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It seems that the "Deutschland uber alles" mindset still reigns supreme in Germany. One way or another, Germany intends to rule the world. If it can't use soldiers, it will settle for lawyers and courts.

--Michael W. Perry, Editor of Dachau Liberated.

I doubt that the majority of Germans wish to "rule the world"--except in bad Hollywood films.

It seems more likely to me that the Germans who regularly castigate the U.S. aim to relativize their own guilt over Nazi war crimes by pointing an accusatory finger at the U.S.

Many Germans growing up in the shadow of their parents' crimes must feel a burning shame, consciously or unconsciously, that they attempt to relieve through various "hearings," demonstrations, and now through the present "war crimes" complaint.

It is striking that Saddam, with his love of military uniforms, his moustache, and his avowed aim to complete the Final Solution, resembles Hitler--and Saddam has been given support by many Germans, if indirectly, by a one-sided and biased interpretation of American political motives.

And then there's the grotesque comparison of George W. Bush with Hitler....

A key sentence in Rosenthal's article: "It is equally notable that reunited Germany has displayed a marked reluctance to acknowledge German responsibility for war crimes..."

I think there's some truth to this.

May the Germans come to terms with their past--the sooner the better for all of us on both sides of the Atlantic.

There is no such thing as "collective guilt" and the "fascist gene"--but there is such a thing as shouldering the burden of moral responsibility.

--> "Many Germans growing up in the shadow of their parents' crimes must feel a burning shame, consciously or unconsciously"

This may have been true twenty years ago, but it is no longer so. Modern German (and European) lntellectuals and elites (and young Europeans in general) consider themselves cosmopolitan, international and morally superior. For them, the Holocaust and Second World War were perpetrated by the Nazis (not by Germans), who had more in common with modern America than with their enlightened persons.

Incredibly, the obvious parallels between National Socialism (Nazis) and the Supernational Socialism (Supernazis) they espouse completely escapes them. They can criticize Isreal with shaking voice and trembling lips, their faces filled with bitter rage, but if you ask them about human rights abuses anywhere else, they look at you like you are crazy, unless of course, they can somehow blame the U.S. for the abuses.

Don't misunderstand me. I have known plenty of Germans/Europeans like this who were generally intelligent and lovely people aside from their deluded political convictions (or Leftist religious tenets). I don't know how to explain it. Maybe living in the post-war Socialist cocoon worked as a form of sensory deprivation leading to mass delusion. But they are dangerous because they are absolutely convinced that a Leftist World Government run on European moral principles is the way to go, and that anyone who opposes that ideal is the enemy. The Euro-Left doesn't really care what Donald Rumsfld did or didn't do. Their latest antics are just an expression of frustration at free and fair elections in the U.S. that allow the "wrong" people get elected.

Does the Euro-Left want to rule the world? Not in the madman dictator Hollywood sense, but in a more mundane sense, yes, I believe they do.

You are correct. That is a phenomenon that people outside Germany may find somewhat difficult to understand: Nazis thankfully have virtually no support from anyone, their voters usually "only" want to "protest". We have many demonstrations against everything "from the right side of the political spectrum". Every politician makes sure to distance himself from all "right-wing" positions.

But here is the catch: If someone from the left expresses the same anti-semitic, anti-american sentiments, he is not treated in the same way. Quite the opposite: It's okay for politicians and the especially the media, which not seldom expresses the same opinions, of course disguised as "criticism". Double standards? You bet. DMK does a good job to expose some of this kind of biased "news" that's broadcast and distributed every day.

It is also important to know that after WW2 we had to some extent a quite successful "denazification". But after the reunification in 1990, there was virtually no effort to rid Eastern Germany from the ideology that dominated this part of the country longer than the Nazis did. Nothing was and is done (in East and West) to teach about the crimes commited in the name of Socialism and about how this ideology ruined the economy and pretty much everything else in the GDR. Of course this also adds to the already left-leaning mainstream opinions in the whole country.

To Mir, Beimami:

"But here is the catch: If someone from the left expresses the same anti-semitic, anti-american sentiments, he is not treated in the same way."

Exactly. This is what really worries me.

Let me tell you a little anecdote.

Sometime in the 80's, as a student in Germany, I had been given a leaflet from MSB-Spartakus (remember them?) and because I had a long subway ride and no reading material, I took a look at their screed. It was all about American imperialism, war crimes, etc., etc.

Got out of the subway and on the way home, I saw that someone had discarded an old desk on the street. Since I needed one, I carted it back to my apartment. It was in pretty good condition except for one drawer which I couldn't quite slide out.

Well, one day it did. And behind the drawer, wedged into a corner, was an old Nazi newspaper, "Der Völkische Beobachter." I began reading it and I swear it sounded just like the MSB-Spartakus rant--all you had to do was replace "Jew" with "American."

And, some years later during Gulf War I, when the Green politician Hans-Christian Ströbele said to the press that the Scuds raining down on Israel were justified (don't want to misquote him, but something to that effect)...

And I saw leftists marching along with neo-Nazis in Berlin...

And Mr. Günter Grass said he had served with the SS...

It really didn't surprise me.

I've been born and raised in Germany. And believe me, it is tough to live here!

I can agree on the point that the Germans want to rule the world. But in a moral way. They believe in the government to solve all problems. They are very leftist, meaning that Socialism - but only the German one - is the solution to all problems. And they have a problem with people that just do it the other way!

They furthermore think that the UN is THE world organisation and they don't question it.

It is so very tough for me to live here since I'm not anti-Bush, I'm conservative, I'm against govermental decision making regarding personal issues such as how to bring up my children. It's sad and I have often thought and still do think about emigrating to the US, but don't really know how to do that!

@Doc: Based on your comments, it sounds as though you already _are_ American... even if you don't have a blue passport. American is more than a nationality, it's a concept. Conversely, there are US citizens that are in my mind not "American."
But never mind that. You said you were born and raised in Germany. Something must have gone very, very wrong in your indoctrination ... eh, I mean education for you to be able to come up with such independent thoughts. Against the gov't getting into your personal issues? The UN not the world gov't? Not against Bush? How very un-German of you! How is it that you were not assimilated by the Borg?

These comments have been very interesting! I'd like some feedback on 2 items.
1. I feel there is a resentment because the US will not join the ICC. I've argued for hours with German friends and still, they feel the US should join. I think the use of the German court is a way to make us accountable as if we belonged to the ICC.
I have many reasons to think that we should NOT join the ICC.
2. Is it possible that Germans trust the UN because their trust in their own government has been shattered so many times?

@mir:
You're absolutely right about it.
And, in my opinion, we will never get to see a "trial of the communism". Or at least not in West Europe.
Why? Because socialism is the little brother of the communism. It's the same direction. Just that the socialists are not so extreme. So they cannot blame communism.
There's a phrase that I keep hearing on and on and it drives me nuts: "If a dictator gives the people free schooling and free healthcare, then I have respect for that dictator". People who say that should live a couple of months in Cuba or NCoreea. I'm sure they have both.

@ jlwb

My opinion as a German is that the US should definitely not join the ICC, probably for the same reasons as yours. Just look at the United Nations Human Rights Council for examples how that would work.

Most of the time our media doesn't report facts about the UN ("Oil for food? What's that?"). Therefore, many Germans have a picture of a UN that could solve all problems if just everyone would agree with each other. They don't trust the actual UN, but their fictional, glorified UN. It's some kind of pleasant dream about peace on earth. And if the US and others would just stop to "provoce" the bad guys, then we could continue dreaming. I'm sure you know this kind of delusion.

Also, there is just not much debate about the UN or our role in it. But the main reason that many Germans like the UN is the same reason they don't like the US: The total lack of facts about what they are, and how they work.

@ neocon

About the dictators: As long as our media doesn't report about their crimes (which isn't one of their priorities, usually bashing the US is more important), most people could care less - even when the threat to Germany is obvious, as it was in Saddam's case and much more Ahmadinejad's.

@mir
Thank you. Are so many Germans really so ignorant of the facts? Even if they can't get facts from the media, there is always the net.
Yes, I am totally against the US joining the ICC. Our military take an oath to protect the constitution. When I researched the ICC in 2002, I found that they would be denied 4 out of 10 of our Bill of Rights if we joined. About the same time I came across a story about an Afgan who accused a soldier of the rape of his daughters. The man said that one of his daughters killed herself because of the rape and the other ran away. Odd, the man didn't know where his dead daughter was buried and no one in the village knew he had daughters! I found this chilling because in the ICC: ''In cases of sexual assault:

(i) No corroboration of the victim's testimony shall be required"
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGIOR400091999

Women strap bombs to themselves. How much easier to just cry rape, knowing that their word is all it takes to land a soldier in jail. There are probably all kinds of arguments about how this would never happen. I would counter all the arguments with the question:
What country was suppose to head the UN Disarmament Commission in the spring of 2003?
This "German court" is not playing well.
http://www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/200612202128.asp
Note the title of the article: "Germans Attack the United States" This site is a calm and cool assessment of military strategy. It isn't a off the cuff right wing blog.


@ jlwb

I don't want to discredit all my fellow countrymen. What I have described is of course not true for every German, far from it. But unfortunately, a lack of most basic facts is something I have encountered again and again in discussions about these issues, from people that are per se not stupid at all. As I said, I mostly blame the failure of our old media. And politicians are of course happy when there are no critical questions asked and when the journalists concentrate on the "mistakes" of other countries, especially the US and Israel. Then why start a discussion about the UN? Why try to defend these countries and risk being called a "right-wing, neoconservative, Bush-supporting warmonger"? Isn't it easier when everyone agrees: UN good, US bad?

Yes, one can get nearly every information from the internet, in German language as well. But you have to waste time and effort, like we do right now. Why should anyone do that when they trust the media as much as many people do? I know this problem also exists in the US.

@mir I was in error. I did not mean every German. I do, after all, have a dozen German host kids. One, a law student, helped me research the ICC. He is also very versed in the internet. And, he is conservative.
I just see Americans on the net more than Germans. Of course, some Americans are not using it to improve their knowledge ;-) But, many are on the net to just learn.
These things, like trying to put our people on trial, is not helping! Once, the anti-American, long ago, it was just mildly funny. It is no longer funny. We are in a deadly serious time and I'm not seeing that many Germans know that!

@scout: Thank you, it's good to hear that! I feel very American, so you won't be surpised when I tell you that I've spent 2 years of my life - I'm 28 years old - in the United States. But only as a high school student in Minnesota and later for my flight training in Arizona.

Greetings!

I have a question. I've recently read that significant areas of the former East Germany are becoming, for all practical purposed, depopulated. My assumption is that people are simply moving to West Germany.

My question is: Is the influx of this demographic responsible for an increase in socialist, anti-American thinking in the West?

I have another question. Is anyone the least bit wary of Russia and this Gazprom business? Talk about a snake in the hen house!

GC. It is those damned Americans, meddling in Europe, if only they had kept out then everything would have been ok. Germann and Prussian dominance would reign supreme and everything would be well with the world.

Deja-vu: The filing of the war crimes complaint is the second attempt by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and others, they even used the same German attorney Wolfgang Kaleck (who is chairman of the co-plaintiff German RAV). Here is a link to the press release why their complaint was rejected the first time around.
http://www.generalbundesanwalt.de/de/showpress.php?newsid=163
Turns out, that the German courts only take responsibility if the neither the victim's, the suspect's country nor the country where the crime was committed nor an appropriate international court are "able and willing" to prosecute crimes - Germany's courts come as a last resort only when there is no other country where you can technically file your complaint. The US is ruled "willing to prosecute", i.e. it stands up to its responsibility to investigate war crimes as shown by the trials in connection of Abu Ghraib.
In essence the filing party was told "go try sue in the U.S." and I do not see that it will be different this time around.

@Paul
you got Ströbele almost right, from http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Christian_Str%C3%B6bele

Als Israel während des 2. Golfkrieges 1991 von Saddam Husseins Irak mit Scud-Raketen beschossen wurde, war das für Ströbele „die logische, fast zwingende Konsequenz der Politik Israels“ [2]. Er sprach sich auch gegen die Lieferung von Patriot-Luftabwehrraketen an Israel aus.
The cite seems to be from a TAZ article. "They brought it onto themselves" more or less. Crap.

@gcmiller4: Huh???? I find it bizarre.

BTW, guess who is given the red carpet treatment by the MSM at the moment: the current issue of stern features an interview with Janis Karpinski.

So if a guard ever abuses a prisoner in Germany, does that mean we can now bring the leadership of Germany up on war crimes charges? After all, Germany has created a culture of abuse by allowing police to use "good cop bad cop" and playing on suspect's emotions to get them to confess, and the Red Cross has issued statements saying that such tactics are torture.

@Pamela:
The depopulation is for the most part a move of younger people to the west in the pursuit of jobs. I do not have numbers, but I do not think the influx has a large influence. If you look at elections the successes of the PDS are still mostly restricted to the former GDR areas. They try to get a foothold using the western WASG - the two parties intend to merge, despite the PDS outnumbering the WASG by about 10:1.

Gazprom - We have been shown the instruments, and saw how little we can do:
http://www.welt.de/data/2006/10/22/1081505.html?prx=1
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,451024,00.html
Worried? You bet.

@Blue

Thanks, yes, that's what Ströbele said. Not that I think everything Israel has done is right, but the word "logical" in this context is chilling in view of the lethal impact of a Scud.

As I remember, many Germans did take exception to Ströbele's comment at the time. Not sure if the same controversy would arise today. Such a comment would probably be accepted as a matter of course.

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