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Well, I'm "white trash" according to local media heads.

It isn't just the german media elite, but the US as well. "Baby-killer" has been on the back of many American leftists tongues for years and now they will have their orgy. Despite the UCMJ coming down hard (I doubt anyone here knows the severity of the US military justice) on those found guilty, the media now have their "Mi Lia" comparison for months, if not years, to come.

Its really strange to be in Germany this long and still hear the same old cliques thrown out over and over and accepted as fact. I had a conversation with on old "Wehrmacht" veteran who told me a few years ago George W. Bush is a "cowboy." I replied, "strange, the Germans were saying exactly the same thing about Ronald Reagan 20 years ago." Keep beating that dead horse.

Buck, most Americans of German ancestry are white trash according to her. Leads one to wonder what she views in the mirror every morning.

I don't even like the atlanticreview fisking of the woman's piece. Here's why.

I got the impression that many Germans believe that the US military is made up primarily from the lower classes of society and that this would explain many U.S. wrongdoings. Good journalists work against such myths and stereotypes rather than reinforce them.

The term 'class' has a very different meaning in Europe than it does in the U.S. 'class' - i.e., socioeconomic ranking - is not considered to be a determining factor in behavior in the U.S. However, behavior is considered to be a factor in a person's class ranking. E.g., people who live in trailers ('manufactured housing') are not thought of as low class if they behave well, while members of Congress who get caught with $90,000 in their freezer and are videotaped taking bribes are called 'trash' everywhere.

It's remains one of what I think is the most unexamined differences between the U.S. and European mindsets. Europe is still living among the detritrus of its former class-riven hierarchy. The EU is so emblematic of that. Actually, David and Ray, if I recall correctly, I think the first time I ever talked to you - maybe even before Ray became a part of the blog - it was about why Europeans hold Bush in such scorn. I believe I wrote something like "Joe Sixpack in a good suit".

Europeans are snobs in a way Americans can't even comprehend. Just look at the way Chirac (aka l'esroc 'the crook') has been treated vs. say Bill Clinton while he was president.

The soldier we adopted would no doubt be categorized as white trash by this lousy excuse for a commentator. He's from Alabama. Went into the the service for the education. And you know what? The kid is in the 101st Airborne. He's an engineer now. When his time in the Army is done, he's going into medicine - physical therapy.

Between the two, who do you think is the trash here? Ms. Fetscher, who never met a snide slur she couldn't employ in the service of her own self-aggrandizement, or our soldier, who decided he had a job to do half-way around the world in service to something other than himself?

And grayp waves to Buckeye abroad. When are you coming home?

Oh, I should note that although 'our' soldier went into the military for the education because his family didn't have the money to send him to the schools he wanted, he VOLUNTEERED for 101st Airborne - and made it - and he VOLUNTEERED for Iraq.

What is probably not obvious to non-American readers: 101st Airborne is one of the toughest units in any branch of the American military. 'Airborne' itself gets a lot of respect, but the 101st is iconic.

Lets see how our media will deal with german soldiers shooting those underage warriors in Congo first. I expect them to have as little understanding as they had here.

It was America's "white-trash" army (along with the Soviet Unions whiter-trash army) that defeated the Wehrmacht. What does that say about Germans?

I wonder if she would like to mention this to my 5 good friends serving in Iraq, none of whom are poor or "white trash;" all of whom enjoyed a university education far better than anything one can find in continental Europe, not to mention better job prospects thereafter .

In the end it boils down to the fact that Germans, and in fact Europeans in general, will never ever understand what it meant to be an American on 9/11. The Wehrdienst has become such a joke in Germany that the idea of joining the Armed Forces to actually serve ones country would be unheard of.

@Pamela: "Europe is still living among the detritrus of its former class-riven hierarchy."

That's true, isn't it? The things that have been happening in Europe over the past five years have been a sort of cultural "Friday the 13th" movie: The monster that everybody thought had been throughly killed has risen from the grave. Anti-Semitism? Isn't that something from my grandparents' generation? Didn't we eradicate that along with polio?

So for a while now I've been trying to figure out how this came to happen, despite the enormous efforts that the entire West has made since WWII to bury it. Now, part of the problem is that Facism/Stalinism (really two sides of the same coin) has no problem with reviving long-dead predjudices and racial hatreds if it serves the purpose at the moment, and damn the long-term consequences. But the other part maybe is in the word "bury" that I used above. At the end of WWII, the West was so eager to get rid of the whole stinking mess that they dug a hole, threw it in, and buried it, without really making an effort to understand how it came to be born in the first place. But because that matter was not investigated (and still hasn't been, really), the dysfuncions of European society that led to its creation were never addressed, and now that the conditions are right, they have re-created it. It's discouraging because in a way, it makes it seem that the entire effort of fighting WWII was futile.

Per the particular subject of this blog: what has Germany's role in this been? It's been kind of contradictory. Germany hasn't been one of the leaders in incubating anti-West thought. And yet Germany has been eager to align itself with France, which I claim is *the* leader in re-creating the monster. In this matter, Germany is just a follower, which is atypical of Germany's role in Europe in the 20th century. Also atypical is that Germany's overall attutide right now is that of the ostrich: Germans seem to be doing their absolute damndest to ignore the whole thing. I think this is the real explanation for most of the anti-Americanism in the German media today -- it's not a hatred for Americans per se, but rather the tantrum of a teenager whose parents have just pointed out that if he wants money, he needs to get a job. Add to that the notion of European class distinctions (I don't think that many Americans can really feel, in their heads or their guts, what Europeans mean when they use the word "class"), and you've got a very dangerous mix.

@Cousin Dave
The monster that everybody thought had been throughly killed has risen from the grave.

They killed the wrong monster. They thought it was the nation-state. It wasn't. It was collectivism.

It is not my intent to attribute WWI to collectivism but the CURE for WWI in the form of the EU, is manifest. Communism and socialism, both collectivist nightmares responding to feudal structures. But the very first - in Western culture - is the French Revolution.

what has Germany's role in this been? It's been kind of contradictory. Germany hasn't been one of the leaders in incubating anti-West thought. And yet Germany has been eager to align itself with France, which I claim is *the* leader in re-creating the monster. In this matter, Germany is just a follower, which is atypical of Germany's role in Europe in the 20th century

It really is confusing if you don't 'get' the EU. The whole nine yards is premised on the idea that potential adversaries will be more adverse to conflict if their economies are co-joined within critical industries (coal and steel, originally).

Germany believed in the EU because it provides a redemptive political construct that absolves sin. Sin is a concept in serious decline w/in Old Europe but it still functions in the guise of 'social justice denied' nevertheless.

France lied from the outset. For France the EU was a horse to ride to European hegemony. Fuck Gaullism. Even fuck Napolean. These people want the Sun King.

So Germany is the penitent, France is the pimp.

I don’t think this type of analysis should really surprise anyone. What do you expect from the minds of the offspring’s of the Master Race?

That's right, joe. Their grandparents were Nazis, so the grandchildren are all still Nazis. No surprises there.

Flux:

Your logic is right on. The grand children of the German World War II generation should not be labeled "Nazis." (Except skinheads and other hooligans that beat up people of color.)

However, isn't Fraulein Fetscher's opinion, that all American military are "white trash" or complacent minorities struggling for upward mobility, as bad as labeling your generation of Germans "Nazis."

This type of attitude in Germany has nothing to do with their grandparents being master race Nazis. This must be said. However, Germans seem to have the innate inclination to gravitate toward extrems. It was National Socialism with the grandparents, it is Enlightened Socialism with the grandchildren. There is no doubt that today's Germans, unlike their grandparents, wouldn't kill for their ideology. What they display, though, is the same deluded belief that theirs is in fact the right way and deviants are to be pitied, or despised if they oppose the collective good.

This is a trait of the Left in general, but in Germany it has permeated every strata of society. For a German, stability in personal life and in society in general can be found mostly, if not exclusively, through collectivism. America, with its strong emphasis on individualism and self-reliance stands for everything that Germans try to avoid and probably subconsciously fear. They don't understand how a society with such a "distorted" mentality can function, let alone function better than Germany. At this point, they start making all sorts of rationalizations in order to maintain their views alive. When facts will irrefutably challenge those views, the rationalizations will inevitably stretch the truth or will ignore it altogether.

Caroline Fetscher is just one of the countless faces in the German collectivist society. If asked, there is no doubt she would affirm her individuality and her independence. The truth is, though, that German individuality and independence are expected to not break the societal norm. "Freedom?" "Sure, but please within limits." If you cross the line you are ostracized. "You want to release some pent-up feelings?" "There is a sand bag called America, kick it and you'll be fine." What they don't know is that kicking it creates a blinding addiction, it doesn't solve any of their internal problems.

"I got the impression that many Germans believe that the US military is made up primarily from the lower classes of society and that this would explain many U.S. wrongdoings. Good journalists work against such myths and stereotypes rather than reinforce them."

When I was in the Army, I was stationed near the East German border with the 11th Calvary. The 11th had fought in Vietnam as an airmobile unit. When Vietnam began to wind down, the 11th was moved to Germany and refitted with tanks and armor, instead of helicopters. Their mission was to patrol and guard the Fulda gap.

Many of the NCOs and officers had seen action in Vietnam. I am sure there were instances of “post traumatic stress,” both on and off the base. However, sources in the German polizei assured me that Americans by no means contributed to crime in their juristiction.

The local population spread the rumor that the 11th was a “penal” unit and that most of the Cav soldiers were criminals. There was open discrimination practiced against most of the soldiers. Stores and family style restaurants were hungry for dollars and welcomed all soldiers. However many night clubs and bars were “off limits” to soldiers. The off limits designation was given by the owners of the clubs and bars, not by the local commander.

Flux,

Damn you could have fooled me. With the attitude displayed by this fine german female elite, I am not sure what one is suppose to think. The hypocrisy displayed by the germans as the Master Race seems to be alive and well today.

She surely thinks she is better than those who serve in the US military and by extension so are all germans. Therefore my question is why does she feel this? What does she base this on, the superiority of the germans? Is it because germans are so morally pure?

Please enlighten me.

Buck is right -- this kind of belief can be found in the American left from the fringe to congressmen like Charles Rangel. The fact is that it is nothing but a big lie. The makeup of the military can be found by anyone and has been readily available for years. It is not made up of mostly poor and uneducated as the slanderers always say, but of people with an average education above their non-military peers and mostly of an economic background of working class or above.

joe,

I wish I could enlighten you, but I have no clue why she wrote the outrageous things she wrote. I don't know her and after reading her article have no desire ever to meet her (even though it has to be mentioned that she put up atlanticreview's critique of her article). However, I don't think you're doing anyone a service by falling into the same kind of black and white logic. Just because she calls American military white trash doesn't mean you have to call Germans Nazis, if you don't want to lower yourself to her standards, which seems to be the PacRim Jim school of commenting on this blog.

There is a point that I think could bear looking at here. This is that the term 'Poor White Trash' was coined in the early part of the twentieth century -- in America -- and her proper use of the term is conditional on her ability to define it. It's obvious to me that she is ignorant of the definition. The people to which it does apply are not eligible to enlist in the all volunteer army because a diploma is a requirement. Poor white trash is loosly applied to people with less than an eighth grade education who are ignorant of the requirements of civilized existance and the law.

flux,

Yes, that is my problem, I think in black and white terms. It is something I have done all my life and will continue to do. Does this make me better or wiser? I am not so sure that it does but it does give me a strong moral foundation from which I can easily tell good from evil and right from wrong. Call it clarity of thought or critical thinking. I am not confused by collectivism or socialism or multiculturalism, or even being political correct.

It is one thing for germans to make a habit of insulting the POTUS, and American policy. It is entirely different when they insult the citizens of the entire nation. And spare me about germans not being anti-American and we are allies and such.

That is what this offspring of the Master Race just did, insult an entire nation. If you ever see a US soldier up close and he is in his BDU’s (those fully looking uniforms) note what it says above his pocket. It says U.S. Army. The US stands for United States. He is us and we are him.

I dare say if one were to look at her family linage and ancestry, I am sure we would find horrors greater than the ones we would fine in the families of most members of the US military. Maybe that is her problem, she wants to cleanse her soul and this is the only way she can do that.

Flux but maybe you are correct just because one of the leading elites of germany, decides to smear and insult an entire nation, then citizens of that nation should go "oh well". And then say what? "They are just germans, you know?”

I tend to disagree with that approach. I consider it to be a free ride. Germany has gotten a free ride for much too long at the expense of America. Maybe one day in the future this will come to an end. Then Germany will be able to follow their closest allies the french and lead Europe to a place where Europe belongs.

Equally this person should be very happy because all the white trash Americans will be out of her perfect paradise.

But flux, hopefully her article will help unwind NATO.

@joe
It is one thing for germans to make a habit of insulting the POTUS, and American policy. It is entirely different when they insult the citizens of the entire nation

Germans have been insulting American citizens for years. I've posted here once about German tourists here insulting the employees of a card store in Pentagon City Mall to the point where the manager became so outraged that she called security and had them kicked out.

But it's not just Germans who insult individual Americans on a daily basis. And you know it.

joe, really, you cannot tar people who weren't even born with the Master Race brush. And I say that as a Jew. If you want to deal with anti-Americanism, try France. There it is a pathology that I think may do something even more important that unwinding NATO - it may actually destroy France and ultimately the EU.

In order of my preference for institutional destruction:

EU
UN
NATO

Being anti-American does not make one a Nazi. So, please, just stop it.

Pamela,

If you read what my post you will find that I did not call anyone a Nazi.

I agree about the uselessness of the NATO. When was it that the last useful military item was developed by transatlantic-partnerships? Here in germany, we have our own tanks, submarines, ships, handguns and soon espionage satellites...
Some things are developed or hired european wide like airplanes and helicopters - but is there anything done by the NATO?

Ok they provided us with a handful of AWACS planes for the world cup, but I guess we could build a few on our own easily...

Hate to tell the Germans that there are a lot of Hispanics and Asians in the US Armed forces.

Next time someone insults the US Army for being white trash, maybe you should give them the Bill Murray Speech from Stripes
We're all very different people. We're not Watusi, we're not Spartans, we're Americans. With a capital "A", huh? And you know what that means? Do you? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts.

If American citizens who VOLUNTEER for military service in order to have a career or finance college, etc. are to be considered white trash then what are the conscripts of the Bundeswehr who only have a Hauptschulabschluss, i.e. nine scant years of schooling? The unfounded elitism is absolutely unbelievable! I left Germany in 1996 after 21 years because I just couldn't take it anymore. I miss Frankfurt at times, but I'm so very glad that I did! Got my American citizenship, served in the military, made a nice life for myself. If that makes me white trash in the eyes of a jaded German elitist, then so be it.

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