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September 17, 2005



Remember Bush's 9/11 re-election campaign ad? Do you think that was acceptable?

I agree with the 9/11 families that he was abusing 9/11 for his campaign. Therefore, I criticized the Schwanitz abuse of dead US soldiers.

"It is entirely legitimate to ask if Merkel's stated goal of mending fences with the Bush administration could lead to a deployment of German forces in the next disasterous adventure dreamed up by the neo-cons in Washington DC."

I agree, that is a legitimate question. It's always difficult to answer hypothetical questions, but sure, you can also remind voters of the differences between Merkel and Schroeder re Iraq in 2002/2003.

I just don't think Schwanitz way of doing it was decent.

"The Bush administration has done everything it could to prohibit the press from publishing the images of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq."

Yes, we have to be reminded that thousands of coalition soldiers have been killed or seriously wounded. These soldiers have paid a high price for the many mistakes the US government has made. bad intelligence (no WMD after all), lack of planning of the war, disbanding the Iraqi army, not enough troops and armoured vehicles, etc, etc.

This is the duty of the press.

Schwanitz, however, used thoese pictures for a political campaign.

Schwanitz could have listed all the statements made by Ms. Merkel re Iraq, like her Wash Post articel in Feb. 2003.
I don't mind so much, politicians abusing/attacking each other for campaigning, but if they abuse dead soldiers, I draw the line. This is not a matter of politics, but decency.

The New York Daily News is pretty conservative or right wing, right? They wrote this: "The Bush reelection campaign yesterday unveiled its first three campaign commercials showcasing Ground Zero images, angering some 9/11 families who accused President Bush of exploiting the tragedy for political advantage. "It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin tower attacks. "It is unconscionable."

And in Germany, both Bild and Der Spiegel were critical. And both Medienkritik, Lautgeben and we at Atlantic Review.

Lautgeben supported Trittin against the Spiegel campaign re his early Katrina remarks.


JW - you bring up a good point about Bush and the images of 9/11. But I've always been in favor of "unmasking" the horrors of war. People need to see that the rhetoric of their leaders about "freedom", "honor" and "glory" have terrible consequences. TO quote Brecht:

Die Oberen sagen:
Es geht in den Ruhm.
Die Unteren sagen:
Es geht ins Grab.

(my translation: Those up above say: this way to glory.
Those down below say: this way to the grave.)

The Iraq War has ripped apart thousands of families across the US. Forget about the tens of thousands of Iraqis that have died needlessly. And a Chancellor Stoiber may well have created the same hell for families in Germany.


Fortunately, German politicians don't talk about honor and glory anymore. Let's keep it that way.

SPON published Kurt Tucholsky's 1930 report about election campaigns:

and sent Henryk Broder to follow his footsteps:

I thought you might be interested as a fan of Peter Panther.


Hey thanks! But it also makes me melancholy - Where are today's Tucholskys? Wahrlich: wir leben in finsteren Zeiten...

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