The main European powers (especially Old Europe) have long thought that the US is a too-powerful influence in the world and that there is no counterbalance to keep the power of the US in check since the Soviet Union fell apart.
Their actions might also be some sort of subconscious payback for Germany’s defeat by the US in WWII, and WWI for that matter. Or it can just be simple economics. Their economy sucks and ours does not.
Let’s look at some of the facts:
Afghanistan – Germany expected the US to take over the country as a response to the 9/11 attacks. As such, Germany supported the US and has even provided troops on the ground. While they are present in country, they are not doing a whole lot. Most of the foreign troops (other than the US) are all sitting around the Capital Kabul, protecting their national interests in the country. This is supposed to change this year with NATO making more of a presence outside the capital. However, there are major problems in making this a reality, DESPITE the all-important UN Security Council Mandate. The plan calls for 6,000 non-US NATO Troops. The UK has had a pretty hard time getting other NATO members to contribute troops to meet the total. Then there are the conditions that contributing nations are imposing:
Even in their peace-keeping role, each NATO country's forces have a list of what they will do and not do - national caveats - that has paralyzed NATO commanders in Kabul.
German troops in the north will allow no other NATO troops to fly in their helicopters.
Major European countries such as France, Spain and Germany have refused to take part in operations that could involve fighting the Taliban.
Recently it was reported that in four years time, Germany has managed to train a total of 200 police officers for the new Afghanistan Government. This is the result from the country that was to take the lead responsibility for training the country’s police force. That is a pitiful result for most any nation, let alone one of Germany’s stature.
How about the Germans? The Germans pledged to train the Afghanistan security forces, a task that started after the fall of the Taliban, well before we started handing over sovereignty to the Iraqis in June 2004. Since that time, the Americans have trained over 200,000 Iraqi security troops, with over 45,000 able to operate independently with American logistical support. They have taken charge of a number of military bases in their own country and hold their own territory against steadily-weakening insurgents. In comparison, the Germans have trained all of 200 police officers since December 2001 -- all of which disappeared in Kabul shortly after their release into the field. - Captain’s Quarters from a Scotsman story
Terrorists in Germany – Two terrorists in German custody have been convicted of being involved in the 9/11 attacks. Now the conviction of one has been overturned because the prosecution could not prove that he knew that his roommate was going to partake in the 9/11 attacks.
He did know that his roommate was a terrorist. After all they had both gone to terrorist school. He knew that Atta was in the US training for some sort of terrorist activity. Does it matter that he did not know the exact details of the plan? He probably did not. Even if he did, how much was he required to know? Did he need to know the flight number of the plane he was going to hijack? By Germany’s thinking, you are not guilty if you know that someone is planning to rob a bank and you do nothing provided that you don’t know the name of the bank they are planning to rob. This is an irresponsible government position.
The decision ended a years-long attempt by the federal prosecutors to prove his involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Mzoudi was accused of training at an Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and of handling money and paying bills on behalf of the terrorist cell in Hamburg that was responsible for the attacks in New York and Washington D.C. Mzoudi also once roomed in Hamburg with Mohammed Atta, the man considered the mastermind behind the attack.So the Germans go and convict two terrorists and then acquit them. One of them was acquitted because the US would not give access to one of the top terrorists caught so that that person can testify that he was not part of the 9/11 attacks. What a load of bull. Why not bring in Osama Bin Laden to testify on your behalf. After all, the person was convicted meaning that there was evidence enough to prove he was a terrorist. Claiming that the US has killed/captured all the people who can prove that you are innocent and having a court let you go is not a way to fight terrorism. Nothing like letting terrorists walk free and claim that it’s the US’s fault. (Yet another reason to find another way to try these people outside of our criminal court system.) Just to prove how bogus this excuse is, look what happened when one was asked to testify against the other. Can you guess the result?
Mzoudi's release set off a debate about whether the decision would influence the public prosecution's case against a fellow terror suspect and friend of his, Mounir El Motassadeq, who was the first person ever convicted in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The guilty verdict, however, was overturned in March 2004, because judges concluded he was also denied a fair trial because a key witness in U.S. jurisdiction was not allowed to testify.
(AFP) - 15 June 2005 - HAMBURG, Germany - An acquitted terror suspect refused to testify on Wednesday at the retrial in Germany of a fellow Moroccan student accused of involvement in the planning of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
A lawyer for Abdelghani Mzoudi, whose not-guilty verdict was upheld in a federal court last week, said he would run the risk of being prosecuted again if he told the court what he knew about the defendant, Mounir El Motassadeq.
Both Mzoudi and Motassadeq, friends of three September 11 suicide hijackers who were based in the northern German port city of Hamburg, faced separate trials here for complicity in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon which killed some 3,000 people.
Zacharias Moussaoui - The German Government has been on record that they have evidence against him, but so far have refused to share it on the grounds that the US Government will use it to convict him and then sentence him to death.
The US has so far refused to eliminate the death penalty as a possible sentence, so the German Government will instead sit back and take the side of the terrorist and not assist in his prosecution. This sort of activity is an example of how Germany fails to respect the laws of the US. Sure the death penalty has been banned in Europe, but this crime did not take place in Europe. Mr. Moussaoui came to the US under his own steam and in doing so volunteered to come under US jurisdiction and our laws. Germany then decided to try and prevent the US from pursuing justice under its own laws. Thankfully, after two years of Zacharias Moussaoui ‘terrorizing’ the court acting in his own defense, he finally plead guilty.
Mohammed Ali Hammadi - Convicted terrorist who was serving a life sentence for “murder, hijacking, hostage taking, and illegal importation of explosives” in Germany. He was a member of the team that hijacked the TWA flight in 1985. During the hijacking the terrorists brutally beat and killed Navy Diver Robert Stethem before tossing his body out of the plane onto the runway tarmac. The Germans recently decided that 19 years was enough time served for a life sentence and set him free.
I remember watching the event on TV and the images are clear in my mind to this day. It is something that I think about when traveling around the world. This man was not the type of criminal that should ever have seen another day of freedom. He was a terrorist and the Germans let him walk free like a commen criminal who has completed his jailtime.
Current and former American officials said they had pushed for two decades to gain custody of Hammadi and try him in a U.S. courtroom, but they ran into political and legal resistance from Germany. U.S. prosecutors originally sought Hammadi's extradition after he was arrested at the Frankfurt airport in 1987, but Germany denied the request and put him on trial locally instead.
Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who oversaw efforts to extradite Hammadi in 1987, said German authorities threw obstacles in the way of U.S. prosecutors at that time and only reluctantly cooperated.
"They were not open at all," she recalled. "We knew he would be released early, way back then." - Washington Post
Germany has a new Chancellor, Angela Merkel. One can hope that some new German leadership will clearly put Germany on our side. So far the signs don’t look good. Mrs. Merkel will be visiting the US and President Bush this week, and she intends to push the President to close the Gitmo Detention Camp.
Not exactly the best way to improve US German relations.
In addition to looking at the Atlantic Journal, read this post in the WSJ Opinion Journal titled "The German Chair, A tale of torture at the hands of an America-hating diplomat. " detailing a dinner experience with a "Senior German diplomat" in NY. It is a real eye-opener.
Nato's Afghanistan troop dilemma - BBC
Army chiefs warn: 'We're not ready for Afghanistan' - Scotsman
Europe Botching Afghanistan Duties - Captain’s Quarters
Zacharias Moussaoui - Wikipedia
Mohammed Ali Hammadi - Wikipedia
TWA Flight 847 - Wikipedia
Hijacker Sought By U.S. Released - Washington Post
Vengeance Cometh - Macsmind
Lawyers Worry About 9/11 Convict's Future
US Rewards for Justice - $5 Million Reward for Robert Stethem’s murderers