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UPDATE: The National Review labels Joschka Fischer as Nazi Propaganda Minister

Parts of the conservative media in the U.S. are still obsessed with Germany's former Chancellor Schroeder and his Foreign Minister Fischer, although both have been out of office for more than half a year. The National Review Online is not a fringe right-wing blog, but is considered one of the most influential conservative websites. Some say it is the most influential one along with the Weekly Standard. In the National Review's so-called "EuroPress Review" on June 30th, Denis Boyles describes Joschka Fischer as a Nazi propaganda minister, a terrorist, and an America-hater:
Reminded to do so by a piece in Captain's Quarters, I was reading Davids Medienkritick’s cheesed-off take on former German foreign minister and champeen Yank-bashing ex-bourgeois "terrorist" Joschka Fisher when a note from a German reader, Nico Klaric, arrived to tell me about this Spiegel item, also mentioned by CQ, about Fischer's low profile escape from Germany to Princeton just months after being given a prize for being a "leading European." Fischer, you may recall, was one of the more odious Security Council America-haters. His position had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq — where Germany had its own interests to protect. It had to do with the German electorate: As Schroeder's Goebbels, Joschka helped the left score huge political wins by fanning the flames of anti-Americanism until polls showed that most Germans considered American citizens to be "bloodthirsty."
All emphases and spelling mistakes of German names and words come from The National Review. The author is not even trying to substantiate these ridiculous claims, but practices name calling only. The blogs he is linking to do not substantiate his claims either. In fact they do not even make those claims. Therefore these blogs cannot be blamed for Denis Boyles' mistakes.

The irony
is that magazines like The National Review (which has millions of online and print readers) and tens of thousands of U.S. bloggers complain about Anti-Americanism, bias, and incorrect U.S. coverage in the European media. Perhaps Denis Boyles and the editors of the National Review should look in the mirror...
Like the National Review, many extremists on all sides describe their political opponents as Nazis, which is an insult to the victims of the Holocaust and the Second World War.
Are you aware that calling someone a Nazi is extremely offensive in Germany? Do you know that Joschka Fischer got a lot of praise from Israelis?
Nazi-obsessed folks should join the more than 1000 bloggers who have written about and linked to (photoshopped?) Cats That Look Like Hitler. That might be funny somehow, but calling Fischer the Nazi propaganda minister is not funny, but bad journalism and propaganda in itself.
 
I have asked Denis Boyles via email, why he calls Mr. Fischer an "America hater" and what hateful things Fischer is supposed to have said or done. He responded with some more ridiculous claims about Fischer and those who disagree with his viewpoints about Fischer. When I asked him whether I may quote from his email in this blog, he declined and insisted that he wishes his email correspondence to remain private. He also refused to do any research to answer my first question. However, he acknowledged that the Nazi reference
was "careless and unwise" and he promised to express his regret in his next column for the National Review. I will give him credit, when his column is published.

However, the question remains: Where have the National Review editors been?
Why did not they edit the labeling of Mr. Fischer
as "Schroeder's Goebbels" or the many other ridiculous and hateful claims?
Do you have anybody to do fact checking?

Why do you hate Germany's policies so much that your writers aren't stopped from describing Germany's ex-Foreign Minister as Nazi propaganda minister?
Do you know anything about Goebbels?
 
Denis Boyles' article is still online and still calls Mr. Fischer "Schroeder's Goebbels," an "America-hater" and a "terrorist".

Here are a few more questions for Denis Boyles and the National Review editors:
•  Why are you still obsessed with Germany's former Foreign Minister? Because he was right about Iraq?  When Secretary Rumsfeld told the world at the Munich Security Conference in early February 2003 that the Bush administration was running out of patience with the UN inspections, Mr. Fischer responded that the threat level produced by Iraq did not yet justify a war and that diplomatic means were not exhausted. "Why now?", Mr. Fischer wanted to know about Mr. Rumsfeld's war plans, affirming again: "I am not convinced!" This last phrase made headline news around the world and apparently still serves as an inconveniant reminder for many people. Incl. the National Review?

•  When was Mr. Fischer "Yank-bashing"?

•  What did he say to deserve your label "America-hater"?

•  What quote from Fischer "fanning the flames of anti-Americanism" do you have?

•  What poll is supposed to show that "most Germans" considered American citizens to be "bloodthirsty"? Even if such a poll would exist, it would be impossible for you to prove that Mr. Fischer is responsible for it.

•  What "huge political wins" are you talking about? German elections results have been pretty close, nobody achieved huge wins in recent years. Fischer and Schroeder lost the last elections...

•  What evidence do you have to justify calling him a "terrorist"?

•  What evidence do you have that Germany was protecting some unethical "interests" in Iraq?

•  Why is Joschka Fischer ex-bourgois?

•  Why do you think you can make all these ridiculous claims without even trying to provide any evidence? Are those claims considered common sense among your readers and therefore don't need to be argued or substantiated with facts? It seems that you consider that to be the case, because you write "
Fischer, you may recall." 
My criticism is not about policy disagreements, but about bad "journalism."


Unless you can answer all these questions, you have zero credibility to write anything about Germany, especially about real or perceived Anti-Americanism in Europe, which seems to be your favorite topic in your coverage of Europe. You might want to learn more about Truthiness and Bullshit.


UPDATE: Within 24 hours after this post was published, Denis Boyles wrote a new column and expressed at the end of it -- as he promised -- his regret for calling Mr. Fischer "Schroeder's Goebbels":
I regret that I was guilty of it myself last week when I compared former German foreign minister Jo Fischer to Goebbels because he had articulated a propaganda-driven foreign policy reflecting the virulent anti-Americanism of the Schroeder government. Remember when a minister in the Schroeder government compared Bush to Hitler? Calling conservatives "fascists" is a time-honored habit of the left.
I appreciate this expression of regret, but continues to make accusations against Fischer without providing any evidence and makes excuses for his own wrong doing by pointing to other bad behavior: The minster he is referring to lost her job four years ago. Denis Boyles links to a CBS article, which states that Mrs. Däubler-Gmelin denies to have allegedly said: "Bush wants to distract attention from his domestic problems. That's a popular method. Even Hitler did that."
Despite these denials, Schroeder apologized to Bush for his minister and sacked her immediately. Denis Boyles did not claim that Fischer is using methods that Goebbels used, but he called Fischer "Schroeder's Goebbels." Fortunately, he still has his job.

Unfortunately
Denis Boyles does not answer any of the above questions concerning the other still unsubstantiated claims about Fischer.

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artur on :

So much for Coulteresque writing.

joe on :

Bit touchy?

David Kaspar on :

Joerg, just a few remarks concerning your disagreement with NRO. Fischer is still a public figure by his own choice (writing on international topcis such as the war in Iraq), and therefore - although he is "out of office for more than half a year" - it is quite appropriate to make him the topic of a NRO commentary. As to his links to terrorism, there were plenty. No need to elaborate here, just check our posting http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2004/05/german_foreign_.html Using Nazi comparisons for contemporary German politicians is indeed "extremely offensive in Germany". Why this should bother NRO, which caters to an American audience, is less clear to me. Still, I wouldn't have used the expression that Fischer was "Schroeder's Goebbels", simply because it isn't true that Fischer had a propaganda function for Schroeder. Rather, he was/is a smart propagandist of his own making. As to Fischer being an "America-hater" - I don't know for sure about Fischers emotional stance vis-a-vis America, but he definitely used any trick in the book on various occasions to denounce American conservative policies. As is true for many German politicians left and right, he has a preference for sophisticated East coast liberals and a deep seated distrust against anything resembling a Texan redneck. It is safe to say that he hates at least 50 % of America - the America of George W. Bush. The Schroeder/Fischer government successfully used anti-Americanism in the 2002 election, and it helped them secure an election which would otherwise have been lost. They tried – this time at no avail – the same trick in 2005. Regarding Germany's "unethical interests in Iraq", please check Pato's comment to our posting at http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2004/09/here_buildings_.html#comment-2121157 Germany - politics and businesses - courted Saddam right to the end of his reign. While I don't quite agree with your posting I very much enjoy visiting your blog, which is an important voice against anti-Americanism in the German media.

David on :

"hates at least 50 % of America - the America of George W. Bush. " More like 35% - according to the most recent polls (including your beloved Fox).

Joerg on :

Thanks for your comment, DAVID KASPAR! > Fischer is still a public figure Sure, but isn't there anything more important to write about Germany? Like the policies of the current German government? Has the NRO mentioned that [url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/345-Contrasting-Perceptions-and-Failing-to-Win-Hearts-and-Minds.html]Germany took over the command of ISAF in northern Afghanistan and that currently there are just under 2,800 Germany soldiers on the force. Thus far, 18 have been killed on the ISAF mission.[/url] Why don't they comment on the sale of two more German submarines to Israel, The two submarines cost one billion Euro, but the German government is paying 300 million. The paper also writes that Israel will test Germany's top armored multi-purpose transporter Dingo 2: [url]http://www.welt.de/data/2006/07/01/940608.html[/url] Does the NRO even know all this? Perhaps the NRO writers need to diversify their news sources for Germany... > As to his links to terrorism I am not getting into this controversy about alleged links to terrorists in the 70s, because the National Review Online (NRO) did not write about links, but called him a terrorist. They used quotation marks, but I don't know why. I assume you had good reasons, why you did not call him a terrorist on your blog. > Using Nazi comparisons for contemporary German politicians is > indeed "extremely offensive in Germany". Why this should > bother NRO, which caters to an American audience, is less > clear to me. Yes, I could have phrased it differently. I just wanted to explain how those Nazi comments are understood in Germany. > It is safe to say that he hates at least 50 % of America > - the America of George W. Bush. How do you know? What examples of this hatred against conservative Americans do you have? > The Schroeder/Fischer government successfully used > anti-Americanism in the 2002 election, You need to differentiate between Schroeder and Fischer. Please give me a couple of examples of Fischer using Anti-Americanism. > and it helped them "Helped" is very different from the NRO's viewpoint: "Joschka helped the left score huge political wins by fanning the flames of anti-Americanism until polls showed that most Germans considered American citizens to be "bloodthirsty."" > They tried – this time at > no avail – the same trick in 2005. Oh, come on. > Regarding Germany's "unethical interests in Iraq", please > check Pato's comment to our posting Do you consider that comment credible? I don't think you do, otherwise you would have published this on your blog.

Fuchur on :

Well, it´s no surprise that David K doesn´t find much fault with the Goebbels comparison. After all, that´s an evergreen at Medienkritik: [url=http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2005/05/goebbels_would_.html]Goebels would have been proud[/url] [url=http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2005/12/fresh_from_the_.html]Fresh from the Joseph Goebbels school of journalism[/url] [url=http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2004/07/the_ghost_of_vi.html]Der Spiegel: The ghost of Joseph Goebbels[/url] [url=http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2005/10/paradise_now_an_2.html]Goebbels would have been proud[/url] [url=http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2003/10/die_deutschen_m.html]Goebbels-like propaganda[/url] and so on...

yassah on :

Kaspar re: American hating ON TOPIC "As to Fischer being an "America-hater" - I don't know for sure about Fischers emotional stance vis-a-vis America," Subject ended right... you don't know right... AHHH...OFFTOPIC "...but he definitely used any trick in the book on various occasions to denounce American conservative policies. ..." See the Non-Sequitur introduced by the BUT. Were that enough to make him an American hater so is a huge chunk of the world and the majority of Americans. Twisty bendy words, the mark of a politician/habitual prevaricater/...bushie

joe on :

david, maybe you can sign him up to speak at the demo convention.

artur on :

@david: if i didn't know better, I'd believe you see yourself as a honest and truthful journalist.

Woody on :

Yeah, let's look on the other side of the fence. I found this at Neal Boort's site today: http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html The wire service Agence France-Presse (known more widely as AFP) circulated a story yesterday calling American pride in our flag an 'epidemic,' as if patriotism were some sort of disease. The French never stop hating us, do they? http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/07/05/060705084305.bkdchfzv.html Are they American haters?

Joerg on :

Did you see our recent post on the US flag? Why do you bring up France? Are you saying US publication have to give up all journalistic ethics and trash German politicians, because you don't like the French? Besides, I am sure you are a big fan of Bill O’Reilly. He said: "A no-spin rule is that you don't justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior." http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,198687,00.html You have violated his rule!

Niko Klaric on :

Since I was remotely involved in the creation of the disputed paragraph in Denis' article let me quote (and expand) from an e-mail I wrote Denis in our ongoing conversation about the piece. In any way I'm confident to say that you, Jörg, are misconstruing Denis' original point if you claim that he meant the comparison in a literal sense. --- I don't think that the actual relationship between Schröder (and by extension the former administration) and Fischer could be cast in - and here I might borrow from a popular figure that maybe fits better than abused Nazi analogies - terms of Sith Lord and Master Luke, with Fischer being the aspiring minion who, unlike the flick's counterpart, realizes he's been misled. Actually, I think that, cynical as it may sound, Schröder made an honest effort to stand his ground given his neo-socialist career (the Gazprom position fits perfectly - fat cat citing from the little red book) all the while most political opponents and the commentariat predicted that he would "umfallen" (think Kerry's weathervan'dalism) in his anti-Iraq-war position soon after the elections (much like predecessor Kohl on virtually any foreign policy issue), and Fischer being the great manipulator with friends & family in all branches of the German elite who rather acts on his own freelancing terms. Fischer saw the anti-American Episodes 1 (Afghanistan), 2 (Iraq) and 3 (American bloodsuckers' siege on German economy) as a means to the ends, namely advancing his (and friends') careers. While Schröder's and Fischer's publicly voiced opinion may in fact coincide in almost all matters American they arrived there on distinct paths, with Schröder following the one trodden by Leftists since the early traces of Marxist "anti-Imperialism", and Fischer taking the mental masturbation route that works the issue until a populist (read: scary) angle emerges. In my humble opinion Fischer is devoid of any traces of conviction (also re: his street fighting years), and I do believe that he would peruse any issue no matter what (or rather who) is destroyed in the course, much like most tangents in current Euro-US relations work out. Think "anti-trust" fines against Microsoft, the Kyoto lever, "illegal" Boeing subsidies, etc., which Europe abuses to "strengthen" her economy at the expense of American companies' interests. Which, ironically, makes Fischer in fact a "leading European", but not in the sense that Franco-German Europhiles intended. So, to answer the question [whether Fischer indeed is being re-cast as not-so anti-American), Fischer was never anti-American in a sense that the European intelligentsia was never "critical of Bush's policies" for, oh, the last 100 years. They just happen to get back to the US over and over again because, well, she's a cheap and convenient target. And in that I believe lies the true danger of such characters. They are not grounded in any particular ideology (unlike Schröder and his forgotten twin Blair), and much like the saying, if you don't believe in anything you'll believe everything, Fischer will do anything to score points with some particular focus group - and the frightening aspect is that he never seems to feel uncomfortable about it. Precisely in that lies the real threat that the prototype political figure Fischer poses to societies, and one does not have to reach back to the Third Reich to find conscienceless Fischers who perceive and parse any incident in the metrics of their patchwork ideology. Or rather fantasy ideology as Lee Harris coined it, a coherent and consistent - nevertheless ever-changing - belief coordinate system that solely serves to satisfy a personal collection of pet issues. In course of that, facts become opinion and opinion becomes fact. Schröder may have been a sonofabitch, but he was a predictable one. Fischer, however, is a Lord of War who sells any story (read: weapon) to anyone if the price is right.

Joerg on :

I don't think I am "misconstruing Denis' original point" because I quote his entire paragraph. "comparison in a literal sense." Is there any other way? Shall I call your favorite politican a Nazi propaganda minister and then claim it is not meant literally? You wrote a long comment with little substance. Why don't you support your opinion with some facts? Why don't you answer any of my questions to the National Review with some quotes from Fischer? I like facts and I am open-minded, i.e. I am ready to change my mind on Fischer.

Detlef on :

A lot of opinion but not a lot of facts. Just to pick a few: "...and Fischer being the great manipulator with friends & family in all branches of the German elite who rather acts on his own freelancing terms." I´m curious to know more about his family and friends in all branches of the German elite? Care to name a few? "Fischer saw the anti-American Episodes 1 (Afghanistan)..." You do know, don´t you, that since day 1 of NATO troops in Afghanistan German troops were there too? And with support from every party except the "Linkspartei" (left party). Why you name Afghanistan as an anti-American episode is a mystery to me?

Niko Klaric on :

Yeah, I can perfectly imagine that you only believe that in newspapers and tv which is underscored by numerous sources and citations. You must be the one who writes myriads of letters each day to SPIEGEL, Welt, FAZ, ARD, ZDF, and asking them for their sources. Duh.

Fuchur on :

Well, I can only repeat Detlef´s question: Why is the way the Schröder administration handled Afghanistan "anti-American"?? And you "forgot" to mention "episode 0": the war in Yugoslavija. I see that you find the idea of using facts and arguments a bit annoying. Fine, let´s do this your way: Fischer is certainly no big fan of President Bush, but he definitely is not anti-American. So there. Don´t ask me for any facts to underpin this opinion. I decline to do the esential research for you...

Niko Klaric on :

Care to read what I actually wrote? "Fischer was never anti-American in a sense that the European intelligentsia was never "critical of Bush's policies" for, oh, the last 100 years. They just happen to get back to the US over and over again because, well, she's a cheap and convenient target." Please look for another target for your silly assertions. Thank you.

Thomas on :

Why didn't you tell your buddy Denis Boyles that you disagree with his Nazi analogy. After all he was quoting you, i.e. making you half responsible for it. [i]Fischer being the great manipulator with friends & family in all branches of the German elite[/i] Just name some. Otherwise you are just a cracy conspiracy piece of shit who propably also believes in a Jewish world government. [i]who rather acts on his own freelancing terms.[/i] Germany's Foreign Minister was freelancing. Right. [i)Fischer saw the anti-American Episodes 1 (Afghanistan), 2 (Iraq) and 3 (American bloodsuckers' siege on German economy) as a means to the ends, namely advancing his (and friends') careers.[/i] First of all he pushed his own party hard to support the wars in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Besides he never talked abou "American bloodsuckers siege". That was a cover on a magazine of a trade union. [b]Please stop spreading your stupid propaganda[/b] I am not going to read the rest of your comment. [b]What happened? Where do all these idiots come from?[/b]

Niko Klaric on :

Sic!

Fuchur on :

Sigh. Ok, you didn´t get the point. Well, it´s not so important, just forget it... Let´s keep this simple and stupid. For the third time: Why do you label Afghanistan an "anti-American" episode? What about the Yugoslavija war? What´s the connection between Fischer and the "locust/bloodsucker"-stuff from Müntefering/IGMetall? Three simple questions, easy enough to understand. I´m still very interested in your answer.

Joerg on :

Good blogs are about facts. Blogs are increasingly popular because they challenge the MSM, when they can't back up their claims. You wrote a long comment with little substance. Why don't you support your opinion with some facts? Why should anybody believe you, if you don't present quotes and links to credible news sources?

Niko Klaric on :

Jörg, you already labelled my comment as, quote, "... a long comment with little substance ... opinion ..." If that weren't enough, you now also sneak in that not-so small caveat, "links to credible news sources". I'm not interested in such mental masturbation exercises, really. I already supplied two links in the other comment: http://www.welt.de/data/2004/11/13/359509.html http://www.postwritersgroup.com/archives/kell0211.htm Fact 1: Fischer rushed to the grave of Arafat, directly undermining your claim that Fischer were a friend of Israel. He's not, but to the contrary, by showing his reverence to a sworn enemy of Israel he made it clear that at least he'll double-talk much the same way as Arafat did. Just imagine if Klaus Kinkel rushed to the grave of Carlos. (And, no, the fact that Arafat was "elected" in a sham "election", and that he received the Nobel "Peace" Prize, unlike fellow terrorist Carlos, does not change the argument whatsoever.) Fact 2: Fischer was an attendee at a terrorist-supporting/endorsing conference in "Palestine" which called for the destruction of Israel. Well, since the conference was not held in Frankfurt or Berlin I can hardly see how Fischer could've just stumbled in by accident ... Anyway, since you now pretend to be genuinly interested in a debate about facts, what is your response to the above? Or are those still not facts, and am I required to present written testimony from the Pope that the above were true?

Joerg on :

Your postwriters link is an article by Kelly. That guy relies strong only an article by Paul Berman, who is not happy with Kelly: "Yet I worry that Kelly's citations may have led his readers to suppose that I share his estimation of Fischer's knavish character. I do not." Read Berman's response to Kelly [url=http://www.slate.com/id/2078560]"Why Germany Isn't Convinced - Joschka Fischer is wrong to resist the Iraq war. But he's not evil"[/url] (Thank you RG for pointing me to Paul Berman) > Fact 1: Fischer rushed to the grave of Arafat, directly > undermining your claim that Fischer were a friend of Israel. Many politicians did. For example for the United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw; and for the United States: Assistant Secretary of State Williams Burns http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4003463.stm Are you saying Straw and Burns are not friends of Israel? CNN quotes President Bush about Arafat's death: "We express our condolences to the Palestinian people. For the Palestinian people, we hope that the future will bring peace and the fulfillment of their aspirations for an independent, democratic Palestine that is at peace with its neighbors." http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/11/11/arafat.main/index.html Do you call that "double talk" as well? > Fact 2: Fischer was an attendee at a terrorist-supporting/endorsing > conference in "Palestine" which called for the destruction of Israel. What conference in "Palestine" are you talking about? Please provide link! You make it sound as if he attended that conference when he was foreign minister. I remember that Fischer was criticized for attending a dubious conference in Algeria in his youth. In the 60s or early 70s. It is unclear whether Fischer knew what that conference was about. The NRO called Fischer a "terrorist" and an "America hater" and "Schroeder's Goebbels." I disagree with that. You haven't provided ANY evidence, facts, links to undermine my criticism. Is there anybody who agrees with the NRO's name calling of Fischer?

Olaf Petersen on :

It wasn't Germany that broke international law when invading Iraq. It wasn't the German Foreign Minister who had to admit 'thousands of mistakes' in Iraq. "The mote that is in the eye of your brother you see; but the beam that is in your own eye, you see not."

steve on :

OH geez Olaf.. Broke international law.. give me a break like Bush said.. let me call my lawyer.. HELLO the war in 1990-91 was ended by a CEASE FIRE RESOLUTION.. not a peace treaty. Saddam was given another chance.. the world said to him.. keep up your obligations, if not you are OUT! Olaf, are you honestly telling me that Saddam upheld his part of the cease fire resolution? Iraqi forces fired on the American and British planes on an almost daily basis.. you know, the ones that had a legal right to be there under the CEASE FIRE resolution? IMHO that was an act of war and more than enough of a violation of the cease fire agreement to take him out. Other superpowers (Russia, China, Nazi Germany in its heyday) would have swatted Saddam like a fly at the first infringement. Only the imperialist USA would wait 12 f...ing years to actually do something about it. Are you honestly telling me Saddam held to the Security Council resolution 1441 - you know, one last chance to come clean, or else? and we both know the UNSC is the world's highest moral authority, right? After all the UN created Israel, even though no country in the Arab world (Europe's buddies) recognizes Israel? Wait, I hear all the time from the Europeans the UN is the ultimate moral authority, yet Europe's (Eurabia's) buddies refuse to recognize Israel. Where's the outrage, Olaf? Give me a f...... break.

steve on :

http://frum.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjAzMzIzOGE5MTgwYjk0NDg4YjdjYmZiNWNhNDkyODc= For those of you who now think that the NRO is an anti German rag because of one over the top comparison, have a look at this. I have pointed this out to Americans AND Germans. So.. when Americans are compared to bloodsucking insects and locusts (a comparison made by the current VIZE KANZLER).. well that is freedom of speech, no harm done, right? But when one columnist makes an over the top comparison, this is completely unacceptable? How about a little perspective here, people?

Joerg on :

In June 2005, the Atlantic Review followed many German bloggers and helped to create awareness and criticized the [u][url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/37-Calling-US-companies-bloodsuckers-does-not-work.html]bloodsucking insects cover of IG Metall.[/url][/u] The Atlantic Review [u][url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/172-Genocide-US-calls-for-more-sanctions-against-Sudan-but-Germany-sees-business-opportunities.html] criticized this cover again in November 2005[/url][/u]. *Please* provide a link for your claim that Germany's current vice chancellor compared American citizens (and not "just" international Hedge Funds) to bloodsucking insects and locusts. If you can't back up your claim, you are responsible for libel. Anyway, why did you bring up Müntefering? Bill O’Reilly said: "A no-spin rule is that you don't justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior." I like that and I consider "justify" pretty broadly. To be fair: You probably do not mean to justify or excuse the NRO, but you wanted to a little more perspective. Sure, you are welcome to read the Atlantic Review's many posts on [u][url=http://atlanticreview.org/plugin/tag/Anti-Americanism] Anti-Americanism[/url][/u] It would be great if you could apply your comment "How about a little perspective here, people?" to blogs that criticize Anti-Americanism in Germany. Well, perhaps you do that already.

influx on :

Muentefering didn't compare the American people to locusts, he was talking about hedge fonds.

David on :

Fischer had the courage to speak truth to power - and tell Rumsfeld to his face "I am not convinced" by the phoney intelligence used to justify the Iraq invasion. Because he was correct he will forever be villified by the right-wing journalists and bloggers who hate it when a someone stands up and says "The Emperor (Bush) Has No Clothes."

joe on :

Yes, the old international law rant. Would you mind citing which law book, I might find the referenece to the international law which was broken. We are all aware of how Germans obey all laws be they their own, Europe's, or international.

Niko Klaric on :

Jörg, I decline to do essential research for you. After all, you have made it abundantly clear in this thread and other writing of yours that you won't let get facts in the way of making your pre-constructed points anyway. So I'm sure it wouldn't help if, for instance, I point out these articles: http://www.welt.de/data/2004/11/13/359509.html re: the argument that Fischer "got a lot of praise from Israelis" - which, excuse my French, sounds a whole lot like the claim from many anti-Semites, "But some of my best friends are Jewish, I can't be an anti-Semite!" Or this one: http://www.postwritersgroup.com/archives/kell0211.htm I'm sure you'd explain that away the same as Fischer did - "I was not in attendance of that particular meeting where they called for the destruction of Israel." The old argument that a man can change and become a better person unconnected to his youth sins doesn't cut when the same man rushes to the grave of Arafat in 2005, a mass-murderer who until his last breath urged his followers to wage war against Israel. I don't recall any Red Army soldiers holding a vigil for their "fellow soldier" Hitler when they found his ash in the Führerbunker. (There, another Nazi analogy, Jörg!) Also, let me point out that, ironically enough, it is *you* who peruses a minor incident to smear others based on a seemingly long-heeded obsession, not the other way around. What to make about the following? Denis Boyles writes essentially these words that get you upset: ... "terrorist" Joschka Fisher ... odious Security Council America-haters ... fanning the flames of anti-Americanism ... Mind you that he talks about a *single* person, and I may point out that German courts on numerous occassions explicitly singled out "Figuren des öffentlichen Lebens" for satirical smears. To which you, Jörg, reply with the following mild-mannered non-obsessed open-minded, uhm, diatribe where an observer might ask, why do you feel an obligation to rally behind one of your former leaders by smearing not a single man (like Denis did) but a whole group? Parts of the conservative media in the U.S. are still obsessed ... ridiculous claims ... practices name calling only ... Like the National Review, many extremists on all sides ... Nazi-obsessed folks ... bad journalism and propaganda in itself ... He responded with some more ridiculous claims [sic!] ... many other ridiculous and hateful claims [sic!] ... your writers aren't stopped ... Why are you still obsessed ... you have zero credibility to write anything about Germany ... Truthiness and Bullshit ... So who's foaming at the mouth again? But I'm sure you won't see much substance here either, so no need to waste each other's time anymore.

steve. on :

I stand corrected. You are right, the comparison did not compare locusts with the American people, it compared hedge funds with locusts, but everyone including you Jorg considered it an anti American slam. Sorry I am new to your blog, didn't know you were against anti Americanism in Germany. my apologies.

Joerg on :

No problem, Steve. Welcome to the Atlantic Review!

joe on :

Steve, Know it is a bit confusing at times. In fact, it can be really difficult.

amiexpat on :

@Jorg.. you wrote @ Amiexpat Boyle does happen to specialize in European affairs Why does he write so much nonsense about Fischer? You yourself disagree with him. Why does not he back up his claimes. Have a look at the questions I have asked him Jorg, if you answer the question, why does the European press write so much nonsense about Bush?, then I will answer your question. I, until recently, was a dyed in the wool Democrat, although I did vote for the Shrub in 2004.. GLADLY.. I am not in love with the man, but I have read so many half-truths or outright lies about the man, we don't even have enough time to talk about them. I think there is a phrase.. those that dish it out should be able to take it.. that applies here. The Germans/Europeans bash Bush, they should be able to take a little bit of fighting back, don't you think?

Joerg on :

"those that dish it out should be able to take it.." Fischer was dishing out? Please present any quote of Fischer calling Denis Boyles or any other conservative "Nazi Propaganda Minister" "The Germans/Europeans bash Bush, they should be able to take a little bit of fighting back, don't you think?" So basically you are saying that: If an American gets mugged by a European, it's okay for this American to take revenge and mug other innocent Europeans. Please bear in mind that this is the first post in the Atlantic Review about unfair attacks against a European. However, we have written dozens of posts about Anti-Americans: [u][url]http://atlanticreview.org/plugin/tag/Anti-Americanism[/url][/u] So please, cut us some slack here. Please read my other comments in this thread because they relate to your comment.

ADMIN on :

This post has been [b]updated[/b] to acknowledge Denis Boyles' just published apology.

joe on :

I am not sure I would characterize Boyle’s comments as an apology but if it makes you feel better then by all means label it as such. If it is anything it is a recognition that he deviated from his high standards and ended up in the muck which passes for both news and commentary about all things American in the German M$M.

Thomas on :

Americans understand very little about German politics. The US secretary of state serves at the pleasure of the president. The German foreign minister does not serve at the pleasure of the chancellor. Besides for the last 50 years the foreign minister has been from a different party than the chancellor. This is alien to Americans. Bush supporters hate Schroeder and blame Fischer as well.

Zyme on :

Jorg Americans and europeans dont always have to agree on a subject. Lets face it, there are more differences than similarities between both continents, and either side is happy about that. If you started a blog on eurasian relations, you would end up with similar disputes. Accepting such differences is part of intercultural social skills. Why do you let yourself get angered so much by them :)

Jörg on :

> Accepting such differences is part of intercultural social > skills. Why do you let yourself get angered so much by them :) You are right: I shouldn't get angry! I do accept differences, but I don't like [u][url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/337-Bullshit-and-Truthiness.html]truthiness[/url][/u] and I think journalists should be "held accountable" as Bildblog und Medienkritik and other watchblogs are doing. I don't mind that Denis Boyles dislikes Fischer, but I take issue with his unsubtantiated claims, because that's not good journalism.

James on :

I remember when Schroeder made his "apology" to Bush about the Hitler remark by one of his party members. Schroeder was chuckling about it, repressing a smile, and his apology was insincere and the whole thing insulting. This more than anything created reactions by many Americans, that Schroeder was an arrogant ass, a self-righteous insincere person, and who was totally different from the honest man G.W. Bush. As we know, it was years before Bush greeted Schroeder, due to these insults, and the remarks like "Bush is Hitler" being repeated over and over, the European and Stalinist left USA public laughing about "cowboy Bush" (most Americans have positive images of cowboys), then "warmonger Bush" by the same "peace" nation leaders and UN bureaucrats who were all stuffing their pockets with Saddam's cash... Joshka Fisher also showing himself to be a posturing arrogant ass also -- as with the ignorant dressing down of Rumsfeld about WMD evidence (which has since been verified repeatedly) or the Iraq-Al-Qaeda links which also are solidly proven... well, the whole structure of the Schroeder governement was socialist-communist in orientation, arrogant up to the eyeballs. With a fake smile, dyed hair and "smoothed-tongue" just like a con-artist might be, very different from the stumbling honest Bush, who reminded me more of the stuttering Claudius as compared to the smooth-talking, handsome Caligula. Caligula turned out to be a monster, after all, while Claudius was a decent fellow who did many good things. People should remember, that real fascism is very fasion-oriented and "handsome", "stylish", while the victims of fascism, those sent to the death-camps, are disheveled, ordinary and stumbling, but honest and decent. So this whole thing gave the terrible impression to many in the USA, of the "handsome liars" of the Schroeder government, in a way which carried the whiff of the same social problems which led to such things as Hitler, or Mussolini. But in any case, all of Germany saw after losing elections where their loyalties really were. Schroeder goes to get a job with the Russians, after which they jack up the price of gas to Europe, and Fischer bails out of Germany for a job at a left-wing American university, deep in the heart of that "evil capitalist empire". Germans... you might learn what people in the USA say about people like Schroeder and Fischer: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". Cowboy common sense is a whole lot better than promises and betrayals from the radical left. And the commies in West Germany were no better than those taking their orders from Herr Honnegger.

Thomas on :

At the beginning of your comment you write: [i]remarks like "Bush is Hitler" being repeated over and over"[/i] This is complete nonsense. Unless you got some quotes of German politicians or newspapers etc. making such statements, I am not going to read the rest of your comment.

Possum - At the Zoo on :

Thomas, you didn't read the rest of the comment but you assert that the quotes you require are not in it. Hmmm.

Thomas on :

I know that nutcases tend to ramble about other unrelated topics rather than go back to the first comment and support their earlier statements. To please you I scanned his entire comment and indeed he does not include quotes but writes more nonsense like: "People should remember, that real fascism is very fasion-oriented." Okay I guess it is just a matter of time until fascism breaks out (again) in Milano, LA, Manhattan, Tokio, Duesseldorf and all the other fashion capitals in the world. Is that all you have to contribute, Possum? Your life in the zoo made you lazy.

Possum - At the Zoo on :

"I know that nutcases..." blah, blah, blah your omniscience. But it's too late now to go back and read it AFTER you claimed to know what was in it.

ADMIN on :

Please note that by default the comments in this blog are threaded rather than linear, i.e. some of the latest comments and responses to comments are not at the bottom, but in the middle. At the top of the comments section you have the option to change the view from threaded to linear, which enable you to see the latest comments at the end of the thread.

Niko Klaric on :

"Your postwriters link is an article by Kelly. That guy relies strong only an article by Paul Berman, who is not happy with Kelly" So you attack the messenger rather than the message. I take note. "Are you saying Straw and Burns are not friends of Israel?" Simple question, simple answer: Yes. As for Straw, read this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/20/wmid20.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/20/ixworld.html >>> Britain wants to have "normal relations" with Hamas and is seeking means of unfreezing millions of pounds worth of aid to Palestinians, Jack Straw said yesterday, in a striking softening of tone. > Fischer has also been criticised for attending a 1969 conference of the Palestine Liberation Organization, where Yasser Arafat called for an all-out war on Israel "until the end".

Niko Klaric on :

Your blog cut off the rest of my comment. Since I don't want to waste any more of my time stating the obious, you might want to refresh your memory on Fischer, for instance, by reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joschka_Fischer It was not, as you tried to imply, some sort of boy scout trip to the backwoods. Fischer was 21 then, and went there on behalf of the Sozialistischer Studentenbund. Also, Fischer was not some minor figure of the Schröder government when he went to Arafat's funeral (like Mr Burns on behalf of the Bush administration). He's 4th in succession after the Bundespräsident, Bundestagspräsident and Bundeskanzler. Again, what would your reaction be if Klaus Kinkel went to Carlos' funeral? Or if the Austrian Foreign Minister went to the funeral of a former SS official? Or if Chirac went to the funeral of a convicted war criminal from the former Shinto Japanese Army? Or if Dick Cheney (remember, Fischer used to be Vice Chancellor, too) went to the funeral of McVeigh?

Niko Klaric on :

Fuchur, sure I "didn't get the point" simply because I don't see why I should defend a point that I never made, so please stop putting words into my mouth and stick with the actual text. Anyway, I know your "rhetorical style" from Medienkritik's comments section quite well, so I'm not going to waste any more time with you, either.

Fuchur on :

Medienkritik? You mean the blog where you were banned after insulting David&Ray? Yeah, lecture me on "rhetorical style"... For the record: I never put words in your mouth, so spare me your silly accusations. As for not wasting time: I´m all for it.

Niko Klaric on :

Exactly, the blog where I was "banned" for defending the politics of Schröder (but not of Fischer). Oh, sorry for confusing you now. Enjoy your stay.

Joerg on :

@ NICO I don't attack the messenger, but the message, just like Berman. You first said the conference was in "Palestine", which is wrong. Saying that Fischer is a "terrorist" today, because the 21 years old Fischer attended that conference in Algeria in 1969 is like saying Pres. Bush is an alcoholic today, because he drank too much alcohol until his 40th birthday. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush072599.htm Both is wrong.

Niko Klaric on :

The relevant portion of the story is not the GPS coordinates of the exact location of the conference, but the fact that the conference was organised and held by a terrorist organization, and that the express intent was to organise and endorse terrorist activities against the citizens of Israels. That is which Fischer was part of. So I answered some of your questions. Please anwswer at least this one: What would your reaction be if Klaus Kinkel went to Carlos' funeral? Or if the Austrian Foreign Minister went to the funeral of a former SS official? Or if Chirac went to the funeral of a convicted war criminal from the former Shinto Japanese Army? Or if Dick Cheney went to the funeral of McVeigh? On the other hand, from your "conversation" with WhatDoIKnow at Medienkritik I can already infer that right now you'll become so busy that you just can't answer that single question.

RayD on :

@ Fuchur, Just for the record. Niko was temporarily suspended for insults and attacks on our character. He then requested we erase all of his comments from our site and wrote that he wanted nothing more to do with us. We removed his comments as requested and had no problem complying with his wishes. So in essence, he banned himself. We honestly harbor no bad feelings.

Fuchur on :

Oh my. You couldn´t make these things up :-)

werner on :

The Goebbels comparison is cheap and stupid. However, this quote is entirely correct: "he had articulated a propaganda-driven foreign policy reflecting the virulent anti-Americanism of the Schroeder government". I am German and this is exactly how I remember it. Please note that Fischer was NOT "right about Iraq". He had no idea what to do about Iraq. You are not going to tell me there was any serious German policy or public debate regarding Iraq´s continued aggressive posture. We simply denied that there was a problem, thereby dumping the whole matter into America´s lap. While we had nothing to offer, neither ideas nor material efforts, we very loudly demanded that the US listen to us. Yet we never brought anything to the table. That is diplomacy? It would have more decent to shut up. German politicians certainly know how to hold back and step softly with regard to Tehran and any number of other nasty regimes. German diplomacy is now failing spectaculary with Iran. We have achieved nothing after three decades of "constructive dialogue" or whatever they proudly called it since Genscher was the first western foreign minister to re-open lucrative relations with Tehran. We do not loudly demand they listen to us, we do not scream at them on TV, we do not need to be convinced, we do not protest on the streets, we do not make them our business. We do not speak truth to power when that power is Russia or China or even Hamas or Syria. Why not treat the US at least with the same measure of good faith and respect? "...a propaganda-driven foreign policy reflecting the virulent anti-Americanism" is as good an explanation as I have ever heard. It was foreign policy as run by rebellious teenagers, deeply irresponsible and short sighted. As a German, the praise heaped on Germany by Saddam´s regime made me feel ashamed. Fischer, who surely once fancied himself an antifascist, never did anything to counterbalance that praise.

Joerg on :

Thanks for stopping by, Werner. > quote is entirely correct: "he had articulated a > propaganda-driven foreign policy reflecting the virulent > anti-Americanism of the Schroeder government". > I am German and this is exactly how I remember it. What anti-American propaganda from Fischer do you remember? > Please note that Fischer was NOT "right about Iraq". Please read the link to the Munich conference. > Iran. We have achieved nothing after three decades of > "constructive dialogue" or whatever they proudly called it I agree. What has the US achieved by isolating Iran for nearly three decades? > Why not treat the US at least with the same measure of good > faith and respect? What exactly are you accusing me of? Please read it a bit more in the Atlantic Review, especially our [u][url=http://atlanticreview.org/mustreads.html]must-reads[/url][/u] > As a German, the praise > heaped on Germany by Saddam´s regime made me feel ashamed. What are you talking about? Please substantiate your claims with some quotes. I think the last time Saddam's regime might have been praised by Germans and Americans was during the Cold War.

werner on :

First of all, I´m not accusing you at all; I was referring to the foregoing paragraph. Secondly, I was talking of praise for Germany from the regime, not the other way round. One example is still online here: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,776814,00.html "All the world is with us" That is the impression our policy created. Because Joschka and Gerd had to make a big statement. How does that square with his stated intention of strengthening the UN and the inspections? No, Fischer in his time as foreign minister himself did not explictly engage in anti-American propaganda to my knowledge (although Schröder did, even to the end with his remarks about Katrina). But German behaviour - the shrillness, the anger - cannot be explained rationally, because it was neither principled nor pragmatic with regard to finding any solution to the Iraqi problem. However, it can be explained through anti-Americanism. Fischer was very much part of this. The war would not have touched us in any way, after all. The collective hysteria during that time certainly wasn´t out of concern for Iraqis or any other war victims (Grozny?), as we are not lifting a finger for them when we have the chance. No, it was politically expedient to fan the flames, just as this same government was not above a little incitement and propaganda when it came to justifying the Kosovo war (which I supported). Anyway, Fischer makes disingenuous statements such as this one to bolster his case (to the Spiegel in spring 2003): "In the case of North Korea, for instance, Bush's predecessor Bill Clinton was for a long time successful in largely limiting the North Korean nuclear program - without the public at large being aware of it. It only became problematic when the new administration in Washington did not continue the program. And the greatest successes in the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction were not obtained by military means but on a political level - through the end of the Cold War." This is a) false and b) has no bearing on the situation in Iraq. In German: Verarschen kann ich mich selbst. You ask: "What has the US achieved by isolating Iran for nearly three decades?" Doing the right thing is an achievement in itself. But if we are talking about realism: Treating enemies as enemies must be the standard, not the exception. Who do you think the Mullahs are concerned about - the debate in the US or what goes on in Javier Solanas head? Why is that? In this case, the US still has their political friendship and economic cooperation to offer. It can credibly talk about separating the regime from the people. It does not have investments and trade to protect. Germany´s friendship we already gave away and the Mullahs know that we won´t take it back. Germany will never impose serious economic sanctions. Once again, we have nothing to offer and nothing to take away. At this point it is hard to argue that the US (and the rest of the world concerned about Iranian nukes) have profited from cooperation with international institutions and countries such as the EU 3 - but of course, for some people these things are an end in itself. I would guess that Tehran views Europe like an occasionally annoying concubine; I´d rather be the Great Satan to a regime such as this.

Don on :

Again I largely agree with werner, with some comments: werner: "Treating enemies as enemies must be the standard, not the exception." I would add that treating friends as friends is also important. But I do not ask the impossible. For Deutschland to treat the US as a mere neutral would be an improvement on the behavior under Schroeder and Fischer. Perhaps (after many years) we may progress to the point where Deutschland treats the US with the same respect that it did the USSR during and after Willy Brandt's premiership. Unlikely as it may seem now, it is possible....

Don on :

Werner summarizes my conclusions about that 200-2003 period much better than I could possibly do. I thought that Germany was in denial and had no solution other than that of the ostritch. Nonetheless Schroeder/Fischer had the supreme arrogance not only to 'contribute' to the discussion but to insist upon making the final decision - despite being unwilling to contribute little more than judges for the 'war crime' tribunals. With 'friends' like these - who needs enemies?

joe on :

One might ask the same question. What has 60 years of American friendship with Germany accomplished?

Misty on :

In all honesty I have to admit, on my travels last years on different parts of the world, it scared me to see the opinions that the locals have about the US. I wouldn't like to be an American nowadays! And thinking a few years ago this used to be 'the promised land'. Even up here, in Europe, I can't remember the last time I read someting positiv on your country in the media. Politicians up here openly admit they are looking forward to the day this administration is past time. And we have the almost daily articles on his stupidity and his ignorance for the common people. Of course, I can already imagine some older Americans up there yelling to me that 'we owe the US for WOII' and they are completely right! I have no problem at all to admit your country has made a lot of sacrifices for our freedom. It's because of this gratitude I want to do this effort to react on your article instead of ignoring it. Up here we also had a few decades ago a regime that was controlling the media to turn the truth and tell plenty of lies... They also won the elections thanks to the fear that was among the people. It's true, Bush isn't responsible for millions of deads, but he's at least responsibale for some thousands. I guess many of us miss the Clinton administration! He was not perfect, nobody is, but there were al least some important differences between him and the current president. Firstly (probably the most important to be one of the most powerfull man of the world) he had a consience. He also was very intelligent.. It's true, he also would have to deal with terrorism right now, but I'm certain it would have been in a more effecient and clever way. After all, how many terrorists have been killed since september 2001 and how many innocent civilians? Is this world any safer now? I would rather think the opposite. Believe me, the majority of Arabic people HATE Americans and have a (completely wrong) negative perception on the US. They have no idea that the majority of Americans have the same living conditions like they have and are as much victim of him like them. He's a macho who would perhaps make a good living if he would be born into a average family, but he's most surely too stupid to be one of the most powerfull people in the world! Intelligence obviously can't be bought, you have it or you don't!

firebrand on :

if there is one thing that this thread has proven Joerg, it is that Germany (and by extension a good part of the rest of Europe) has a significant credibility problem with a large chunk of the American public. Whether or not it is deserved is beyond the point - unchecked anti-Americanism has seemed to have revived latent anti-Europeanism, and by extension an "anti-Worldism" amongst a broad swath of conservatives in this country, conservatives who have votes in spades. The anti-Americanism may die, but these conservatives are not going to forget, and that has broad implications for the nature of the transatlantic alliance. It could in time blossom into a revived isolationism in the U.S., and that would be a catastrophe.

remember on :

do not forget that JF has a criminal record in Germany that the right people chose to ignore: violent attack of police officers (who do not carry weapons in Germany), if I recall correctly. he is extremely, i repeat: extremely, opportunistic. and this is known. i do not know if an Israeli official praised him, I do know that at least one prominent Jew in Germany sees him exactly for what he is. what is most disgusting: after he made his way in german politics, not by believes or personality but solely by opportunistic positioning, he still is considered a thinker. one can only hope that history will correct the image parts of society have of him now. one can only hope that one day mr. fischer will be capable of becoming ashamed of his actions, of seeing his true self.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Does Joschka Fischer really have a criminal record? As far as I know, he was not identified and prosecuted in the 70s, when he hit that policeman. Three decades later it is too late to charge him. "(who do not carry weapons in Germany), if I recall correctly." Not in Germany. You are thinking of ordinary policemen in Britain. Though there are now plenty of other policemen (and women) in Britain, who do carry weapons. Sure, Fischer is opportunistic. Though he also genuinely changed his mind because the world has changed in the last 40 years. Can you name one high-ranking politician, who is not opportunistic? Why is Fischer's opportunism of concern to you? Because he is considered a thinker? Okay, I can understand that. Yes, I agree, Fischer is quite overrated. He is more popular than he deserves to me. Though, he is also despised by some folks more than he deserves to be.

Bob Whatshisname on :

I like pie...alot. So much that i would like to share with all of you guys. I would like it if some of you try to contact me. Thank you all. This has been fun. Oh, and i guess all of this information helped me on my Holocaust project.

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