« Davids Medienkritik Booming Worldwide | Main | Tight Election Race: "Grand Coalition" or "Black-Yellow"? »

Comments

@t.daeges

The a$$hole (your word not mine), was an example of the only Germans that I have met. I think he is pretty representative of most of your people. How do I know that? I read your newspapers. I read your polls. And I read your magazines. They leave little doubt as to how Germans view Americans.

Now you will say suppose Germans were to view our media and determine that all Americans are a reflection of what you see in there. It would be wrong, but I could live with it because our media does not go out of its way to denigrate your country or your people. Not even Iran, North Korea, nor China are treated with so much contempt.

You call us friends, but there is no evidence to support that. Not being to "general" but that is what it is. We are not friends.

This is off-topic, but I just thought of a way Gerhard Schroeder can be assured victory in the upcoming election. Tell German voters that George Bush is training Americans to eat human flesh!

It could work! We're blood-suckers, so why not cannibals?

Thorsten, aka t.daeges,

Thank you for responding to my post, “9 Things I’ve Learned About Germans.”

Ever learn a new word and then suddenly read or hear that word everywhere? The word was always around, but you'd never paid attention to it. The fact that you were unaware of it doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist.

Propaganda in the German press and the anti-Americanism it fosters is like that. Now that you know that it's out there, you may become more observant in your reading and the attitudes of your fellow countrymen. Over time, your current state of denial and wishful thinking will be replaced by honesty.


Torsten,

I used to think just like you: Germans are not that bad, they have learned, they are aware. every exception I encountered just proved the rule, i kept telling me. one does not a pattern make. but i have given up deluding myself. don't get me wrong, I do appreciate your attitude, wish there more like you out there. but sadly enough, i have met people at work, in a pub. even in the "karneval" who did give a cheer (not always that secretly) for a fallen GI in Iraq ("That's for going down there. Geschieht ihnen ganz recht.")

I agree with Leserin. maybe once you suspect it is out there, you will realize that people have had experiences with Germans quite contrary to your convictions and your attitudes, with the MSM providing intellectual support. and you start to do something about it.

@ t.daeges

If I ever want to bring products to the american market, I m certainly going to need you ! :D

@ Thorsten,

Thanks for your comments. You write:

"I don't know if Germany's decision was the right one to make, but if a friend is of another opionion once, it doesn't make him an enemy. Bush/Rumsfeld however made the Germans feel as if they became enemies to the U.S. - and that is one of the most important causes behind the bush-bashing some people do here..."

I think Pamela is right to ask about this statement. Did Bush and Rumsfeld really make Germans feel like enemies of the USA? How exactly (other than the old Europe statement, which was very mild indeed and blown way out of proportion by the German media)? Could it be that the German media played a major role in shaping this perception (I think it has)? Please look over our website and think about it. In fact, Bush has many times thanked Germany for its help in Afghanistan and most recently with Katrina. He has met with Schroeder and thanked him for this. You won't read much about that in the media because "nice" news don't sell...conflict does. So it is not always so easy to get a realistic view of things.

Let me also remind you that, unfortunately, some in the USA believe this wacko theories. Yes they are more popular in Germany and Europe, but that does not mean that all (or even the majority) of Germans buy this BS. In other words, we should be precise about the problem and not paint with too broad a brush ladies and gentlemen.

@Ray D..
to be fair, you have to remember Rumsfeld's comment about comparing Germany to Libya and Cuba. you know from my comments above where I stand, but this comment was insulting. If I was a German, I would have been deeply insulted by this.
It was a major step for Germans to 1. approve of the Serbia/Kosovo war and 2. be involved with Afghanistan.
I understand and am sensitive to Germany's history.. If I was a German I would also be reluctant about troop involvement abroad.
This was a major slap in the face. To be honest though at the time I thought 'wie du mir, so ich Dir'. Rumsfeld was just dishing out what he (and I as the personal representative of the 'evil Empire') had been taking.
But deep down I knew the comment was a low blow then, and it still is a low blow.


But I as an American was also deeply insulted by Struck's comments, Schroeder's comments and the Hitler comment.
THere was a lot of s... flying in both directions. In my opinion more shit coming from the Germans.. but Ansichtsache..
But I am with you on the old Europe comment.. It was blown WAY out of proportion. After all the Germans still refer to the old and new Bundesländer.
Plus when you look at Germany's demographic crisis 'Old' Europe isn't really that much of a stretch.

@amiexpat said "remember Rumsfeld's comment about comparing Germany to Libya and Cuba"

Here is what Rumsfeld is reported to have said on February 6, 2003:

Rumsfeld was asked at a hearing what kind of cooperation the Bush administration could expect from other nations in the event of a war. He listed several he considered supportive and others he thought might come to back the operation.

"And then there are three or four countries that have said they won't do anything. I believe Libya, Cuba and Germany are the ones that I have indicated won't help in any respect"

Perhaps this is insulting, perhaps not, only the reader can decide for him/herself. One also has to consider the strong comments some German leaders were throwing at the US at the time, as you pointed out in your post. In my case I have never understood the irritation caused by his references to "Old Europe". Weren't the French and Germans proud of being old before Rumsfeld mentioned it?

@amiexpat

Here's the link to that Broder article you mentioned, "Warum wir die Amerikaner hassen":

http://www.henryk-broder.de/html/tb_hass.html

@SeanM

I worked in Germany at the time of the "Old Europe" comment and I was also puzzled by the irritation. I can only conclude that it reached a sensitive point - that many Germans secretly fear that there will indeed be a shift of economic and political weight towards "New Europe".

As a general observation -- most of what this blog describes about the German press is also true of the French and Belgian presses, so, it's not a German problem, I think it's really an "old Europe" problem.

There are exceptions, but most of the Germans I know think that there is no point in even reading what the US media has to say. Their minds are made up.

Hello Brock,

You said Germans secretly fear that there will indeed be a shift of economic and political weight towards "New Europe"

This makes sense so I will reserve it as my "current" explanation until I hear something even more convincing.

I have heard about the media in other European countries but, other than the UK via Sky TV, I have no direct experience. And since so much of what we as commenters report here amounts to hearsay or personal experiences, I find it safer to focus on the country I know, not to mention that Medienkritik is devoted purely to the German media.

@amiexpat: “Rumsfeld's comment about comparing Germany to Libya and Cuba”
I had videotaped that hearing and watched that part several times. I t was obvious that Rumsfeld had only given a direct factual answer to a direct question, and that absolutely no insult was intended and no comparison was made. If he had failed to disclose which countries were not going to support the US in Iraq, he would have been guilty of withholding information from the congress.
Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top, tell me EXACTLY (in quotation marks) how you think he should have answered the question.

@Germerican..
you and I are reading largely from the same page.
I agree with the majority of what you write.
If you will read my other posts you will probably see the same.
I didn't see the hearing, so I don't have a view of the larger context.
But are you telling me every other country on the face of the earth offered help except for those three? The list should have been a lot longer. He - in order to prevent perjury like you said - would need
to name EVERY country that offered no help.. wasn't France also on that list? I am sure Rumsfeld knew about France's intransigence.
I think you are taking things just a little too literally.
I like Rumsfeld to be honest and I am glad he was there after 9/11.
But like everyone else he has his failings too...
Sorry, diplomacy is NOT his greatest strength.
I am sorry, he was taking a shot (well deserved I might add) at Germany.

and to be honest, Germany DID help with the war.. what did the US want from Germany? Fly over rights and ability to use the bases in Germany..
What did they get? Fly over rights and ability to use the bases in Germany..
To my understanding German soldiers took over security details at the American bases in Germany as well.
Schroeders political posturing was unforgivable - UNFORGIVABLE - I hope he gets tossed out by a landslide on Sunday - but behind the scenes Germany
did everything that America wanted. It was an understanding between Bush and Schroeder.. Bush would not ask for German troops, in return
Schroeder would not use the issue as election baiting. Well, we know how THAT went dont we.. That is what makes Schroeder all the more appalling.
I guess there is some question if Germany could have denied the US the right to the bases anyway.. but still..
Schroeder could have (and if he wasn't such a moral hypocrite would have) attempted to block the use of the bases..
don't get me wrong, I am firmly in the Bush camp.. first time I voted REpublican in my life was in 2004 and I let out a shriek of joy when Ohio went for Bush (privately of course, if I had done that in presence of Germans I would have been lynched.)

@amiexpat wrote: "need to name EVERY country that offered no help.. wasn't France also on that list?"

In February 2003 France was still in the latter stages of negotiation mode, trying to draw out the UN inspections, you know, the ones that had been drawn out since 1991. Schroeder had already categorically stated that with or without a new UNSC resolution authorizing war, that they would not agree and would send no troops.

"What did they get? Fly over rights and ability to use the bases in Germany"

Yes, you're right about that but the vocal opposition was all that was necessary to destroy US legitamacy and help make it OK to target US troops after the war was over and for other nations to finance the gang warfare we see in Iraq today.

I should have mentioned, that if Germany had not previously been an ally or at least was not known to be an ally, then the vocal opposition of the chancellor would have had less effect. For example, the world expected France to bite us in the back, they always do that, but the opposition of the German-French axis did real damage. By the way, how is that axis going today?

@amiexpat: “are you telling me every other country on the face of the earth offered help except for those three?”
No, I am telling you that every other country on the face of the earth had not explicitly ruled out the possibility except for those three. And that is also what Rumsfeld said.
I would still find it very extremely interesting EXACTLY (in quotation marks) how you think he should have answered the question.

Otherwise I agree with you, including that “diplomacy is NOT his greatest strength.”
But that's just why it shouldn’t be necessary to accuse him of even more diplomatic blunders than he actually makes already.

At the time Rummy made the comment about Germany, it was one of three nations, which had stated a position that it would not support the US even if there was a UN mandate. Iran and even Syria had not taken that position.

So Rummy was very correct in what he said.

And NO he did not need to list any other nations because those nations had not stated their positions.

The support the US got from Germany was what the US asked for in material and practical terms. What the US did not get was the diplomatic support that it needed.

So one has to ask why did the political elite take this position and what did they gain from it. I would say the only gain was to keep the red greens in power a few more years. For the rest of the nation while it might have fed their sense of moral superiority it did little else.

The American Media was comepletly intimidated by George Bush. nd I have the memos to prove it!

This is Dan Rather reporting. Courage!

I kind of lost track of all the comments I wanted to say something about, and I'm not sure if I'll have the time tonight, but I'd like to thank all of you for listening and trying to understand. And last but not least for a chance to practice my English! :-)

Anyway... What I wanted to add after reading the comments is, that I am just one German. I can primarily only speak about my view of the world and this country and about what I see around me. I can't describe what happens at a table in a pub in Buxdehude, but I can give you my opinion of things and I am absolutely certain that I'm not alone with the wish to have good relations with Americans and the U.S. government, even when holding on to our own opinion (and that *is* possible with some diplomatic care, which wasn't shown in desribed situations).

It bugs the hell out of me (if that makes any sense) to read what experiences people had with Germans and what impact such situations had on their view of an entire nation. I would even like to apologize for them, if that makes any difference. I said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not like that, we're not like that (at least most of us aren't, and I will go as far as to say that there are not exceptionally many stupid people in Germany.) I know and I knew that one single voice won't change an opinion most of you have formed for a reason. But let's just say:

Give people like me a chance. Give Germans a chance to win your trust back.

I talked to a friend last night about everything we discussed here and he was keen to hear about it all. We read through this entire page together, with me translating for him what he didn't get. I asked what he thought about the U.S.-bashing going on and if he would agree with me based on his experience that it is pretty superficial. He agreed and added that it's mostly an act of defiance (I hope that's the right word): They hate us, so we hate them back. It's childish, yes, but mass phenomena have a tendency to be childish, right? Just look at some statements about Germans in the comments here (as well as about Americans in the German media)... It wouldn't take much from the Bush administration (and a bit of good will from the German media) to twist the whole thing around. I think many people are just waiting for a reason to change their opinion. I don't think they like this situation either. The point is: They think Americans hate us too. And let's just say: Some of you make that statement sound so true, even as - as a co-worker of me also pointed out today - people who know some Americans know better.

Now about the German media... As I said I don't like what I see posted on this site, and it certainly is as appalling to me as it is to you, since it gives a bad impression about the Germans in general. Some big name magazines have made it here, which is a shame... But as bad as this is and as dumb as some stuff people write is, you will have to keep in mind how much is written in Germany everyday and how small a percentage of that is posted here. It hopefully isn't a representative part of the whole German media, but you have to wonder: what if it isn't? What if the problem is bad, really bad. But still solvable? This site is about propaganda in the German media, so it would be pretty pointless to post articles that speak well of the U.S. or are at least not biased. So it may be a good thing to keep in mind that it's not a representative selection of German media, even if it's large enough to be a problem.

Enough for now...

@amiexpat:
"Plus when you look at Germany's demographic crisis 'Old' Europe isn't really that much of a stretch."

hehe... true. :-)

Thorsten wrote "it would be pretty pointless to post articles that speak well of the U.S. or are at least not biased. So it may be a good thing to keep in mind that it's not a representative selection of German media"

Actually, you are wrong: articles by Germans that are unbiased are published here - if only because they are so rare. Read Finally, Another German Voice We Can Agree With... as just one recent example. This was published in the US, but occasionally one is found that was published here in Germany. If you can find any others then we would all like to know about it, contrary to your assumption.

My future and the future of my family depends absolutely on the direction events are going in Germany, so you can be sure I would take any information you can draw our attention to with utmost seriousness.

Also, it may be difficult to break it to your friend, but we don't hate Germans. Most Americans would be shocked to discover what is being written here about them and would not counter with similar stories in our own press: we would consider that distasteful and lacking in class. Visit any university town in Germany and witness the anti-American demonstrations. Visit a college town in the US and you will not see anti-German demonstrations. This is a German problem. It's only an American problem for Americans like me who live here.

I think you should question your friend a little more, because I detected between the lines a similar response to what I find from German acquaintances: untrue assumptions of mutually shared hatred, assumptions that your own press is unbiased and that you even know what Bush or Rumsfeld has actually said. In your case you can read the originals but your friend depends on translations. Apparently the German media is well aware of this detail and uses it to satisfy its own agenda.


t.daeges

It is interesting to read about your attitude and the attitudes of your friends toward America. Why most Americans here do not believe your attitude is representative of Germans is because every opinion poll shows America is viewed negatively by a vast majority of Germans. If these polls are to be believed and there have been many of them, you are very much in the minority in your own nation.

I would be interested in knowing how and from what source you and your friend came to the conclusion that Americans hate Germans therefore Germans hate them back. It surely cannot be from American political leaders nor from the American M$M.

As for the comments you read here which you interrupt as reflecting hate, I do not agree with you. I think if you read these comments closely they reflect disgust and disappointment more than of hate. The use of the word hate seems to be used differently by Germans than Americans. Americans really do not hate anyone. They might not like someone but they have little time in their lives or their collective mental make up to hate.

Besides hate requires engagement. Americans are not engage mentally with Germans or with Germany. We for the most part are indifferent to Germans and Germany. I live in metro Atlanta an area that has about 5.5 million people. I bet you could ask 1000 people at random and you might find one who even knows there is an election that is about to take place in Germany this weekend. There has been no coverage at all in the local media and very little in the national media. I dare say when the results are known, there will be less than 200 words locally to report the outcome. So Germany and Germans get a free pass on media coverage. I would tell you now this is the best possible thing for you. I say this because if Americans knew what was being said and the attitudes of the majority of Germans toward the US our relationship would in fact be different than it is today.

This is not to say our government is not engaged with your government because it is.

I use to think having strong relations with Germany was important. I no longer do. In fact, I would like to see the current relationship between the US and Germany change. I can assure you, you and your fellow countryman would not like the changes I would envision.

So be thankful that the vast majority of Americans view you as good friends. I can assure you, you would not want their attitude to become one of being any more indifferent than it already is. I can also assure you that you also would not want the majority of American to reflect the attitude held by the majority of your fellow citizens toward you.


@SeanM:
"Also, it may be difficult to break it to your friend, but we don't hate Germans."
He doesn't think so, he just thought that many people may think so, and that that may explain their behavior.

"we would consider that distasteful and lacking in class."
As do I. I don't think they're doing it rationally. As I said, it's childish, and Germans are not alone when it comes to displaying childish behavior from time to time.

"...from what source you and your friend came to the conclusion that Americans hate Germans therefore Germans hate them back. It surely cannot be from American political leaders nor from the American M$M."

Erm... I also don't think "Americans hate Germans". That is a pretty ridiculous statement to make as it is a generalisation. I just think that many people that are ani-american may think so, as I explained in my post.

Fine if you want to play the lets do this with fact rountine I am game.

I will make a list of polls which supports my position about the attitudes of Germans toward America. Then you can go about telling me, of course, with your own set of supported facts just why these polls are all wrong.

Do you really want to play that game? I hope you do not because the results are going to be embarassing to you.

Of you did not answer what I thought was a very clear question. I will try again.

You state Germans hate Americans because they feel Americans hate them.

My question is from what sources do Germans use to form this attitude this attitude that Americans hate them?

An you did not explain anything in your post or at least you did not answer that direct question. What you gave was an excuse for the attitude of Germans. It seems Germans have lots of excuses for everything.


"I use to think having strong relations with Germany was important. I no longer do. In fact, I would like to see the current relationship between the US and Germany change. I can assure you, you and your fellow countryman would not like the changes I would envision."

And you're proud of that? Ah well, sometimes I get the feeling that conflict really is more "hip" than trying to get along.

I wonder what the sense was of typing 3 evenings in a row in a non-native language... being tired all day at work and feeling frustrated over all kinds of responses of the "Wake up, you're just in denial!" type.

"articles by Germans that are unbiased are published here - if only because they are so rare."
But you can't possibly think that this site could be aware of all unbiased or pro-American pieces? Just because something fits in the puzzle, it doesn't make it true. Don't get me wrong: I think that an alarming portion of German media is anti-american, but it is certainly less than your perception may be when reading this site.

joe
>>We for the most part are indifferent to Germans and Germany

Boy, you got that right. For the most part Americans are indifferent to the whole of Europe. And that is my big complaint about US media. They'll spend untold hours on one missing American teenager in Aruba instead of informing us about European affairs.

>>Americans really do not hate anyone

Speak for yourself sweetie. I hate the French!

*grins*

Oh Pamela, Pmaela,

How in the world can you hate the french?

They serve a very useful purpose in the world and the world would be a lesser place without them. Really!

I mean think of this comment. "Well you could always be french". That would be lost to world at large.

@Joe:
Oh come on, Joe. Calm down, will you?

I didn't say the polls are wrong.

I didn't meant my statement as an excuse for Germans. It was meant as an explanation of something I find as bad as you do. An explanation for how that could have developed.

blablabla. Germans never (insert good thing). Germans always (insert bad thing). My god. Please.

...
...
...

Okay. On to your question: I already said that since the statements of Rumsfeld and Bush, and the general feeling that the U.S. does not consider Germany an ally anymore, some people here tend to think that "the Americans" "hate" them, because they considered Germanys denial to take part in the iraq war was like "stabbing them in the back".

And another time: I don't think the Americans hate us.

Have you read my previous posts in this thread? Don't jump to conclusions and inform yourself.

Oh EVERYONE hates the French :)

The one thing that stood out is this "we hate them because they hate us" comment

Or we "disparage" ( make fun of, dismiss as stupid and ignorant ) them because they do it to us

Its just not true

Americans don't have ANY negative image of todays Germany

I'll admit our understanding of Europe is mostly of a stereotypical kind - say Germany in America and people do think of lederhosen and saurkraut - not exactly wonderful but not so bad a thing

But say America in Germany and people think of warmongering, gun toting ignorant fat-asses
And it has been becoming more and more the normal association for the past 20+ years

It spikes whenever the American public betrays its total stupidity in electing ANY Republican to the White House of course - but the negative stereotypes are now firmly in place


So its WRONG to say that its a two way street

If there is any growing anti European/German sentiement from the US today - it is a reaction to the growing realization that many Euro states are not Allies anymore


And for this development the Euro media has to take a lot of blame

This is just the truth my friend - I wish it were not so, but I won't deny it


"And another time: I don't think the Americans hate us."

No - I really don't think you do think so at all

In fact - what I think is that when confronted with the question of why there is so much America bashing in Europe today - a sensible person with search for some answer - not find any rational one - and come back with "well, they hate us so we hate them" - even though this is not true


This is what your friend did in my opinion

I don't think he's a bad guy either - just not aware of the pervasive anti-american leftism of Europe

The truth is not "we hate them because they hate us"

The truth is that your media hates the US because they are leftists through and through and see the US and capitalism as the enemy and they portray this reality to the people

propaganda - pure and simple

Considering what is written in popular papers in Germany, is it any wonder that Germans think poorly of Americans? Articles in this blog are just the start. I think the "little things" in other articles are even most harmful. Example: an article about the 1st day of school for German students. School cones, new clothes, parents taking their children to school and meeting parents. In the middle of the article was a statement - how different it is in the USA where we just put them on the school bus and hope they make it home. These little statements add up to a very ugly picture of Americans.
I actually do see different attitudes in Germany when I visit. One is very anti-american, snotty and rude. However, I visit 2 towns that are very different. One has had a strong student exchange program for 20 years(the German students come and live in the USA for a month one summer with their host sibling. The next summer the American student spends a month in their German host family's home.) The other town has had a small USArmy base for almost 60 years. In the areas the Germans are friendly, funny and helpful. I wonder why? >:-)

jlwb

t.daeges

It has nothing at all to do with being proud or not being proud. It is a statement of personal fact and position. It equally has nothing do with being "hip".

It also has nothing to do with getting along or not getting along. The US gets along with Austria and Luxembourg but I would not characterize those relationships as being particularly strong.

I can think of no reason where it is necessary or even particularly important to have a strong bilateral relationship between the US and Germany. It would seem that your elites share this view if one is to believe their public positions and proclamations.

This does not mean or is even meant to infer that not having a strong bilateral German American relationship would be both desired and beneficial as it would be.

It seems that part of the German psyche is they either like you or they hate you. The idea that one can be indifferent is a concept they seem not to understand.

So I am indifferent to the US having a strong relationship with Germany. I also surely do not trust the Germans anymore. I do however think it is important for the US to have strong bilateral relationships with Japan, India and Turkey among other nations.

As for not taking part in the Iraq war as a justification for thinking Americans hate Germans is equally false. This is a lie that the Germans are telling themselves. The Germany government did everything the US asked of them in support of Iraq. What they also did do which diminished Germany status in the US was to actively work against the US. So this became much more than a simple disagreement amoung allies at that point.

Now this might be acceptable behavior in the Germans minds of the actions of an ally but trust me it is not considered to be in the US.

The current status of our bilateral relationship would be much stronger today had Germany only stated the position that it was going to abstain at the UNSC and do nothing more than that. Instead it actively worked with the french and Russians in the UN.

So it is obvious to me at least Germany relationships with france and Russia are more important than those with the US. I have no problem with that personally. That was a choice the Germans made. Equally you should not now be upset when an American tells you they agree with you, that a strong German American relationship is not that important after all.

.

"It seems that part of the German psyche is they either like you or they hate you."
There... is no "German psyche". There are about 82.501.000 German psyches. And they have as many shades of gray between liking and hating as any other human does.

"The idea that one can be indifferent is a concept they seem not to understand."
I understand the concept. :-)

Imams of the German Press
The constant dirge and propaganda flowing from the German press does matter. Ms Palm is living in Märchenland. I used to have German friends prior to 9-11, but now can not suffer their never-ending hatred and agitprop against this nation. I swear, the dred-lock, tie-dyed, fanatical homosexual, illiberals have nearly pushed me over the edge. There will come a time when Germany has finally succeeded at what they have worked so hard at, to piss on US-German relations and stretch our ability to endure their rhetoric. I look forward to the day when radical German leftists are barred from entering this county, let them visit Märchenland instead.

BTW, do you suppose that Carla Palm is a is a pseudonym for Rosy Palm, a guys best friend?

The truth is that your media hates the US because they are leftists through and through and see the US and capitalism as the enemy and they portray this reality to the people

I agree, totally. And, it starts right on the covers of the German magazines. I noticed this a few years ago already, before I knew about DMK. The pictures of Bush in "less than flattering" poses, soldiers compared to Rambo, the cowboy boot stepping on German workers, etc.... Then there were the Michael Moore stands in the bookstores stocked with the entire, and very popular, collection. There were several 911 conspiracy books that sold well. I've met several M. Moore fans without even searching. It would be difficult to deny that there is a healthy market for this propaganda. What does that say about the people who keep on buying it? I mean, I wouldn't keep buying magazines and books that I believe are full of propaganda towards a certain people or idiology. That makes me question the position and judgement of those who do. I think the polls mentioned here indicate a problem that I think is underestimated in its severity by some.

@joe wrote "Equally you should not now be upset when an American tells you they agree with you, that a strong German American relationship is not that important after all."

They are concerned about their exports into America. When given an opportunity to buy a US product, many Germans would instinctively avoid it because of their dislike of America. Our trade deficit with Germany over decades reflects that aversion. Naturally enough, they fear we would do the same to their exports if we disliked them.

Exports are revered like religious relics by Germans. About the only thing Schroeder can point to on the economy is the export growth. No way can an export obsessed nation like Germany partner with a like minded China unless they uncover a wormhole to an off-world importer. The US won't be big enough to absorb that surplus once China achieves a moderate level of economic wellbeing. The Adam Smith - John Stuart Mill concept of free trade and comparative advantage does not seem to be known here. At least I haven't come across individuals familiar with the concepts.

SeanM

Yes the export record of Germany is something to be admired. Of course, one has to question just what that means in actually terms. It surely does not mean economic growth, an increasing standard of living or even more jobs.

It would also appear many Germans feel these exporting companies are failing to practice social justice as their profits are increasing without increases in either jobs or wages.

Also the spd can point to keeping Germany out of a war. The spd is the party of peace. It is unfortunate they could not be know as the party of peace and prosperity.

If the truth be told and I would not expect to see this in any German M$M, Germany stands at the abyss of deflation. Once it falls in, it will take more than a decade to get out if Japan is any example. Many of the same factors, which triggered this in Japan now exist in Germany with two, which are in fact worse. These two are lack of control over monetary policy and high levels of unemployment.

So yes the Germans do need to be worried but they need not fear a reaction by Americans.

Excuse me, but I think a lot of folks don't realize that there is no law in Germany that prevents merchants from re-labelling the country-of-origin. So businessmen can import binoculars from Korea or China, slap a "Made in Germany" label on them, and then re-export them to America. Doesn't earn workers in Germany more than a dime, and I suppose a moderate donation to the powers-that-be ensures the loophole remains open. That's one way the "export-obsessed Germans" can successfully partner with an export-oriented China.

--Americans really do not hate anyone. ---

Oh, I wouldn't go that far, and it just begins w/froggieland.

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

TD, the fact is with the net, your dirty linen is exposed and we're answering back. Of course Europe's critique of US is only meant in a kind way to help US improve. We answer you back and are accused (not by you personally) of being "nationalistic" and the citizens of said country making these observations is not nationalistic (because a certain country turned nationalistic into a dirty word). We can't take criticism in the spirit it's given, since you're older and wiser and we're so young, you're telling US for our own good.

Good thing you have the Chicoms as your new best buds, because if the American consumer ever found out what Germans really think.....

I suggest you -- and your friend-- read, if you haven't already, Philippe Roger's History of French Anti-Americanism. Same old, same old since wayyyy before we were America.

You and said friend might also want to read this post at Instapundit from 2003. You might begin to understand why we're getting testy:

...Meanwhile, with the Civil War in mind, reader Gregory Birrer points out that Europe never changes:

http://instapundit.com/archives/012576.php

AND it would do you well to surf American blogs if you don't already.

Roger L. Simon has an outstanding blog and German attitudes were recently discussed.

And I can't start my day w/o Instapundit.

You also might want to read EU Referendum to see how EU defense is shaping up.

If you really want to learn a lot - and you will get an earful, trust me, DM has nothing in the earful from American dept, Rantburg. You had better know your stuff there, but they're always looking for intelligent knowledgeable input and you might also learn a lot from True German Ally (TGA). There's a lot of history behind him.

And peruse MEMRI and you might begin to understand why we can't understand why Germany has it's blinders on.

Welcome to the anglosphere blogosphere, we all have a lot to learn.

More food for thought.

Niall Ferguson a political economist at Harvard, wrote an article last year, IIRC, wrote a very interesting article which might cause some very lively discussion amongst you and your friends.

Let us say that it's not Amis/America Germans don't like, it's just American hegemony - the most benevolent hegemon in history, BTW - which is why "the world" is in such a snit, if they had it, they certainly wouldn't do it the way we do.

Ferguson spelled out 4 choices because history has taught us 1 thing, even when the only world our millenias-old ancestors knew might have been a 10-radius, 1 big footprint to keep the peace.

The 4 choices are these:

US

Chicoms

Islamofascism

Armed camps

The question is, why would you prefer any of the other 3 to US? You will note Europe is not an option. And quite frankly, with the ties frankenreich is developing/prefering, those 3 options aren't inconceivable. Why is Germany more scared of coke, pepsi and Micky D's than communism, fascism or going back to the beginning? We aren't you, we never were.

Sandy P
>>The question is, why would you prefer any of the other 3 to US?

I haven't seen the Ferguson piece so I cannot comment from personal knowledge. But your posts are pretty reliable so I'll take it from there.

He left out the option the Europeans have chosen. The EU.

As you know from Phillipe Roger's book (excellent by the way) a version of the EU was first seriously proposed by Victor Hugo as a way to model Europe on the US. Hugo was an admirer. But it quickly morphed into something that could be a counterweight to US threats after we invaded Cuba in the 1800's.

Here is Ferguson on Europe:
----------------
When we look closely at the way in which the European Union is evolving and try to set its evolution in some kind of historical perspective, I believe it becomes apparent that, far from approaching a kind of parity with the United States, whether in economic and cultural and political or in international terms, in reality the European Union is an entity on the brink of decline and perhaps ultimately even of dissolution.
[snip]
The key point about economic under-performance in Europe is that it is principally, or at least predominantly, a German story. It is richly ironic that only 20 years ago scholars were warning that Germany--along, of course, with Japan--was going to surpass the United States among the world’s biggest economies. In truth, those of us who were living in Germany in the 1980s could see an impending economic crisis in that country, a crisis that German reunification temporarily postponed in an orgy of deficit finance and subsidized consumption.
[snip]
If one understands the process of European integration in these terms--essentially an economically driven set of deals between still largely sovereign nation states--one thing becomes abundantly clear. And that is, ladies and gentlemen, that from the very outset this process relied on what I rather crudely called a moment ago "German gravy." It was the Germans who, from the very word go, were prepared to subsidize the other parties in the process of European integration.
[snip]
The fundamental problem that Europe faces, more serious than anything I've mentioned so far, is senescence. It's a problem that we all face as individuals to varying degrees, but from society to society the problem of senescence, of growing old, varies hugely. In the year 2050, which is less remote than it may at first sound, current projections by the United Nations suggest that the median age of the European Union countries, the EU 15, will rise from 38 to 49. The median age will rise in the United States, too, though less sharply. (I wish I had time to tell you about the problems that you are going to face, because then it would stop you feeling the complacency that you may have begun to feel this evening.)
-------------------------
I think you get the drift. "The End of Europe?" March 2004
http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.20045,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

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

The willing abdication of sovreignity to a mega-state unaccountable to the people is the most disturbing dynamic in Europe today. Europeans cite 'nationalism' as a root cause of war and intend to eliminate it via a super-state that recognizes only the collective.

The premise is wrong. The evils of the 20th century - into the 21st - have all arisen from collectivist utopian fabrications.

Thorsten, Sandy P gave you good advice recommending EU Referendum. Here is the link:
http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com/
This is Richard North's blog. Along with Christopher Booker, he has written a wonderful book "The Great Deception: A Secret History of the European Union". It's about to be reissued, you may have trouble finding the original.

Yowza! Look at the time!

Pamela,

"The willing abdication of sovreignity to a mega-state unaccountable to the people is the most disturbing dynamic in Europe today. Europeans cite 'nationalism' as a root cause of war and intend to eliminate it via a super-state that recognizes only the collective.

The premise is wrong. The evils of the 20th century - into the 21st - have all arisen from collectivist utopian fabrications."

Well, the European perspective is a little different. After all, both WW's have been caused by nationalist ideologies (not only a German problem). The Nazi "Herrenrasse" has its roots in 19th century nationalism. Think of Germany's and France's "Erbfeindschaft". More recently, think of what happened in former Yugoslavia. Quite different to the US, nationalism widely been condemmned in public opiopn as an evil that caused so much suffering. It is "bad" nationalism, as opposed to "good" American nationalism, because on Europe's tiny territory with so many different people living close, nationalist ideas almost immediately turn against another country.

I suppose by "collectivist utopian fabrications" you mainly refer to Soviet style communism, which was founded on Russian supremacy and bound to fail sooner or later.

I think Europe's problem is not so much its too strong central government but the support in the hearts of the people to back it up. I like to call that "european nationalism" which I would consider "good" in my categorization because it would be less destructive.

@Solomon2:

"I think a lot of folks don't realize that there is no law in Germany that prevents merchants from re-labelling the country-of-origin. So businessmen can import binoculars from Korea or China, slap a "Made in Germany" label on them, and then re-export..."

...and at the same time export CO2 emissions. Now I know why Trit-ihn was able to boast about Germany's partial compliance with Kyoto. Oh yes, and if the 5 million unemployed sit at home twiddling their thumbs instead of driving to and from work, that helps as well.

@Solomon2 'That's one way the "export-obsessed Germans" can successfully partner with an export-oriented China.'

I don't think that's what Zyme has in mind when she talks of Germany finding alternative partners to the US. She wants German exports to expand, not a relabelling of Chinese worker content. But I love your irony.

@Pamela

I enjoy your links and you often provide sources I have not yet seen, however the ideas expressed in many of these papers are not easily culturally accessible to Europeans. The ideas challenge almost all their working assumptions, a little like Americans being referred to Herbert Marcuse or Martin Heidegger. But all you can do is try...

@Toby

I am not going to restate the whole argument, but the folks here are more informed about National Socialism than that. The myth has been spread in Europe, and from there to the rest of the world, that the defining feature of Nazism/Fascism was its nationalistic component. By extention, pro-capitalists like Reagan, Bush or Thatcher are quintessentially fascist because they support the sovereignty of the state.

Well nationalism may be the key difference if you are an intenational communist, but not if you come from a liberal democracy and have confidence in capitalism. If you read the party platforms of Mussolini or Hitler, the thing that jumps out of the page at you is the utopian socialism of the policies, albeit without Moscow and Lenin as the leader. It was a form of socialism extended to include all the volk, not the rest of humanity as Lenin envisaged: ie National Socialism. Neither Mussolini nor Hitler were capitalists, believers in the free market or a free press. Mussolini was raised as and had been a socialist but became disillusioned once Lenin established communism in Russia - I guess he saw Rome as a more fitting place for the central government to reside, just as Hitler preferred Berlin. The French had other ideas.

Now we've had this debate before so you may be thinking "but Hitler killed communists and attacked Russia", "he supported major capitalist businesses" etc. Yes, and Iraq attacked Iran, a fellow muslim nation: apparently internecine warfare is unheard of. The key is to look at the party platform of Hitler's National Socialist Workers Party. Nationalism itself wasn't the problem, but the drive to extend nationalism across borders was. Not only is that something Communism was doing, it's also something the modern EU is attempting. Of course, all warfare is not socialist, the defining characteristic in this case are the policies. Socialists would recognize them, free market capitalists would shudder.

Toby
>>I suppose by "collectivist utopian fabrications" you mainly refer to Soviet style communism,
Fascism, socialism and Islamism are ALL collectivist utopian fabrications.
>>I like to call that "european nationalism" which I would consider "good" in my categorization because it would be less destructive.

Oh. Dear.
---------------
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.
--------
Snippets from "The Road to Serfdom". Required reading for western civ. No, Toby, it is not that 'european nationalism' is less destructive. Totalitarianism is totalitarianism and it always destroys the same thing, whether it does it violently or not.

SeanM
>>
I enjoy your links and you often provide sources I have not yet seen, however the ideas expressed in many of these papers are not easily culturally accessible to Europeans

Yep. That's why I post 'em.

>> The ideas challenge almost all their working assumptions, a little like Americans being referred to Herbert Marcuse or Martin Heidegger.

Hey! Well, actually for Americans of a younger generation you are probably right, unfortunately. But those of us who are older than dirt cut our teeth on this stuff.

@Pamela wrote:

"...for Americans of a younger generation you are probably right, unfortunately. But those of us who are older than dirt cut our teeth on this stuff."

Careful, I like feisty women! Besides, you already have enough suitors here. Now let this youth return to fixing yet another Windows XP registry problem...

Another interesting discussion topic, TD, would be America is freedom for, Europe is freedom from.

If the thread isn't dead yet, via Bros. Judd:

Europe’s Not Working
By Olaf Gersemann


BERLIN—They call themselves “The Happy Unemployed,” and they fight “the dictatorship of wage dependency”—at a very leisurely pace.


This German group so far consists of a few amateur humorists, and seems unlikely to grow larger. For while there is persistent mass unemployment in many European countries— with jobless rates hovering near double-digit levels in Germany, France, and other parts of the continent for most of a decade now—it’s unlikely that many Europeans enjoy being unemployed. Like other people, most Europeans strive for the benefits that come with being a member of the work force: financial independence, a feeling of usefulness, self-confidence, and respect from fellow citizens....

http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.18719/article_detail.asp

I have come to think that it may be better for me if I stay more quiet, because the answers are filled with stereotypes and preconceptions most of the time and I'm sick of being accused of so many things that are simply not true, something you wouldn't like either as shown by visiting this site and beeing interested in its cause. And no, I'm not in a state of denial and whatnot. I am an intelligent man, have been living here for 30 years and I know what's true and what's not. And I have other ways of building an opinion than the Stern.

I will naturally continue to read the site as I regard Anti-American-articles as a problem as well and I will also continue to keep an eye on the matter.

However, and you should actually be happy about that, I think that the situation is not by far as bad as you make it out to be.

I wanted to contribute to your cause, wanted to show you that I for one doesn't fit your profile (probably triggering a rethinking of the generality of your assumptions), but some even tried to talk me out of being myself.

as if to say...
""Can't be, you're German. And if so, then you're the exception that proves the rule. The rule I've grown to accept as fact.""

When I say that I'd like to have a good relationship with the U.S., then that gets explained away as actually just being afraid that German export numbers to the U.S. may decrease. Yeah. And what about that stuff that Germans would intentionally stay away from American goods?! That sounds so made-up. I never experienced even the slightest tendency to do so. Almost the whole entertainment industry gets imported from the U.S. - and people are crazy about it. If the American export numbers to Germany decreased, I guess it's because of the fact that people have less money...

The discussion here is a good one and its cause is worth it, but it wouldn't hurt to lead it with more maturity.

Instead of throwing preconceived notions at German visitors, we *together* should talk about what we can DO about 1. the opinion of the Germans that don't like America and 2. ways to improve the overall situation. But an improvment of the stressed realtions between our countries is something some people here don't even wish for, as I was shocked to discover.

Again, thanks to all the posters who cared to explain their point of view in a mature and mannered way - it was food for thought. Very interesting statements I took alot from.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

June 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30