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Poll: 45 Per Cent of Germans consider U.S. more dangerous than Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to send US-$ 50 million to the HAMAS government, which called the Tel Aviv attacks "self-defense." On Thursday he added to his many attacks on Israel: "Whether you like it or not, the Zionist regime is on the road to being eliminated." His previous anti-Israeli statement apparently were not taken very seriously in Germany. According to a poll last week from the respectable Forsa Institute, 45 % of Germans call the U.S. a "greater threat to world peace" than Iran. 28 % think that Iran is a greater threat. For 16 %, the U.S. and Iran pose identical threats, as Spiegel and Davids Medienkritik report. (Our related post: Anti-Americanism is becoming entrenched, and getting more personal.)
The New York Sun opines:
In Europe, however, far more attention is paid to what the United States might do about Iran's nuclear ambitions than to what Iran is actually doing. Here, it is taken for granted in establishment circles that the real diplomatic imperative now is to stop the Bush administration bombing Iranian nuclear facilities rather than to stop Iran using those facilities to obliterate Israel.
Davids Medienkritik reported last week:
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (CDU) recently stated that Ahmadinejad is welcome at the World Cup because Germany wants to be "a good host." Schaeuble, who is considered conservative by German standards, said that he would "talk to him about his statements" in the event of a visit and added that "it will not be entirely simple."
However, now after the Iranian president's latest statements, other "Leaders of Germany's Christian Democratic Party say that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be barred from attending World Cup games," reports UPI.
Politically Incorrect
argues that Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to travel to the EU, just like Belarus' dictator Lukashenko, who has already been banned for oppressing his people. Well, i
t wouldn't be a bad idea, if Schäuble would talk tough with Ahmadinejad and if soccer fans from around the world would boo any game Ahmadinejad would attend. Zionistische Organisation Frankfurt encourages soccer fans to wave Israeli flags during Iran's matches.
Believe it or not, Iran was elected as a Vice-Chairman to the UN Disarmament Commission. American Future asks "Would someone please explain to me how the U.S. could vote in favor of Iran?"


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GM Roper on :

Jorg, It is pretty disheartening to believe that 45% of Germans truly believe that the US is a greater threat than the islamofascists in Iran. Whe AhMADinejad denies the Holocaust, doesn't that strike these folk as bizzarre? When he threatens to create his own holocaust, doesn't that worry these folk? Perhaps, it is as David's Medienkritik has said, the left wing press in Germany is pretty powerful.

Olaf Petersen on :

If Ahmadinejad really wants to visit Germany, he should come. Give him a seat in the V.I.P. lounge, let the whole world see all the other guests turn away from him. Give him a second class reception when he arrives in Germany, send Vice Chancellor Müntefering! Hehehe!

Martin on :

Or a reception with the best go-go dancers and other chicks in bikinis.

Martin on :

Germans don't consider Iran a threat because the Iranian military is weak, attacking Israel would be suicide and they are light years away from nukes anyway. Ahmadinijad is talking hot air. Not a threat to "world peace." It is more likely that the USA will attack Iran. USA also attacked Iraq although Iraq did not have WMD. Germans perhaps believe that USA will do the same in Iran.

Chris on :

This is a bizarre poll result. I guess you could argue that America has more might and can produce more harm, but Iran has been the definition of belligerence.

Torsten on :

Iran has been the definition of belligerence??? Are you kidding? Aside from way-out-of-line speeches and a lot of hot air by Ahmadinejad, how exactly was Iran belligerent? How many countries have been attacked by Iran in the past 50 years and how many countries has the US bombed or invaded? Which of the two countries put the other one on the "axis of evil", ignoring and seriously harming that country's young but pretty solid grassroots democracy movement? Which country is occupying Iran's neighbors? As for the poll: If Ahmadinejad would/could actually do what he says, I'd be afraid. But he won't have a bomb for a decade, he probably won't ever get it at all, and he certainly knows that anything that goes further than verbal attacks on Israel will ensure his and Iran's destruction. So I highly doubt he would ever attack, even if he could. The US, however, might actually do just that, as if they hadn't created enough of a mess yet. Read Brzeziński-The Grand Chessboard. It contains the blueprint for what's been going on in Central Asia since the neo-cons hijacked the US.

Till on :

Spiegel also says altogether 54 per cent consider it "very" (15 per cent) or "rather" (39 per cent) probable that "the USA will attack Iran in the near future." In the east of Germany nearly two thirds (63 per cent) are sure the US will attack. Similar polling results in the US?

David on :

Question for David's Medienkritik: It was the Washington Post and the New Yorker Magazine that quoted sources within the Pentagon that the Bush adminstration is considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. Are these publications also "anti-American"? It is the duty of the free press to take a critical eye to the prevailing power structure and uncover the truth. It is not the role of the press to glorify the presidency of George W. Bush.

tcobb on :

When Bush says that the US is considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons to wipe out the Iranian nuclear program, everyone seems to believe him and think this is a prelude to him actually doing it. But when the Iranians state that their intention is to wipe Israel off the the face of the earth, by nuclear bombs if they can get them, the reaction seems to be that this is just a rhetorical flourish and can be ignored. If someone tells you that they are going to kill you, you should listen to them. When Osama Ben Ladin and Al-Queda declared war on the US we didn't take them seriously. We all know how that ended up. Just consider the possibility that the Iranian regime means exactly what it says. Do you want such people to have nuclear weapons? The bitter truth is though that any kind of pocket nuclear war in the middle east will probably hurt Europe far more than it would hurt the US. If the Israelis were wiped out by a nuclear strike I really doubt that they would confine their retaliation to the country that visited that doom upon them. I imagine that most of the oil fields and population centers of the Arab countries would go up in mushroom clouds. The oil fields of the middle east would be unusable for years if not decades. It wouldn't hurt the US so much because most of our oil supplies come from the Western hemisphere, but for Europe this would be a disaster. There is a limit to what "soft power" and diplomacy may do. No matter how many signatories one gets to a treaty amending the law of gravity, rocks will still fall down rather than up when you drop them despite any language in the treaty to the contrary. And no amount of pretending can change this.

Anonymous on :

"In Europe, however, far more attention is paid to what the United States might do about Iran's nuclear ambitions than to what Iran is actually doing."This is plain wrong. Europeans aren't warmongers. It just makes no sense do nuke Iran or to initiate a war against Iran. Maybe in 5 years there will be a good reason for a military strike. Maybe. Then. Not now. Please do not forget: Every war is a crime. In this moment we can see how the industrial-military-medial complex in the USA works. Yes, this ist very dangerous, quite in this moment. Politically Incorrect is a christo-fascism website, very extremistic, completely irrelevant in the political process in Germany (because: PI stands for nothing) and shouldn't get a citation. Nie wieder Krieg! Nie wieder Faschismus! (hahaha - and also Davids Medien"kritik" really dont like this "Nie wieder Krieg!", just because they are proidiotic promilitaristic warmongers with an 100% authoritarian Weltbild, ridiculous as they are)

Joerg on :

Thanks for your comment. Yes, one can disagree with the NY Sun's statement. I am glad you criticized their statement rather than the entire paper. (Well, it's not my favorite paper, I just thought it's good to get a different opinion.) You seem to contradict yourself. On the one hand you write: "Maybe in 5 years there will be a good reason for a military strike. Maybe. Then. Not now." I agree with you on this statement. But on the other hand you say: "Every war is a crime." and "Nie wieder Krieg!" What is it? You are against each and every war, but you think there might be a good reason for a military strike in five years... I don't know why you write "No more fascism" in this context. "Politically Incorrect is a christo-fascism website" I refered to their suggestion that Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to travel to the EU, just like Belarus' dictator Lukashenko. Is that christo-fascism?? I encourage all commentators to critize the Atlantic Review. You can also critize the specific quotes we take from other blogs or newspapers. Just like you critized the quote from the NY Sun, you could criticize the specific suggestion from Politically Incorrect or the specific statements from Davids Medienkritik, which we quoted.

Dr. Dean on :

OT Hallo Joerg, ich habe für dich hier eine Antwort auf Deinen Vorschlag.

Joerg on :

Füge Deinen link einfach ganz normal ohne jeden Firelfanz ein oder verwende den unter dem Kommentarfeld erlaeuterten BBCcode. Your link was stripped automatically because the software does not allow HTML code, but only the BBCode described under the comment field

Dr. Dean on :

First issue: [url=]Comment section DerMorgen[/url] Second issue: [quote="joerg"]But on the other hand you say: "Every war is a crime." and "Nie wieder Krieg!" What is it? You are against each and every war, but you think there might be a good reason for a military strike in five years...[/quote]To oftenly people forget that war usually hit the wrong people. This concern will be forgotten very fast, especially if theyselfe are not targeted. There are some good reasons for military strikes, sometimes even for war, e.g. the "Hitler reason". That means there must be a threat like Hitler with a big evidence for danger. Today (and in the next five years) there won't be such evidence. Thats the point. It is a better idea to help the Iranian people to get rid of Achmadenidschad. A quite good articel about this theme: [url=]Interview with Dr. Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh[/url] [quote="joerg"]"Politically Incorrect is a christo-fascism website" I refered to their suggestion that Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to travel to the EU, just like Belarus' dictator Lukashenko. Is that christo-fascism??[/quote]PI....?! Their ideological basis is plain christo-fascism. The dont want A. to come to Germany just because this idea is fully compatible with their muslimhate, which is an important part of their blog. They would write "burn down mecca!! Convert them to christianity!" - if German law wouldn't make them much problems. Blogs/activists like Davids Medienkritik or PI are just called: "verdreht" in Germany. There is no honest syllable in their whole blog. I would be happy if A. didn't come. But if he come, then he should get all the protest and demonstrations he need... The Iranian people are not our enemies.

Joerg on :

I get an error message for your link to "Comment section DerMorgen" "But if he come, then he should get all the protest and demonstrations he need..." That's what I wrote in this post. "The Iranian people are not our enemies." Of course not. Nobody said so. In fact I have even pointed out the rally around the flag effect in this comment and linked to a report about the failure of the West to engage the Iranian people: [url][/url] "It is a better idea to help the Iranian people to get rid of Achmadenidschad." How should this be done? I heard that Dick Cheney daughter is in charge of a huge budget to engage with the Iranian people. I don't know much about it. Is it a good program or a bad one? I have planned to blog about this, but lacked the time. What the hell, here is it: [url=]Foreign Policy Blog[/url]: [quote="Foreign Policy"]Diamond is under no illusions about what the Iranian regime is up to, describing their current activities as an “obvious, frenetic pursuit of nuclear weapons.” But he is surprisingly optimistic about the prospects for reform in Iran; arguing that there’s a “good probability” that we might see a democratic Iran within the next ten years or so. He believes that if “if we bomb [reform is] dead for a decade.” But if we don’t, he sees real opportunities. He points out that, “Ahmadinejad is less effective and less politically potent internally than he may appear and the key to our strategy, in part, has to be to give him enough rope to hang himself.” [/quote]

joe on :

Let me understand the thinking here. The sometimes debated point that if france and the UK had acted against Hitler in 1939, WWII could have been avoided is false. The reasoning for this being false is in 1939 there was no clear danager. This is a very interesting way to view history. Of course, maybe in 1939 there was no danger either. Maybe it was not until 1940, 0r 1941 or as late as 1942 before it became clear of the danger. This would also seem to mean that a nation or a group of nations would never take action until it was too late to do so or until the costs became extreme.

Thomas on :

A group of nations is taking action: The EU-3 negotiations with Iran. What kind of "taking action" do you want? Drop nukes on Iran now?

Dr. Dean on :

@ joe Georg Elser tried to kill Hitler in the autumn of 1939. In this moment it was very (!) clear, for more than a year and evident, that Hitler was a big danger. Joe, your perception of history is tactical i suppose, sorry to say this. After the occupation of Czechoslovakia it was [u]very clear[/u], that Hitler Germany is aggressiv, militaristic and that it plans war. The Munich conference gave France and United Kingdom some time for the preparation of war and decreases their disadvantage in the arms race. The arms race significially explodet on both sides after the Munich conference. Joe, what do you mean with "[i]no danger either[/i]" ??? @joerg Sorry, my fault! A slash seems to be the problem. My answer should now be [url=]found here[/url]. Hey, and i have checked this link ;-) Joerg, your last quote is precisely what i think about this topic. Waiting some years and helping the Iranian people is the best what we can do now. The industrial-militaristic-medial complex is just looking for a new foundation to increase the [b]Hochrüstung[/b] (arms build-up?? Is there [i]any[/i] adequate english word for it?).

privatisierung on :

Hochrüstung = arms race

Thomas Hazlewood on :

Dr, People who oretend that a Hitler may not mean what he says, or that he may not be as bad as he seems don't want you to show that it is "very clear" what his nature is. They want you to make it 'undeniable'. They are not reasonable people, waiting to be persuaded. They are in denial until it becomes undeniable. So, the Iranian president says he's going to nuke someone he doesn't like. SO waht? He doesn't REALLY mean it. Deniable!

joe on :

Dr Dean, You try to make a point about the evil of Hitler being obvious along a time line that is very much open for debate. From your point of view, it was obvious. The question I must ask is obvious to whom? To the Germans? To the Austrains? To the Poles, the french, the British, the Americans? History tells us it was not obvious. It surely was not obvious to the majority of Germans and Austrians. It was not obvious to the political leadership of various other European nations or their citizens. I say this because of the actions they took or failed to take against the same time line you are using. Even when it became obvious, and that realization probably happened at different times within each nation, the leadership was reluctant to act on this realization because it would lead to another war. The elected leaders lacked the courage and will to convey to their citizens the dangers and the need for action. They chose to ignore the difficult choices until they could no longer ignore them and were forced to act. At that point the price that was to be paid was huge. To think history cannot repeat itself is folly. I will give you an example of how the obvious can be ignored and how weak leadership, the inability of leaders to convey to their citizens the need for action, plays out. Look at the economic situation in Germany, france and Italy. I think anyone would be hard pressed to claim today these economies are performing in a way to promote long-term security and stability for their citizens. There has been study after study, recommendation after recommendation made but the problems still persist because of inaction. It is not so much the leadership of these nations do not know what needs to be done or the actions needed are some mystery. It is these leaders lack of will, courage and the ability to convey the need for change to their citizens that causes nothing to change. Even modest changes result in a revolt by the population. To understand this one does not have to look any further than the most recent elections in Italy and Germany or the protests in france. There the vote was split giving no clear direction or mandate to the elected leaders. So things will remain the same but the world does not stop because a nation or its citizens want it to stop. The world continues to revolve. As for the economies of these nations given the fact the obvious is clearly being ignored, change will occur when there is no other choice. At that time, the change will be more painful and effect more people than if actions had been taken sooner rather than later. And I have no understanding of what you meant about a “tactical view of history”. That is a term or concept I am totally unfamiliar with.

Jorg on :

I pretty much agree with you, Joe. If (West)Germany had started economic reforms in the 80s or early 90s, we would not be forced to make such painful changes now. Likewise, I agree with Kissinger and Churchill, although I don't share the admiration many folks have of them. Both made many stupid mistakes as well. [quote="Henry wrote about Winston"] Had Churchill's early warning been heeded, the Nazi plague could have been destroyed at relatively little cost. A decade later, tens of millions of dead paid the price for the quest for certainty.[/quote] That quote was from the op-ed I recommended here: [url=] Is the U.S. strategy of pre-emptive war more accepted now?[/url] However, I believe Glenn Greenwald makes some good arguments, when he says that we are not in 1930s anymore: [url=]Fighting all the Hitlers[/url]

Jorg on :

I meant to say that I agree with Kissinger and Churchill on this specific issue on the Nazi plague. Read the Glenn Greenwald piece and let me know what you think.

Dr. Dean on :

Joe, tactical view of history means e.g. the use of the "appeasement" argument. This word and its view is a totally a-historic, but using the "appeasement argument" it is helpful to promote an anti-diplomatic and pro-militaristic agenda. What is so complicate with my argument thatthere is no real Iran danger for Amrica for the next five years? They need a lot time to build the bomb (and its even unsure if they like). There are more than five years of time! And there is absolute no recent danger for the US people. International politics is not a Hollywood game of "good" and "bad" guys. There are not so much realistic reasons for a war. There is no Iran case. Mr. "Arschmybutt" is a bad and crazy Iran president. To kick him in the ass would be optimized if we ignore him for the next two years and to help the people in Iran to get rid of him. And, yes, i think its a question of unmorality to promote war and to promote arguments for war. And, sorry for asking it again: What is the english word for Hochrüstung? Is there any word in the english language?

Jorg on :

Some calling himself/herself "privatisierung" has alreday suggested a translation. Just scroll to the end of your last comment. Your own translation "arms build-up" works for me. Perhaps you are looking for "warmongering" (die Kriegshetze) as well? I agree, there is plenty of time. However, negotiations and verification of the implementation of any solution require a lot of time. Therefore I believe, we need to work harder at the negotiations rather than just hoping that the Iranians kick out Ahmadinejad.

Dr. Dean on :

Just hoping is never enough. As a typical german i cannot understand the faible for (liking of) militaristic thinking and interventions. [b] In world history the power of dialogue usually was much higher than the power of military methods. [/b] The use of dialogue power does not mean that we just have to wait. In Hamburg for example there is a Iran religious center with important influences and intimate political connections to Iran government. A wise use of this dialogue channel, additionally an empowering of the Iran opposition, an empowering of (!) moderate religious groups in Iran, building bridges for a Russian-Iranian isotope separation and so on: This would prevent an Iran atom bomb. Is there any need to discuss "war"? P.S. "Arms build-up" is somehow like just "Rüstung". As a word its not so strong. Maybe "high pressure arms build-up" would catch the sense of "Hochrüstung".

joe on :

Dr Dean, I find it a bit difficult to follow the logic in your posts. You start out discussing obvious evil must be confronted at its earliest possible detection. Yet, when we look at examples of obvious evil it becomes unclear as to whom or what nations should recognize the obvious. Today should it not be obvious that Iran is evil? It might not be evil to you or to the Germans or to the Europeans. Yet, it surely must appear to be obvious to the Israelis given Iran has publicly stated its goal is to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Does this mean Israel should act now to eliminate the obvious evil that Iran represents? Equally I do not have a clear understanding of your appeasement argument. It would seem we have a very different view of diplomacy. I can only find one real example of effective diplomacy that being the Cuban Missile Crises of the early 60’s. You might have other examples and if you do, I hope you will post them. I believe for diplomacy to effective there has to be strength behind the negotiations. There also has to be both willingness and a clear understanding that diplomatic failure will results in the use of this strength. The preparation for and the use of military action is the continuation of diplomacy. It is recognition of the limits of diplomacy and being realistic and clear about the alternatives. There are actions, which can be taken short of direct military action. One of these would be total isolation and economic sanctions. But does anyone seriously believe these will be taken? Both Russia and China have made their positions clear on this. Of course, a real question is how effective would they be anyway given how well they worked in the 10 years with Iraq. You might be like of a growing number of people who think there should be some “grand deal” between the US and Iran with lots of give a ways from the US and the West with the promise by Iran not to develop nuclear weapons. This is much like the “grand deal” President Clinton entered into with NPK. We can all see how well that worked. Equally you are saying we will trust Iran. Do you really? You cite the Munich Conference in one of your earlier posts. I would say this was an effort to find a diplomatic solution to prevent a war. It was viewed as such by the UK and france. The Germans viewed it as a sign of weakness. We all know the results of that diplomatic effort. The E3 have been in negotiations with Iran now going on close to 4 years. What has this accomplished? During this time Iran continues to develop its nuclear weapons program. In fact, it seems almost monthly something new is discovered about the progress of this program that had been kept secret from the E3 during their discussions. Not only has Iran lied to the E3 but also to the UN. Yet, you want to trust these people. I find that wishful thinking and hopeful. Yes maybe as a German you have deep trouble with the use of military force. It is in some ways understandable. I question if there is anything you deem worth fighting for. It surely is not for freedom or to prevent the genocide we witness in many places in Africa. Maybe you might fight for Frankfurt or Munich. Equally at the end of the day, it will unfortunately be the US, which will have to act. It will also probably have to act alone. Look at the major nations in Europe. Who would support the US? The french cannot pass limited labor reform laws. The Germans have a divided government that while in the geopolitical arena is making lots of the right noise they will not step up when the call is made because they too are divided. Italy has just snatched chaos from order and the government is so weak it might not last the year. It surely has neither the political leadership nor a popular mandate to confront Iran. So maybe the best course of action is just pretend everything is going to be fine and so what if Iran obtains nuclear weapons. As long as there is no war, we all can live with that. What do you think?

Rosemary on :

45%? That's all? I'm not surprised. Anyone who kiss Ahmadinejad's arse must have some form of mental illness. Okay. So that was a little harsh. How would you feel if you spent your blood, sweat, tears, and money building back up a country to the beautiful place she is now only to have her hate you? We protected you, you protested us. We fought for you, you resented us. To ease your minds, it was not altruistic. We were indeed fighting for our very we are once again. Again, you are asleep. How long did Churchhill warn the people? How long must warn you? And you wait...until it's too late...and then you call us. What if there were no US? Hmm...

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