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Quite fair description IMO, Joe. Marshall-Plan was good indeed, though I personally believe the US-protection - not only against the Russians, but also the protection in favour of democratic and especially relative free market-principles was more decisive for adding to West-Germany's success.

Here is a list of nations which received funding. Germany ranks 4th, behind UK, France and Italy (in that order)


And I am personally growing familiar with the notion that there is a large pool of Anti-Europeanism in the US as well by now. Much to my dismay.

Raw nerves touched, wounds still not healed.
conversation stirred.
that's what this site is all about.
No One was speaking of a "need" for germany to "pay back" the US. I haven't hear that mentioned here in the US except when I read the euro press.
You won't find that any where on my post either.
I don't know why that was brought up?
It is the blatant obstructionism, the blatant and poisonous display of hatred, lies and pure child-like nonsense towards the country, the people, and the president of the US. All coming from a country like germany that had itself been re-built, liberated from themselves and set forth with democracies by the US. Yet you obstruct when Iraq is due with a civilized make-over. That is what is odd.
The similarities to what is happening in modern Iraq are remarkable.
There is no basis to claim the similarities are small or even non-existant.
Make no mistake- it was the pillows of the US that cushioned all of the "eu" from resembling an enlarged Berlin for 50 years. Denial is a human trait best dealt with outside a blog.
To hear the sentiment from germany and it's "eu" brethren at a time when both germany and the "eu" truly appear to be falling apart at the seams in ways that are more than economic and lack of subsidies for leather shorts is hypocracy at it's finest. I hope all have read J Aznar's piece in the opinionjournal.com today.
The majority in the US are simply inflamed with anger at this euro obstructionism and show boat diplomatic vitriol the "eu" spews and would politely ask that you either join the fight for preservation of western civilization, change your constituition to reflect that you no longer adhere to the priciples of western civilization, or get the hell out of the way.
The biggest modern day hero I know of in europe is the great Danish pizza maker Aage Bjerre.
Mr. Aage Bjerre
Aage's Pizza
Valdemarsves 14
6720 Nordby
Fanoe, Denmark
It seems that only him, tony blair, aznar, the dane's and the great Polish people are the one's who stand by principle and have strong knowledge of history.
Stop for a moment and realise how great the polish contribution to this fight against jihad extremisim and the liberation of Iraq is, considering how Poland was the catalyst to a free east germany and finally a chance at a "union" for the eu. With this coming after Poland being pummled, beaten and savaged by both germany and russia, I can see why it makes some of you burst a heart valve.

Iraq isn't seen as connected here to WOT. Germany only obstructed to a war which was not convincingly presented by Bush, but is a close Ally to the US in the WOT. Mind you: Bush also failed to convince France and the populations of Spain and Italy on the issue of Iraq.

Then there is Bush's own former staff: O'Neill, Kay, Clarke. Or Blair's staff: Short, Cook. Now what sort of weak leader are you, if you have such a bad track-record in rallying people behind you?

"By invading Iraq, the president of the United States has greatly undermined the war on terrorism" - former White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke

Clarke, eh?


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,115085,00.html (I know, I know, Fox is part of the vast neocon cabal conspiracy yadda yadda remote controlled by White House blah blah)

CLARKE: Second point is that the Clinton administration had a strategy in place, effectively dating from 1998. And there were a number of issues on the table since 1998. And they remained on the table when that administration went out of office — issues like aiding the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, changing our Pakistan policy — uh, changing our policy toward Uzbekistan. And in January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. They were also briefed on these series of issues that had not been decided on in a couple of years. (...) So, point five, that process which was initiated in the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda.


JIM ANGLE: You're saying that the Bush administration did not stop anything that the Clinton administration was doing while it was making these decisions, and by the end of the summer had increased money for covert action five-fold. Is that correct?

CLARKE: All of that's correct.


ANGLE: So, just to finish up if we could then, so what you're saying is that there was no — one, there was no [Clinton] plan; two, there was no delay; and that actually the first changes since October of '98 were made in the spring months just after the [Bush] administration came into office?

CLARKE: You got it. That's right.



Former Reagan administration member of 9/11 commission is calling Clarke to task, questioning his integrity:

"There's a tremendous difference -- not just in nuance but in the stories you choose to tell [the media] -- because it is so different from the whole thrust of the testimony you told us. I hope it's that your book promotion people have told you to say these things in the media because you've got a real credibility problem. Because of my long-term admiration for you, I hope you'll correct that problem."


As for the "Now what sort of weak leader are you, if you have such a bad track-record in rallying people behind you?" - heck, I don't think Germany is in a position to lecture other nations on how to lead its own people. Keywords: SPD below 30% for months in a row, Hanauer Plutoniumdeal (now cancelled), Agenda 2010.

Oh, I know, I know, no people died when those decisions were made. And sure the Chinese never would have used the Hanauer plant to make enrich Plutonium. Alright, no hassle, live on in your parallel reality.

I understand clearly now that the connection for the euro crowd is not there. Gee, why would one think that the most brutal and murderous despot in the region who shook his sword at all neighbors and threatened the world would have ever aligned himself with jihadist cowards. The burden of proof of any non-alignment with terror was upon Saddam and he failed. Saddam was chased from power and then found un-shaved in a little rat hole. Germany played no role in the toppling of the 21st century's greatest dictator, a guy one notch below the german leader Hitler. The German contribution to his fall was simply petty obstructionism.
That is fact and something that should be hard to swallow for most germans.
It seems as though no one in the "eu" sees the benefit of creating a true Front for this war to be fought upon. It is a war being fought against faceless cowards who ONLY play outside Geneva convention rules of conduct, and whom the use of citizens for human shields is exclusive to them. Without a front, the war could not be fought. If those in the "eu" think nazisim could have been defeated by containing hitler within the borders of germany, well a good round of psycho therapy is due the continent. Our kindness here in the US has been our biggest weakness in this battle.
No one in the "eu" also could see the futility and hopelessness of trying to stop this tide of jihadism while saddam was still in power wrecking havoc across the region. For that I am sorry. It is not up to ANY US president to educate the german people, or the italians or the spanish people on the matter. All of you have spoken.
That guy Clarke discredited himself and contradicted himself once again today in front of the world. Now that he has spoken his book will sell about 1,200 copies here in the US.. mostly to michael moore's team of saus chefs.
It's best not to quote from those who are fired for incompetency and then write a book about it.
Short and Cook have both been declared mentally deficient as well. You might as well quote george galloway as he rests in his paid-for-by saddam-castle. The frenchman Sevan will also have a book coming out against Bush once he is convicted of fraud against the Iraqi people through his plundering via the UN oil for Scam program.
I thought I had heard germany asking for a seat on the UN security Council recently. I am not sure if a contribution of that magnitude counts for anything, or if achievements warrant such a seat.
We are asking that you avoid your poisonous words and your attemtps to shame the entire US, and to simply stand out of the way and cool it with the phony "better than thou" obstuctionism to a US battle in defense of it's citizens to the benefit of the entire West.
If a 2000 man troop deployment is considered by germany to be a real contribution to the war on terror, and a 15 year prison term for the murder of 15,000 people is fine with you germans- so be it.
Let history then be known.

make that 3,000 people.
my keyboard was out of control.

FKNAB - you really need to surf US bloggers about Clarke - he's going down.

Start w/the blogfather today - Instapundit.com

...A useful critique would be nice, but Clarke seems to be producing incoherent grandstanding.

I probably misspoke about my comment on the attitude of Americans toward Europe. Having reread it, it could be interpreted to imply there is no anti European feeling in the US. That is not true, for there is some and these existed even prior to 2001.

What I should have said is the degree of anti European feelings in the US pales in comparison to the anit American feelings that exist in Europe.

There are many reasons why this does not exists here. Probably the single biggest reason is that Americans are very inward looking. We have an attitude that we just want to live life and to find our own happiness. In fact, and I know this was not reported in Europe, prior to 911, the Bush Administration was in a pull back mode of disengagement. There was much concern on both sides of the Atlantic that America would once again go back to its more natural state of isolationism. We really do not think a great deal about what is going on in other countries. So one could say American are disinterested in the world and that would probably be a reasonable assessment. Therefore we really do not think a great deal about the world one way or the other.

A second reason is probably our history and especially our modern history. We have viewed Europe as a partner in the fight against commmusin. Those fears, shared by most of Western Europe, made most Americans think of the European nations as allies. I do not think you would find a single American over the age of 30 who did not know of someone who did not serve in Europe as part of NATO. So one could say Americans have a historical positive perspective toward Europeans.

So this is your basic one each American. Some of these attributes could also represent your basic one each European.

The differences come primarily from the political leadership of the US and the European Nations and from their media to shape public opinion. It would appear there is a difference in how we define leadership. Leadership is about making hard choices. Given they are hard choices you can be almost assured that they will be unpopular. Once these decisions are made, and then it is to have the moral courage to implement them. This really applies to almost all forms of leadership in any organization. I can think of no American President who has ever taken lightly his responsibility to commit American young men and now women into harms way. I would have to say this is true for all elected leaders.

For a leader to do this he must have convictions that this is the best of action and also the last option. I thought you saw this form of leadership being displayed by those leaders of the coalition of the willing as it pertains to Iraq. I do not think any of them wanted to go to war. Each had to also gain support for this from the citizens of his nation for to go to war is also put the nation at risk. Finally each leader had to make a case before the representatives of the people.

What I want to believe more than anything is that I witnessed a failure of leadership in Europe. If this was not what I witnessed then the divide between some of Europe and the US is so great that it may never be repaired. It goes to basic human values. It is about good and evil. It is about right and wrong. It really is more of a moral issue. It is not about forms of government or markets as we are being told now.

So leaders do shape public opinion.

The second part of this shaping of public opinion is the media. I am lead to believe and anecdotal evidence seems to support this that the media in Europe is anti American. I would say most of the national media in the US is anti American also. In the US this is why there has been such a decrease in newspaper readership and the decrease in Nielsen Rating for broadcast news with one of the major exceptions being the Wall Street Journal and the Fox New Channel, which now has a greater viewer ship than CNN.

In the US the national media tends not to follow the lead of the administration in power unless that administration happens to be a liberal one. As the national media is liberal it tends to provide more positive coverage of liberal politicians. I do not see this same thing happening in most of Europe. The media for the most part seems to support the position of government in office.

The one place that there is not as great a liberal slant to reporting is in radio. Here one finds more conservative voices and viewpoints. Americans tend to view radio as a much more personal media outlet.

So media does shape public opinion also.

Any anti Europeanism that anyone feels that exists in American is really a grass roots feeling of individuals and are the feelings of your one each basic American. It is not that position of the politicians of either party nor of the national media.

And I would hope that those Europeans who come here could distinguish between what they sense to be anti Europeanism and a desire to understand why their nations has taken a position of not supporting the US. There is a difference between these two and I think the latter is what you might be sensing

Now to the real point of this very long comment. Had the political leadership in the US and the national media taken some of the positions and used the same tone to present these view points to the citizens of the US there would not be any transatlantic relationship today that existed outside of the coalitions of the willing. What is saving the transatlantic relationship now, is that most Americans are not paying attention.

Now for my most inflamatory comment to date. “Why did Germany chose to be on the wrong side of history again?”

Pato speaks much truth from an American perspective.

It seems to me that the Europeans who post here are quick to always quote some "notorious" writer from either The Washington Post or The New York Times which are considered "flagship" newspapers. Most Americans don't subscribe to or read those papers. Americans read their local papers. [Google for "US newspapers", pick a state, look at papers and their content] You won't find many references to Chomsky or Sontag. In fact, most Americans don't know who the hell those people are. I think the truth is Sontag reads Chomsky and Chomsky reads Sontag. They both think everyone on the planet reads what they write because their circle of like-minded sophists reads AND agrees with them. The only people who are gullible enough to actually quote them are Europeans.

Most Americans only know of Moore as some jerk who was ugly, overweight, needed a bath and talked too much at the Academy Awards show a couple of years ago. I don't know anyone who would waste time reading anything he's written. We mostly think he's some "weirdo" but Europeans quote him as if he has the very pulse of America.

European intellectuals are too smart for their own good. From afar, they find quotable sources in our midst that we don't give a damn about because they're so unrepresentative of us.

Europeans just don't get it.

For example: That "cowboy" thing. To some Americans, being called a cowboy is an honor and not a slur. We all know that Europeans call Bush a "cowboy" to put him down, but we also all know that they just "don't get it" about cowboys. They should have called him a "dumb ass" or something.

The American cowboy is a cultural motif. Much is fiction as seen in Western Movies. All cultural motifs are embellished tapestries, but the values of an American cowboy are NOT fiction: they are ideals of our society; they're what make us stand tall when times are difficult. They're often our best hope. Cowboys are good neighbors, they have a common man's idea of right and wrong, they stand up for others. They endure hardship for their ideas. They are self-sufficient. American cowboys aren't always boys and don't always ride horses. Some aren't even citizens yet, but they're still American cowboys. Cowboys take risks. Cowboys fail. Cowboys get up and do it again until they get it right

This is what Europeans don't get:

The attack by European media and intellectuals on the American cowboy motif has pissed off most Americans at some level of consciousness. Our cowboy culture rewards success. We like others to succeed. We do not understand why Europeans want us to fail.

[One last thought on this: The best American friend the Europeans have had in many, many years is that cowboy named George Bush.]

If you don't get it, you just don't get it. :)

But this European attitude towards the USA is a great danger for the whole world. There is a great hatred towards the USA in the Arabic world. Europeans intend to increase this feeling. They support it. When Europe and the Arabic world will work together AGAINST the USA, then we all will live in a very dangerous world. But Europe is still sleeping or perhaps too weak? Today Mr. Orlando (former Bürgermeister from Palermo) from Sicilia said about terrorists, that they use the human rights as a weapon against the rest of the world. Interesting thought!


I do not understand why Saddam is connected with El Qaida. (and please not the Abu Nidal retirement story). Any proof? And talking of real terrorists against Western civilians: Ghaddafi gets today visited by Blair. Lockerbie, Berlin's La Belle club. Those hundreds of killed all forgotten? Ghadaffi is a mass-murderer. And what about liberation of Libya? Not important now?

What I find much more frightening than a secular dictator is how a Pakistani nuclear expert ran a black market for nuclear technology, gets bizarrly pardoned by the Pakistani Government, yet the West still pads these people on the shoulder as "close Allies". We are talking nukes here.

You say one shouldn't quote from those who are being fired. I beg to differ: Dissenters from Saddam were always our best inside-sources and quite welcome. And Clarke's book is at US-Amazon No. 1.


You write again the most level-headed posting. Just some additions or few disagreements.

True that I would describe Anti-American sentiment also as bigger, though the calls for "boycotts" appear somewhat stronger in the US, like against French or Germans. Perhaps Europeans perhaps tend to bitch, but still bite in US-burgers, wear US-jeans and watch Hollywood-movies. Europe (aside from the radical left) sometimes reminds me also of the typical (harmless) yapping of a parliamentarian opposition party - "The Prime-minister made a decision? We shall find arguments to critizise him"

The description of Americans only inwards looking is only valid for the American people and this would be a big area for improvement: The US via its leadership is the most outward looking and actively influencing country on the planet. So it would certainly be desirable for the future that the average "Real American" would have as much interest in foreign countries as his Government has. Together with the pride of being the world's most powerful nation at the moment comes responsibility as well. (And go use the right to vote, people, even it is for Dubya! ;-)

Your argument where the failure of leadership lies would be a debatable one. I prefer to compare it with Bush sr.'s case for Iraq in 1991, who also had to overcome resistance at first, but who took much broader efforts to rally diplomatically to convince the West. Bush jr. gravely underestimated things.

And even domestically, Bush sr.'s war then was much less in debate after-the-fact - even Bush jr.'s own staff now partially dissents. So while the jury is still out on WOT, I think it's fair to say he did a lousy job in preparing Iraq - both Bush's argument for war and the nation building past the war, when one looks at the initial chaos with lootings, Garner, etc.

Your argument about being a moral issue is only a PR-sword and it cuts both ways - "freeing a country from a dictator" vs. "uni-laterally invading a souvereign nation on arguing with false WMD-evidence". The case could be made for both and in the end, look at reality: All of Western leaderships, whether leftist or conservative only too willingly sided in the past with tyrants, dictatorship or human-rights violators when it fit their case. Freedom and liberty is really meant for us Westerners. And I say this with cynicism, because I wish it were different, but it isn't. So I deny both sides in this the morality argument and would be only willing to argue over Iraq in a strategic way:

Can toppling Saddam in this specific geographical setting help us Western nations to secure our own safety, liberty and wealth like against dangers as rising Muslims fanatics and terrorists? But please no shiny arguments how we only want to help - a bit cynical looking at countless deaths every day in Africa, from war, AIDS, or hunger, no?

And I agree with your end-argument that things could be much worse, had the US-media played it out more aggressively. But it didn't - and perhaps this is due to also an ambivalent feeling amongst Americans themselves over the arguments prior to Iraq - Howard Dean ran part of his campaign with this, etc.

So I think a lot of the dissent is partially hysteria as well - we disagreed on how Iraq was presented, but firmyl acknowledge the dangers of terror. Let's look into the future and to work together on issues instead of forever keep a grudge over Iraq. It seems weird hearing people boycotting French products, yet Chinese products boom in the US and Pakistan is considered a close ally. The irony, no?


Your comment about only local papers being read is true, but you forget to mention syndication: The influential columns of NYT (Dowd, Safire, etc.), WP or other big papers are reprinted across the nation in local papers. So it also gets out to the heartland.

I find it hilarious as well how American leftists like Sontag always find a platform here and Europeans think they are somewhat representative!

But Moore does have a certain pulse on America with his satires: His books did reach No. 1 at US-amazon and his tour through the US was mostly sold out AFAIK. So simply belittling him as fat and unimportant doesn't cut it.

Our problem though is indeed how we overestimate the Moore's and Sontags.

Well, Europe will likely learn about the real America the hard way in November. *g*

>> do not understand why Saddam is connected with El Qaida. (and please not the Abu Nidal retirement story). Any proof? In my post I explained that is was insane to think there was no connection to a freak like saddam and the other faceless jihadists.
*Why do you not accept the Abu Nidal connection? He was executed by 4 bullets to the head as the US prepared to invade Iraq, saddam claimed it was suicide. Saddam paid 30,000 USD to each suicide bombers family, that alone caused dozens of disenfranchised youth to kill others to give the prize to their family and achieve stardom/martyrdom. If that is not promoting terrorism in your eyes, nothing is. Saddam shot at US and UK aircraft for 12 years. Saddam tried to kill GB sr. Why is it that you also do not see the terror inflicted by saddam on those in the region or his own people for that matter? Why does that escape your thought process? Is that somehow not "terror" in your view?
Saddam drained the marshlands so the french company ELF could do oil exploration displacing 10's of thousands, no objection from the french govt. The US was forced to keep troops on Sadui soil to protect those fools from saddam. We in the US have better things to do than hang out in place that does not permit cold beer while we defend fools in flowing robes and dyed-black moustaches like the saudis.

>>And talking of real terrorists against Western civilians: Ghaddafi gets today visited by Blair. Lockerbie, Berlin's La Belle club. Those hundreds of killed all forgotten? Ghadaffi is a mass-murderer.
* yes, Ghadaffi is indeed a mass murderer, so much so that the french attempted to protect him with no US over flights when we went after him. The french then pushed for their settlement ALONE, without moving forward with US and UK. While the US and UK work to make ghadaffi come clean and admit to lockerbie and achieve a settlement far above the french settlement and solo adventure. We all know the tears france poured when they were slapped for their approach by receiving so little, until they held the deal for all parties hostage. Ghadaffi has also turned in his nuke and WMD parts, shipping them to the US... can you imagine that??!!! He is still on the US terror list and he has allot to prove to all before this "welcome" is any more than window dressing.
>>And what about liberation of Libya?
**What about Lybia needs liberating other than the woman? Now that they are a far reduced threat, who needs to liberate and why? Ghadaffi did EXACTLY what saddam did not do. Ghaddafi saw with his own eyes where his regime was heading. The toppling of saddam was 1000% responsbile for his coming clean.

>> What I find much more frightening than a secular dictator is how a Pakistani nuclear expert ran a black market for nuclear technology, gets bizarrly pardoned by the Pakistani Government, yet the West still pads these people on the shoulder as "close Allies". We are talking nukes here.
*** That's right- we are talking nukes. Some need to hear that LOUDLY in the "eu". It was the "eu" that far above ANY other set of countries that created this nuke proliferation. The german involvement in pakistan obtaining nukes is clearly documented. Your views should be more taken from both a diplomatic and a military perspective- Khan gets pardoned and 2 weeks later off he goes with 1000s of troops into the tribal area of pakistan where no govt or army has ventured since 1944. Pakistan is now engaged, and it is up to them to chart the course of it's relationship to the west.

>> You say one shouldn't quote from those who are being fired. I beg to differ: Dissenters from Saddam were always our best inside-sources and quite welcome. And Clarke's book is at US-Amazon No. 1.
** Clark's book will be off the #1 list as soon as people see the grand puffery that is scribed across it's pages. The guy was head of it all when THE MOST terror attacks against US targets occured. He was asked to be the Cyber Terror guy, but in fact wanted homeland sercurity postion of number 2 to Tom Ridge. Then he was asked to leave when he began to bitch. This clown Clark was a hold out from the clinton years and was intiially brought on by bush as a cordial hand shake to the Democrats. The guy has disgraced himeself, the position he held, and he has disgraced the confidentiality that should exist between and advisor and a sitting US president. The guy speaks from so many corners of his mouth he makes one dizzy. He got trashed on every point yesterday and walked out of the chamber a disgraced soul. The insane thing about the grand coverage given to Clark by the "eu" press is the fact that- One minute G Bush is a war mongering cowboy, the next minute he is an non-acting imbecile. The "eu" press did not even detail how much of his book "fact" was put to shame yesterday. WHy is that?
The "eu" press has NOTHING to write about within it's own borders that is worth a damn. There is no crowning acheivemnts for decades, and when the taking away of subsidies for leather shorts for grown men makes the news in germany you KNOW you have such a huge set of problems, and that one should indeed look inward at one's self before spewing from the mouth.

Michael Mooore fans in the US are exclusivley 19 year old, un shaved and un-washed wanna be Che Guevarra's whose are nothing but a collection of un-educated half-wits.
Who could follow a guy whose audience consists of those who need to check their skate boards at the door, pay to hear moore speak using Daddy,s 10 dollar bill, while a guest speaker like Moore decries all things capitalistic and then flees the scene in his private limousine?
That overstuffed piece of filthy grand standing crap is nothing but a flash in the pan of importance.

>Saddam paid 30,000 USD to each suicide bombers family

Let's say he gave a lot og money to them
claims different amounts, which does not make a change to the fact. I just want things to be correct, so no one can claim you lied.

>The toppling of saddam was 1000% responsbile for his coming clean.

There you may be wrong. Actually he started trying to get out of his own mess before. examples:
- when some terrorists took Western hostages he arranged for them to be released (by paying the terrorists, a very questionable approach, though may fit in his view of the world)
- he handed over the 2 officers responsible for the Lockerbie plain bombing

All this happened before Saddam was toppled. So you cannot put a 1000% on that account, make it a considerable amount. The rest goes to his screwed up ecomony, which couldn't survive without the West anymore, I suspect.

@ jens
ghaddafi sending out his nuke and WMD parts to the US and coming clean as much as he has is ineed 1000$ attributable to the potential of him being chased un-shaven, into a hole in the ground by UK and/or US forces.
A few of those cruise missle from the late 90's helped as well. You think he handed over those agents becasue the US was threatening him with a pair of sun-dried and hardened lederhosen? Or was it the US missles and the potential of his quick death?
Um, what did germany or france do to help other than to sell him this shit to begin with? Anything? Did france denying US fly over permission when the US went to bomb ghadaffi after the berlin bombing help at all? I know you can answer that because your new and only friends are the failing french. The bottom line is GERMANY and FRANCE did NOTHING but blow hot air in a pathetic grand standing fashion throughout all of this. Hell, france was so insulted at this success that they had to pretend "they knew about it all along". Boy, how much more humor can come out of one country?
So how will germany now fair without the hated US to guide and coddle and protect it now that the alliance and friendship have been torn to hell by poison mouthed germans whose sense of history is both selective and forgetful?
It will not be repaired even this century, so how do you think you'll fair along side the famously disgraceful and pathetic failures the french? Will you mirror their economic principles and will you be comfortable having them as your partner and pseudo- security guard in this the 21st century? It is all you have now.


You rightly mention Saddam's despicable funding of relatives of terrorists - though using this as moral argument for the invasion, I wonder why not invade Palestine and Lebanon, where the terrorist-cells themselves sit instead of "only" going after funding of relatives after-the-fact? Iran directly state-sponsored Hizbollah and SA as well financed many shady groups instead of "only" relatives.

And terror vs. his own population: Where was our criticism from the 1960s up to 1991, until he invaded Kuweit? It was all more or less tolerated in the bigger game of east vs. west and only got drummed up when Saddam threatened our Western interests.

So I continue to believe that one can only make a sober argument for strategic reasons and if Saddam were a war-lord somewhere in Africa and not located between Syria, Iran and Saudi-Arabia, he could likely still go about his dirty business.

It's certainly great that Iraqi people are freed for now, but make no mistake that it is mostly because it happened to coincide with our interests at the moment. Toppling Saddam was not a question of morality, but a question of strategic politics.

And while it can't be compared with Iraq, Libya still isn't really free country. Ghaddafi is - from my biased view - a bit a "Desert-Castro" with his socialist-Islamic-state, not allowing political parties and banning political criticism. You know - the things that make up our Western ideals. CIA Factbook lists his country as a "military dictatorship".

You praise Pakistan for Musharraf's action in the border. But both you and me agree we would not want completely free elections and Free Speech US-style in Pakistan for now, right? ;-) What happens if Pakistani people opt in free elections for a fundamentalist government?

And re: Clarke - your angry outburst against EU-press does not change the fact that even the reporting in the US-press is far more differentiated than just trashing Clarke. A more fair description than yours would be that it turned into a partisan-issue - partially because "terror and security" is the main cornerstone of Bush's re-election campaign: Republicans must battle Clarke fiercely and anyone stating stimilar arguments for campaign-reasons.

And please cut down rethorics on US-German relations like "it will not be repaired this century". It's plain hysteria to say thing like this over an event like Iraq, mind you. 2006 will see a conservative German Chancellor and 2008 someone else than Bush - who knows what will be then? And who knows what happens if China makes unpleasant turns some day? Just think back of 1904 and what happened then in events in just 100 years - it might be futile to even think ahead for 20 or 30 years.

This is quick comment but prior to the Iraq war the American people by something like 69% with Congressinal approval and 79% with UN approval thought it was the right course of action. Even today a year later and with the costs in American treasure (the blood of US soldiers) that has been expended more than 58% of Americans still think it was the right thing to do and support the President. I think some times this point is not reported. Here it is only reported when the numbers go down not when they are either stable or go up.

So I am not so sure that I can agree with you that President Bush did not have the support of the American people. One thing in the US is there are about 30% on the left who will never support the right and there are about 30% on the right who will never support the left. So in one sense he got more support than he should have. It is unfortunate but true. The only galling part is that the left always seems to get the greater media coverage but then again the media here for the most part is very liberial.

Herr Rau ist offenbar etwas ängstlich und schreckhaft. Keine vorteilhafte Eigenschaft für einen Bundespräsidenten.

Da Schimpfwörter in diesem Forum gelöscht werden, kann ich Dir nicht mitteilen was Rau ist, aber für den Job, den er hat, ist er genau der Richtige. Einer mit Rückgrat, Fleiss und Ideen, wie Herzog, war glatte Verschwendung. Hotte Koehler tut mir jetzt schon leid. Der Mann ist doch jung und sollte noch was vor sich haben.

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