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Observations on a paradox



I noticed in the news where there was a massive conflict between fans at the world soccer matches after Germany won their last match. What I cannot understand is the paradox this demonstrates.

Supposedly a majority of the citizens of various European countries think the US is overly bellicose and too quick to take aggressive action in other countries, e.g., Iraq. These citizens will condemn the US's actions, but will apparently become violent at the drop of a hat over something as mundane and meaningless (in the long run) as a soccer match. I just don't get it!

If any of these Europeans ever hope to have their opinions of the US considered seriously in the US, they're going to have to put an end to such hooliganism.

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"Any of those Europeans" responding (which is as (in)apt as "any of these Americans" would be, by the way):

I see the point you're making, and thank you for that insight into how these events are viewed abroad, but being in Germany (and German, but we can't usually say that without getting odd looks - which is a different story) I feel I must clarify a thing or two:

Those were (mostly) British hooligans (375 British and 3 Germans were arrested, all but 3 British have been released again, but I doubt whether all of them really were hooligans or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - which is not an excuse though) ... and they went wild in Stuttgart - where they only played this afternoon (Sunday), and there wasn't another game in Stuttgart yesterday when they rioted.

While I absolutely agree that hooliganism is not tolerable at all, I think a comparison between hooligans' riots and a preemptive war is somewhat skew. You have mostly average guys - albeit with a somewhat aggressive potential and in no way representing average people nor average soccer fans - on the one side, and a government on the other.

My point is: Your comparison would make sense (to me) if Angela Merkel (German chancellor) or Horst Köhler (German president) had gone through Munich last night (after the German team won) and rampaged, but both of them seemed to be very happy. As a lot of other Germans.

By the way: German police had expected big riots by hooligans (especially from within Germany, from England, Holland, and Poland) before the world cup started, so they are really well equipped, with a lot of support from other countries, too; and this far it has really been rather quiet. Let's hope it stays this way.

PS: I apologize ... because I do think that no blog comment should be longer than the blog entry. Sorry. :makingeyes:

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