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Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, January 13. 2016
Can You Spot a Liar?
No One Wants To Buy Electric Cars
The company that made co-working a lifestyle is now experimenting with co-living
Jane Mayer and the New York Times Dive Into the Gutter
From Subprime to Sub-Subprime
Obama is absolutely correct to say that anybody claiming that our economy is decline is peddling fiction.
Hillary Clinton: “White Terrorism” And “Police Violence” Are Just As Big A Threat As ISIS - How many people did “white terrorist” kill last year? ISIS slaughtered 6,500.
State of the World: Open Season on America
How the Clintons Changed America - Sex, culture, and the presidency
Jewish Leader in Marseille Urges Men to Stop Wearing Skullcap in Public after Machete Attack
“Integrated” Muslim Migrants: Germans Are “Disgusting,” They Should All “Disappear”
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Liars are easy to spot. Take Hillary for example: If you see her lips moving, she's LYING!
Same with Bill and BHO.
Re: State of the World: Open Season on America
It's partially a self inflicted wound. After Iran captured two Navy boats and ten sailors (which Iran said was a lesson to trouble makers in Congress), the US apologizes to Iran (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35299930)! This happens while we are apparently getting ready to hand over Iran's $150B that we've held for invading US land (our embassy) and kidnapping US citizens as part of a nuke deal which I don't believe they have even signed and in any case, they have already violated it as well as associated UN resolutions. And that's just Iran.
Obummer has essentially pinned a 'Kick Me' sign on the Uncle Sam's back. Are we to expect that nobody will take him up on it?
It's worse than Kerry apologizing. He called IRAN to ask them for help!!!!! What the %$&#
Well, technically, if we follow the official definitions, then most terrorism in the West is committed by White, religiously-motivated, men. The 9/11 terrorists were White. The Syrians and other "North Africans" committing many of the latest attacks are White.
Well, they were Caucasian, the Progs have started judging by the color of the skin rather than scientific racial group. Every Christmas it seems they throw out St. Nicolas as not being White even though he was Greek.
Now, Islamic terrorists and other locally political terrorists in the Far East, such as in Indonesia, do tend to not be White, but rather of a local racial group. Just as the Islamic, Boko Harem in Sub-Saharan Africa are not White, but reflect the local racial groupings.
And, it should be acknowledged that on occasion someone claiming Christian Bible motivation will do an attack. But then as police officer I know points out, that in almost every arrest he does for Meth or other hard drugs, the addict also has a Bible and will often do a religious salvation spiel when they are scamming for drug money. The thing is, no respected Christian leader asserts the right of the drug addict to rob and kill for his fix no matter how religious his spiel.
Make sure to read the comments in the origin of coal story. There were some doubters who provided some science-y stuff that might make sense to some.
@ State of the World: Open Season on America
I suspect the terrorist attacks across the west are a means of "pay back" after so many years of European and US interference in their own destiny. Of course the cry of Islam is nothing more than a rallying cry to unify a common group to hate us more than they hate their own divided sects.
Starting with the British establishing borers without any sense of tribal or regional awareness, things quickly turned ugly shortly after WW1. Follow the trail of continued European and US meddling with the Shaw of Iran and support of Israel among other things, and the picture become pretty clear.
Consider that an entire generation of people have grown up in these countries have only known war ever since the US showed up to rescue Kuwait back in 1990. We Germans only had to put up with 2-years of "real war" once the US got involved in WW2 and ended it all in a very short time.
With that in mind, one quickly understands why these people hate us and have for so long when western drones routinely kill and maim civilians. The Iran and Iraq war was one thing, but when the West gets involved, it's like the police showing up at a domestic dispute in a Baltimore neighborhood...it's just a matter of time before everyone turns on the cop.
Now Muslims have not only the will, but the means to inflict the same pain upon the west as the west has been inflicting upon them. I'm in no way justifying their actions, just explaining them in a way that makes sense.
America should remember its own history if it needs a reminder of why all this is happening. American Revolutionaries (terrorists to the British) inflicted the same pain on the British in the late 1700's. It didn't go so well for the British despite the fact they had the largest and most powerful Army and Navy in the world at that time.
I guess we shouldn't have interfered with Saddam Hussein when he tried to take over Kuwait and then Saudi Arabia. I guess we should have let Hussein and his fun-loving sons terrorize the Sunis and Kurds and feed other Iraqi citizens to plastic shredding machines. I guess we should allow the Taliban to continue to kill girls who go to school. While we're at it, we probably shouldn't have interfered with the folks in Malaysia when they were hit with a tsunami.
I guess when our forefathers felt their rulers were tyrants, they should have just accepted it (you should at least list a terrorist act they committed, but don't forget the way the British treated the colonials. Since we're on the subject of terrorism, you may want to investigate the causes of the War of 1812 - Britain kidnapped our civilian sailors after the Revolutionary War.)
Of course, the subject of kidnapping sailors brings to mind the Barbary Pirates. They kidnapped our sailors too and do you remember why? Here, I'll help you out... Allah called them to do that. They also terrorized Europe, but they preferred to capitulate rather than fight them. I guess they had already forgotten about when Charles Martel defeated the Muslims saving Europe from being a Muslim continent, but it was a thousand years before...
Throughout history since Mohammed died, Muslims occasionally decide it's time to make the infidels submit to Allah. That's what is going on again. Anybody who thinks this is a political issue is either deluding themselves are trying to deflect attention from the real issue.
“Integrated” Muslim Migrants: Germans Are “Disgusting,” They Should All “Disappear”
From the above link:
The clip shows a woman speaking to migrant teenagers in a high school. She asks them if they know what the word “integration” means, to which one girl responds, “It means to exclude others.”From your comment:
“No, that’s precisely what it’s not,” responds the woman.
When asked if they have any German friends, the group of teens laugh before one responds, “Me? Not a single one.”
“Me neither, not a single one,” responds another girl.
When asked why they don’t have any German friends, one teen states, “Because they don’t belong to us, I cannot be like them.”
Asked if they like Germans, one girl asserts, “If you hang out with Germans, they do different things than you, for example eating pork. I’m disgusted by them to be honest.”
She continues: “Look, if all migrants would stay in Germany and if all the Germans would disappear for just a single day, nobody would notice.”
Now Muslims have not only the will, but the means to inflict the same pain upon the west as the west has been inflicting upon them. I'm in no way justifying their actions, just explaining them in a way that makes sense.Guess you're right.
I suspect the terrorist attacks across the west are a means of "pay back" after so many years of European and US interference in their own destiny.
Where do you place Germany selling tunnel boring machinery to Iran into that statement? Just wondering.
Keep tracing history further back before you choose European actions as any sort of a "starting point" that they are paying us back for.
This, for openers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iVXPqnoC_A
For example: White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves.
I find you thoughts about the U.S. situation quite interesting, Herr Horst.
About your "week-in-Rome-doesn’t-count” thing? Been there enough times that I could keep you fully occupied on a five day tour; and can say the same about Paris, Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, Bayeux, Vienna, Carcassonne, even Garmish-Partenkirchen and Berg, (but maybe not Hamburg quite yet. Only been twice) and a few others. So, I’m an American. Yes. And I’ve seen little bit of “how other people live”. And you might have a point.
Sometimes we have overdone it in our enthusiasm to bring what we have here, liberty, to other cultures in this world. Sometimes it’s a great benefit and sometimes it a total disaster.
The last few years are a case in point. It’s ended badly for us in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was one of those for it at first. Sadamm was a fucking pig and faked posing a real threat to us (how’d that work out in the end, asshole?) and we bungled everything except the initial 3 week invasion (and only that was successful, because we happen to have the finest military force the world has ever seen. Including yours, now, or during the Nazi Wehrmacht…. Period.)
After that, its been a terrible waste of the best lives this country has had to offer.
Afghanistan the same. (I never saw the necessity in trying to drag an entire peoples out of the 7th century and into the 8th, anyway) Pounding the ever living shit out of the Taliban and bin Laden? Yes. Absolutely. Till the place is a smoking ruin. Nation building? What? What nation? Again, sadly, a titanic waste of American lives, never mind the fortune.
Could we go back in time and tear up Sykes-Picot and every stupid map boundary made out of thin air for these tribal degenerates? Fine with me. Let them tear each other apart till there’s nothing left. (Not worth the life of one more American soldier.)
However, your comment that this is “payback" for U.S. and European influence? Is that why millions of hopeless, jobless, angry young people, who happen to be of the Islamic faith, and citizens of Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Iraq, (insert name here) hate us? Or does any of it fall at the feet of their decades of fraudulent governments, maniac dictators, and their crass political ideology laced over with the veneer of “The Religion of Peace"? I think so. And so, I respectfully call your supposition that this is payback, bullshit.
On your other idea that “muslims now have the will and the means to inflict the same pain on the West….” I would submit to you that they don’t know the meaning of the word “inflict”.
Maybe they should send one of their scholarly Imams over to Japan and have a wee conversation and a bit of a look see at what “infliction" looks like, when a culture really believes it’s “Open Season on America” as your heading implies.
If they truly have any intelligence left as a great society and religious influence, they would do well to go take a lesson in history.
Before it's too late.
Call me a crazy American but: The U.S. is the only country I can think of that spends their money and their young men's lives to help other people and other countries. Does the U.S. ever do things, even some very harmful things that they should be ashamed of? Absolutely often, like Vietnam, in a Quixotic effort to save lives and sometimes in a more bullying fashion where we try to solve a problem by leaning on who we think were the offenders. And of course there is a sprinkling of examples where U.S. citizens or companies took advantage of other countries and the U.S. backed them up sometimes with the army. But all in all I can't think of a lot of other countries who have tried as hard and as often as the U.S. to save lives and prevent human suffering. I just don't think the U.S. is the "bad guy" in the world and it boggles the mind that anyone who grew up in a democracy with public and adequate education would even say that was the case. I always suspect there is an ulterior motive behind their America hating.
If Americans are willing to send their brave sons and daughters to die in these countries, then by all means. Germans have stood beside and befriended American soldiers ever since they arrived here and occupied Germany over 70-years ago. Let's not forget, you are us and we are you despite our political differences.
However it might be better if the west just stops sending them our money in the form of foreign aid and payment for oil by eliminating our dependence on foreign oil all together. Fracking is a good start as we have already seen oil drop to 1970's prices. ISIS can't support terror without the financial means, and the sooner we cut off their finances, the better.
Keep in mind, in fiscal year 2011, the United States handed Egypt about $1.5 billion; the fourth-largest recipient after Israel ($3 billion), Iraq ($2.1 billion), and Pakistan ($1.7 billion.
Now I ask you, after investing so much in these third world despots countries, are your schools any better? Did your highways and bridges improve? Health insurance get any cheaper? More job start ups and employment opportunities? Maybe if you had kept that money at home and invested it in America, things might have been different.
I understand the need to eliminate the problems in the Islamic world, there's no argument there. But I think reducing or eliminating the flow of money is an alternative to putting American lives at risk. America is a great country, but even America can't solve all the problems in the world with the blood of their own children.
Karl, you're making my point. Some of our "interference" is our financial aid. There is other interference is encouraging other cultures to support controversial ideas such as the West's ideas on homosexuality and abortion (in my mind very damaging). It should be said that some consider the West's encouraging other cultures to be more respectful of civil rights (in my mind, this is correct but it can be damaging, too).
Although I am hopeful of what Egypt's president el Sisi can accomplish, especially with regards to reforming Islam, I agree that we have spent a lot of money with terrorists such as Palestinians and Iran. Many of the foreign aid deals were the result of past peace deals (Egypt and Palestinians) and support for their cooperation in our fight with the Taliban and Al Qaeda (Pakistan), but in many of those cases, the recipients of our largess are no longer our friends, and do not support our ideals. There is good reason to end those payments.
Agree with both of you.
Just leave these people alone, and punish them quickly and efficiently when they impose on us.
White Christian Conservative terrorists.
Short version: Because the professor's group is terrified, their opponents must be terrorists.
I have found that people often use the word "terrorist" for its connotation rather than its denotation. That is, they are not clearly thinking "personal using violence and intimidation instrumentally to affect political situations." They are thinking "bad people who are dangerous to my group." If we further allow that "dangerous" does not necessarily mean physical danger, but a threat to resources, status, jobs, etc, then the professor is making a primitive, but accurate statement. He is identifying by stereotype the main competitor group to his own, which if it gains cultural control, will provide fewer and worse jobs and status than his group currently enjoys. (Well, I hope so.)
They are in fact terrified that they might have to find some other, less-protected way of making a living. Because they are terriFIED, their opponents must be terroRISTS.
AVI, it's even worse than that. I looked at the video, which was from a Weasel Zippers link without text, and found the professor made the following statement.
"Just a few months ago, a white, I think he was Christian, I thought he was Christian because there was something about, you know, ‘the state claimed against God’s law and stuff,’ so a white guy went in with an AK-47 and shot up the statehouse in Texas. Like literally fired 60 rounds at the statehouse. No one was injured but that is an act of terrorism. That happened about a month ago.”I live in TX, and had never heard of such an event. I went to search engines, including Google News, to investigate such an event. I found NOTHING.
“Now imagine if that guy was a Muslim,” Avilla added. “If a Muslim came in with an AK-47 and shot at a statehouse in Texas – how many of ya’ll would hear about it then? Everyone. It would be all that was on the news.”
I went back to the Weasel Zippers link, and found out the video was originally posted at The College Fix:College students taught most U.S. terrorists ‘conservative’ white men.The incident occurred not in the "state house" in Texas, but at a county courthouse in Georgia.
The “Introduction to Psychology” lesson was given by Dr. Ross Avilla, a lecturer at the University of California-Merced, who backed up his argument by telling his class about a white Christian man who shot up the Texas statehouse with an AK-47 – an incident which in fact never took place...Of course Avilla stands by his assertion. Nothing, not even facts, should be permitted to upset the narrative.
A portion of the lecture was recorded by two students in the class who provided it to The College Fix. The lesson took place in mid-October, just a few weeks before UC Merced student Faisal Mohammad stabbed four people on the Northern California campus.
After his rampage, Mohammad was found to have an image of the ISIS flag, a handwritten manifesto with instructions on how to behead someone, and reminders to pray to Allah, but authorities have said his motives were grounded in revenge for being kicked out of a study group.
Two students in the class who provided the video of the lecture to The College Fix last week asked to remain anonymous. They said they waited to release it until their grades were secured, and also out of respect for the mourning period at UC Merced after Mohammad’s stabbing spree.....
Asked about the content of his lecture by The College Fix, Avilla said in an email he actually meant a heavily armed man who stormed the Forsyth County Courthouse in Georgia in 2014.
“I had gotten quite a few of the details wrong (which I do regret),” Avilla said, adding video of the incident had been released in the summer of 2015, when he learned of it.
According to reports, no one died at the Forsyth courthouse shooting except the gunman, Dennis Ronald Marx, who was facing numerous federal gun and drug-related charges. Some reports described him as a “sovereign citizen” who was anti-law enforcement and anti-government.
Meanwhile, Avilla stands behind his assertion that nearly all acts of terrorism in America are committed by white men who are “religiously motivated and politically conservative.”
@ mudbug - I think you will find that one of the many great divides between Europe and America (and many other parts of the world) has to do with the sincerity of Americans. I think this is why many people have trouble with Americans imposing their values and culture on others especially when so many have never left America to see how other people live (...sorry, a two week holiday trip to Paris or Rome doesn't count!).
But let me clarify my position. Most Europeans, and I suspect many outside of the US, who have had the pleasure of visiting the US would agree Americans are incredibly friendly and helpful and are on the whole, wonderful people. The sacrifices your countrymen have made to ensure the freedom of total strangers around the world has not been forgotten, despite the media, at least not here in Europe.
Freedom, which we nearly lost due to our own stupidity by following an Austrian politician in the 1930's. If you have not visited the cemeteries of Omaha Beach, Bastogne or Verdun, you would be very proud in how well we have cared for your fallen who lie in honored memory in our own soil. The Dutch has gone as far as individual families adopting soldiers graves and caring for them and laying flowers.
However, the flip side to that is that Americans are also perceived as incredibly shallow and live in what we see as a conflicted society; a society which has evangelical Christian mega-churches, yet produces nearly 90% of the worlds pornography. A society that shuns the idea of slavery, yet has allowed corporate greed to enslave millions into a life of credit card debt, student loans and perpetual poverty.
This same great America who's politicians, as we have seen in the past, are quick to turn friend into foe when friends don't tow the line to suit their political or economic goals.
It is therefore difficult to know when to take American's seriously when they say one thing (fight terror) and yet they support countries like the Saudi's who have proven connections supporting the same terrorists.
P.S. I do hope you will allow me to be critical of American policy, from a German perspective, to explain or argue my point. It is not my intention to criticize America as a country or the American people, both of which I greatly respect.
Karl, I have no problem with people being critical of US policy of any kind and when I hear/see it. I appreciate your reasoned discussion as well your kind words about us as a people - thank you.
I have problems with our policies - not just foreign, but that is the main thrust of our discussion - especially lately. I admit that we encourage certain values. Most of the rest of the world envies our success so wouldn't we encourage them to implement what we believe is key to our success so they can share in it? We also consider basic tenets of freedom to be a right and I think most of us (except for many members of the UN Human Rights Council) see being a proponent of human rights as a positive. But as I suggested, human rights are not viewed the same way everywhere so where do you draw the line. I certainly don't agree with where we've drawn that line every time. I think encouraging cultures that are strenuously opposed to gay rights to accept gays ends up looking like we're lecturing them. Some of those cultures may think it is consistent with their view of gays to hack gays with machetes. What do you do then? Nothing? Some cultures think it's acceptable to hack albinos. Other than the genetic component, what is the difference? I'm not an expert, but I think it can be easy to get caught up in gray areas when you want to promote human rights.
It's true that we have occasionally partnered with some unsavory countries. That's never an enjoyable thing but they sometimes are able to provide a service for a 'greater' good - e.g. fighting Communism. I think countering Communism is a worthy endeavor so while we get in bed with some unsavory folks, the best guess by those running the show thought it was a net plus. Sometimes you don't get to choose your allies.
I agree with your point about terror and Saudi Arabia. At the moment, we seem to be distancing ourselves from them but they are almost the only counterweight to Iran. What is crazy is that we are getting in bed with Iran. As bad as Saudi Arabia is, we do see some things in a similar way, but we don't (at least I hope we don't) see anything the way Iran does. I can't explain this at all. Whatever one might think of our relationship with the Saudis, our policy with Iran is even nuttier - but then looks who's running things (into the ground) over here...
I feel I'm going down a rat hole a bit. We could withdraw from all those controversies and just mind our own business. It's sometimes harder to do that when you're able to try to do something positive, and we all want to be a positive influence and sometimes we get it wrong. On the other hand, if you're not able to affect things, it's easier - you just don't and take what you get.
While I'm not as isolationist as some, I think we probably do too much. On the other side of that is what someone commented here a few months ago: We don't want to be the world's policeman, but somebody is going to. That makes a lot of sense to me.
I also think our 'helping' has certainly been a problem in other ways, too. We provide a fair amount of the military force in Europe and that has allowed Europe to provide for less of its defense. It's also allowed Europe to build what in my mind are over-active welfare states to your detriment.
Addressing two of your points: With respect to our conflicted morality - I bemoan that also. I wish our churches had more influence in our society as they used to, but obviously, that is not the only issue since Europe is much less religious than the US and if you're right about the 90% number, that problem is much less severe. I will say that I went to Germany almost 35 years ago and was astounded to see a sign in the air port tell me where the sex shop was. In one of the hotels we stayed in, there was information about where the local sex shops were, There seemed to be a greater level of acceptance of pornography (or whatever was in the sex shop - I didn't go to one) in Germany then than we have now.
I also dispute your characterization of corporate greed enslaving millions to a life of credit card debt. Those people borrow money on their own. No corporation forces them to do it. The financial/economic education in the country is pretty poor and many people see a certain amount of self worth tied up in how much they own. "He who dies with the most toys wins." That is more a failure of upbringing than corporate greed. Student loans are a problem the government started when it got in the business of making college affordable. I was lucky to go through college before they messed that up.
Well, that went on longer than I expected. Obviously, those are my opinions. I don't even claim any of them are majority opinions but it's the way I see things. Everything is a trade off so I think the idea is to try to do the best for the most - especially when our interests are involved. Even if some policies are stupid or counterproductive, I think that has always been the guiding principle when they were formed.
I should amend my comments on the general theme of doing the best for the most. I can't square that with the policies of the current president at all.
Feel free to criticize, Mr. Horst. It's one of the freedoms enjoyed by those who live in countries such as the United States and Germany. Right?
Let me comment on some of your remarks.
#1. Pornography has been around for millennia in every culture around the world. I don't know where you get the 90% figure for America, but perhaps you'll share your source with me. My first experience was with some literature produced in Italy and France, movies from Sweden and some very erotic artwork from China, but then what can I say about a country that kept "Playboy" covered in brown wrappers so teenage boys couldn't see the very breasts that nursed them.
#2. Greedy corporations don't MAKE people go into debt. That is again one of the freedoms available in a free society. Certain politicians in America, in order to "buy" votes, have made credit easier to obtain by people who are incapable of evaluating risk, but no one was forced to sign their name. In fact, banks such as Deutsche Bank, which operates in my neighborhood and 70 other countries around the world, can refuse to give such credit if they are willing to decrease their share of the risk management market. I suggest you read "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis to understand just what a large player this Frankfort-based company became in the 2008 financial crisis.
#3. Managing international relations apparently takes more ingenuity and patience than most humans are capable of acquiring. If I have my history down correctly, even Europe with Prussia at its core has been involved in never-ending conflicts since the 7th Century when pagan tribes united diverse peoples of the area. Endless disruption caused the parents of both of my grandfathers to leave the area now known as Bavaria between 1855 and 1860, finding the opportunity of farming in the U.S. Midwest more conducive to their vision of the future. (BTW None of them owned slaves (just cows), but their progeny did serve in WWI and WWII, fighting against the German homeland -- a very sad time for all.)
#4. I, too, do not understand the liaisons made, especially those of the last seven years, which have sent so many countries into mayhem including your own. Perhaps we need to better investigate the leaders we elect and uncover their hidden agendas. In spite of promising "never again", our people never seem to learn the lessons history could teach.
Best wishes to you and your countrymen. May you in Europe and, especially, Germany have success in leading such a diverse population of peoples. We, too, still find it a work in progress.
However, the flip side to that is that Americans are also perceived as incredibly shallow and live in what we see as a conflicted society; a society which has evangelical Christian mega-churches, yet produces nearly 90% of the worlds pornography.
Ninety percent? I think not. Yes, America is a conflicted society as shown by your megachurch- pornography example- and my many more examples. There was a lot of disagreement in the US about the Iraq War. From what I have observed, there was a lot less disagreement in Germany about it- most against. I have read of Ami foreign exchange students in Germany who related near unanimity in Germany against the Iraq War. Unanimity is not always a good thing.
While I agree with you about the pernicious effects of the federal student loan program, it is not correct to blame that on "corporate greed." Who is loaning the money? The feds. It is a case of poorly thought out policy having pernicious consequences, not of corporate greed.
I would agree that US policy towards Saudi Arabia, which spends billions on proselytizing its Wahabi sect worldwide, is conflicted. But that is also a case of being between a rock and a hard place, as we say here- no easy answers.
I would agree that America's abandoning former allies is a problem. South Vietnam, Israel...
For what it's worth, here are some of my criticisms of Germans criticizing the United States. Consider Herta Daubler Gmelin who compared Bush to Hitler. Seems to me that someone whose Nazi father helped facilitate the rail transport of Slovakian Jews to the death camps should not be comparing Bush to Hitler. Just sayin'. She is not responsible for the misdeeds of her father, but her comparing Bush to Hitler suggests to me that she has not yet come to terms with what her father did. [Bush is just as bad as my father...]
Nor did Schroeder's gratuitous attacks on the US in order to gain re-election in 2002 go over well.
Or consider the Germans, outraged at the death penalty in the US who forget that the abolition of the death penalty in Germany came from the initiative of Hans-Christoph Seebohm. Seebohm was "thinking above all of the execution of war criminals, to which he and his party were bitterly opposed."
Or consider German journalist Markus Guenther's yellow journalism about the United States.
I would rather be considered shallow American than to be considered a scheissekopf like- "Because Daddy was a Nazi I will call Amis Nazis too" Herta Daubler Gmelin, Gazprom Schroeder, or Yellow Journalist Markus Guenther.
Your comments about the United States are not over-the-top compared to those four examples I cited. As a German commenting about the US, you should be aware of these examples.
I have a German surname. One year my grandmother gave me an album of the Obernkirchen Children's Choir. I also saw them in concert. My brother-in law emigrated from Germany.
Regards the Middle East, I would just as soon isolate it from the West. No oil, no emigrants.
@ JMA and Gringo - It is refreshing to see someone who understands German politics and perspective. I very much appreciate your comments. I must admit I have always found it tiring to have to defend Germany from a single point in history. Thank you both for not using the traditional "well, you killed 6,000,000 Jews!" statement I usually come up against when I am critical of American policy.
To your comments...Germany remained a divided kingdom state up until 1871 when we unified under a single nation. In this respect, we are actually younger (as a nation) than yourselves. Of course it took a severe beating in two world wars to kick the Prussian out of us. Some would argue we were beaten a bit too much, if not over the top, with the destruction of Dresden.
However what most Americans don't realize is that Germany was the first country America ever defeated and occupied with a military presence. Something the US had never done before in the past. To be subjected to occupation is something Americans simply can't appreciate in terms of how that affects the psyche of a nation.
Germany was suddenly transformed from an proud nation into a divided country of subjugated people who were dependent upon foreign policy (Marshall plan) and foreign financing during the rebuilding in the 1950s. While at the same time, many well known Nazi's avoided prosecution and were put back into various public offices and corporate positions.
This is the point of my conflicted society which is clearly driven by conflicted policy guided by corporate interests. Which explains why the US Army intentionally avoided bombing US owned factories in Germany (GE, ITT, Ford, IBM and others).
With regards to Germans such as Gmelin, Schroeder and Guenther, these are the typical critics of American policy that spout off when it suits their position. America is a very large and easy target when it comes to criticizing someone for their grandeur, given the disparity of its citizenry; from the absolute poverty in inner cities, rural south and Appalachians vs. the ultra wealth of the corporate barons who have obviously paid off politicians for favorable laws.
Your comments about South Viet Nam and Israel ring quite loudly in most Germans and it's one of the reasons we are a bit shy of your military policies especially when American attempts to shame NATO soldiers to join in. Much like the German officer who was criticized for ordering the destruction a fuel convoy some years ago which unfortunately resulted in civilian deaths. American forces can have collateral damage but when anyone else does it, it becomes somehow "wrong". It's an isolated incident, but I think you get the idea.
Plus, after the whole Viet Nam fiasco, no one (especially a pacified Germany) is keen to jump on the US military band-wagon when it comes to sending their sons to fight for a cause we're not convinced America fully understands, as seems the case in the middle east today.
During my travels to America (I lived and worked as an engineer in the Silicon Valley for 10-years back in the 80-90's) I can't really say anything against 99.9% of the Americans I met. Americans are really wonderful people. But sometime we just ask ourselves if they really understand how the rest of the world sees them.
While I have my own arguments against a number of US corporations, I stand as a resolute capitalist and agree people are responsible for their own financial state. However, as we saw under Clinton, setting people up to fail with no interest loans and interest only payments because "everyone has a right to a house" did not bode well for the future of the American economy in which tax payers once again, bailed out corporations (banks and financial institutions).
Source for my numbers:
With regards to Germans such as Gmelin, Schroeder and Guenther, these are the typical critics of American policy that spout off when it suits their position. America is a very large and easy target..
Your statement accurately describes Gazprom Schroeder, who found out he could win some votes by bashing Bush. However, your statement doesn't address what is my main point. The other 3 German attacks on the US that I cited involved dishonesty of some sort- outright lies or the deletion of some important points- history Soviet style.
Markus Guenther's article about the US had one lie after another. It is dishonest on the part of Herta Daubler Gmelin to virtuously compare Bush to Hitler, given what her father did in the war. There is something dishonest about the virtuous Germans who condemn the US having the death penalty, given the less than virtuous origins of the postwar abolition of the death penalty in Germany.
I had a fair amount of contact with Germans in Latin America as fellow tourists or as co-workers. Of the 3 main European nationalities I met there- Germans, British, or French- I felt most compatible with the Germans. A lot of Brits have trouble adapting to life outside the UK- at least the ones I met in the oil field did. The French are- the French.
As such, I was rather shocked when I was exposed to the above German rants against the US in the 21st century.
The concept of a person or a country being responsible for the past deeds or 'history' of their country is a ploy or extortion technique which if accepted cannot ever be corrected. My father and mother were good and honorable people but if they made some mistake or committed some wrong in their life would I suddenly be forced to adjust everything I do in my life in some kind of atonement? Should the U.S. bow to every petty political hack, commentor who plays the 'history card'. Should the U.S. change it's foreign policy towards terrorism because someone decides that at some point in our history we fought back against tyranny? Should we ever bow to this ploy?