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OMG! That's sad and hilarious, at the same time. Sad, in that it continues the pattern of lies and misleading. How many folks (esp. in Germany) do you suppose will realize that the cover doesn't depict the US at all?

Hilarious, in that the Canadians have been some of the most vocal opponents to the US's military activities, and yet there, for the whole world to see (although, unfortunately, probably not many will realize what they are seeing) is evidence of Canada's direct involvement is these "shadowy" affairs.

I may just have to go buy a copy of this rag. This looks like a keeper.

Let me correct my first point above from "doesn't depict the US at all" to "doesn't strictly depict the US."

There seems to have been some confusion around this picture. Some claim, it shows U.S. troops, others say it shows commandos originally identified as U.S. troops but later said to be Canadians with Taliban prisoners. Still others say it shows captured Afghans being handed to the U.S.

This larger version of the picture seems to indicate that it is a U.S. helicopter.

This reminds me of the MoveOn.Org ad (Our poor soldiers, so far away from home during the holidays!) that had pictures of British military. What a joke. Then they tried to doctor the picture, putting a pair of long pants on one guy to cover up the fact that he was wearing shorts! What morons.

USAF drivers ferrying Canadian Special Forces around Afghanistan. Let's hear it for US-Canadian cooperation.

"CP Photo Archive" = Canadian Press Photo Archive, although, admittedly, that doesn't really mean anything.

I get a laugh out of the whole premise. Photo identification aside, the tone of the article seems to be, "OMG! Like, the Americans are, like, you know, fighting a war or something! Like, they are, like, defending themselves! Like, why don't they just hook up like everyone else does? Like, why do they have to be different or something? None of the cool kids are, like, you know, doing that stuff!"

Just more of the infantile posing and preening that passes for debate on the Continent these days.

Speaking of blunders, check out SPON's coverage of the Williams execution. I happen to oppose the death penalty myself, but somehow my opposition doesn't motivate me to peddle hate against other countries in the form of political tracts gussied up as "news." It boggles the mind that so many Germans can read such crude and thinly veiled propaganda day after day, and never smell the journalistic rats beneath the increasingly threadbare facade of "objectivity." If you read SPON's tear-jerking account of Williams' "long suffering before his death," and the final "Eklat," you'd think the man had been crucified. They couldn't instantly find a vein in his left arm! OMIGOD! Couldn't they have been merciful, and just burned the poor man at the stake? Contrast that with SPON's indifferent, unemotional, and brief reports about the Chinese villagers recently mowed down by the authorities in that country. If you can still look yourself in the mirror and claim you're being "objectively" informed, you must be brain dead. SPON finishes off its hit piece by implying that Williams was really innocent, and that is the only reference we see to the four innocent people he butchered in cold blood, people who posed absolutely no threat to him. Perhaps we should fill in some of the details for our "well-informed" SPON readers. Williams shot a young convenience store clerk twice in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun while he was lying face down on the floor. He then brutally executed an immigrant Chinese couple and their visiting daughter in the process of stealing less than $100. There is no credible doubt whatsoever that he was guilty of these murders. Guess you can't let a few mere murder victims get in the way of a good anti-American yarn.

There is no confusion about this picture.

..from "Flit" January 29, 2002


Canadian defence minister Art Eggleton admitted today that soldiers in a widely circulated Kandahar photo escorting prisoners were, in fact Canadians (from the JTF2 counter-terrorist unit). This writer is kicking himself for not noticing that himself. But it does put paid to the argument about what Canadians will do if they collect Afghan prisoners. (Crypto-nationalist Liberal MP John Godfrey wants them turned over to the Afghan government, along with anyone the UN forces in Kabul detain.) We already did. And we turned them over (as is only proper) to the Americans. Oh, well... next issue?

What's amazing is all those journalists who were up on the Canadian green uniform issue never noticed the wire photo with Canadian green uniforms in it until now, even though it was in the Jan. 22 issue of all three major Canadian papers, among others.

American Citation

The helicopter certainly is USAF. The guys in green wearing hockey gear are
unmistakably Canadian.

You loons need psychiatric help. The picture may be false, but it is clearly accurate. Who cares if Spiegel makes a mistake or two long as they fight against Chimpy Bushitler and his evil legions? It is high time that the U.N. take over responsibility for the Internet so that sites like this one can be shut down. It is just disgusting how you people insist that the media be accurate when reporting on America. What good are facts and the truth if they don't lead to the correct conclusion?

I think we agree that this picture shows Afghan fighters who being escorted from a U.S. helicopter by Canadian troops and who are about to be handed over to U.S. troops.

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said Canada expects the U.S. will treat the prisoners humanely. Wishful thinking. Beyond his control. That's the whole point of the Spiegel article.

Although I think this blog does a great service, my questions is: "Why should Americans give a damn what the Germans think?" Yes, we can send over Condi every three months to make Europe feel like they are still relevant, but the real game is in the Pacific and no one should forget that. If European elites can only get attention by yelling "fire" in the theater, I'd say let's just ignore it after the one hundreth time they do it. Frankly, we have more important things to do than pay attention to bunch of preening European politicans who we KNOW will dial 911 America the next time the inevitable European slaughter begins (think Yogoslavia). As Bill Kristol said so accurately, debating politics with Europeans is like debating metaphysics at a sleepover of fourteen year old girls.

@Jake "Why should Americans give a damn what the Germans think?"

You should, because Europeans are more successful at turning totalitarian regimes into democracies than the United States. Much more successful.

"No single policy has contributed as much to Western peace and security as the admission of 10 new countries — to be followed by a half-dozen more — to the European Union. In country after country, authoritarian nationalists were beaten back by democratic coalitions held together by the promise of joining Europe. And in the past month European leaders have taken a courageous decision to contemplate the membership of Turkey, where the prospect of EU membership is helping to create the most stable democratic system in the Islamic world. When historians look back, they may see this policy as being the truly epochal event of our time, dwarfing in effectiveness the crude power of America." (Source.)


"What good are facts and the truth if they don't lead to the correct conclusion?"

This, my friend, is the rub when it comes to the news media in general.


"You should, because Europeans are more successful at turning totalitarian regimes into democracies than the United States. Much more successful."

I wonder if this situation would have been påossible without the US in the 1980's, culminating in the collapse of the Eastern Block economy and forcing the Soviet Union to withdraw its forces and control over these countries which are now being admitted to or applying to enter the EU?


That is but a minor detail about the US contribution. Of course,you might be thinking of how all the 'isms of the world have sprung from Old Europe.

They are always about building on their successes. The EU is just a continuation of this process.

Once the EUDF is fully established Europe of which Germany is a key player, will find that the 21st Century belongs to them.

You might consider applying for citizenship. They have wonderful benifits.

Of course, Turkey has been a NATO member for decades. But, you know, NATO is such an evil imperialist organization.

And: I'd be more impressed with the EU if it hadn't taken them 21 years to get around to granting Great Britian full membership. I guess it took a while for the EU to foster democracy there.

@skhedin "... would have been possible without the US ..."

No, it wouldn't, that's for sure. But when you look at Cuba, which was part of the Eastern Block and which is next door to the United States, you see the difference. The Europeans prefer to persuade (and are very successful at that), whereas the Untited States (especially under the lead of the Bush Administration) tend to drive countries into isolation or to invade them. I mean, they are very good at doing the war part. But they fail miserably when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of the people. And when they eventually fail (like in Vietman and soon in Iraq), they retreat in a sulk. That's why they need the Europeans.

@NotForSale - Either you are kidding, or you are fooled by your source. There is not a single former Warsaw Pact nation which was admitted to the EU before it became a NATO member. The European Union is successful precisely because it is being built within NATO, not instead of it. Without NATO it certainly won't be succeed in bringing democracy to Belarus. And the Islamic country with the most stable commitment to democracy is Iraq, not Turkey. Is Saddam was still in power, we wouldn't even be talking about Turkish EU membership.


Kennedy agreed not to invade Cuba. We've kept our word.

The reason Europe supposedly persuades, is that it can't act, so it makes a virtue of weakness, and like a broken clock being right twice a day, Europe talks and talks for decades until an event occurs and then claims itself as the acting cause. Kind’a like most bad golfers who hit a good shot and say, "Now that's my game!", when in reality the rare good shot is just a statistical aberration. Heck, Europe couldn't one gas tank a few car loads of highway cops to Bosnia. Malefactors of the world tremble at the specter of European righteousness.

@ NotForSale

"You should, because Europeans are more successful at turning totalitarian regimes into democracies than the United States. Much more successful."

You are kidding, right?

You might consider the American efforts in Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and other assorted countries (even if you offer America no credit for Poland, Czech Republic and all the other enthusiastic allies of America in Eastern Europe freed by the US victory in the Cold War). And here's a simple test. Who's more more welcome in the Ukraine today... Condi Rice or one Gerhard Schroeder? Just asking.

But let's move along, as they say. Once cannot just brush aside the fact that European countries are more successful in PRODUCING totalitarian regimes than any geo-political land mass in the history of the world (Germany, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Spain, Italy, just for starters) Second, the ONLY reason that any of these countries are not in their previous states of totalitarian tyranny at is American military power. That is hardly up for debate.

But if the European memory is so much shorter than the American (is that possible?), take a gander at the German contribution in Afghanastan. For many months, American forces waited for the German military to take the relatively small responsibility for training the Kabul police force. (Just training, that's all...) After months of dithering, the Americans were forced to "relieve" the German military of its rather paultry duties and US Army reserve military police units took over the responsibility - forcing longer deployments and stretching those units unduly. I leave it to you to tell us what exactly the German nation is now contributing in Afghanastan, a nation building effort that the German government claims to support.

Neither shall we forget the European/UN work in Kosovo, an effort that can be roughly compared to the nation building job in Iraq, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. Six years after the UN (under European administration) took over, the ONLY power station in the country is not producing adequate power, the election participation has never exceeded 20%, one of most senior UN administrators (a German no less) has been indicted for massive corruption (has he been extradicted from Brazil yet? Haven't heard.), and the Serbian minority has largely fled the country or considers Kosovo too dangerous for normal life.

But I'm sure you were just kidding... unfortunately, 400,000 dead Bosnians might disagree with you, let alone 20 million Russians and other assorted nationals over the past sixty years.

Like I said, debating metaphysics with fourteen year old girls...

"But when you look at Cuba, which was part of the Eastern Block and which is next door to the United States, you see the difference."

@NotForSale: I'm not sure at all what your point is here, but let me say this about that: the only people left in Cuba are people who can't swim (those who could have all gone to the US, or died on the "high seas" trying to get there) and European tourists.

Two points:

Point 1. Spiegel's mistake is certainly understandable. The United States takes all its actions unilaterally. Therefore every soldier you see in a picture by definition has to be American. Only the American military is involved in Iraq. No one else is participiating.

(Of course that doesn't explain why it's called the "Coalition". Or why you see periodic news stories saying this or that country is "leaving the Coalition". By my count, at this point the Coalition should have -6 members in it. It also doesn't explain why Spiegel can't tell the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan. But you can't expect a news source for millions of people to spend money on competent journalists who know how to do research and have a modicum of familiarity with the topics they write about. That money needs to go to the political hacks where it properly belongs.)

Point 2. Let's take the example of East Germany. Exactly what year was it that West German leaders talked East Germany into becoming a democracy? I'm having trouble recalling the exact date. I'm also having trouble recalling the exact date that West German leaders talked the Soviet Union into letting them live peacefully in West Berlin. There certainly wasn't any American involvement or sacrifice in either situation.

NotForSale's theory that somehow Europeans talked Eastern Europe into being free through the strength of their argument is laughable. You don't think Poland was itching to be on your side of the Iron Curtain for 40 years? What was stopping them was not a commitment to Communism. What was stopping them was millions of Russian troops preventing it. And pardon me for thinking they would still be there if it had only been the West German Bundeswehr they had to worry about.

NotForSale, you inherited a bunch of people dying to adopt your system after eyeing it enviously over the back fence for 40 years. We cracked two of the toughest nuts in recorded history at the height of their power (Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany) and successfully turned both into democracies. I'd say you have to play in the big leagues before you earn big league bragging rights.

@FrancisM "There is not a single former Warsaw Pact nation which was admitted to the EU before it became a NATO member."

Being a member of a military alliance does not make you any more democratic than owning a gun makes you a good police officer. Greece being a prime example. Greece became a NATO member in 1952 and a military dictator ship in 1967. NATO does not care about democracy, its cares about security and stability. You can't become a EU member UNLESS you are democratic, whereas NATO accepts anything they find, including Turkey in 1952 or Romania in 1999. Greece was accepted by the EU in 1981 after it had become a democracy in 1974. That's what makes the difference. In contrast, the United States has military agreements with terrorist sponsors such as Saudia Arabia or Pakistan. You should also note that Austria, Cyprus, Finnland, Irland, Malta and Sweden are members of the EU without being NATO members.

The sound of the EU turning countries into democracies is the sound of one hand clapping.

@NotForSale - NATO is evolving from containment to preemption, it does no longer need to purchase stability at the price of liberty as in the 20th century when every enemy of the enemies of NATO, however authoritarian, was seen as a friend. The states you bring up as examples have either joined NATO at times of crises when alternatives were worse, or are neutral indoor states behind NATO defense lines, or containment legacies that the Americans themselves would like to get rid of.

@Helian -
They couldn't instantly find a vein in his left arm! OMIGOD! Couldn't they have been merciful, and just burned the poor man at the stake?

When I was in the hospital a couple months ago, it took maybe seven or eight tries for the nurse to find a workable vein for the IV line. It might have taken something like thirteen minutes, or more, or less - it's impossible to say. I can only tell you that when someone's digging a little bitty piece of steel around your flesh, it seems like forever. Probably longer, if the point of the excercise is to kill you with it. I do think I'd prefer it to being set on fire, however.

@Beimami -
What good are facts and the truth if they don't lead to the correct conclusion?

Best nutshell this week.

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