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YES!!!

Why protests? Mr. Putin is a "lupenreiner Demokrat" (crystal clear democrat).
Ts, ts, ts, how could you think that whatever russia or any other country besides the US is doing will stir up the local rainbow warrior? Don't you get it? It is not a dirty, unnecessary and fascistic war unless the US is involved.

There is an evil side in me that wishes that there would be another big dilemma happening here in europe (especially in France and Germany) where they would need the help of the US and where, this time, we would shake our heads and tell them to take care of their own.
But I strongly believe that there will be another big dilemma in Europe and we will come to their aid again. Sad as it is, we might have to do that.

I found Putin to be very straightforward and trustworthy. He is deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.

"The professional protester class, the Angry Left, the eternally self-righteous, indignant marchers who pose as saviors of the world as their rainbow flags flutter in the wind are nothing but a pack of morally and intellectually bankrupt hypocrites."

Actually, I think you got a point here. But let me assure you, the "Angry Left" are not the only "self-righteous morally and intellectually bankrupt hypocites".

You see only what you want to see. "die tageszeitung" (http://www.taz.de) is clearly from the "angry left", but very much committed to human rights issues.

So check out: http://www.taz.de/pt/2006/10/11.1/ressort.q,TAZ.re,a1#a0055
and numerous articles in this and previous editions of taz criticizing Putin as a despot close to a dictator, for instance
http://www.taz.de/pt/2006/10/10/a0149.1/text

@Bernd
Good, there is still some kind of common sense in the german media. Now where are the thousand of protesters rallying in the streets of german citys?

Sure some criticize him, but where are the mass protests? Where is "big media" who "speaks the truth to power"? After years of living in college, most people only play lip service to being angry with despots like Putin, but their real anger is reserved for the West. They say it's because they "expect more" from ourselves, but I can't help but think it's a form of self loathing.

Gazprom.
Schroeder.

Putin is criticized in every singele German newspaper - Gerhard Schröder is perhaps the only person in Germany calling him a "lupenreiner Demokrat".

Personally, I don't believe Putin is the monster as which he's mostly portrayed. We should not forget that he's the leader of a state with a completely different cultural and historical background than ours, and so he cannot act as we would expect from a western politician. He's certainly putting pressure upon media, but I don't think he's personally involved in murders of critical journalists - it would be absurd, because he knows the image loss for himself and for russia is far worse than the "gain". I rather think that certain old elites in politics and economy are responsible, who are strong and cannot be simply removed.

@deutscher
So if someone is from a "completely different cultural and historical background than ours" then we should reconsider any critcism and for sure should not protest against him?
Hm, so this is a free ticket for about 80% of our worlds leaders as this applies to them.

I don't think he is a "monster" as well but if the politics of the US and the american president deserve widespread protests in german cities than the politics of Russia and Putin do deserve triple times.

I forgot to include the link.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/06/20010618.html

hint:
Gerhard Schröder ist not the only guy who has a lot of good stuff to say about Putin.

Btw. the "bloody military campaign in Chechnya" that is mentioned above went in to a second round in 1999

This is a point that needs to be beaten to death. Every chance you get point out the perverse double standard that infects the supposed more "complex" and "sophisticated" left in our world.
The modern progressive liberal doesn't have a shred of credibility until in his enlightened and more compassionate state he starts protesting against something/ anything else, besides whatever the U.S.A. does or doesn't do.
Until then the good foreign leftists are not for world peace, they are simply "anti-American" nihilists. And here in the U.S.A. the good leftists are not "for world peace," they are simply self loathing traitors.

Tyranno


"Where are the masses of drum-thumping, flag-waving, dreadlock wearing, morally superior protesters who gathered by the thousands when Bush was in country?"

Where did you see them? Not in the media. ;)

And numbers in Chechnya and Iraq are the same, aren't they?

Human rights in Russia and the war in Chechnya is a problem and it is the task of Merkel(!) to talk about to Putin.
And it is the task of Merkel to talk about human rights to Bush. She didn't. So what do you expect?

@ derigon,

Do we know what the numbers in Chechnya are? Are free and independent media allowed to report there (or in any part of Russia) without risking assassination, unemployment or imprisonment? It is quite difficult to compare I would say.

And let me ask you: Did you miss the big Merkel statement about Gitmo? To her credit, I think she has actually talked to both leaders about the issue. The primary difference is in how the media, the SPD and "peace" movement deal with the leaders.

Although certainly no excuse for not protesting Putin, consider this historical and politcal backdrop:

The post-WWII German political central dogma has always been that Germany should be a "Friedensmacht", i.e. that it should execise its influence for peace and through non-violence. The natural (yet obviously erroneous) conclusion in many peoples' minds is that if we are not aggressive toward anyone, we cannot and will not have any enemies. Genscher's much-lauded checkbook diplomacy and clandestine release of middle eastern terrorists were only some of the more obvious results.

This was a state of affairs that the victorious allies (particularly the UK) were only too happy to support given Germany's bellicose past. Moreover, the 60 post-war years of prosperity under a U.S. security umbrella indirectly and positively reinforced this German world view. (Go easy, killer - this is not meant to blame anything on anyone)

In a post-cold war and 9/11 world, we are now seeing the flipside - immature pacificsm. Germans love to emotionally rant about global warming, perceived social inequalities, greedy corporate managers, tsunami victims, and economic competition from asia. That is also why so many Germans idolize Greenpeace, Amnesty Intl, the UN, etc., and exhalt multilateralism as an end in and of itself.

You will never hear rants with any degree of ferver against any of the vile governments of China, Iran, North Korea, Saddam, Putin's Russia, etc. There are no such rants because that would mean that action would actually be required. The cop-out being: Why bother complaining when Germany shouldn't criticize anyone given its past? On the other hand, the U.S. (or even Israeli) government is so heavily (and spuriously) critizied precisely because no one could ever see it an enemy.

Needless to say, this all adds up to a rather adolescent world view where only parents are critized and the local gangstas are somehow considered worthy of respect. Yet those parents are still supposed to provide love, support and stability. Clearly this website is derived from the resulting tension.

It is true that, notwithstanding numerous terrorist attacks around the world in which scores of westerners including Germans, have been killed, most Germans still do perceive a genuine threat from ANYONE in the world. That is the reason its military is woefully underfunded, that is why the Afghanistan mission is largely seen as a favor to the U.S., that is why the KSK combat mission there is shrouded in secrecy, that is why you won't see regular forces in the south of Afg., and that is why German soliders who have been killed in action there are reported on as if they died in a car accident (i.e., 'selber schuld', the German media treats its own soldiers and intelligence officers with much greater disrespt than their U.S. comrades).

When it comes to military action of any kind, the German government tends to hide behind a facade of caution, risk aversion and concern for its soliders. However, the real story is that it is in too much denial about and/or is too spineless to explain to the population, the real nature of the threat lest it break the tabu that 'Germans don't REALLY have any enemies.'

Getting back to Putin: I fully agree that any talk of him being a "lupenreiner Demokrat" is laughable. I also wish the German populace would finally see the true threats posed by islamo-fascists and a neighbor attempting to strong arm Europe through its energy policy. While I'm at it, I also wish we would finally embrace gloablization as an opportunity rather than a threat. However, all of those things would require a fundamental psychological shift in thinking toward a self-confident strategic vision for itself in the world.

Without such a vision, the unfair criticism of the U.S.,the immoral pacifism vis-a-vis Putin-types and the economic stagnation will sadly continue.

So why didn't you go and protest? Does the left have to do everything?

Putin is quietly and smugly contemptuous of the West. Stealthy and quiet by nature.

Putin does nothing to cooperate in stopping massive worldwide cyberspace criminal theft eminating from servers in Russia.

Putin does nothing to extend justice to a Canadian developer group who were ushered out of their Moskwa Hotel complex by organized crime. A 14 Million$ lawsuit is going nowhere.

The latest journalist Putin had *snuffed* is number 12 or 13 on that recently murdered writers list.

Demonstrators may be better informed than we think. It may be that you can demonstrate or enjoy a long life, but you can*t do both.
= TG

It's Putin who will protect Europe from the muslims.

Your elites want the EUSSR - it's a good fit.

@ Tyranno" The modern progressive liberal doesn't have a shred of credibility until in his enlightened and more compassionate state he starts protesting against something/ anything else, besides whatever the U.S.A. does or doesn't do.

But...but... criticizing someone who might actually DO something about it is, like... dangerous! :O Safer to stick to criticizing people who will do you no harm!


Posted by: Tyranno

Hmmm....so Putin has troublemaking journalists off-ed? I can think of more than one name that I'd love to bring to his attention.

Whilst the Commie Pinkos are busy dreaming that Comrade Putin is somehow a "new" communist & thus "different" from Stalin, he has NEVER picked up a chick in Red Square or the Kurfurstdendam. You can remind the Brains at Stern magazine that they did a big story on Ugly George about May 1980 called "Der Hessliche George Und Die Hubschen Von New-York" and Sieben7 TV visited NYC about Sex Shows on CableTV about '95 and covered me. And THAT'S how you raise ratings!

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