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Understanding Berlin, a pre- Obama speech guide

Obama's high-profile speech tomorrow in Berlin is fostering all kinds of tragic misunderstandings.

On the size of the crowd, the Deutsche Welle reports that Berlin authorities are expecting up to a million people tomorrow, at the Siegessäule. This is probably the most absurd overestimation since Hillary Clinton's campaign played up expectations of turnout in the Puerto Rico primary. The most plausible explanation for the figure would be that Berlin's authorities hope to turn away people.

Over 100,000 people at the speech will make good pictures for Obama, as long as the networks don't spend all day speculating about the size of the crowd.

Due to the storm in a teacup about the location of the speech, history, too, has been twisted. Journalists generally tend to remember that Reagan and Kennedy also visited Berlin and gave speeches.  And that there was something with the Brandenburg Gate. However, Kennedy's famous 'Ich bin ein Berliner' speech was in front of the Rathaus Schöneberg, about 5 kilometres away. Most reports brushed over that. Some are worse. After stating that Obama will hold his speech about a mile and a half away at the Siegessäule (1.8 kilometres, actually), the LA Times characterises Kennedy's speech as 'near the Brandenburg Gate'. The EU sponsored channel Euronews mixes it up completely.

Bloomberg columnist Amity Shlaes even goes into a long rant on the symbolism of the Prussian victory column. The fact is, there are not that many central venues in Berlin where the authorities can organise this event successfully. The Brandenburg Gate is out of question because Merkel doesn't want it. Rathaus Schöneberg for similar reasons. And in front of the Reichstag is impossible because of the precious sprinkler system.

There is some irony in this situation: it is the same goddess Victoria that stands on top of the Siegessäule who decorates the Brandenburg gate. She's even more warlike, riding a chariot with four horses. Also built by the Prussians.

Like nations, symbols change.

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Zyme on :

The bloomberg link isn't working - Symbolism may not matter greatly for american viewers back at home, fact is that anybody who wants to increase diplomatical relations should respect what matters to the other side - and symbols matter greatly here. Also one cannot rule out the fact that Obama seems to be neglecting the EU's role, completely leaving out Brussels on his voyage. Preferring Berlin over Paris and London doesn´t seem to win many friends there either. If you want to address as many Europeans as possible, the magic rule is to present the speech at a small location lacking any major national role. If you want to upset the maximum number of european diplomats, choose the capital of the biggest EU member. Also the latter is advised if you want to simply impress voters back at home and show little respect for european sensitivities. Yeah, this looks like a promising start for Obama abroad. He seems to be worthy to follow in Bush's footsteps :D The same can-do spirit, the same absence of consideration. Oh and I forgot, he has a personal mission, too!

Nanne on :

Thanks, the links should work now. On European sensitivities, Obama would have done better not to hold a speech. But it would be good to hear if he has anything interesting to say.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Oh and I forgot, he has a personal mission, too!" Good point. His mission is not only personal, it is religious. I think the amount of religious rhetoric in Obama's speeches meets or exceeds Bush. But he is a man of the left so he is given a pass.

franchie on :

uh, I don't want him to visit Carla, just because he'd like a pic with her :lol: well I think he is dreaming of Kenedy's hollogram and the story ended tragically

David on :

Talk about an powerful endorsement! German chancellor Angela Merkel has taken measure of the candidates and rendered her opinion: "In a remark that could be interpreted as casting aspersions on his 71-year-old Republican rival John McCain, Ms Merkel told reporters: "I would say that he is well-equipped – physically, mentally and politically."

Pat Patterson on :

If that is true, then the measuring of the physical, mental and political ability should be in regards Chancellor Merkel for saying such a stupid thing in public.

Detlef on :

Well, what was she supposed to say? That the candidate is totally unsuited for the job? Of course she will only say flattering things right now. And I´m pretty sure she would say similar things about McCain if he were to visit.

Pat Patterson on :

How about simply saying, "We welcome Sen. Obama to Germany and as you know it is inappropriate for the head of any state to interject themselves into the internal politics of one of its allies by even appearing to endorse one candidate of the other." And if Sen. McCain visited I would hope she would keep her comments to the above.

Joe Noory on :

WHat next, David? Looking for his image in a tortilla? I think you're missing something extremely important here: he's running for US president. That Germans superficially and naively like him is irrelevant to Americans who should be voting for their own reasons, not those who aren't governed by the office being filled. That the attending public and the press' presentation looks as more like groupthink than anything else seems to be registering with those highly sought-after swing voters in the US. [i][url=http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/bal-id.infocuswest20jul20,0,2260708.story]European adulation[/url] for Obama will make him the continent's poodle. To voters back home, he could come off as elitist, more European than American (though, shades of Incurious George, he's apparently spent just 24 hours in Western Europe over the past 10 years).[/i] Today on BBC, it was summed up quite nicely. There was a brief snippet of sound thrown into a horribly disorganized piece flashing uncritically from one bit of Obama-idolitry to another, where a German state minister was quoted saying [Obama] "he represents civil rights to me", in a statement based solely on his image and the color of his skin, is 40 years late, and is utterly ignorant of the involvement of the democratic party in Illinois being more along the lines of Bull Conner, a democrat, than with Martin Luther King, a republican. But that isn't simplistic enough for the garden variety european looking for a slick, well-managed, one-sided fairy tale that appeals to their individual lack of understanding of just what removing the burden of prejudice really is. This superficiality is revealing itself rather nakedly. The Germans who insistent on not wanting to be left out of corrective action in Afghanistan a few years ago, hyperactively begging America to "not go it alone" were as desperate for a photo-op and image makeover as Wowereit is today. But [url=http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3503828,00.html]alas[/url]: [i][b]German politicians Tuesday urged Barack Obama not to call for greater troop contributions from Europeans in Afghanistan when he outlines his plans for US foreign policy in a major speech in Berlin on Thursday.[/b] "It makes no sense to make demands that partners cannot fulfil," Rainer Arnold, a parliamentary defense spokesman for the Social Democrats (SPD), told the online edition of Der Spiegel news magazine. The SPD, the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's broad coalition, has made clear that the additional 1,000 troops to be made available for Afghanistan, taking the deployment to a maximum 4,500, is as far as they are prepared to go. Obama is widely expected to call for a greater European contribution to the NATO military effort in Afghanistan when he speaks on Thursday on how US foreign policy will look if he is elected president.[/i] As has been the case for four decades, they're working any angle they can for a free-ride AND the beneficial appearance lent to them by the US. Rationally, they should either leave or earn it, but they're looking for neither. As usual, they want access to power at no risk, no cost, and even [url=http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3507071,00.html]less awareness[/url] of the landscape of American culture. [i]But the Green Party's Deputy Parliamentary Leader voiced what many politicians, especially on the left, probably feel, when he told reporters, "Barack Obama's visit shows: there is another America."[/i] Of course there is. There's always been a broad range of opinion and interests in the US. It's these "wise" Europeans who've been generally ignorant to that for decades, because they seem to defer to the most simplistic object lessons, and concepts requireing the least thought - all the while talking up their superiority in the face of the supposed "ignorance" of those many harbor a quiet resentment for. The question for the Atmerican observer of transatlantic is why would we let that influence OUR choices when they're goal is to limit us based on a badly developed and thoroughly prejudiced knowledge of us?

Bill on :

I'm not going to get into all of the rants and insults to people's sensitivites going on here, but here's a tip for the author Nanne: N-TV has wall-to-wall coverage of the Obama visit to Berlin and I've just watched an interesting lunch hour interview with former U.S. Ambassador to Germany John C. Kornblum (Clinton administration) re: this visit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel looked absoutely delighted to have Senator Obama in town for a visit (she was almost 'giggly' during this morning#s photo session). Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is nervously pacing the halls over at the Aussenministerium in anticipation of this afternoon's meeting (and photo op session) with the poltical "rock star". All in all this visit so far has gone very well for the US presidential candidate Barack Obama and the entire Obama campaign team. There is quite a bit of excitement everywhere in Germany today and the media coverage is absolutely massive. This is good for America, all Americans, irregardless of one's political persuasion. So the Obama critics and foreign policy idealogues here need to lighten up and address Atlantic Review readers and commenters with respect. In regards to the number of visitors expected at tonight's speech at Berlin's Siegessäule (Column of Victory), that previous estimate of a million people may not be very far off. Whatever the number it will be the largest turnout for any US politician to have visited Germany in recent history. Certainly a bigger turnout than anything the people have seen at an Obama campaign event back in the United States. My personal estimate for the turnout this evening: 250,000+ Tell my good friend Jörg to get down to the Siegessäule early tonight and to bring along his own 'Bier'. The lines for a glass or two of Berliner Kindl, Bitburger, or Warsteiner will be absolutely unbearable in length.

Joe Noory on :

A foreign entity engaging in partisan promotion is "positive irrigardless (sic)"? Are you sure?

Detlef on :

As far as I know no German authority has forbidden John McCain to visit Germany too? So how is this foreign entity engaged in partisan promotion? Not to mention that this is a bit rich. The Bush administration certainly made it clear after 2002 that they didn´t like the Schroeder government. And giving preferential treatment to then German opposition politicians. Or how about Bush not receiving the then Tory opposition leader Michael Howard from the UK? Wasn´t that partisan too?

Joe Noory on :

Howard was plying open a rift between the US and the party in power in the UK. Foe the Bush White House to snub limit the interference of a fellow conservative when there was serious work to do with Blair is precisely the opposite of the venality you're trying to characterize it with. On the other hand getting Berlin to pony up for half of the cost of Obama-palooza doesn't just make them suckers, but doing preceisely the opposite of what the White Hoouse did to Howard. And if there was an issue between Schroeder's and Bush's government, it was between elected leaders, not an excercise in manipulating another nation's election. You'll recall that there were many of us who gave the Russian/French/German apporach to America a name: the axis of weasels. This is NOT statecraft. This is a crowd of Germans high on a fantasy of something they wish they could have for themselves going gaga over an American CANDIDATE. I repeat: this is not statecraft. As for it's motives, [url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/david_aaronovitch/article4374704.ece]David Aaronovitch[/url] has it nailed. The reason they are for it today is out of a hatred of Bush and a [url=http://www.thenextright.com/patrick-ruffini/obama-campaign-prints-german-language-flyers-for-berlin-rally#comment-4516]longstanding resentment of any American leader[/url]. Sooner or later they will hate Obama too if he represents America. If he doesn't represent America, the new kiddie-level meme will be "racism". [url=http://www.motherjones.com/news/mustreads/1999/06/061499.html]What will be has always been[/url]. A each stage a mechanism to play out resentment will be found. The press will amplify it. It will be found in any silly example availiable, anywhere in America alone, that is. In the mean time, Thugs in Europe will continue to act out their racism in a way unimaginable in America after the 1950s, but will only be noted later on in quiet and sad reflection over a local criticism whose attention will bear far less interest than fixating on the virtual "big satan". You could virtually write the script now.

Bill on :

I'm no foreign entity! I'm from St. Louis, Missouri... oh, you mean the Germans. If I am not mistaken, people have been messing about in one another's political matters since the birth of what we call civilization. Good thing or not, it's the way things work on Planet Earth.

Bill on :

Sorry about the misspelling of the word 'irregardless'. It was a typo.

Kevin Sampson on :

"There is quite a bit of excitement everywhere in Germany today and the media coverage is absolutely massive. This is good for America, all Americans, irregardless of one's political persuasion." Why?

Bill on :

Well for starters Kevin, this speech by Obama drew the largest crowd for a visit by a US political figure that I have ever witnessed in Germany (or Europe for that matter). I am talking about a time period spanning more than two decades and covering a number of US administrations. It was evident in the coverage that I watched (3 European news channels, CNN, and BBC World) that the majority of the 215,000+ people who showed up at the Siegessäule yesterday were interested in what the man had to say vs. a Love Parade or soccer championship type of crowd. That crowd was not only large but multi-national and multi-ethnic and spanned all age groups, a rare reflection of modern German society itself as typically portrayed by the German news media on a day-to-day basis. It was a true "Der Spiegel" of Berlin and quite pleasing to watch. In addition, this is one of the few times that I have ever seen a large crowd in Germany turnout to actually welcome an American political figure without the standard burning in effigy (did I spell that right?) caricatures of Uncle Sam, the sitting US President, or some other important American symbol. Former US President Clinton drew large crowds of admirers and onlookers during his visits to Germany that's true, but nothing anywhere close to what happened yesterday in Berlin. There were important messages and signals eminating from that event in Berlin yesterday, not just from US presidential candidate Barack Obama, but from the 10's of thousands gathered at the Siegessäule and the millions of television viewers who were watching all over Germany (and perhaps the world). I do hope that people back home in the States recognize and understand what I am trying to express to you here about that event because the entire nation (USA) can build upon it. People, particularly young people are yearning for peace and for a change in the style of political leadership not just in America, but in their own countries all across the globe. Many of them see Obama as the standardbearer of the change they so desperately desire. I hope that this helps in answering your question: Why?

Nanne on :

The German police estimates about 200,000. Which is an amazing amount already. I was just saying in advance that a million is not going to happen in a city of three and a half million. Those are the numbers of the love parade at its prime, when people from all over Germany, Western and Eastern Europe drove to party in Berlin.

Fuchur on :

Judging from Joe Noory's ever more desperate rants, the ongoing success of Obama's road trip around the world seems to push the anti-Obama crowd to the brink of nervous breakdown... Further case in point: [url=http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/07/the-audacity-of.html]Outrage: Obama advertises his Berlin speech in German! And uses Nazi propaganda methods![/url]

Joe Noory on :

Typically European: the existence of a dissenting opinion becomes intolerable... Ergo, you call any other form of opinion a "rant"? Spare me the fake ebullience about Obama's speech, and stop looking at it in artificially uncritical terms for a moment. He used as a example of "cooperation" something long, long ago in the past: the Airlift. An airlift whose effort was borne almost ENTIRELY on the backs of the American soldier and airman. The thing handed to Berliners parents and grandparents is an example of "cooperation". The last genuiniely meaningful speech by an American in Berlin was when Reagan aided the dismantling of the iron curtain insiting that Gorbachov "tear down this wall". It added an inexorable impulse to pressuring the Soviets to see a need to abandon their blind support of Honecker's regime. Without that reunification would have either been impossible, or would have followed great violence and tension. On that day in 1987, there were 100.000 people protesting against Reagan - one can assume that they were protesting that he merely existed - there were 10.000 Polizei and reserves on the streets, and they had as so many times before in West Berlin over any loony, distant abstraction of leftist obsession had rioting protesters and had to released tear gas. I suppose what they were doing was shoing their affection and thanking America for their "cooperation" in keeping at least part of Berlin free and trying to liberate their beloved comrades in the east. Now we are to believe that there was no Anti-Americanism, and if there was, it's the fault of Bush (who Obama, by the way, ISN'T running against, inspite of the repetative rhetoric). If you want to swallow whole the democratic campaigned fluffy, implausible superlatives, then good for you - if you accept their veracity uncritically and expect a uniformity of thought from everyone else in the world, then you gone quite some way in disposing of intellectualism and would likely find okay the forced mandating of opinion as well, I would guess. This notion that any Democrat running for anything has to be remade to be a saviour, hero, solver of all things, unitier of all and anything, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, etc., etc., etc., is a habit that makes people into abject intellectual whores. If they really want to be "the nice ones" "the sincere ones", and every other unprovable image they promote for themselves, all they have to do is actually have a platform and run on it, not remake whoever they put up there as the hybrid of Beowulf, Jesus Christ, and the Aristotle.

Reid of America on :

From all the media hype it seems this is the biggest event at the Siegessäule since Hitler. What it is about radical charismatic leaders and the Siegessäule? Obama = 21st century Fuhrer Fortunately Europeans don't vote in US elections.

gio on :

which event at the siegessäule in connection with hitler are you referring to, reid?

Joe Noory on :

[url=http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obamas-new-berlin-venue-another-bad-choice/]This[/url], perhaps. Which is patently obvious. It's also an interpretaton of the obelisk-form without straying from the [uel=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasces]fasci[/url] theme originated from ancient Rome much like the Scythian bundle. [i]As Andreas Schockenhoff of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union pointed out, even just this early history of the monument could be enough to give one doubts about Obama’s choice of venue. “The Berlin Victory Column … is dedicated to the victory over neighbors who are today our European friends and allies,” he told the Sunday edition of the popular German tabloid Bild. “I think the symbolism is unfortunate.” The point was apparently lost, however, on House majority leader Nancy Pelosi. In conversation with the Berlin daily Die Tagespiegel, Pelosi defended the choice of the Siegessäule by noting that “There are symbolic sites that belong to the whole world.” The French found the symbolism of the column so universal that after the Second World War they wanted to blow it up. They would eventually be satisfied with merely removing the (since restored) bas-reliefs depicting the French humiliation at Sedan.[/i]

influx on :

Good luck finding any site in Berlin that is not somehow historically connected with the Nazis. However, I don't think that many Berliners (or anyone else, for that matter) would drive by the Siegessaeule thinking about its connection to Hitler. If anything, they would think of the love parade or the fan mile.

Reid of America on :

influx says "I don't think that many Berliners (or anyone else, for that matter) would drive by the Siegessaeule thinking about its connection to Hitler." Being an American I will take your word that this is inoffensive to Germans. But again, Germans are not voting in the US election. The speech will hurt Obama with the voters in this Daily Show report. http://hotair.com:80/archives/2008/07/24/video-baruch-obama/

Joe Noory on :

Not hard at all. There's the Soviet war memorial, Museeninsel, the Gedaenknislkirche, what's left of the Palast Der Republik, the Waldbuhner grounds, the ICC, or the Stasi HQ if you're feeling kinky.

influx on :

Let's see: the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten is right next to the Brandenburg Gate, so that wouldn't work. The Soviet War Memorial in Treptow is too far away from the city center. Either way, a US presidential candidate speaking in front of a memorial dedicated to dead Soviet soldiers? Great idea, Joe. I'm sure the Republicans wouldn't have made anything out of that. The Gedaechtniskirche or the Museumsinsel? Not enough space for 200.000 people. Same with the Waldbuehne. Last time I checked, the ICC was a building, not an open public space. And the Palast der Republik, well, [url=http://flickr.com/photos/zug55/2697312377/]see[/url] for yourself.

Joe Noory on :

That's why I said "what's left" of the Palast Der Republik. I won't miss the regime, just the Brunswick bowling alley in the basement. As for image, I think Obama would have that [url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4392846.ece]stitched up[/url], even if Rammstein was warming up for him: [url=http://www.ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=301702713742569][i]Putting Money Where Mouths Are: Media Donations Favor Dems 100-1[/i][/url]

Reid of America on :

I believe that "event" was the wrong word. I don't have a problem with Obama speaking at a German monument to war victories that Hitler moved to it's present location. I believe the media should treat the Obama visit to the controversial site just like they treated Reagan at Bitburg. But we all know completely different standards will be applied to Obama. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,566920,00.html

influx on :

So the victory column and a cemetery with Waffen-SS graves are the same thing to you?

Nanne on :

We definitely need a corollary for Godwin's law in discussions involving either a: Europe-America relations, b: Germany, or c: Berlin. This could be an extention of the Sincar/Case corollary.

influx on :

Really clutching for straws now, aren't we? The G8 protests hardly qualify as anti-American rallies. The G8 includes seven other countries, in case you forgot. The motherjones link doesn't even mention Clinton. Again, the Pew report from 1999/2000 says that 78% of Germans had a favorable view of the US.

Joe Noory on :

It certainly isn't consistent with my own 5 years in Berlin. Pew, by the way, plays quite a bit of statistical toncil-hockey for sponsered causes like Soros' "Open Democracy", the Tides Foundation and the BBC. Other than that, this is probably a good time to look in on anyone who gets that excited about any candidate they can't vote for - by going to their place and checking their freezer for human heads.

Pat Patterson on :

Or if they are dancing in front of a mirror to the song Goodbye Horses.

Joe Noory on :

Clutching at straws? [i][url=http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=301704942369408]In its 2007 survey[/url], Pew found that 65% of Germans dislike American ideas about democracy; 64% dislike American ways of doing business; 83% have a negative view about the spread of American ideas.[/i] Are you sure you aren't being too narrowly selective? Both your selected positive and this evidense of a negative can't concurrently be true without the majority of respondents either being two-faced or wildly misinterpreted.

Fuchur on :

[i]Both your selected positive and this evidense of a negative can't concurrently be true without the majority of respondents either being two-faced or wildly misinterpreted. [/i] Ok, let's rephrase that gibberish into plain English: You think it can't be that 78% of Germans had a favorable view of the US in 2000, but that they had a distinctly less favorable view in 2007. Well, gee. Let's think. What possibly could have happened in between 2000 and 2007 that could have brought about this turnaround? Besides, what kind of logic is this? When two studies lying seven(!) years apart have different results - then that's "evidense" that the results are wrong?? That's pretty dense...

Joe Noory on :

It's what always goes in Germany: young people (and now old based on longstanding habits) getting out and getting worked up about something happening elsewhere in the world that Europe wil do nothing about (ever,) and thinking that the march/ lovefest/ riot is in fact "doing something" about said fixation. It's usually bound up with the kind of simple logic that will fit on an A3 size poster: hunger, war, something bad going on in the world that their favortie methods can't do anything about, and it shows itself either through impotent rage or overwhelming emotional support that results in nothing positive happening to any meaningful degree. Think of the giant bedsheet ribbon of the "one" campaign which freed or fed no-one. Think of Amnesty International, in whose entire history has only managed to free one political prisoner through the pressure of hundreds of thousands of doners and marchers. What one poll said over another in an age where these studies are customized to provide results, is nearly irrelevant. "What the World Thinks of America," the Pew study in 2004 structured and timed to support Kerry, was funded by George Soros' "Open Democracy Fouundation" in quiet cooperation with Move-On and Tides Foundation. These were NOT set up out of curiosity, they were commissioned for concealed partisan political purposes. Nonetheless, timing aside, the polls themselves should be useful in the absense of anything else. But how is it that polls taken abroad asking questions to those who have little direct involvement in US affairs should matter? Is it THEIR vote that's at stake? Any real number of THEIR troops (who would get a bus ticket out of Afghanistan if it really got ugly)? Hell no. As for the German readings, it's the simple difference between statesmanship, something young and old Europeans find "scary" and "pandering to popularity" which the young confuse for leadership. It isn't going to give you the simple fairy tale of the "Wiked Witch of America" versus the peaceful little European Dorothy that many Europeans are looking for, especially when they're suddenly pretending that they didn't mean all those awful things they said, and want us to thank them for their mass protests over the past 30 years. In turn, we're told that that parasitism of unceasing European public complaint is "wisdom" or whatever number of other things being spun as a positive... Seen from a distance, it's as impossible to buy as their sudden "non-political" support when ther happens to be a foreign candidate in town.

Fuchur on :

[i]What one poll said over another in an age where these studies are customized to provide results, is nearly irrelevant. [/i] Unless the result fits in with your agenda, of course... Well then - if you don't like polls, what do you suggest instead? We all just trust what Joe Noory says? [i]the Pew study in 2004 structured and timed to support Kerry, was funded by George Soros[/i] Ah, I get your point: Soros doctored this study, in order to make Bush appear more unpopular than he really was! In reality, the world LOVED Bush and the US! Curse you, Soros, and your evil ways! [i]Nonetheless, timing aside, the polls themselves should be useful in the absense of anything else. [/i] You do know that there's a difference between "useful" and "nearly irrelevant"?! [i]But how is it that polls taken abroad asking questions to those who have little direct involvement in US affairs should matter? Is it THEIR vote that's at stake? [/i] What's with you and your ludicrous strawmen?? Nobody ever said that. [i]their mass protests over the past 30 years[/i] What about all those American mass protests. Those ok for you? [i]that parasitism of unceasing European public complaint[/i] How typically American to denounce differing opinions as "parasitism". [i]their sudden "non-political" support when ther happens to be a foreign candidate in town[/i] I guess you're talking about Merkel's "non-political support" regarding the Brandenburg Gate? Apart from that: Of course there are many Germans who would like to see Obama become president and who openly say so. What's the problem? Why are you so afraid of people having an opinion? Lots of Americans hoped that Schröder would lose against Merkel, and openly said so. So?

Joe Noory on :

Soros did not likely docter the study, but commissioned it with someone having some clear choices being made about the places it was taken and the screwy sample sizes - i.e. an overwhelming number of Uni students in Sydney, etc. What about those American mass protests? They weren't about Germans, and they weren't an anually repeated ongoing expression of helplessness, or pedantic habit. The Germans ones are rarely about anyone OTHER that some variant on the notion that the US government is eating your young. THEIR strawman (nearly to the expense of their capacity to reason) was the US, so how you get to ME making a strawman out of the DOZENS of protests that went violent I had to live with in Berlin. As for the notion that it was in any way "non-political," it WAS partisan and political, no matter where it was. As is trying to tell me that western Europe's very real history of parasitism dare not be mentioned. Why you seem so uncomfortable with the notion that there is more than one view out there is really quite telling.

Thinking Voter on :

For some reason, everyone neglects to mention that Obama spoke at a Free Concert. Maybe all those thousands of young Germans turned up for the two bands that were playing instead coming to hear a speach in english. Nah, Obama's charisma is so powerful it transcends language. More Kool Aid anyone?

Nanne on :

My 'on the ground' experience tells me there were perhaps 1,000 people around the Siegessäule actually watching the concert, with all the rest checking if they had a good view of the mic where Obama was going to speak. In other words: no.

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