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Comments

Ray D.,
Last evening I saw a documentary about hitler and his minions on Discovery Channel. It was interesting and one segment clearly caught my attention.
Hitler, after he declared war on the USA comissioned his propagandist Goebbels to use the German media in a smear campaign. Things like: The USA is an uncultured nation who is only interested in Capitalism, making money while the poor workers are enslaved by their evil Corporations. Many other things that Goebbels gesellen are saying on a daily basis in the German press today. History is repeating itself, (it may just never gone away?).
I still maintain that the Germans believe they are the country of writers and thinkers, focus on Goethe and Schiller, but Goebbels has left a stronger imprint on their media than any others.

Don't you just love the immediate overreaction caused by the global warming report that is due in 3 months? "Vacation in Germany rather than far away places", up the Tax on cars by up to 1000 %, Tax everything for the sake of the planet, use your car sparingly, etc.
The media (Government?) had begun conditioning the public for several years knowing this will become a new cah cow for them.
To me a perfect example how Socialism is indeed a form of slavery. How long will it be before the average person will have to go to their local government office and apply for "Gutscheine or Marken" in order to buy specific items?
Oh well, to each his/ her own.

Funny, this new "Ami Trendsport".... I seem to remember quite a bit of it going on as early as the mid 80's: by skinheads in the less well monitored S-Bahn stations. There would be an outrage about it roughly once a month too.

This article is nonsense.

But Your attempt to debunk it fails, too:

Spiegel claims that 20 homeless persons were killed in a single year in the US ("National Coalition of the Homeless" 2006). This may be hogwash, but they have a source.

You have links to 3 killings in Germany over a period of 8 years. Let´s assume that Your google-fu is limited and You have missed 3 other cases. Divide by 8 to get the data for a single year:

(3+3)/8= 0.75 cases per annum in Germany, but 20 cases per annum in the US. Multiply the German number by 4 to compensate for the larger US population. Oops.

Your research supports the Spiegel article! According to Your data, Americans are about 7* more likely to kill homeless people than Germans! Why do You hate America?

I repeat: The Spiegel article is sub-standard. But so is Your response to it. Sorry.

And avoid mentioning Abu Ghraib while talking about anti-Americanism, as this may backfire. People tend to respond by quoting e.g. the Taguba Report ... including Annex 26.


@ Tropby,

Once again you obviously haven't read my posting very carefully. To quote from my piece:

"These cases listed above took ten minutes to Google. There are undoubtedly further recent examples of beatings and murders of German homeless."

Your assumption that we could find only three more murders has no basis in any factual reality. In order to determine the exact number of attacks and/or murders of homeless in Germany, we would have to do further research, not engage in wild conjecture or pull numbers out of our rear ends as you have obviously done.

Further, I wasn't citing those examples to be comprehensive or to set up a mathematical comparison but instead to point out that such crimes are hardly limited to the United States. As I write, there are "undoubtedly further recent examples of beatings and murders of German homeless." The bottom line for both Germany and the US is that these crimes are neither a trend nor a sport nationally. Considering the populations of both countries, these crimes are exceedingly rare. The problem with SPIEGEL is that the publication attempts to make these awful killings into some type of national "trend sport." That is utter bunk and frankly so is your criticism.

It is relatively difficult to find statistics on violence against the homeless in Germany.

That is the money quote.

Why is that do you think?

Tropby? Bueller? Anyone?

Hey Tropby, I didn't see any response from you on the thread downstairs. Hit and run?

Don't be a bore, dear. Stamina does count for something, you know.

There are no homeless in Germany. There cannot be any because Germany has social justice. Besides if there were this would mean something is wrong with the social welfare state and as ever German knows this is false as Germany's social welfare state is perfect.

Unfortunately, while I'm good at searching, my german is next to nonexistent. For further followup from (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=385354) Ishorst-Witte F, Heinemann A, Puschel K. [Morbidity and cause of death in homeless persons]. Arch Kriminol 2001;208(5-6):129-38. In German.

PubMed is likely to be an excellent resource if you really want good statistics. The politicians may or may not want the truth out but the doctors certainly don't care about the opinions of the pols. That is a constant that is likely true on both sides of the atlantic.

abu ghraib...hmmmm..

how many of the "prisoners" at AG were executed?

gassed?

put into trenches and covered with soccer fields?

when elephants are babies they put a big chain on their legs and they fight and tug at it for months, then give up. Later as adults all it takes is a rope thick enough to handle one good tug and the ELEPHANT gives up again.

most europeans or Americans for that matter just need to hear he words Abu Ghraib and they stop in their tracks.
Abu Ghraib was the main torture and detention center of Saddam Hussein's Regime for tens of years and how many demonstations broke on in Berlin against it?

Why did it suddenly become a showstopper?
Because in the American spectrum most Germans in the media or chattering classes would be Kennedy voters (gaelic for Big Head).

Thousands namelessly tortured and executed for years and yet euros equivalate that to some NG's making them run around in their undiebundies.

I seem to remember in the film M that there was a homeless UNION in Berlin back in the weimar. Look what that got'em.

In the states most Americans that havent lived in Germany think of it as a land of BMW engineers and long haired composers. Having lived there myself I couldnt believe how much they reminded me of the polack stereotype with the motivation of a detroit welfare mother.

And what also cracks me up is that to the rest of the world Germans and Americans are hardly different. But if your ego is so brittle and insecure I guess I sells to dream up differences between siblings.

i think the point of this post is not to say that violence against homeless people doesn't happen, nor that it is any less reprehensible than most of us probably think regardless of a headline.

the point is that it takes some balls to 1) come to the conclusion that all, or even most, violence against homeless people is committed by middle-class youths out for a good time and then 2) go ahead and call beating homeless people a "neuer trendsport."

The fact is, this headline is so preposterous on so many levels it's hard to decide where to start - sloppy reporting? lack of journalistic integrity? hypocrisy? schadenfreude? it is one of many examples of groundless america-bashing in a media-culture that has gotten so used to it people don't even know the difference anymore. stunning.

and also - this article was basically translated from a report on cnn.com - a method of "journalism" that is all too common in the german media, where outlets like spiegel pick and choose stories that they can use to reinforce an image of "amerika" that's so corrupted it hardly resembles reality.

Most if not all of these reports in the news are from one source, the National Homeless Coalition report for 2006. There are two basic statistical problems in the report. The first in that 83% of the convicted attackers and murderers were 25 and younger, most of those between 19 and 25(hardly teenagers). Strangely, that is exactly the age group that commits most of the violent crime anywhere in the world. The second in that the reports own figures, even expanded to more cities, shows(pg. 23) that the death rate from these attacks has been going down. From a high of 48 deaths in 1999 to 20 in 2006.

Not mentioned in the article was any comparison to any other country. Suriname, though much smaller in population compared to the US, had a murder rate of the homeless 38 times higher than the US. But then it's probably no fun to bash the Surinamese.

Pamela: Upon Your request, I have responded to You in the original thread.

Playertwo: Anally violating male children as part of a reward system is more than "making them run around in their undiebundies" Read the Taguba report, e.g. the reports by detainee # 151108, which were considered "credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses". I am still waiting for the photos and evidence from the women´s wing, which according to the former SecDef are "much worse" than the ones already published. But they were never published. No criminal cases involved the "much worse" behaviour in the women´s wing. Smells like a cover-up of even greater human rights violations.

So I repeat my unwanted advice: Shut up about Abu Ghraib. Or start some real trials with full disclosure of all evidence.

It was the OP who complained about the harsh reports on US behaviour at Abu Ghraib, I just added some facts.


I haven't had time to look for the exactly you need, but you may be able to find some additional information at the Bundesgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V.:

http://www.bag-wohnungslosenhilfe.de

or through some of the links there. Happy hunting.

tropby, your horror at abu ghraib is legitimate - the german media's perverse obsession with it was in my view over the top.

although i will accept the argument that abu ghraib was a broader problem than the "bad apples" explanation peddled by rumsfeld at the time, the assertion that abu ghraib was somehow US "policy" - as was consistently either insinuated or explicitly stated in german media (Folter im namen der Freiheit) - is simply wrong. i'm glad you're doing your research, and i hope you extend it to include other countries - russia, china, *gasp* cuba, for example - where serious human rights violations are actually part of state policy.

The Spiegel article is crap, slapping "trendsport" to it ... words fail me.

There don't seem to be any official statistics in Germany, sorry.

A reference I found is from October 2000
http://www.nadir.org/nadir/periodika/jungle_world/_2000/43/10a.htm

Sogar um die Statistiken müssen sich die Opfer selbst kümmern. Eine von der Berliner Obdachlosenzeitung motz vorige Woche veröffentlichte Chronik kommt auf bundesweit 374 Übergriffe zwischen 1989 und 1993. 253 davon endeten tödlich. Und auch in den Folgejahren nahm die Gewalt nicht ab. Mindestens 276 Angriffe auf wohnungslose Menschen soll es zwischen 1997 und 1999 in ganz Deutschland gegeben haben.

So they report 50 homeless killed per year. Yikes, I was not aware that the figures are that high. I have no clue, what the quality of that data is like and what kind of attacks they have included (hate-crimes only or e.g. including homeless killing homeless). The cited news-paper is at www.motz-berlin.de , but they do not have an archive.

P.S.: Sorry for being away, simply didn't find the time.

Tropby,

"Smells like a cover-up of even greater human rights violations."

Make up your mind - either the report produced by General Taguba is credible (which you believe since you keep quoting it) or it is not (based on your comment above).

The tone of your messages tells me that deep down you wish there was some kind of conspiracy in order to justify your suspicions. Abu Ghraib was a terrible shame but you must note and admit that the US investigated and has sought to punish the guilty. More than a few are in jail now for their actions.

The United States has opened the files to the world to let them see the results. This is far more transparent than any nation in history which has had a similar situation. If anyone should shut up (and get down off the perch of sanctimony), it is you.

Hector

blue;

Good point. Even the statistics cited by the American group are very suspect as they did not make clear in their report how they got their data other than newspaper reports or even what the criteria was used for determining if these are crimes directed at the homeless or rather as more usual in street crime the weakest person in available. In the US statistics on crime vs homeless are simply counted as assault, battery, murder and attempted murder. Some of these assaults are other homeless, in the process of robbing another homeless person, that leads to physical violence and death.

Plus most of the authors of the study are in position to gain government employment, grants or research grants if crime against the homeless is classified as a hate crime.

This story is an 1:1 adoption from CNN.

A trend maybe, but by no means limited to one side of the pond, nor to the West.

Now these blowhard thugs are so unlucky not to be Arabs, just imagine how in that case these journalists would be reporting of their feces.

Who knows what the truth is? According to the data in the (original?) CNN story, there were 141 "incidents" in 2006 -- not 122, as the Homeless Coalition cites. When you look at the map of where "incidents" occurred, you see that a little more than half of the US states had "incidents" (i.e., a little less than half of the states apparently had *no* "incidents"). With a few notable exceptions (such as CA and FL), the majority of states with "incidents" had only one or two. To my non-expert mind, that would almost qualify as "isolated incidents" -- not a national trend.

Der Spiegel, Readership

• SPIEGEL readers have a higher-than-average education.
42 % of SPIEGEL readers have a good formal education with at least A-levels. By comparison: 18 % of the total population (= 11.52 mill.) have at least A-levels

• SPIEGEL readers work in executive positions.
18 % of SPIEGEL readers are self-employed, independent professionals, senior executives, senior civil servants. By comparison: 8 % of the total population (= 5.03 mill.) work in executive positions

• SPIEGEL readers have high incomes.
36 % of SPIEGEL readers have a household net income of 3,000 euros and more per month. By comparison: 21 % of the total population (= 13.56 mill.) have a household net income of 3,000 euros and more per month

Taken from: http://tinyurl.com/35kzag (Thanks for the tip, Falafel)


There is one missing:

▪SPIEGEL readers enjoy anti-American articles.
x % of SPIEGEL readers like anti-American articles. By comparison: y % of the total population likes anti-American articles. My guess is that x > y.

Hector 07:

"Make up your mind - either the report produced by General Taguba is credible (which you believe since you keep quoting it) or it is not (based on your comment above).

The tone of your messages tells me that deep down you wish there was some kind of conspiracy in order to justify your suspicions. Abu Ghraib was a terrible shame but you must note and admit that the US investigated and has sought to punish the guilty. More than a few are in jail now for their actions."

The Taguba report looks like an honest investigation. It resulted in said General not being deployed in a command position, as previously planned, but being given some career-ending administrative post. This increases the credibility of said report.

But there was no follow-up to this report. The US acted on the published photos from the men´s wing, but failed to act upon abuses in the women´s wing. The SecDef admitted on CNN that said photos of women existed and were "much worse", yet nothing was done about them. They were neither published nor used in a trial.

I suppose that there was a political decision to try to limit the damage to the public image of the US and the remaining public support in Iraq by not acting on the abuse of female detainees and their children.

This is the problem. Some soldiers - being humans - commit crimes, this happens in any army, esp. in an insurgency situation. But covering them up is a political decision, that smears the nation itself and tends to backfire in the long run.

A real independent investigation, maybe using some respected neutral foreign military prosecutors from e.g. Sweden in an oversight position, could have been used to improve the image of the US in Iraq and elsewhere, turning a crime into an opportunity. But going for a cover-up, or maybe only acting in a fashion that can honestly be mistaken for a cover-up, turns a "normal" crime into a disaster.

Abu Ghraib will be used against the US for decades to come ... and this could have been avoided by more openness.


@Tropby

"Abu Ghraib will be used against the US for decades to come ... and this could have been avoided by more openness."

No. Abu Ghraib is a joke broken into absurdity for a poltical ruse. Panties on head and nude pyramids = Auschwitz. The only blood split in Abu Ghraib was during the Saddam years, Europes hero, but that doesn't serve the anti-American Euro media. They really never gave a damn anyway, until it fulfilled their own hate filled objectives.

It doesn't get anymore open than 24/7 news coverage and satellite media to exploit at will for their national agenda.

@ Tropby
"A real independent investigation, maybe using some respected neutral foreign military prosecutors from e.g. Sweden"
In case you have not noticed, the anti-American is not just in Germany. Why would we put our soldiers under investigation by Sweden?
"But going for a cover-up, or maybe only acting in a fashion that can honestly be mistaken for a cover-up,"
Centcom reported this long before the MSM ever touched it! Where is the coverup?


Tropby states, "This article is nonsense."

Wrong. This article is deadly serious. It is sinister propaganda that was chosen by the Leftists at SPIEGEL with the single intent of demonizing the U.S. and inciting hatred of the U.S. among German citizens. The anti-American propaganda in the German media bears in many ways a striking resemblance to that of the National Socialist era.

Tropby's ad hominem attempts to deflect criticism from this egregious and hateful hit piece and claims of "Isreali" propaganda in another discussion thread at this site are both disturbing and simultaneously representative of the arguments and thought processes (or lack thereof) that are currently en Vogue in the German Left and extreme Right wing political scenes.

@ Buckeye Abroad

"Panties on head and nude pyramids = Auschwitz. The only blood split in Abu Ghraib was during the Saddam years"
I avoid child abuse cases at work, but anally abusing male children tends to result in bleeding. Abu Ghraib > "Panties on head and nude pyramids". Get Your facts rights, You little apologist, read the Taguba report, read AI reports.
Oh, and my informations are mainly from US media. I just use serious ones, not FOX.

@ jlwb

Sorry, You misremember the chronology. Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker magazine was asked to postpone publishing his story, to allow further investigations. After a lenghty delay, he threatened to publish anyway. And finally, Centcom took action ...

There must be some respected neutral nation not yet infected by anti-Americanism. You should use the good services of such a nation, to avoid a further decline of the public image of the US abroad. If - on the other hand - everybody hates the US, as You assume, then maybe the behaviour of the US is to blame and should be corrected.

The US invented modern marketing and PR. I cannot understand why Your nation seems unwilling to use these tools.

@Buckeye Abroad

Abu Ghraib was decidedly not Auschwitz (you are the first one to make that connection that I have met), however it wasn't "Panties on head and nude pyramids" only either. You may be more willing to listen to voices other than Tropby.

On CBS News

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters, "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. we're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience." He did not elaborate.
Donald H. Rumsfeld, May 7, 2004 in his prepared statement for the testimony before the Senate's Committee on Armed Services
First, beyond abuse of prisoners, we have seen photos that depict incidents of physical violence towards prisoners – acts that may be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman.
To be found rephrased in the CNN Transcript, as well.

Tropby - There must be some respected neutral nation not yet infected by anti-Americanism.

The Silo Nation?

/SCNR


@ Tropby Now I understand! CENTCOM took action AFTER Hersh threatened to publish! So, Hersh must have sat on this story for 4 + months and then threatened CENTCOM in? 2003? Between Jan. 1 and Jan 13, 2004? See below for my “misremember the chronology”
As for another “respected neutral nation”, if they honestly said the USA had acted correctly, they would be called a lapdog to the USA by many nations. If they dishonestly said the USA had committed crimes they would be hailed by many nations. It is a no win situation for the USA.

Jan. 14, 2004 an investigation is started.
On Jan. 16, 2004, CENTCOM issued a press brief: “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DETAINEE TREATMENT INVESTIGATION
BAGHDAD, Iraq - An investigation has been initiated into reported incidents of detainee abuse at a Coalition Forces detention facility."
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2004/01/mil-040116-centcom02a.htm

Other news outlets were reporting on the situation.
"Sources have revealed new details from the Army's criminal investigation into reports of abuse of Iraqi detainees”—Barbara Starr, CNN, Jan. 21, 2004
"Seventeen U.S. soldiers have been suspended of duties pending the outcome of the investigation into alleged allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners, a U.S. officer said Monday."—Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2004
“As you know, on 14 January 2004, a criminal investigation was initiated to examine allegations of detainee abuse at…..Abu Ghraib.” Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing, March 20, 2004

Hersh’s article was publish on MAY 10, 2004

@Tropby,

Hector 07:

"The Taguba report looks like an honest investigation. It resulted in said General not being deployed in a command position, as previously planned, but being given some career-ending administrative post. This increases the credibility of said report."

--Taguba was "planned" for a better job? Says who? Did you make that up? Also, since your logic says that any report not well accepted by the Bush administration means the general's career is over....please explain why the two star general Keith Dayton was sent to find WMD in Iraq, reported that he found none, and was then promoted to his third star?

"But there was no follow-up to this report. The US acted on the published photos from the men´s wing, but failed to act upon abuses in the women´s wing. The SecDef admitted on CNN that said photos of women existed and were "much worse", yet nothing was done about them. They were neither published nor used in a trial. "

--Yes, there is an ongoing (and large) follow-up criminal investigation which ended up with several soldiers and officers being charged and convicted for their crimes. The process continues even now with a lieutenant colonel about to be put on trial and others to follow. I even read recently that a few were already on trial for abusing women in the prison (with one already pleading guilty). As you are probably aware, large scale criminal procedings of this kind can take years to complete (with hundreds being interviewed, etc) since each defendent has his own trial. Be patient and I'm sure you'll get those ghoulish pictures you are dying to see.

"I suppose that there was a political decision to try to limit the damage to the public image of the US and the remaining public support in Iraq by not acting on the abuse of female detainees and their children."

--See above.

This is the problem. Some soldiers - being humans - commit crimes, this happens in any army, esp. in an insurgency situation. But covering them up is a political decision, that smears the nation itself and tends to backfire in the long run.

--See above.

"A real independent investigation, maybe using some respected neutral foreign military prosecutors from e.g. Sweden in an oversight position, could have been used to improve the image of the US in Iraq and elsewhere, turning a crime into an opportunity. But going for a cover-up, or maybe only acting in a fashion that can honestly be mistaken for a cover-up, turns a "normal" crime into a disaster."

--Sweden is not neutral anymore (nor is Austria) - they belong to the EU and can be easily influenced by other European politicians who want to inflict the maximum damage to the US. Remember, to get elected in Europe, you must take a swipe at the USA now and then. Is Germany going to have an independent investigation on the German soldiers playing with skulls (and how did they get them)? We know that answer is "nein." Calling for independent investigations sounds noble and makes one look good in the media but it does not have the power to put soldiers on trial for wrongdoing - a military investigation does.

"Abu Ghraib will be used against the US for decades to come ... and this could have been avoided by more openness."

-- I agree with the first part of your statement but disagree with the second. Many in control of Germany's (and much of Europe's) government, media, and academia are thrilled that Abu Ghraib gives them something to jab the USA with. The US obviously has no problem hanging out our dirty laundry (we do it every day) - we have been more open on Abu Ghraib than any nation in Europe (or the world) has ever been on such situations.

For Germans, Abu Ghraib is a psychological tonic to help them overcome the guilt of the Holocaust. This is why they try so hard to convince themselves that Abu Ghraib = Auschwitz. Why else would Der Spiegel be so obsessed with it?

Hector, have you ever tried to google for '"Abu Ghraib" Auschwitz' or "abu+Ghuraib" Auschwitz. Have a look at the pages turned up. Wouldn't you think, that David's Medienkritik would be a bit lower down the ranking if this combination would turn up more often on German pages? You accuse Germans of making the connection, I don't see it. Does German put great focus on "Abu Ghraib", even going over the top? - Yes, decidedly so. Yet, I do not see people making the connection you make.

@ jlwb:

"As for another “respected neutral nation”, if they honestly said the USA had acted correctly, they would be called a lapdog to the USA by many nations. If they dishonestly said the USA had committed crimes they would be hailed by many nations. It is a no win situation for the USA."

I find it interesting that You assume that any foreigner, even a respected neutral one, who finds the US guilty of crimes, must be lying.

An anti-Terrorism campaign is not primarily about killing or capturing the current fighters - important as this may be - but about winning the hearts of potential fighters. If You have nothing to hide, do not appear to be hiding something by avoiding foreign scrutiny.

You are repeating the mistakes West-Germany made when dealing with leftist RAF-terrorists: Their first generation was quickly captured and started whining about their inhumane treatment in prison. German authorities did not allow any major foreign investigation, as German prisons were even then among the most luxurious, and these terrorist where housed in brand new units including HiFi-audio and body-building equipment, free access to the international press and to university resources to help them writing their books ...

Yet this generous treatment was ignored, as Germany was to proud to show its (IMHO overly) humane treatment of said terrorist to the world. So some leftist fools got outraged about lies involving prison conditions and became the second generation of the RAF. These fools might have stayed harmless, if they had been confronted with the reality of comfortable prisons.

You are about to lose a similar PR war, which will hinder the US efforts in the "War on Terror" by creating new recruits for AQ. So forget about national prestige, and ask some Swiss or Irish investigators to look into it.

About the chronology: I just reread the articles about these terrible events and, shame upon me, I did indeed misremember it. The army asked CBS - not Hersh - to delay, as CBS had decided to go ahead with the story after learning about his planned article. After this article had been posted in April, the court martials finally happened between May and September.

One should re-read stuff, even if it includes repulsive details. Mea Culpa.

@ Hector 07

"Taguba was "planned" for a better job? Says who?"

German ARD (a respected German BBC-clone) commentator at the show Tagesthemen IIRC when Taguba became Deputy Commanding General for Support, Third U.S. Army. Said journalist described this job an end-of-career-position and said that Taguba had been slated for a career-enhancing command position prior to publishing his report.

"Did you make that up?"

Have You stopped beating senior citizens?

"Sweden is not neutral anymore (nor is Austria)"

Tell that to the Swedes. But let´s assume that any EU-nation hates America. Just take a non-EU-nation with a long tradition of the Rule of Law. I have met some upstanding colleagues from Costa Rica. There are very competent jurists in Singapore. This should satisfy Your paranoia.

"I even read recently that a few were already on trial for abusing women in the prison (with one already pleading guilty)."

Pictures of the abuse in the men´s wing are published, and the first military trials are concluded after a few month. Pictures of the treatment of women and children are not published, but in the hands of the military, and it takes 3+ years to start the process ...
I may be a cynic, but I smell a cover-up.

"As you are probably aware, large scale criminal proceedings of this kind can take years to complete (with hundreds being interviewed, etc) since each defendant has his own trial."

Criminal proceedings - Yes. But we are talking about court martials here, which are any prosecutor´s wet dream.

"Is Germany going to have an independent investigation on the German soldiers playing with skulls?"

No. Playing with skulls <> torture, rape or murder

@Tropby
“I find it interesting that You assume that any foreigner, even a respected neutral one, who finds the US guilty of crimes, must be lying.” Read what I said rather than putting words in my
Mouth!

“the court martials finally happened between May and September.” It took 4 whole months to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build the case before the trial started! “Finally” after 4 months! Do you find 4 months too long?

“If You have nothing to hide, do not appear to be hiding something by avoiding foreign scrutiny.” Hide? Like letting the International Red Cross visit Gitmo? Like putting out a news brief, before any media reported on it, that there had been prisoner abuse? Like having reporters embedded with the troops as they crossed the border into Iraq in March of 2003? As for foreign scrutiny, I really want to know what happened to those who abused German soldiers. Remember them? They were abused by their own people. Oh, I can’t find anything on the news! Why is Germany hiding all of this? There must be more going on! The problems in Germany must be more widespread than I thought! I know! Let’s have the USA investigate! If not the USA, maybe Australia or the UK?

As for the RAF, do you really think you can compare them to Islamic fundamentalists? If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’m willing to sell you for very cheap!

Wow! This is disturbing indeed. No matter if pro- or anti- American, it seems that everyone agrees that this new sport started in Germany and then became popular in the US. Perhaps the Spiegel article isn't so much about the disturbing nature of the sport, as it is about the loss of the purity and essence in the American version that is missing from the original pioneering German development. This really isn't such a new thing. We has seen a similar German attitudes towards the manufacturing of the American automobile to the brewing of American beer. So it should come as no suprise that Spiegel is a bit upset that Americans aren't beating up their homeless with the same spirit and elan as Germany does when it beats up their own homeless people. Perhaps the United States needs more time to learn the subtle techniques and strategical gambits of fine play. After all, the evidence shows that this sport has only recently become popular in the US. Given more time, I'm sure we Americans will reach the same level of skill as Germany in this new and exciting sport.

No matter if pro- or anti- American, it seems that everyone agrees that this new sport started in Germany and then became popular in the US.
Bullshit. I lack another fitting word for such a venomous slur like yours. It is not a "sport" neither in the U.S., nor in Germany. A lot of the German attacks are probably (I don't have numbers, so this is a weak assertion) "thanks" to right extremists, nothing I am particularly proud of - it needs to be stopped. There has been no talk whatsoever, where these despicable murders and manslaughters have been committed first. You are implying a causal connection, that U.S. youth kill homeless because of the German example, which just is not there. And as you are so happy flinging poo, what about British "Happy Slapping"? How does that fit into that "theory" of yours?

@ jlwb

The abused German soldiers are a) in a different league of abuse and b) no potential terrorists cares about them.

I might be interested in the bridge, as there are surprising parallels between leftist and islamist terrorists. Most leaders of both groups were students with at least a middle-class background, who were bored or failed at university, and found a new purpose in life by fighting for an allegedly suppressed group, aiming to correct perceived injustice and create an utopian society.

People are not born as Jihadist, but are converted by propaganda. The West seems to neglect this strategy at the moment, and US PR blunders - even with traditional allies - are legion.

@Tropby,
That ARD reporter was speculating - such a job is not a dead end but was a move up in terms of prestige (from what he was doing before). Fair enough; you did not make it up - the ARD reporter did.

Also, there are more than a few nations which still believe they are neutral but really aren't anymore. Sweden is a member of the European Union and will take over responsibility to deploy an EU battle group somehere in the world in 2008. Ask the Finns if they still think they are considered neutral and see what they tell you - at least they aren't still fooling themselves.

You smell a coverup because deep down you want to believe there is a coverup. How else to internally justify your obsession with this topic?

"Criminal proceedings - Yes. But we are talking about court martials here, which are any prosecutor´s wet dream. "

You obviously are not well versed on American courts martial (which are criminal procedings). The steps toward an indictment are even more rigorous than in a civilian court so the rights of the accused are even more protected. It sounds like Germany does it a different way and your projection of it is making you assume the US does it your way.

"No. Playing with skulls <> torture, rape or murder"

How do we know it was limited to only playing with skulls? Perhaps they raped, tortured, and killed the people whose skulls those were in the first place? Germany would not be covering something up would they??? Maybe only an independent investigation of neutral jurists should look into it. Of course there must be much worse photos involved and they should be released to restore our trust in Germany. (Answered using your logic applied to Abu Ghraib)

@Blue,

Spend some time in Germany talking to the people on the street and you'll hear it. I know I've heard it many times. They are desperate to salve their conscience and if they can justify (in their own minds) that everyone else has done something just as bad - they must be OK.

@Tropby,

"People are not born as Jihadist, but are converted by propaganda. The West seems to neglect this strategy at the moment, and US PR blunders - even with traditional allies - are legion."

On this we can agree.

@hector07

Spend some time in Germany talking to the people on the street and you'll hear it.
Fair enough, I seem to mix with the "wrong" kind of people.

"No. Playing with skulls <> torture, rape or murder"

How do we know it was limited to only playing with skulls? Perhaps they raped, tortured, and killed the people whose skulls those were in the first place? Germany would not be covering something up would they??? Maybe only an independent investigation of neutral jurists should look into it. Of course there must be much worse photos involved and they should be released to restore our trust in Germany. (Answered using your logic applied to Abu Ghraib)

I understand you are trying to make an argument, but this one is weak. In the Abu Ghraib you have pictures like these (WARNING! VERY GRAPHIC!) that do show people murdered and tortured. You have a Secretary of Defense testifying that authorities do have pictures and videos much worse than anything published (see links given above). It took three investigations to dig deep enough. Apart from Abu Ghraib a lot has been going on with contractors, that is thankfully now being addressed (Please do read it; I stumbled across it, while looking for the Sen. Lindsey Graham quote). In the German skull case however, you pull accusations out of thin air.

@Tropby - Singapore, a country where caning is part of the system, would be a good candidate to lead Abu Ghraib investigations?

Sometimes reality beats satire.

@Blue,
Read my comments again (which were in response to someone else's hyperbolic accusations of cover-up).

Be sure to make special note of where I stated "(Answered using your logic applied to Abu Ghraib)."

Now do you get it?

@Hector
I got it alright, that you were arguing against Tropby sensing cover-up. I just replied, because I felt you overstretched the argument. I did not want to imply that you actually accuse the German soldiers of rape or murder.

Wow. This is the first I've heard of "happy slapping". I must say it all sounds so vulgar. What type of artist would use video when film is so much more an appropriate medium. But I suppose when it becomes a popular sport in the US you'll be back complaining that Americans aren't doing that sport right either. Probably on the grounds that black and white is a more expressive format than color. There is just no pleasing some people.

@Blue,
You still don't get it. I was demonstrating how patently unfair his logic was by using it back at him - thus the resulting hyperbole (in response to his).

Now do you get it?

Tropby,

In your first response to Ray you write: "Spiegel claims that 20 homeless persons were killed...This may be hogwash, but they have a source." (emphasis mine)

This "source" referred to was the National Coalition for the Homeless. As far as sources go, those coming from grassroots advocacy organization tend be be rather suspect because these organizations tend to have strong ideological bent. (demanding that minimum wage be set based on cost of living versus the actual skill level or market value of a job would definitely qualify as ideological)

Now none of the above really blows up my skirt too much because I don't necessarily think you accepted the NCH's stats per se- and even if you did who in here hasn't been guilty of the same thing themselves?

The kicker comes if one juxtaposes your above quote with this gem you later post in the same thread: "Oh, and my informations are mainly from US media. I just use serious ones, not FOX"

That's right Ray! You lose because Spiegel has a SOURCE. I haven't mentioned any research I've done to verify the veracity of this SOURCE, but I'm going to go ahead and post now anyway because the presence of a SOURCE tips the scales....................unless of course it's Fox, we already know it's not a serious SOURCE, but if it's called something like the National Coalition for the Homeless then it's presumably all right. (heheh...damn good thing for me this Spiegel rip wasn't a 1:1 from Fox)

But don't feel bad about this one Ray. After all the real reason I responded was the hard-on I've got over Abu-Graib. I told you mentioning Abu would backfire but you still didn't heed my warning, even despite the threat of the Taguba report.

The fact that I am actually the primary reason for the hijacking of the thread away from the Trendsport topic is immaterial. Oh, and umm also, the fact that I was the first one to bring up the Taguba report is immaterial and in no way diminishes my foresight because it's a SOURCE!"

Tropby your attempts to debunk Ray have really only shown to me the transparent illogic and inconsistencies which overpower your thought process.

@Hector07:
Now I don't get it any more, indeed.

Let me summarize what happened.

Tropby wrote:

I am still waiting for the photos and evidence from the women´s wing, which according to the former SecDef are "much worse" than the ones already published. But they were never published. No criminal cases involved the "much worse" behaviour in the women´s wing. Smells like a cover-up of even greater human rights violations.
Tropby implies cover-up only in the final sentence quoted, the rest is reporting on the findings of the Taguba report. The quote by former SecDef Rumsfeld in his testimony to the Senate Committee was sourced in a later post by me, with addition of the quote by Senator Lindsey Graham stating "we are talking about rape and murder". I am unaware of any legal prosecutions other than Garner and his ilk. This is consistent with Tropby's statement
But there was no follow-up to this [Taguba] report. The US acted on the published photos from the men´s wing, but failed to act upon abuses in the women´s wing. The SecDef admitted on CNN that said photos of women existed and were "much worse", yet nothing was done about them. They were neither published nor used in a trial.
After that Tropby goes on to further speculate on cover-up.

Now you try to prove hyperbole on Tropby's part by liking this to the German skull scandal (since when was abusing skulls in the same league as abusing living people?) and inventing "they could be murders or rapists" out of thin air. Have you considered apologizing for implying this, even if it is "just" against third party and for the sake of an argument?

Case A: We have proven highest class felonies commited against living people and credible testimony that more has happened, yet few people have been tried. Cover-up is implied.
Case B: We have a proven misdemeonour (changed to low class felony in some states only in recent years) commited against the long buried remains of humans and allegations fabricated for the sake of the argument. Cover-up is implied (again for the sake of the argument).

Now I do understand hyperbole, thank you for showing me.

If anyone here is honestly wondering, just why there are Europeans and Americans and others who freak out about Abu Ghraib, but don't do enough about torture in Iraq under Hussein, in China or whereever in the world, let me spell it out: Those states are/were states that are well known for their disregard of even basic human rights. They employ torture to supress their population. We can throw tantrums and they won't change their way soon. The U.S. is simply held up to higher moral standards, just as any other Western nation, and you ought to be proud of that. Do you really want to debase yourself and be put into the same league with China, former Iraq, Syria, ... with regards to human rights, just so that we shut up? I know it hurts to know that such artrocities where committed "in your name". So does knowing that my grand parents where responsible for the Holocaust. If you don't want it to happen again you have to face it and live with it.

Yes, I do consider political classes, that use torture as a policy to be morally corrupt. And I don't give a damn if you consider me a racist or what not because of this.

@icarus
Regarding hijacking: Reread the log. Ray D. brought up Abu Ghraib in his post, Tropby's initial response was 90% on "trendsport", just 10% mentioning Taguba report and the potential of backfiring. After that I see playertwo and Hector07 as the driving force of derailing the topic.

@Blue,
You worked very hard constucting that strawman but you seem to miss the point entirely. I was using an admittedly absurd response to show Tropby the absurdity of the logic he was applying to the situation.

Then you decide to troll your way into the conversation and try to take control, (obviously taking the posts literally - missing all nuance.) If you think for a minute that I was defending Rumsfeld or the terrible tragedy of Abu Ghraib, you are deluding yourself.

"The U.S. is simply held up to higher moral standards, just as any other Western nation, and you ought to be proud of that."

I think the US is held to a higher standard than any nation in history since we are under a degree of global scrutiny no other country experiences (or has ever experienced). I agree that it is something to be proud of but I sometimes wish our European cousins would apply a bit more scrutiny to thelmselves. The issue of violence against the homeless as described in this thread is a good example - Der Spiegel would much rather parrot a story on the USA than try for some balance to see if it is happening in its own country.

As for your bizarre accusation of "thread hijacking" - you may note (if you are capable) that is discussing the report on "trendsport" someone else brought up Abu Ghraib and told fellow posters to "shut up" about it. You trolled your way into the exchange and hijacked it by butting in.

@Blue

Yes, I see what you're saying, but based on the fact that 1) Ray only made passing reference to Abu Ghraib, 2) Tropby initially responds to debunk the debunking of a story he agreed was bunk from the getgo- 3) then tells everyone to "shutup" about Abu Ghraib, 4) then later on naturally he brings out his devastating Taguba report after someone else (playertwo) responds to the final 10% of Tropby's first thread post (I'm sure Tropby NEVER anticipated his shut up remark could lead to that) leads me to the same conclusion I've already stated.

@Hector
First off, I take back the derailing on your part. Sorry, I seem to indeed miss a lot of nuances. For what it's worth: I don't do trolling, at least not intentionally. I did not intend to take over control either. Next time, please give me a nudge early on, OK? The "you don't get it" came over less than friendly, hence my reaction. I'll try to do better in future.

"I agree that it is something to be proud of but I sometimes wish our European cousins would apply a bit more scrutiny to thelmselves."
"Der Spiegel would much rather parrot a story on the USA than try for some balance to see if it is happening in its own country."
Both observations are spot on, I fully agree. You may have noticed, that it was I who dug up quite damning figures on Germany.

As for my "bizarre accusation": Ray himself in his leader mentions Abu Ghraib, Tropby included a twoliner in response. It could and should have stopped there, IMHO.

@icarus
I'm not well versed at flame wars. I did not regard Tropby's comment on Abu Ghraib to be bait, especially as he mentions Taguba right in his first post. That said, I don't dismiss your point of view, but regard it as a valid, alternative interpretation.

Abu Ghraib was the main torture and detention center of Saddam Hussein's Regime for tens of years and how many demonstations broke on in Berlin against it?

The usual suspects don't care about Putin's government murdering journalists and defectors from London to Novosibirisk. They don't care about the hanging of homosexuals and stoning of rape victims (for adultery) in Iran. They don't care about the whipping of raped women in Saudi Arabia. They didn't care about the 5 million refugees, the rape and torture rooms and the State of Terror that was Saddam's Iraq. They don't care about the car bombings in markets, among pilgrims and Education Ministry employees in Iraq by al Qaeda.

They do care about abused prisoners (not torture, not murder) by Americans at Abu Ghraib, which was uncovered by the American Military, investigated and the perps tried, convicted and imprisoned.

Why the difference? The fact is that this is a pathological mindset. One part of this is a racist attitude that would be at home among European colonists of the 19th Century: "You can expect the Wogs to act civilized."

So what, if the Muslims (or fill in the blank) kill one another. They're savages.

If the Americans weren't there, we wouldn't hear a thing about the bombings, the beheadings, the kidnappings or roadside bombs killing dozens of pilgrims. This has been happening in Iran, in Pakistan, in India, in Thailand, in the Phillipines and in Algeria (list not complete) and what have Germans learned about these terror attacks from their media?

They only hear of terror attacks, when Americans are in the area, so that they can blame the Americans. This is sick. This is twisted. This is pathological and this is racist. Progressive Germany has progressed from what to what?

Oh, I watched the show "Darf Man Das" on ProSiebenSat1Welt tv and as an example of a crime, they showed video from an American convenience store robbery, where the robber ended up taking the cash register, because he couldn't get the drawer open. Why an American crime video? There are no German videos?

Oops, that ought to be "You can't expect the Wogs to act civilized".

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