remains understandably alert to any manifestation of neo-Nazism in Germany, however negligible and marginal. Likewise understandably, the world is quick to sense and disapprove of (what is more common) German insensitivity or indifference or forgetfulness of the crimes of the past.
But it is also true that in Germany, insensitivity, indifference, and forgetfulness are not the norm. Quite the opposite: The German memory is acute, and (perhaps paradoxically) becoming more acute all the time.
So can we say - as Daniel Johnson says in the The New Criterion - that the world also has something to lose from a Germany that becomes too abashed, too ashamed, too unable to speak up for its own liberal democratic identity? Can we say that there is something abnormal and even dangerous in the extreme self-abnegation of German nationhood that continues even now, all these years later?
A friend told me this story. A major German wood products company decided it needed a corporate motto. After much research and focus-grouping, it decided on the slogan: "Wood with pride," "Holtz mit Stoltz." The slogan was unveiled - and the response was gasping horror. It was apparently just a very short step from that to goose-stepping down the Champs Elysees ....
But people want to be proud of something. If you tell a large and mighty nation that it can never be proud of itself, the natural egotism of human beings will seek some other outlet, less wholesome than normal patriotism. Many in Germany support the unification of Europe much less as a rational response to real needs, and much more because they yearn to feel for "Europe" the loyalty and pride they cannot allow themselves to feel for their own country and their own culture. The terrible irony is that this united Europe is emerging as a much greater threat to the Atlantic Alliance and to European democracy than the Federal Republic of Germany would ever be.
Nor is it fanciful, I think, to see much of the rising tide of German anti-Americanism - expressed most notoriously in the German enthusiasm for the crackpot works of Michael Moore - as an indirect, perverted expression of nationalism. The psychology seems to be that if Germans cannot allow themselves to feel pride in Germany, they can at least demand that Americans feel ashamed of the United States.
It's unfortunately true that Germany is burdened now with the most irresponsible and provocative chancellor since Willy Brandt. Gerhard Schroeder has exploited ill feelings in Germany for crude personal advantage: with almost 5 million Germans out of work, there's a lot of anger buzzing around the country, and redirecting those emotions against the United States and George Bush is one way and probably the only way for Schroeder to hold onto office.
Irritating as Schroeder is, though, today would be a good day to remember how important a force for good in the world democratic Germany has been this past half century. And even under Schroeder, Germany is today the second-biggest contributor of troops to the stabilization force in Afghanistan. Germay is also quietly training high-level Iraqi counter-terrorist officers at bases in the United Arab Emirates and in Germany itself.
For half a century, the Western world has found freedom, security and prosperity in an alliance between the United States and a Europe of sovereign states. Today that Europe is dissolving itself into a new kind of union - and as a result, the American-European partnership is daily becoming weaker, more difficult, more embittered. It's not too late for Americans to recall to mind their national stake in European national independence, including German independence - and to recall too that national independence is sustained by national pride, including German national pride.

back to me.. I have some problems with some of the points above, but not enough to not insert the text. Have you read Kagan's book? of power and paradise? Don'T misunderstand me, I have major concerns with German society and there are things here in Germany I find very concerning. But don't get into self hate, IMHO that is a big part of the problem here in Germany (see above).

Best Wishes, Alex
steve

PS you should hook up with Stefan Herre over at Politcally Incorrect.. always upbeat and optimistic in his fight against the Gutmenschen..
tell him Steve sent you.

amiexpat, I think the author has a point, a very good one, but I and the historian Paul Johnson fear it is too optimistic. Writing in the current issue of Commentary
-------------------
For Germany now to turn on America as the source of its woes makes no sense at all. But then a country in the grip of a disease of the mind cannot be expected to behave rationally. Despite all its efforts, Germany, it seems to me, has not learned the essential lesson of its Nazi past, namely, to flee the plague of unreason. Looking at Europe as a whole, and at the continuing malaise of the Middle East, I suspect we are approaching a new crisis in the pathology of nations. Once again, America is the only physician with the power and skill to provide a cure, and one can only pray the hour is not too late for the patient to be revived.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article.asp?aid=11906035_1

-----------------

For Germans, this article may be difficult to read, as it equates the pathology of anti-Americanism with anti-Semitism.

@Pamela..
to be honest, I sometimes agree with you and can get quite pessimistic.
I just read one of Henryk Broders books. Kein Krieg nirgends..
very depressing..
but then when I read Alex's fighting statements I got optimistic again..
you know how optimistic we amis are ;)

amiexpat:

I just found this via a poster on another blog. The essential difference between Americans and today's Europeans
---------------
“The timid man, the lazy man, the man who distrusts his country, the overcivilized man, who has lost the great fighting, masterful virtues, the ignorant man, and the man of dull mind, whose soul is incapable of feeling the mighty lift that thrills ‘stern men with empires on their brains’ – all these, or course, shrink from seeing the nation undertake its new duties; shrink from seeing us build a navy and an army adequate for our needs; shrink from seeing us do our share of the world’s work, by bringing order out of chaos…These are men who fear the strenuous life, who fear the only national life which is worth leading. They believe in that cloistered life which saps the hardy virtues in a nation, as it saps them in the individual; or else they are wedded to that base spirit of gain and greed which recognizes in commercialism the be-all and end-all of national life, instead of realizing that, though an indispensable element, it is, after all, but one of the many elements that go to make up true national greatness.”

glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

------------------
Part of a speech given by T. Roosevelt, April 10, 1899.
http://chaoticsynapticactivity.blogspot.com/2005/06/ignoble-ease-and-strenuous-life.html


@ Pamela

"For Germans, this article may be difficult to read, as it equates the pathology of anti-Americanism with anti-Semitism."

I agree, nice article. This madness must be faced, the enlightenment completed and the debate debated. Only then can any future positive political relationship be taken seriously.

"one can only pray the hour is not too late for the patient to be revived."

amiexpat, your wrote: "Don'T misunderstand me, I have major concerns with German society and there are things here in Germany I find very concerning. But don't get into self hate, IMHO that is a big part of the problem here in Germany (see above).

Best Wishes, Alex
steve"

I agree with you that self-hatred is a major problem in Germany, allright. I could go deeper into that, but neither is there enough time now, nor do I think that you already don't have an idea on what self-hatred in Germany is based on and from what it originates.

But it is not really a self-hatred based on what we are actually doing wrong NOW, or what we did wrong BACK THEN (all the people acknowledge here as wrong-doing is that we gassed the jews - they do not understand how this started out, how it even could COME TO THAT - but just THAT is the culprit), but rather similar to the leftist self-hatred you'll also find in the States: It goes along the "philosophy" which goes like that: "Hate, dismiss and blaim your very own society, so that you as an individual can feel independent and morally superior to everybody else" - this is a very leftist base-idea. Never mind that also THEY are PART of that reality and ought to be THANKFULL that they are enjoying it, because there were better men than them who DIED AND STILL DIE for them being able to continue to live in that dream world.
The famous George Orwell quote comes into my mind here:
"People sleep peacefully in their beds only because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on their behalf (to visit violence on those who would do us harm)."

You know, in Germany, when you come up with something like that, they'll call you crazy or a "Nazi", or, at best, will call a quote like that "pathos". No. That is no "pathos". That is no "glamour." It is REALITY. It is the TRUTH. It might not fit the leftist agenda that there is no Evil and no Good, and no God, but nonetheless it is still the TRUTH.
There ARE men out there who are fighting our enemies, who are not only America's enemies, but enemies of the free world.

The thing is this: I do not get into self-hatred. I love my country. And I believe it could do better than now, this is why I even bother about all that. Hear THIS: I AM NOT pro-Americans because I love the Americans or anything. I am pro-American because I believe that the Americans were some of the best and trustworthy allies my country has ever had, and because I believe that also in the future the "American way" and alliance would suite my country the best. THIS is why I am an adcovate of America here. NOT because I "worship" America, but because I believe that we OUGHT TO GO with the Americans, because THEY HAVE GRASPED IT, they are the MOST PROPER MODEL for a FREE PEOPLE, for a free world.

It is not that *I* hate my country. It is that *my country* hates *me*. And all those who dare to share my "evil" ideas and are "traitors" like me. THAT is the problem. And it is an old one. A very old one. It was the same problem my grand-grand father faced when he decided to join a ship through the hostile and often deadly waters of the Atlantic to reach the land of the free and the brave, to farm the rocky fields of New England.

Next question: How the hell did Germany produce Alex N.? And why has Germany not produced more of his ilk?

Be well Alex. It is good you love your country. I hope I don't frighten you when I say that the fight for the future of Germany - and indeed for western civilization - depends on the likes of you.

My very, very best.

As I was reading the long post by Alex N., the attitudes of the two bar patrons he debated reminded me of a psychological phenomenon that some readers here may not be familiar with. It is called "cognitive dissonance," a psychological phenomenon that refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. What is of interest are two side-effects for learning:

1) If someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning.

2) If learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are less likely to concede that the content of what has been learned is useless, pointless or valueless. To do so would be to admit that one has been "had", or "conned".

I see this in my work at times from people who insist that what they have been doing and the way they have been doing it is the best. Even if I have a proven method for a single person to achieve the desired result in one week, they continue to insist that their way is superior even though it may take three people more than half of a year to achieve the desired result.

Obviously, this phenomenon is quite applicable and common to political thought!

@Alex N..

I have to second Pamela's comment..
nothing more to say.
just keep on giving 'em hell..
there is a lot riding on people like you.

God bless
steve

Alex N. - You're welcome here, and there's plenty of room for you. Love your country, but it's not only rats that abandon sinking ships.

@Alex N

"Hate, dismiss and blaim your very own society, so that you as an individual can feel independent and morally superior to everybody else"

Sorry to say, but that´s exactly what YOU are doing.
I can understand your admiration for the US, and if you´d rather emigrate today than tomorrow: fine.
But I would expect you to be a little more grateful: For even with all its problems, Germany is still a great country. And the freedom, peace and wealth we enjoy today was not a free gift. And it was not only bought by the Americans. It was our own doing just as well.

I for one feel that I have received a lot from this country, not only in a material way. And I hope that I can give some of it back.

I hate the way you portray yourself as one of the last few decent Germans left.
Think of those that tore down the Berlin Wall. Or of those who busted the neo-nazi demonstrations in Munich or Berlin on the 9th of may. Or those who risk their ass in Afghanistan. Or of our brave soccer women ;-).

rant over.

Fuchur, I did not mean to "portray" myself in any special light here. Look: I am anonymous here, you are anonymous here, most of the others are anonymous here, and I won't find any money on my bank account or whatever for saying what I said. If you feel like I wanted to put me into some certain, positive light, while I just stated how I feel about things, that is YOUR idea and you might want to think about that. Make no mistake, I state the same things in other places as well, where I would be a fool for expecting to make any friends with that. If the things I said make me sound special - deal with it.

And you missed the point somewhat when you blaimed me for doing "just that" (hate, dismiss, and blame your very own society). What I am doing is blaming the LEFTISTS. Leftists are fine, as long as they are kept in check by conservatives. And vice-versa. But the problem with Germany - as I see it anyway - is that this balance has disappeared and what you are seeing today is the result of that. So, yes, maybe in some way I AM "blaiming" my society. But it is not a society which I understand as being healthy. It is a one-sided, strong LEFTIST society. Do I dismiss and blame it? Sounds like it. But I blame them for blaming themselves. For blaming those systems, allies, visions and ideas which have brought this country out of the ruins to the status it enjoyes today.

You said that we also have to grant a lot of that to ourselves. This is of course completely true. In the end, it's up to the citizens of each country to make something out of the chances they get. I'm sorry if it sounded like I would ignore that. But nowaday's truth is that those men, those visions and those ideas which achieved progress, are mostly gone. Just look around you. The people here have "Politikverdrossenheit" ("sick of politics"), as you know; extremist parties today gain higher votes than in the past; our Chancellor Schröder won his current term by portraying the Americans as evil warmongers, while before he was very much on the fence to lose the election; plenty of our politicians today are no more "statesmen" but pathetic jokes who might have done better to become comedians or monitoring some kindergarten instead of going into politics; you open a main-stream magazine like Focus, Spiegel or Stern, and you will read articles from defitists, losers and bureaucrats. From people who believe to gain the moral highround by disconnecting themselves from reality only because reality might sound tough and doesn't fit their dreamworld.
These kind of ideas and people were not who made this country great. But they are those who are apt to disrupt it. Am I hating that? You bet. But that doesn't mean I hate my people. What I hate are ideas and arseholes who are jeppardizing my people.

Fuchur, you are one of the good guys. Would there be more people like you, I won't have an issue. I remember how you started out here on this website while mostly disagreeing with it. Today, you might still not agree with everything, but I feel like you are open-minded to discuss things. Things which most other Germans would not even bother to spend a minute to consider seriously. Not willingly. As I see it, there wouldn't need to be a lot more of "me" when there would be more like you.

Take care.


@Alex N.

"From people who believe to gain the moral highround by disconnecting themselves from reality only because reality might sound tough and doesn't fit their dreamworld."

Thank you for putting that thought into words. I believe this about all leftist ideology...everything that is too hard is removed from society in the Leftist dreamworld. Having an unplanned baby? No problem, get rid of it. Christianity is too difficult, too many do's and don'ts? No problem, get rid of God. Israel is successful at defending itself against murderous Arabs determined to irradicate the Jews and now the Palestinians are down-trodden? No problem, hate and blame the Jews for protecting their society against Islamic terrorists. Marriage is difficult? No problem, just live together for as long as you like and let your children have no security of a mother and a father as their lives are formed.

This is not just German leftists. The deterioration of the structure of our families, our morals and our faith in the future and our freedom is what this mindless leftism brings to any society foolish enough to embrace it. Just don't worry, little ones, the left will take care of you all your lives. Just give us the power and the money and you will have no worries and nothing will be hard for anyone. Little children, trust us. We will keep you safe.

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