(By Ray D.)
To the German media, it doesn’t matter much that Saddam Hussein’s entire regime systematically brutalized and murdered hundreds of thousands of people at the express wishes of the Baathist government. It does not matter that the United States government is determined to harshly punish the actions of a small handful of stupid, undisciplined soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners in defiance of the explicitly clear policy of the US government and military. To the German media, the abuse scandal puts the USA and Saddam on the same level and is another opportunity to strike a political blow against the United States and President Bush:
US Mercenaries in Iraq: The Torturers of Baghdad
So now American troops are no longer soldiers to SPIEGEL (a widely read German weekly magazine,) they are mercenaries, and as the cover clearly states: Torturers.
Clearly, a further conclusion many readers will draw from this cover is that most or even all US soldiers in Iraq are mercenaries and torturers. Frankly put, SPIEGEL is attempting to criminalize all Americans serving in Iraq.
The fact that the pictures recently shown portray a small group of soldiers breaking the rules and bringing shame to every member of the US military is likely buried deep in the main article. A typical tactic of the German media, slam your opponents with headlines (because headlines leave the greatest impression) and explain the finer details much later in the text. The cover’s shock effect is what SPIEGEL is really after...because it sells and satisfies the anti-American appetites of its core audience.
Germany's Neo-Nazis Know: Primitive Anti-American Populism Sells
But the leftist media is not the only group attempting to profit from primitive anti-American populism. Anyone living in Germany over the past two years has seen the posters and stickers of Germany’s extreme right wing NPD:
2004 Neo-Nazi propaganda stickers from left to right:
1. Peace Instead of US Wars! 2. Germany for the Germans! 3. Stop the World Arsonist USA and their German Henchman!
Pacifist Neo-Nazis! The anti-American craze has certainly made for strange bedfellows. One has to ask when Germans will tire of the ugly hate-mongering that has sadly been so prevalent for so long now…
UPDATE: Speaking of strange bedfellows, the SPD (Germany's ruling Socialist party) is also playing the "peace" card to get elected.
"Peace Power" SPD
Germany's Communists (former ruling party of East Germany) have also jumped on the bandwagon!
1. Peaceful! Solidarity! Just! 2. Europe on the side of the UN not in the shadow of the US!
(Hat tip: Samir and Thomas)