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First Anniversary: Praise for Ambassador Timken's Work

The New Philadelphia Times Reporter from Ohio has long piece by Paul M. Krawzak about William R. Timken Jr., who is from Ohio and was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Germany on August 15, 2005:
Asked if he can point to any major benefits from the improved relationship, Timken is quick to respond. “Boom, look at – Iran,” he replies. Noting a united European front against the development of nuclear weapons by Iran, Timken said the United States and Germany are “working hand in glove trying to develop the strategies to convince the Iranians that this is a bad way to go.” “And I would say two years ago that would probably have been impossible,” he said.
Any Anti-Americanism?
His biggest surprise in his German travels has been the hospitable welcome he’s received, leading him to doubt a recent survey showing just 37 percent of Germans with a favorable view of the United States. Despite such polls and the continuing criticism of Bush in the German press, Timken has heard no criticism, he said. I can’t find one person – and I have to admit I haven’t been talking to the communists or the far left – but I can't find one person that says that there is an anti-American feeling in this country,” he said.
While there are disagreements, Timken said the “actual feeling about America and the American people is very strong.” He said the two nations’ common strategic and economic interests, as well as the U.S. role in defeating the communism that for so long divided this country, and the friendships established by millions of American military families who have lived in Germany since the end of World War II, have created a “unique commonness– that leads us to be very close.”
The poll is from the PEW survey America's Image Slips, But Allies Share U.S. Concerns Over Iran, Hamas.
In an article for The Repository in Canton, Ohio, Paul M. Krawzak writes about the praise for Ambassador Timken:
Gary Smith, executive director of the prestigious American Academy in Berlin, calls Timken “the right person in Germany at the right time.” Smith, who is a Democrat, credits Timken with projecting a positive image of the United States and reaching out to nongovernmental organizations that seek to improve German-American relations. He said Timken and his wife, Sue, who is actively involved at the embassy, are thoughtful and highly motivated.
“I think he is doing an excellent job,” said Karsten Voigt, coordinator for German American Cooperation in the German Foreign Office. “He is emphasizing more the economic side.” Voigt has been impressed with Timken’s ability to keep his cool even when challenged by hostile audiences at universities. “There is an element of calmness,” he said. “Don’t mix up calm with boring.”
HE’S NO DAN COATS: Timken is inevitably compared with his predecessor, former Ambassador Dan Coats, the onetime Indiana senator who served in Germany when relations had plummeted after the U.S. overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The outspoken Coats angered Germans when he criticized the nation’s foreign policy under then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. “Timken is much more Mr. Nice Guy,” said Volker Perthes, director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, a federally funded research organization that advises the German government.
Not everybody appreciates Ambassador Timken's work: Ray D. at Medienkritik was (is?) angry about "the deafening silence" regarding some Anti-Americanism in Germany during last year's election campaign. He thinks that "Americans need to be deeply concerned about their (lack of) representation in Germany." Ray would like to see a U.S. ambassador capable of German and to be more outspoken like Dr. Jeff Gedmin, the director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. What do you think about this?
Germany's last ambassador to the U.S. wrote a relatively outspoken farewell article in the Washington Post .
The U.S. Embassy covers Ambassador Timken's travels around Germany, provides his numerous speeches and his bio and provides a great multimedia archive.

ENDNOTE: If you can read German, check out the Tagesspiegel article
(HT: Marian) that describes how Ambassador Timken and Mrs. Timken meet with Berlin youth of Turkish and Arab background. The Timkens meet the youth despite the heat, talk about their problems and provide encouragement and support them. Ambassador Timken's business background impresses the Arabs and Turks. Mrs. Timken encourages some to use their graffity spraying talent to make money by designing and selling T-Shirts and promises to call the American-German Business Club and invites others to their residence. She also organizes volunteers to help girls with a Turkish background to learn better English and much more. Besides, the German-American Fulbright Commission started a Diversity Initiative to send students with a migrant background to US Summer Schools.
The embassy and the State Department in general seem to focus their public diplomacy more and more towards Muslims in Germany and around the world. According to a Foreign Affairs article "Europe's angry Muslims" are considered a risk to U.S. security.
In January, Secretary Rice announced a global repositioning of diplomatic forces away from Europe to the new critical posts of the 21st century. Is the transatlantic partnership going to suffer from this shift or is it the right and overdue shift in response to a new international environment?
Related post in the Atlantic Review: Call for revivial of cultural diplomacy to counter Anti-Americanism.

UPDATE AUGUST 18, 2006: Ray D. with Medienkritik has emailed this CLARIFICATION:
I wouldn't say I was "angry". Disappointed is a better word and mainly with regard to relations with the German media. I think that if Timken really took a look at German media it would not be very difficult for him to find the anti-Americanism he claims never to have encountered. Just look at some recent pieces by Florian Guessgen (who is currently in the USA attempting to prove the US media is gleichgeschaltet and in league with the Bush administration and unable to fulfil its democratic function). What bothers me is the "never rock the boat" approach that the Ambassador and his public diplomacy team seem to be taking. On the other hand, I cannot know all that has happened behind the scenes with the media and so do not want to pass a damning judgement. Additionally, I don't think Gedmin would make the best Ambassador and frankly I am sure Timken and his staff have started many useful outreach programs. It would obviously be helpful if the Ambassador could speak the local language and represent his nation to millions on television to counter the ugly stereotypes and make US policy more clear to the German people. The US sorely needs this sort of representation and maybe the Ambassador could appoint such a person. Maybe the US embassy ought to consider starting a blog as well?

Trackbacks

At the Zoo on : Our Ambassador to Germany

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Via The Atlantic Review, the American Ambassador to Germany hears no anti-Americanism in Germany! I suppose he sees none either . . .

Dialog International on : Timken's First Year as Ambassador

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Joerg has asked American bloggers to weigh in on US Ambassador to Germany Willam Tim Timken on his first year in Berlin. I have to confess, I haven't heard much about him since he took over the post last August.

Davids Medienkritik on : Is Ambassador Timken Doing Well?

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Check out Joerg's analysis including our take over at Atlantic Review. Click here.

German Joys on : Ambassador Timken: Neither Coup nor Catastrophe

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Atlantic Review recently asked for my opinion of the performance of William Timken, Jr. as U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Thanks for asking; here's my take. First, let me say I have nothing against Ambassador Timken; I'm sure he's a decent

Too Much Cookies Network on : US-Botschafter in Berlin William Timken im Interview

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Heute morgen wurde im DLF ein Interview mit dem US-Botschafter in Berlin William Timken wiedergegeben. Darin rechtfertigt er im Groben alle Vorhaben der US-Regierung im “Kampf gegen den Terror”. Während das sicherlich auch seine Aufgabe is...

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Don on :

Gedmin? As ambassador? Nah. He does have some good points. Persumably he speaks German well and knows the country. But Gedmin is a public intellectual and an op-ed writer who surely would get himself into hot water sooner or later as ambassador. You need a different ambassadorial style than Gedmin or Coats offered for Merkel. I didn't dislike Coats because Schroeder needed pushing in a way that Merkel does not.

Anonymous on :

Ten months ago, rumor had it that Gedmin would become John Bolton's deputy at the US Mission to the UN: [url=http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/9/30/18135/2194]TPM Cafe[/url] [url=http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/2005/10/is_jeff_gedmin_.html]Germany Joys[/url]

Bill on :

The problem with U.S. Ambassadors to Germany and other highly developed countries is that their schedules are filled with formal dinners and conferences, meetings with the political and business elite, handling directives and orders from Washington D.C., and that sort of thing. The only time that I have personally met a U.S. Ambassador to Germany is when I have participated in international trade fairs hosted here. The Americans who live and work here everyday hear very little about the Ambassador and see even less of him. Timkin's predecessor Ambassador Coats was very outspoken and there was regular German press and TV news coverage of his opinions on global issues (Iraq, Afghanistan, War on Terror, September 11th). I remember hearing or reading about Coat's replacement with Ambassador Timkin about a year ago, but since then he has practically disappeared from the radar for the average U.S. citizen here. It's nice to learn that he and his wife travel the country and engage with the German and immigrant youth, that's helpful for the image of the U.S. amongst this important group of world citizens. But to read what he states below in the article by the New Philadelphia Times shows me that he is very out-of-touch with the reality of daily life for Americans in Germany and how many of us interpret German media coverage of U.S. policies and affairs and general news about the United States: "...Despite such polls and the continuing criticism of Bush in the German press, Timken has heard no criticism, he said. I can’t find one person – and I have to admit I haven’t been talking to the communists or the far left – but I can't find one person that says that there is an anti-American feeling in this country,” he said. Perhaps Ambassador Timkin and Mrs. Timkin should work harder to meet face-to-face with many more U.S. citizens living in Germany in order to have a balanced view of what Americans living here feel and think about U.S.-German relations. In addition, if he cannot read or speak the language fluently, how can he make a judgement that everything is just Honky-Dory between the people of the United States and Deutschland? What news networks does he watch, CNNI and BBC World? Does he ever watch German news on ZDF, ARD, RTL, SAT 1, and NTV?.... and ARTE? An improvement in U.S.-German relations since Ambassador Coats and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder? Yes, definately and this is due to a number of factors which of course includes the hard work of the U.S. Ambassador and U.S. Embassy and Consular staff. Are we in the clear from the Dark Days of 2003-2005 and do the people of Germany and the U.S.A. share and support common principles and goals when facing serious crises around the world? Not by a long shot. We've got a ways to go yet, a very long way. Next test: German forces in Lebanon. Talk-the-talk and be prepared to walk-the-walk on the Lebanese-Syrian border Germany. We've got your back from Iraq in case things go terribly wrong.

Eric R. Staal on :

Kudos to Ambassador Timken for having the foresight and courage to reach out to Germans directly, as opposed to relying solely on the traditional diplomacy of building relationships at the governmental level. Despite the best efforts of Chancellor Merkel to repair the vital transatlantic relationship at the highest levels, representatives of Germany's government at lower levels continue to defame and berate U.S. foreign policy in public even when doing so is completely superfluous. Recent examples are Wolfgang Ischinger's farewell article in the Washington Post or even last night's broadcast of the Berliner Phoenix Runde on the subject of Lebanon, during which the representative of the Defense Ministry unnecessarily went out of his way to claim U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been morally wrong and resulted in more terrorism. As usual, few in Germany dare question this radical point of view because to do so would be anathema. Therefore, the Ambassador is rightfully taking his message directly to the people in Germany, including the Muslim community here. It may not be possible to overcome deeply-rooted hatred, widespread prejudice and years of radical leftwing endoctrination overnight, but we have repeatedly seen in recent years how the leftist media in Europe do reinforce the spread of Islamofascist terrorism. The Ambassador's direct interaction with the German public is a very important start in overcoming the propaganda about what the United States as a nation stands for. Of course, sooner or later, those who rejoice in criticism of U.S. foreign policy and, in particular, of President Bush will have to decide which side of the war against terror they are on, despite their denial for over two decades that there is a war. While most European Muslims have already voted with their feet that they prefer free societies with opportunity, many European policy makers do not seem able to make up their minds. In the meantime, we can continue to expect cooperation on intelligence and in other areas where both countries have vital interests at stake and we can be thankful for the honesty of a Chancellor Merkel. The Ambassador's efforts to reach out to the German public directly are laudable and should only be supplemented by the occasional reminder to mid-level government officials that it is not in Germany's national interest to undermine the legitimacy and purpose of U.S. foreign policy.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Re Berliner Runde: http://www.phoenix.de/berliner_phoenix_runde/2006/08/16/0/90450.1.htm Are you referring to Walther Stützle? He used to work for the Defense Ministry, but he does not anymore. He is now working for a think tank. What mid-level government officials are in your opinion undermining the legitimacy and purpose of U.S. foreign policy?

Fuchur on :

"deeply-rooted hatred, widespread prejudice and years of radical leftwing endoctrination " Look at the PEW poll above. In 1999/2000, 78% (!) of Germans had a favorable view of the US. Is that your definition of "deeply-rooted hatred"?? The idea that "they have always hated us" has developed into some kind of mantra of the "neocons". I´ve never seen anything but anectdotal evidence for this. In reality, the hard facts are so blatantly obvious that it seems silly to even debate it: Look at the poll again. All over the world (not merely in Germany), US favorability ratings take a sharp dip around 2002/2003. It´s not really hard to come up with an explanation for that, is it? I´ve presented these numbers on various occasions, and the reactions have always been quite "unsatisfactory". Big favorites are "Well, duh - those numbers must be wrong" (Ok - would you provide some other numbers, then, please...?) or "Those Germans must have lied when they said they liked the US " (??) . The problem I have with these claims of "deeply-rooted anti-Americanism" etc. is that that´s basically a no-point. Of course there´s anti-Americanism in Germany. There´s anti-Americanism in the US, too (every heard of this Michael Moore guy?)! The questions are: to what degree, how widespread, what´s your measure? Would you say that a country where 78% have a favorable view of the US is an anti-American country (after all, there are 22% who have a not-so-favorable view)?

Eric R. Staal on :

The Pew findings, of course, are generally interesting. Unfortunately, they do not apply to my criticism, which is directed at the policy and media elites as opposed to the general German public. That German public opinion took a serious downturn after 2002 is not simply because most of the German public is so incredibly well-informed and enlightened about the consequences of U.S. foreign policy. Have you ever heard of a publication called "Der Spiegel" or perhaps you are familiar with a fellow named Michael Naumann? These are just two important examples of an extremely Marxist media elite in Germany that will never accept U.S. conservatism as a legitimate political alternative. Hence the repeated broadcast of Fahrenheit 911 on German public television, along with a host of other programming that caricatures and demonizes the United States. Fortunately, on a bügerliche level, most Germans and Americans continue to have a great deal of mutual admiration and respect and that transcends short-term reactions to specific policies. It is easy to see that Germans and Americans share common values. I personally have had the good fortune to spend many years in Germany and observe coverage of U.S. politics. In the 1980s President Reagan was not only underappreciated for calling for the Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin Wall, but he was widely ridiculed for doing so. Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton were each strongly preferred to George H.W. Bush in the elections of 1988 and 1992, respectively, despite the impressive contributions of President Bush to German reunification. In the 1990s, political criticism of the United States in Germany focused on the Republican Congress. Most Germans were fed Democratic Party lies about Florida in the 2000 elections and most believe the leftist mantra that President Bush lied about Iraq or that Iraq was a war for oil. Needless to say, no-one ever tried to hold an anti-Saddam Hussein or anti-Islamic terror march in Germany. Where is the Mannwache that opposes homicide bombers or video-taped decapitations? These horrors are a daily reality in our world, but it is simply not interesting to take issue with these. Or perhaps when it comes to Islamofascism the protest mobs suddenly don't have the guts to defend freedom. Perhaps Greenpeace and the anti-globalization crowd run out of money after purchasing the anti-Bush posters and the weekly supply of cannabis. It is fair to say, that the majority of German elites will never accept U.S. Republicanism because the biggest threat to the political domination of a pacifist foreign policy and neo-socialist economic structure is the success of a free market economy in a country with the means and will to combat international threats. It should be added that pacifism is a particularly irresponsible foreign policy orientation for a country which itself suffered so tremendously under twelve long years of bloody dictatorship, but find me one politician in Germany with the guts to say so to the socialist demagogues anywhere in Europe? Whereas the rest of the world tried to learn the lessons of appeasement from World War II, the German left has made sure that only the lesson of pacifism got through. As for a detailed list of second-rate political elites culpable for publicly undermining U.S. foreign policy credibility in Germany, I have cited some examples in my articles on TechCentralStation. However, to be honest, the examples of German officials publicly denouncing U.S. foreign policy as a violation of international law and a threat to world peace are so numerous and routine, it is hard to know where to begin citing them. The utterances of a Lafontaine, Schröder, Gysi or womanly Green party members with hyphenated names need no mention. What is more interesting is when the same arguments are put forth by members of the CSU or CDU, who openly denounce U.S. foreign policy to brandish their own social credentials. David's Medienkritik does as good a job as any source in documenting the continuous assault. Now if only we could convince German Atlanticists to bear the courage of their convictions publicly and challenge the assumptions behind most of the propaganda. Perhaps then our alliance would not be a simple one way street of Republicans in the United States making all the hard choices, while foreign politicians jump on the Democratic Party bandwagon to criticize solutions to problems they continuously fail solve.

JC on :

I thought this post and DMK were about anti-Americanism, not "anti-Republicanism" or "anti-interventionist foreign policy." Now along comes--yet again--Mr. Staal and says: "These are just two important examples of an extremely Marxist [sic!] media elite in Germany that will never accept U.S. conservatism as a legitimate political alternative." The rest of the comment also abounds with political rhetoric which might get the crowd at a Republican campaign convention pumped up but does little to help with the actual issue. Sad.

Don S on :

A LOT of things are said which do little to help with the actual issue, JC. Both in the German media and the US. What does that have to do with anything? Eric Staal's post summarized some enormous problems between Germany and parts of the US public and as such was very helpful - assuming that Germans choose to listen. You would prefer to remain in ignorance of the problems because you find him unhelpful? What if there is another crisis in Europe and this time many of the war criminals in the Republican Party vote to stay out - at the behest of war criminals like myself who have decided to sit on our hands? As Germans did in 2003 and are doing even now to a degree. Eric warned you and I'm warning you. Go read Mediakritik for a while if you'd like even more vehement warnings.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

I just saw this on Soldiers Angels: [url=http://soldiersangelsgermany.blogspot.com/2006/08/no-its-not-rumor.html] No, it's not a rumor. Sue Timkin, wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, the Honorable William R. Timken, Jr., actually does visit the patients at Landstuhl hospital several times a month and she actually does cook the evening meal for the families staying at Fisher House while she's there.[/url]

Johnny on :

Ray D's original post on Jeff Gedmin reads: "It seems that Jeff Gedmin is doing a better job representing the American point of view than the entire US Foreign Service in Germany..." What a bold statement! It has long looked like Medienkritik is in love with Gedmin. But a polarizing figure like him would surely only make German-American relations worse.

David on :

@Johnny, Good point. Gedmin's cheerleading of the Bush Iraq War policy is hardly representative of "the American point of view". The overwhelming majority of Americans now oppose that policy.

JC on :

There is not as much anti-American sentiment in Germany as some people believe or, in medienkritik's case, apparently would like you to believe. That being said, there certainly is too much, most of which is obviously unreflected and dumb. There is of course no justification for anti-Americanism whatsoever--but there is none for a manichaeic "if you don't suppport us and each of our actions no matter what, you're anti-American"-attitude, either. What's more important, however, the anti-American sentiment that does indeed exist is also not deeply rooted, genetic or caused by decades of "left wing endoctrination [sic!]" -- why this unnecessarily hateful rhetoric, by the way? -- but the result of people's sad inability to distinguish between a country and its current administration or individual crimes committed by individuals soldiers. This may be despicable, yet it is true the other way around as well. Just think about the "cheese eating surrender monkeys" hostility towards French people because France's government has acted in a certain way. Let's all fight true anti-Americanism and promote a more complex view on this great country. But let's not sink to a "Why do you hate freedom so much!?" line of argumentation.

RayD on :

@ JC: So (according to you) what "level" or "quantity" of anti-Americanism does Medienkritik want its readers to believe exists and why is it excessive? Actually if you follow our site (have you ever really looked at it?) you would have noticed that we have openly acknowledged a decrease in overall anti-Americanism in German media of late. Furthermore, we typically go on a case by case basis on our site. As a watchdog, we document instances of anti-Americanism in German media and politics. Your claim that there are those who feel that "if you don't suppport us and each of our actions no matter what, you're anti-American" seems to be more of a strawman than a reflection of reality and true attitudes. Can you give us a concrete example of someone who honestly demands Germany agree with all US policy? As far as deep roots of anti-Americanism, do you honestly deny that the DDR was not indoctrinating people against the US for decades? Do you honestly believe that anti-American sentiment began with the current Bush administration? From my viewpoint, that is a dangerously simplistic and inaccurate view that melts beneath the most superficial examination.

JC on :

Well, I can give you an honest example of Mr. Staal commenting on this very post, i.e. a post dealing with anti-Americanism, stating that "Of course, sooner or later, those who rejoice in criticism of U.S. foreign policy and, in particular, of President Bush will have to decide which side of the war against terror they are on, despite their denial for over two decades that there is a war." The same person--representing Republicans abroad, so not much of a surprise there I guess--concluded that "The Ambassador's efforts to reach out to the German public directly are laudable and should only be supplemented by the occasional reminder to mid-level government officials that it is not in Germany's national interest to undermine the legitimacy and purpose of U.S. foreign policy." It wasn't me who brought up the foreign policy topic as an example of anti-Americanism. How do you understand Mr. Staal's statements, though? Moreover, the poll numbers from 2000 through 2005 presented above seem to indicate that certain foreign policy decisions do in fact influence the world's view on the U.S. rather decisively, as was pointed out by other commentators already. So it might be dishonest to simply look at the higher recent numbers and conclude there was wide-spread anti-Americanism, unless one would indeed define anti-Americanism in the way Mr. Staal apparently does, no?. As to indoctrination: Of course you are right about the DDR. I would never deny this sad fact. And of course, there are also biased articles in today's media which I get angry about. Yet again, my comment was a reaction to Mr. Staal, who wrote "Therefore, the Ambassador is rightfully taking his message directly to the people in Germany, including the Muslim community here. It may not be possible to overcome deeply-rooted hatred, widespread prejudice and years of radical leftwing endoctrination overnight, but we have repeatedly seen in recent years how the leftist media in Europe do reinforce the spread of Islamofascist terrorism. The Ambassador's direct interaction with the German public is a very important start in overcoming the propaganda about what the United States as a nation stands for." Do you read this as exclusively referencing the DDR? I don't. What I do read, however, is a ridiculous generalization about German (and European) "leftist media" slash society in general. Full stop. Notwithstanding all existing problems--and I do speak up against anti-American sentiments, believe me--this manichaeic attitude quite frankly makes me sick. What's more important, it doesn't help anybody, let alone U.S.-German relations.

Don on :

"left wing endoctrination [sic!]" Endocrination? Isn't that waht Floyd Landis got in trouble for? I'm not sure whether cyclists go in for left-wing politics though. It seems kind of a macho sport, though they aren't paid very much so they might be considered the Wal-Mart workers of professional sports. I think they need to unionize myself, and negociate for limits to the drug testing the same way that American Football and Baseball players do....

Johnny on :

"Actually if you follow our site (have you ever really looked at it?) you would have noticed that we have openly acknowledged a decrease in overall anti-Americanism in German media of late." My guess is that Medienkritik is only responding to a loss of readership as of late. It has, as Don (was it Don?) has noted on these pages a couple of days ago, become far too partisan and extreme and thus spoiled the attention from reasonable people. But that's only natural for a blog which owes its existence largely to the "hostile media effect" and has paid little attention to what could potentially put them out of business: the decreasing amount of anti-Americanism which even Ambassador Timken has trouble to spot. Medienkritik needs negative German press on the US to justify its existence. They have to be obsessed with it by definition. That's why they constantly play up stories and turn a blind eye on issues of real importance. It works like the cheapest shots from Bill O'Reilly: Either you're in favor of the Iraq war and US foreign policy in general or you are a terrorist and hate freedom. Luckily, as David has observed, the bulk of the real Americans is much farther already. And Timken has is right. He tries to build bridges into German society. Medienkritik is just burning them with viscious comments that border on being anti-German and rallying the few lunatic right-wingers in Germany and their half-bright fellow travellors on the other side of the Atlantic. From my viewpoint, that is a dangerously simplistic that melts beneath the most superficial examination. Don't ask me for proof for this indictment, you will just need to read Medienkritik for yourself. And don't be fooled by the nice pics of Germany which have been put up in a recent post. They themselves are an acknowledgement that something has gone wrong over there.

RayD on :

@ Johnny, Well, I hate to disappoint you, but our daily numbers have been quite stable for months, with an average daily audience of between 1700 and 2200. Today we are around 3000. Additionally, many of the blogs that we inspired and support (Lizas Welt, Kewil, Statler & Waldorf, Politically Incorrect, etc.) have grown to encompass a sizeable daily audience in their own right. As far as your naive conjecture that anti-Americanism has suddenly and miraculously disappeared in Germany, the people who work in the German media have not all retired or changed their fundamental attitudes over the past 3 years, so our work will continue to remain relevant into the forseeable future. Certainly, a number of things including Merkel's election and the reduction of Iraq as a divisive issue have eased the intensity of anti-Americanism since 2003. On the other hand, that hasn't stopped some journalists and politicians from continuing to make outrageously biased comments aimed against the US and Israel. You can find many examples right here on Atlantic Review and on our site. Joerg recently wrote about the misuse of the term "amerikanische Verhaeltnisse" to scare Germans into supporting the bloated socialist state. Those daily examples of anti-American bias in German mass media (with audiences in the millions) pose the far greater threat of "burning bridges" between the US and Germany than anything we could ever write on our blog. As far as your inability to offer any proof of our alleged anti-Germanism, I will accept that as your declaration of intellectual bankruptcy. Your inability to see anything positive in our site leads me to dismiss you as a one-sided hack with a political axe to grind. Where is that sophisticated European nuance that we all know and love? In closing, I also invite readers to view our site and I posted my positive comments on Germany not because I think we are doing anything wrong, but to clear up any potential misunderstandings among those who may not understand the watchdog mission of our site. We love Germany. We don't love biased German media.

JC on :

If I were Statler or Waldorf, I would seriously object being listed along with Kewil and PI. As you might very well know, they have voiced their disapproval with what PI is doing quite clearly. And rightfully so. Seriously, in all fairness: Can you honestly and with a straight face tell me that PI shares your mission of "fighting anti-American bias?" And yes, I have read many posts on that site--to me, it is full of hate and bias itself. I would think that any reasonable person could write about the dangers of militant islamist factions without resorting to the primitive slurs against all moslems Mr. Herre likes to present on his site. http://word2go.blogsome.com/2006/08/13/pressefreiheit-oder-volksverhetzung/ I fail to understand how you can take pride in having inspired that collection of cheap islamophob and anti-German propaganda.

Johnny on :

Ray D writes: "As far as your inability to offer any proof of our alleged anti-Germanism, I will accept that as your declaration of intellectual bankruptcy." Your ideological bias and narcissistic vanity has led you to see white elephants. Never did I alleged you of anti-Germanism. I said your site is sometimes bordering on the anti-German. Particularly your comment section I might add. But, as I noticed, you don't look too closely at things which don't fit your world view. PS: Oh, and what a nice charme offensive that was: "I love Germany." Very sweet, thank you! You were just making sure people don't forget that amid all your hate posts about the Islamofascist Far-Left Nexus etc. Lump it all together, makes for a neater hate object. And don't tell me you love nuance...

RayD on :

@ Johnny You write: "You were just making sure people don't forget that amid all your hate posts about the Islamofascist Far-Left Nexus etc." The post you refer to is here: http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/08/berlin_demonstr.html These are actual photos I shot of a demonstration just days ago in Berlin. Do you honestly deny that members of the far left were marching together with Islamic extremists in Berlin? How is it "hate" for me to record what I observed? Among other things they were chanting "internationale Voelkermordzentrale USA!" and "Allah Huekbar" and carried signs calling Israelis and Americans "murderers", supporting Hugo Chavez, attacking capitalism, etc. There were clearly members of Communist organizations and Hezbollah at the rally. Lots of children were there too... If you want to close your eyes to reality and shoot the messenger, be my guest. That doesn't mean I will close my eyes with you.

RayD on :

@ JC Wow, that was predictable. Instead of dealing with my comment, you decide to shift the focus to PI. And once again, you throw around labels without any concrete criticisms of actual content. If anything is cheap, it is the level of your commentary. If you really want to see a biased blog with no audience, check out Dialogue International. How long has it been since he's had a post with more than 4 comments on it? It was probably that time I linked him during the blog carnival... (Ouch, the truth hurts...) If you want to talk about PI, yeah, he may go over the edge sometimes and do things that I don't approve of. I've even emailed him on several occassions to protest certain things. But at least he has the balls to address some really difficult topics facing Western society today. That's a lot more than I can say about most blogs. So let me ask you: Will I have to defend everything ever written on all the blogs we link to now as well? Am I guilty by association and therefore bad? That would be a typical-predictable smear job. Is that what this conversation has come to? How stupid is that? I guess it is easier to beat up on blogs you disagree with than ever putting up anything of value yourself.

RayD on :

@ Johnny, Oh yeah, WTF does my comments section have to do with my opinions? Am I now responsible for every opinion written there too? I guess Joerg has to agree with everything I write here as well if we follow your logic.

Johnny on :

You ask: "Do you honestly deny that members of the far left were marching together with Islamic extremists in Berlin?" No. Again, never did I claim that. It's your wording, i.e. ISLAMOFASCIST FAR LEFT NEXUS, which is preventing a debate on the real issues. For example, Nasrallah pics have been banned from demostrations in Germany recently, the far left in Germany is ridiculously small, Lebanese people in Germany feel attacked and stick to the force that they feel defends them against an 1000 times more potent aggressor. That's what they feel, not what I claim is true. So there you go. You should point out these nuances, which you love so much. I can't see a nexus there. And don't come back on that without a report from the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz! BTW, with regard to your blatant claims that Bush is playing a minor role with regard to German anti-Americanism, may I quote a Pew poll from 2005: "Bush's low standing emerges in country after country as the leading link to anti-Americanism. Moreover, when respondents in this survey who expressed an unfavorable opinion of the United States were asked directly whether the problem was more with President Bush or with America in general, they primarily placed the blame on the president. Throughout Europe, those who say the problem is "mostly" Bush out-number those who say it is "a more general problem with America" by margins of about two-to-one." (http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=801) This leads me to think that you will be going out of business when Bush is replaced in 2009. Except, of course, you continue to play up your "watchdog" cases. The problem with being a watchdog is that you pick cases and claim that there is a pattern on the broadest scale.

RayD on :

@ Johnny, Well, if you are short-sighted enough to believe that this is "all Bush's fault" and that anti-Americanism in Germany will suddenly disappear on January 20, 2009, I refer you to this quote from Jimmy Carter's autobiography "Keeping Faith": "Helmut Schmidt seemed to be torn between the conflicting political forces in his country. In private conversations he was very tough in dealing with the Soviet threat, often the leader among Europeans in proposing strong action. But in German political debates, he emphasized the opposite facet of the same question and seemed reluctant to do anything which might be interpreted as anti-Soviet. At times this conflict made it difficult for Americans to understand him and was the reason for some of our problems. There were many reports from news reporters and others in Europe and in the United States concerning his critical comments about me, Secretaries Vance and Muskie, Dr. Brzezinski, and other officials in our government. These persistent criticisms, often highly publicized, helped to legitimize anti-American sentiments in Germany. Perhaps to compensate for these reports, Schmidt would publicly deplore any negative comments from others in Germany about the United States or its leaders." (Pages 537-538, "Keeping Faith") More here: http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2004/05/the_ranting_of_.html

Johnny on :

Ray D writes: "Well, if you are short-sighted enough to believe that this is "all Bush's fault" and that anti-Americanism in Germany will suddenly disappear on January 20, 2009...." Well, let's look at what my short-sightedness led me to believe. I wrote: "...with regard to your blatant claims that Bush is playing a minor role with regard to German anti-Americanism, may I quote a Pew poll from 2005: "Bush's low standing emerges in country after country as the leading link to anti-Americanism. Moreover, when respondents in this survey who expressed an unfavorable opinion of the United States were asked directly whether the problem was more with President Bush or with America in general, they primarily placed the blame on the president." This is directly taken from a Pew poll from last year. Let me put it this way: Your spin leads to logical screw-ups. I stated that Bush is not a minor but a major cause for German anti-Americanism. This is a well established fact. And I provided evidence for it. Your quote from the peanut farmer's memoires (btw, do you like his policies and critiques of Bush?) are a rather poor reply and a demonstration of your "intellecutal bancruptcy." I'm sure you are a fan of Colbert's "truthiness" concept.

Consul-at-Arms on :

I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/08/re-first-anniversary-praise-for.html

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Thank you, Consul! Also please scroll up and see trackbacks from other bloggers. Thank you for all the comments. Very interesting. Any more thoughts on public diplomacy would be appreciated as well.

Lev on :

I attended a lecture by Mr. Timken at Humboldt University in Berlin on immigration politics. His speech and especially his answers to the audience's questions were largely banal. He is clearly a businessman, and a pretty conservative one at that. Previous to his appointment by Bush, he had no diplomatic expertise at all. He told students and professors about the American Dream, claimed that it still existed, and used a Guatemalan immigrant as example: "He lived in the US for twenty years, worked hard, and finally made it." I am sorry but that is out-dated bullshit. I do not doubt that you can still make it from rags to riches in America, but "can" is the important word here - 1 out of 10,000 people makes it. He also said in his Cowboy manner: "We welcome every immigrant. And if you are good, we will help you. If you are bad, we gonna get you!" Thank you, Mr. Timken. We need a smart diplomat with knowledge of culture and history, not a businessman who thinks in black and white.

Don on :

One in ..... Ten thousand, Lev? Such an authoritative statement, that. Most impressive. Do you have any authoritiy to cite on that? Or was it - telepathy?

Bill on :

Oh well... BTW: Ray D's Medienkritik blog is a real treasure in my opinion although I cannot agree with everything the authors post about German press and media bias. I wish that I had more time to spend at Ray's place to really study their work, but I do stop by from time to time. An independent press, broadcast and cable TV news, radio news, and online news networks are very important to any society that is free enough and rich enough to have these services. A weblog that acts as a media watchdog and can successfully analyze news and news reporting objectively is a help for all who are interested in news and depend upon news to make informed decisions. Such a watchdog service is of even greater importance when language translations of international news is offered as well, even if it is abridged reports and excerpts from foreign language news media. I know that there are other media watchdog blogs here in Germany that track the TV networks and press, but very few that post in English so that millions of English-language readers can have a peak at what's shaking inside of Good Ol' Deutschland. In America on the other hand, we probably don't have any German-language media watchdog blogs that focus on bias in U.S. news reporting. If true, that would be a real pity and should be addressed by some budding citizen journalists out there with good German language skills. Meanwhile, back to the original subject of this post: Ambassador William R. Timkin. If you do a Technorati search for the term "Ambassador William R. Timkin" you come up with two (2) posts. If you do a Technorati search for "Ambassador Daniel R. Coats" there are a total of 113 posts. One thing is for sure, Timkin has not made many waves in the blogosphere over the past year. That may be a good thing. P.S. That'll be $5 bucks Ray for sticking-up for you here at the Atlantic Review. No checks please.

Don S on :

I think if I can summarize. A lot of what I'm reading are some Americans criticizing the ambassador because he is not Dan Coats. The Germans seem to be letting out a very discreet sigh of relief for the same reason. I suppose the point I want to make is that the objectives of an Ambassador's job are limited. The job is to represent the official views of the current US administration to the leaders of Germany. Apart from that he has to make nice at receptions. One man (or even a whole section of dynamic diplomats) are not going to be able to change German hearts and minds - all the more because they will be viewed as the President's mouthpieces. They are not going to be able to charge fearlessly onto the public stage and fearlessly refute every libel and slur spread by the German media. And they shouldn't try. I do believe that the German press is very slanted - sometimes viciously so. And I do believe that the day is coming when there will be an accounting in the court of (German) public opinion for them. But the US ambassador should not seek to be the prosecutor. Remember how iyt occured in the US? Internally, by the work of bloggers and before that by work on internet discussion groups pointing out the errors and the slant. The German people will have to free themselves from their slanted media. We cannot do it for them.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

I don't think that many ordinary Germans knew about Dan Coats. Thus there can't be much of a sigh of relief. I think those Germans who remember one or two of his comments do not blame him or hold a grudge since he was just representing his government policy. I think for some reason, Germans hold a grudge against Rumsfeld. This "Old Europe" thing really got to many compatriots for some reason. Most Germans seem to be allergic to any statement by President Bush. But nothing against Ambassador Coats. I think even among government officials and others in the transatlantic community he was not as unpopular as you make and perhaps the article that I quoted make it seem. I left with a very positive impression from a roundtable discussion with him and his wife at their residence. I think your view of the ambassador's work is too limited. > I do believe that the German press is very slanted - > sometimes viciously so. I disagree. Not "the" German press. Yes, Spiegel, Stern, and Berliner Zeitung. Other publications employ a few very biased and unfair journalists and publish anti-American articles sometimes. The papers with the most readers, however, are not slanted against the US, but often biased in favor of the US. What publications do you consider "very slanted"?

David on :

Just a point about Der Spiegel and its "slant". Yes, it is critical of the US, but isn't it equally critical of the EU, Russia, SPD, etc? It has a negative slant on everything, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I always admired Augstein - who went to prison in 1962 for printing some truths that were uncomfortable for the the German government at the time. I know that Spiegel is not as good after Augstein, but it still has an important "negative" voice - which every country that values democracy and a free press needs.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Perhaps someone could count and then compare the Spiegel articles on US and Russian "failures" and "human rights abuses" in Iraq and Chechnya. Besides, Spiegel seems to be more critical of Bush than Putin. Spiegel translated Karen Hughes' statement of Bush as the "leader" as "Führer." Has Spiegel ever made such a slanted translation of something concerning Putin?

Don on :

"I don't think that many ordinary Germans knew about Dan Coats." I was referring to the Germans who have posted on this thread and perhaps to those who read this blog. I thought I detected a sigh of relief - here! I doubt if 10% of the US populace know the name of the Ambassador to Germany at this moment. More americans would have been aware of Dan Coats but not perhaps that he was Ambassador to Germany. I've made the point to you before that right now is a great time for both countries to 'give it a rest'. I still feel that way. The current ambassador sounds like a decent and dull fellow, 'Ambassador Log'. An admirable choice for this point in time. Germans may be over their mad with the US but I can assure you the opposite is not the case. Perhaps because the peak of German anger was 2003 and my guess ids that US anger with Germany peaked last year when Schroeder tried it on again in his re-election campaign. I'm not referring to official anger but rather to among the part of the citizenry who are paying attention. The net effect of Schroeder's foreign policy was to help drop a neutron bomb smack into the middle of the internationalist faction of the Republican Party. Not only Schroeder of course. Chirac and Zapatero playd major roles. But Schroeder is the poster boy for this in the US. That is why I call myself a 'recovering Internationalist' these days. Over on German Joys I'm having a discussion with a chap named Sebastian. Among other things he finds the proposed Lebanese peacekeeping mission unrewarding and apparently believes that the US can and should do something to make it a better deal for 'Europe'. I have to laugh at that idea. Does he not suppose that if the US had such powers we would not have done it for ourselves already? A lot of the crap facing countries on difficult missions bear the stamp 'Made in Europe', folks. So I say to you: 'Healers, heal theyselves!' http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/2006/08/let_the_moraliz.html#comments

Don on :

"What publications do you consider "very slanted"?" Speigel, Stern, the public funded television networks. Joerg, when people talk about the US media they are not referring to the Milwaukee Journal or the Dallas Morning News, much less the tabloids. They are talking about the NY Times, Washington Post and CNN. Similarly in Germany I'm sure. Bild don't count.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Don, the publicly funded television networks are NOT slanted. A few shows like Weltspiegel or Panorama might be have a bias, but who's watching them?? Most Germans prefer to watch the glorification of FBI, CIA, Navy CIS, JAG, CSI and CTU agents in TV shows (which have a pro-American message) rather than those two news programs. Why does not Bild count? Bild covers international politics and foreign policy and it has the largest circulation of all papers in Germany, if I remember correctly. The Milwaukee Journal is not the best-selling US paper. That would be USA Today, right? If we want to measure Anti-Americanism in the media, we need to take into consideration how many people read/watch the papers/channels. Likewise in the US: More Americans get their international politics and foreign policy news from FOX News than the NY Times, thus FOX News has to be taken more seriously.

Fuchur on :

[i]Germans may be over their mad with the US but I can assure you the opposite is not the case. [/i] This brings up an interesting question: What´s the benefit of being an ally to the US? What do you get in return? The privilege to send soldiers to godforsaken countries? There has been lots of talk about relationships that will "never be the same" and "friendship lost". Big words - but what does it mean in reality? Aznar lost his election, Schröder won. That´s reality. I´ve heard that the Americans will retaliate against Germany economically (boycott and stuff). Puh-leeeze. In a globalized world, that´s about as sensible as the threat to shoot yourself into the foot (not that I´d put it beyond some on the American right ;-) ). Besides, I sense a certain amount of hypocrisy from the isolationist movement. They rant about the betrayal from Europe - and forget that Europe in fact makes up the core of the Coalition of the Willing. They praise Japan for their great contribution of 800 soldiers to Iraq and denounce the 3000 Germans in Afghanistan as "nothing". And while they label Germany and France eternal arch-enemies, they don´t lose a word about Canada.

Don S on :

"This brings up an interesting question: What´s the benefit of being an ally to the US?" Fuchur, this is actually a very profound question. The converse is equally profound: "What is the benefit of being an ally of Germany?" I think the benefit of being allied to the US is fairly easily answered. There was a crisis in the Balkans in the late 90's which Europe was unable to resolve, so the US came in at long last and fought most of the necessary war in Kosovo. But Germany did not fight significantly in Kosovo, did it. Germany contributed a lot of hot air and criticism and angst and hate to the political crisis - but not much light. So we come to my question: If the US are a bunch of war criminals fit only to be voted off major UN comittees, whyfore ought the 'war criminals' not stay home next time and let the Germans be the 'war criminals' next war?

Bill on :

More views on the German press and TV news... Hey! I watch Weltspiegel, Auslandsjournal, and Panorama when there isn't something better on TV. However, the killer "investigative news show" is that guy on what's-his-name... you know, the ZDF show that just won that media award here with the host who wears thick eyeglasses and the crazy hairdo... darn, what's the name of that show? FRONTAL21 with Theo Koll! Toll! Everytime this guy (Theo Koll) does a report about America or Iraq or anything dealing with the U.S.A. it is very N-E-G-A-T-I-V-E. One of the most popular shows on German TV too. Voted the Most Successful TV Magazine Show in Germany for 2005, 11.8% market share, averaging 3.76 viewers per episode. FRONTAL21 even beats the ratings on what's her name's show on ARD... you know, what's-her-name? Johannson, Christiansen, The Sabine Christiansen Show, that's it. Is FRONTAL21 biased and anti-American? You'd never get the producers and board members at Germany's state-sponsored ZDF Network to 'fess up to it, but this type of news media NEEDS closer examination by somebody. Bildzeitung?! Nah, I would never stoop so low and read that rag (BILD newspaper). Remember the frontpage photo in BILD during the height of the 2003 Liberian civil war as militias fought for control of the capital? It was of a child soldier brandishing the decapitated head of his latest victim in full Technicolor, published to show the German public that the "natives were restless" down in Africa again. Clearly one of the most racist news story coverage by any German press or media company in decades. I think that the German Press and Media Association (or equivalent) even made a complaint about that BILD coverage, but barely a peep from the German public. Ever since then I wouldn't house train a new puppy on a BILD newspaper, let alone read the thing. Germany's Nr. 1 selling and most-read national newspaper, indeed.

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 of the thread. At the top of the comments section you have the option to change the view from threaded to linear, which enables you to see the latest comments at the end of the thread.

JC on :

@Don S: You wrote about Kosovo, stating that "Germany did not fight significantly in Kosovo, did it. Germany contributed a lot of hot air and criticism and angst and hate to the political crisis - but not much light." Actually, Schroeder, Scharping, Fischer and the rest of the cabinet put the coalition as well as, believe it or not, their own political careers at risk by engaging in the Kosovo. And that risk was real. There was big time opposition in the German public, across party lines, yet German soldiers were deployed and Germany did contribute--and still does. Hence Kosovo is a bad example for the case you're making, because it does not show German politicians opposing U.S. policy choices and igniting anti-American sentiment for their own good. As regards Kosovo, the opposite is actually true.

Don on :

Not to criticise too much, JC, because I do know that it's hard to get the German public to do anything along thses lines. But how much actual fighting did German forces do in Kosovo? As in actually being in firefights, dropping bombs, driving tanks, etc? My impression is that the German forces were used in other areas. True or false? Afghanistan is another thing. I hear contradictory stories about the German forces in Afghanistan. I hear there are almost 3000 - but on the other side I hear that the Germans are not doing many if any actual combat missions. I know that logistics are important and garrisons are necessary - but do you see the disconnect that I do between the amount of criticism coming from Germans about the way Americans fight and how little experience of combat most of the critics have? Actually that last criticism applies to the US at least as much as it does to Germany; relatively few of the most scathing US critics know a damn thing about the subject.

Thomas on :

I don't know how I shall put this without offending anyone: I think many Americans exaggerate the importance of combat operations in the war on terrorism. German soldiers do a lot in terms of stability, reconstruction, reconciliation and democratization in Afghanistan. Americans sometimes create more terrorists and terrorist supporters, when their combat operations result in heavy collateral damage. Besides, German special forces have been hunting Al Qaeda leaders since early 2002, incl. lots of combat. BBC report of March 2002: "German special forces troops, the KSK, are participating in military operations in eastern Afghanistan, it has been confirmed. It is the first time German troops have been in combat outside Europe since World War II. The news of their involvement in the operation first emerged on Sunday from a US military spokesman. German ISAF member in Kabul German troops have already joined the security force This caused embarrassment in Berlin, where the practice is not to offer information on special forces operations." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1854187.stm 18 German casualties in Afghanistan. That's the fourth largest number of casuatlies. As of today: USA: 333, Canada 27, Britain: 20 http://www.icasualties.org/oef/byNationality.aspx?hndQry=Germany Quite a sacrifice and solidarity with the US. Without 9/11 there would not be an Afghanistan mission.

Don S on :

"Americans sometimes create more terrorists and terrorist supporters, when their combat operations result in heavy collateral damage." Interesting theory, Thomas. I have been trying in my dimwitted way to construct a consistent theory of how terrorists arise and have I think arrived at a proper 'unified theory' which may be consistent with your reasoning process. I assume that the peculiar conditions of the US uniquely piss off some Muslims and cause them to wish to bomb my country. Looking at the 9/11 bombings that may be the case, but the interesting thing is that plot seems to have been hatched before any of the hijackers spent any significant time in the US. Many of them HAD spent time in Germany and France, quite a lot of time in fact! I think we can reject out of hand any thesis which postulates that the cause of their alienation might lie in Europe however; the target (the US) was obviously the causitive factor. Let's move on to more recent examples, such as the 3/11 Madrid bombing, the 7/7 London bombing, the recent Heathrow plot, and the even more recent attempt to blow parts of Deutsch Bahn to kingdom come. In these cases alientated Muslims (JW, am I permitted to use that word in polite company?). Well, let's just call them disaffected residents of indeterminate religion and sw.. (oops, almost slipped again) took dead aim at the transport infrastructure of the country they were resident in. But again the sole cause was US government policy. And so we have it; the perfect unified theory: Terrorsim is caused by the US because it is caused by the US! Quite perfect I think! And the fact that none of the recent terrorists were born or raised or spent many years in the US can safely be disregarded. I was going to state that the US has itself had no native terrorists to date but that is actually quite fales. We have (or should I say had?) one. A fellow named Timothy McVeigh. But he doesn't quite fit the theory........

Bill on :

Meanwhile, back at the Ambassador's residence... I found a Q&A article over at BBC News Africa today (August 25th) that deals with the performance of ambassadors and diplomats. It's an Africa Have Your Say programme feature asking if dimplomats are doing a good job in your country. Here is a quote from one of the Q&A participants living in Australia re: the former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Smith Hempstone: Smith Hempstone, former Washington Times editor-in-chief, was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya by President George Bush. From 1989-1993, he was intimately involved in bringing multiparty democracy to that East African republic. His tenure there was controversial. While in office he heard of at least two plots by the Kenya government to have him assassinated. While a "thorn in the flesh" to the establishment, he was well-loved by the wananchi (citizens) of Kenya and on several occasions witnessed pep rallies for him outside the Nairobi embassy, an event unheard of for U.S. Ambassadors anywhere in the world. Upon leaving Kenya, Kenyan lawyer-activist, Paul Muite wrote to Hempstone the following letter:. You have been a comrade in arms in the struggle against injustice, a struggle for human dignity and self-respect. I want you and Kitty to know that some of us are aware it has not always been easy for you to do what you have done. Some day the Kenyan people will be able to accord you the acknowledgement you deserve for the role you have played in the second liberation. It is no exaggeration that without your input, we might not have been able to turn the corner we have. No matter what now happens, things will never be the same again. Take pride in the contribution which you have personally made. Here is the link to the BBC article in case you would like to read more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5272580.stm The people of the United States of America need more ambassadors like Smith and Kitty Hempstone. Hopefully, Ambassador Timken and his wife can leave a positive impression about America and Americans on the people of Germany like the Hempstones have done in Kenya. Unfortunately on August 7, 1998 a lot of the good work accomplished by Ambassador Hempstone and his staff in Kenya went up in smoke thanks to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The world hasn't been the same since.

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