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Well it is now up on National Review.

Without the picture.

rolf schwanitz removed the webpage. Get it in Google Cache or as screenshot.

Oh my goodness cool down..
I just saw the picture at SPON, and all I can say is: Whats all the fuss about?
Its an election picture... for a guy noone knows... with some coffins dressed in the US flag... telling the people about Merkels Iraq politic...

So what? Caring about something as irrelevant as this is such a waste of time - Why do americans always have to exagerate so much?


@ Cardinals Nation

"How desperately unfortunate then that someone chose to steal their one remaining thing of value - their dignity."

Are you a native inhabitant fearing your soul is lost once someone takes a photo of you? *lol*

@amiexpat "would it be too much for you to concede that there are rules of decency that were not followed here?"

I agree, the authors of this poster did not want to be decent. They wanted to attact attention for Sunday's election in Germany. The audience is German only.

Talking about decency, what did you feel when you learned that Powell had been telling the entire world the veriest nonsense in this infamous 2003 United Nations speech? Did you think this was truly sick? Believe it or not, no one in the Bush Administration ever apologized. Even Powell, rather than saying he is sorry, is now wallowing in self-pity. What a pathetic performance.

Now stop being a sissy about this local German election poster. Think about why the United States Administration has lost credibility around world.

This is sick.

The SPD knows this worked in the past and is using the same propagana again.

If Merkel wins do you think that will change the German MSM and there ways? Do you think it will change the hearts of the anti-amis?

Wow. Zyme. How the mighty have fallen.

joe

I'm very sorry to disappoint you, but Schröder's chances to win the election are close to zero. I even doubt he really wants to become chancellor again. It will be either a CDU / FDP or a CDU / SPD coalition and in both cases the CDU will be the strongest party and Angela Merkel will be the next chancellor.
That's fine with me. I will vote for the CDU. Just because I'm Anti-american it does not meen I'm on the left or " liberal " . Believe me the majority of people who will vote for Merkel on Sunday hold Anti-american views.
Even some of the higher ranking members of this party do. One of them wants to shoot down President Bush . I wonder how many votes the CDU gained when this made headlines in Germany:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/09/08/germany.bush.reut/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Schwanitz shows no remorse for his poster, yet.

Schwanitz said this in the SPON article:

"Ich habe nur positive Reaktionen auf das Plakat bekommen".
"I have received only positive reactions for the poster"

Well, that's what it all boils down to. It's all about votes. I really hope there are a lot more people like Thorsten and Markus out there--but I've got serious doubts about that.

I live in Germany and have recently been contemplating returning to the military. The anti-American propaganda is making the decision making process easier.

Trotz Kritik will er daran festhalten. "Ich stehe zu dem Satz", erklärt er heute in einer schriftlichen Mitteilung und fügt hinzu: "Daran ist nichts zurückzunehmen".

He stands by his word despite the criticism."I stand by the statement. There is nothing to retract."

We'll see about that!

SPOD,

Yes it has worked. It might even work again.

As to your questions. No I do not think German M$M will change at all. They have too much invested in the status quo to change. Besides at the end of the day the same reporters, headline wirters, editors and editoralists are all going to remain in place.

I personally think nothing the US could possibly ever do would change any opinions in Germany. I am no longer even sure if it matters.

I might asked you if you think it will and if it is important. If you feel it is important then why?

Der Amerikaner is simply the superior race.

Es ist sehr schade.

Germany has lost her superiority and thus we see a continual backlash until these fantasies of rightful superiority are extinguished.

@ Johannes Thust

Actually I dont think that everyone who wants the Americans lose influence is "anti-american".
For example I can fully agree with Wilhelm II saying "Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen".

And simply because of this, its rather a moral duty than "anti-americanism" when fighting anything which stands in this way.

So if there was another country in our way, I would support fighting that as well - yet right now, there is none.

Thrust

red black is almost as good as red green but not as good as red red green.

The long term results will be the same. I will not be disappointed.

Of course if gerhard does come to NYC as is being reported I would be more than disapponted but that is another story all together.

My question to you, is how do you think a red black government will last and just what will it accomplish.

It's worth noting that the US mass media (you know, the people "in lockstep with the Bush Administration"), will sue at the drop of a hat if they aren't allowed to photograph the coffins of fallen servicemen. Their reason for doing this in Journalese is, "to inform the American people." The translation into the vernacular for you laypeople out there is, "for political exploitation of dead soldiers to spread defeatist propaganda." The leftist elites of the world have no country.

@Zyme
Oh my goodness cool down..
I just saw the picture at SPON, and all I can say is: Whats all the fuss about?

I suppose it's something that all the explaining in the world would not make clear for you. How would you like coffins of your family members being used in an ally's(?) election campaign? Try putting this into the context of all the other German MSM and political propaganda archived here at DMK. Even SPON! thought it necessary to report this!

So what? Caring about something as irrelevant as this is such a waste of time - Why do americans always have to exagerate so much?

Fishing for votes by exploiting the death of American soldiers, is apparently not irrelevant to Schwanitz and the SPD. It is also apparent that you would not understand why the disgust expressed by Americans here, is NOT an example of exaggeration.

We shall see if this is a waste of time.

@t.daeges

I wrote, "Americans in general don't hold groups responsible for the failings or sordid claims of individuals. Consider how Germans living in the USA are treated: as neighbors not as enemies."
You responded, "I really hope that this mantra finds its way into the heads of both "sides". I really do. You should expand that to Germans *in Germany* who are equally anti-anti-american, though"

Sorry , but I've now lived over 10 years in Germany and my neighbors for the past 4 years in southern Germany are downright hostile, although less so than the neighbors I had for 4 years in the lakes district around southern Munich, but on a par with the ones I had in the Hannover area for some years before that. I've now given up on my German neighbors although I always endeavor to treat them with respect. And by the way, Hannover and Munich were before Bush was elected, although I note you personally have never helped spread that particular lie.

It does not affect how I will treat any Germans neighbors when I return to the USA. We are not like that. But thank you for the sentiment, too bad you're not a neighbor.

@zyme
I can fully agree with Wilhelm II saying "Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen".
Fortunately most energetic and smart people have left Germany for better venues long ago. Does that make bottom feeders like you mad? Germany has indeed become irrelevant in the greater scope of the world. You will never get your wish of German aristocrats ruling your country. On the other hand I must say that the EU is on it's way to establish a new aristocracy to rule it's subjects. Watch out for a revolution, bloody or not, in the next couple of decades.

Why do americans always have to exagerate so much?
You, asa german are asking that question, when your media will always denounce anything American and gives it the "Goebbels treatment?"

@orson2
Der Amerikaner is simply the superior race.
Sorry to have to disagree with you. America is not a race, most of the country was created by dissillusioned Europeans who wanted a chance. This is the only place where the EU has worked. When I read the EU constipation, I doubt it will ever work there.

James W

Might I suggest you not waste time trying to explain to Zyme. It is much like teaching a pig to sing. It will only frustrate you and make the pig grumpy.

View this as a postive as I do. It should give you a much better understanding of who the germans are and what values they hold. I can assure you those values are not the same ones you have or I have.

Zyme, what exactly is it you want for Germany?

Joe

"red black is almost as good as red green but not as good as red red green."

Now you really underestimate the damage the Green Party has done to the German economy. The energy and environmental policy of the Greens is a curse.

"My question to you, is how do you think a red black government will last and just what will it accomplish."

Now look I would prefer a black / yellow coalition, they could accomplish a lot, but if they only have small majority, say two or three seats, they depend on each member of this coalition and there are some people in the CDU/CSU who love the social welfare state more than some social democrats. Well known is a CSU member of parliament named Horst Seehofer , who already vowed to block a reform of the healthcare system.
A black / red coaltion on the other hand would have a vast majority in the parliament, about 77 % of the seats. Let's not forget a SPD chancellor started reforms the CDU had not the courage to do for 16 years under Helmut Kohl. There are other people in the SPD , who want to continue on this reform path. Schröder had to call for new elections in May, because the left wing of his party was not willing to follow him anymore. In a black / red coalition the left of the SPD would lose influence. They might leave the SPD and join the radical left PDS or the Green Party. Doesen't matter with such a majority you can lose a few bad apples. Such a coalition might work better than most people think, reforms might be slower, but opposition from the worker unions and others will be weaker as long as the SPD is part of the government.

@Johannes Thust

In my view, you underestimate how unstable a Red-Black (Grand Coalition) would be. The temptation to form ever shifting alliances would be irresistable. Why you think this would lead to a better future for Germany is beyond me. Worker unions would see every advantage to strike if it would support their particular faction in whatever crisis is currently being decided.

If Merkel should win with a small majority (my forecast), get ready for the increase in strike activity. Rough weather ahead, but no advantage in having a Grand Coalition.

Why am I reminded of that song by Tom Lehrer from about 1965, called "The MLF Lullaby"?

**********
Sleep, baby, sleep
In peace may you slumber.
No danger lurks
Your sleep to encumber.
We've got the missiles,
Peace to determine,
And one of the fingers on the button will be German.

Why shouldn't they
Have nuclear warheads?
England says "No", but
They all are soreheads.
I say a bygone
Should be a bygone.
Let's make peace they way they did in Stanleyville and Saigon.

Once all the Germans
Were warlike and mean,
But that couldn't happen again.
We taught them a lesson
In nineteen eighteen,
And they've hardly bothered us since then.

So, sleep well my darling,
The Sandman can linger.
We know our buddies
Won't give us the finger.

Heil, er Hail, the Wehrmacht!
I mean the Bundeswehr!
Hail to our loyal ally!

MLF
Will scare Brezhnev.
I hope he is half as scared as I!
******************
Granted, the song is old, and Lehrer's humor tends to the dyspeptic. But he had a point. It's too bad that Germany is under the spell of America-haters.

I think it's time we moved our troops into Poland, and those that aren't needed there can be posted to Iraq and Afghanistan. They'll need the steadying hand just like Germany needed a steadying hand after 1945.

Thrust,

Let me expand a bit on why I will not be disappointed by a red black government.

This government will for the most part be in a constant state of gridlock. While in most nations this would be bad it does seem to be the preferred choice of many germans. It will not be very effective and the germans seem to prefer this to any of their other options. While there will be some changes, they will be both slow and watered down. As the germans go through what they will consider the painful process of reform the world will continue to move forward at a much more rapid pace.

The germans will feel the pain but not see the promised results in what they consider to be a timely manner. This will lead to more unrest within the general population regardless of the majority in parliament. These shortfalls will be highlighted by the elites out of power and the german M$M.

What this government will do will encourage the growth of the new left party. This will be similar to how the Greens entered the picture during the last such period in your history. It could possibly lead to the destruction of the Greens as a party. This should appeal to you.

Going forward this means the new left will become a player in german politics. At some point, and that point might be during the next election cycle it will most surely become a part of any leftist government which is formed.

It does have some positions, which are very appealing to germans. It is first of all very anti American. It is for more social welfare and worker protection to include the return to a 35-hour workweek, a minimum wage, etc. It opposes immigration. Equally it wants to see german troops returned to germany. It would also seem as part of this would be the demand for the withdrawal of US forces from germany and the unwinding of NATO. . This should appeal to those like NotForSale and Zyne,

It will also probably mean the failure of both the euro and of the EU. No one will realize it at the time. While you might not recognize it, germany is the bank for the EU. As long as germans pay, the EU rolls along. Once the germans stop paying because either they can no longer afford it or because they see the needs of their own nation not being met, the EU will become another failed European institution.

Now I respect that you will probably disagree with my comments. They in fact might be totally wrong but the reality is this is where you and your fellow countryman are. It is in fact a very possible outcome. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

So no I will not be disappointed at all if germany ends up with a red black government. I think it is both the government the majority want and you deserve.

@joe
>> At some point, and that point might be during the next election cycle it will most surely become a part of any leftist government which is formed.

You're leaving out one factor I think will be important. France. If Sarkozy gets in, German politics are going to change big time.

Pamela,

Actually I considered that. This will have little impact on the germans. If anything the germans are becoming more and more like the french all the time. france wiil be in worse shape at that time than germany. They will share the same problems of trying to right their own nations but I do not seriously consider them to be partners. Remember the french have already rejected the ideas of Blair. Those ideas are similar to American ones which the germans reject as a matter of priniciple concering economic policy.

If there was any factor I left out it would have been the concept of business cycles and the possibility of a recession in the US. While this would be damaging to the US it would be awful for germany.

@joe
>>Remember the french have already rejected the ideas of Blair.
The French have rejected anything "Anglo-Saxon" for generations. And will continue to do so. But there is going to be a fight between France and the UK for the drivers seat of the EU. How that little drama plays out will depend on whether Sarkozy or that worm de Villipan is leading France and that will impact German politics.

You're right about the effect of a U.S. recession. Hadn't thought of that one. And with Bush spending my money like a drunken sailor, it's a real possibility.

@ Pamela

"You're leaving out one factor I think will be important. France. If Sarkozy gets in, German politics are going to change big time."

This is actually the only point at which Merkel might be better suited than Schroeder. She and Sarkozy seem to get a whole lot better along then Schroeder does. So to keep the German-French cooperation in Europe at the current level in long-term future, we would need Merkel as chancellor (as long as Sarkozy becomes the next french President)

If Schroeder would still be chancellor both countries might care more about their own interests than today, while even then I couldnt image the German-French cooperation to fade away.


One special advantage of a Grand Coalition is missing in this discussion though:
Right now, a Black-Yellow Coalition would also have a majority in the german Bundesrat (where the governments of the 16 federal german countries to a large scale take part in the creation of federal law).

Traditionally, a government which does unpopular reforms loses this majority in the Bundesrat within 2-3 years (The elections in these countries are not held at the same time - it is a gradual process. Every few months there is an election in another country in the space of 4 years).
So when people are angry about the reforms of the german Government, they vote for the Opposition in these federal countries elections -> When the parties which govern whole germany finally lose their majority in the Bundesrat, most of their federal laws can be blocked and nothing can go on anymore.
[which most of the time was the situation during the last decades]

The only promising solution to this problem is a Grand Coalition - since it would represent 65-80 % of the german voters, it would never receive less than a 50 % majority. So by contrast to other possible coalitions, only this one could really reform our country for a longer period of time!

[I hope this explanation is understandable :) ]

Pamela,

The french have lost their position of leadership within the EU. They have also dragged gremany down with them. About all the franco-german alliance can do is to damage Europe and the EU. There is little the french can do for the germans and even less the germans can do for the french.

The only support the french can count on are the members of the chocolate summit plus Spain. Even with this support the other nations will look at the performance of what franco-german leadership has done for Europe and will reject them.

Almost everything Gerhard and Jacko have touched has been bad for Europe. They do not honor their obligations under a number of European agreements. They have tried to set up a straw horse of a choice between the US and Europe for many nations and this has proven to be disastrous for all nations.

From an economic point of view the rest of Europe is adjusting to this period of no growth in france and germany. While everyone would like to see this change, there will not be dramatic change anytime soon. In germany for not at least 2 years and in france for not at least 4 years. Plus do not forget if there is a choice for something good for france at the expense of any other nation, the french will always choose what is best for them. The french will toss the germans over the side in a heartbeat.

This latter point is one of the things, which has been most disappointing when one reviews the franco german relationship of the past several years that germany chose to be the french poole.


@Zyme
>>[I hope this explanation is understandable :) ]

Quite, Zyme. Thank you. I learned something (and have a better understanding of your frustrations!)

@joe
>>The french have lost their position of leadership within the EU.

Yes, well, I think someone forgot to tell the French.

I encourage everyone to email the link to the Spiegel story to their Senators, Congressmen, favorite talkshow hosts and local newspapers. It's time that Americans understand the true state of the German-American "friendship."

Ha the devil is in the details. And just how much agreement is there on what these reforms should be.

And if a set of reforms could be agreed upon would they be enough to effect any meaningful change.

Remember Agenda 2010 is a bit long in the tooth and those were never considered to be enough to get germany moving forward even if they had been passed into law at the time they were proposed.

As I said this should be an exciting and happy time to be a german. It is Dawn In Germany. A new beginning if there is in fact a red black goverment in Berlin next month.

Pamela,

the french are the french. No one can tell them anything. Why do they need to know. It would only depress them more than they already are.

They are still suffering today from the US EU agreement on wines.

Do not want to do anything to shock them into reality. When they have doubts they only need to ask the chocolate summit if they are still a great nation. Hell in the spirit that only I could muster for them, I am prepared to tell them how great they.

Besides as I said the world needs them. They make us realize how unlucky we could be.

Huh. This story is posted on Expatica
-----------------
The conservative Bild tabloid dubbed the posters "perverse election campaigning."

Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) reacted with outrage to the poster.

"It's totally tasteless! There are limits even in an election campaign - you don't use the dead to win votes," said CDU Secretary General Volker Kauder.

http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=26&story_id=23751&name=SPD+uses+photos+of+American%3CBR%3Esoldiers%27+coffins+on+posters
-----------------------

Thrust,

Your comment about an American politician disparaging germans to win an election is total speculation on your part. It has not happened.It will not happen. There are however more than a few examples of this behavior by your own.

Of course, that you would believe that does not surprise me at all. It is what has become unfortunately part of the character of germans. As you pointed out we as people have different values and cultures. The use of this picture speaks volumes about those differences.

So please do not project your own standards on Americans. We will not accept them. Just as we would not accept what you have called leadership for the last 7 years.

@ Pamela

I m happy that it was understandable.
Most of your replies to my posts in the past have been ignored by me on purpose I admit, since I often got the impression your comments were of an offensive nature (which is something i cannot handle).

So I m glad now that these impressions seem to have been wrong.

@ SeanM

"Sorry , but I've now lived over 10 years in Germany and my neighbors for the past 4 years in southern Germany are downright hostile, although less so than the neighbors I had for 4 years in the lakes district around southern Munich, but on a par with the ones I had in the Hannover area for some years before that. I've now given up on my German neighbors although I always endeavor to treat them with respect."

How exaclty would you define "downright hostile" in this context?
I would be glad if you could describe it more detailed in what way they act towards you and what their usual professions are.

I ask about it because germans in general are said to be more "distanced" to each other than most other people on earth (especially when it comes to neighbouring-issues) - so maybe you are simply not fully used to the social climate of our society and your american citizenship doesnt play a major role to your neighbours at all ?

@Zyme
>>Most of your replies to my posts in the past have been ignored by me on purpose I admit, since I often got the impression your comments were of an offensive nature (which is something i cannot handle).

So I m glad now that these impressions seem to have been wrong.


I rarely intend to offend. But you are not wrong that many of my responses to your posts are hostile to your opinions (not to you personally- I don't know you). I am blunt and you will never mis-apprehend where I stand.

anti-Americanism in and of itself does not bother me at all IF it is an opinion derived from empirical facts. But so much of what I see in German media about America is factually inaccurate - from whatever motivation - that I want to probe any anti-American rationale before I consider it worthy of dialogue - or even agreeing with it. For example, a German woman I 'met' here who is married to an American in the Navy lives here in Virginia. She sent me a translation from her hometown newspaper in Mannheim that talked about American 'concentration camps for children'. I would also suggest that if you are unable to handle remarks you consider 'offensive', you might want to be less casual about writing them yourself. Example: Are you a native inhabitant fearing your soul is lost once someone takes a photo of you? *lol*

This about photos of dead American military members whose souls, thankfully, are not in your care.

I am more than happy to have a civilized conversation with you, but I will call bullshit when I think it is warranted. So, if you are willing, shall we agree to bury the hatchet, so to speak and begin again?

I'll go first.

You have written frequently about your aspirations for Germany. Honestly, I lack the cultural context to really understand what your ideal is. The William II quote "Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen" I can translate but I have no context to place it in so do not know what it means to you.

Also,
>> ask about it because germans in general are said to be more "distanced" to each other than most other people on earth (especially when it comes to neighbouring-issues)

That made me laugh. I've had Germans tell me Americans smile too much. You are so right. But ScottM has been in-country for 10 years, so I think your request that he go into some detail is a good one.

This poster is sick, and as a German I really feel bad about it. It is the peak of a campaign of cheesiness and lies by the SPD and the other left-wing parties, and it shows the way how some of these left politicians are thinking.
So I really do hope we will have a change in politics on Sunday. And I do hope that presenting this tasteless poster was one of the last actions in the political career of Mr. Schwanitz.

If Mr. Schwanitz had run an honest election campaign, his poster would have looked like this:
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/9083/plakat9oa.jpg
The text says: "The safety of Germany is defended at the Hindukush", it is a quote of Mr. Struck (SPD), our secretary of defense. The pictures show a bus destroyed by a bomb near Kabul, 4 german soldiers were killed, and the coffin of one of those soldiers.

Pamela,

You can be so kind.

Johannes Thust,

Americans are for the most part indifferent to Germany. There would be no political gain from attacking Germany. The reaction would be - what is this?

Germany does have a serious problem. It is only a small step from socialism to national socialism. Socialism destroys initiative and economies.

For a very good explanation of why read Hayek "The Road to Serfdom". It was published in 1944. It explains why an economy strangled by socialsm must either become expansionist or die.

Fortunately for the world the Germans have chosen the second route. Either policy would is disasterous for Germany.

Perhaps it is time to look at root causes.

Socialism.

In Cuba the government says "Socialism or Death". The people say "What is the difference?".

Expansionism.

All economies depend on it. This fact is fundamental.

There are two ways to go about it: by theft or by earnings. Of those two ways earnings are the most peaceful because they depend on agreement between seller and buyer.

In addition one must continually do better or be overtaken by some one else who can. Thus capitalism by its nature tends to be inherently conservative of resources. The fewer resources required for the satisfaction of needs and desires the greater the profit - for a while - until others catch on. When they do it triggers another round of looking for ways to minimize or eliminate waste.

A truly brutal system. The advantage it has is that it works. By mutual agreement.

The poor in most places in America are doing well. About 70% own autos. About 50% own their own homes. Almost 100% own microwaves and color TVs. Most own two TVs. The poor you see from the Katria disaster are from a socialist strong hold.

In fact according to some surveys based on purchasing power parity the average poor person in America is doing well as the average person in most of Europe. And the gap is getting wider.

@M. Simon
>>For a very good explanation of why read Hayek "The Road to Serfdom". It was published in 1944.

Welcome aboard. Save your breath. See the discussion we had last night on an earlier thread.
http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2005/09/sueddeutsche_ze.html#comments

Scroll almost to the bottom.
----------
Pamela:

thanks for sharing your thoughts on the history of socialism in germany and the impossibility of a "democratic socialism". very interesting. now what ?

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

Here is what the poster was responding to:
---------------
Although most of the new ideas, and particularly socialism, did not originate in Germany, it was in Germany that they were perfected and during the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth century that they reached their fullest development.

…a generation before socialism became a serious issue in the country, Germany had a large socialist party in her parliament and that until not very long ago the doctrinal development of socialism was almost entirely carried on in Germany and Austria, so that even today Russian discussion largely carries on where the Germans left off.

The Germans themselves – or at least those among them who spread these ideas – were fully aware of the conflict: what had been the common heritage of European civilization became to them, long before the Nazis, “Western” civilization – where “Western” was no longer used in the old sense of Occident but had come to mean west of the Rhine. “Western” in this sense was liberalism and democracy, capitalism and individualism, free trade and any form in internationalism or love of peace.
But in spite of the ill-concealed contempt of an ever increasing number of Germans for those “shallow” Western ideals, or perhaps because of it, the people of the West continued to import German ideas and were even induced to believe that their own former convictions had merely been rationalizations of selfish interests, that free trade was a doctrine invented to further British interests, and that the political ideals of England and America were hopelessly outmoded and a thing to be ashamed of.
[snip]
That democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something so utterly different that few of those who now wish it would be prepared to accept the consequences, many will not believe until the connection has been laid bare in all its aspects.

-----------

Direct quotes from The Road to Serfdom. The very concepts are alien, let alone the book. I suggested Hilaire Belloc's "A Servile State" publ in 1913. Silence. Not even a kernal of curiousity.

Maybe I should try the Bible.

Nah.

The poster is appaling beyond words. Even more appaling is the fact that it is not only the sick product of a hollow politician, but that there are Germans who actually defend it. The people who have no problem with this poster are so void of any trace of basic moral values that the thought of even unknowingly rubbing elbows with them in the Innenstadt makes me shudder.
It's not that I see them everywhere. It's just shocking to realize there are so many humans amongst us, at all levels of "civilized" society, who in terms of moral values are still only a stone throw away from their Neanderthal ancestors, for whom no hole is too deep, no mud is too sticky, no excrements too stinky.
I agree with joe, not under the influence of momentary indignation, but rationally: Germany could use another red government in order to start cleansing itself thoroughly.

It is no secret that Germany never agreed with U.S. policies to invade Iraq and liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein.

Germany's, and many other european countries took a stand that would have allowed the weapon instectors to do their job and look for WMD. But american itelligence was so certain that those WMD were present, which let to the conclusion that there was no time to waste and that Saddam had to be removed immediately. Even Colin Powell admitted in a recent interview, that mistakes and wrong conclusions were made during that period.
But nobody talks about that anymore. Now we ought to believe that the U.S. went there to liberate the Iraqi people.
And we are paying the price for it. Even our own government doesn't want us to see those pictures of coffins, each covered with an american flag. Why??

This is the brutal reality of war. A war that Germany never wanted to be a part of in the first place.

My family and I, too, lost a family member and friends in Iraq. And I believe that every one of them was a hero, because they did what their government ordered them to do.

I don't see the disgrace of american soldiers by using this particular image for their political campaign. I just wish someone would have showed me such a photo before the war, with a title written on it that says:
"This could be your son".

It would have made me think about who our government is...

Red + Green = Yellow.

Even in case of a 'grand coalition', Schröder will not be Chancellor anymore. There are only 30 hours left until Schröder's demise. Social Democrats and Greens: The clock is ticking.

@Alex "Germany's, and many other european countries took a stand that would have allowed the weapon instectors to do their job and look for WMD"

The concerns were far greater than what you suggested. Read what Tony Blair said in 1999 to see that the problem was widely known and not an invention of the current occupant of the White House:

"Many of our problems have been caused by two dangerous and ruthless men - Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. Both have been prepared to wage vicious campaigns against sections of their own community. As a result of these destructive policies both have brought calamity on their own peoples. Instead of enjoying its oil wealth Iraq has been reduced to poverty, with political life stultified through fear... One of the reasons why it is now so important to win the conflict is to ensure that others do not make the same mistake in the future."

Saddam could easily have hidden stockpiles of WMD (we found no substantial stockpiles) while simultaneously developing the capability and facilities to build them once sanctions were lifted (we found ample examples of these). Germany, France and Russia were pushing for the lifting of sanctions while Saddam used the enforced suffering of his people under the sanctions to weaken support for the US/British position. The UN looking for WMD was not going to solve that problem, all Saddam had to do was not stockpile them or alternatively hide them until the sanctions were lifted. Our taking the UN route depended on his hiding them and the inspectors finding them. Now you seem to be a clever enough person: I challenge you to come up with a strategy of hiding WMD from the UN in a country the size of Iraq. Do you think you could do it?

You wrote, 'I don't see the disgrace of american soldiers by using this particular image for their political campaign. I just wish someone would have showed me such a photo before the war, with a title written on it that says:
"This could be your son".

It would have made me think about who our government is...'

I was never under the illusion of how ugly war was, having grown up with my father and uncles and their endless trading of WWII stories. On hot summer evenings, the scar from left to right across my father's naked back where a Japanese bullet had just missed his spine bore witness to how close all soldiers live to the edge. My mother's father died in a Japanese POW camp and she was thus orphaned at age 14. Why did you need a plaque saying "This could be your son" before realizing this was serious business? Our soldiers aren't playing a game. That's why we respect them so much. The notion that a particular President, in this case George Bush, will lose our support when we see photos of body bags is perhaps wishful thinking on your part.

@Simon

"Even in case of a 'grand coalition', Schröder will not be Chancellor anymore"

Agreed, Schröder is gone unless his party wins outright, a very unlikely outcome. Polical parties allow no room for sentiment. Weather tomorrow in southern Germany looks fine and sunny; should be a good turnout.

@Zyme wrote, "How exaclty would you define "downright hostile" in this context? I would be glad if you could describe it more detailed in what way they act towards you and what their usual professions are"

Zyme, you ask a reasonable question, but other than making a few vague generalities I do not want to fully answer the question. Aside from the answer being too long for this forum, I can't see that my personal experiences would calm the developing tensions between the US and Germany. Without knowing me personally and my temperment you could just as easily conclude that I am the problem. Besides what do I have to gain from exacerbating the deterioration in the ties between our two countries: my wife is German, my son is both German and American.

Having said that, the problems I've had extend from not having the common courtesies extended to us that our neighbors extend to one another, all the way to their not respecting the local ordinances whenever it applies to us (Mittagruhe, Hunde, Grenze etc). But to understand, you would have to observe the hostility in their mannerisms. Currently, our direct neighbors are fortunately not the problem, we seem to have a good working relationship with them. The same cannot be said for others in the same street and those living behind. As I said, you're not able to witness how we behave in our community to form a reasonable judgement so my comment has to remain anecdotal.

More important in my post was my comment that "I've now given up on my German neighbors". Until moving here, I had always concluded that we were just plain unlucky. Now I believe there is a more general problem. And it's not just my neighbors. I believe you are from Wasserburg on the Inn (do I have that right?). A fine town that we visited about 10 years ago. Recently we went to a restaurant not too far away (at least when one comes from outside Bavaria) on the Ostufer of the Starnbergersee and when my son spoke English (he's bilingual), a neighboring table started talking loudly (in German) about all the things they didn't like about Americans. One of the things they did not like was how we "stick our nose in other peoples business" which made me laugh. They assumed we couldn't understand. Later, at a pivotal moment my wife addressed the waitress from a distance in her purist Hochdeutsch. Their jaws had to be wiped off the floor! That much was sweet.

But stories like this have no meaning unless you know me personally or a similar experience has happened to you. On the internet, anybody can make up anything. Understanding also requires a certain empathy on the reader's side. Considering the poster at the top of this thread, you wrote, " some coffins dressed in the US flag...So what? Caring about something as irrelevant as this is such a waste of time - Why do americans always have to exagerate so much?". Do you think you have the necessary empathy or at least sensitivity to understand unfamiliar issues? I think my neighbors might have said the same thing about the poster of the coffins as you did.

@Pamela
Sorry, that will have to suffice.

Good morning.

This story headlines today's Washington Times World section.
--------------
Schroeder's party exploits U.S. war dead
http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20050916-102918-9125r.htm

Good work Gerhard.
------------------

SeanM, not to worry. It was more than sufficient and tracks closely to others' experiences I'm aware of.

@Alex
>>It would have made me think about who our government is...

Alex. Do me a favor. Don't vote. Ever.

This kind of excess does lasting damage to relationships between not just between governments, but also peoples. It is positively ghoulish to use another country's war dead for domestic political purposes. What should Americans think of German citizenry if the SPD is re-elected?

I also can't think of anything else that underscores more how inmpoverished SPD domestic accomplishments must be, if THIS is an election issue. "All politics is local," a US political sage once said. Clearly the SPD has been a domestic disaster for Germanty.

This is truly sick.

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