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Picture of miltary caskets abused in election campaign

The minister of state Rolf Schwanitz abuses a picture of US body bags in his campaign for a seat in the German parliament. The slogan "She would have sent soldiers" accuses CDU candidate Merkel of supporting the Iraq war. On his homepage he proudly declares not to have used a dumb slogan, but a smart and provocative one. Although Schwanitz's job in the Bundeskanzleramt does not deal with foreign policy, he uses Merkel's Bush problem to his advantage. Thanks to EuroNeuzeit for highlighting this disgraceful campaign ad. Germany owes so much to US military families. Therefore their pain should be off-limits for political campaigns.

UPDATE 09/17/2005: Schwanitz removed the poster and his comments from his homepage after criticism in the press (SPON, FTD) and the blogosphere (Lautgeben, Liberalix, etc). Liberty.li created a poster with Bundeswehr caskets from Afghanistan or the Balkans in protest.

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Dialog International on : Irak War Surfaces as German Election Issue

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On the eve of the election the SPD candidate in Vogtland , Rolf Schwanitz, has put out a campaign poster that is causing controversy in the German press and across the blogosphere: The SPD Vogtland offers an explanation and some

Mark A. Kilmer on : Germany and our soldier’s coffins

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Yesterday, I mentioned that German politician Rolf Schwanitz, of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) had used the flag-draped coffins of America’s war dead in a political ad for Sunday’s election. There&#8...

lautgeben.de, Politik im Hier und Netz on : Beharrlicher Einsatz statt lautstarker Sprüche?

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Nachtrag, 17.09.: Inzwischen hat Rolf Schwanitz das kritisierte Plakat von seiner Homepage entfernen lassen, wie Jörg Wolf in seinem Blog “Atlantic Review” schreibt. Das Wahlkampf kein Kindergeburtstag ist, ist eine Binsenweisheit, deren...

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jo@chim on :

Look here what Mr. Schwanitz meant in reality: http://www.antibuerokratieteam.de/wp-content/spd-irak.jpg

Steve Charbonnier on :

dear editors, talking about abuse in this context is really more than cynical. in the same way you could also talk about Bush abusing America's young servicemen and women to follow his imperial agenda of creating and sustaining conflict in Iraq and the middle east. and, yes, it is true: Mrs. Merkel and her fellow cronies, especially Mr. Pflüger, would have sent German soldiers. I can very well remember her saying "Solidarität [mit Amerika] heißt, in Zweifel zu allem bereit zu sein." Now, why don't you comment on this?!

Kuch on :

You can talk about Bush abusing young servicemen... some people agree, some don't, but this has nothing to do with the fact that the use of these caskets in a politcal ad is in VERY poor taste. ..."creating and sustaining conflict in Iraq and the middle east." This is not exactly linear thought directly towards an imperial agenda, and it certainly discredits the "real" imperialist actions of the past. Look at a map of Africa from the 1950s... you'll find no soveriegn nations; only a bunch of European colonies.

RayD on :

Eh...em. I'd like to think Davids Medienkritik had a prominent role in the removal of the poster since we were linked by Instapundit and our story was read by thousands within a few hours. :) By the way, keep up the good work. Your blog is highly necessary! Ray D DMK

Chris on :

This is awful.

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