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Nice, isn't it...? While some wring hands over how DMK might create a wrong image about Germany and should thus tread carefully, the German media (in this case SZ) is doing its job - actively misinforming hundreds of thousands (?) of readers. (I happen to know a vey nice guy whose main source of information is SZ).

SZ sure doesn't tread carefully and doesn't mind creating the wrong image about America, in fact SZ is splashing mud on America with impunity. Reymer Kluever goes home tonight, looks in the mirror with a clear conscience and says to himself "this was another good day at the office". And tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity... Another day, another Chinese drop...

Again, if SZ were the only one doing this in Germany, DMK would probably not exist anymore. As everyone knows, they are far from being the only ones.


P.S. Ray, you forgot the disclaimer - "media reports like this one are not representative of the attitude of the entire German people, they represent solely the opinion of a few misguided German journalists". (You don't have to mention that those relatively few misguided journalists shape the opinion of the German people).

@ WhatDoIKnow

Brilliant! I should record one of those speed-talk lawyer disclaimer things and link it to the end of each posting. It could go a little something like this:

"If you are going often, or not going enough or experiencing bowel irritability or nauseau as a result of reading too much German media, Davids Medienkritik has absolutely nothing to do with any of that. Seek medical help immediately!!!"

Kluever isn't the only one guilty of omitting or ignoring key facts. American journalists are generally clueless on the subject of the military and the people in it, and demonstrate their ignorance at every opportunity.

"Clearly, the call up is directed towards filling special positions including "engineers, intelligence, military police and communications.""

I retired from the Army Reserves in 1996. At that time, the active duty Army was raiding Army Reserve units for personnel with special Military Occupation Specialties, also known as "MOS."

If you recall at that time, The U.S. was deploying troops to Bosnia and Kosovo to support General Wesley Clark's campaign. A significant amount of intelligence personnel were deployed to the Middle East, observing the Iraqi Baath Regime's frequent violation of the 1992 cease fire treaty.

I recall that the same MOS's, "engineers, intelligence, military police and communications," were in short demand. The reason cited for this short fall was that the OPTEMPO (Operations Tempo) of world wide military operations was wearing down these particular units, (engineers, intelligence, military police and communications). If you recall, we still had significant amounts of troops deployed for old "cold war" obligations. These obligations included: a substantial presence in Germany, Korea, and Japan; plus new obligations such as Haiti and Panama; plus the aforementioned Middle East.

The complaint of Reserve Units at the time was that the active duty Army was treating the Reserves like a AAA farm team. (I apologize to your German readers for an American baseball analogy) The Army was calling reservists up similar to the way that major league base ball calls up minor league players at the end of the season.

I recall that most of these "call ups" were to replace active duty soldiers in the U.S., so that they could be deployed overseas. The exception was Bosnia and Kosovo. The Army was putting a heavy burden on truck drivers, who kept the supply lines going from a forward base in Hungry, and on military police, who basically kept the local peace in Bosnia and Kosovo. These soldiers simply needed a vacation. Reservist, many of whom drove trucks or were cops in civilian life, replaced these soldiers on a one on one basis so that they could take leave and visit their families.

I think what's changed now is that Reserve Units have been deployed multiple times. You can not strip the reserves like a AAA farm team because it is essential that these units remain in tack so that they can deploy. Therefore, the Pentagon must seek certain MOS's from one step further down: the IRR, which are soldiers that have just finished their enlistments and are returning to civilian life.

To date there have been only 2600 KIA in Iraq. That is a small price to pay for a 4 year-old war. I think that SDZ should not get into a tizzy until the day that the U.S. reimplements the draft. I have not heard this being discussed in any military or political circles.

During the Clinton administration the over all military numbers decreased to approximately 800,000 from approximately 1.5 million personnel, this is a reduction in all branches. At the end of WWII there were 431,573 people in the Marine Corps, today there are apporximately 173,000. There was a bit of an increase in population between the two periods. Why there should be a last gasp is beyond me. Defense books

George Don Miguel is right. The Press German or US simply has no clue.

The US Congress needs to fund a larger military manpower pool it appears. The need for the manpower is not going to go away. It may in fact increase. It's also time to raise the pay to those in the military.

Even with manditory conscription how many front line troops can Germany deploy and how fast? People living in glass houses need to take care with throwing projectiles.

I don't know SPoD, when I was in the Marine Corps I was doing alright in terms of pay. I was a Staff Sergeant at the time but the lower ranks were having trouble because of housing. (Of course you have to know that Jimah Cautah was the non-president at the time, to appreciate it).

The ancillary benefits are a bunch of money for the troops even though they don't see it. I would have congress look at the physical plant that the troops have to contend with before I started thinking about cash.

It now appears that some of these Marines, especially those who had either fulfilled their reserve commitment or had served two tours in Iraq, were willing to volunteer again but by waiting to be recalled actually gained in benefits and pay. Seems a perfectly rational way to control the inevitable.

Well, this is anecdotal but FWIW

A friend retired from the Air Force last year. His MOS was bomb doctor (he defuses bombs). He got a questionnaire in the mail the other day asking if there is any medical reason he could not redeploy, marital status, etc.

Our neighbor is a civilian psychologist employed by Dept. of Defense. She left for Alaska to debrief troops returning from Iraq, expecting to be gone for 2 weeks. She was back in 4 days. The troops were turned around and sent to Baghdad.

Also, we're hearing about a lot of medical/eye specialists being recalled. Can't figure that one out.

The bias in the German MSM is just an extention of the bias in the MSM of the USA. While not defending the German MSM, in theory if they only get their information from the MSM in the USA, then of course the German MSM is as it is.

Just imagine if the only news(information) about Germany that Americans receives was from Der speigel or Stern, how Anti-German would Americans be?

Everytime the DEMs say that we are hated abroad, I know they are right. But they blame that condition on the President, but the truth is we are hated abroad because of the American MSM, which is the major source of information for all News services worldwide.

Change the bias in the US MSM and the German MSM will change, until then, websites such as this fill a vital role to try to keep some balance.

thanks for the great work

@wc
I do not agree with your perception that the german MSM is so negative about US because the american MSM is as well. The german MSM will alwys pick those things out of the american MSM that fits their view. The american MSM should be critical because that is their job and it is part of the democratic process. Off course they should only be critical about things which deserve to be critical about.

The job of any MSM is to report. Neutrally and fairly. The American MSM does not report without a bias. That is a fact.

It is not a part of the democratic process to be critical and biased. MSM should present the facts, without opinion. Then what happens after the facts are presented should have nothing to do with the MSM. There are other institutions and bodies for dealing with the facts.

My contention is that the German MSM get their stories from the MSM in the US, which naturally means the stories are biased from the start, from the source that is clearly biased. Then the German MSM filters that information through their own experiences and biases and creates a story, often lacking any understanding of the subject at hand.

For example - Just ask any German, including the MSM types, about what they know about the electoral college and you see what I mean. All they know it what the German MSM tells them (which is usually sourced from the NYT and other biased MSM sources), that the Electoral System is full of fraud and it is a bad system. They think the 2000 election was handed to President Bush by the Supreme Court because his family owns the supreme court and blood for oil and bla bla bla bla...repeating NYT propaganda they received translated via the German MSM...


But your last line is very profund and should be heeded:

"Off course they should only be critical about things which deserve to be critical about."

Excellent words of wisdom---

And they're supposed to know our history better than we do, and they can't explain why we have the EC?

A letter I received from a German friend. (And my response)

Dear XXXX,

isn't it about time for you and others to acknowledge that people like me were right in predicting that the Iraqi people are not fit for wester-style democracy, and that the naive notions of your government to "bring democracy" to the Middle East would lead into grave turmoil and ultimately into a quagmire?
I remember you talking (2 or even 3 years ago) about the "sunni triangle" as the only remaining trouble spot in Iraq, while the rest of the country was on its way to peace and reconstruction.

When will you finally admit that the world would be better off if your president had not started that war? I am not saying that the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam. But they are only part of the whole picture. Or do you still think the removal of a criminal tyrant such as Saddam was worth the consequences now suffered by so many?

Mit herzlichen Grüßen
K

Dear K,
You have asked some interesting questions that I think are understandable given the bias coverage that we are receiving from the Main Stream Medias in both the U.S.A. and Europe. My recent three weeks in France reading Le Figaro and watching TF1 and ARTE confirm the ubiquitous nature of the frightening orthodoxy and preferred PARTYLINE vision of progressive liberals worldwide.
Is anything ever all good or all bad? Or is their obsession, of Iraq being a 100% failure, and Bush being 100% wrong, indicative of a political agenda instead of an objective truth. But, since you are comfortable within the orthodoxy you accept their PARTY memes and assert their pre-selected talking points as if they were a fact or profoundly thoughtful observations.
For me, that fact should give you more cause for worry and question than any and all of the events taking place in Iraq. But, to address your points, no I am not ready to acknowledge being either naive or wrong.

I still don't buy into any of the notions, that are essentially talking points, you propose here. I know too much. Iraq has proven to be messy, but then giving birth always is. Who could have predicted the willingness of Iraqi to kill Iraqi? What happened to the much vaunted “Arab brotherhood” the “Arab street” that the Western media is still certain exists, when it suits them?
There was a large percentage of the world who felt that even the "western" German people, who in spite of their fundamental contributions to the concept of an organized liberal society, were in their souls such a martial group, predisposed to organized state violence that they were incapable of . . . "not ready for" (in your words) the subtleties and responsibilities of a democracy.
That thought is so blatantly racist. Those little brown Arab people are not capable of what their Western betters are? “Just look at their behavior!” “Just look at their history!” For Germany and the German people obviously and thankfully that was proven wrong, though over the strenuous objections of a multitude of disbelievers worldwide.
I have had, unsolicited, a fairly number of Europeans speak to me about how they still harbor a fear of Germany/ the Volk rising again, proving there are some still convinced that the “Ein volk” mentality lies just beneath the surface. Scratch a German and you get . . .

We do indeed have a nasty situation in Iraq and yes, the Bush administration has changed the primary rationale for overthrowing Hussein. However, let’s not forget that the ever changing storyline of the cynical “progressives” was how the Iraqi violence was a natural uprising against the "occupying" western coalition. Now that the violence is killing primarily Iraqi citizens, it is the “civil war” that everyone wants to claim in hindsight, they knew would happen, in advance. So to claim that this was “all predicted” is another fine example of perfect 20-20 vision in the rearview mirror.

The violence is still fundamentally former Iraqi Sunni ba'athists, former regime member’s from the Fedayeen and Republican guard, doing the training, equipping, funding, and orchestrating. The international face, except for the suicide bombers has been more and more marginalized.
The largest new factor adding to the spike in violence is the Shiite majority with their newly formed, (Iranian backed,) death squads, (some definitely functioning from within the new government) "balancing the scales" in their minds and taking revenge after 30 years of being terrorized by the Sunni minority.
The vast, vast majority of the violence is still in the 4 provinces known as the Sunni triangle. But how could you know that given the coverage of your media. If there is one bombing this year in Basra or Kirkuk, it will be the only time Der Spiegel or Die Welt will leave the Green Zone to cover those locations and they will play that one instance as "proof" that the violence is equally as bad there as it is daily in the Sunni triangle.
So as the Coalition tries to balance the Shiite and Sunni scales, while ensuring the Kurds aren’t tossed over in the process; you throw in Iranian mullah’s desire and mechanizations to see a totally Shiite dominated Iraq, or abject failure; and the Syrian dictatorship’s desire and mechanizations . . . for abject failure, and thinking people understand that the coalition is truly trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle. God bless them, they could use the help of good and right thinking people worldwide. (Why that excludes Germany baffles me)

“Is anything ever 100% bad” Have you seen any stories or a single story, on any positive developments or on the reconstruction? It is Orwellian reading the MSM worldwide and then debriefing our guys when they return from Iraq. It is as if they are talking about two completely different countries, and they are! My guys are talking about what they have seen in the real Iraq. The MSM has to send their bylines through the “progressive” editors in New York City and Washington DC. who have an agenda that requires any story on “Iraq” to fit into a specific meme and be filtered through the lense of the up coming elections, their obsessive Bush hatred, and their fervent desire that the dems regain their rightful control of the government.
Is it any wonder that it differs from the guys and the reality on the ground? And if 25 million Iraqis have to suffer for their liberal petulance . . . I guess it just sucks to be them,eh?

Are the three elections, and the Constitution, and the seating of the coalition government, and the reconstruction, the schools, the hospitals, the stock market, the oil fields, the businesses, and the polls showing 70+% of the Iraqis think their lives are getting better, merely the inconveniences they have to gloss over on their way to magnifying their preferred death, violence, and “Bush’s failure” storyline?
These are the same PARTY talking points that you asked. Iraq was hardly a peaceful place before the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The 400,000+ unidentified corpses unearthed by the coalition and the new Iraqi government so far attest to that fact. Granted, when the dictator Hussein was in power you did not have to watch it on your TV screen every night and now you do. Though you may miss the fact, it is a good sign. Like watching the race riots in France last fall or another season of the “Survivors” TV series in Germany, that is the blessing and curse of a free (or freer) society.
Perhaps blissful ignorance suffices for some as a definition of the word "peace." But there is a frightening lack of curiosity and discussion about the consequences of their positions, amongst those who claim to care, but are obviously more than comfortably numb with their preferred, reinforcing MSM storyline.

I would gently suggest that in spite of all the moaning and wailing of the left there is a strategy being executed. Perhaps it defies their abilities of comprehension, more likely it doesn’t fit into their political election cycle, but never the less it doesn’t mean one does not exist.
Incidentally the strategy has never changed. The talking points have. The methodology along the way has. Tactics as in all conflicts have adapted as necessary. But the fundamental end state hasn’t budged, no matter how loudly or how often Clinton, Carter, Dean, Pelosi or Reid say it has.
1. Mission Accomplished: 100% saddam and his regime were taken out in just shy of a month!!!
2. Rebuilding the government/ military/ police: 70 -75% Proceeding apace. (Approx 5 times faster than in Germany after WWII)
3. Rebuilding the infrastructure: 55% all systems are working at prewar levels or better. It would be tremendously helpful if that last 10% of the Sunni Iraqis cared about their country as much as they care about regaining power by destroying infrastructure.
4. Quelling the religious infighting: 50% + - This will require a predominantly Iraqi political solution. There are some folks in there who need to be killed, but the insurgency can only be stopped when there is buy in from all sides on the new Iraqi government. (50% is having all of the apparatus in place . . . )

Thus the coalition forces are there (and should be there as long as required) buying time for the Iraqi government until it gets itself together and starts functioning effectively, till enough of the Iraqi people believe in it enough that they will start turning on the insurgents in their midst, something that is already happening to a very large degree.
How long “progressives” suddenly demand? I don’t know! How many years have we been in the Balkans? How many years have we been in Cyprus? Germany? Japan? Why no deadlines on those commitments? Where did this sudden “need/ demand/ talking point” for a deadline come from?

The question that always comes to my mind, listening to the “glass half empty” crowd, the “it’s all Bush’s fault” critics, is . . . what was the alternative? In your letter you want me to “admit that the world would be better off if your president had not started that war?” though you obviously feel it is such a questionable statement that you immediately qualify it with, “I am not saying that the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam.” As if the two thoughts somehow worked together on any level. What a feeble attempt to square the circle of the obvious contradiction A little verbal cover for those who want their way but without being held responsible for the consequences.
You want so desperately for Bush to be wrong, but hey, you never said it was great under Saddam either so, if this whole Iraqi endeavor fails horribly and the vicious Sunni minority (or Shiite majority) murder their way back into absolute power, it’s not your fault . . . because you caveat yourself?
It will be “all Bush’s fault,” just like you all “predicted” and as I mock. The “progressive left worldwide certainly talked wished and worked very hard to create that impression. Will there be some gleeful hand clapping in here somewhere too? This is a cruel game played by those sitting safe, warm and well fed in the distance of the horrible reality they pretend concerns them. But with Islamic extremism rapidly spreading, the safe and warm places are all on the back of that alligator.

Unfortunately for Islam’s useful idiots in the west the Islamic extremists speak their truths on their websites. Bin Laden himself, Zawahiri and the late Zarquawi; call Iraq the main battle front in the Islamic jihad against the west. You know I think/ know they are all connected. I know you don’t. You can’t imagine how badly I wish that you were right.

My unhelpful but optimistic (not sorry, optimism is another one of those annoying Ami traits!) prediction is . . . These things take time? Embedding democracy on the European continent took over two hundred years, an endless number of small conflicts and two world wars. The unasked question is, “why should we think the Middle East will prove any less difficult?”
The obvious task for responsible nations is to hopefully bring the Middle East project to fruition without the additional world wars Europe required. Unfortunately, at this point most of old Europe is inexplicably working against that end state.
I think that the Arab world will prove, in the end, no less capable of democracy than did the “violent” Germans. The unfortunate and inconvenient reality, for us and our children’s, children’s, children . . . is that we appear to be on the leading edge of this transformation.

R/ Tyranno

Nice try Tyranno. Anyways, as for the "revelations" from David that it is evil German media that has this bias.

The top British General has said that Iraq is on the verge of entering a full scale civil war.

A top American General has said that Iraq is on the brink of civil war.

The Bush Administration has arranged meetings with outside experts and thinkers, in hope that they may help guide him on Iraq.

There have been more deaths from roadside bombs in the past month than during any other period since the start of the war.

And this is a success? Is Spiegel the only one calling it a failiure. I suggest you stop underestimating any of the dozen Germans who may browse this site, as they are probably aware of the fact that Media (except for Fox "News", a channel where anchors call women widowed due to 9/11 witches. THIS is News. THIS is not bias. THIS is not hatred, and disgraceful inhumanity and insensitivity) in the US is constantly under heavy criticism for being "biased" against the Bush administration. For being pessimistic.

According to you and the right, the Europeans, the European Media, the American Mainstream Media, all have a visual impairment that makes them see things as what they really are, to see reality. I think it is the lack of the protein Rose colored Glasses-ine. According to you, we should have our eyes surgically removed, so we can see better. And return to being optimists.

Also, just as an aside. Tyranno, your post raises a very interesting question.

Is the US then always for democracy and always against a dictatorship?

I ask you for a simple response, as simple as the question. The response should also be clear based on what you haved noted in your post.

Should.

@Tyranno

"I think that the Arab world will prove, in the end, no less capable of democracy than did the “violent” Germans. The unfortunate and inconvenient reality, for us and our children’s, children’s, children . . . is that we appear to be on the leading edge of this transformation."

Nice post, Tyranno. I hope you're right. One major difference between your post and the talking points of the defeatist left is that you actually attempt to analyze the situation, reviewing the facts as we know them, and basing your arguments on those facts. Maybe your analysis is right, and maybe it isn’t. Any one of the points you make could certainly be debated. However, the defeatists can’t be bothered with such debates. They have already made up their minds what the “reality” will be before they ever start looking at the facts. “Analysis” for them consists of gathering whatever negative information they can get their hands on, fake or real, ignoring any positive information they run across in the process, and then spouting it forth to “prove” their already foregone conclusions. In this case, the “reality” they have been trying to peddle since day one is that the war is a terrible, unmitigated disaster, a quagmire, a hopeless catastrophe, a debacle. Anyone who doesn’t swallow this “analysis” whole and suggests, no matter how faintly, and no matter with how many reservations, that the situation might not, after all, be completely, utterly, irremediably hopeless, is shouted down for “seeing the world through rose colored glasses.”

I had my reservations about getting into this war in the first place. One of the reasons was my firsthand experience with the same prophets of doom during the Vietnam era. Their prophecies then were self-fulfilling. It wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine the same thing happening again. Now we can see it happening before our eyes, and, unfortunately, it seems that a large segment of the US population can be just as easily panicked now as they were then. Indeed, many of the people who were most eager to get us into the war to begin with are now among the most prominent of the defeatists. Their talking points are becoming identical to those of the pacifist left, except for the fact that they always feed us some version of the “Our leaders were incompetent!” line to rationalize their apparent about face.

If you think about it, the conclusion that the situation is “utterly hopeless” is ridiculous. Our mission, it seems to me, was to eliminate Saddam and leave when a representative government was in place that had the resources to defend itself against its internal foes. Why we should now conclude that this is “impossible” is beyond me. Now, it seems, we must establish a perfect, model democracy or we will have been “defeated.” It’s a cautionary tale. The western democracies may have superlative weaponry, but their populations do not have the tenacity of religious fanatics. We must keep that in mind the next time we are weighing war and peace in the balance.

That's true, Helian. If a civil War breaks out, and if hundereds die from roadside bombs within 2 weeks, that doesn't mean the War has failed. I mean, Saddam is out, and now we have all the advantages of a democracy, like you know, the right to vote and be blown up in the process.

Also, Helian, your diatribe has no substance.

"...the facts as we know them..."

Do you deny the facts mentioned above? These are also "facts as we know them." Pehaps not "facts as we like them" - but facts nonetheless. Save your lectures for people who will people who will believe anything, such as those that call this catastrophe a success. (And this doesn't include your beloved generals, by the way.)

Also, I would love if anyone would answer the question I posed to Tyranno.

This should be fun!

" leave when a representative government was in place that had the resources to defend itself against its internal foes. Why we should now conclude that this is “impossible” is beyond me"

Because even thousands of highly trained and heavily armed troops of the Worlds largest military power cannot defend Iraq against the foes. That's why.

@ Proletarian,

Can you name any nation in human history that has always been for democracy and never for dictatorships? Just look at Germany's trading partners for your complete catalog of dictatorships. Your "challenge" is nothing more than an absurd strawman with which you are weakly attempting to seize the moral high ground. As a famous man once said: The United States is the worst nation on earth, except when compared with all others.

Now, you seem to imply that because Tyranno disagrees that Iraq is a failure that he therefore believes it is an absolute success. But we can see that Tyranno sees that Iraq is far from an absolute success and much remains to be done. Accusing him of having rose-colored glasses on is ridiculous. If you know your history, you also know that it took decades to rebuild and turn Germany into the unified democracy that it is today. Also remember that more civilians died in one day of bombing in Dresden than have died in all of Iraq since 2003. So does that make the removal of Hitler a horrible, indefensible catastrophe as well? The United States lost 19,000 killed in a few weeks in the Battle of the Bulge alone. Was taking Hitler out a massive debacle? Learn your history, get some perspective and then answer that one...

Additionally, the last time I checked, the US has been killing Iraq's foes by the scores. Remember that fellow Al-Zarqawi? It's just that the media rarely mentions those facts because that might give the impression that we are actually winning the battle. You seem to think that because Iraq is not an instant-democracy and at total peace that we should abandon the nation to complete chaos and terror. That doesn't sound like a very good idea to most rational people and I'm pretty sure you don't have any realistic alternatives.

Your great quote "As a famous man once said: The United States is the worst nation on earth, except when compared with all others" is just that, a quote. I have another quote "The United States is the worst nation on Earth." Like it?

Can you name any nation in human history that has always been for democracy and never for dictatorships? Just look at Germany's trading partners for your complete catalog of dictatorships. Your "challenge" is nothing more than an absurd strawman with which you are weakly attempting to seize the moral high ground.

How is this a strawman, RayD? The Americans and you seem to be hell-bent on convincing people that the US is a champion of the people, and fights to liberate people from their dictators. That the US is against totalitarian dictatorships. So you are the one who has to step down from his pedestal of straw. You are the one who will have to concede the fact that sometime the US is for dictatorships, and sometimes it isn't, according to what is in its self interest. No "the US is out to help people and is for free societies or democratic causes." You have basically admitted this yourself, which is truly wonderful. Could you yell it out please. THE US IS NOT FOR FREE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES.

"If you know your history, you also know that it took decades to rebuild and turn Germany into the unified democracy that it is today"

Perhaps RayD, you should read some of those history books you mentioned and have clearly never cracked open yourself. Again, this doesn't really surprise me. 4 years after the invasion of Germany, there might have been problems, sure, but there were no Allied generals saying that Germany is on the verge of a civil war. The Germans were not killing their own civilians by the hundreds. The Germans were not killing German security forces, German police, German voters, German public workers. 4 years after the invasion of Germany you did not have the allies having meeting with outsider to discuss what they should do with the catastrophe that is West Germany.

"Remember that fellow Al-Zarqawi?"

Yes, and we have seen how effective this was. It was in the month that followed that the casualties due to roadside bombs has been at its highest level since the start of the War. Killing scores of foes is fine, when it achieves something other than grabbing news headlines.

@Proletarian
"Your great quote "As a famous man once said: The United States is the worst nation on earth, except when compared with all others" is just that, a quote. I have another quote "The United States is the worst nation on Earth." Like it?"
Wow, proletarian, you can make quotes! I am amazed, but it seems that you didn't get the point what RayD was trying to say. If you start arguing that the US is not qualified to do anything good because of some bad things done in the past this leaves us with only one conclussion: No country in this world should try to do anything good in this world anymore. Does this quote remind you of something: "Thou without sin shall throw the first stone..."

Nobody here is trying to convince anyone that the US is the champion of the world. This whole blog is to try to put some sense back in to some people not to believe that the US is the "big satan" of this world.

"The Germans were not killing their own civilians by the hundreds. The Germans were not killing German security forces, German police, German voters, German public workers. 4 years after the invasion of Germany you did not have the allies having meeting with outsider to discuss what they should do with the catastrophe that is West Germany."
So you just made a point for all those who say it is not so bad in Iraq because even though the germans were not trying hard to sabotage everything and kill each other it still took quite some time to get them back to pre war levels.

Well if you want to talk about facts considering casualties in Iraq why don't you have a look at the overall casualty figures in Iraq for this year? Funny looks like the casualties so far are smaller compared to the year before (see here http://icasualties.org/oif/ ).
BTW where do you get this quote "the casualties due to roadside bombs has been at its highest level since the start of the War" from?

@garydausz, RayD

It doesn't really make much sense to play "straight man" for the Proletarians of the world. Hatred of the US is their whole life. They wade through sewers of anti-American feces all day long sucking up the choicest pieces so they can spew them out on Internet forums. They have no life outside of their hate. Debating them is pointless. You simply set them up for their next propaganda slogan, and they have thousands of them. Remember, it's their whole life. It's like playing "Hit the Mole" at Chucky Cheese. Debating them makes as much sense as debating the 911 conspiracy nuts, or people who think the world was created 6000 years ago, or people who think the moon landing was staged in Hollywood. These people never think. They just feed their obsession. If Proletarian wants to hate the US, fine. Let him take a number. Just don't encourage him to stage his ostentatious displays of public morality here on Medienkritik. That's what the Spiegel forums are for.

@ Proletarian:

" The Germans were not killing their own civilians by the hundreds."

Actually they were. Ever heard of the Holocaust? Tell me more about ignorance of history! A lot of the people gassed in those camps were actually German citizens (until the Nazis stripped them of their rights and murdered them of course.) The SS would summarily execute (by shooting or hanging from the nearest tree) anyone thinking of surrender in 1945. As far as Germany goes, it took decades to rebuild and yes, there was a little meeting to discuss what to do in West Germany called the Marshall Plan. In the East, on the other hand, there was no Marshall Plan, there was something called the Berlin uprising in 1953 and the Berlin Wall in 1961. (You know, that protective barrier to keep out all of the evil American capitalists rushing to get into the Socialist paradise that was eastern Europe during the Cold war.)

"The Americans and you seem to be hell-bent on convincing people that the US is a champion of the people, and fights to liberate people from their dictators. That the US is against totalitarian dictatorships."

The historic fact is that the United States has repeatedly fought to liberate people from dictatorship. World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq are all examples. Does that mean that the United States is perfect and never makes mistakes? No. Does that mean that the United States has never wrongly supported a dictator or oppressor? Absolutely not. It just means that, when compared with all other nations, the United States has liberated and empowered more people on this planet than anyone else in recent history. You seem to think that only a perfect nation is a good nation. You hold the United States to a standard that no nation can satisfy. I hate to disappoint you but there are no perfect nations. I know that our website really, REALLY bothers you deep down. Maybe you should ask yourself why...

Sorry we are off topic on the "bias in the German media" however in response to the postings...

Prole posts: "Nice try Tyranno. Anyways...."

The proles responds with the usual suspects, a fistful of freefloating factoids, none of which is a response to any of the questions posed. He dismisses my opinion on Iraq, dismisses Ray's opinion on the German medias, dismisses any opinion differing from his own.
Like any first year know-it-all college kid the prole can point out endlessly everything that is wrong . . . but offers no solutions! He obviously didn't come to debate but instead to use the site as a platform to swing his dull blunt club of emotionally righteous certitude.

The Prole asks, "This is success?" Well, are you talking about tactical military success? Or are you talking about strategic political success? Or the usual PR success afforded by the western mainstreamedias? What I see in Iraq is success, muddy, messy, bloody, babystep... success. You tell me what success in Iraq should look like, and compared to what historical precedence?

You anecdotally mentioned IEDs so lets assume you mean tactical success. I can post a variety of statistics that thinking people will say shows improvement and success. After 4 years of war we are approaching the number killed in one fateful second on Sept 11th. The #s of Coalition dead/wounded declining. The vehicle and foot patrols increasing in and around Baghdad. The #s of police and military academy graduates increasing. The number of operations executed on intelligence provided by Iraqi citizens increasing. Etc...

The "number of IEDs," in the manner you bring it up, is another irrelevent freefloating meaningless factoid. Tangible effects are relevant. What have the IEDs accomplished? Who are they killing? To what effect? What policy(s) have they forced to change? How have they changed what the coalition is doing tactically? What is the positive "gain" to the terrorists?
I am amused listening to people who insist that what they know, have read, (what they have selected to support their preconceived notion,) is more true than my day to day experiences, what I do for a living.

The prole asks, "Is the US then always for democracy and always against a dictatorship?" And my response is, are you saying that "because we can't do everything everywhere, we shouldn't do anything anywhere?"

Read President Bush's speech in Whitehall, London Nov 2003. (an excerpt here)

- - - - - - -
"Perhaps the most helpful change we can make is to change in our own thinking. In the West, there's been a certain skepticism about the capacity or even the desire of Middle Eastern peoples for self-government. We're told that Islam is somehow inconsistent with a democratic culture. Yet more than half of the world's Muslims are today contributing citizens in democratic societies. It is suggested that the poor, in their daily struggles, care little for self-government. Yet the poor, especially, need the power of democracy to defend themselves against corrupt elites.

We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine, in the past, have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. Longstanding ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites. Yet this bargain did not bring stability or make us safe. It merely bought time, while problems festered and ideologies of violence took hold.

As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found.

Now we're pursuing a different course, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. We will consistently challenge the enemies of reform and confront the allies of terror. We will expect a higher standard from our friends in the region, and we will meet our responsibilities in Afghanistan and in Iraq by finishing the work of democracy we have begun."
- - - - - - -

I repeat;
"We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine, in the past, have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. Longstanding ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites. Yet this bargain did not bring stability or make us safe. It merely bought time, while problems festered and ideologies of violence took hold."

This is historic. It is the complete refutation of the previous 60 years of U.S. foreign policy. How odd that as American foreign policy seemed to move in their direction, people in the west who call themselves liberal, out of their obsessive hatred for a man, would find fault with that. Now, perversely, many of these people find themselves arguing that "perhaps things weren't so bad under Saddam Hussein. (Though from the well fed and warm, safety of the West!)

One of my own favorite free floating factoids that I think is applicable in these times of
"Bush's War!" "War for Oil!" "Quagmire/failure," "no strategy!" is, "Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, so President Roosevelt declared war on Germany and invaded North Africa!"

With that in mind, when I look at Iraq I think that maybe, just maybe, there are things going on in this world, long range planing being done, and long term strategies being executed, that politicians with an eye only on the next election cycle, and boobs like the Prole couldn't understand if it walked up and punched them in the face.

In summary, I must say, not a bad policy for a man with no policy. Just like the Iraqi strategy I spoke of in my original post, not bad for a man without an Iraqi strategy. These days the fact is, you just have to be willing to overlook so much to make any sense of the opinions or political positions of the modern progressive liberal.


R/ Tyranno

The prole pontificates some more:

"That's true, Helian. If a civil War breaks out, and if hundereds die from roadside bombs within 2 weeks, that doesn't mean the War has failed. I mean, Saddam is out, and now we have all the advantages of a democracy, like you know, the right to vote and be blown up in the process."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

HHHhhhmmmm. . . let's see, even with the very tangible threat of getting murdered for voting ~ approximately 70% of the Iraqi people felt that exercising their privilege to vote was important enough to take that risk.

So I am confused by your profundity. Is your point:

1. Death in war equates to failure?

2. Two weeks of IED/ VBIEDs equates to failure?

3. Saddam's overthrow wasn't a good thing?

4. There are no advantages to democracy?

5. Representative government isn't better than a criminal dictatorship?

6. The right to vote shouldn't be extended to anyone who criminals threaten to kill?


What the F%^k are you talking about/ arguing for here?

Do you think about what you are saying before you post ??? Or are you just so gleeful with your own cleverness (you are too ~ just ask yourself!) that you can't keep your finger off the send button?

Or is the simple answer (earlier you asked for simple answers) that, You really are the boob I suspect you are.

Tyranno

PS: Ok enough wasted time!

Ray D, your ignorance is truly mind boggling.

"Actually they were. Ever heard of the Holocaust? Tell me more about ignorance of history!"

I mentioned Germans killing hundreds of Germans after the removal of the Nazis. I think you really need to buy some real history books, not those fact-light American books you must be reading, if you think the Holocaust occurred after the removal of the Nazis. That is just the single funniest, and stupidest thing, I have ever heard.

This would compare to the thousands that have been killed in the years since Saddam has been removed.

Next absurdity:

"As far as Germany goes, it took decades to rebuild and yes, there was a little meeting to discuss what to do in West Germany called the Marshall Plan"

The Marshall Plan was not born out of despair, the way Bush's meetings with outside experts and analysts are. Comparing the Marshall Plan (of which you are aware, you bright mind you!) to the meetings of Bush in the current situation takes you even lower on the intelligence ladder than your statements that the Holocaust occurred after the removal of the Nazis.

The point is, after the defeat of the Nazis, W. Germany presented none of the problems that Iraq is presenting right now.

"It just means that, when compared with all other nations, the United States has liberated and empowered more people on this planet than anyone else in recent history. "

And also killed more people and interfered in more peoples affair than any non-dictatorial regime in history. The US is FAR from perfect Ray, quite the opposite. It is close to criminal.

@Tyranno:

" can post a variety of statistics that thinking people will say shows improvement and success. "

Wow, really? Amazing. What the Republicon fails to realise is that I also can post a variety of statistics that thinking people will say shows degredation, loss of life, and decreased security. The number of public workers killed or maimed for life by suicide bombers. The numbers of Police recruits killed while they are signing up. The numbers of innocents taken hostage, executed, then dumped in warehouses. The number of insurgents who sign up for police duty and then terrorise the civilian population using weapons supplied by the Iraqi Govt. The number of innocent worshipers killed during their prayers. Etc etc. Tactical success. Perhaps when you are not one of the thousands of Iraqis that have been killed.

"The "number of IEDs," in the manner you bring it up, is another irrelevent freefloating meaningless factoid. Tangible effects are relevant. What have the IEDs accomplished? Who are they killing? To what effect?"

Do YOU even think about what you write before you write it? Do you fall down a lot, walk into signposts, that kind of thing? Who are they killing? You mean as long as they aren't killing American troops its not TANGIBLE? You really are a sick human being, and I don't know if you even deserve that title. To what effect? To the effect that the citizens of the country are still being blown into smithereens four years after this great success. That's the effect, a**hole. Even if the troops don't change their strategy, these lives matter just as much as those of American troops, or yours.

"And my response is, are you saying that "because we can't do everything everywhere, we shouldn't do anything anywhere?"

Wow, you just keep lowering the bar, don't you? I apologise, I had no idea of your inability to comprehend simple statements. I'm not talking about not acting, I'm talking about SUPPORTING a dictatorship. You apparently don't know the difference between not acting to remove a dictatorship, or actually supporting one, or helping to remove a democratically elected leader whose policies you do not agree with, and replacing him with a dictator. Or supporting dictators whose policies are in alignment with current administration policies.

Which basically debunks Bush's speech. It is not a matter of not being able to help all people enjoy democracy, it is about choosing some who should enjoy it, and others who should NOT enjoy it. This flies in the face of choosing democracy over stability, as is the case with Kazakhstan, to name one example. And then there is the issue of whether the Americans are satisfied with the results of completely legal and democratic elections, such as those in Palestine which brought Hamas sweeping into power.

"Two weeks of IED/ VBIEDs equates to failure?"

Have you been living under a rock for the past few years? Two weeks!?!?

"Representative government isn't better than a criminal dictatorship?"

Well, as I mentioned above, obviously not always, at least to the Bush Admin.

What the f*** was YOUR point, Tyranno?

Whack the mole, wrestle the pig, bother with a prole . . . Enough time wasted.

Tyranno

'We Get a Lot of Smiles and Waves' (http://www.abcnews.go.com/WNT/IraqCoverage/story?id=2344042)

"Military Stryker vehicles saturating Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods have been credited with what Iraqi authorities say is a 30 percent drop in violence in the city since the deployment of 5,000 additional U.S. troops to the region," ABC News reports from the Iraqi capital:

While U.S. figures show a 22 percent drop in violence, either way, its good news for the troops.
"It's been great. We get a lot of smiles and waves," said Lt. Patrick Paterson of the 114th Cavalry.

One of the most dramatic changes has occurred in the Dora neighborhood. In July up to 20 people were killed in the area every day. As part of this new military effort, U.S. and Iraqi troops have been searching thousands of buildings in an effort to stop car bombs. . . .

And there are signs it's working. During 14 days of patrols in Dora, there has been just one killing.

We look forward to hearing Rep. John Murtha, the Democrats' leading military strategist, explain how this could be better done from Okinawa. And let us know when this piece of good news makes it into DER SPIEGEL.

@ Tyranno,

You are right. Why wrestle with a pig. OK. Let's talk about after World War II. I guess Proletarian has never heard of the hundreds of German citizens shot by German citizens at the anti-capitalist protection wall. He's probably never heard of the thousands imprisoned.

"4 years after the invasion of Germany...

The invasion of Germany? I'm not so used to seeing the word invasion used in that context. Sorry, in my history books it is called occupation and liberation. Germany was the one that invaded Poland, France, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Greece, the Soviet Union and just a few other nations.

As far as W. Germany not posing any problems "AFTER" the war. Well, I guess we should have carpet bombed Iraq, destroyed the infrastructure, levelled the cities and killed a few million civilians (and lost over a hundred-thousand troops) there as well before we occupied it and then things would have been nice and quiet. It's just too bad that we don't emply the Soviet approach to occupation anymore...

And by the way: Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't most of the civilians killed since Saddam's removal been victims of someone other than the United States? The last time I checked American soldiers were not planting IED's or doing suicide bombings.

Apparently the "Prol." has picked up a perfect handle, one point for him.
He is just Googling, coming up with events and posting them. He has never proposed any solutions to any probl;em.
@ Proletarian,
Do you have any idea about what the Marshal plan entailed? It does go much further than most people think. Today, Germany still benefits greatly from that development.
However, I must agree with you totally when it comes to those "evil" Amis.
Get all troops out of Germany.

Close or have the Government take over all those "Evil" capitalistic American companies that only enslave the poor German workers who only want their right to work a long 30 hour weekly shift at high wages.

Sever all relationships with the evil Empire.


Enslave those uncultured Yankees and teach them ethics and moral behaviour that can only be found in the descendents of the Master Race.

Assist any Nation covertly who aspires to eliminate this criminal regime. (Supply Iran with centrifuges, Build bunkers to hide their equipment and weapons, etc.)

Talk incessantly and pretend it is diplomacy.

I could go on, but for the Bandwith it would take.

Lastly, Keep burying your head in the sand.

There is a saying: Most American would be willing to die for their country. Having said that, most Germans would whine about theirs.

Proletarian: "Is the US then always for democracy and always against a dictatorship?

I ask you for a simple response, as simple as the question. The response should also be clear based on what you haved noted in your post."

Prole... A simple answer you requested: The US government is and has always done what, at any given time, is determined to be in US interests. The US government is NOT psychic and sometimes makes mistakes. But they DO do what is, at the time, determined to be in our country's best interests. Just as your own government should be doing. If your government is NOT doing what is determined to be in your country's best interests, I suggest that you throw the bums out and elect someone who WILL.

"takes you even lower on the intelligence ladder than"

"Do YOU even think about what you write before you write it?"

"Do you fall down a lot, walk into signposts, that kind of thing?"

" You really are a sick human being, and I don't know if you even deserve that title."

"I had no idea of your inability to comprehend simple statements."

And now the final statement:

"Wow, you just keep lowering the bar, don't you?"

I think, that's funny! ;)

"takes you even lower on the intelligence ladder than"

"Do YOU even think about what you write before you write it?"

"Do you fall down a lot, walk into signposts, that kind of thing?"

" You really are a sick human being, and I don't know if you even deserve that title."

"I had no idea of your inability to comprehend simple statements."

And now the final statement:

"Wow, you just keep lowering the bar, don't you?"

I think, that's funny! ;)

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