More on the Tagesspiegel cartoon
A German friend of mine whose brother is a journalist in Germany asked him, on my behalf, about his take on the Tagesspiegel cartoon. His response I thought was very balanced and unbiased. So I decided to share it with you all:
Please tell your friend that there’s a big debate in Germany about whether or not to deploy the Army for World Cup security. That’s controversial since the military here usually has no business in domestic security. It’s even more controversial for left-wing, anti-military types of whom the cartoonist is definitely one. They think that terror talk is wildly exaggerated and little more than a plot for conservatives to crack down on our freedoms in the name of “security.”
By showing peaceful soccer players as suicide terrorists and the German Army on the playing field, this old left-wing cartoonist was trying to say that politicians were inventing or exaggerating threats to wrongly justify deployment of the Army and curb our enjoyment of the Cup.
I think the cartoon is unclear, unfunny, and certainly only someone familiar with the German debate would understand the cartoonist’s intent. (Even I had to do two takes.) I also think it was poor taste to publish it in the middle of the Danish cartoon controversy; indeed, the Berlin paper that ran it has a bad reputation for manufacturing its own controversies. But despite these personal misgivings I am absolutely, 100% certain that there was no intent to malign the Iranian team.
Let me know if your friend has any more questions.
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