WORLD German scholar calls for Europe to step out of America's shadow


German scholar calls for Europe to step out of America's shadow

By Li Qiang | People's Daily app

20:21, June 16, 2021

Die scheinheilige Supermacht, or The Sanctimonious Superpower, has been on the Amazon bestseller list in Germany and rated as a first bestseller under the "Iran policy" category.

According to its blurb, “The USA is seen as a guarantor of democracy and human rights. But standing up for ‘values’ is only one side of the coin. On the other is a brutal power politics.”

File photo

In his newly published work, author Michael Lüders describes the United States as pursuing a neo-imperialist approach that is always about its own interests.

He uses concrete examples to show how easy it is to manipulate the public through targeted opinion management: Yesterday’s Iraq war, today’s confrontations with Iran, Russia and China.

Lüders is s a German political and Islamic scholar who studied Arabic literature at the University of Damascus and journalism, Islamic and political science at the Free University of Berlin.

After his PhD, Lüders became a documentary filmmaker and radio play author for Südwestrundfunk (SWR) and Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). From 1993 to 2002, he worked as a Middle East correspondent for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

Lüders often appears on German TV shows as a Middle East expert and has written more than 10 related books.

In Lüders’ opinion, the United States government and media created a “fairy tale of the selfless hegemon.” But as a brutal power, Americans have overthrown numerous governments around the world since World War II, including progressive or elected governments, and always at the expense of the people.

“This happened in Iran in 1953, in Guatemala in 1954 or in Chile in 1973. In 2003 they invaded Iraq with their allies and presented falsified evidence as a reason for war. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died and the country fell into chaos,” Lüders said.

Lüders criticized the German media for rarely questioning a division of the world into good and bad, and too often applying double standards.

Lüders took the Syrian war as an example.

The German media fell in line with what he called “Western mainstream narratives” framed by the United States, and did not objectively and neutrally explain the truth to the German audience.

In the end, Germany suffered unexpected consequences as huge numbers of refugees poured into Germany, leading to the rise of extreme right-wing forces and profoundly changing Germany's domestic political ecology, he noted.

With his book, Lüders hopes to push European governments and media to maintain independent thinking, break their framed perceptions and step out of the shadow of the United States.

“The US is a world power in decline. Europe must ask how it can protect its interests in a changing world. We can no longer afford the role of Washington's junior partner in the long run,” he said.

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