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I actually sent an email about Luetgert's comment to Ray a few of hours ago, because--believe it or not--I agree that it is blatantly anti-American and incredibly stupid. Yet to be fair, I don't know a single person who thinks Luetgert's comment was fairly balanced, let alone acceptable. As a matter of fact, I had a couple of German colleagues tell me that they wrote an email to NDR this morning, voicing their strong disapproval. Cf. also the criticism published by the Handelsblatt today:

http://www.handelsblatt.com/news/Default.aspx?_p=204051&_t=ft&_b=1134462

We should be honest: Lütgert's opinion is totally mainstream. But it is shocking to hear this in the TAGESSCHAU. This is worse than Ulrich Wickert. The world did not start on 9-11-2001. This terror attack is the result of too many years of appeasement and sleeping and ignoring. Lütgert has the same simple world view as Schröder. Now the Merkel bashing has started. I hope she is strong enough for that. Tagesschau - where did you go? Where will you go?

It is shocking that the Tagesschau does not realize how deep it fell.

HANDELSBLATT, Mittwoch, 13. September 2006, 05:00 Uhr
Fernsehen

Durchgeknalltes Weltbild
Von Bernd Ziesemer

Normalerweise verlieren wir an dieser Stelle kein Wort mehr über die Merkwürdigkeiten des deutschen Fernsehbetriebs.

Doch die „Tagesthemen“ im ersten Programm zwingen uns, eine Ausnahme von dieser eisernen Regel des intellektuellen Selbstschutzes zu machen. Was dem NDR-Journalisten Christoph Lütgert Montagnacht ausgerechnet zum Jahrestag von 9/11 einfiel, war in seiner perfiden Dümmlichkeit kaum noch zu überbieten.

Als Kommentator der wichtigsten deutschen Nachrichtensendung verstieg sich dieser antiamerikanische Überzeugungstäter zu der Behauptung, George W. Bush sei nichts anderes als ein „Erfüllungsgehilfe bin Ladens“. Die Folgen seiner Außenpolitik seien viel schlimmer als die terroristischen Verbrechen der Islamisten selbst. Sogar für den Libanon-Konflikt trage der US-Präsident die Verantwortung, da er schließlich für eine „Radikalisierung der arabischen Welt“ gesorgt habe. Bush sei schlicht „unselig und unsäglich“.

Nun kann man sicherlich über die amerikanische Strategie gegen den islamistischen Terror streiten. Bush und sein innerer Kreis tragen die Verantwortung für sehr viele außenpolitische Fehler. Und im Zuge des „war on terror“ sind, wie leider in jedem Krieg, auch Verbrechen geschehen, die nicht hätten geschehen dürfen. Aber um Bush mit bin Laden auf eine Stufe zu stellen, muss man schon über ein ziemlich durchgeknalltes Weltbild verfügen.

Bekanntlich bombte und mordete bin Laden, schon lange bevor Bush im Amt war. Die Hisbollah im Libanon beschießt israelische Städte seit vielen Jahren immer wieder mit Raketen. Und die palästinensischen Selbstmordkommandos gab es auch schon vor dem 11. September 2001. Aber was scheren Kommentatoren vom Schlag Lütgert schon die Fakten?

@tibor, gibt es den Kommentar auch online?

@Gabi:

http://www.handelsblatt.com/news/Default.aspx?_p=204051&_t=ft&_b=1134462

Luetgert is "totally mainstream?" I disagree. That's why I posted the link supra already. Not only is Ziesemer's comment spot on, it also demonstrates that not all of the German media is as biased as Luetgert is. Luetgert certainly has a history of anti-American statements, however, as far as I can recall, each one has been followed by public (and published) criticism, e.g., by Josef Nyary in the Welt am Sonntag.

@tibor,

I wish you were right but I am afraid, you are not. But there (here) is still hope. :-)

Thank you for the url. I couldn't find it.

Hab das ding mal bei youtube reingestellt

auf meiner blogseite

www.wacht-am-rhein.blogspot.com habe ich mir vorgenommen den gesamten israel libanon konflikt zu untersuchen. aber dieser kommentar ist bisher leider der gipfel

Wow, this guy must REALLY be an expert. Up until reading this I had absolutely no idea that the neo-conservatives and bin Laden wanted the same thing. That Bush was a willing marionette and all, I remember reading that, uhm, let me see, three or four thousand times before. But this new neo-conservative-bin-Laden axis of evil thang is absoultely revolutionary! Isn't it?

"Intifada im Klassenzimmer" - watch and listen what those teenage actors say. Politicians are supporting it like they did with "Paradise Now". They don't realize what is wrong with the message of such projects. That is the problem. They compare Israel with Nazi Deutschland and feel fine. You can't fight Anti-Semitism when you don't understand it and don't know that yourself are part of the problem.

http://www.juedische.at/TCgi/_v2/TCgi.cgi?target=home&Param_Kat=16&Param_RB=&Param_Red=6372 It is in German:

"Bilder aus Vernichtungslagern sowie aus Guantanamo werden auf eine Leinwand hinter der Bühne projiziert und deutliche Analogien zu der Situation von Muslimen und Arabern in Deutschland suggeriert. Sätze wie „Panzer im heiligen Land, dann sprengen sich die Menschen in die Luft“ oder „Ich bin für die Befreiung Palästinas“ (wobei zu Beginn darauf hingewiesen wird, dass mit Palästina Israel gemeint ist), fallen dabei.

Terrorismus wird hingegen verharmlost: „Ja, bin für den irakischen Widerstand und ja, ich bin gegen die US-Herrschaft, ja ich würde lieber kiffen im Kanzleramt. Ja, mein Vater war bei der Hizbollah, aber nein, ich bin kein Terrorist, ... Der größte Terrorist, das bist doch Du.“


We should really worry when the TAGESSCHAU has such an unbelievable commentary. Of course, most of the people will support it. Even the TAGESSCHAU is saying it now, so they are on the right side.

Ahmed Shah let his actors say: "Panzer im heiligen Land, dann sprengen sich die Menschen in die Luft."

Just the same world view as Lütgert: Bush caused the terror. Here it is Israel. They see suicide bombers as product of Israels politics.

In a way crazy Lütgert is correct. The neo-cons, Jews, Bush, America, the Anglos have made the world more dangerous. Especially from the spiritual worldview of passive, depressed, future and change fearing people who populate the left. If only Bush had been a good little Stockholm syndrome (funny this came out of Europe’s most socialist nation, eh?) leader. But Bush didn’t, nor did America, England, Australia, and Poland. Nor will America. We still have a lot of working class backbone. Long, difficult, dangerous tasks are still in our social memory. Conquering the North American wilderness, building a super economy, fighting and winning the largest world war in history, defeating the Soviets through decades of cold war. And what, people thought we would be passive? Hello? What kind of experts are these? And they blame a handful of ex commie Jews? Like, we didn’t like a fight before these Jews cut their hair, put on suits and got real jobs? Hello, anyone home in your skull Mr. Lutgert?

So, America and its friends are on the prowl, slowly, badly at first. But picking up speed and skill. And the leftist and Europe thinks Europe is going to coming out of this well? For over a hundred years America has come to the aid of Europe and now Europe at it’s most populace, wealthiest, with mortal enemies with in every city and town …and is going to wait this one out?

There are reports of the Islamists getting nuclear weapons or a dirty bomb,at least. And where do you think they can get the most effect? In the US which is in a committed war and would only become more unified, or in a weak, elderly, leftist, fence sitting Europe? Goodbye Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin. I think if one went off in Warsaw, Europe would be happy.

To paraphrase Trotsky, “European leftist might not be interested in Islamic Jihad, but Jihad is interested in Europe.”

Gabi,

"..Bush caused the terror. Here it is Israel. They see suicide bombers as product of Israels politics."

This is the same as people who say that the girl was asking to be raped and therefore it is her fault. Come to think of it, this is a prevalent Muslim notion towards their women, daughters, wives, and western women....

Leftist and Islam, united in sickness.

Every time I see crap like this reported in Germany, I thank myself that I refuse to pay their mandatory TV tax. To think that my money would go to twats like Christoph Lütger...

I thank myself that I refuse to pay their mandatory TV tax. To think that my money would go to twats like Christoph Lütger...

Soon, even if you don't have a TV or radio, you will have to pay the tax if you have a computer connected to the internet. Wouldn't it be great if the German politicians used their power in ways that would benefit the German economy and people, rather than promoting new ways to tax the people?

“Roosevelt was primarily responsible for making the geopolitical consequences of December 7, 1941 worse than the catastrophe itself.” Not like Hitler, who did not over-react when he burned the Reichstag down. Thank goodness that even though the Germans started WWII, they didn’t make the geopolitical consequences of February 27, 1933 worse than the catastrophe itself.

These are the people, along with the French, that we were supposed to get permission from before enforcing the UN resolutions against Saddam?

A German lecturing Americans on freedom. There's an old American expression that's appropos to the German: ESAD.

Unselig und unsaeglich ist allein dieser NDR-Kommentator. Warum erinnert der Typ mich an Julius Streicher?

Mr. Luetgert might even be right in a way. Not that I agree to him, but has the world become a safer place due to the american invasions?
Maybe the american policy should not have been such an ideological one. It is easy to gain support for terrorists when those who want to spread human rights get media attention on cases like guantanamo or abu graib.

The people in the arabian world don`t want to listen. Just look at the european colonial history in these countries. It worked only because they always knew what happens when they revolt. Rather than the language of ideology, it is the language of the stick they understand.

Also, rather than crushing existing power structures like the americans did in iraq, you need to rely upon them. Otherwise your result will be the chaos we can see now.

Hi,
I'd like to point out that there's a number of errors in the translation, some at important points. While I agree that Luetgerts comment as such is pompous, pathetic & nuts, there is a number of correct observations in it. Some of those are lost in translation (or editing). My changes in capitals:

"[...] neo-cons in the USA, and at the same time AS RESULT [or: by effect. German: "im Effekt"] a help in fulfilling the objectives of the terror godfather bin Laden."
There's a difference between just "helping" and intending to do something good, bungling it and as result helping to fulfill at least one of Bin Ladens objectives - to widen the gap between the Islamic and the "Western" world.

"... recent Lebanon war would not have been thinkable without the Bush inspired radicalization of the Islamic world,..."
Luetgerts idea that Bush might be directly and primarily causing this new, "hot phase" of the mid-east conflict is plain wrong, there's much more to it. However, the more accurate translation "radicalization of the Islamic world BEING FUELED BY Bush" in itself is correct.

"As time increasingly passes, the accomplishments of [...], which distanced itself [...]"
My version: "As more time passes by, the former Red-Green governments merit in distancing itself from [...]"
Luetgert says that the distancing IS the accomplishment.

By the way, did you notice Luetgerts french pronounciation of "Distanz" (or rather "Distance")? That's what I meant by pompous. You could call it "wanna-be intellectual" or plain condescending.

So Luetgert takes some lonely facts, mashes them up, adds lots of ideology - and is allowed to "lecture" this on the "tagesthemen". I agree with tibor that this is not mainstream, but to see something like that on the once-flagship of germam news shows frightens me.

@Dave:
"The people in the arabian world don`t want to listen. [...] Rather than the language of ideology, it is the language of the stick they understand."

You are aware that this is racism at it's finest?

@Felix:

I simply wanted to point out existing cultural differences. 1000 years ago, we europeans were no different from the arabs. Europe was not civilized by ignorant barbarians and farmers, but by the nobility and the church which taught its subjects. Individual rights for everyone only make sense once a people becomes enlightened. As long as the people are caught in the grip of religion, they need guidance. To counter wrongdoing, guidance includes punishment.

@Carl Spackler
Long, difficult, dangerous tasks are still in our social memory. Conquering the North American wilderness, building a super economy, fighting and winning the largest world war in history, defeating the Soviets through decades of cold war. And what, people thought we would be passive? Hello? What kind of experts are these? And they blame a handful of ex commie Jews? Like, we didn’t like a fight before these Jews cut their hair, put on suits and got real jobs? Hello, anyone home in your skull Mr. Lutgert?

Marry me.

For some reason I can't trackback to this post. So here is the link to my take on Luetgert:
Tagesthemen on 9/11: Harsh Criticism Based on Lack of Understanding

I also comment on Medienkritik's apparent "Schroeder Derangement Syndrom", which IMHO does not help their reputation, but in effect makes their valid criticism of the German media less credible for many Germans unfortunately.

Medienkritik's apparent "Schroeder Derangement Syndrom"

Jorg at Work. So, the problem, again, is Medienkritik.

Schröder's utterly disgaceful attitude towards America created a divide, which is still felt and will be felt for a long time to come. His style was not something that was contained within the arena of German politics. Without any exaggerations, his conduct had historical repercussions on the US-German relations.

Schröder, the man, was a pigmy, a failed politician. Nobody would remember him if it weren't for the long-term disastrous effect of his policies on the US-German relations.

However, should anyone point this out, he or she is obsessed with Schröder (in Jorg's mind). It doesn't matter that his unhealthy "legacy" is still around. The only thing that matters is that he is gone (fortunately), so no one should talk about him anymore. (OK, once or twice a year is allowed).

Jorg, people will keep talking about Schröder. The one and only reason for that is the unparalleled depths to which he has drawn the political discourse in Germany and subsequently the relations with America.

@ WhatDoIKnow

Yawn!

Perhaps you could explain why Luetgert qualifies as "another of the German media's Schroeder-lapdogs"...?

"So, the problem, again, is Medienkritik."

No, I explained that Medienkritik could be even more successful in Germany, if it would not give reason to believe that that they still suffer from Schroeder Derangement Syndrome. How can you make any credible criticism of Bush Derangement Syndrome in the German media, if you show strong signs of Schroeder Derangement Syndrom?
You should not complain about Bush Derangement Syndrome, because due to your understanding of derangement syndrome one could replace Schroeder with Bush in everything you write. Difference: Bush is still in power. Schroeder isn't.
You are contradicting yourself, but WhatDoYouKnow?

Jorg

Yawn!
........
You are contradicting yourself, but WhatDoYouKnow?

Does this pass for an argument for you? Can you be any more childish?

one could replace Schroeder with Bush in everything you write

One could NOT replace the two. Bush Derangement Syndrome comes from an extreme (or blind) disagreement with Bush's policies. What you call Schröder Derangement Syndrome comes NOT from disagreement with Schröder's policies, but from disagreement with Schröder's manner of expressing his own disagreement with the US policies.

The difference is subtle, but huge.

@WhatDoIKnow
One could NOT replace the two. Bush Derangement Syndrome comes from an extreme (or blind) disagreement with Bush's policies. What you call Schröder Derangement Syndrome comes NOT from disagreement with Schröder's policies, but from disagreement with Schröder's manner of expressing his own disagreement with the US policies.

Um, not quite. BDS is simply disguised anti-Americanism, not a critique of American policy. What Jorg refers to as SDS is not a problem with Schroeder's manner, it's a problem with the fact that he leveraged anti-Americanism in the form of BDS to further his politcal career, thereby harming German/American relations to the point it will take years to recover.

Pamela

I guess we are talking about the same thing. What Jorg refers to as SDS is in fact a reaction to the manner in which Schröder chose to sacrifice the US-German relations in order to stay in power.

What Jorg and others like him doesn't understand is that no one would care about Schröder anymore if there had been no lasting negative results because of his attitude towards America. However, since his conduct led to the deterioration of US-German relations, Schröder will be the subject of talk for a long time to come.

@WhatDoIKnow
I guess we are talking about the same thing. What Jorg refers to as SDS is in fact a reaction to the manner in which Schröder chose to sacrifice the US-German relations in order to stay in power.

Hmmm. I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing. If we were, there would have to be a virulent strain of anti-German sentiment in the U.S. There is not.

My take on it is that Schroeder did not sacrifice US-German relations all by himself. He acted on behalf of the German zeitgeist which needed the sacrifice to assuage its own moral purity. Schroeder was not the motivating force, the German people were. Schroeder just allowed himself to be used in order to retain power.

The breach in the US-German relationship is due to the fact that in general, Americans bear Germans no ill-will, but we took it to heart that the German people would elect a Chancellor primarily on the basis that he validated their disdain of Americans.

Schroeder did not bring this 'sacrifice' about. The German people did. Schroeder was just their mascot.

@ Pamela

Correct enumeration of cause and effect.

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