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A wicked creature this Darth Dietmar is.

if it makes you feel any better: The article is so boring, hardly anybody will make it to that paragraph... and then you have to read it a couple of times just to realise what kind of bullsh** the guy is actually writing

> The SDI plans were intended as a deterrent against the expansionist
> and imperialist policies of the former Soviet Union.

I am not sure. There is more here than one can see.

> Knowing what we know today about the motivations of the Soviet
> leadership of the time,

Once I read the following and I agree: "The West overestimated the military power of the Soviets and at the same time underestimated their rottenness".

> it was quite appropriate to build a technological shield against
> the growing communist missile threat.

It is that I am not so sure. There is a good chance that the Soviets didn't have the technology. "Tech sabotage during the Cold War" is a great article about what was going on during the Cold war. It can be read at http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2004/0426/feat-strange-04-26-04.asp page. It definitely made me laughing. Anyways, if it is true (and I believe it is true), then the SDI was not really a plan to counter Soviet nuclear threat but to bankrupt and demoralize them on a massive scale. If so, then it paid off spectacularly. Well done.

Vilmos

Oh Come On! I usually like this blog a lot but you guys need to relax. This entry is over-the-top, just like the Star Wars article.

Do not waste your outrage on a piece like this. Film critics and essays are almost always full of pretentious nonsense and this article is too incoherent to be offensive. You're better off having a laugh and mocking it.

Yes, this drivel is too boring to take seriously but Dath should know that SDI is NOT dead. In twenty years it will be a reality. It will be used to protect us all from nuclear armed jihadist and terrorist nations.

Dietmar Dath. Wasn't he the "Sprockets" guy? I bet his "nipples got hard" after watching the latest Star Wars. Touch my monkey!

Anyway..., Dietmar. We need to talk. You forget recent history. There were a few million Soviet soldiers poised to swoop down over your cocooned lefty world. The Soviets weren't playing around. Dutch Reagan wasn't your enemy, he was your friend. You simpleton piece of garbage wrapped in human skin.

re: "For purposes of media propaganda, the new program was dubbed "Star Wars" and Reagan explained what that meant in a speech on March 23, 1983"

Hmmm... curious memory Darth... uh, Dath has... I recall that the news media dubbed the program "Star Wars" as a term of derision, and used it to sneer at Reagan.

What they didn't seem to know, though, was that "Star Wars" was a working program in tests back in the late '70s, not a propaganda effort or a Hollywood publicity stunt, even though the ALL program was covered frequently in OMNI and other layman's science magazines.

Vilmos: "I am not sure. There is more here than one can see."

Actually you can see it at these two links:

Airborne Laser Lab (ALL)

The biggest problem was a killing laser. They had one that could shoot down Sidewinder missiles and drone craft back in the late '70s, but they didn't have one powerful enough or fast enough to drill through an ICBM in flight.

That problem has been long solved.

Airborne Laser (ABL)

The latest news on ABL is almost a year old, and it was flight-ready then. If they were making public announcements that the thing was passing its flight tests (it passed its on-ground laser tests back in 2002), what's been happening under the radar?

"Star Wars" is alive and well... and it's a real program, not a publicity stunt :).

So the conservative FAZ is the number one anti american paper in germany.

The US truly has an image problem.

Note from David: I referred to the FAZ cultural section.
Nice try anyway, anonymus.

Is anybody having problems posting here?

All of a sudden, I can not post from home, and, of course, I used to be able to post from home.

Ray "thinks" is might be due to typepad.com.

What would typepad have done to affect posting, anybody have any ideas?

Linux vs. Microsoft?

TIA

Note from David: Typepad announced forthcoming changes to the comments sections, such as registration for commenting (a move I would wholeheartedly welcome). The malfunctions you report might be somehow related to this.
Or not. I don't know. Please let me know if the problems persist.

@mamaspajamas: re: "For purposes of media propaganda, the new program was dubbed "Star Wars" and Reagan explained what that meant in a speech on March 23, 1983"

Hmmm... curious memory Darth... uh, Dath has... I recall that the news media dubbed the program "Star Wars" as a term of derision, and used it to sneer at Reagan.

What I remember is that Ted Kennedy derided SDI as "Star Wars" in a speech on the floor of the Senate. His mistake was that the American people loved Star Wars and thought it was a good idea to shoot down nuclear-tipped missiles being shot at us. Kennedy also made the hate America point that Star Wars would give America a first strike capability that would make the Soviets not like us, so we shouldn't build Star Wars, because that would upset Andropov or Chernenko or Gorby or somebody.

Sounds so familiar to today, we shouldn't defend ourselves, because that upsets the jihadis.

"I do not suggest actually reading Dath's confused piece (you would at any rate need to be fully fluent in German left-wing psycho-political babble)" In spite of this warning, I just tried. It was tough: "politische Theologie", "Transzendentale Kampf um die "Macht"", "Outsourcing der Phantasie aus dem Kunsterlebnis", "die von falschen humanistischen Prämissen ausgehende moralisch-ästhetische Entrüstung" u.dgl.m. I'm inclined to side with Phil (one of the comments above):
"The article is so boring, hardly anybody will make it to that paragraph... and then you have to read it a couple of times just to realise what kind of bullsh** the guy is actually writing."
But perhaps we underestimate the perseverance of the average FAZ-reader? And perhaps there are intelligent readers who after the introductory paragraphs skip large parts of the text and jump to the final paragraphs? These readers are rewarded for their perseverance or their intelligence if they eventually read the conclusion which confirms what they like to think: that Reagan was an idiot. That's what makes the cultural section of this Bildungsbürger newspaper so highly intersting!
BTW Is Dietmar Dath holding a permanent appointment at the FAZ cultural section and does he write contributions like this one on a regular basis?

@david

Note from David: I referred to the FAZ cultural section.

So you make differences between cultural economic or political sections.
So perhabs the sport section is more pro american.

While several parts of the FAZ are conservative the cultural section is left wing.
The guys who are responsible for this paper must all have a multiple personality don´t you think.

By the way if your oppinion would be true there is no conservative or pro american paper left in germany.

Come on...."German left-wing psycho-political babble" - you may dislike Dietmar Dath and this article, but there's no need to use that vocabulary only because some of his sentences are a bit long. Everything he writes here can be understood, if you want to understand - again, you don't have to agree.

And about the content: If anti-americanism starts here (and especially with this author) for you, you can simply stop your blog, because there will be hardly anything left that's not Anti-America. Maybe that's your opinion....As a German pro-american leftist (capable of understanding psycho babble even babblier than this), I see a lot of things that are worth my and your attention - with Dietmar Dath, you simply bet on the wrong horse.

@Martin
If you understand psycho babble even babblier than this, tell us whether we wrongly understood Dietmar Dath if we believe him saying that Ronald Reagan's containment policy was tantamount to technological madness and insanity and that Reagan despised the virtues of a free society, to advance nightmarish technological ventures. Besides, I'm curious in what way you are as a German leftist pro-american. In the way of your former chancellor Helmut Schmidt or as an admirer of Michael Moore and all the anti-american venom originating from America itself?

Is this an over-reaction - perhaps

Heres a question though - why doesn't OBL fit the bill as Darth Vader? Or Emperor Palpatine - with Zarquaui as Vader?

Why is a US President the evil one?

Does it even occur to these people to call AQ evil in our time?

The answer is either

A) they actually consider the US government to be the Evil Empire - worse that AQ

B) they are afraid of offending muslims

Which is it

Sorry Rudolf - I think, you can read yourself. In any case, I didn't found anything like "technological madness and insanity" or "nightmarish technological ventures". This sounds to me like "von falschen humanistischen Prämissen ausgehende moralisch-ästhetische Entrüstung".

I commented this entry because I don't like the kind of anti-intellectualism is represents. Dath or Diedrichsen or Theweleit or "Spex" or "Jungle World" or whatever in this corner - the whole commnunity of psycho babble is one of the groups, that is definetly more aware of anti-semitism or anti-americanism than other commnunities in Germany. Exceptions prove the rule. You will find enough examples of pro-american lefts there (as far as "pro-american" makes any sense...)

No, definitely not Michael Moore (you knew that, don't you?)

At last: I don't agree with Daths punch-line (Reagan as the only one understanding SW right by starting SDI as an example for progress by technique...or so) and his mistake about the name "Star Wars" for the program is shameful in an article like this.

@poguemahone et. al.

>>A) they actually consider the US government to be the Evil Empire - worse that AQ

Remember a few days ago (I don't recall which thread), Trish posted about the rudeness bordering on cruelty she had been subjected to as an American by Germans? Well, in today's Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens writes about the appalling treatment he was subjected to by a German diplomat posted to the New York consulate when Stephens and his wife had been invited over for brunch.

I quote:
-------------------

But the diplomat had no patience for my small talk. Apropos of nothing, he said he had recently made a study of U.S. tax laws and concluded that practices here were inferior to those in Germany. Given recent rates of German economic growth, I found this comment odd. But I offered no rejoinder. I was, after all, a guest in his home.
The diplomat, however, was just getting started. Bad as U.S. economic policy was, it was as nothing next to our human-rights record. Had I read the recent Amnesty International report on Guantanamo? "You mean the one that compared it to the Soviet gulag?" Yes, that one. My host disagreed with it: The gulag was better than Gitmo, since at least the Stalinist system offered its victims a trial of sorts.

Nor was that all. Civil rights in the U.S., he said, were on a par with those of North Korea and rather behind what they had been in Europe in the Middle Ages. When I offered that, as a journalist, I had encountered no restrictions on press freedom, he cut me off. "That's because The Wall Street Journal takes its orders from the government."

By then we had sat down at the formal dining table, with our backs to Ground Zero a half-mile away and our eyes on the boats on the river below us. My wife and I made abortive attempts at ordinary conversation. We were met with non sequiturs: "The only people who appreciate American foreign policy are poodles." After further bizarre pronouncements, including a lecture on the illegality of the Holocaust under Nazi law, my wife said that she felt unwell. We gathered our things and left.
____________

Here is the link: http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006834

In the same issue, on the opinion page, there is a telling piece on the state of Euope by historian Paul Johnson (avialable online to subscribers only)
-------------

The EU has no intellectual content. Great writers have no role to play in it, even indirectly, nor have great thinkers or scientists. It is not the Euope of Aquinas, Luther or Calvin - or the Europe of Galileo, Newton and Einstein. Half a century ago, Robert Schumann, first of the founding fathers, often referred in his speeches to Kant and St. Thomas More, Dante and the poet Paul Valery. To him - he said explicitly - building Europe was a 'great moral issue." He spoke of "the Soul of Europe." Such thoughts and expressions strike no chord in Brussels today.

In short, the EU is not a living body, with a mind and spirit and animating soul. And unless it finds such nonmaterial but essential dimensions, it will soon be a dead body, the symbolic corpse of a dying continent.
-----------------

Perhaps I should say Kaddish for Europe.

"

@ lemmy,

Give it a try from home now. I made a small change. If it still doesn't work, I don't know what it could be other than typepad...

---Ray D.

@Martin.
You didn't find "insanity"?
Quote: "Lucas ist dafür zu loben, daß er die unvergeßlichen Figuren, großen Bilder, albernen Dialoge und unmöglichen Weltraum-Donnergeräusche gefunden hat, die jenen Wahn kunstfähig machten." Translation: "Lucas should be praised for devising the unforgettable characters, sweeping imagery, silly dialogue and impossible roar of engines in the vacuum of space that elevated this insanity to the level of art." You have a better translation to offer?
I can indeed read myself and I think it's quite clear what Dietmar Dath is implying, if not directly saying here.
I agree with you that anti-intellectualism is not a virtue, but I don't see in what sense this entry represents anti-intellectualism. Perhaps 'German left-wing psycho political babble' is not the most accurate description of Dath's way of writing, but I share the disgust of his needlessly turgid style.
As far as 'pro-american' makes any sense, I'm glad to hear that there are enough examples of pro-american lefts in Germany (and not in the sense of Michael Moore fans).Would be nice to meet some. You know, in the days of Helmut Schmidt and other socialist leaders of that time, I would have not so much difficulty of being on the left myself. I still wonder if it is me who has changed or if it is "the left".

@ Rudolf
You're right, I missed that line. Sorry. Perhaps the punch-line is relly not the only problem wih this article - anyway, I defended DD because of other pieces I liked very much and especially because of his (and my) enthusiasm for the writer Neal Stephenson...but that's really off-topic here.
Answering your other remarks would not fit into the commentary section of a blog any longer. BTW: I think it was the FAZ, wo hosted a big "What's left"-discussion some years ago.
Reading and writing in this blog was my diversion from writing an english article today - enough for now. Have a nice weekend.

@ Ray

Thanks. I am still at work (and can post from here). I shall give it a try this evening when I get home. Thanks again.

Take care,
lemmy

<>

The first thing I read of Diedrichsen (that would be Diedrich Diedrichsen you're talking about, right?) was a CD liner from an interestingly (in German, at least) named CD "Noises for the Nineties" from the late 80s. (The contents, with the exception of a 60s DC protest speech put to an interesting beat, and 1 cool early Westbam techno piece, was very very pedestrian indie-rock)

The liner notes babbled a little bit about te suposed deepness of the music (nothing political, as far as I could tell - perhaps a bit of "Sozialkritik"), ending up in "...will continue our previous direction (against US-imperialism) into the next decade."

Hello?
May they are more aware of ani-americanism because they spew it themselves.

Test from home.

@Pamela: Lord how I wish you were wrong!

The trouble with trying to read too much political semaphore into "Star Wars" is that it's a really bad film. Over the top special effects and wooden acting. I kept praying for it to stop as my headache grew worse and worse. Come to think of it, when it comes to wooden acting, I'll take "Team America" any day. As for FAZ's "Cultural Section," I did notice it was a clubhouse for the more verbally flatulent contingent of German America bashers the last time I looked.

I think we are going to see many more such blatherings as Europeans go deep into their "period of reflection".

"What is Star Wars about"? Well, Darth Daft how about good shlocky fun. Ya just don't get it. Dath is spending a little to much time with the Outer Rim, Me thinks.

"...It's lack of tropical fruit and churches"? I must have missed that part. I had half a gallon of soda pop in my bladder(I am after all a "professor of pop culture"), it was a long flick and I had to piss like a racehorse.

Jabba: "What I remember is that Ted Kennedy derided SDI as "Star Wars" in a speech on the floor of the Senate."

Ah. I don't recall the Kennedy contribution to this, but I don't doubt it a bit. This sounds just like him. This would have been right after Teddy had to stop wearing his "IQ" button (I Quit [smoking]) because he was caught smoking a "misdemeanor" amount of pot ;).

Italics... BE GONE!!!

@ Kees Rudolf

"As far as 'pro-american' makes any sense, I'm glad to hear that there are enough examples of pro-american lefts in Germany (and not in the sense of Michael Moore fans).Would be nice to meet some. You know, in the days of Helmut Schmidt and other socialist leaders of that time, I would have not so much difficulty of being on the left myself. I still wonder if it is me who has changed or if it is "the left"."

Try these:

Wikipedia: anti-German
Bahamas Magazine

You might find some of the other links interesting on the Wikipedia site, which also has an english version albeit shorter.

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