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What a linkbeast! The horrors!

Nice job on the Google rankings. Diplomacy is overrated anyway, some people simply never get it and have to be forced, right? And now we're getting prudish a la Americana in Brussels...Venus and Mars what?

(I'm sorry I can't spare you the embarrassing photo on the left.)

Ok, apology accepted. As long as you promise not to do it again in, say... the next five minutes or so.

There is a thing called "sunscreen" that works pretty well. Although I live in Hessen, I'm willing to make the sacrifice necessary to drive down to Bayern and apply the needed lotion....slowly.....lovingly.....how's that now Liebling..........

Sorry to debunk your fabulous Google ranking on "German appeasement policy". Try again with scare quotes: "German appeasement policy" and you are competing with... errr... two other sites. Appeasement policy (without scare quotes) brings up 420000 hits (where you are nowhere to be seen).

You are simply freeloading on a popular term by combining it with another word that does not fit since there is no such thing as a "German appeasement policy" (except in the minds of Medienkritik bloggers. Of course Google is a machine and can't understand this.

I could start a blog and within a very short time leade Google with... say... Bulgarian appeasement policy... because there isn't such a thing either.

Or try with "krzzzzz sex". Easy. But pointless.

Better try miserable failure. Heh

I wonder if the EU will regulate breast implant size soon, as that allows for more skin space in which to get a sunburn, or some other stupid crap.

Dresses like that make it hard for me to focus my vision on Faces. Nice, er, necklace.


Niko, Medienkritik comes up top because these three terms appear next to each other, unlike in other websites that deal with appeasement policy regarding Germany. (It's a known trick of search engine optimizers to do the three word combo, with many terms on different pages, to impress their clients. You only find out whether the optimizer really did hard work by searching for the three word combo in scare quotes. If only a few listings come up, no reason to brag about your work).

Medienkritik has all three terms in the header which Google gives most importance. Only in two other sites do these three terms appear next to each other which you can verify by googling "German appeasement policy". Because the proximity of these three words is so rare it doesn't matter at all how many sites link to it.

Btw I'm not denying the popularity of Medienkritik as such. This blog is indeed linked to very often on the web (positive and negative comments).

But to get German appeasement policy on top is damn easy. In general three word combos aren't that difficult.

Try Israeli appeasement policy or Israel appeasement policy. I guess you will agree that no such thing exists. Check what comes up

OK, now for the good thing: If you just google appeasement policy, Medienkritik comes up 4th (funny that didn't happen when I checked before, google isn't predictable). Now that seems more of a proof that Medienkritik is linked to a lot (which is true). But again, in this case, the links aren't terribly relevant. If you check the results that come up you'll see that most websites don't have appeasement policy in the title tag, which is most important to Google.

If you make the top ten with "appeasement" alone... now that has a lot to do with other sites linking to you. Blogs do have an advantage because with all the crosslinking going on they are pretty popular at Google, often more than a site that may have much better info about the term. The "frequent update factor" also plays a role here. Google likes sites that change often.

Oh and Heise can be quite educating. I learned a lot about the elusive "Gepardenforelle" there :-)

No need to bring out the troll hammer here.

All very fine Querdenker but it's just useless technological wankery. Shoot does anyone use AltaVista anymore? DogPile? I found Medienkritic via a site I followed a URL on Slashdot too.

Not really useless: If you bring a site with "used Mercedes cars in Berlin" to the top that means sales. Those "wankers" make quite a few bucks with that.

Google "Sock Puppet of Doom". Heh

Niko, obviously you fail to understand or even read what I posted so drop it.
I have websites that only receive about ten incoming links or so but still rank top with a combination of three common words.

Incoming links are important when it comes to one or two common terms you want to have in the top ten... with a combo of three a perfect title tag (plus relevant text) will do just fine often. So relax, man.

And as you can see with "miserable failure", the "incoming links strategy" isn't fireproof.

Wow, things must be pretty slow if all you can argue about is our google rankings...lol

LOL - I was just thinking - Get a life, guys.

We could argue about Querdenker's words: there is no such thing as a "German appeasement policy" (except in the minds of Medienkritik bloggers.

I really don't understand from his post if he meant this, or if it was used only as an argument in the google debate. If he is serious about it... he embodies the definition of "useful idiot" and no debate is necessary(or possible). How do you argue with a blind and deaf person?

@ Querdenker

Google "Not here, my friend, not here" and check out link #2 :-)

Note from David:

Martina, there are more meaningful search terms and rankings... like this one.

Damals sah man noch klar. Heute sieht man den palästinensischen Terror und die israelische Verteidigung dagegen als Gewaltspirale und kann nicht mehr erkennen, wer Aggressor ist und wer verteidigt, beim islamistischen Terror fragt man nach der eigenen Schuld und meint, ohne Soldaten in Afghanistan wäre Deutschland kein Terror-Ziel.


Erklärung der Bundesregierung betr. Fragen der inneren Sicherheit

Genscher (FDP), Bundesminister des Innern:
"Herr Präsident! Meine Damen und Herren! Bombenanschläge in sechs deutschen Städten haben das Augenmerk der Öffentlichkeit verstärkt auf die Probleme der inneren Sicherheit in unserem Lande gelenkt ...

Es gibt, meine Damen und Herren, in unserer Gesellschaft keinen kritikfreien Raum, auch nicht für die Organe der inneren und äußeren Sicherheit. Aber es besteht ein fundamentaler Unterschied zwischen Kritik aus demokratischer Verantwortung und Herabsetzung und Zersetzung mit dem Ziel, die Funktionsunfähigkeit des Staates herbeizuführen ...
Das Verhalten der Gesellschaft wird besonders deutlich im Bereich des politischen Radikalismus. Kann es denn nicht sein, daß radikale Agitatoren unter anderem deshalb Wirkung erzielen, weil sie auf zu wenig Widerstand stoßen, und daß der Grund dafür nicht etwa darin liegt, daß ihnen viele zustimmen, sondern darin, daß viele die politische Auseinandersetzung mit diesen radikalen Kräften scheuen?! Deshalb ist die Stärkung des demokratischen Bewußtseins in unserem Lande und die Ermutigung für den einzelnen, sich auch im Alltag demokratisch verantwortlich zu verhalten, ein wichtiger Beitrag zur Eindämmung des Radikalismus.
Zu der notwendigen Wachsamkeit gegenüber jeder Form von Radikalismus gehört, daß Feinde unserer Verfassungsordnung vom öffentlichen Dienst ferngehalten werden. Unser demokratischer Staat kann seine freiheitssichernde und freiheitsfördernde Funktion nur erfüllen, wenn er selbst freibleibt von den Gegnern der Freiheit. (Beifall) ...
Das zentrale Problem, mit dem wir uns auseinanderzusetzen haben, ist die vorbehaltlose und uneingeschränkte Ablehnung der Anwendung von Gewalt als Mittel der politischen Auseinandersetzung. In dem aktuellen Fall der Baader-Meinhof-Bande haben wir es mit dem Ergebnis eines Prozesses zunehmender Enttabuisierung der Gewaltanwendung zu tun, mit einem Prozeß, der nicht nur die Täter selbst erfaßt, sondern vor allem auch jene Umgebung, in der sie sich bewegen, die ihnen hilft und die ihr Verhalten zu rechtfertigen, zumindest aber zu bagatellisieren versucht.
Die Bemühungen, der Anwendung von Gewalt unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen oder von bestimmter Seite den Schein der Rechtfertigung zu geben, haben jenes breite Sympathisantenfeld geschaffen, das die Arbeit der Polizei so sehr erschwert.
Deshalb geben die Namen der Bandenmitglieder allein nicht die ganze Breite und Schwere des Problems wieder. Die Terroristen legen es nicht zuletzt darauf an, unseren Staat und unsere Demokratie als "Papiertiger" bloßzustellen. Sie wollen beweisen, daß ein demokratischer Rechtsstaat nicht in der Lage ist, mit den Mitteln des Rechtsstaates den Terror einer kleinen Gruppe von Fanatikern zu brechen, ja, sie sähen es am liebsten, wir verließen bei ihrer Bekämpfung den Boden des Rechts, damit sie unter Hinweis darauf ihre Verbrechen noch im nachhinein mit dem Schein der Rechtfertigung versehen könnten.
Es wird ihnen weder das eine noch das andere gelingen ...
...
Das ist die Bilanz der bisherigen Fahndung, die mit unveränderter Intensität fortgesetzt wird. Ihr gegenüber steht die Bilanz der bisherigen Taten der Bande. Diese sind nicht - wie vor allem vor den Bombenanschlägen nicht selten zu hören war - Ausdruck der Verzweiflung einer Gruppe von Idealisten, die durch hysterische Reaktionen eines Teils der Öffentlichkeit und unangemessenen Einsatz polizeilicher Mittel in eine Notwehrsituation getrieben worden seien; nein, meine Damen und Herren, sie sind die Konsequenz eines planvollen Handelns, eines eiskalten revolutionären Kalküls, das auf die gewaltsame Beseitigung unserer Verfassungsordnung zielt.
Diese Bande hat sehr wohl erkannt, daß unsere Ordnung mit politischen Mitteln nicht beseitigt werden kann, weil - wie sie es nennt - eine revolutionäre Situation in der Bundesrepublik nicht gegeben ist. Sie handelt nach einer Strategie, die sie mit einem eigentümlichen Rechtfertigungsdrang, vor allem wohl gegenüber gesellschaftlichen oder politischen Gruppen, denen sie sich einmal verbunden gefühlt hat, immer wieder öffentlich bekanntgibt ...
Die Bande kann ohne Sympathisanten nicht existieren, was sie auch selber sagt: die Sympathisanten sind das Wasser, in dem diese Guerilla schwimmt. Sie darf kein solches Wasser mehr finden. Die Anarchisten haben sich mit ihren Aktionen außerhalb jeder denkbaren Form von Gesellschaft gestellt. Letztlich ist das der Ausdruck ihres Scheiterns. Sie sind auch in dem Lager, dem sie sich einmal verbunden gefühlt haben, politisch zunehmend isoliert. Der Griff zur Gewalt war zugleich das Eingeständnis jener Isolierung. Weder die Täter noch ihre Helfer und Sympathisanten stehen für irgendwen in unserem Land, außer für sich selbst."

Search engines can be a fascinating thing... and not a waste of time because they can make the difference between your opinion is being read or not, between selling a product or not.

Btw, my previous postings were not made to belittle Medienkritik which IS an important blog and does get heaps of links (not all are friendly, of course.

I do not agree with everything that is said here, though. But "What do I know", it's rather pointless to discuss with people who fully agree with you. If you think that people who don't consider German politics as "appeasement policy" are "usefull idiots" and "no debate is necessary", then you won't have many debates in your life. Even the original "appeasement policy" of Britain is a matter of debate. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20. To equate Germany's Iraq policy of 2002 with Chamberlain's appeasement policy of 1938 has very serious flaws.

I support the fight against terrorists and terror. This does not mean that I always agree with the methods. I believe that there is no excuse for terror. That doesn't mean we don't have to look into what causes terror. You can't defeat a virus without investigating what makes it thrive.

We'll probably hear a lot about Iran in the next months. Iran is indeed a very serious problem.

I don't know if anyone noticed, but David previously posted this, http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2005/08/germany.html and this, http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2004/03/post.html on appeasement.

On the Seus cartoon in .../germany.html, you could substitute "AMERICA FIRST, TABLIBAN AND OSAMA" or "AMERICA FIRST, IRAQ AND AL QAEDA," that is war profiteer appeasement, from friend to foe, making double the profits: first sell then fight. Of course the French and Germans are also profiting from Iraqi reconstruction, minimal in comparison to the US; realization that industrial war profiteers disregard national politics. Some definitions on appeasement: one way to appease is "to satisfy or relieve" your core blog participants or lobbyists, well at least the punditos and sullivanians. Another way to define appeasement is "to bring peace or quiet" in this world of global friction.

> Note from David:

> Martina, there are more meaningful search terms and rankings... like this one.

This is interesting: Medienkritik is #8 in the international search for "Checkpoint Charlie", but I can't find it on google.de. You're obviously getting censored here ;-)

Search results differ between google.com and google.de
google.de will favor results in German. It does "censor" some sites, especially Neo-Nazi sites. Don't think that Medienkritik is one of them :-)

http://www.unite-against-terror.com/

Communities United Against Terror

Terrorist attacks against Londoners on July 7th killed at least 54 people. The suicide bombers who struck in Netanya, Israel, on July 12 ended five lives, including two 16 year old girls. And on July 13, in Iraq, suicide bombers slaughtered 24 children. We stand in solidarity with all these strangers, hand holding hand, from London to Netanya to Baghdad: communities united against terror.

These attacks were the latest atrocities committed by terrorist groups inspired by a poisonous and perverted politics that disguises itself as a form of the religion of Islam. The terrorists seek a closed society of fear and conformity. They are opposed by Muslims the world over. Muslim community leaders have condemned the London attacks unequivocally. We reject the terrorists' claim that they represent authentic Islam. They do not.

We remember the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 and in Madrid on March 11, 2004. But we know that al Qaeda and groups that are inspired by Bin-Ladenism have carried out atrocities in France, Pakistan, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, North Osetia and many other countries.

The vast majority of the victims of al Qaeda's violence have been Muslims. Those who have suffered at the hands of violent Islamic Fundamentalist movements in Iran and Algeria have also been ordinary Muslims.

This terrorist violence is not a response by 'Muslims' to the injustices perpetrated upon them by 'the west'. Western democracies have been responsible for some of the ills of this world but not for the terrorist murders of these deluded Bin-Ladenists.

These attacks did not begin in 2003. The first attempt to blow up the World Trade Center took place ten years before, in 1993.

These terrorists do not hate what is worst in the societies they attack, but what is best. They despise individual liberty, critical thought, gender equality, religious tolerance, the rights of minorities and political pluralism. They do not criticize democracy because it sometimes fails to live up to its principles; they oppose those principles.

In areas of conflict, the terrorists have damaged attempts at peaceful and political solutions to problems. They choose killing and reject mutual recognition, accommodation, negotiation, understanding, and compromise.

In the face of such an enemy, we believe it is vital that democratic political forces in all countries unite. We need a global movement of solidarity linking together communities threatened by terror. United we stand against terror.

We can find our inspiration in the behavior of ordinary people in the immediate aftermath of terrorist atrocities. Always the story is the same. A fractured world is mended by the kindness of strangers. We see, amidst the pain and anguish, in the rubble of the Twin Towers, the wreckage of a London bus, the bloodied glass across a Tel Aviv street, and among the Mothers searching for their children in Baghdad, that a common humanity asserts itself. Extraordinary acts of courage and selflessness become commonplace. The impulse of solidarity overwhelms fear and help comes from strangers.

With every healing gesture between strangers we feel a candle of hope has been lit in a dark world. On 7/7 a London tube worker rushed towards the blast, running down a smoke-filled tunnel, torch in hand, to lead out the survivors.

These ordinary yet heroic rescuers teach us the ethic of responsibility. It is time to assert our common humanity against all who would divide us. It is time to forge communities united against terror, respectful of the dignity of difference, and organised to extend active solidarity to each other across the globe.

We are frequently urged to understand the terrorists, but too often the call to understand is code for justification and apology. There are always other, better, more effective, and more human ways of opposing injustice than by killing yourself and others in a symbolic act of hatred. Muslims who have pursued modern democratic politics have often been the first in the firing line of the terrorists. The road to a just solution in Israel-Palestine is signposted by 'mutual recognition' and 'political dialogue' not the blind alley of terrorism.

We stand firmly against the racists who seek to exploit the current tensions for their own agenda.

We stand firmly against those who apologize for the terrorists and who misrepresent terrorist atrocities as 'resistance'.

We offer our support and solidarity to all those within the Muslim faith who work in opposition to the terrorists and who seek to win young people away from extremism and nihilism, towards an engagement with democratic politics.

We believe that democracy and human rights are worth defending with all our strength. The human values of respect and tolerance and dignity are not 'western' but universal.

We are not afraid. But we are not vengeful. We believe the kindness of strangers has lit the way and this light will drive away the darkness. We want to join light to light to show that evil, injustice and oppression will not have the final word. Through these acts of human solidarity we will mend the world the terrorists have fractured.

We invite you to sign this statement as a small first step to building a global movement of citizens against terrorism.
Your Name: (add your country and organization in parentheses if you wish)
Your Email:
You will receive an invitation to subscribe to our weekly mailing list. The signatories list is moderated and there will be a short delay before your name appears. View the full list of signatories here.

Organisers:

Jane Ashworth
Alan Johnson
Adrian Cohen
Hak Mao
Harry's Place
Simon Pottinger

Querdenker: If you think that people who don't consider German politics as "appeasement policy" are "usefull idiots" and "no debate is necessary", then you won't have many debates in your life.

Truly, Germany's Iraq policy wasn't appeasement, it was a "heroic" and, above all, "highly moral" position. Querdenker, having debates with useful idiots is like facing an ant's nest. You don't have "debates" with it. Unless you are a of cruel disposition and take pleasure in stepping all over it, you simply avoid it. Period.

Even the original "appeasement policy" of Britain is a matter of debate.

Oh, sorry, appparently I was wrong in believing you might be an "useful idiot".

But, as we all know, there is no real cake without icing on top: I support the fight against terrorists and terror.................. but... oh Lord, sweet Lord, the "root causes"...

David, Ray, could you pleeeeeease pay us for having to read posts like that, or having to overlook them, for that matter...

In fact i doubt there is such a thing like german appeasement policy.
Sure, our government SOUNDED like they would be into such a policy many times. Big morals and stuff.
Thats only nice talking if you ask me - since you cant step out and tell the world "we had good buisness running with those dictators, we dont care about the people living there, so we wont support anyone in removing those regimes!"

That would be like Bush telling the press "we need cheap oil supply - so lets invade iraq!". And did he ever say that..?

I dont intend to critizise our leaders for the way they express their intentions - this is diplomacy. Only one shouldnt simply believe everything 100% and this way come to the false conclusion that there might be something like a german appeasement policy.

@WhatDoIKnow

Who stole your shovel in the kindergarden sandbox? Since I will keep my nick you are kindly invited to overlook any further postings of mine.

For those who engage in less childish behaviour: Historians have a lot of conflicting views about the British appeasement policy in the 30s. You can read this up in the Wikipedia article. There are other examples proposed for appeasement policy as well.

A comparison with 2002 is off the mark. There may well have been quite a few reasons to engage Saddam, but he definitely was not a threat to Europe like Hitler was.

How you deal with a real or perceived threat from another country has a lot to do with the risks involved. Britain didn't feel ready for war in 1938 and chose to buy time. That very likely was the wrong decision but we're always wiser afterwards. History is not a Sliders movie where you can play the different options.

The West didn't move to help the Hungarians in 1956 or the Czechs in 1968. Was that appeasement or just realpolitik? The stakes simply were too high. We might not exist today.

The US isn't ready to invade North Korea. Appeasement of a murderous dictator who obviously does have nukes unlike Saddam? No, probably just a realistic perception of the risks involved that might entail the nuclear destruction of Seoul or Tokyo. Assessments may change later on.

Iraq wasn't seen to entail the same risks. The danger of civil war or looming mullahcracy weren't properly considered, optimism about Iraqi democracy prevailed. I'm not sure if Bush, now that he knows how the situation in Iraq has evolved, would make exactly the same decision as in 2003. The war might still have come, but maybe prepared differently.

Iran, which is arguably a bigger threat than Iraq was in 2003, doesn't face imminent invasion either. The not very successful talks of the EU3 might seem like appeasement to you but they are quietly backed by the U.S., probably for the same reason Chamberlain signed Munich: To buy time. If Iran is an inevitable threat, why wait? Right now the US is not ready to engage Iran militarily. It is also very doubtful whether Iran's nuclear program can be "taken out". A few Israeli planes won't do it this time. The risks are difficult to calculate but there is still time. It's possible that the Iran question becomes more urgent with the latest developments. Or maybe the mullahs wisen up, who knows? Iraq didn't have the same urgency: It's "threat factor" hadn't increased in the years before 2003.

But I'm not going into that old discussion anymore. It has been beaten to death already. Both sides are so entrenched in their beliefs that it's nearly impossible to discuss the issue with an open mind.

Btw, US policy regarding Saudi Arabia might be a perfect example of appeasement. Saudi oil simply is too important and will gain even more importance in the future.

But Saudi Arabia is arguably the biggest sponsor of terrorism and Islamic fanatism. Talking about one of the "root causes" of terror.

Querdenker said; "But Saudi Arabia is arguably the biggest sponsor of terrorism and Islamic fanatism."

Endlich sind wir einer Meinung. Although I don't necessarily think the relationship fits the definition of appeasement per se, I would like to see it change quickly and drastically. Besides, Europe and Japan need Saudi oil more urgently than the US.

@Niko

Which one of your 9 points was true in March 2003 and warranted immediate invasion? Saddam was in full retreat. "Sheltering terrorists" (Saddam is alleged to have actually killed Abu Nidal)? Arguably Egypt, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia "shelter" a lot more terrorists than Saddam. And in 2003 Saddam was hardly in a position to invade anything, not even the free Kurd zone in Northern Iraq.
In 1990 Saddam was definitely a threat that had to be dealt with. As he was. In 2003 he definitely wasn't a threat that big to warrant an invasion which has caused the deaths of 1800 US troops and ten times as many Iraqis, plus the danger that Iraq plunges into civil war that may mean a Shiite mullahcracy in the South, a Somalia like situation in the Sunni area and a Kurdish State that may be threatened by Turkish invasion.

The US could send another 200000 forces into Iran? Even if that's true they won't be enough to control Teheran, with its 13 million inhabitants. The "roses for US troops scenario" didn't work out in Iraq, it may not work out in Iran as well. What then? How many insurgencies can the US handle? (Not to mention North Korea or Taiwan, how many conflicts could the US handle simultanously?)

Of course the US backs the EU3. You don't need access to classified documents, just listen to what Bush said regarding the talks. And those talks would be absolutely pointless if they didn't have at least tacit US support. We could as well let Liechtenstein handle the negotiations then.

Re Hungary and Czechoslovakia: If you consider this "appeasement policy", then either appeasement is not such a negative thing or you are nuts. Western military intervention in 1956 and 1968 would very likely have turned Europe into a nuclear wasteland. We came close enough in Cuba 1962. I prefer the current "fears" of "Polish plumbers" to that scenario.

Re Iraq: No, the guys who "misconstrued" US government statements were nobody but US government officials. Like Powell telling the UNSC about things the US "knew" (remember those bioweapon trucks?), Rumsfeld telling the public that he "knew" where the Iraqi WMDs were, Condi Rice painting Iraqi mushroom clouds into the New York sky. I think German diplomacy wasn't up to scratch in the Iraq question but NOT participating was the right thing to do.

Don't be detracted by inconvenient facts such as the one that Iran didn't have (1) a long-range missile system back in 2003, (2) actual nuclear warhead technology back in 2003, and (3) a fully-functional uranium enrichment facility back then in 2003.

Huh? Did I miss something in the CIA report about Iraqi capacities in 2003? Where did they find those warheads, those fully-funcional enrichment facilities? How many of those dreaded missiles did Saddam fire in 2003?

Oil? Did I hear oil? Germany gets most of its oil and gas from Russia. The depenency on Middle Eastern oil will increase dramatically though, but for all countries including the US. The US imports most of its oil from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela (the last countries have a declining production). US reserves are dwindling rapidly. Global oil production is about not to meet global demand anymore, but Iraq has the largest untapped reserves. This is not about what one country needs but about what the world needs. That's why we have prices of 60$ a barrel, it doesn't matter whether the oil came from Mexico or Iraq.

You may dismiss the idea of "peak oil" for now... but it won't go away.

Addendum for German oil imports:

"Which of these countries/entities get more than 50% of their oil and gas from Saudi Arabia?"

Well you tell me because I haven't got a clue. It definitely ain't Germany, nor France or the UK. I prefer to consult the Statistisches Bundesamt:

http://www.gesis.org/Dauerbeobachtung/Sozialindikatoren/Publikationen/Datenreport/pdf2004/1_18.pdf

1) Russian Federation: 33173
2) Norway: 21598
3) UK: 17125
4) Libya: 8845
5) Syria: 6657
6) Kasachstan: 6215
7) Saudi Arabia: 4034

(numbers in 1000 t)

Imports of natural gas come overwhelmingly from Russia, too.

And a question for you, Niko

Which country consumes almost twice as much oil per inhabitant as Germany?

1) France
2) UK
3) USA

Do YOUR homework, Niko

@Niko

"Every single point was true in 2003, just as they are today."

NO COMMENT. Hmmm maybe one: Does Iraq NOW shelter more terrorists than in 2003 or less?

"Actually, you missed that incident on a beautiful September day back then in 2001. It was a wake-up call. Time for restraint is over, and the US is absolutely correct in her new policy of pre-emptive strikes against rogue states."

Of course and you start with the country that has had the least part in 9/11. Name a list of ten rogue states and Iraq would have figured very low on the threat level. Somehow that little detail got lost in translation.

"Here's some news for you: in Iraqi mass graves some 350.000 bodies have been recovered so far."

That is not true. Up to now these 3500000 or more are estimates of Human Rights Watch which have been turned into discoveries by Tony Blair and others. Only a small fraction of that number has actually been "recovered", mostly by Iraqis digging for their relatives themselves. Most of the victims have been killed in the 80s. There have been no official counts. But I don't want to belittle the fact, the figures could come true.

I can't really address all your points because you are so distorting what I said. You make up all the confusion with Iraq and Iran. I said nothing of what you make of it. I just said that Iran looks like a bigger threat than Iraq in 2003. I did not call for invasion. Your beliefs in US military capacities is astonishing given the current record in Iraq. Iran would be Iraq x 3.

And btw I never mentioned oil before you did. And it wasn't me who made up the nonsense about 50% of oil imports from Saudi. Now that I proved you wrong you say that the "numbers dont add anything to the debate". LOL

So tell me why Prince Bandar continued to be a favourite guest at the White House? Representing a country that shelters more terrorists than Iraq did, that has a dismal human rights record, that punishes the possession of a Bible with lashes, that promotes and finances a radical intolerant form of Islamism all over the world? I never mentioned a word about US oil imports, you did. But the point are not current oil imports but future ones when the Middle East will be the dominant provider. I wouldn't say that US oil consumption per capita is irrelevant in that respect. And the US GDP is not two times as big as Germany's (per capita). Reducing domestic oil consumption would make it easier to take a tougher stance with Saudi Arabia.

And what has Cheney's daughter to do with all that? And what is your obsession with Heise forums. Looks like YOU hang out there too much. Oh and the US neber had billions of natives but numbers aren't your strong point anyway.

It's you who keeps evading and inventing strawmen

@Niko

"The only difference of Iraq 2005 vs Iraq 2003 is that the terrorists used to be paid by the Iraqi government in the old days, now they do it either for free or as freelancers."

That's a joke, right? US troops in Iraq would not laugh, nor would the Iraqis who get killed by the dozens on a nearly daily basis.

"The point is not which country had the most involvement in 9/11 but which country was most likely to support the next 9/11. Libya has come clean, Pakistan did clean up their nuke-mart, and Iraq was the only rogue state left that defied the international community when it comes to openly inciting and sponsoring international terrorism. However, the decisive difference between Iraq and Iran is that the latter is not ruled by irrational people."

Ah I see, we're starting wars based on speculations. Btw Pakistan is only one coup away from Islamists with nukes, is most likely the place where Bin Laden is hiding and produces some of the biggest Islamist nutters. Oh and the London boomers were Pakistani, go figure. But the country that has most definitely sponsored terror and the islamist ideology attached to it is Saudi Arabia. Iraq wasn't white as the driven snow but except for some checks to Palestinian families you have little to show for when it comes to openly inciting and sponsoring international terrorism.
As for Iran: I guess even the owners of Medienkritik will beg to differ when it comes to the "rational" rulers of Iran. Its new president is investigated for being a terrorist and the "rational love" of the mullahs for Israel is well known.

"I just said that Iran looks like a bigger threat than Iraq in 2003."

That's ridiculous for you? So who has an active nuclear program, a working army with working missiles? Who could block the Strait of Hormuz with the sinking of a few tankers? I'm not advocating war with Iran but it's certainly a bigger threat than Iraq was in 2003. Iraq was contained, Iran is not.

"As I already commented, no one could've imagined before the Iraq war and the "insurgency" that the fifth column in Western Europe and America would join ranks with the most vile Islamists to defeat the Allied forces at home."

"Fifth columns" tend to do a lot of nasty things. But who do you refer to as fifth column? People who don't agree with the Iraq war? Wow that's a big column. 50% or more Americans now qualify. Or who do you say is "joining ranks with the most vile Islamists"? Care to elaborate?

"And btw I never mentioned oil before you did. (...) I never mentioned a word about US oil imports, you did."

Half right. I mentioned oil in a general way, you twisted it your way to make it appear like it was about US oil imports from Saudi Arabia which I never mentioned. (Here's your example about distorting what I say). Then you brought up the bogus 50% imports claim which you now prefer to forget about. Saudi oil is too important for the world to risk a war with Saudi Arabia. That would be classical appeasement (in your definition) if we think that Saudi Arabia is a major sponsor of terrorism and terrorist ideology.

As for your "humor"... you seem to confuse humor with bullshit. You might also drop your dictionary. I studied at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., thank you.

@Querdenker

Thanks for making it so easy to avoid your gushes of "intelligence". When you start with: Historians have a lot of conflicting views about the British appeasement policy in the 30s., don't blame me if I peronally consider that the rest of your "ideas" is not worth debating. I really haven't heard yet the theory that Chamberlain was some sort of "visionary", but twisting history in order to fit their narrow world view is something "liberals" and "progressives" excel at. (Heck, someday even Adolf might be given non-judgmental credit for his various accomplishments).

But me, being generous with the ones that ID hasn't endowed with the enviable capacity of grasping complex structures, would like to add following idea, an idea that so far has been very little addressed by "liberals" and "progressives". Saddam had to go not necessarily because he was a direct threat to the US, but simply because a new era was bound to come following the many terrorist attacks before 911, and of course culminating with 911. I would call it "cleanup time in the Middle-East". Simply put, the rotten parts have to be removed and allow the healthy components of the Middle-East to eventually florish. It is a daring project, nobody ever said it's going to be easy or quick(in fact quite the contrary) but it has to be done. Not because Bush wants it, but because the many terrorist attacks in the last two decades leave no other viable choice.

Having said that, Saddam was just a piece in the puzzle, just one who had to go. For the "liberals" and "progressives", he was Alpha and Omega. Same with Uncle Osama, just a piece in the puzzle(albeit an important one!). For the "liberals" and "progressives" he is Alpha and Omega. For them WoT means getting Osama. After that, everlasting peace shall reign on Earth.

The problem is that this whole concept of reshaping the ME (through military and political means) induces a fatal overload in the brains of "liberals" and "progressives", thus rendering them unable to envision great ideas. When this happens, they automatically fall back on the backup system, aka "Bush lied/People died". Are you, Querdenker, able to pull yourself out of the routine of "liberal" and "progressive" thinking, or is the gravitational force to strong to allow you to come out and smell the sometimes pleasent, sometimes stinky air of reality?

@Querdenker

You're right that Saudi Arabia sponsored and supported more terrorists than say Iraq. It also supported Pakistan and the former Mujahadin to help develop the Taliban.

But the issue here is of strategy and Iraq was an entry point to an otherwise backwards strategic region of world.

I've often been rhetorically asked by German colleagues of mine, "But Saudia Arabians attacked in 9/11, not Iraq. Why don't you attack Saudi Arabia and not Iraq? (as if they would have supported the invasion of SA?)" Beyond the mild amusement that I get about the question, you/they need to understand that this would have been exactly what bin Laden would have wanted. He wanted to start another holy war, so that he could get more Mujahadins to help rescue the holy land from the invading infidel Americans. If you look at American policy since 9/11, yes it's been a wake up call, to the people of the US and the Administration (including Clinton's). In defence, there were many people in the CIA, NSA and State Department that were very critical of Saudi Arabia, but were falling on deaf ears.

When the US finally came around to the idea of nuclear holocaust, rouge states (like Afghanistan, Iraq, NK, etc), they wanted to put pressure on SA. But, we were not going to invade directly, in fact, the US removed thier troops from SA to help lower agitation. So, policy makers targetd Iraq: a country with a proven history of lying and decite, rights abuses and contempt for the world community.

If you may recall that immediately following 9/11, SA claimed that it didn't have an al Qaeda problem. Funnily though, months later, SA forces are fighting al Qaeda in their own country.

I honestly don't think that the President was expecting such a reaction from Germany considering Bush met with Schröder in May/August of 2002. Schröder needed votes and phucked Bush/America in such a way that hasn't been done in years.

So, there you have it. Iraq WAS a proxy way/war of putting pressure onto SA to curtail their domestic and exported terror problem. So far, the strategy has been working, SA has changed its "charitiable donations" to madrasses and is hunting down terrorists in its own country. It Clausowitz who said, "war is just a continuation of politics by different means." Additionally, since 9/11 two rouge countries have become allies of the US, the US hasn't had a domestic attack and al Qaeda is on the run, but not caputered.

But what I do get annoyed by is that when Germans often say that this war is about oil, profit, ego, etc. Why can't they just see if for what it is? It's about pressure, dimplocy and war.

By the way, didn't Schröder visit Saudia Arabia with many other German CEOs to help foster business relations with Germany? Why would he do that? Why not criticise SA in the same way that we constantly get criticised? Have you noticed that Germany isn't getting kicked out of Uzbekistan whilst the US is after having criticised their govt for the 1000 dead?

@Querdenker -

Btw, US policy regarding Saudi Arabia might be a perfect example of appeasement. Saudi oil simply is too important and will gain even more importance in the future.

Not as long as prices keep going up. Oil can't be so far from the point that shale oil becomes a feasable alternative - and the U.S. is sitting on between one and two trillion barrels worth. Coupled with expanding our regular capacity and the increased focus on energy alternatives, Saudi reliance (appeasement? Not exactly) is a mistake that's poised to be corrected.

Jeez where to start...

@Doug
Don't bet your money on shale oil so fast. Energy experts point out the marginal energy returns and pollution from attempting to make petroluem substitutes from low quality fossil fuels. Shale oil will not save us from post peak oil conditions.

@Niko
OK I mentioned Saudi oil as being important, you turned this into the nonsense of those 50% of oil imports coming from Saudi Arabia. I corrected my error, will you correct yours?

@James
I would agree that Schroeder's diplomatic handling of the Iraq war issue was less than impressing. The Germans certainly didn't invent diplomacy and yes, the matter was used and abused for campaign issues.
I do feel very uneasy about your "proxy war" argument, which fits into the "bigger strategic picture of reshaping the Middle East" that WhatdoIknow pointed out. Let's hope that China or other emerging powers don't copy the idea of "reshaping" regions by attacking countries militarily. And it should be very interesting to watch the U.S. reaction when Russia goes into "reshaping Saudi Arabia" after a major Al Qaeda terror attack on Moscow.

@WhatdoIKnow
I very well understand the underlying strategy. But, to quote Goethe here: "Die Botschaft hör ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube." The current "reshaping" doesn't look like it's going according to the book. So far, the biggest winner has been Iran which is quietly enlarging its influence in the Persian Gulf, especially in the South of Iraq that is slipping into another mullahcracy. You might want to read Stephen Vincent, a pro war journalist killed in Basra a few days ago.

@Querdenker

You say you understand the strategy. Even though I'm not 100% convinced you do, I admit I might be wrong about you.

You bring up another pure leftist issue, though: The current "reshaping" doesn't look like it's going according to the book. Querdenker, what leftists worldwide don't (can't?) understand is that there is no "book". It is a "learn as you go" process. There are of course guidelines, but other than that the situation is fluid and nobody expected it to be different. Yes, there was hope that things would be easier, but there was never a certainty that this would be the case. It would be amazing if there were a template that could be applied successfully to every single situation, but real world has the habit of hitting you hard with the unexpected, inspite of the best planning. (I guess we can all relate to that from our own private experiences).

Fortunately, the Americans(unlike unflexible Germans) thrive when faced with challenges. It's not easy, it's not nice, but it's doable.

Querdenker, with this attitude WWII would have been won by Adolf, the Allies should have given up before they even started fighting him. Some of the blunders made by the Allies were enormous. Setbacks in a war are unavoidable and anyone expecting otherwise is simply irresponsible and immature.

I understand if genuine concerns about setbacks are used for finding innovative solutions, but this can not be said about the leftist movement. I can't possibly express the deep contempt I have for people who only complain about the lack of smoothness/perfection, without ever contributing a seed of a constructive, viable idea.

@ Querdenker:

"Which country consumes almost twice as much oil per inhabitant as Germany?

1) France
2) UK
3) USA

Do YOUR homework, Niko.

That has a little something to do with the size of the USA vs. the UK and France as well as the USA's share of world GDP vs. France and UK. It could certainly also have to do with American wastefulness, but I doubt that there is a major difference if you correct for the first two differences I brought up above.

I wish I had time to write a well researched piece on the topics raised here: appeasement and diplomacy, oil interests and consumption, and take this conversation into the physical space without these time delays and general lack of time in formulating the arguments.

First of all, I would like to say that there are some brash generalizations about other participants and nations here, such as WhatDoIKnow about Querdenker: useful idiot. Very useful. More below.

@Zyme makes a good point on war profiteers, “we had good buisness running with those dictators, we dont care about the people living there, so we wont support anyone in removing those regimes!" That’s a problem of appeasing war profiteers, just as Mr. Rumsfeld shook hands with Saddam a while back. The business friend to foe thing I mentioned earlier. French and German companies, who on moral grounds, hypocritically make money on Iraqi reconstruction, and now we care about the people? What about Africa, where the entire international community failed to react in the Ruanda genocide in 1994! Or now? Why aren't we sending troops to Congo or Senegal? Ok, they don't threaten us with atomic weapons, but where our arguments for justifying this neglect?

@Niko quotes Querdenker, “Iraq wasn't seen to entail the same risks. The danger of civil war or looming mullahcracy weren't properly considered, optimism about Iraqi democracy prevailed,” then goes on to say,

“Wrong. Bush and his cabinet members always said that peace in Iraq may not be at hand for years to come, that military operations might continue for the foreseeable future, and that radical Islam must be fought long after the initial operation of Allied forces in the Iraqi theater.”

Is the world so black and white? Can you back-up your statement up with some research on Bush and the cabinet members, emphasis here is on “ALWAYS” right? Next Niko writes,

“It was you and your fellows who misconstrued the US government's statements so as the latter could be painted as head-in-the-sky hacks. As I used to say, this ain't your average comment section where you can get away with such talking-points.”

Stop wining, it was you, it’s all your fault. BTW, who is you and where are the fellows? There's more,

“Boy, you won't believe how typical that is of you guys to come up with that "fact" once you run out of arguments.”

First of all, who is you guys? What’s with this US versus THEM rhetoric? Another ground breaking generalization. And I have to mention the word FACT you chose to use. If there is anything we’ve learned from the Iraq War, is that the FACTS were not FACTS, but LIES sold as FACTS. And, uhoh, Niko used it in the context of oil consumption. BTW, Canada is the largest energy provider for the US, oil and gas, FACTS anyone?

@James, on the note of the German perspective of “that this war is about oil, profit, ego, etc. Why can't they just see if for what it is? It's about pressure, dimplocy and war.“

There is another black and white revelation. Ok, that convinced me, never thought of it that way, gee, have I been in coma? It’s about pressure, diplomacy, and war! Thanks for another FACT.

And then there is another black and white revelation from WhatDoIKnow, “Fortunately, the Americans(unlike unflexible Germans) thrive when faced with challenges. It's not easy, it's not nice, but it's doable.”

Germany never had a challenge to face and are so unflexible! Let me do a quick century recap. First of all, the country faced two world wars, lost both, experienced 12 years of facism in the second, lost territories and displaced millions of people after ww ii, rebuilt from the rubbles into an economic miracle and won the World Cup in 1954, experienced communism for 40 years and had to transform an entirely different system into the other and is still financing it. Now the world’s largest exporter, not too bad for a small country like that. Let’s talk about flexibility and what’s doable. Have you met any eastern Germans lately? My girlfriend is and I have seen the challenges their family, friends, and relatives faced and flexibility they had after the wall came down and still have, that’s all for now.

@WhatdoIKnow

First of all, I'm no "leftist". I run a small but successful company that trades a lot with the U.S. Flexibility is probably the key element to this success. Politically I would actually come close to the FDP, but would not share all of their views.
"Reshaping the Middle East by war(s)" is a matter of belief, nothing else. It may be a great plan, but, here is Goethe again, the "Devil is in the details". Current developments in Iraq do not look like freedom and democracy is going to spread fast in this troubled region of our planet. The war turned Iraq into a battleground of radical Islamists and a garden variety of "insurgents" and terrorists. Maybe the people of Iraq manage to shake them off which I can only hope for them. They certainly didn't chose that fight, it was triggered by the U.S. invasion. Many more people will die and right now it looks like a permanent guerrilla theater in the Sunni triangle and a developing Shiite theocracy in the South. I believe that was not included in the big plan of "reshaping the Middle East". Sure, in 5 years we'll have a better idea.

Comparisons with WW2 are off the mark. WW2 had very clearly defined countries as enemies, and it was won not by "winning hearts and minds" but by military destruction of the aggressor countries. That doesn't really work in the GWOT (then GSAVE now GWOT again). But comparing apples and oranges are all too common in this debate.

@Niko
If you cannot respect the opinion of someone else, please ignore me. It's the last time I will tolerate that you call me a "Fifth Columnist", which is by definition a person who works for the enemy... a traitor. In that case, it means siding with terrorists. Please don't address me anymore before you correct your assertion (I guess asking for an apology is pointless.) You might also want to clarify the Saudi oil imports percentage. You still haven't told us which of the 4 countries you named imports more than 50% of its oil from Saudi Arabia.

@ Gerd
You asked for facts. Canada is not the largest energy provider to the US, The US is.
Something most people, especially Germans, the USA is the second largest oil producer on the Globe.

Top oil producers (2004)
(in millions of barrels per day)

1. Saudi Arabia 10.37 (close to the limit?)
2. Russia 9.27 (growing)
3. United States 8.69 (in decline)
4. Iran 4.09 (in decline)
5. Mexico 3.83 (in decline)
6. China 3.62
7. Norway 3.18 (in decline)
8. Canada 3.14
9. Venezuela 2.86 (in decline, partly for political stupidity)
10. United Arab Emirates 2.76

Iraq's production has dropped to 1,5 lately but has huge and easily exploitable, untapped reserves.

Almost all US production is consumed in the U.S., 50% of US demand comes from abroad, mostly from Mexico and Venezuela. Canada consumes 2/3 of its oil production domestically.

@Niko

Cant go without distortion and insults, right? The German stand up comedian Dieter Nuhr has the perfect running line for you: "Wenn man keine Ahnung hat, einfach mal Fresse halten."

Since you can't debate an opponent without insulting him as 1) traitor or 2) idiot, I may waste my time here but anyway...

Let's go back to what I said:

Btw, US policy regarding Saudi Arabia might be a perfect example of appeasement. Saudi oil simply is too important and will gain even more importance in the future.

Now, where do you read "US imports" in that line? YOU brought up US imports. So let's see: You ask:

1. Which of these countries/entities get more than 50% of their oil and gas from Saudi Arabia?

( ) Germany
( ) France
( ) Great Britain
( ) United States of America

Now what's that supposed to mean? Ah the suspense!
Never ask a question you don't know the answer to (as you professed now)

The correct answer is not listed: NONE OF THE ABOVE

But this is totally irrelevant. It's YOUR straw man. Saudi oil is not important because the US or European countries import so much of it NOW but because we all will import a lot lot more of it in the future. Right now it is so important (for all of us) because without the Saudi contribution the world would plunge not in a recession but into depression because we'd have a serious worldwide shortage of oil that would drive prices up to catastrophic levels. Right now WITH Saudi oil we're at $62, without we'd be past $100. That's the deal.

And that's why Saudi Arabia is "off limits". Disruption of Saudi oil supply is too risky.

So what has this got to do with appeasement? If we agree that Saudi Arabia is a major sponsor of terror, most of the hijackers were Saudis, fueled by Islamic fanatism originating from Saudi Arabia... AND the Saudi prince Bandar STILL was a preferred guest at the White House and at the Crawford ranch... then it's either appeasement or realpolitik. What is it for you?

The US is not alone with that policy. But it was not France or Germany who got attacked on 9/11, it's not France or Germany who chose to invade Iraq instead. Why Iraq? Because it is, if we take the oil motivation, the ONLY country with major reserves to tap into cheaply but off limits to the US before 2003. The current drop in Iraqi production is annoying but the oil will still be therre when it's needed even more desperately. And controlling the flow of oil will decide who calls the shots in the next 2 decades: The US or China.

I'm not advocating the invasion of Saudi Arabia. I also understand that it is not just about oil. I'm simply pointing out why it is wiser not to throw the term "appeasement" around too much because you might get hit yourself.

And now, very kindly, take your Fifth column and shove it up where the sun never shines.

And for the other Medienkritik readers I suggest this link:

http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/2005/08/greatest-prize-of-all.html

That's what Iraq is about. Apply Occam's Razor.

@Gerd

I said about Querdenker that : If he is serious about it... he embodies the definition of "useful idiot". You noticed the "if", right ?

Gerd, haven't you noticed that your examples about the flexibility of today's Germans are from the past? German society is just as flexible as the American?

If there is anything we’ve learned from the Iraq War, is that the FACTS were not FACTS, but LIES sold as FACTS

Gerd, I've been reading your posts for a while now and I tell you, honestly, that you have no debating skills. You are a very weak debater. Your supreme argumentation skills are limited to things like "Bush lied/people died". You might believe that this is true, but this is not enough. You have to be more articulate.

I suppose you believe you're "on the same side" with Querdenker. Even though I don't agree with him and he often makes little sense("British appeasement wasn't really appeasement"), he knows how to come up with intelligible arguments. You don't. I'm not saying you should learn from me, no, try to learn from Querdenker. If you're going to make ridiculous claims, at least do it with more class. You are at Heise level right now, which is extremely low. I guess you're still young(?), so don't feel hurt by my words. Do yourself a favor, take my word for it and improve your style.

@Querdenker

First of all, I'm no "leftist".

Good. You might not be one, but some of your ideas are.

I run a small but successful company that trades a lot with the U.S. Flexibility is probably the key element to this success.

Do I really have to specifically specify that my claim about the lack of flexibility in the German society doesn't apply to every single German?

"Reshaping the Middle East by war(s)" is a matter of belief

You're right. It was initially just that. Everything is only an idea in the beginning. (Even your own business). Now it becomes reality. Do I really have to mention Qadhafi, dr. AQ Khan in Pakistan, Syria-Lebanon, election in Egypt, elected gov't in Iraq(inspite of the violence in parts of Iraq)? Those are not just ideas anymore, they are facts. Of course there is a lot more to do, but one has to be really malevolent not to acknowledge that things are reshaping in a region where for centuries nothing happened. As I, and many others, said, this is a long process and setbacks are unavoidable. I believe it would take several generations of strong presidents in the White House to see this through.

Sure, in 5 years we'll have a better idea

That's exactly the point. In fact I would say that in 10-20 years we'll have a better idea.

Comparisons with WW2 are off the mark

Querdenker, you misunderstood completely my idea. I didn't compare WWII with WOT in terms of military strategies and objectives. I was simply pointing out the fact that you can not judge a war by the number and gravity of setbacks.

@WhatDoIKnow

Thanks for a rational discussion. Btw I did not defend British appeasement or say it wasn't one (what else would be), I just mentioned that historians have different things to say about it, one argument being the "buy time until we're ready". That would still be appeasement, but not shameful. Sometimes you have to say "good doggie" until you find a stick. We can also leave it to the historians to discuss who was more prepared for war in 1938: the British or the Germans.

Well ideas do come from all sides. IF, despite all the setbacks and current gloomy outlook everything works out in the Middle East, radical Islamism collapses and the Middle East countries are pearls of democracy... then George W. Bush will go down in history as a great and visionary US president. If Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia sink into islamist chaos and terrorists from there detonate nukes in New York City and Los Angeles, the picture will be a different one.

The US "setbacks" in WW2 cannot compare to the current uncertainity of outcome. It was clear in 1944 that even if the invasion had failed Germany would have lost the war (and maybe have faced Soviet occupation). And only seriously deluded Nazi hardliners would believe that the Battle of the Bulge was anything more like a very shortlived reprieve.

Outcome of the GWOT is far more uncertain. Civil wars are a nasty thing, they can be stubbornly long. Iraq turning into Somalia 1995 or Lebanon 1985 will NOT help to win the WOT.

Due to its huge oil reserves Iraq is a gigantic prize. But it might also fall to Iran.

@Querdenker

I understand you did not defend British appeasement. I also believe it's utter nonsense to claim that Chamberlain was some far-sighted politician, like some historians choose to interpret his actions.

You make a wrong judgment here. The fact that Iraq could still export terrorists in the future doesn't mean that the country would not be a stable democracy at the same time. The fact that a country is a "perl of democracy" doesn't automatically mean that no terrorists live in that country. The US are a "perl of democracy"(probably Gerd believes otherwise), and still they had a vicious terrorist amongst them(Oklahoma bombing). You don't measure the success of a democracy by the total lack of extremists. As I said, I personally believe 10-20 years is a realistical timeframe, and I'm not worried that Iraq or Afghanistan are not yet model democracies. I am totally, completely unable to understand how so many people say: "it's clear it won't work". It is often said that Americans don't have the guts to face tough times for a long time, that they want fast solutions and loose patience quickly. I believe this is the main trait of the majority of Europeans (and that of many Americans).

This whole "democracy thing" is not born out of Bush's boredom. It is a result of failed policies towards the ME in the last decades. Something else had to be tried, and this is it. I admit it might not be the best way, but I also admit that no other way comes to my mind, so I'll go with what we have. The worldwide left is in a similar situation, they don't have any other solutions, but unlike me, they don't admit it. Their suggestion is... more of the same, let's not change anything. I strongly disagree with that, not because it comes from the "Left", but because it is unrealistical in today's world.

When I talked about WWII setbacks I didn't mean 1944, but much earlier. British defeats in North Africa, Dunkerque's almost total disaster come to mind. Those happened during a time when Adolf looked like he could be a solid winner. Had there been so many whiners back then as there are now, WWII could have taken a total different turn. And not a turn for the better. For me whiners are people who every five minutes ask lazily from the backseat: "are we there yet, are we there yet?" No, we are not there yet, and we won't be there for a long time. Eventually we will get there. What will the whiners do? By then they will probably be sound asleep on the backseat, with a Teddy bear in their arms and a smile on their lips, knowing that Daddy will get them there.

Q wrote: "IF, despite all the setbacks and current gloomy outlook everything works out in the Middle East, radical Islamism collapses and the Middle East countries are pearls of democracy... then George W. Bush will go down in history as a great and visionary US president. If Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia sink into islamist chaos and terrorists from there detonate nukes in New York City and Los Angeles, the picture will be a different one."

Ah- but what if Bush had done nothing - gone after OBL and left it at that?

IOW - your preferred policy

Then would he still be responsible if the bad things happened - a nuke in Berlin and Paris say - because we didn't go after Saddam - even though we all KNEW he was not in compliance and wanted nukes and was dealing with terrorists?

Go on - you know the answer - of course he would in your view

Face it - if things don't turn out 100% perfect ( and in a matter of months too! ) then Bush is a moron and the neo-cons didn't do "any planning for post-war Iraq"

If they do turn out 100% perfect - you'll concentrate on all the errors along the way and never give any credit to the Bush admin - democracy and freedom will be trnsformed into an "inevitable result - bound to happen" - ala the fall of the USSR

From reading this excellent thread ( good stuff Niko! ) - I am left with the re-enforced understanding that this is what the appeasers can't understand
------

"The point is not which country had the most involvement in 9/11 but which country was most likely to support the next 9/11."

When I hear the "Chimplymchalliurton" left offer some suggestions to this I listen

If all I hear is "they did everything wrong" I really don't take it seriously

@PM

Exactly. We all damn well know who did the massacres at Srebrenica, but the world sits by and does nothing. Apparantly, neo-Holocausters are free to go about thier wills on the European continent, even writting books. Moreso, they never receive any criticism in the German press.

Has Europe become annoyed that the US saw to it to take action in a region so fraught with trouble? No longer the darling in the President's eye? It seems that once American pressure/focus on the purveyors wanes, the idle Euro-press needs material to report on.

@Niko In response to your point about that the cabinet members always said that peace won’t be at hand for years to come, I asked if you could back it up with some research. And you responded that you don’t need to do, because the cabinet ever said anything, but you can’t back it up.

I wrote previously in this context,

"Is the world so black and white?"

And then you said, “Whatever it is that you're taking, you might want to check the dosage”

Let me speak in plain English then. Again, you make the statement that the cabinet members ALWAYS said that peace would take years to come. Your painting this statement as crystal clear, but you can’t back it up. It’s more complex than that, that’s why I am saying it’s not that black and white, you would have to do some serious research for that to be a valid statement. If you can back it up, feel free.

So this is your point right?

“There's no need to conduct any "research" here, but just take a look at transcripts and press releases by Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, and other cabinet members.”

Or is it this?

"As for the "always" part, in actual fact it's not up to me to prove that they "always" said that. You got it all backwards, pal. The point is that neither Bush nor his cabinet ever said anything that runs counter to what I wrote above, namely that "that peace in Iraq may not be at hand for years to come, that military operations might continue for the foreseeable future, and that radical Islam must be fought long after the initial operation of Allied forces in the Iraqi theater."

Let me get this straight. Your're saying, you can make statements without having to prove them? Sort of like saying, it’s common knowledge? Can I take your word serious then? Let me know. Linguist George Lakoff writes, “The most startling finding is that, in considering whether a statement is a lie, the least important consideration for most people is whether it’s true.”

I also enjoyed this argument,

“See, that's what I meant when I wrote that it's amazing what counts as an "argument" these days among you folks. (Oh my G-d, look, I did it again!) Obviously, in your circles accusing a political opponent of "US vs. THEM" or "black and white" rhetoric happily passes as "critique".”

You have a little humor, always healthy. Who’s talking about my circles and what are you referring to again? The funny thing is that you’re using this rhetoric as a critique, that is, “It was you and your fellows who misconstrued the US government's statements.” So, you’re using the term political opponent and YOU as critique in your argument, which implies US vs. THEM. I am pointing out this FACT and the realization that you’re reducing the complexity of YOU at hand. It’s not critique, it’s a question of depth. Who is YOU and who is misconstruing?

"Your supreme argumentation skills are limited to things like "Bush lied/people died""

No comment. Read above.

@americabychoice You asked for facts. Canada is not the largest energy provider to the US, The US is. Something most people, especially Germans, the USA is the second largest oil producer on the Globe.

Thanks for the hint. I checked this again and for clarification, in yesterdays print edition of the FAZ there was a one page country report on Canada. Here’s the direct quote translated into English, “Canada is the most important energy supplier of the southern neighbour.” For definition sakes, energy sources include solar, gas, wind, coal, and yes our beloved oil. Did I forget anything? Aren’t we talking about foreign energy providers? If not, then americabychoice is right, the US supplies itself the most.

@WhatDoIKnow “Gerd, haven't you noticed that your examples about the flexibility of today's Germans are from the past? German society is just as flexible as the American?”

There is a saying “the past is the present of the future.” Let’s define flexibility then. Are we talking in terms of location, career, system change or economics? Let’s talk from the historical perspective then. Did I say German society is AS flexible? No. I gave examples countering the argument that Germans aren’t flexible, again, pointing out the reduction of complexity, and from a historical perspective. If you would have read the entire paragraph, I also mentioned examples from TODAY.

“Gerd, I've been reading your posts for a while now and I tell you, honestly, that you have no debating skills. …how to come up with intelligible arguments. You don't. I'm not saying you should learn from me, no, try to learn from Querdenker. If you're going to make ridiculous claims, at least do it with more class…”

I guess in todays world (huh?) you can critique a political opponent (huh?) about his debating skills without pointing out to a single example supporting that claim. That’s then called an unsupported opinion, similar to saying I don’t like blue, but I can’t tell you why, I just don’t like it.

FACTS were not FACTS, but LIES sold as FACTS.

1. Al Qaeda’s Ties to Iraq
2. Iraq’s Chemical and and Biological Weapons
3. Iraq’s Nuclear Weapons
4. The war will be a cakewalk
5. Iraq as a democratic model

2003, Sheer; Chaundry, The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq, Seven Stories Press, New York. Here’s the link to the book: http://www.alternet.org/fivelies. I also enjoyed Condi’s comparison of Iraq in 2003 to postwar Germany in 1945: http://www.slate.com/id/2087768

And this,

@WhatDoIKnow “If he is serious about it... he embodies the definition of "useful idiot". You noticed the "if", right?”

IF, ok, emphasis is on IF; calling someone a useful idiot or having no debating skills or providing ridiculous claims or the likes, I am sure you have more down your sleeve, that’s a real toughie and adds nothing to the argument at hand, then you back paddle to the IF. Did you write “useful idiot” or not? You did right? Anyone?

Alas,

"I guess you're still young(?), so don't feel hurt by my words. Do yourself a favor, take my word for it and improve your style."

I am not going into these last words in the sentence above, I think have made my point.

There was a comment on this blog about the characterization of the "chimpymchalliburton left" as Fifth Columnists

I believe Q was offended by this slur

I don't know if 5th Columnist is quite right myself - but what I do know is that people like Q seem to be gleeful at every setback in Iraq

It seems that validation of ones opinion is the goal - rather than progress in the ME and the world to these sorts

Chris Hitchens - who should be read as often as possible - has a good piece on this - take a look and see if you see yourself

Losing the Iraq War
Can the left really want us to?
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Aug. 8, 2005, at 8:36 AM PT

Another request in my in-box, asking if I'll be interviewed about Iraq for a piece "dealing with how writers and intellectuals are dealing with the state of the war, whether it's causing depression of any sort, if people are rethinking their positions or if they simply aren't talking about it." I suppose that I'll keep on being asked this until I give the right answer, which I suspect is "Uncle."

There is a sort of unspoken feeling, underlying the entire debate on the war, that if you favored it or favor it, you stress the good news, and if you opposed or oppose it you stress the bad. I do not find myself on either side of this false dichotomy. I think that those who supported regime change should confront the idea of defeat, and what it would mean for Iraq and America and the world, every day. It is a combat defined very much by the nature of the enemy, which one might think was so obviously and palpably evil that the very thought of its victory would make any decent person shudder. It is, moreover, a critical front in a much wider struggle against a vicious and totalitarian ideology.

It never seemed to me that there was any alternative to confronting the reality of Iraq, which was already on the verge of implosion and might, if left to rot and crash, have become to the region what the Congo is to Central Africa: a vortex of chaos and misery that would draw in opportunistic interventions from Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Bad as Iraq may look now, it is nothing to what it would have become without the steadying influence of coalition forces. None of the many blunders in postwar planning make any essential difference to that conclusion. Indeed, by drawing attention to the ruined condition of the Iraqi society and its infrastructure, they serve to reinforce the point.

How can so many people watch this as if they were spectators, handicapping and rating the successes and failures from some imagined position of neutrality? Do they suppose that a defeat in Iraq would be a defeat only for the Bush administration? The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities. How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?

The New York Times ran a fascinating report (subscription only), under the byline of James Glanz, on July 8. It was a profile of Dr. Alaa Tamimi, the mayor of Baghdad, whose position it would be a gross understatement to describe as "embattled." Dr. Tamimi is a civil engineer and convinced secularist who gave up a prosperous exile in Canada to come home and help rebuild his country. He is one among millions who could emerge if it were not for the endless, pitiless torture to which the city is subjected by violent religious fascists. He is quoted as being full of ideas, of a somewhat Giuliani-like character, about zoning enforcement, garbage recycling, and zero tolerance for broken windows. If this doesn't seem quixotic enough in today's gruesome circumstances, he also has to confront religious parties on the city council and an inept central government that won't give him a serious budget.

Question: Why have several large American cities not already announced that they are going to become sister cities with Baghdad and help raise money and awareness to aid Dr. Tamimi? When I put this question to a number of serious anti-war friends, their answer was to the effect that it's the job of the administration to allocate the money, so that there's little room or need for civic action. I find this difficult to credit: For day after day last month I could not escape the news of the gigantic "Live 8" enterprise, which urged governments to do more along existing lines by way of debt relief and aid for Africa. Isn't there a single drop of solidarity and compassion left over for the people of Iraq, after three decades of tyranny, war, and sanctions and now an assault from the vilest movement on the face of the planet? Unless someone gives me a persuasive reason to think otherwise, my provisional conclusion is that the human rights and charitable "communities" have taken a pass on Iraq for political reasons that are not very creditable. And so we watch with detached curiosity, from dry land, to see whether the Iraqis will sink or swim. For shame.

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