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Mr. Guessgen is completely out of touch. America is not destroying the West. It is Leftists like Mr. Guessgen who are destroying the West -- the Central European part of it anyway.

Stern:

Die Autoren bezeichnen sich selbst als "politisch unkorrekt" und bekennen sich dazu, "pro-amerikanisch, pro-israelisch und pro-kapitalistsisch" zu denken.

I suppose this line in the 3rd paragraph is supposed to shock the typical Stern reader. This is all you need to know about DMK.

Braves Partnerschafts-Gesäusel? This writer seems to have a personal problem with the admission that the international sphere is in a state of anarchy, in which the rule of law is still to be established by these strong enough to do so. As he says himself, once he would recognize the reality of international anarchy behind the nanny facades of the UN, "anything" (sic!) appears legitimate to him and everyone else in the West is assumed to have as little moral restraints as the source of his projections.

This man is so irrational that he can demand a justification for America's removal of a tyranny in Iraq and claim European supreme competency over human rights at the same time! And that though the UN ceasefire agreement Saddam signed in 1991 to end the shooting (not the war) is a perfect showpiece how much the tyrants have hollowed out the facades of international law.

"Mir eröffnen die Reaktionen die Möglichkeit, mich mit dezidiert konservativen - vielleicht sogar neo-konservativen - Argumenten auseinanderzusetzen."

Is it possible that he knows how funny this is? It's like a parody of the hive mind's intolerance, but he doesn't seem to be kidding.

I disagree with his assertion that the state de-values the life of the condemned. I think only the individual can de-value their life, and the law establishes guidelines for the state to recognize when they have done so. A killer of society is not of value to society. Or is of a similar value to society as cancer is to the body (negative).

I also don't understand what passes for reasining in the assertion that the McCain terror bill is evidence of systematic attempts to bypass international law. In the first place, as he himself points out, international law does not apply to the people in question. You can't bypass what doesn't exist, so he's flat-out lying. In the second place, the McCain bill stipulates American law, not international. Perhaps he should have co-authored the piece with someone with a capacity for linear thinking.

I'll answer his questions about legitimacy of torture motivations as well. If you do not torture that kidnapper to save the child's life, then you aren't just according the kidnapper's human dignity an equal, common social value; you're elevating a criminal's comfort (and/or dignity) to a greater value than an innocent's life. There's no moral dilemma, or threats to liberal principles - get some jumper cables on that kidnapper's groin already. Questions of ends and means dissolve in the presence of any moral clarity developed beyond recitation of platitudes.

I absolutely agree with him on one point; that the U.S. has one understanding of human importance, and Europe's is different. Europe's appears completely devoid of nuance. What he euphemistically terms an "idealist state" is merely a point of view fashioned in pure simplisme.

He still hasn't made any case to support the headline, however. The moral authority of the west is not it's defensive force, and even if it were -- and if all charges he makes were valid and true -- the U.S. can only destroy it's own moral authority. The article, and it's defense, would still be a weak and intellectually bankrupt attempt to legitimize a hyperbolically bigoted claim - unless he'd like to stipulate that a west without the U.S. is nothing?

I had no idea about Micheal Crichton, holy epiphany Batman!

This is for Guessgen:

http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPDeterrence.htm

espeacially this:
"Our results suggest that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect; each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders—with a margin of error of plus or minus 10. Tests show that results are not driven by tougher sentencing laws, and are also robust to many alternative specifications."
http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DezRubShepDeterFinal.pdf

I suppose Guessgen had no clue that his article might get translated into English and that it would be made available to an American audience - it's not that these people don't care what Americans think about them and their views. It's just they don't think their stuff is being read over there. That all the crap they write can be read in the US is important and I recommend DM for it. I've said it a few times (not here but on my own, non-political website after Hurricane Katrina and the lack of empathy from Germans): boycott German companies. The Germans need you more than you need them.

I can verify, that David's Medienkritik did not initiate the "freeping" of Spiegel's poll.

I was the one to bring that poll to the attention of the Freepers and other than being a reader of this blog, I have no connections to David or Ray.

Something I just noticed... Guessgen wrote "...So zitierte die "Berliner Zeitung" in der vergangenen Woche eine Emnid-Umfrage aus dem Jahr 1998. Demnach sprachen sich damals 55 Prozent der Befragten Deutschen für die Einführung der Todesstrafe in bestimmten Fällen aus..."

"... thus the Berliner Zeitung quoted an Emnid poll from 1998 last week. According to that poll 55 percent of the Germans who were questioned were in favour of the reintroduction of the death penalty in specific cases..."

Very interesting.

Funny what happens when you shine the light of day on hate peddling rats like Guessgen, isn’t it? What a rowback! The same guy who had just bashed America with all the usual half-baked, self-righteous moral certainties that characterize today’s German mass media is suddenly contrite, conciliatory, reaching out his hand to his dear American “friends.” It should come as no surprise that someone so palpably out of touch would try to trot out the old “objective criticism” alibi as his main defense, never mind that it has been thoroughly and repeatedly demolished for the last decade. What a travesty that this little collaborator and stooge in the German media's creation of “Feindbild Amerika” dares to speak of friendship.

Of course, as Doug pointed out, hatemonger Guessgen starts with the usual smeer: "Mir eröffnen die Reaktionen die Möglichkeit, mich mit dezidiert konservativen - vielleicht sogar neo-konservativen - Argumenten auseinanderzusetzen." Oh my God! Even Neo-conservatives! We’re dealing with the devil incarnate here. As EABinGA noted, SPIEGEL tried the same lame gambit on an earlier occasion, attempting to fob off the pathetic and transparent lie that Medienkritik was connected with the evil “Freepers.” Yours truly opposed the war from the start, opposes the death penalty, and recently came out strongly on this blog against the Bush Administration’s rationalization of torture. Never mind, if I oppose Mr. Guessgen, that self-appointed windbag who claims to be the human incarnation of “liberal principles” and “Western values,” I must, necessarily be a “conservative.”

The rest of Guessgen’s long-winded rationalization of hate peddling is just more of the hackneyed MO we’ve all become familiar with by now: the usual rush for the moral high ground, the usual self-righteous preening, and the usual threadbare pretense that the debate is about “values,” combined with the usual refusal to address his opponents actual arguments. His comments on the death penalty are typical. The crux of Ray D.’s argument touching on the death penalty is, of course, Guessgen’s double standard, not a defense of the death penalty itself. For example, he writes, “If he (Guessgen) were genuinely concerned with human rights abuses and international law, he would be better served writing about his own government's business dealings with Sudan. He would be better served chronicling the Chinese government's mass executions or investigating Gerhard Schroeder's questionable service to Gazprom. He might even take a moment to question the German media's relative indifference to the thousands of killings and kidnappings perpetrated by Russian troops in Chechnya over the past several years while Germany and Russia were doing multi-billion dollar business deals for everything from trains to planes to automobiles to gas pipelines.” Guessgen pretends not to notice. Instead, with all the usual phony pathos, he tries the diversion of equating Ray D.’s entire rebuttal to a mere defense of the death penalty, which it decidedly is not.

It is interesting that, in the process, Guessgen lets slip a little piece of information that is seldom mentioned in the German MSM’s sermonizing about the death penalty, to wit, that, at least until recently, there was more popular support for the death penalty in Europe than in the US. Outstanding leftist American blogger Josh Marshall recently noted that, “So what does it all mean? I think it means that the end of capital punishment in Europe has much less to do with public opinion than we think. And it has more to do with the structure of European politics, particularly—I would speculate—the stronger role of parties, and thus elites, in the European form of parliamentary democracy.” One wonders whether such rule by elites is one of the “liberal principles” Mr. Guessgen is defending.

Of course, as noted above, the difference in tone between the two articles is as night and day. In the first article we have the usual hysterical, sensationalist bashing of America by the typical German media hate peddler who thinks he is only preaching to the usual sheep. “Amerika zerstört den Westen,” “Mörder werden gnadenlos hingerichtet,” “Methoden wie die russische Mafia,” are typical of many similar examples of the hyperbolic, bald-faced lies Guessgen feeds his readers. But when this typical German media rat is caught blinking in the spotlight, his tone suddenly becomes positively sedate. We get the usual, hackneyed, “objective criticism” cant, such as, “Statt braven Partnerschaft-Gesäusels ist es besser, klar auf die Gefährdung des transatlantischen Bündnisses hinzuweisen, die Gefahr der Zerstörung dieser Allianz.” In other words, we are to believe that the only alternative to “braven Partnerschaft-Gesäusels” is hysterical America bashing.

Allow me to suggest, Mr. Guessgen, that positive criticism of a friend does not take the form of self-righteous preaching, moralistic posturing, an obvious double standard that applies only to your “friend,” the systematic propagation of lying propaganda in the form of half truths that dwell only on the negative, the denial to your “friend” of any means of refuting or debating your “criticism” except in a few brave little blogs, or a striking unwillingness to criticize in your own country the faults that you are so quick to condemn in others. Such preaching most definitely does not contribute to the support of the “liberal principles” or “Western values,” that you have taken it upon yourself to define for the rest of us. On the contrary, it plays into the hands of and is gleefully exploited by the avowed enemies of those values in the US and elsewhere, and provides moral backing to the terrorists who would attack us.

In Guessgen’s first article we find this outrageous piece of cheek: “Kritik muss geäußert werden, aber gleichzeitig müssen die Europäer, allen voran Deutschland, weiter auf Zusammenarbeit dringen. Es ist ohnehin einer der vornehmsten Loyalitätsbeweise, auch einem zeitweise feindselig gestimmten Freund die Treue zu halten.” Incredible! For the last decade we have witnessed the systematic attempts of the German mass media to construct a “Feindbild Amerika.” Guessgen and his like have eagerly peddled hate to a seemingly insatiable German public, obsessed with the evils of America. During all this time few Americans have even noticed what was going on across the Atlantic, and yet we are to believe that it is the Americans who are “feindselig.”

Guessgen piously suggests more exchange programs to enlighten the poor, benighted Americans. A word of advice, Mr. Guessgen. Spare us your hoards of earnest sheep filled with missionary zeal to enlighten us with their “liberal values.” Thanks to your unsparing efforts over the last decade, the German people are profoundly ignorant concerning the US and its people. Compounding their ignorance, many of them believe with absolute certainty all the disinformation you’ve been feeding them. I strongly recommend that any of them wishing to preach to me first learn English and familiarize themselves with the American points of view on both the left and right regarding such critical subjects as the Iraq war, Kyoto and the environment, the death penalty, the torture controversy, and the American form of government. On all of these subjects and many more the “information” provided by the German language media has consisted almost entirely of simplistic, half-baked, moralistic sermonizing. Virtually no attempt has been made to give America a voice, or to give the German people any concept of the nature of the intellectual debate on these topics in the US. Do you really want to “reach out your hands to us,” Mr. Guessgen? I suggest you start by doing your job. Instead of propagandizing the German people, inform them for a change.

"At the moment we are in the process of analyzing and composing a response"

Oh my G*d ..... not that! How cruel. How unkind. How hateful and reactionary. Have you no shame man?

Merry Christmas One and All. A Joyous Hannukah. A Sparkling New Year.

G*d Bless.

@Helian

Your's is an excellent analysis of the modus operandi of the typical German media America basher. I do, however, take issue with the following statement:

>> "I strongly recommend that any of them wishing to preach to me first learn English and familiarize themselves with the American points of view on both the left and right regarding such critical subjects as the Iraq war, Kyoto and the environment, the death penalty, the torture controversy, and the American form of government."

Actually, many of the most vociferous critics of the U.S. do in fact speak very good English. And it is precisely these individuals who drive the anti-American propaganda wave rolling over Germany. It is true that many of these individuals and oblivious to any counterarguments, but they aren't really interested in any. It is a mistake to believe thay are interested in any balanced dialog, critical analysis of controversial matters or creation of consensus. They are hard core Leftists and will use any method available to spread their religion - and it is a religion - across the globe. Any attempt to reason or discuss with these people is a waste of effort. Mr. Guessgen will soon be back to his hysterical America bashing.

@Helian: Thanks for that writeup. You obviously put a lot of work and thought into it. It's true that we may sometimes differ on specifics, but you clearly have your heart and your head in the right place.

Reading your piece, it strikes me that Mr Guessgen also seems to be implicitly asserting a right to engage in something that has long been a hallmark of the trans-national left: the "right" to say one thing to one audience, and a completely different thing to another audience, and then prohibit anyone from noticing or criticizing the inconsistencies. For a long time, the Left has been able to get away with this, because the technical capability to cross-correlate the speeches didn't exist (except among the media, who gladly papered over the issue when it involved one of their own). Now, with the Internet, things have changed. The Left doesn't like it one bit, and they are trying like heck, without explicitly saying so, to claim that they and they alone have a moral right to engage in doublespeak. (They are also still trying to kill the technical capabilities that made the cross-correlation possible, such as the U.N.'s bid to take over control of the Internet, although it appears that these efforts are going to fail.)

Think back to the first major incident of this type, a few years ago: the Dixie Chicks. They went to Europe and talked a bunch of smack about Bush, things that they would never had said in front of an American audience. So what was their defense? They didn't apolgize for what they said. Nor did they have the guts to stand behind what they said. Instead, they directed their outrage at the fact that they got caught -- those words weren't supposed to be heard by Americans. They were asserting a right to doublespeak. This sort of thing is making the Left furious. How dare they be held to some standard of logical consistency? After all, logic is a dead-white-man concept, isn't it? And every time some Leftist gets caught doing it, we get the same piousness. But now matter what fine words they use to embellish it, when you get right down to it, it's nothing more than a child's temper tantrum.

(And I might point out that the Arabs are the masters of this type of propagandizing. They will say one set of words to an international audience, and then something entirely different at home. When this is pointed out, they will just say "That was for domestic consumption", as if this should explain everything. And for a long time, they were able to get away with it, thanks to their combiantion of impenetrable native languages and appeasing Western politicians.)

Mr. Guessgen has been Helianised a new verb.

As James W. notes, Güßgen says you're pro-America, pro-Israel and pro-capitalist. For shame! With credentials like those you're quite obviously beyond the pale.

Actually, I'm fairly serious here. That those attitudes should be seen a pejorative is, to my mind, extraordinary. It's axiomatic among so many on the Left (and their witless hangers-on) that it is wrong to lend one's support to the sole oasis of democracy and human rights in a desert of barbarism, or that America is apodictically malevolent or that the ills of the Third World stem from the market and not from the mixture of warmed-over Marxism and feudal hegemony with which it is afflicted. Such a confident non-examination of one's Weltanschaung (sorry) could only come from the mind of a bigot.

There's also, as I note here, the Left's typical double standards at play, especially when it comes to its accommodation with the forces of Islamofascism. To characterise the US as being in the Hobbesian state of 'all against all'—nothing could be further from the truth—and ignore the fact that life in the Third World is indeed 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short' is such a fantastical inversion of the facts as to invite gape-mouthed incredulity.

To be fair, the amnesty international pdf is focused on the war on terrorism. Of course, USA will be taking more actions against the war on terrorism compared to other countries.

Human rights violations in, say, Cuba, are not mentioned because they are not associated with the War on Terrorism.

The shameful thing is the vast number of countries with minimal participation in a war on terrorism, which in theory threatens all peoples, because of its targeting of non-combatants in violation of the laws of G-d and man.

Amnesty International is not a neutral observer in the War on Terror. They are on the wrong side.

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