Under the Black Flag

Achtung, Spooks!

Boo to the CIA!  It got caught spying on Germany, and its top man in Berlin has been sent home.  What I’d like to know is what’s so important about Berlin’s open-book policies that we had to play dirty?  Maybe our ex-top man in the German capital should now concentrate on weeding out Israeli spies in Washington.  It would make more sense, as Israel does spy on her benefactor, protector, and major ally, whereas Germany does not.  Actually, spying on Germany does smack of arrogance and disrespect.  Germany no longer has a Gestapo nor a Stasi, is deeply antimilitaristic, and while—yes—anti-Americanism is growing, it’s growing for all the right reasons: the United States’ post-September 11 sojourn in the Middle East and the subsequent debacles that followed the Cheney-Rumsfeld efforts to play Alexander the Great.

Germans today are not the ones Hollywood so easily portrays as goose-stepping, Nazi-loving, Jew-hating villains.  Actually, and this will not make me very popular, they never were.  My aunt by marriage Princess Lilly Schoenburg lost her six sons on the Russian front, where they were dispatched as canon fodder for being aristocrats.  Hitler and the Nazis were loathed by the upper and educated classes, tolerated once war was declared by the middle class as it had no choice but to do, and only a small, twisted number of Germans remained ardent...

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