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Prescription for Lefties: "Take 2 Antiams, Call Me in Morning"

Bogdan Kipling's article in the Canadian Chronicle Herald (published March 27, 2007) has a creative headline: "Prescription for political success: take 2 Antiams, call me in morning."
IN COUNTRY after country, anti-Americanism is the magic potion for political weakness. If you’re the president of Upper Slovobia and your popularity is sinking, take a swig from this bottle. You’d be surprised how effective the concoction is. Countless polls, elaborate or basic, confirm that Yankee-bashing works. To name the most obvious example: Five years ago, Gerhard Schroeder, Germany’s chancellor then and Vladimir Putin’s hired hand now, refloated his political wreck of an election pumping this noxious liquefied stench.
If Anti-Americanism works like magic "in country after country" why does Mr. Kipling need  a five years old example?

Dialog International writes about the prescription for righties: "Reach for Munich"
"When you've got absolutely nothing, reach for Munich" said blogger Robert Farley, speaking about the propensity of American right-wing ideologues to use the historical analogy of Munich 1938 to punish their adversaries on the left and promote perpetual war as the only solution to geopolitical conflicts. It's always Munich 1938 in the bizarro-world of right-wing America; every perceived enemy is Hitler and every individual who advocates diplomacy over war is a Chamberlain.

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Zyme on :

"If Anti-Americanism works like magic "in country after country" why does Mr. Kipling need a five years old example?" Well maybe this five year old example is the one occurring in the biggest country in which a government made advantage of that sentiment. And maybe it is also the one that was expected least by americans. "every perceived enemy is Hitler and every individual who advocates diplomacy over war is a Chamberlain." I have to agree as well - which confuses me. Am I right wing or left wing now? :)

Don S on :

"Country after Country" - mebbe a little hyperbole here? That seems to imply lot's an lot's of countries which I don't think is the case. Antiami has been used to significant effect in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain at least, probhably other places. But only the latter two were stupid enough to let it effect an election. And Spain arguably was more angry with other things. Only in Germany does it appear to have been decisive. Live and let live, I say. You detest us and conversely, so lets get divorced and consign NATO to the dumpster of History. No alimony or child support in this divorce I'm afraid.... As the rabbi said: 'May God bless and keep the czar - far away from us!'. We can substitute the US/EU for the Czar as we variously please.....

Pat Patterson on :

See, now I would would prefer as a smug argument stopper to drop a reference to the Finland Station into the conversation or maybe Antonio Gramsci Works every time!

Axel on :

For the sake of honesty, Kipling also refers to the actual French presidential elections campaigns. And according to him, it's not the politics of Bush but "Almost a law of nature, the powerless hate the powerful; and America has been the world’s strongest military and financial power since the Second World War." How tedious... And for the notorious Munich/Hitler/appeasement analogy: The Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College offers a worth-reading monograph about the use of this argument in U.S. foreign policy and its questionable historical adequacy, the title is: "Appeasement Reconsidered: Investigating the Mythology of the 1930s" ([url=http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB622.pdf]download as PDF[/url])

Pat Patterson on :

Good article though I won't claim that I fully agreed. Especially as PM Chamberlain described his trust in Hitler as an attempt to appease what he believed were either legitimate or reasonablel demands. But Chamberlain's reputation has been, for the most part, unjustly maligned for over 60 years.

2020 on :

[i]Anti-Americanism[/i] is a fascist diffamation from the McCarthy era. People don't reject the American but the Gringo. =D

Fuchur on :

There's an interesting side-effect to Kipling's reasoning: If anti-Americanism works for one political player - then in reverse this means that his opponent refuses to play the same card. Else, everybody would just engage in the same America-bashing, and nobody could get any advantage whatsoever out of it. So if e.g. Schröder scored with anti-Americanism, then this was only possible because his main rival Stoiber was pro-American. Anyway, to say that Schröder won by anti-Americanism is about as correct as to say that Bush won by opposing gay-marriage... Much more to the point is the simple truth that he was up against an unpopular and uncharismatic candidate. And if I remember correctly (gosh- it's already long ago, isn't it?), what really turned the tables was the unexpectedly bad result of the CDU/CSU's coalition partner, the FDP due to a stupid last minute scandal (Möllemann).

Zyme on :

The stupid last minute scandal was not Möllemanns fault - it was the jewish council that made a scandal out of it. If they hadn´t been jumping up and down for days... Fortunately something like this wouldn´t be possible today, as they don´t have that influence anymore.

Fuchur on :

Whether it was his fault or not is pretty inconsequential, isn't it? What counts is that it happened and very likely cost the FDP a lot of votes. Concerning the Yewish Council: That they would have (or have had) an enormous amount influence in Germany is nothing but a silly anti-Semitic myth. Certainly their word has some weight, but not more than that of comparable interest groups. And I really don't see any evidence that their influence would have particularly decreased over the last years. Rather, it seems to me that you confuse reality and wishful thinking (which, frankly, you seem to do quite often).

Zyme on :

Heroes like Michel Friedman did cost the jewish community what can be called the bonus of moral superiority. That was their biggest source of influence in Germany. With that well poisened, their power has been deteriorating to a reasonable level. "That they would have (or have had) an enormous amount influence in Germany is nothing but a silly anti-Semitic myth." Destroying the political future of politicians including a former vice chancellor like Möllemann does not need enormous influence? Need I remind you of the fact that the FDP leadership did not act against Mölleman UNTIL the jewish council started to jump up and down and initiated a public campaign? Changing the stance of the leadership of an established party is no evidence of big influence? Oh and what was the fate of former austrian President and UN-general-secretary Kurt Waldheim? Fortunately after Hohmann there were no more such cases in the last years anymore. At some point, every goodwill is overexcited.

David on :

@Zyme Not to bring up old ghosts, but Moellemann certainly deserved much of the criticism ("Die Juden sind selber schuld..." etc.)

Anonymous on :

Ooops they did it again: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,476722,00.html Now it is Oettinger's time. Will he survive this campaign? hopefully - or is it up to the jewish council to decide who shall be allowed to be a leading politician in this country..?

David on :

Oettingers attempt to rehabilitate a well-known Nazi is despicable. I hope he is forced to resign.

Zyme on :

David... when will you get over the past? Since the 90s I thought it will take the german society forever to do so while foreigners have left it long behind themselves, but recently it more and more starts looking the other way around. For the Baden-Würtemberger Filbinger obviously was a great "Landesvater" - and everyone seems to get the idea what he/she would have been doing in his situation in the last Reich. That´s the reason why there probably never was any need for an "attempt to rehabilitate" him in his state. Make a guess: What would his former Landeskinder want to happen in response to this case? It was reported that Oettinger recently regretted there are no more wars in Europe and this didn´t harm his popularity either. Just ask yourself - who is supporting the current campaign? Is it the public opinion? Is it the masses in Stuttgart demanding his head? Again this campaign is supported by nobody else than the jewish council and the kind of politicians that seem to struggle for the title of the one and only "Bundesempörungsbeauftragte(r)" :) When Merkel now says she would have wanted Oettinger to mention "critical aspects" of Filbingers biography, this is a mere appeasement to the well oiled political outrage machingery in Berlin. I have no doubt that if Oettinger would work on the federal level, he would have been forced to resign by a storm of ambitious politicians who drool over media attention. But in the province, even the state leader of the green party attented the funeral. And THIS speaks volumes. While Oettingers speech might not have been fully correct, it surely was courageous and deserves acknowledgement.

David on :

Filbinger was a member of the SA and then the Nazi student group. As a Navy lawyer and then judge he was responsible for the execution of a number of deserters. For Oettinger to rewrite history and portray him as some sort of resistance figure is a disgrace, and an insult to the memory of those like Sophie Scholl who died resisting Hitler. Zyme, I see you are blaming the Jews for what is truly a disgraceful performance by Oettinger.

Zyme on :

David - Filbinger was no jew, he killed no jews - do you get it? What in the hell makes the jewish council interfere here? I hope this makes it clear that they are somewhat overrepresented in this country´s politics. Playing the tune of the moral guard and swinging the index finger all the time doesn´t exactly add to their popularity. This is what really causes anti-jewish sentiments. While everyone else in the society is fed up with this constant repetition, they just can´t stop it. Well you are right in one way: We shouldn´t blame them. It worked for more than 50 years now, they would be stupid not to try it for the next 50. To be precise, I blame those that still listen to them.

David on :

Ahh, Die Juden sind selber schuld.... I have been following this story very closely. Oettinger has been condemned by every legitimate group in Germany - SPD, Greens, FDP, his own party, the Chancellor. But for you, it's the fault of the Jews...

Zyme on :

First of all not every group has "condemned" him. The chancellor for example expressed her concerns that she would have wanted Oettinger - aside from Filbinger´s "great achievements" - to mention the "critical points" as well. Not what can be considered a condemnation. As regards the other parties: Did you notice that this applies mostly to the federal level while those in the state of Oettinger remained quite calm about it? The latter ones have to respect the sympathies of their elctorate and act accordingly. And now it is getting crucial: when did their partiy comrades in Berlin start to critizise Oettinger - BEFORE or AFTER the jewish council began jumping up and down? You may want to close your eyes and repeat you standartized slogans, but I guess your company is shrinking :) David - are you a jew yourself by any chance?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Come on, Zyme. Why so obsessed with the jews? Oettinger screwed up. He should have known what would happen if he praised Filbinger. He was criticized in many papers. I don't think the papers get orders from the Jewish associations. "David - are you a jew yourself by any chance?" You are using a pseudonym, but ask others very personal questions... Anyway, you could just click on David's name, when he writes a comment here. The name of the commentator is a link, if the commentator has specified a homepage. David runs the blog Dialog International. You could read a few of his posts on religion and find the answer: [url]http://www.dialoginternational.com/dialog_international/religion/index.html[/url]

JW-Atlantic Review on :

What I am wondering is why the Germans on the very right live so much longer than folks on the very left? Filbinger was 93, Ernst Jünger was 103... Adorno, however, was just 66, when he died.

Zyme on :

Are you afraid of passing away early? Just joking :)

Zyme on :

Jorg - as I said already: Filbinger was no jew and he killed none. Can you tell me what makes the jewish council act in this case? Do you know a reason why their stance is quoted in every story about this case? I am unwilling to accept the fact that a minority of not even 0.02 % of the total population shall decide who is allowed to be a leading politician in this country. You can hardly claim this to be an obsession. Politics in this country is here to serve the interests of the people and not to take bows before a very special part of the people. Again as I said - I don´t blame them exerting this infuence, they would be stupid not to do. It is simply about time we stop listening to them. "He should have known what would happen if he praised Filbinger." He probably did. He probably also knew that Filbinger might not have been a Widerstandskämpfer at all. Maybe he simply wanted to end this chapter once and for all this way. Declaring every ordinary man as a 'saint of the Bundesrepublik' (=Widerstandskämpfer) contributes to an ending of the social struggle that has bound our society long enough. Proceeding this way in his position takes a lot of courage. But without courageous men, nothing will change for the better.

David on :

I fail to see what is courageous about telling a terrible lie. Lying about history is not only harmful to Jews - who must speak up for the truth - but also to families of Filbinger's victims. Here is the comment of the sister of Walter Groener, executed by Filbinger for refusing to participate in Hitler's death machine: "Herr Filbinger war bei der Tötung meines Bruders dabei. Er hat ihm das Todesurteil selbst verlesen und ihm zynischerweise noch die Bürgerrechte vor der Hinrichtung aberkannt. Die Äußerungen von Herrn Oettinger sind eine unverfrorene Lüge!"

Zyme on :

Come on David, what happens to deserters in ANY country on this planet? At least try to have a fair point of view. Just imagine you serve an army and you don´t approve it´s actions. It is still your army and falling into its back will only harm your own comrades who have nothing to do with it. Plus every deserter knew what will happen if they are caught. "Lying about history is not only harmful to Jews - who must speak up for the truth" Maybe I don´t understand this expression - but why are they responsible for "speaking up for the truth"? And if so, why are they not awarded with a 'ministry of truth' then? :) "I fail to see what is courageous about telling a terrible lie." I explained above what is courageous about it. He might even lose his position in the end, which means he was willing to sacrifice it for a bigger goal. How many politicians are willing to act this way?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"what happens to deserters in ANY country on this planet?" Are you kidding? Not every country treats deserters as the Nazis did. US soldiers, who refuse to fight in Iraq, are not executed. Obviously! "he was willing to sacrifice it for a bigger goal." What "bigger goal"?

Zyme on :

Oh my goodness, I intended to put "happen" into the past tense :) Well I can´t look into Oettinger´s head, so I can only guess what bigger goal might have motivated him. Maybe he wanted to send a signal that it is about time that we make peace within our society and finally end the struggle that has disunited us for decades! That would surely be a bigger goal.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

The best way to do that would have been: Not speaking at his funeral or just saying what most Germans think about Filbinger, i.e. talk about his awful role as a judge rather than praising him as some kind of resistance figure as Oettinger did.

Zyme on :

Hmmm that´s a point. Maybe he also wanted to secure his own position in the CDU in Baden-Würtemberg. I read that he has a young rival in his party there, and that guy (I think his name was Mappus) seems to have closer ties to the conservative part of the party than Oettinger had. So Oettinger might have tried to regain their support by the speech. This is where I read this thought: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,477109-2,00.html Do you live closer to the state than I do? I´m from north-east Bavaria.

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