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User Profile: Sandra Alexander

About Sandra Alexander
I have retired after 33 years teaching German at a high school in suburban Philadelphia and am now teaching undergraduate German courses at a small, private college in Philadelphia. I have an M.A. in German and keep my German language skills current by translating. I hope to someday translate novels from German into English or maybe even write my own novel.

This user has submitted 394 translations to Watching America.

Everyone Wants To Get into Space

February 14, 2018 // SüddeutscheZeitung - Germany - German

<i>The takeoff of the heavy-lift rocket Falcon Heavy makes it clear that private space travel is currently outpacing its public counterpart in many areas.</i> <i>The success of the private providers are now bringing politics into the arena again: They [politicians] want to profit from the glamour of space [Read more]

Extorted by the USA

January 8, 2018 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>Trump’s cut to the U.S. contribution to the U.N. budget meets the definition of duress. A suggestion from the year 1945 should now be taken up again.</i> “No member of the United Nations should finance more than a maximum of 10 percent of its budget so that the new world organization does not get caught in [Read more]

#MeToo: The Oscars Could Become the High Point

January 8, 2018 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i>The Oscars, one of the most prestigious events of the year, is traditionally is characterized by a big theme each year.</i> Last year, it was the newly inaugurated presidency of Donald Trump; the year before, it was the controversy over whether African-American actors receive enough appreciation in Hollywood, [Read more]

Rich Thanks to Digitalization

January 5, 2018 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

They are the most valuable corporations in the world: Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. Their market value of a roughly combined $3.4 billion corresponds to Germany’s yearly economic output. These so-called superstar corporations occupy such a dominant position in their sector that [Read more]

You Can Say ‘Hey, Google’ To Me

August 10, 2017 // Der Tagesspiegel - Germany - German

<i>Following Amazon Echo’s Alexa, the next digital butler comes to Germany this Tuesday with Google Home. Amazon is reacting in a predictable way.</i> The NDR satire program “extra 3” posted a nice video about life with voice assistants on YouTube.* Initially, the family is pleased that Alexa, Google Home, [Read more]

Where Trump’s Opponents Want To Take Back America

June 27, 2017 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>The state of Texas is firmly in Republican hands, but the Democrats want to change that.</i> <i>They’re hoping for successes in the 2018 congressional elections – because the party of the president traditionally loses.</i> <i>The Democrats’ best helper: Donald Trump</i> The Democratic Party’s [Read more]

Make Human Rights Great Again

June 14, 2017 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

On her first visit to the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, the new U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed heavy criticism of the composition and operating principles of the U.N. Human Rights Council and demanded reforms for the committee. Unlike Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other members of the [Read more]

The Beleaguered President Goes Traveling

May 22, 2017 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

• <i>Donald Trump sets off on his first overseas tour.</i> • <i>The president will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and the pope.</i> • <i>His hosts will welcome Trump for different reasons.</i> If times were normal, President Donald Trump’s staff would probably have the jitters about the days ahead. The [Read more]

Why Europe Can Outpace the US

May 18, 2017 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>After the election victory of Emmanuel Macron in France, Europe’s stock markets are becoming attractive for investors again. For them, the continent also has a key advantage with respect to the U.S.</i> What a difference. Jan. 20: Donald Trump continues his populist tirades in his speech upon taking office, [Read more]

The US Must Clarify

March 19, 2017 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

The CIA and the U.S. government cannot perpetually remain silent about the WikiLeaks disclosures. It is indeed in their interest to clarify the affair. After all, they are supposed to be responsible for increasing security in the United States. Published information is causing a lot of confusion and and feeding [Read more]

Donald Trump’s Best Bodyguard

January 27, 2017 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

Political experience, determination, respect in Congress. His vice-president, Mike Pence, brings what Donald Trump lacks. Politically, he is at least just as extreme. While the new U.S. president tangles with the press, someone else is pulling the strings of the new American government in the background: Vice [Read more]

Murder on Echo?

January 12, 2017 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

<i> Can Amazon’s networked speaker Echo help solve a murder? The police in the U.S. state of Arkansas hope so and now want to get at Amazon’s data. </i> Amazon’s voice-activated speaker Echo is a remarkable device. Though by no means fully developed, the virtual assistant it contains can already play music, [Read more]

Shot Across the Bow

January 12, 2017 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i> The Netanyahu government expects the U.S. to block unpleasant resolutions. The current Netanyahu reaction is all the more shrill.</i> The United Nations resolution against Israeli expansion of settlements is a bombshell of international diplomacy. The shrill reactions from Jerusalem bear witness to the fact that [Read more]

What’s in Store for Germany at the Hands of Trump

November 13, 2016 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>A further drifting apart of society can only be checked if Merkel, her CDU and the other established parties draw lessons from Trump’s election victory.</i>* The election of such an angry citizen as Donald Trump for president of the United States is as exceptional as the reactions. Those reactions included the [Read more]

Washington Will Require More in the Future

October 6, 2016 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>Clinton has decided the TV duel but not the election for herself. She would be the better partner for Germany and the other EU countries. U.S. politics will change in any case.</i> Advantage Hillary Clinton. That’s the unanimous verdict after the televised debate. Even supporters of Donald Trump conceded that, [Read more]

For a New, Bold Realpolitik

September 16, 2016 // Die Welt - Germany - German

In the face of the crises and wars in the world, an existential need for a bold new realpolitik exists. The cooperation between Washington and Moscow shows what is possible. The Atlantic is becoming wider and the Europeans in general, Germany in particular, must do something about it – but if they only knew what. [Read more]

Absurd, Surreal Trump

September 8, 2016 // Wiener Zeitung - Austria - German

Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy was at first laughable – a humorous topic of conversation for pleasant circles of political aficionados. One could delightfully amuse oneself about the churlish, foppish, crazed real estate tycoon from New York. The comparative consideration of the speeches of Trump and the [Read more]

Fight Over ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

September 11, 2016 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>A professional athlete remains seated during the national anthem and unleashes a scandal that even reaches Barack Obama.</i> The story reaches as high as the president and as far as China. There, at the G-20 Summit of the leading rich and developing nations in Hangzhou, Barack Obama himself makes a statement [Read more]

Eastern Europeans Celebrate NATO Summit as a Success

July 23, 2016 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i>“U.S. president agrees to the ‘defense of every NATO ally.’” The eastern NATO nations are pleased about the signal to Russia. Moscow counters that the alliance is only imagining a threat.</i> Warsaw. They were clear words that President Obama had ready for his allies before his departure from the NATO [Read more]

Is Afghanistan Forgotten? Not Completely

July 13, 2016 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>Oh, yes. There was something there: The great Afghanistan fatigue of the West was clear at the NATO summit, but the conflict at Hindu Kush is anything but ended.</i> It is the longest war in the history of the United States. And yet the conflict in Afghanistan hardly gets any part of the public’s attention. [Read more]

Violence without End

July 10, 2016 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

<i>Policemen are killed in Dallas; before that, black people once again die in police violence. The society is ignoring its racism problem. Now radicalization threatens.</i> Violence in the U.S. is escalating. It is possible that the anger, frustration and grief about a growing number of new cases of racist police [Read more]

The Arrogance of the Clintons

July 10, 2016 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<b>Hillary Clinton should be thankful for Donald Trump. If she had to run against a serious Republican, she wouldn’t have a chance at the presidency.</b> Hillary Clinton sometimes seems to be surprised that she is so unpopular with her fellow Americans, but they are only reacting to the example the Clintons set. [Read more]

The Great Irony

May 30, 2016 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Lifting the arms embargo against Vietnam is a decision against human rights. The U.S. is already not trustworthy. In the decision about the U.S. arms embargo against Vietnam, Barack Obama had to weigh strategic and economic interests on the one side and protecting human rights on the other. Up to now, the U.S. had [Read more]

Bernie Sanders Does Not Surrender

May 24, 2016 // Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland - German

<i>The idea of a tumultuous national convention is suddenly jolting Democrats.</i> Just a few weeks ago, it was the Republicans who had to fear a tumultuous party convention to nominate their presidential candidate, but the situation has been fundamentally altered. Real estate mogul Donald Trump is set as the [Read more]

Dirty US Election Campaign

May 14, 2016 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>In the race for the office of president, a duel between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton looms.</i> One of the dirtiest election campaigns in the history of the country looms in the U.S., and the duelists are already going at one another even before they have been officially named presidential candidates. Hillary [Read more]

Clinton Courts Women and Blacks

February 15, 2016 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>In the televised Democratic debate, Clinton presents herself as an experienced politician: “They are voting not only for the president, they are voting for the commander-in-chief.” The ex-secretary of state is moving quite close to President Obama; she needs a victory in South Carolina where many [Read more]

White Man Walking

January 6, 2016 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

When presumably 150 armed white men occupy a building in a national park, one can safely write about “protest” and “concerned citizens,” due to the density of cowboy hats and boots. If they were wearing hoodies and were African-Americans or even Muslims, the situation would be overrun by the 24-hour-news insanity. [Read more]

Poor and Healthy

January 5, 2016 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Costa Ricans live longer than Americans. A new study shows how much the income distribution in the U.S. endangers the health of its poorest citizens. Income differentials have a greater influence on the health of the population in the U.S. than in Costa Rica. That is what is reported by William Dow of the University [Read more]

USA vs. VW – They Mean Business

September 27, 2015 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>High penalties for automakers in the United States: Toyota most recently had to pay $1.2 billion in penalties, General Motors, $900 million</i> <i>In addition, Volkswagen must expect damage to its image</i> Legal problems in Europe, they say in the auto industry, are unpleasant. But they can somehow be [Read more]

Seventeen in One Fell Swoop

August 15, 2015 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>Control over the Republican Party has slipped away from the “old boys.” The sheer number of candidates, currently at 17, shows the inner disunity.</i> A new phase in the U.S. primary race has begun with the first televised debate of Republican candidates. The campaign, which has so far happened far from the [Read more]

Obama’s Legacy

July 29, 2015 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The political legacy the first black U.S. president will leave behind is suddenly clearly identifiable — but so is what Barack Obama failed to accomplish. [Read more]

He’d Better Not Be Muslim

May 28, 2015 // Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<b>•A pastor plans to kill dozens of Muslims — with machetes, assault rifles and Molotov cocktails. But he got busted and was arrested by the FBI. •After his confession, the man was released with an ankle monitor on $30,000 bail; the district attorney’s office didn’t even publish a statement to the press. [Read more]

Learning From the US

May 24, 2015 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>While Europe lets refugees die in the Mediterranean, pragmatism is slowly prevailing in the United States. That has to do with a question of power as well.</i> Military ships in the Mediterranean, more money for sealing off borders, confronting the smuggling – the catch phrases with which Europe seeks to find [Read more]

The Ukraine Conflict Cannot Be Resolved without the US

March 3, 2015 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>Germany and France are being presumptuous if they believe they can stem Putin’s advance into Eastern Europe by themselves. The U.S. security elite wants to deliver weapons to the Ukraine.</i> Normandy format is the name of the meeting of four among the German chancellor, the French president and the presidents [Read more]

Really Looking the Other Way?

February 15, 2015 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

The media are not too restrained now; they are too quick with interpretations of matters involving suspected Muslim perpetrators. But replacing the reflex “Muslim perpetrator = Islamist” with the reflex “Muslim victim = Islamophobic murder” doesn’t help. [Read more]

How Ghettos Grow

December 4, 2014 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>Segregation looks different today than it did in the past. But it is far from having disappeared. That is the result of segregation politics, which have operated for decades.</i> <i>“‘What do you want wit me, officer?’ I asked. ‘I want you to come with me.’ ‘I’m under arrest?’ ‘No. No, not at [Read more]

Yes We Can?

November 8, 2014 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>Barack Obama’s Democrats will lose the congressional election today. After six years in office, the president must recognize that he has failed with the "we" in his campaign slogan.</i> “Yes we can” is the sentence that we, that everyone, will always associate with the first black president of the United [Read more]

Against Obama with Ebola Hysteria

October 28, 2014 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>Fear of an Ebola epidemic is circulating throughout the United States. In Europe, by contrast, one reacts more professionally to the situation.</i> Actually, Americans like to make fun of German angst. For them, the Federal Republic is a country of worriers who seldom have the courage to do something, and who [Read more]

Grover Norquist — Obama’s Most Dangerous Opponent

July 31, 2011 // Financial Times Deutschland - Germany - German

The head of the lobbying group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has the Republican pledge to never raise taxes. He is thereby steering the U.S. to the edge of the abyss. At the high point of Republican President George W. Bush’s popularity in 2003, Grover Norquist traveled to his 25th reunion at Harvard University. [Read more]

Financial Markets Must Think the Unthinkable

July 31, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

A new frontier awaits the world financial markets if the U.S. loses its triple-A rating for the first time since 1941. The Frankfurter Rundschau names four reasons why U.S. President Obama is exaggerating with his warning of threatening “armageddon.” In the U.S., the creditworthiness of the country has [Read more]

About Weak Leadership

August 30, 2011 // Der Standard - Austria - German

The 50-year-old Obama is no longer the shining light for the start of a new age, but rather a politician, who, through his zigzag course and sellouts in economic, finance and social policy, has deeply disappointed the (admittedly inflated) expectations of his supporters. [Read more]

The Apple Brand Is Strong Even without Jobs

August 29, 2011 // Die Welt - Germany - German

Users buy Apple products because they are confident of design and functionality – and not because of Steve Jobs. What will now become of Apple? No company stands so much in the shadow of its boss like the iPhone manufacturer. Now Steve Jobs must give up his role because he is sick. The whole world wonders: Can that [Read more]

It’s Getting Better for Data Privacy

August 28, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<b>With a Little Luck, Social Networks Will Soon Allow Pseudonyms</b> It happened very quickly: The hunter, Facebook, has now become the hunted. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is being forced to make a move — because its competitor, Google+, is applying pressure with its platform for friends on the Internet. [Read more]

Ratings Agencies: Watchdogs under Suspicion

August 27, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Their decisions plunge financial markets into turbulence. The ratings agencies have awakened doubt in their independence. Their risk assessments themselves have become at risk. The influential agency Standard & Poor’s must use the change of their company's head to build up new trust. It has long been true that it [Read more]

Key Currency: The Money War

August 27, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Debt crises cripple the global economy, yet what is the key currency of the world? Dollars and euros are down for the count — the Chinese Yuan does not yet play as large a role as it would like. Probably all must brace themselves for a new model. Debt crisis, fear of recession, currency battle — the tremors of the [Read more]

Presidential Hopeful Rick Perry: Brawny Action Man

August 24, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>Rick Perry is contending for the Republican presidential nomination. He is already in a fighting mood. As governor of Texas, he holds the record for executions.</i> The last time a Texas governor became the president of the U.S., he began his wars only after he was in the White House. The successor to George W. [Read more]

Google Buys Motorola: Fast, Fast – Patent!

August 21, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<b>Google buys into the cell phone company Motorola. Competitors want to have banal innovations protected: the patent insanity in the smartphone market.</b> Exactly $10 kept the Italian Antonio Meucci from an entry in the history books. The poor fellow lacked exactly this sum to get his invention patented in 1871— [Read more]

Google Takes Over Motorola Mobility: Hello Moto

August 21, 2011 // Der Standard - Austria - German

Google’s takeover of Motorola is a sign of growth in the mobile communications sector. Whether Mountain View now builds their own cell phones or not is questionable – in reality it is about patents. These days, a job at Standard and Poor’s means making oneself really unpopular on a nearly daily basis. The grass [Read more]

Faded Glory

August 20, 2011 // Der Standard - Germany - German

America has gotten off of the right track, and properly at that. It is no longer the democracy lauded by de Tocqueville as a balance of freedom and equality, nor is it Winthrop’s legendary “shining city upon a hill.” Instead it is a place in which political polarization has reached a historical scale and the food [Read more]

Successful YouTube Video: A Love Song for Google Plus

August 18, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

A young woman sings about the advantages of the network Google+ and Internet users marvel. However, not all believe in a hit without a marketing strategy: The singer has up to now left hardly any traces on the web. On the Internet, it is easy to speak out about anything. For just about any object or state of mind [Read more]

Google+: Who's Interested in "Real" Names

August 17, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

<b>Google+ does not want to allow pseudonyms. That is unfair and entrepreneurially wrong finds Kai Biermann. Self-chosen terms are better networked than real names.<b/> During my studies, I had a friend named Richard. We played pool or chess or talked about books. One day I called him at home. “Hi, this is Kai. I [Read more]

World Economic Crisis: Nothing Learned in 80 Years

August 15, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Fear is back in the financial markets: The stock markets are reeling — and with them the politicians, who are trying desperately to contain the worst government debt crisis in eight decades. Yet banks and hedge funds unhinge entire nations with short sales and credit insurance. The result: After 1931 we are stuck in [Read more]

Recall Elections in Wisconsin: Setback for the Democrats

August 13, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Republicans maintain their majority in recall elections in the Senate, although the Democrats had started a broad social movement. It is the summer of the Republicans, in Washington as well as in Wisconsin. In recall elections on Tuesday, the right admittedly lost two seats in the State Senate to the Democrats, but [Read more]

Man Thinks, Google Steers

August 10, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

The search engine decides who and what is found on the Internet — and who or what is not. Add Google+ and this power becomes threatening. Access to information is power. That is the age-old wisdom. Therefore, the ancient Egyptians forced every ship to hand over all scrolls and made a copy of each for the legendary [Read more]

The Downgraded States of America

August 10, 2011 // die Presse - Austria - German

It is time for Obama to put the brakes on the budget a little more firmly. The U.S. would not be the first empire to collapse under the burden of debt. However, America’s enemies must still be patient. Debt paves the road leading to the graveyard of fallen empires. Spain's dreams of a world empire ended with a [Read more]

What's Next, America?

August 9, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

The decline of the U.S. has often been foretold. American politics still has time to make the necessary correction in its course. Quo vadis, America? The paralyzing dispute over raising the debt limit and now the downgrading of creditworthiness show the U.S. is in a serious crisis. It is now the "sick man" of the [Read more]

Anti-Americans Celebrate Too Soon

August 8, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i>Even if the Pentagon saves $950 billion by 2012, it will not endanger the supremacy of the U.S.</i> The desire for the U.S. to shrink to normal size under the burden of its debts must be very pronounced. Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, every gram suggesting American loss of power is placed on the gold [Read more]

It Is Far from the End for Obama

August 7, 2011 // Die Welt - Germany - German

In spite of all the doomsayers and his graying hair, Obama’s chances for re-election in 2012 are not bad. Today, he celebrates his 50th birthday. Today, Barack Obama will be 50, and according to him, First Lady Michelle still finds him cute. Voters, however, are giving the president the cold shoulder before his [Read more]

America Has It Easier than Europe

August 7, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

The problems of the U.S. are enormous; however, the country is in good standing when compared to the eurozone. America has time to solve its problems — Europe doesn’t. What a spectacle in Washington: The negotiations concerning raising the debt limit dragged on for weeks, versions of bills were drafted and [Read more]

United States Is Making Same Mistake as the Europeans

August 6, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

And what does that mean for Germany? This question is somewhat egocentric, but not unjustified when the news coming from the United States is that the biggest economy in the world is now setting about saving. The answer is: The global consequences might be slight at the present time, but in the long term are serious. [Read more]

Politically Bankrupt

August 4, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

The subversive tea party movement has not only hijacked the Republican Party but, as a radical minority, it has also been very good at driving the majority of Congress and President Barack Obama along with it. [Read more]

America Held Hostage

August 2, 2011 // Der Spiegel - Germany - German

It was a week of horror: In the U.S. Congress Democrats and Republicans scuffled in a battle over America’s future. There is no simple solution, however. Congress has allowed itself to be taken hostage. Not much time remains to demonstrate unity after all of the chaos and impasse of the last few days. The U.S. [Read more]

Election Bluster with Truthful Content

September 29, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<b>U.S. President Obama is criticizing European crisis management to deflect attention from his own problems, but he is not completely in the wrong. Europe does lack a comprehensive solution.</b> America and Europe are behaving like a quarrelsome old married couple. “Your debt crisis is bringing the whole world into [Read more]

U.S. Citizens Save Themselves into a Recession

September 29, 2011 // Die Welt - Germany - German

In the motherland of consumption, doubts about unlimited expenditures are germinating. U.S. citizens are questioning their way of life. That is very risky. Little Jayna from Atlanta is turning two years old; her grandparents have invited 150 guests and a rented clown to a lunchtime buffet in a restaurant. The magic is [Read more]

Barack Merkel

September 27, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

Barack Obama raised hopes and promised change. What has remained of his words in the world? That we must change something, that we must live, budget differently — those are all perceived insights. Yet where and how should the change begin? He was the right man at the right time. Many thought that. He raised hopes [Read more]

It Depends on the U.S.

September 27, 2011 // Berliner Zeitung - Germany - German

Both are in the right and, at the same time, in the wrong. Compared to establishing peace in the Middle East, fitting a square into a round hole appears to be an easy task. Naturally, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in the right when he applies for full-member status for his country in the U.N. For years, the [Read more]

Noah’s Ark of the Data World

September 25, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<b>The Internet pretends to be objective and irreligious. At the same time, Google and Apple avail themselves of many religious myths.</b> The Internet is regarded today as the final triumph of enlightenment and irreligiosity. A virtual parallel universe has been created by human hands, in which there are no longer [Read more]

Election Help for Obama

September 19, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<b/>The dilemma of the Republicans: How should they explain to voters why they do not want to create jobs and why the rich should be permitted to pay no more taxes?</b> It is as so often in the last few years: U.S. President Barack Obama wants to do the right thing, yet the Republicans prevent it. This time Obama [Read more]

Who Profited from Sept. 11?

September 10, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<b>9/11 has its 10th anniversary: The attacks served as justification for two wars and strict laws. Not only politicians profited from the fear of terror.</b> Ten years have passed since the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. The policies of the U.S. government at that time took an about-face — [Read more]

The Pact with the Devil

September 7, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - German

Abdel Hakin Belhaj masters the art of warfare, and this expertise brings Libya’s rebels great advantage. In spite of this, the West is not thrilled that he, of all people, is Tripoli’s new military chief. Because he acquired his military training in the ranks of an Islamic group that fought in Afghanistan — from [Read more]

Oil Rush in the Arctic: Russians on America's Doorstep

September 6, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Rosneft is securing itself substantial drilling rights on the U.S. coast as well as profiting from American technologies. The deal is highly political because Rosneft is a quasi state-owned company from a country with which the U.S. maintains a tension-filled rivalry. Energy policy always also means security policy. [Read more]

Deutsche Telekom: Victim of a Change of Course

September 5, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

Deutsche Telekom is the first firm to feel the strict anti-trust regulation of the U.S. government; therefore, the firm continues to remain a niche supplier. U.S. President Barack Obama had once promised to bring an end to the laissez-faire of his predecessor, George W. Bush; however, in anti-trust questions, the [Read more]

What Remains of 9/11

September 4, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

We still have no name for the epoch after 9/11. Ten years ago, I thought something was beginning here that would occupy us for the next decades — perhaps similar to the Cold War. But perhaps it was only an intermezzo — between America’s “unipolar moment” after the fall of communism and the “rise of the [Read more]

Obama Caves In Once More

September 2, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<b>The president wanted to speak in Congress. The opposition threw a spoke in his wheel. Never before had Congress rejected a president’s request for a date to speak.</b> The timing seemed auspicious. On Wednesday, two days after Labor Day (also the official end of summer in the U.S.), Congress will convene again [Read more]

Obama's Smart Jobs Plan

September 2, 2011 // Financial Times Deutschland - Germany - German

<b>The U.S. president has not yet disclosed how he will keep his promise to create one million jobs. But his choice of personnel reveals that his plan will not be an easy one for Republicans to quash.</b> The message of Obama’s speech is simple: Jobs — above all, jobs. One million is his ambitious goal. He knows [Read more]

Ankle Monitors in the U.S.: Boom on Legs

September 1, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<b>In the U.S. ankle monitors are being technically upgraded. Especially popular with judicial authorities are monitors that sound an alarm at the consumption of alcoholic beverages.</b> The electronic ankle monitor in the U.S., which oversees via a tracking device whether a delinquent is located at a prescribed place [Read more]

U.S. Debates Internet Protection Laws

November 24, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

There are strong protests in the U.S. against two bills intended to protect copyrights in the music and film industry. The many critics fear that the bills will create a dangerous instrument that will restrict freedom on the Internet and could also serve to exclude and damage unwelcome competition without [Read more]

Europe's Impotence Is America's Good Fortune

November 22, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - Gernan

<b>The Rocky Horror Debt Show in Europe is diverting investors' attention from the United States. But America's political establishment is just as paralyzed as the Europe's.</b> The effect of surprise is contained within narrow bounds: For the umpteenth time, the stabilization of America’s national finances has [Read more]

Barack Obama Reads China the Riot Act

November 21, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - German

As host of the conference of Pacific Rim countries, the U.S. president heralded a “Pacific age” and put China in its place. Beijing must abide by the “rules of the game.” The photographers put on a long face because the traditional group photo in national costume, along with singing by all participants at the [Read more]

Battle Cry of the Republicans

November 15, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The presidential candidates of the U.S. Republican [Party] outdo one another with pithy words. In a TV debate they are supposed to look outside of the box of the United States — and there they see primarily enemies whom Obama is tackling too softly. Pithy announcements of a more confrontational U.S foreign policy [Read more]

Judges against Image Damage

November 14, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

In 2010, members of a U.S. military unit killed civilians in Afghanistan out of pure bloodlust. Later, they made it look like the corpses had been killed in battle. The stiff sentences that the military court imposed on the perpetrators are justified given these deeds. Regarding the possibility that leader Calvin Gibbs [Read more]

Deadly Spankings in the Name of God

November 13, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

The parental how-to manual “To Train up a Child” is a bestseller among America’s Protestant Christians. It recommends the use of the rod and the paddle for child rearing, even for babies — and was on the bookshelves of several parents of children beaten to death. Minister Michael Pearl and his wife Debi have [Read more]

Homeowners: America's Greeks

November 1, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<b>Large parts of the country are “underwater”: Many Americans cannot pay their mortgages, must give up their houses — and are berated by conservatives because of it. But Obama can’t permit himself to be intimidated. The homeowners need a debt cut; otherwise, the economy will stall.</b> It was a pivotal point [Read more]

Baby Boomers Strain Stock Prices

October 31, 2011 // Financial Times Deutschland - Germany - German

<b>The world population continues to grow — nevertheless, only outside of the industrialized nations. For the capital markets, that does not bode well: Those who retire pull their capital out. And that’s what the baby-boomer generation is presently doing.</b> If one believes Fed members Zheng Liu and Mark Spiegel [Read more]

Halloween: Fight of the Pumpkins

October 31, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Like an axe in the skull, there’s one holiday that splits minds: Halloween. Consumer terror or the finest parties and celebration? Americanization by Western civilization or age-old custom? This is a debate about the return of the pumpkin. It is dark, it is cold, it is the end of October. The last barbecue party was [Read more]

Face to Face in Subcommittee

October 31, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

For weeks Facebook has been having a row with privacy groups: What information is the social network storing about users as well as non-users? Now Facebook had to justify itself in the Bundestag. A subcommittee of the Bundestag is not the place one anticipates all too thrilling discussions. And room E 800 in the [Read more]

Woodstock World-wide

October 26, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

It started with the tent city in Tel Aviv; it continued with “Occupy Wall Street;” now they are demonstrating from Berlin to Madrid. Against what? Against the “capitalistic dictatorship,” the banks, the European Central Bank. And against “Dagobert Fuck.” In Tel Aviv, it was still concretely about higher [Read more]

The True Speculators Are the Politicians Themselves

October 24, 2011 // Die Welt - Germany - German

Amid the applause of governments, a worldwide protest is forming against the power of financial institutions. With the hounding of the bankers politics is stealing out of responsibility. The bankers are the scapegoats of our times. Whether the Christian Democratic finance minister Schäuble or head of the left-wing [Read more]

The Tea Party Makes Green Tea

October 20, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<b>Worldwide the right, the left and the beautiful are demonstrating against a system because they cannot change it. That is just a small foretaste of the coming decade. Even here on the "banana island" of the blessed.</b> It is certainly only coincidence. While a new culture of protests against the financial system [Read more]

Left-Wing Friends from the Right

October 18, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

More and more hard-core people from the FAZ [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung] are defecting from worn-out conservatism, and that is supposed to mean nothing because there is unfortunately no alternative? “Pure market is perverse economy. Pure market is pure insanity”: That was not said by a crazed leftist from the [Read more]

Bogeyman Government

October 18, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Social Security is a pyramid scheme, new rules for bankers nonsense and one might as well tar and feather the head of the Federal Reserve. The economic policy ideas of the tea party have little to do with sober-mindedness and restraint — although much with Viennese coffee houses. The “baby-killers” have become [Read more]

Iran, the Americans and a Killer

October 16, 2011 // Financial Times Deutschland - Germany - German

It sounds like something from a thriller: An Iranian allegedly hired a Mexican drug gangster to murder the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Iran’s leadership is even supposedly behind it. The incident highlights a simmering conflict. [Read more]

Rage Over the Betrayed Dream

October 12, 2011 // Der Standard - Austria - German

<b>Anti-Wall Street Protest and the Tea Party: Same Roots, Opposite Conclusions</b> Something is happening right now on Wall Street, but where it is going, no one can say. What began barely four weeks ago with a few sleeping bags and tarps has grown into a nation-wide movement with offshoots from Boston to Los [Read more]

The Obama Paradox

October 11, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

Actually, Obama is the predestined loser in 2012, but ... Imagine, the victory is yours and you have no one to collect the trophy. So it goes for the Republicans one year before the election. Actually they would have to win big-time next November and drive Obama out of the White House. But they can’t manage to get a [Read more]

Americans Sway the Currency Framework

October 11, 2011 // Die Welt - Germany - German

Stalled bank lending, a new trade war: In this way the world economy could ultimately be driven into recession. And all of this caused by the multibillion dollar sums that the large American investors are moving back and forth. It is therefore within their hands to prevent these consequences. [Read more]

Longing for a Better World

October 10, 2011 // Salzburger Nachrichten - Austria - German

Who would have thought it possible? In the U.S., the motherland of capitalism, a protest movement is growing that stands against the free forces of the financial markets. A movement that no longer wants to accept that stockbrokers and investment bankers collect millions while the number of unemployed and destitute [Read more]

What Mistakes the U.S. Made

October 10, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

U.S. soldiers marched into Afghanistan with false information, a bad strategy and much arrogance. Not until later did they learn how the country and people in this complicated region operate, and in addition, President Bush made a disastrous mistake. When the U.S. began the air war in Afghanistan scarcely a month [Read more]

Palestinians Push into UNESCO

October 9, 2011 // Der Standard - Austria - Geman

<b>No veto is possible: Washington wants to block membership with financial threats</b> The fight for a Palestinian nation is temporarily shifting to Paris, where the U.N. Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has its seat: A group of Arab countries has secretly introduced a flank attack. At their [Read more]

Surviving with Food Stamps

October 8, 2011 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

Not for decades have so many been unemployed in the U.S. It hits those who haven’t even really begun the hardest. Thomas Capdepera wears wide, much too large jeans, over them a black hoodie, size XXL. It appears a bit that his huge body wants to disappear in it. His hair is shaved on the sides. When he speaks, he [Read more]

Obama's Letters Beg for a Handful of Dollars

October 7, 2011 // Der Standard - Austria - German

<b>It matters who has the fullest war chests in an election campaign — therefore Even Obama is tapping his voters for small amounts.</b> Barack writes an email. Michelle writes another one a few hours later. And then it’s Joe’s turn. They send invitations to dinner and all three want money. With a donation of at [Read more]

To Have and Have Not inthe U.S.: Land of Inequality

October 6, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Incomes have risen, but the income gap continues to grow rapidly. The majority of the population has derived nothing from the income raises. Those up there on Wall Street continue to make themselves richer, while the majority of the population is battered by the crisis. This feeling that drives many of the protesters [Read more]

Fighting by Computer

October 6, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>The U.S. is increasingly using drones in the War on Terror — an issue which raises ethical questions. The legal basis for such attacks is also controversial.</i> The unmanned plane circles the target area for hours. Cameras and sensors are programmed for the man who will sooner or later return to his house. The [Read more]

How Upper Class Greed Provokes Protest

October 6, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<b>The demonstrations are chaotic and the messages muddled. However, it would be false to write the New York protesters off as nutcases because they are quite rightly directing attention to America’s deep division. At present Wall Street is collecting everything, and the rest of the society receives nothing — and [Read more]

Why the Republicans Want This Candidate

October 5, 2011 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<b>Chris Christie is the most recent and presumably last great hope of the Republicans to send a candidate who could electrify the party into the presidential race against Barack Obama; yet, the 49-year-old hesitates — and could bring a serious problem for the Republicans.</b> They give him another week. [Read more]

First We Take Manhattan

October 5, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Activists have occupied Zuccotti Park in Manhattan and given it back its old name: Liberty Plaza. A visit with a movement critical of capitalism. “Ladies and gentlemen,” says the policeman in a white shirt into the megaphone, “Clear the road. Otherwise we will arrest you.” The announcement itself is difficult [Read more]

How the Chinese and Saudis Court Pakistan

October 2, 2011 // Der Spiegel - Germany - German

The United States accuses Pakistan’s secret service of supporting the network of the Haqqani clan and, therefore, of supporting terror. Islamabad denies this and warns the Americans against military actions. The controversy comes at an opportune time for two other powers — China and Saudi Arabia. [Read more]

More and More Homeless Children in the US

December 22, 2011 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<b>According to a new study, every 45th child in the U.S. does not have a roof over his head. Hardest hit are the American West and the Southeast.</b> Every 45th American child was considered homeless in the past year; 42 percent of them were six years old or younger. A study of the National Center for Homeless [Read more]

Police Clear Camps

December 5, 2011 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<b>More than 250 people are arrested in the eviction of the Occupy camps. U.S. authorities make an effort to avoid disturbing pictures.</b> Late at night on Wednesday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced in a news conference in Los Angeles that he was “proud” of his police. In their evicting the Occupy L.A. camps [Read more]

Triple U for the World Economy

December 3, 2011 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

Economic data indicates that there are three phases of economic weakness. The third will most likely affect the U.S. In the fall of 2008, I wanted to add my own personalized rating to the mix of letters that characterized the course of the world economy. At the time, experts spoke of V, U, L and W ratings of upcoming [Read more]

A Pity About Optimism

January 26, 2012 // Die Presse - Austria - German

Barack Obama is trying to drive a wedge between the rich and the rest. The belief in a rosy future is deep-rooted in America’s collective psyche. This pleasant characteristic explains who so many low-wage earners in the United States are against higher tax rates for the rich — those who think of becoming rich [Read more]

New Military World Order

January 23, 2012 // Berliner Zeitung - Germany - German

The U.S. is turning away from Europe and toward the Pacific region. For the old continent, this means a weakening because the constraints of austerity rule out high military expenditures. Respect, respect, what an enormous sum! U.S. President Barack Obama wants to save $487 billion in military expenditures over the [Read more]

Secret Ruler

January 19, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>Was Johnny Depp at the Obamas' Halloween party? If so, why did they conceal it? And what role does the popular first lady actually play in the White House? A tell-all book about the president’s family finds answers to such questions and is providing for much excitement in the United States.</i>One can safely [Read more]

Chemical Weapon Free? Not by a Long Shot!

January 19, 2012 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

The U.S. is announcing the destruction of 90 percent of its chemical weapons. It won’t be able to deal with the rest, however, until 2021, just like Russia will fail to meet the deadline of the disarmament treaty. According to its own statements, the U.S. has destroyed almost all of its chemical weapons. [Read more]

Battle of the Super PACs

January 19, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

It is becoming clear in the Republican race for the presidential candidacy: Not topics, but instead the account balance decides the success of an election campaign in the U.S. Anyone whose own budget is not sufficient is slipped a check by business friends — quite legally. Because the rules for donations are in fact [Read more]

Santorum Doubts Obama’s Faith

February 21, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Is Barack Obama a Muslim in disguise? Republican Rick Santorum alleges the U.S. president’s faith is “not a theology based on the Bible.” Obama’s camp reacts indignantly and speaks of the “latest low” in the Republican primary campaign. The devout churchgoer Santorum is only partly leading it. [Read more]

Apples, Oranges and PR

February 19, 2012 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

"Apple’s [support for inspections of their manufacturers] may help take the edge off of the growing criticism of consumers; however, the affected workers need further support to be able to enforce their rights." [Read more]

A Budget Full of Illusions

February 16, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>With the budget proposal for 2013, Obama’s presidency gains a tragic component. Many of his plans would be right; however, they do not stand a chance in the U.S. House of Representatives. The United States has lost four years — and above all, with his budget plan, Obama is delivering ammunition for ideological [Read more]

Changed? The Broken Promises of Barack Obama

March 14, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<br>Everything was supposed to get better. Obama wanted to change America; indeed, change the whole world. In the electoral campaign of 2008 he promised the Americans sweeping change: closure of the prison camp Guantánamo, fight against climate change, control of the horrendous national debt. But after three years in [Read more]

Obama’s Promise of Force to Israel

March 11, 2012 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

<i>In front of America’s Jews, Barack Obama pledged to hinder an Iranian nuclear bomb militarily if necessary, but not just yet. </i> On Sunday was perhaps one of the American president's most important political speeches at the moment, nationally as well as internationally. No address was observed with so much [Read more]

Retreat from the Middle

April 25, 2012 // Der Standard - Austria - German

The French election shows: These days, radicals are setting the tone, not the moderates any longer. There were times in which parties preferred nothing more than camping in the middle of the political landscape. Although they dauntlessly stepped on one another’s toes there, they all knew that elections were to be [Read more]

Election Will Be Decided by America’s Middle

April 24, 2012 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>Mitt Romney is fiercely attacking Barack Obama. Yet the election will not be decided by aggressive rhetoric. Instead, the winner will be the one who offers the middle class a new perspective.</i> One of the most successful TV series of the times is the saga “Mad Men,” set in the New York advertising milieu in [Read more]

America Has Not Overcome the Original Sin of Slavery

April 5, 2012 // Die Welt - Germany - German

The violent death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida shows that it is still life-threatening to be black in America. Instead of the courts, the media and demonstrators are debating the case. America’s black population demands justice for their “martyr”; in mourning, America’s president perceives the killed [Read more]

Reluctance Toward Broccoli and the Authoritarian State

April 2, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>Obama’s health care reform has divided Americans more deeply than any other domestic topic has in decades. The bitter fight touches upon fears that are deeply rooted in the American psyche: How deeply can the government be permitted to interfere in the lives of the individual citizen.</i> Every American hates [Read more]

The Price of Oil is No Longer a Potential Threat

April 1, 2012 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i>While the West trembled in the face of the first oil price shock, considerably higher prices are meanwhile accepted as “normal.”</i> When the price of oil rose above $100 per barrel, the world was in an uproar about crossing this psychologically important mark. The anxious question was whether the global [Read more]

When the Most Powerful Man in the World Becomes a Comedian

May 5, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Quick: Who are the three wittiest politicians in Germany? Well? Or at least the top two of the republic’s most humorous representatives of the people? Nothing? Nothing at all? Not even one? One with a sense of humor? Some claim Angela Merkel is sometimes quite funny. No? Very well then... In Germany, politics and [Read more]

“Signature Strikes” in Yemen, Too

May 3, 2012 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>The CIA is now permitted to intensify the drone war: suspicious individuals can be killed without being identified by name. Human rights activists are frustrated.</i> Barack Obama is escalating the undeclared war in Yemen: In the future, the CIA will be permitted to intensify their drone attacks. After permitting [Read more]

How Facebook Can Still Earn Money in the Future

May 2, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>Today a lifestyle medium in the North, tomorrow already societal power in the South: U.S. President Obama places responsibility on social networks, when it comes to the fight against authoritarian regimes. In the long term, however, Facebook has another problem. In the future, growth will no longer take place in [Read more]

Obama in a Holding Pattern

November 23, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The crisis in the Middle East has slipped from the grasp of the U.S. The escalating violence in the Gaza Strip shows that as well. Barack Obama will have to give up his wait and see position, yet on account of the complicated relationships with Egypt and Israel, he lacks the alternatives to do that. Only one thing [Read more]

In the Blockade Trap

November 13, 2012 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Obama has to stimulate the economy with government spending. Europe is a cautionary example, which could convince Republicans who, up to now, have blocked everything. Nevertheless, the worst has been averted. Republicans had really clear goals for U.S. economic policy: They wanted to weaken bank regulation and reduce [Read more]

Obama and the Fiscal Hole

November 11, 2012 // Der Standard - Austria - German

<b>The Aging of US Society Will Drastically Increase the Debt Problem</b> If one used the stock market as a gauge for the economic impact of U.S. election results, the frustration could hardly be higher. The most important indices ended the day of going to the polls with a loss of considerably more than two percent, [Read more]

Biden Is Supposed to Bail Out Obama

October 13, 2012 // Financial Times Deutschland - Germany - German

After the poor debate performance of U.S. President Obama, his vice president is burdened with great pressure to make up for it, and challenger Paul Ryan is of a higher caliber than 2008’s challenger, Sarah Palin. Joe Biden had better not repeat this sentence: “The middle class was buried the last four years,” [Read more]

America’s Underestimated Terrorists

August 18, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

While al-Qaeda is considered the greatest threat since Sept. 11, most of the terrorist attacks in the past 10 years have originated from either right-wing extremists or from groups that are not primarily racist, but reject the government or state and are ideologically far right. [Read more]

The Next Obama

August 13, 2012 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

Julián Castro has many qualities that make him a bearer of hope for the U.S. Democrats. Many already see the politician of Hispanic-American descent as the next candidate for election in 2016 and as a possible successor to Obama. Shortly after entering office in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama called together a [Read more]

Transatlantic Triple-A Conspiracy

July 29, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Moody’s has warned Germany about a downgrade in credit rating and thereby fuels conspiracy theories: Are the ratings agencies writing the Euro off? It is striking that American rating assessors often ignore negative developments in the U.S. and Japan. It is also clear that the risks for Germany in the Euro crisis are [Read more]

Stricter Gun Control? No, Thanks

July 24, 2012 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>Would an armed moviegoer have been able to stop the assassin of Aurora? So goes discussion in the U.S. of the shooting spree. For years, the NRA, with its 4 million members, has done a good job.</i> Carolyn McCarthy’s husband died on Dec. 7, 1993 – shot to death because he was in the wrong place at the wrong [Read more]

Exhibitionism of Violence

July 23, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Again and again, America experiences such brutal shootings as the current one in Aurora... Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” offers a brutal reflection: The exhibitionism of violence that the film develops has been taken from society. [Read more]

Obama’s Extraterrestrial Victory

July 6, 2012 // Der Standard - Austria - German

The small announcement sounded like deftly-launched grousing: About twice as many Americans, so it said, would trust Barack Obama over his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, to defend against an invasion by extraterrestrials. This survey started off the most important domestic policy day in the United States in a long [Read more]

Chaos Reigns without the US

July 2, 2012 // Berliner Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>In his new book, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the now 84-year-old national security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, addresses the issue of what the world would look like if the U.S. were no longer a super power.</i> Seldom before has any author written so clearly, so openly, so bluntly: “Too rich to be relevant [Read more]

Obama’s Ice-Cold Calculation

June 30, 2012 // Berliner Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>U.S. President Obama has surprisingly announced that illegal immigrants will be permitted to apply for amnesty. That could secure the election for him.</i> A good six weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama had official confirmation. The U.S. Census Office officially determined what had been suspected for the last [Read more]

Collateral Damage of a Macho

June 27, 2012 // Berliner Zeitung - Germany - German

The legal system in the U.S. is in danger. Namely because the U.S. Congress never approved the deployment of combat drones and special troops although Article Eight of the Constitution assigns it the sole right to declare and finance war. [Read more]

Assad can be Indifferent to the Military of the West

June 10, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - Germany

The West has no military option for Syria – no matter how often it talks about it. Neither NATO nor the Europeans will go after the regime with force. Instead of acting as if there were still a military option available, it would be wiser to focus totally on a diplomatic solution. The pictures and news from Syria [Read more]

Is He Finally Going Green?

February 22, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

The first term of the U.S. president was a disappointment when it came to environmental protection. Effective immediately, Obama announced that he wants to change that. Barack Obama announced this week with grand words that he will finally do something for the environment. “But if Congress won’t act soon to [Read more]

America: The Wild West of Family Planning

February 21, 2013 // Die Presse - Austria - German

Reproductive medicine has hardly any legal restrictions in the U.S. That has created a multi-billion-dollar market for donated eggs and surrogate mothers — and ethical abysses. $50,000: That’s how much an anonymous couple offered female students at the elite Brown University for egg donations. $1.90 per hour: [Read more]

A Historic Low

February 18, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

What mockery. This filibuster is a bugle call that the Republicans in Congress are using to attack everything the president suggested in his big State of the Union address on Tuesday. [Read more]

Why the Republicans Are Provoking Obama

February 16, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

With a tactical move the Republican minority in the Senate has blocked approval of the new head of the Pentagon. They don’t want to rubber stamp their fellow party member, Chuck Hagel. Calculation lies behind this affront, which will have consequences for President Obama and his cabinet. Harry Reid is angry and fed [Read more]

Why Apple and Facebook Will Fail

February 8, 2013 // Der Standard - Austria - German

Out of the necessity to develop new markets and the pressure to constrain users, Apple and Facebook will fail. That sounds like a risky thesis, when it is a matter of one of the most important electronic companies (and until recently, the stock market’s most valuable firm in the world) and the largest social network, [Read more]

World Power Could Be Redistributed

February 3, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

There would be a fundamental upheaval if energy-hungry countries were suddenly able to supply themselves independently thanks to the technology of “fracking.” It would be in a geo-strategic turning point. Let’s imagine a reformed OPEC in, let’s say, ten or twenty years. The president would no longer be from [Read more]

Merely Deferred

January 2, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

The budget deal brokered by the U.S. Senate is only a temporary solution. In two months the parties will need to try to come to terms again. No U.S. Congress has ever had a worse reputation than this one: At the end of 2012 only five percent of Americans believe that their representatives are doing a competent job. [Read more]

The Flaw in the American System

December 31, 2012 // Die Welt - Germany - German

Every friendship ends at money — above all in politics. Ultimately, the fight over the new budget plan in the U.S. Congress shows the weaknesses of the political system. A political system that promotes an ideological polarization of the population, or at least does not prevent it; a political system that in the [Read more]

Heroes Look Different, As Do Traitors

December 12, 2012 // Die Presse - Austria - German

Who still remembers Bradley Manning, Wikileaks and the secret computer data from the Iraq War? Manning is not the only traitor in the whole fiasco, but he is the only one who is being punished. He’s a pale young man. He’s 5’2, 24 years old and wears glasses. Two and a half years ago he kept the world in [Read more]

Kill at Will

December 10, 2012 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

More than 2,000 people are supposed to have been killed by drone attacks in recent years. Up to now, there have been no rules for the deployment of battle drones. In the election campaign, President Obama promised to finally end that. But now he is in no rush. Fear motivates action, even in the Oval Office, the [Read more]

America's Eternal Sept. 11

May 27, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Does Obama’s speech mean the return of morals in the American war on terror? Stricter rules for drone warfare, his push to close Guantanamo and bringing down the curtain on the Bush years at first glance seems like a new beginning. But the truth is: America is still caught in the logic of the Bush era. [Read more]

Aspirations and Reality

May 26, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

The dissociation from the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush, was the trademark of Barack Obama’s election campaign that brought him into the White House in 2009. In the center of the criticism: the war in Iraq and the so-called war on terror. Obama ended the Iraq War, at least concerning the direct [Read more]

Turning a Completely Blind Eye

May 25, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>Apple defends itself before the U.S. Senate for having hardly paid any taxes. German politicians are proud that they alertly helped the EU economize.</i> In the middle of the crisis, the EU discovers a new source of income: taxes. In advance of the Brussels summit, EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso said [Read more]

Obama's Sought-After Guest

May 23, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Myanmar’s president in the White House: The U.S. is primarily pursuing geopolitical interests during the historical visit from Southeast Asia because hardly any other country offers so many sources of raw materials. There will probably be scarcely any room for criticism of human rights violations.Burma was the last [Read more]

Obama Cabinet II Has Rediscovered Europe as a Partner

May 23, 2013 // Der Standard - Austria - German

The advice was surprisingly open — and public: In front of the assembled U.S. and British press, Barack Obama urged British Prime Minister David Cameron to repair the U.K.’s relations with the continental EU before London thinks of withdrawing from the union. The fact that this otherwise reserved president chose [Read more]

Second-Term Curse Hits Obama

May 20, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>After the re-election, everything seems to be going wrong in the White House. U.S. President Barack Obama grapples with scandals. Is the fate of George W. Bush blossoming for him? </i> Politically, Barack Obama will be very under the weather when he arrives in Berlin on June 18. His government has to battle [Read more]

Barack Obama Lacks the Gift of Statesmanship

May 18, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>The U.S. faces formidable challenges: The national debt alone has risen to $16.7 trillion. Yet, instead of acting, President Obama escapes to irrelevant trifles.</i> On the evening after Barack Obama left for a trip to Mexico, comedian Jay Leno made fun of his otherwise cherished president in the opening of his [Read more]

The Poisoned Fruits of American Fear

May 15, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

It appears as if American society could tolerate a society in which school children and other innocents are regularly murdered by the mentally ill with freely available weapons. If, however, the attacks are perpetrated by persons designated as 'terrorists,' collective hysteria breaks out [Read more]

North Korea's Old Tricks

May 9, 2013 // Rheinische Post - Germany - German

The most recent news out of North Korea sounds familiar: The regime in Pyongyang has repeatedly extorted dialogue with the U.S. via the arbitrary arrest and severe punishment of a U.S. citizen. Ex-President Jimmy Carter’s readiness to travel to North Korea is therefore understandably controversial. Carter too knows [Read more]

Hollywood Always Gets What It Wants

May 8, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The American film industry is criticizing the assault weapon ban in the state of New York; it sees the shooting of action films as being in danger. The pressure that the industry is gathering is symptomatic of the influence of lobby groups in U.S. politics. The battle for generous subsidies is being bitterly waged. [Read more]

A World Economic Power Is Back

May 6, 2013 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i>Cheap money, cheap energy and cheap labor are making for a comeback of industry. Europe looks across the Atlantic with envy. However, it cannot copy the American model.</i> Henry Ford would be pleased. After four and a half years of crisis, things are getting better for the children of the forefather of modern [Read more]

What Do North Korean Threats Mean?

April 24, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>Verbal show of muscle or threat of an armed conflict to be taken seriously? Kim Jong Un announces a “state of war” and threatens the U.S. with an attack. Experts consider concrete war plans on the part of the dictator to be improbable but warn not to underestimate the situation.</i> Threatening gestures from [Read more]

Boston and the Price of Freedom

April 21, 2013 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i> How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice to gain a security that can never be absolute? That is the question we must ask ourselves, as shock and anger settle deeply over Boston.</i> Naturally, it was only a question of time until the summons came: We need to install more cameras in cities, Republican [Read more]

New Terror Turns into a Hard Test for Obama

April 22, 2013 // Salzburger Nachrichten - Austria - German

The terrorist attack in Boston is supposed to split the United States. President Obama, however, can unite the country if he acts prudently. Obama’s first reaction after the bombings in Boston was characterized by extreme caution. We didn’t yet know anything specific about the circumstances, explained the U.S. [Read more]

The Message of Boston

April 19, 2013 // Rheinische Post - Germany - German

The effect and essence of terror lie in the randomness with which it makes people victims. Why must an eight-year-old boy — waiting to take his father in his arms after a successful run at the finish line of the Boston Marathon — die? Why do others, who gave their best on the stretch, end up as cripples? Why do [Read more]

The War, Too, Is No Longer Justification

April 19, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>The prisoners in the detention camp in Guantanamo have good reasons for calling attention to their terrible situation with hunger strikes and riots.</i> Guantanamo, which goes against international law, has largely disappeared from the awareness of the Americans. During the election campaign last year, Barack Obama [Read more]

Terror Is Back

April 17, 2013 // Wiener Zeitung - Austria - German

The prospect that the terrorists could be acting out of a conviction of defending original American values is probably a far more terrible alternative for American citizens than Islamist, and therefore somehow 'foreign,' terrorists [Read more]

What Drones Wreak

April 15, 2013 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

Drones kill the enemy from a distance, precisely and inexpensively. One’s own soldiers don’t die in the process. Civilian victims are minimized. That is the ideological essence of drone warfare. It is very seductive. U.S. President Barack Obama has relied on it for a fairly long time; more and more governments are [Read more]

Hope in Washington

April 14, 2013 // Rheinische Post - Germany - German

New sounds are to be heard in Washington. There is evidence that Democrats and Republicans are perhaps finding a common denominator after a long blockade, even on debt reduction, a topic where a deep trench gapes between the two parties. What is new is that Obama is signaling a readiness for significant savings in [Read more]

Dreams Made of Glass

April 2, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>New cyber world or total surveillance horror? Google Glass can be both.</i> The idiots have long been among us. Normal-seeming fellow human beings who suddenly speak to no one. They run through the streets babbling. "Is he?" one asks oneself, then looks, until the other turns his head and over his ear is a headset. [Read more]

Gone with the Wind?

March 5, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Now she sits there with hat and handbag, probably forever. In the Capitol, there has just been the unveiling of a statue of Rosa Parks. In 1955, Ms. Parks, a black woman, refused to give her seat on a bus to a white person. Thus began the Civil Rights Movement, a persuasive measure that resulted in the federal [Read more]

Boycotting Amazon Will Not Help

March 2, 2013 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

Recent reports concerning working conditions at Amazon have stirred resistance among publishers and customers. They, however, cannot do much against this monopolist. Oh, had this Jeff Bezos never founded Amazon… This complaint has been circulating in the book trade for a while. Because publishers and booksellers can [Read more]

Many Bad Options

August 29, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Even if U.S. President Barack Obama has not yet decided about a military intervention in Syria, Secretary of Defense Hagel is preparing scenarios for an intervention: targeted military attacks, no-fly zones or arming the rebels. All options contain risks. One possibility remains — and that ultimately depends on [Read more]

Manning's Superiors Are the Security Risk

August 1, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>WikiLeaks informant Bradley Manning has been declared guilty on many charges. But on principle, someone like him should never have been allowed to have access to volatile information.</i> Bradley Manning did not receive a life sentence, but could theoretically face over 100 years in prison. Bradley Manning is [Read more]

A Warning to All Whistle-Blowers

July 30, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The verdict against WikiLeaks informant Bradley Manning is unsurprising: Even if his actions are morally justified, he is a betrayer of secrets. Bradley Manning cannot have seriously counted on an acquittal. The young private in the American army admitted that he stole secret data from the U.S. military and Department [Read more]

Obama's Wise Words

July 27, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

His remarks have astonishingly not deepened any divisions in society because Obama sagely clarified the complexity of the topic, including the problems within the black community. [Read more]

The Dream of the End of Racism

July 25, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Barack Obama’s words about everyday racism were more than an appeasement strategy. But now the president needs to stick with it. The illusion is crumbling. For the last four and a half years, the U.S. has had a black president and whoever wasn’t looking closely could get the impression that the country had [Read more]

Putin's Vexation with the Uninvited Guest

July 24, 2013 // Kurier - Austria - German

The intelligence agency informant Edward Snowden is increasingly causing distress for Russia’s president. In the history of espionage, the informant who conveyed military, economic or political secrets was most of the time a favored hero. Only those who disclosed secrets from inside an intelligence service were [Read more]

Embarassing Slackers

July 16, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>German Minister of the Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich is not bringing many concrete answers along from his trip to Washington. German dealings with Edward Snowden are embarrassing; without him, they would know nothing of the investigations of the American and British intelligence agencies.</i> The German minister of [Read more]

Edward Snowden in Putin's Stranglehold

July 16, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

The American whistle-blower seeks protection in a country that for years has violated civil rights and liberties, persecuted and locked away opposition members and wants to turn Snowden into a puppet. Edward Snowden is moving to a country where nonsense flourishes. In days to come he will seek protection in a country [Read more]

The US Has Good Reason To Mistrust Us

July 10, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

Spying on allies is not right, but in our indignation we do not ask whether the distrustfulness of the U.S. has its justification. It cannot always be sure of its German friends. Germany and Europe are outraged: The U.S. is spying on us. Very few nations — for example, Iran and Pakistan — are watched more [Read more]

Traitorous Friends

July 8, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The U.S. likes to justify its data collection mania with the global war on terror. Now it looks as if the National Security Agency (NSA) not only extensively spied on countries, but even bugged EU offices. For that latest action, the terror argument is invalid. It is time for a European ultimatum. Apparently it is [Read more]

All Are Equal. Period.

June 28, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>The conservative majority on the Supreme Court could not prevail — a major defeat for all opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States. But the judges did leave them one hope.</i> For the last several years in the U.S., there have been many indications that the rejection of same-sex marriage could no [Read more]

Liberal Americans Disappointed by 'George W. Obama'

June 26, 2013 // Der Standard - Austria - German

<i>Erstwhile supporters are irked by harsh political realism.</i> When Barack Obama made the case for immigration reform the other day, he let Tolu Olubunmi speak, very ceremoniously, in the glow of chandeliers in the East Room. The 32-year-old, who came to America from Nigeria at age 14, appeared at the side of her [Read more]

Pressure on Google for PRISM: Threat of a Revoked License

June 26, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

<i>After PRISM, European privacy advocates want to force Google into a more sensible handling of data. However, only a European law will help.</i> The outcry of privacy advocates is coming too late. After all, the EU Parliament had known since December 2012 at the latest that U.S. intelligence agencies could legally [Read more]

Obama: Our Distant, Foreign Friend

June 22, 2013 // Rheinische Post - Germany - German

Actually, President Obama would love Germany because Germany loves him: 87 percent of Germans would elect him, 79 percent find his administration good — in spite of Guantanamo. Those are numbers Obama can only dream of at home. Yet this Tuesday, the American president is coming to a land that has remained foreign to [Read more]

Dramatic Sign of Weakness

June 20, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>U.S. President Barack Obama now wants to have military equipment delivered to the insurgents after all: small arms and ammunition — but no anti-aircraft missiles. That is as if a doctor were prescribing cough syrup for a seriously ill tuberculosis patient.</i> There is a work by the great master Rembrandt van [Read more]

No Lack of Weapons in Syria

June 19, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

<i>The decision to deliver American weapons to the Syrian insurgents is a poor one. U.S. President Obama is beginning to involve the U.S. in a conflict that can no longer be controlled.</i> In 2003, then U.S. President George W. Bush justified the invasion of Iraq with a lie. The weapons of mass destruction that [Read more]

Is the Posting Stronger than the Sanction?

June 14, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<b>Since a few days ago, Washington is permitting U.S. firms in Iran to sell computers, mobile telephones and software for personal use. Consequently, the people can get easier access to the Internet.</b> Freedom of expression is a human right. The U.S. has now perhaps unpacked the strongest weapon that exists in [Read more]

United in Mistrust

June 12, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The stability between the U.S. and China is endangered. Sooner or later bitter controversies threaten, possibly even wars. At their meeting in California, U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi must also consider the question of how much conflict the two nations will tolerate. It is high time to build trust. [Read more]

The Boundary between Guarding and Policing

June 10, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

<i>Many see only the threats surrounding the collection of data by the U.S. National Security Administration, completely forgetting the good and solid reasons to keep data streams in the government’s sight.</i> It was a field day for all privacy groups and doomsayers who primarily see a superhuman, monstrous threat [Read more]

Trust Is Good, Mistrust Is Better

June 8, 2013 // Die Presse - Austria - German

What do we have to fear, if we have nothing to hide? Plenty! If one wants to find out something about a person today, one no longer needs a private detective. One only needs an Internet connection and a Facebook account. It is remarkable what intimate details people reveal about themselves voluntarily. The National [Read more]

They Control Everything

June 8, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

Compared to the NSA, the MfS [Ministry of State Security] in the extinct German Democratic Republic looks like an orphan. Thanks to The Guardian, published in Britain, we now know that the largest American security service is snooping on citizens in the U.S. — and in the rest of the world — in every electronic [Read more]

The World — Only a Guest on the Internet

June 8, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

There are large differences between a wiretapped telephone conversation and a worldwide dragnet investigation. The automation of such processes, in which a keyword out of context can sound an alarm, makes a threat, not an opportunity, out of big data. [Read more]

Obama's Appearance Strengthens Merkel's Brand

June 8, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

The week after next, Barack Obama is coming to the Berlin for the first time as a U.S. president. At Angela Merkel’s invitation, he will be permitted to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. In 2008 he was refused this honor — but now the chancellor is in an election campaign. The difference between good and bad [Read more]

Wishful Thinking of the West

June 6, 2013 // Der Standard - Austria - German

<i>Experiences after the Arab Spring and Iraq: change of regime is not enough.</i> Western hopes for a more liberal society, more citizens’ rights and greater freedom of the press after the Arab Spring have not been fulfilled. Anyone who listened to colleagues from these countries at the recent World Congress of the [Read more]

First Damper on US Fracking Boom

June 3, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

Bad news is coming from two U.S. mining sites. The yield from fracking has not met expectations. Must the industry, previously spoiled by success, change its thinking? The expectations of oil and gas production from shale can remain high — for years they have regularly been exceeded. Again and again, results surpass [Read more]

Legal Marijuana Will Not End Drug War

June 1, 2013 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

<i>Marijuana should be made legal, urges the Organization of American States. It would be progress. Yet the drug war would not end with that alone.</i> Should marijuana be marketed legally in the future? The demand sounds wrong to many. Yet a new report from the Organization of American States (OAS) is creating new [Read more]

Shameful Game

October 20, 2013 // Braunschweiger Zeitung - Germany - German

Is the U.S. sliding into an inability to pay? Until now, common sense has said no to the apocalyptic vision for global financial markets based on past experiences. But common sense is no longer applicable when one views the budget fight between the world power’s representatives of the people. Only a few days remain [Read more]

American Roulette

October 17, 2013 // Die Tageszeitung - Germany - German

If the U.S. has not raised its debt limit by Thursday, the dollar will falter as the lead currency. But the blockade in Washington continues. On the 14th day of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government caused by Congress and only three days before the next “Made in America” recession threatens, the power games [Read more]

The Shutdown Changes Nothing about American Power

October 14, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

The strike against top terrorist Anas al-Libi in Libya strengthens the weakened president in Washington. At the same time, it reveals how strong the terror network in the Arab sphere is again. Most fictions end fictitiously. One of them is that the current budget crisis in the United States is to be evaluated as a [Read more]

Signals to Tehran

September 26, 2013 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>The situation in Syria doesn’t only matter to the Western world. It is being followed just as intensely by Iran: how the U.S. struggles and Russia seizes the opportunity for initiative. Tehran will draw its conclusions from that — primarily in regard to the upcoming negotiations about the country’s [Read more]

Putin Wants To Manipulate the American Debate

September 20, 2013 // Die Welt - Germany - German

With his article in The New York Times, the Russian president is getting into a discussion that he would never allow in Russia. He is perfidiously trying to rouse Iraq War trauma with it. Seen long-term, dictators and autocrats are a dying breed. Therefore many of those still existing have recognized that they must [Read more]

The Military Lever

September 20, 2013 // Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany - German

Because United Nations inspectors are only supposed to determine whether chemical weapons were deployed in Syria and not who deployed them, it was clear from the start that the argument would continue between Russia on one side and Washington, London and Paris on the other. Of course, it is not irrelevant whether the [Read more]

Kerry's Blunder

September 13, 2013 // Braunschweiger Zeitung - Germany - German

The diplomatic tug-of-war over a U.S. military strike is in full play, but behind the scenes, the die has already long been cast. The supposed ultimatum of the U.S. secretary of state will change precious little about it. Kerry was a little reminiscent of former SED politburo member [Günter] Schabowski [a member of [Read more]

Obama and the Dumb Wars

September 11, 2013 // Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany - German

If Barack Obama were not president, the politician from Chicago would probably reject a strike against Syria and declare it 'dumb.' In what concerns the foreign policy of the U.S. in general, he remains an innovator. [Read more]

Operation Buying Time

September 10, 2013 // Die Zeit - Germany - German

<b>Critics interpret Obama’s measure to seek a congressional vote for the Syrian campaign as desperate. But in reality, he is using it to create the best possible scenario for intimidation.</b> The probability is high that the U.S. will conduct an intervention in Syria. It is also quite possible, however, that this [Read more]

Clear Warnings

September 7, 2013 // Braunschweiger Zeitung - Germany - German

Naturally, it is no coincidence that yesterday Israel fired two ballistic missiles in the Mediterranean that were registered by Russian radar stations. And naturally, it is just as little of a coincidence that these were aimed toward the east. If such a thing happens, just at the climax of the debate about a military [Read more]

Worker Participation, American-Style

February 21, 2014 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

<i>The workers of the only Volkswagen plant in the United States do not want employee representation patterned after a German model. With that, the conflict-oriented labor union in the U.S. has served its time – even if anger about extreme inequality in society is growing.</i> The U.S. will remain without a VW [Read more]

Standstill in the ‘War on Poverty’

February 13, 2014 // Die Presse - Austria - German

<i>Fifty years after President Johnson’s campaign to battle poverty, the “American dream” of modest prosperity remains unfulfillable for every sixth American.</i> In his first State of the Union address, Lyndon B. Johnson made a bold announcement: “This administration today, here and now, declares [Read more]

The World’s Best Actress

July 16, 2014 // Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany - German

Whether it’s about scrunchies, the “thin-skinned“ President Putin or the delicate issue of the NSA, Hillary Clinton counters every question of Günther Jauch. It is not difficult for her. For one moment Günther Jauch had succeeded: His counterpart is rattled. The moderator ingenuously looked at Hillary [Read more]