No doubt about this : Germans are extremely disappointed with what has been happening in Washington for the last few weeks.
And for them, the famous slogan shoud be changed into :
"Yes, we can't"
HAVE A LOOK AT THIS REVIEW OF THE GERMAN PRESS YESTERDAY AND TODAY (and this rather gloomy assessment of Obama's first 100 days) :
The German media do not hide disappointment with Obama`s call for Guantanamo prisoners to be tried at military courts.
Despite hope of many people throughout the world that the new American President Barack Obama would introduce changes into the way US policies are implemented, it seems Obama will follow the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush for a while in certain matters.
Breaking electoral promise
When Obama became the leading man of the USA in January, human rights organisations in America and Europe rest assured, because Obama promised to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison and end the practice of military court trials. This promise gave them hope that war crime suspects would no longer be imprisoned in the worst of prisons known to Western civilization, without a fair trial first.
It is not surprising that this promise was much easier to make than to keep. Guantanamo inmates are a problem for the American government, because there are so many of them that they need to be relocated in prisons throughout the county and abroad, which requires the penal system to reach deep into the state treasury.
The Spiegel paper points out that most of 241 prisoners, which is how many there are at the Guantanamo Bay prison, cannot be released, therefore Obama reached for Bush`s method – which is to hand over the decision regarding innocence or guilt to military courts and its commissions.
Furthermore, Obama has never fully dismissed the option of Guantanamo prisoners being tried at military courts. Some of them are in Guantanamo under charges of taking part in planning the September 11 attack on the Twin towers in 2001.
- By any measure, our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure – Obama`s statement was often used by everyone who criticised him for breaking his electoral promise.
Obama`s decision spurred criticism in Europe
German critics and the media are especially embittered with this decision. In an article entitled “Obama`s Great Mistake”, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung daily looked back on the newly developed situation in the States.
- Obama`s people certainly imagined things differently. But reality has caught up with them. What should they do with people who … are in fact horrifying criminals but whose confessions came as a result of brutal interrogations? No regular court would accept the testimony. Should suspected masterminds of the 9/11 attacks and other terrible attacks be set free? That can`t be the solution either. Obama is thus considering holding on to the military commissions with a couple of extra rights for the suspects – the article reads.
Furthermore, the author points out that with this decision, Obama causes turmoil in the public, because it is a fact that he is breaking his electoral promise. It would be better when Obama would dare to ask Guantanamo detainees` trials to be held before regular courts, in order to remove the “venom” introduced by the Bush administration to the system.
Gone are the days when Germany celebrated the great man :
Contradictory messages of Obama`s administration
Another German daily, Die Tageszeitung, writes about contradictory messages being sent by Obama`s administration to the world public.
- The US government has asked Germany to accept former Guantanamo prisoners. Exactly the same government is apparently planning to continue the military commissions to try those prisoners. One could hardly be more contradictory - Die Tageszeitung writes.
The paper points out that Obama used a similar method before, regarding CIA torture. According to the paper, with every step forward, Obama takes two steps back, which is disappointing not only for Americans, but for Europeans as well, who attributed supernatural abilities to Obama. Everything Obama is trying to do is to make the masses happy, which is why he has to make many compromises.
No promised “reset” button on the system
The Financial Times Deutschland writes that when Obama came into office, he promised to push the reset button, which has been functioning on wrong principles.
- But even the Obama government thinks it is too dangerous to bring all (Guantanamo) cases before civilian courts and to get rid of the military commissions set up by the Bush administration. Bush called them into existence after Sept. 11, 2001 in order to imprison so-called `enemy combatants` outside of the US legal system in Guantanamo, interrogate them and sentence them before special courts - The Financial Times Deutschland writes.
The same paper points out that Obama is advocating the reorganisation of the military commissions` which head investigations over Guantanamo prisoners due to procedural mix-ups, rather than their closure.
(sources : DW. WORLD et javno.com)
So, to put it into a nutshell : Germans have forgotten the times when they were welcoming Mister O. like a rock star (last summer, in Berlin, when Obama introduced himself as the new Kennedy).
Today, Germans are not suffering from Obamania anymore !
Tomorrow, other Europeans will probably follow their foosteps...
What about French people ?
I really wonder when my fellow-citizens will -at last- realize Obama is a fraud.