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Friday, November 05, 2004
Have you ever been reading something and have it totally stop you in your tracks. I'm sure you have. Well I've just had one of those moments.
I just read a piece at Davids Medienkritik about the German's media's hesitancy to report positive developments in Afganistan and Iraq.
The part that really hit me is:
In all the televised panel discussions, talk shows, news reports, and documentaries on Afghanistan and Iraq there has been one notable absence. Nowhere does a viewer get to hear an Afghan or Iraqi government official speak of the enormous positive changes taking place in their countries. This is especially sad in the case of Afghanistan, where Germany played a leading role organizing the post-Taliban government. Today German peacekeepers are active in building stability in a country that is vital for the security of the West. It would seem the government would want to take credit for its achievements. But to have President Karzai appear on German TV would run the risk that he would contradict an article of German faith. Namely, that Mr. Bush’s war on terrorism is a mistake and his policy of installing democracies in Islamic countries is at best naïve and at worst a debacle.I wish there was some way for a copy of this to make it into every household in Germany. The same sentiment applies to the vast majority of European households as well.
Germans have died for many causes but democracy is not one of them. It is understandable that their attachment to it is not as strong as in other countries. But I imagine the conversation that will take place next year between Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi and Chancellor Schroeder. Allawi will observe that fifty years ago the German people were given the gift of democracy after a terrible war. He will then ask the Chancellor why Germany did not help Iraq when it was Iraq’s turn. And Schroeder will answer, “Because we are Germans and we are afraid.”
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