U.S. Air Force - Über Alles

U.S. Air Force - Über Alles

Yeah, I know. It’s not bad enough that they are issuing DMCA takedown notices to YouTube, but now, they are adopting direct translations of Nazi propaganda slogans. I find this completely idiotic, but rather than ranting about it, I took the time to ask a German about this. She happens to be a PR professional and wanted me to stress her concern that

[One] wouldn’t know that I actually like the U.S. and would even consider moving there. That way when I say that the U.S. seems to act like an imperialistic power and that the country appears to be a little too full of itself, I don’t mean it like an America hater would, but more like a good friend who dares to tell you that things are not going well.

Here are her thoughts, with her name changed to protect the innocent:

Wow, that is indeed bold. When I watched that Air Force video I thought maybe they should also reintroduce the nazi greeting, it would go so well with the rest of it…

As a German citizen, I must say that I think these blog comments are really interesting, especially the way some people defend the slogan saying that the Deutschland song is older and so is the phrase “above all”. To me the connotation is bad enough, it does not matter what predates what. In Germany, the phrase ” Deutschland über alles” today is considered highly offensive, and the first verse of the song is not at all used anymore, except probably by neo nazis and skinheads and I wouldn’t hope that this is the connotation an American Air Force would intend.

I have always disliked anything to do with military and found the American commercials for the armed forces very disturbing. But this one is just horrible PR. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the U.S. a lot, but I know how many people don’t. In a world that so often regards America as – to say it bluntly – an ignorant imperialistic power that abuses its strength and that is too full of itself for its own good, why would you use “above all” at all, regardless of Hitler? It almost seems ironic for the armed forces to have a slogan like that and at the same time prove fully incapable of ever getting anywhere in Iraq.

And even if you leave out Hitler, the nazis, the war in Iraq and the general attitude towards the U.S. in a great part of this world (and, in my opinion, that is quite a lot to leave out) and simply look at it as a slogan meant to attract new recruits, isn’t it still entirely inappropriate? If you attract those men who find being “above all” a desirable place to be, is that who should be holding guns, defending a country? That kind of makes me afraid of the future.”

Thanks, “Hope”!

(via BoingBoing, tongodeon)