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This is a rather stupid comparison.
Would you compare this with Troj or another ancient war, too?
Today the communications and travel facilities are completely different. In Europe there was not even public TV launched in the 1940s.
They travelled with Ship or Zeppelin ... so to say.
It like comparing cherries with oranges...

I found your blog an outstanding one ... but it got more and more ruined and lost during the last weeks ... what a shame.

Note from David: Yes, I fully agree! And this week has been particularly awful...

I must have missed the part, in the Iliad, about Agammenon occupying Troy until a suitable constitution was written. What is depressing is that even though Germany took longer to write its new constitution, albeit with different problems then Iraq, there were still some 150K British, French and American occupying troops. Even today there are still some 70k plus soldiers and airman in Germany. Instant democracy and the boys coming home is neither realistic or possible.

@Thade..

I thought the comparison of Bush to Hitler by a member of Schroeders government was stupid too.
Many /Most Germans did not. Or that Bush is a dictator.


Or the comparison of Iraq with Vietnam. Many/most Germans find it a valid comparison, although
it is easy to find articles that refute that.

Should I go on?


OT: Arnold tells his home town Graz not to use his name any more - I love it:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/19/AR2005121901181.html

The City of Graz has a message board (hint, hint):
http://www.graz.at/cms/ziel/340531/

@ Thade

Hey, we've had skeptics telling us "how bad" our blog is from the very beginning. And yet we keep growing and attracting more audience. Guess we can't be totally off.

@Ray..
I am a long time reader..
assuming many of the readers are American (as I am)..
didn't Barnum say no one ever went broke (mis)underestimating the taste of the American public ;)
maybe that accounts of the growth..
just kidding, yours is a must read for an ami like me who lives in Germany..
keep on giving em hell!!

Greetings,

I'm new to this blog, but I think I'll comment here more often in the future
@Pat Patterson
Vietnam and Iraq were/are no world wars...
Also neither Vietnam nor Iraq (not Gulfwar 1) did invade another country.
Another thing that Vietnam and Iraq have in common is that both had/have
no weapons of massdestruction ;)

The Deffel

@Deffel

Saddam WAS a weapon of mass destruction

www.massgraves.info

What do the Germans always say?
Nie wieder?
die Würde des Menschens ist unantastbar?

Empty words.. EMPTY F...... WORDS.
what do these words really mean to you, Deffel?

and BTW.. there were not two gulf wars, there was ONE.
There was no peace treaty there was a CEASE FIRE AGREEMENT. Saddam was given a second chance, which he blew, but the US was WAY TOO PATIENT with the genocidal dictator.
until the SHRUB came in and said enough.

@deffel

"Also neither Vietnam nor Iraq (not Gulfwar 1) did invade another country."

Communist backed death squads from the north assassinating South Vietmanese public officials isn't invasion? Yeah. Ok.

Iraq attacked Iran and Kuwait in a period of 11 years-- what do you think deterred further agression since 1991? Idiot. What you fail to comprehend is that Gulf War I was never over and despite 12 years of containment and no fly zones, which US aircraft were fired on frequently, the cease fire agreement was violated multiple times with no immediate recourse. Also thanks to the incompetence/fraudelent behavior of UN oil-for-food program and self serving nations who benefited (like AGIP the french state owned oil concern), Saddam (the european hero) had the cash to continue scheming and duping UN inspectors-- when he didn't throw them out of the country outright. Gee, why didn't Saddam just comply with their demands?

"no weapons of massdestruction ;)"

There are 1 million Iraqi corpeses in mass graves. Yeah, no WMDs. Kurds dropped over in the thousands simultaneously by natural causes.

A year of UN security council charades gave them enough time to move them to Syria and I notice the intelligence communities who supplied the information have yet to change their opinions. Former Iraqi military officers verified their existance and the continuation of said WMD program after 91'.

Despite when WMDs are finally unearthed, I doubt the Euro smugness will go away. It'll be the usual grasping at straws to justify your defunct world view and your indirect support of genocidal despots.

@amiexpat
The ;) in the last sentence of my post was a slight indicator for sarcasm...
but thats sometimes hard to get.
I do not know about Germans that always say "Nie wieder".
That might relate to the fact that practically no german alive has
anything to do with WW2.
"Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar" have a strong meaning for me,
and you obviously have no idea what is meant with that.
The USA obviously does not know about it too, just have a look at
Guantanamo Bay.
Just to counter your massgraves.info
- www.iraqbodycount.net says there were about 13400 civilian victims,
People's Kifah say there are 37000...I guess the truth lies in between.
Now just add the fallen Iraqi soldiers and you have quite more dead
sons,daughters,fathers,mother,grandmothers...
Sure now Saddam cannot oppress and kill the people of Iraq any more
but was that worth the lifes of those who died? Who can judge that?
What about Northcorea and all the other countries where people suffer
from tyrannic regimes? To be consequent they must be "freed" too...how
many lifes will that cost? Is that worth it? And if it is, why isnt it done?
The world is not just black and white it has has uncounted shades of grey
in between, you should take that in consideration.

Greetings the Deffel

@Buckeye Abroad
Need for indignity only indicates foolishness.
- So Vietnam invaded Vietnam? How does that comply?
- Have a guess which country supported Saddam in his war against Khomeini?
- Saddam is no hero he is just a dictator that was backed up by the US and
then was thrown over by the US.
- Of course he moved his weaponry to Syria :D the US should intervine fast!

-> You talk about Europs indirect support of genocidal despots...
What is about the direct support of genocidal despots from the US?

Greetings the Deffel

For Deffel

"I'm new to this blog, but I think I'll comment here more often in the future"

Let us hope you do so with more intelligence in future : )

"@Pat Patterson
Vietnam and Iraq were/are no world wars..."

It all depends upon your level of understanding Deffel. The Vietnam war was part of the Cold War, like Korea, - it was the Hot Part of the Cold War. It was part of a 40+ year World War that thankfully never went global - thanks in no small part to the sacrafices made by the men who fought in Korea and Vietnam

This is not a discussion of Korea or Vietnam - a discussion we could have - but just a point that Vietnam did not happen in a vacuum - President Kennedy didn't wake up one morning and decide to send US troops to Vietnam on a lark...nor did the Vietnamese put up factories for making AK47's and MiG's overnight

To imagine Vietnam as not connected to the Cold War is unusual

As for Iraq I would suggest that this is indeed a World War with Iraq as one, and central, front. If 9/11, Bali, London, Madrid, Egypt, Moscow, Bali, Kashmir etc etc don't make this a world wide battle then I wonder what you require?

Of course its not like WW1 or WW2 - its more like the Cold War that either of those, but again, neither did Bush wake up and decide to send troops to Iraq on a lark - its connected to wider issues than you understand

The only question to be answered is this...is it that you can't understand this or that you choose not to understand this and prefer to think of the war in Iraq in the standard "evil US neo-cons after oil, Halliburton, Bush lied!"


"Also neither Vietnam nor Iraq (not Gulfwar 1) did invade another country.
Another thing that Vietnam and Iraq have in common is that both had/have
no weapons of massdestruction ;)

The Deffel"

The days of waiting for an Iraq to get WMD ended on 9/11

Pre-emption is the new way to deal with such threats - you probably won't get this until there is a massive attack in your country - and most likely even then you'll wonder what you did to cause them to hate you

funny, I often think the Germans have problems with black and white thinking..
George Bush ist dumm und böse.. die Amis denken schwarz weiss.. und
George Bush ist dumm und böse.. die Amis denken schwarz weiss..
do you see MY sarcasm?

That might relate to the fact that practically no german alive has
anything to do with WW2.

Nie wieder means nothing to you? Wow how quickly you have forgotten your history.
Haven't you ever heard 'those who forget history are condemned to repeat it?'


Tell me what your interpretation of Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar is..

seriously, I really want to know.

Sure now Saddam cannot oppress and kill the people of Iraq any more
but was that worth the lifes of those who died? Who can judge that?

How about the people of Iraq? I think they are qualified to judge that.
Look at the opinion polls from Iraq.. a VERY high percentage are optimistic about the future.
Why don't you ask them? Lots of Iraqi bloggers out there.. ask them..

What about Northcorea and all the other countries where people suffer
from tyrannic regimes? To be consequent they must be "freed" too...how
many lifes will that cost? Is that worth it? And if it is, why isnt it done?

Was the 'liberation' of Europe worth it? How many American lives did that cost?`
Was it worth it? to you? it was to me! or wasn't it a Befreiung? was it a 'Besatzung'
by the bösen Amis?
What if the USA at that time had been a 'Friedensmacht'?
Europe and Germany would certainly look a lot different now, wouldn't they?

I think it is YOU that have the problem with black and white thinking.

deffel

I can tell you're new on this board. You come up with every single brainless line ever uttered by "peace-loving" people.

Sure now Saddam cannot oppress and kill the people of Iraq any more but was that worth the lifes of those who died? Who can judge that?

Since you're new, I won't say that you're a brainless idiot yourself. I won't say that, yet. You, the "peace loving" Europeans, the Democrats, obviously never lived in a cruel dictatorship. That is your good karma. For you, dictatorship is something, like, bad, you know. Like, on TV and movies and stuff. You and your fellow "thinkers" have absolutely no point of reference as to what daily life under a mad dictator really means. So, you type ahead and speculate "philosophically" and comfortably about things you can't fully comprehend, like, "was it worth it?".

Someone I know was listening to a Jew who survived Auschwitz. This Jew told sympathetic listeners, who believed they might have an idea about what he went through: "You can not possibly realize how it was like, unless you were there. Impossible!". deffe, read those few words again and again, absorb them like a good wine and you might just get a glimpse of your cluelessness. Who knows, if your ego is not too strong, you might even discover an yet unknown humbleness.

People like you go through a prolonged moment of moral outrage, but during Saddam's reign your moral outrage was at best reduced to "yeah, Saddam is bad, he should, like, go". The fact that your attitude meant actually condemning ordinary Iraqis never crossed your mind. In your dream world, where you are morally superior, Saddam would go away some morning, just like a bad dream. You believe you are nobler than war mongering Bush, and at the same time you had absolutely no qualms leaving Iraqis to their fate.

I will make a prediction, which won't mean anything to you, but which will nevertheless come true: people like you will go down the drain of history. In fact, some are already in the drainage, they just dream they are in a moral superior abode.

@deffel
Just to counter your massgraves.info
- www.iraqbodycount.net says there were about 13400 civilian victims,
People's Kifah say there are 37000...I guess the truth lies in between.

No it does not. The Association of Free Prisoners has been documenting the Iraqi mass graves and executions.
Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. By mid-January, 2004, the number of confirmed sites climbed to fifty-three. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies—their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.

"We've already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London. The United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) all estimate that Saddam Hussein's regime murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people. "Human Rights Watch estimates that as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been 'disappeared' by the Iraqi government over the past two decades," said the group in a statement in May. "Many of these 'disappeared' are those whose remains are now being unearthed in mass graves all over Iraq."

If these numbers prove accurate, they represent a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.

@deffel
Sure now Saddam cannot oppress and kill the people of Iraq any more
but was that worth the lifes of those who died? Who can judge that?

You will never get the correct answer if you insist on posing the wrong question and you will continue to pose the wrong question if your moral compass points to 'equivalence'. No one is comparing the relative values of lives lost. We are judging - as we must - the danger posed by Saddam's regime and act accordingly. It was a tactical mistake not to finish the job of Gulf War I, although I understand politically it was probably unavoidable. As for North Korea, etc., would you still have problems with the U.S.-led coalition invasion of Iraq if we also invaded North Korea and changed that regime?

@deffel
- Of course he moved his weaponry to Syria :D the US should intervine fast!

I trust we will hear no complaints from you should our intervention in Syria take place on a less hasty timeline. But assuming we had intervened 'fast', would that remove your objection to our intervention in Iraq?

@deffel
So Vietnam invaded Vietnam? How does that comply?

I suppose if East Germany had invaded West Germany, we would have been talking about a domestic dispute.

What do you think Deffel - were the Allied lives lost in the wars of the 20th Century - all started by Germany - worth it the sacrifice? Were their sacrifices made worthless because the Allied victors refused to return Germany to a pre-industrial agrarian society instead of working to help it mature into a civilized, Western democracy?

Or are you too afraid to judge?

@Poque Mahone
What does Iraq had to do with 9/11,Bali,Moscow...?
-> You can post your sources I will read it.
In my opinion the best reaction to terror is to ignore it, because I think
if it does not effectuate anything, it will eventuallay stop.
Sure this is controversal, but thats my opinion and nothing is going to
change it, so do not waste your time on that specific topic.

@amiexpat
First of all:
George Bush is not the brightest. In my opinion he is actually not smart
enough for politics (not that this is his fault), but that does not matter
because he is president of the United States. I am glad that he cannot
be reelected once more though.
(I liked Clinton as president and in my opinion he raised the reputation
of the US in the world)

WW2 is not part of my history! My parents were not alive, and certainly
was not alive when that happened. I disgust nationalism and patriotism so
I'm certainly not "condemned" to repeat anything like that.
Besides the fact that I would not fall for a small brown eyed, black
haired austrian who talks about german arics and other bollocks.
(Nationalism ->
I think all humans are the same, individuals however can excel in
cruelness, rancorousness, recklessness and so on, but those can
be found in every nation.
Patriotism ->
What have I done for being born in "my" country? Nothing.
Again my opinion: You can only be proud of what you archieved.)

"Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar" means to me that every person
has the same rights no matter who they are or what they do. It means the
universiality of human rights.(And it is a pity that not everybody sticks
to that as much as I do, because if they do there would not be hunger,
or oppression or war in the world)
Sure you cannot deny that humans are way to "evil" and selfish to comply
with that but enforce it with war? What about the rights of those who die
in the war? Pretty paradox.
You said I should look at the opinion polls from Iraq...did they ask if
it was worth the lifes of those who died? What do you think?
"How many American lives did that cost?" -> 292.000
I do not know. I do not know what would have happened because it did not
happen. Was it worth the 2.000.000 german civilians? I do not know either.
From the mathematical point of view I would say yes, but that has a bitter
taste to it...
- Would America have taken action if Hitler only oppressed the germans
and did not invade Poland...and invading France, after France and
England declared war?

I do not understand, why to blow a full scale military operation
instead of (when the urge for action is present) getting hands on those
who are responsible. With the possibilities that are availible today.

Greetings the Deffel

@deffel

"So Vietnam invaded Vietnam? How does that comply?"

They were seperate, independent countries. I noticed you side stepped the active subversion as a non-issue. Korea invaded Korea in 1950-- how did that comply? What was the underlying ideological theme of the aggressors and their goals?

"Have a guess which country supported Saddam in his war against Khomeini?"

Have a guess which country supported Stalin against Hitler. Lesser of two evils is sometimes what you are faced with. What was happening in Iran in 1979? What happened in Afgahnistan in 1979? Oh, look-- more communists invading their neighbors again. I am sure the germans were all up in arms about that ;)

"-> You talk about Europs indirect support of genocidal despots...
What is about the direct support of genocidal despots from the US?"

How bout naming them and why. Supporting the lesser to overcome a greater evil happens at times. What does euros gain by supporting mass murdering Saddam over the US?

"Need for indignity only indicates foolishness."

Only a fool celebrates his ignorance.

@deffel
In my opinion the best reaction to terror is to ignore it, because I think
if it does not effectuate anything, it will eventuallay stop.

This is breathtaking. The U.S. ignored attacks, e.g., the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and guess what? We got 9/11/2001.

WW2 is not part of my history! My parents were not alive, and certainly
was not alive when that happened. I disgust nationalism and patriotism so
I'm certainly not "condemned" to repeat anything like that.

It's part of your country's heritage - and I don't say that to impose any guilt on you, for that is definitely wrong. But your personal history is part of a larger continuum that you were born into. The fact that you find nationlism and patriotism disgusting proves that the continuum has effected you, as most Europeans blame those impulses for the wars of the 20th century. And if you don't understand it, you are in great danger of repeating it (Although, I would not use the word 'condemned', as that is a bit final.)

Besides the fact that I would not fall for a small brown eyed, black
haired austrian

So, you have a problem with his looks? His eyes were blue, by the way.

I do not understand, why to blow a full scale military operation
instead of (when the urge for action is present) getting hands on those
who are responsible. With the possibilities that are availible today.

Let's play 'What if?'. What if you were President of the U.S. on September 11. What would you have done? What, exactly, are the possiblities you are referring to?

@WhatDoIKnow

Of course I did not. But the Europeans lived under several cruel dicatorships
even before anybody knew there was a continent today known as North and
Southamerica. And in modern days? What about Franco? What about Tito?


You know nothing about me so you cannot talk about people like me.
I do think that there should be done something, but if then they should
get get their hands on the responsible instead of launching a war in which
soldiers and civilians have to die because governments decide that way.
(And I would not have cared if Saddam had been assasinated because he was
no innocent) You think it is better to invade a country and kill ten
thousands of civilians and justifying that with fake evidence of those
weapons of massdestruction, instead of taking out the responsible and then
tell the world: "Yeah we killed him - because we did not want to lauch
a war."
Whats wrong with this world?
And what is with the Iraqis that lived under the cruel dictatorship but
are dead by now? At least that were alive...

@pamela
Just to counter your massgraves.info
- www.iraqbodycount.net says there were about 13400 civilian victims,
People's Kifah say there are 37000...I guess the truth lies in between.

-> you misunderstood that. I wanted to make the point that by ending
the reign of Saddam there were killed 13400-37000 civilians so not only
Saddam was a weapon of massdestruction.


From the point of West Germany that would have been true. West Germany
never acknowledged the DDR as a sovereign state. But if that would have
happened they have been backed up by the USSR -> and thats more like
South Vietnam have been backed up by the US.


Greetings the Deffel

Welcome to this blog, Deffel. Can I ask you a personal question? How old are you?

Greeting from DA

shut the italics off, please..

@Buckeye

How bout naming them and why. Supporting the lesser to overcome a greater evil happens at times. What does euros gain by supporting mass murdering Saddam over the US?

- I am teased to answer this with your comment about supporting a lesser
evil... ;) <- this mean just kidding

I did not support Saddam. Where did eg. Germany support Saddam?
Because GER did not sent troops? Why should they? America could have
beaten him even without the Brits... GER is part of the NATO, and as long
as Iraq does not attack (Iraq not Saudi terrorists that presumably have
been in Iraq someday...) GER has not to send any troops.
Simple as that.

Greetings the Deffel

darn it should read:

,and as long as Iraq does not attack (...) another NATO partner GER has
not to send any troops.

in my post above

deffel

For your information, the Europeans who suffered under dictators are mostly on the side of America. Why do you think is that? (I'm talking about Eastern-Europe here.)

I get the impression that you are very young. Nothing against young age, only that your posts show a deep lack of understanding.

Killing Saddam "gezielt" would have only made place for one of his sons. Killing his sons "gezielt" too would have made place for the next one in line. And so on... There was always the potential for a new Saddam showing up. The only solution was to clean the deck completely and start anew.

Why a heck am I wasting my time ? I'm also keeping you from your homework.

The comparison ist simply not valid because the situation was totally different. Germany was occupied by 4 different nations and a constitution for all Germany was simply impossible because of the Soviets. Even the three Western powers did not agree on how Germany should look like, a more federal or a more centralist state? Before 1948 when the "Trizone" came into existence it was virtually impossible to agree on a constitution that would please the three Western powers (which had a lot more control than in the Iraqi case). Only after 1948 it became clear that Germany would be divided for a while, that's when the idea grew that the future West Germany should draw up a "Federal Law" that would be replaced by a "real" constitution after reunification.

The Länder did have constitutions much earlier. Bavaria ratified its own Verfassung in 1946 and it's as democratic as the German Grundgesetz.

I won't even go into comparing the Iraqi constitution with the German one.

Hey, Niko is back ;-)

Is that the real Niko or the ursurper? (I think it's the real one ??)

So what's the number of other than elected officials who voted for the permanent constitution of the United States?

@Querdenker

Here is a good backgrounder.
The ratification, or adoption, of the Constitution took place between September of 1787 and July of 1788. The Federal Convention, which had drafted the Constitution between May and September 1787, had no authority to impose it on the American people. Article VII of the Constitution and resolutions adopted by the convention on September 17, 1787, detailed a four-stage ratification process: (1) submission of the Constitution to the Confederation Congress, (2) transmission of the Constitution by Congress to the state legislatures, (3) election of delegates to conventions in each state to consider the Constitution, and (4) ratification by the conventions of at least nine of the thirteen states.

You can read more here


It may also be worthwhile to compare Iraq's constitutional development to Japan's. To summarize the Japan experience:

1. Gen. MacArthur chose to continue the existing Japanese government, as that was a more efficient way to have his orders carried out and allowed for a smaller number of US occupying forces.
2. MacArthur's staff alone wrote the new Japanese constitution in 1946.
3. MacArthur ordered the Japanese government to adopt the new constitution (technically an amendment to the existing constitution), which the government did in May, 1947. Even after the new constitution went into effect, MacArthur (and his successor) continued to rule Japan, with the government following his orders, until 1952.

The point that Iraq's progress to a self-governing society compares favorably to other nations such as Germany and Japan is valid.

Yayyy! Niko! Stop being such a stranger. Sometimes I feel like a one-armed paper-hanger around here.

you better collect some good reasons to be proud of the German constitutional process beforehand, ok?

Well, Querdenker, it's your constitution so really it's your business. But it seems the Iraqis are none too pleased with your gov't.

Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Baqer Sulagh has criticized the training of Iraqi police recruits by German experts in the United Arab Emirates and said they would no longer participate in the program.

In an announcement whose timing may be more than mere coincidental, Sulagh said he expressed his dissatisfaction to Germany's ambassador to the UAE and added that they were seeking "training programs which were more serious and more effective."


"We aren't convinced by the level of training of the Iraqi police officers by the German experts, nor by their barely seriously manner," the minister said Tuesday during a press conference in Abu Dhabi, according to the UAE news agency Wam.

Thanks anyway

Now, speaking of that timing, do you think it might have something to do with the fact that the German Gov't released the Hezbollah terrorist who murdered an American in order to secure the release of that German hostage who is a convert to Islam? Hmm. From Lebanon, where German security services dropped him off, Mr. Hamadi can go straight thru Syria to Iraq and wreak havoc.

Just a thought.

This Deffel is a hoot - he's got to be some teenager - or at least has the intelectual capacity of one ( sorry to insult those teenagers who do have brains : ) )

And has been pointed out - we tried your solution - "do nothing" for 30 years as the threat grew and grew

We learned, the hard way, what utter foolishness this was

We ( the CoW ) chose, in response, to undertake the dirty, dangerous and thankless task of draining the swamp that bred these monsters

Your nation chose to actively obstruct this effort and sit back in smug satisfaction about your superior morality

The Iraqi's have chosen, under threat of death, to vote for the future - and your people will have another stain to live down for the next several generations

and you know what really eats you up...George Bush is a better, and smarter, person than you
He has led and people are free from tyranny

What have you accomplished? What would your suggestions accomplish?

Go "feed your head" Deffel ( that means read some books ) and come back in a few years when you get your head out of your ass

@Pamela
yes I'm aware of the ratification process of the US Constitution. Still I'm waiting for Niko to come up with the number I asked for. Neither the US Constitution nor the German Grundgesetz were put to a general vote, yet no one would doubt their democratic legitimacy.

As for the Iraqi Constitution:

Article 7.

A) Islam is the official religion of the State and is to be considered a source of legislation. No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam, the principles of democracy, or the rights cited in Chapter Two of this Law may be enacted during the transitional period.

Article 12.

All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited.

Good luck with making those two articles match.

As for Hamadi: Few people have served more than 20 years in German jails. There is no such thing as "life without parole" in Germany. Hamadi served 19 years. The US did not ask for extradition when he was freed.
Hamnadi had nothing to to with Osthof, the decision to free him were made before Osthof was kidnapped.

Well its not going to be easy is it Q

Of course maybe you look at a dollar bill and see "In God We Trust" and think the US is a theocracy?

Look - I too would prefer they didn't have that phrase in the Constitution of Iraq but I understand the Iraqi people are on a journey and this is a very important step

Maybe we could look at the positive eh

Pogue Mahone

Well it's a rather strange sentence to print on a dollar bill, isn't it?
A Constitution is just a piece of paper until people fill it with "life".
That was true for the German Grundgesetz as well.
The Germans, I think, did manage to do this.
More power to the Iraqis if they can do the same.
We'll see what the Constitution is worth when the Religious Shiite Alliance that looks like the winner of the elections, establishes a theocracy.

@Querdenker
There is no such thing as "life without parole" in Germany.
Ah. So, what do you think happened here to the reporting (and I'll be the first in line to say it is far too often sloppy and lazy) - just confusion? Is it possible that there was such a sentence in Germany when Hamadi was tried?

The US did not ask for extradition when he was freed.

The U.S. has an outstanding extradition request for him. So, either this was done with the knowledge of the U.S. - and implicit acceptance - or the U.S. was caught flat-footed.

the decision to free him were made before Osthof was kidnapped.

Can you please provide a reference for me?

@Pamela
The confusion stems from the fact that Hamadi did not get "regular life" (lebenslänglich), which makes you eligible for parole after 15 years), but he got life "unter Feststellung der besonderen Schwere der Schuld". This means that you are not eligible for parole after 15 years but doesn't exclude that you may be after that. The German terrorists convicted in the late 70s and early 80s did walk free after 20 years or so. That's quite a typical timeframe. Very few Germans have served longer than that. You may find this too lenient but that's how it works here.

The decision to free Hamadi is made by the independent Hessian judiciary. The German government cannot order it. The parole process cannot be completed in such a short time anyway so the proceedings definitely started before Osthof was kidnapped. Any connections you might want to make are purely speculations.

The Hessian judiciary says that they had no pending US extradition request for Hamadi. Had there been one, they would have been bound by law to consider it (grant or deny). Of course such a request, if it existed, could only be granted if the US were to try Hamadi for a crime he wasn't convicted for in Germany.

Q writes "The decision to free Hamadi is made by the independent Hessian judiciary. The German government cannot order it. The parole process cannot be completed in such a short time anyway so the proceedings definitely started before Osthof was kidnapped. Any connections you might want to make are purely speculations."

Speculation yes - but compared to the speculation around US motives in Iraq that you regularly regurgitate this one seems damn solid

You seem perfectly willing to accept that this scumbags release is just coincedence and that its not possible for the Federal Govt to have contacted the German State gov't to make a "suggestion" about this parole hearing

I am sure if it was a release of someone to serve the interest of George Bush done by the state of Texas I am sure you would sneer yourself to death at the very idea that the Bush admin of course had nothing to do with the action - how could it?

Do you ever ponder how absurd your double standards are?

Niko, can you see that elephant hiding behind the tree?
No you can't? See how well it's hiding?

Q - how can you see anything with your head up your ass? ;)

Q - thanks very much. May I quote you? (I'll provide a link to this thread.)

@deffel: " did not support Saddam. Where did eg. Germany support Saddam?"

To name one instance: Germany was helping Russian firms selling GPS jammers to Saddam evade Russian export controls as the war was starting. To my mind, that's aiding and abetting.

Pamela
Everything I write is Public Domain :-)

I cannot look into the hearts and minds of the Hessian judiciary. The parole thing is true. Note that parole CAN be granted after 15 years for life sentences without aggravating circumstances and at a later time for those with aggravating circumstances but there is no automatic right to it.

@Q: "The Hessian judiciary says that they had no pending US extradition request for Hamadi."

This is just complete and utter horseshit. They have had a pending extradition request since the day that Hamadi was arrested. It is not up to the country requesting the extradition to detect when Germany is preparing to secretly release (yes, secretly; no one knew until Hamadi was nice and comfy in Hezbollah HQ in Beirut) a suspect and request extradition at that precise moment. Extradition requests do not have time limits.

Well blame SPON, as usual:

Berlin - Hammadi, der Mitglied der radikalislamischen libanesischen Hisbollah ist, sei auf der Basis einer Entscheidung der zuständigen hessischen Justiz freigelassen worden, sagte eine Sprecherin des Justizministeriums in Berlin. Hammadi habe seine Strafe verbüßt. Weitere Einzelheiten wollte die Sprecherin nicht nennen. Sie sagte, ein Auslieferungsersuchen der USA habe es nicht gegeben.

As to 3), ever heard of "Ne bis in idem"?

Thank you Q.
@Niko
Pamela, I'd rather not link to Querdenker's comment, because it is partly wrong.

That's ok. The more opportunity people have to see it, the better chance of getting to the bottom of it.

('m quoting you too! You can thank me later...)

From Handelsblatt

http://www.handelsblatt.com/pshb/fn/relhbi/sfn/buildhbi/cn/GoArt!204455,204493,1007490/SH/0/depot/0/

Auch die Sprecherin der Frankfurter Staatsanwaltschaft betonte, die Freilassung sei nach einer üblichen Überprüfung der Haftdauer beschlossen worden. „So eine Entlassung geht nicht von heute auf morgen.“ Schmierer sagte, die Entscheidung über die Haftentlassung sei ausschließlich von der zuständigen Frankfurter Strafkammer getroffen worden.

Also note that Osthof was hostage of Sunni radicals who wouldn't really care that much about a Shiite hijacker jailed 19 years ago.

If the US wanted to try Hammadi for the hijacking and killing of the US citizen on board the extradition request would have to be denied since a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. So what other crimes did the U.S. try to get him for?

The Handelsblatt (and many other papers) is merely reporting what the speakers of the Hessian Staatsanwaltschaft and the Bundesjuzstizministerium said.

The Stern has this:

http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/:Terror-Haft-Hammadi-%FCberraschend/551825.html

Dem Bundesjustizministerium lag nach eigenen Angaben kein Auslieferungsersuchen der USA vor. Hammadi sei zu lebenslanger Haft unter Feststellung der besonderen Schwere der Schuld verurteilt worden, sagte eine Ministeriumssprecherin in Berlin. Das bedeute aber nicht zwingend, dass der Verurteilte ein ganzes Leben in Haft verbringen müsse. Das Gericht habe eine "Mindestverbüßungsdauer" festgesetzt, und Hamadi habe seine Strafe auf dieser Basis verbüßt. Dies sei ein Vorgang, der tagtäglich in der Justiz vorkomme und der vollkommen autonom der Justiz obliege, hieß es.

Die Sprecherin der Staatsanwaltschaft Frankfurt, Doris Möller- Scheu, sagte, Hamadi habe unter anderem die Bewährungsauflage erhalten, einen festen Wohnsitz bei seinem Bruder im Libanon zu nehmen. Hamadi war seit acht Jahren nicht mehr in Hessen im Gefängnis. Nach Angaben des Landesjustizministeriums in Wiesbaden traf das Landgericht Kleve die Entscheidung über die Freilassung.

Something else, from Reuters

http://de.today.reuters.com/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-12-20T184904Z_01_HAG067733_RTRDEOC_0_DEUTSCHLAND-LIBANON-HAMMADI-3ZF.xml

In Diplomatenkreisen in Berlin hieß es, Hammadi sei frei gekommen, obwohl Deutschland das Interesse der US-Regierung an einer Auslieferung in die USA bekannt gewesen sei. Nach Angaben des Justizministeriums lag der Regierung kein Auslieferungsersuchen der Amerikaner vor. Aus Berliner Regierungskreisen verlautete zudem, der USA sei bekannt gewesen, dass Entlassung und Abschiebung bevorstünden. Während der gesamten Haftzeit Hammadis sei kein US-Auslieferungsantrag eingegangen.

Hammadi steht in den USA unter Anklage wegen des Mordes an dem amerikanischen Kampftaucher Robert Dean Stethem, einer der Geiseln an Bord der von Hammadi und seinem Komplizen 1985 von Athen nach Beirut entführten TWA-Maschine. Er war 1987 auf dem Frankfurter Flughafen mit Flüssigsprengstoff im Gepäck festgenommen worden und wurde 1989 in Frankfurt verurteilt.

My take: The U.S. did not call for extradition from Germany since they knew that Germany would have to deny the motion on the grounds of "ne bis in idem", which would have led to diplomatic embarrasment.

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