Germany and anti-Americanism: some links

14Jul08

Brussels Journal: Germany – America on My Mind

german-spectator-3.jpg

German Spectator is a new column published by the Brussels Journal. It aims to provide a regular survey of German mainstream media coverage of politics, religion and society, as well as of foreign policy, especially toward Europe and the United States. This week’s Spectator looks at some of the stories making German headlines during the last seven days and finds America, in one way or another, dominating the thoughts of Germany’s media elites.

Features:

Obama Wants to be a Berliner
Germany in Afghanistan: Mission Creep?
America, Tear Down this Embassy!
Germany or America: Where Is It Easier to Get Away with Murder?

The Larynx: Where Love and Loathing Meet – a Fourth of July celebration in Berlin

[...]Data collected by the PEW Research Center shows that roughly half of the population believes that America’s main goal is to dominate the world, 65 percent question the sincerity of the U.S. war on terrorism, and over three quarters are against spreading American ideas and customs. Why then was Kurt the Krautmeister serving American-style Hot Dogs instead of Bratwurst this past weekend?[...]

Lucifer Masturbated: Refreshing pocket of resistance

By Benjamin Weinthal

The German Left Party, the successor to the East German Socialist Unity Party, which refused to recognize Israel between 1949 and 1989, is hardly a bastion of support for the Jewish state. Nothing more than “New Year’s firecrackers” was the phrase invoked by Norman Paech, a parliament member from the Left Party, as well as its foreign policy spokesman, following his trip to the Palestinian territories in late April, to play down the danger of Hamas missiles that have been fired on Israeli cities since the evacuation of the Gaza Strip. Paech says “there is no anti-Semitism in the Mideast,” and though he acknowledges the sentiment does exist in Germany, he argues that its cause is Israeli militarism. He has an affinity for employing Nazi terminology when describing Israel in the German media.Yet a refreshing pocket of resistance has formed within the Left Party, whose members seek a sharp break with the prevailing anti-Israeli posture characteristic of Germany’s third-largest political party.[...]

[Note: Not sure of the original source of this, but interesting.]

WSJ: Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype

By FOUAD AJAMI
So America is unloved in Istanbul and Cairo and Karachi: It is an annual ritual, the June release of the Pew global attitudes survey and the laments over the erosion of America’s standing in foreign lands.
[Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype]
David Gothard

We were once loved in Anatolia, but now a mere 12% of Turks have a “favorable view” of the U.S. Only 22% of Egyptians think well of us. Pakistan is crucial to the war on terror, but we can only count on the goodwill of 19% of Pakistanis.

American liberalism is heavily invested in this narrative of U.S. isolation. The Shiites have their annual ritual of 10 days of self-flagellation and penance, but this liberal narrative is ceaseless: The world once loved us, and all Parisians were Americans after 9/11, but thanks to President Bush we have squandered that sympathy.

It is an old trick, the use of foreign narrators and witnesses to speak of one’s home. Montesquieu gave the genre its timeless rendition in his Persian Letters, published in 1721. No one was fooled, these were Parisian letters, and the Persian travelers, Rica and Usbek, mere stand-ins for an author taking stock of his homeland after the death of Louis XIV and the coming of an age of enlightenment and skepticism.[...]

via Attack Machine

See also Real World Libertarianism blog.

The Times: Obama in Berlin

[...]The Pew Global Attitudes Project, published last month, showed that 66 per cent of Germans had unfavourable views of the US and that China and Russia had more interest than Washington in Germany’s point of view. The sheer animosity towards America was displayed recently in sneering media reviews of the new, admittedly uninspiring, US embassy building in Berlin. A serious conservative newspaper identified the building’s roof terrace as a “spa and water-boarding zone”, referring to US military abuse of prisoners.

Mr Obama thus comes to a Germany that nurtures unreasonably high expectations of him as the man who appears to sound the death knell of the Bush Administration.

But the fact is whoever wins the election in November will put pressure on Ms Merkel to be more active in Afghanistan and to reduce German dependency on Russian energy. Neither is possible as long as Ms Merkel is in alliance with the Social Democrats, who are deeply unhappy about further troop deployments abroad and are equally opposed to reactivating an atomic energy programme.[...]

Der Speigel: The Embassy the Germans love to hate

With a brand-new US Embassy opening on Friday in Berlin, German critics are projecting their feelings about America onto what is actually a passable piece of architecture. Will time — and a new administration — shut them up?[...]

And finally:

tschilai: $%#@§ (7) What stuff are they smoking anyway?!

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