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"<"sarc on">" Don't you get it? This is "soft power". In the small print of the agreement with Iran it says "Germany reserves the right to review and amend the conditions of this agreement within 120 days of the wiping off the map of Israel by Iran." Iran will soon be on its knees begging to have its weapons programs inspected and dismantled, because nothing is more important to Iran than a steady supply of "original made in Germany" spare parts for its machines shipped directly from Germany. Just the thought of having to buy these on the black market or having to smuggle them in has Tehran quivering in its boots. After all, all Iranians are reasonable people. Just because President Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier doesn't mean that he has lost touch with reality..."<"sarc off">"

Germany seems to be intent on creating allies out of the enemies of the West.

AXIS POWERS 2008:

Germany
Iran
Sudan
Venezuela
N. Korea

ALLIED POWERS 2008:

USA/UK + NATO (minus Germany of course)
Australia
India
Japan
Israel
South Korea
Saudi Arabia

Hmmm... This really isn't looking very good for you Germany. Keep it up German left and finally you and your grandfathers will have something you can truly relate to.

Matthias Kuentzel was just interviewed on CBN news, like our Ray Drake and Karin Quade were last fall. The title of his interview is called "Jew Hatred: Jihadists Taking Cues from Nazis?" The link to this interview is at the following: http://www.cbn.com/media/index.aspx?s=/vod/DHU54V1 Pretty interesting analysis by the eminent German political scientist from Hamburg. He has a book that was recently released on this topic called "Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11" It can be found at the following link from Amazon Canada http://www.amazon.ca/Jihad-Jew-Hatred-Islamism-Naziam-Roots/dp/0914386360/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210965017&sr=8-1
The German version is called "Djihad und Judenhaß. Über den neuen antijüdischen Krieg" It can be purchased at Amazon Deutschland here: http://www.amazon.de/Djihad-Judenha%C3%9F-neuen-antij%C3%BCdischen-Krieg/dp/3924627061/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210965279&sr=8-2
This brave professor is fighting the Jihad and that which threatens the West, all by himself. He has just published a book, in January of this year, about the topic of Islamic Anti-Semitism and German politics. I can only hope an English translation becomes available. The title is called "Islamischer Antisemitismus und deutsche Politik: "Heimliches Einverständnis?" One can purchase it at the following address on Amazon Deutschland: http://www.amazon.de/Islamischer-Antisemitismus-deutsche-Politik-Einverst%C3%A4ndnis/dp/382580805X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210965279&sr=8-1 I hope this helps everyone understand this issue a little more. I can only hope that the common sense of the average German will prevail and that they start to question the actions of its government. I am optimistic. Germany has been through many great eras, and maybe it is going to come into another one very soon, when it arises to combat the enemy that threatens it at this fateful hour. We must never lose sight, despite the depressing news that we see, that the German people were always the knights and mothers of a great and noble history. They saved the Jews and Christians from the hands of the Roman rulers and conquered that empire and saved all of humanity. Such a time may be coming again, for them to become heros, one more time. For then they will redeem their past, and give the gift of freedom and truth to the world once more.

what is this blog about? anti americanism in the german media landscape?

could someone explain the relation between the mission statement and this and many/most articles on this blog?


Texas_Blueblood, you might drop the Saudis off of the allies list. They are the main exporter of the salafist Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam. They are no friends of the west. They are duplicitous and venal while attempting to present an image of angelic demeanor. It is my opinion that they are evil.

Muhammad Ibn Sa'ud made his bargain with Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab in the 18th century, they have not changed since then.

Ref. Overview of World Religions.

From a german perspective, there is a number of advantages from a close partnership between Berlin and Tehran.
Although Germany is among Iran´s biggest trading partners, bilateral trade isn´t really of a huge size for the german side, so that is rather negligible. But the fact that the majority of german exports to Iran are insured by debt garantees of the german state hints at a political and a strategical dimension.

First of all Iran is a major supplier of oil and natural gas. To diversify its energy imports away from russian supplies, partnership with Iran thus is an interesting choice for Berlin.

Also traditionally there are good relations between Germany and the muslim world. To a fair extend the Iranians have reason to believe that among the major political powers involved, Germany is the country that represents Iranian interests best. By complying with this expectation many doors are opened for german companies not only in Iran itself, but throughout the muslim world.

The absence of american economical involvement creates a vacuum for Iran´s international trade incorporation that can be easily filled. So the lack of ordinary competition makes this country even more interesting for german exporters.

Also an Iranian nuclear weaponry would contain American and Israeli military power in the region. Not only would this step prevent Washington from an invasion like in Iraq, but it would also establish a balance of power in the region vis-a-vis with Israel. Right now Israelis are rather free to act in its neighboring countries. Having an equally armed opponent in its neighborhood should force its military to act more carefully.

With Israel being largely supported by Washington, Iran is in need of a similar supporter. Since Paris, London and Rome seem to be as forthcoming towards Iran as Berlin is, the EU is its predestined partner. With the european neighbors in line, there is no need for Germany to reconsider its policy towards Iran.

Albert:

1) Your anti-American sentiment is clear. You are more worried about a representative republic that has liberated 50 million muslims than the world leader of terrorism and instability in the Middle East and which has called for the complete destruction of an entire country. The U.S. has never advocated wiping an entire people from the planet. Iran has.

2) Assuming a nuclear weapon in the hands of mad mullahs, Holocaust deniers all, would have a stabilizing effect is frankly, insane. Israel is under daily attack from Iranian-backed murderers. Imagine your children or mother or father walking through a park only to have a qassam rocket land on them and kill them. If you believe Iran wouldn't use a larger more destructive weapon than you are wrong.

3) Claiming Iran is in need of support from Western Democracies is like saying Hitler needed support from Britain. Go ahead and trade with the Devil. Be careful of the deals you make.

McLaren:

1) My perspective in the post above was that from Berlin. This policy surely is anti-american as it is also aiming at driving american influence out of the orient, although I cannot see anything wrong with that.

2) I would not trust Israel any more than Iran, especially from a german point of view. Governments come and go, but the Israelian people will remain far less friendly towards Germany than the Iranian for a long time to come. Clearly muslim aggression against Israel is causing unrest among its population, though this no more of our buisness than any other (civil) war in the world.

3) You can hardly deny that Israel is the political bridgehead for the US in the region. And so is Iran for Germany´s economy: A bilateral chamber of commerce has been operating for decades, there have been close ties between both countries for a long time now. Iran is the door to the orient for Berlin so to speak. Hardly a constellation one would want to give up.

I see. A civil war is a war amongst those who are of a nation or country to determine the future of that nation. Israel is a sovereign country being attacked by an external force that intends to destroy not only the government of Israel, but also all its people. This is a war, not a civil war. Also, this war is being funded by Iran. You seem not ready to apply your standard of "nobody's business" to Iran. Why is Iran exempt from this policy? Because you derive an advantage from it, and the U.S. and Israel are hurt by it?

In assuming Germany is more deserving than America of peddling influence in the Middle East, you assume Germany's and America's interests are at strict odds. This is greatly troubling for those of us who cherish liberty. I'll have to conclude that you do not. I am not judging you. I am observing. Good luck with Iran. It will have as much loyalty to Germany as Germany deserves. Ask yourself this: If Germany was invaded by any force on Earth, which country would sacrifice its young men for Germany, the U.S. or Iran?

Yes I see that Iran is a destabilising force in Israel. But I cannot see how this should be related to bilateral relationship between Iran and Germany. Germans are not Israel's protectors.

Iran is of german buisness precisely because of the reasons I cited in my first post. None of them apply to Israel.

Yes hurting the US is also a good reason, although not in itself. Many countries apart from the West need western partners to gain access to modern products. By driving the US out of the orient, german companies gain a bigger share of the market and our politics can more easily influence those countries.

Nowhere I have stated that Germany deserves more influence than America in the orient. I was simply writing from a german perspective, which is the main reason why I agree to german foreign politics. Obviously Americans would disagree, just like most germans would disagree with American foreign politics.

Liberty? A great achievement of modern societies, though this concept is not mixed up with national interests here. As regards your last question, honestly I would not rely on either. It is the european neighbors I would rely on only.

@Albert T:

>>Germans are not Israel's protectors.

So you would forsake the only liberal democracy in the ME in favor of its enemy, a mullah-ocracy that has sworn to erase Israel and its people from the face of the Earth? Will you sell arms to Iran? What of their designs on Europe? Is that of no bother to you?


>>I was simply writing from a german perspective, which is the main reason why I agree to german foreign politics. . .

From an American perspective, your perspective seems to be lacking some perspective.


>>As regards your last question, honestly I would not rely on either. It is the european neighbors I would rely on only.

Then, your goose . . . . is cooked.

Albert:

Iran has been at war with the U.S. since 1979. I realize this has nothing to do with Germany per se. Also, Iran is not only a destabilizing force in Israel, it is a destabilizing force in another democracy in the Middle East named Lebanon. I'm sure you've seen the news lately or in the last 20 years. Also Iran is a destabilizing force in Iraq. Iran is killing American troops. It seems as though you realize Iran is the big player in the Mid East. As such, you would prefer to forsake Western ideals and classic liberal culture to enrich Germany, as you admitted, not to a great extent.

So for a little cash, you would watch an entire future of warfare, tyranny and Islamofascism dominate the very millions of people with who you wish to gain favor. Sun Tzu once wrote that one of the greatest tools of war is to convince your enemy that you are not at war with him. Like so many in Europe and here in the U.S., you do not see the war at your front door. Sadly it might take a direct attack on your homeland to awaken you to the fact that the West is in a long war for our very survival now. Even then I fear you would find a reason to lay the attack at the feet of Israel or the U.S., not at the feet of those who wish to kill you. Like the Soviets once wished, perhaps you would sell Iran the rope it will use to hang you.

I think you are dangerously mistaken to think that a trade relationship with Iran will somehow allow you to influence Iran's policies. To the contrary, I'd say it is Iran that is influencing Germany. Germany is being used by Iran. Germany is being played by Iran so that Iran can claim some sort of legitimacy on the world stage. Big mistake.

Lastly, Germany and the U.S. have a much larger trade interest than Germany has with Iran. If your sole interest is cash, as it seems to be, why not nurture the trade relationship that enriches Germany?

"German army officers allow top Taliban commander to escape ... because they are not allowed to use lethal force"

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-567322/German-army-officers-allow-Taliban-commander-escape---allowed-use-lethal-force.html

KSK are good guys-- shame they're not more of them. The german political leadership has, yet again, failed the people.

And the German people are responding:

"Where Have all the Germans Gone?"

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OGQxYzhlYmM3MTE1MDI2MDViZDZiNWE2NTkzYWY1ZWE=

Demographically speaking, along with most other EU countries and their mother tonuges, there isn't going to be much German spoken in the next century.

Buckeye:

O-H

I'm in Cols. writing now. You are missed!

Hey, is it Ok to bring up old business?

About a year ago, Juerg waived some UN document that compared murder rates of different countries around the world. The U.S. murder rate was 5.6 per 100,000, a low for about a half a century. The German murder rate was reported to be 1.6 per 100,000. Juerg’s conclusion: America must give up guns, second amendment and its culture of violence.

I question the UN statistics. I checked the statistic of the Bundeskriminalamt. They reported murders differently from voluntary manslaughter. The FBI, in turn, reports "homicides," which include murder and manslaughter. The U.S. criminal justice system is different: juries, not the police, determine a crime.

Low and behold, Der Spiegel has an article this week, lamenting that German crime statistics have dramatically increased this year. This year, the Bundeskriminalamt combines "mord" and "totschlag." Germany's statistic per 100,000 is now 3.7. Still lower than the U.S.....but I thought Germany has humanistic court systems and has all but outlawed the private possession of firearms.

Hello George,
could you please give the title of the article in Der Spiegel, I can't find it.
Also, where did you get the 3.7 per 100,000 number from?
Thank you

George, You are wrong.

"They reported murders differently from voluntary manslaughter. The FBI, in turn, reports "homicides," which include murder and manslaughter."

Looking at the BKA PKS 2006 on my desk, they add cases of Mord (murder) and Totschlag (manslaughter)to their number/100.000 and have been doing so for years. The index is 1.0 in 2006, Your number of 3.7 likely relates to the total number Mord and Totschlag cases including attempted (!) cases.

So the relevant number in Germany is 1.0 in 2006, maybe 1.x today. Look at Wiki: "Most industrialized countries had homicide rates below the 2.5 mark. Overall the homicide rate in the United States was similar to that of some lesser developed Eastern European countries."

"I thought Germany {SNIP}has all but outlawed the private possession of firearms."

Wrong again. Germany only has gun restrictions on the Federal level, and several US states and territories have stricter rules than Germany. I could get a gun if I wanted to ...

"The U.S. criminal justice system is different: juries, not the police, determine a crime."

It takes some chuzpeh to laud the current US legal system in view of recent trends over there, but I am impressed by Your resistance to facts. ;-)

@Tropby
"I could get a gun if I wanted to ..."
Oh really? So tell me how in germany you would legally get a gun until next month being a normal citicen?

@garydausz:

The Sachkundenachweis alone (skill test) takes quite long, rightly so IMHO, so I assume that it and the other bureaucratic staff would take a quarter of a year. A colleague of mine who rushed it post 9/11 had to wait for about two months.

One month seems unlikely without serious connections or extraordinary effort: Another colleague got it within one or two weeks after receiving serious death threats, but he was considered skilled as a former Army officer and did some formal stuff afterward (i.e. they were bending the rules)

A legal German gun owner is able to carry concealed in every German city including Berlin ... Try doing so in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Anti-americanism at Spiegel

@Tropby
So it is not that easy at all to be allowed to buy a weapon in germany, isn't it?

"A legal German gun owner is able to carry concealed in every German city including Berlin ... Try doing so in Illinois and Wisconsin."
No Tropby, he is not. The permit to purchase a weapon in germany does not allow you to carry the weapon in public (concealed or unconcealed). The special permit to carry the weapon on you is only granted in very special cases and I doubt that in all of germany you would find more than a 1000 civilians who have this permit.

@garydausz

"So it is not that easy at all to be allowed to buy a weapon in germany, isn't it?"

I claimed that "I could get a gun if I wanted to ...", not that I could do so without encountering bureaucratic hurdles

"The permit to purchase a weapon in germany does not allow you to carry the weapon in public (concealed or unconcealed)."

I am afraid You are confusing a mere Waffenbesitzkarte with a full-grown Waffenschein.

The limitations of § 42 WaffG (e.g. no guns on the Oktoberfest) are IIRC similiar to restrictions in several US states about not carrying a gun into a bar. I believe to recall - but I may be wrong - that several US cities and Washington DC have quite restrictive gun regulations.

"I doubt that in all of germany you would find more than a 1000 civilians who have this permit."

A full-grown Waffenschein is no rarity, sorry. One of my two partners in our little firm got one, as do several other colleagues.

A permit according to § 42 WaffG is likely quite rare, but I know no one running a beer tent at the Oktoberfest.

@Tropby
I believe to recall - but I may be wrong - that several US cities and Washington DC have quite restrictive gun regulations.

You're quite right, Tropby. The gun laws in D.C. are currently before the Supreme Court - I don't know when the ruling is expected, but I can hardly wait to read Scalia's opinion. It'll probably ignite the paper it's written on.

I'm not sure about 'guns in bars' legislation here in Virginia. Concealed-carry requires a hell of a lot of paperwork, so a lot of people just carry openly. I do sometimes - especially when we get the occassional 'serial rapist' thing in the news. I'd rather not be picked on at all rather than have to shoot somebody even if they do have it coming.

Now if I could just get the coyotes in the neighborhood to recognize a .38................

@Tropby

"I claimed that "I could get a gun if I wanted to ...", not that I could do so without encountering bureaucratic hurdles"

The point you were trying to make was that it is not a problem to get a gun in germany and that is not true. It is for sure not impossible, but it is everything but easy.
To be legally able to carry a gun with you (meaning on your body)unless you are in a profession that requires it (e.g. security gcompany) is rare in germany. To carry a gun to public occassions (Volksfest, Theater, Concert...) is totally forbidden.
So your two colleagues have a permit to carry their guns at all times? How were they able to obtain it?
So you are claiming your two colleagues have a permit to carry their gun with them any time

Concerning crime statistics in the U.S.: If the homicide rates among minorities within the U.S. are excluded from the total number, the murder rate in the U.S. falls below the rates of most European countries, even though gun ownership in the U.S. is more common. The crime rates among minorities badly skew the overall statistics. While this doesn't absolve the U.S. of its "crime problem," it must be noted that crime in the urban areas far surpasses crime in the other 97% of the country.

As for gun ownership in the U.S., unless you are in a city where strict gun control exists (which usually coincides with high crime areas) any citizen may carry a firearm in the open. It is legal to carry a firearm as long as it is not concealed. In some cases, the sight of people carrying openly causes distress and perhaps the police will check to see if you are prohibited from owning a gun -- either a convicted felon or judged mentally incompetent -- but it is legal.


@McLaren:

Non-Germans commit one third of all murders over here. Citizens with a migration background, esp. from Turkey, Russia and the former Yugoslavia, account for about another third of the cases ...

If one wants to limit statistics to non-minorities, then one has to do it in both nations. ;-)

@garydausz:

Do not put words in my mouth.

I responded to the blatant misinformation that "Germany has all but outlawed the private possession of firearms" with my factually correct claim that "I could get a gun if I wanted to ...", referring of course to a full Waffenschein, not a mere Waffenbesitzkarte. I added two anecdotes two illustrate the bureaucratic hurdles.

There are 2.5 millions of legal gun owners in Germany with about 7,5 to 10 million guns.

You seem to be fixated on the regulations of § 42 WaffG, but ignore similar limitations in the US: Not all states accept an out-of-state permit to carry concealed, some states (You ignored Illinois and Wisconsin) do not allowed concealed carry and local restrictions can be quite harsh etc. .

It would be helpful if those citing various statistics , laws etc. could provide sources to back up their statements. Thank you.

This is a public service announcement brought to you on behalf of Brave Combo, Denton Texas’s contribution to polka-fusion music. I hope that didn't confuse anyone.

@Tropby
I am not fixated on anything. You seem to be fixated on trying to make a point that it is almost as easy to legally purchase a gun in germany as it is in the US which is simply not true.
I dare to say that even in the state with the strictes gun laws it is still more easy to legally purchase a gun.
To come back to your "I could get a gun if I wanted to..." let see what it would take you do actually do this. To legally own a gun in germany 4 things are required:

1.You have to have the proper knowledge
Which means in germany you have to a licensed trainer or club and have to have lessons and pass a final exam. All this probably takes you at least half a year.

2. You have to be an adult
Ok, no big deal. You have to be 18.

3. You have to be "reliable"
Which means a background check will be done to see if you had any legal problems in the past which would deem you unreliable. Whatever this could be is probably up to whoever makes the decission.
So I assume that if you had a couple of speeding tickets in the past it might prevent you from getting the permit.

4. You have to have a "need" for a gun
Here the german definition of that:
"Der Behörde muss ein Grund (das so genannte Bedürfnis) nachgewiesen oder glaubhaft gemacht werden.
Dieses haben üblicherweise nur Sportschützen, Jäger oder Waffensammler. Zusätzlich sind hier Sicherheitsdienste und Personen zu nennen, die mehr als die Allgemeinheit bedroht sind. Jedoch stehen diese eher im Zusammenhang mit einer anderen waffenrechtlichen Erlaubnis, dem Waffenschein, der zum Führen von Schusswaffen berechtigt.

Um als Sportschütze ein Bedürfnis zum Erwerb einer genehmigungspflichtigen Schusswaffe nachzuweisen, sind weitere Bedingungen zu erfüllen; diese werden unter anderem auch in unseren Schulungen vermittelt.
Als Jäger dient der gültige Jagdschein als Nachweis des Bedürfnisses zum Erwerb genehmigungspflichtiger Schusswaffen.

Waffensammler erhalten ihr Bedürfnis zum Erwerb genehmigungspflichtiger Schusswaffen durch die so genannte 'Sammler-WBK' (Waffenbesitzkarte) oder 'rote WBK' (aufgrund der rötlichen Farbe dieses Dokumentes)."

I do not know anybody in my surrounding who legally owns a gun and according to a friend who was interested in buying one the whole procedure will take you at least a year with a good probability that you won't get the permit.

So to conclude, your statement would have to be completed to: "I could get a gun if i wanted to... after I would have put a lot of time, effort and money into it and if the person who makes the decission for my permit has had a good day.

@ garydausz:

The experience of Your friend seems to be very different from the events I witnessed. I see two possible explanations:

- Different local practices. My anecdotes are from Berlin.
- A bias to arm lawyers and judges. Fringe benefits!

Whatever. I stand by my original statement as I have seen this practice.

Oh, and the first colleague mentioned has a history of traffic tickets and car accidents leading up to a Fahrverbot. No need to worry about the Zuverlässigkeit unless You commit serious crimes or are insane. ;-)

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