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Old 05-04-2003, 05:07 AM   #16
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Fizzing,


"So it's not enough the the tragedy of September 11th has been used to justify some horrible foreign policy decisions, now it's also going to be used to boost the Republicans election campaign? Wonderful - what a great tribute to the memory of those who died on September 11th."

I'll never understand how it is horrible to actually go after the people who committed this crime and all and I repeat ALL who aided them in any way shape or form.

What a horrible thing it is to disarm and remove a dictator who has murdered 1.7 million people?!?!
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Old 05-04-2003, 07:52 AM   #17
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STING,
I think we've discussed the issue of the war on Iraq enough times to know we're never going to agree!

There is lots of evidence that the attacks on both Afghanistan and Iraq were planned long before September 11th and so I think it's fair to say that tragedy was used as justification for foreign policy decisions made long before it.

But as I said, we're not going to agree on this issue so can we just agree to disagree, respect each other's opinions and let the thread get back to it's original subject.
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Old 05-04-2003, 08:06 AM   #18
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Sting:
The horrible thing is that the US burned a lot of diplomatic bridges - not by invading the countries, i'm sure the others could have bin convinced, but by the way they did it.

One of the political results is for example that the EU starts to build their own military command.
US diplomacy made it possible that lots of powerful countries start to allie against the US. Not "only" one big country (USSR) with its satelites this could have serious longterm effects.
I really hope that this won't happen and i really hope that the next US government has diplomats whos excelence can be compared to the excelence of the US army.

Other examples are the boycots in France and US. They really hurt the economy of both countries - and by that the people who loose their jobs.

Europe and US drift in 2 different regions and as long as the US president is unwilling to talk to France and Germany this problem dosn't get smaller.

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Old 05-05-2003, 10:12 AM   #19
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Sting -- as Fizzie mentioned, the war with Iraq, at the very least, was planned before Sept. 11. The attacks gave the gov't a better excuse. They still haven't found any direct connection between bin Laden and Iraq.

What disgusts me is the rally they held at Ground Zero to support the war in Iraq. 3000 people died and they are using the deaths of these people as a reason to support the war. As if all 3000 of them would want us to invade Iraq and can't speak now because Iraq killed them.

And dammit! Sept. 11 is not a Patriotic day. The people that died were just people, they weren't American heroes. They were British and Japanese and, oh my God!, some of them were French! And they were at work. Nothing remarkable. If people started to realize how normal those that died were, how much they were just like any of us with families and friends, people would be pissed off and wondering why we are going after Iraq and not still trying to find bin Laden to put an end to any threat to us.
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
NY Times Editorial/OP-Ed May 6, 2003
Man on Horseback
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Gen. Georges Boulanger cut a fine figure; he looked splendid in uniform, and magnificent on horseback. So his handlers made sure that he appeared in uniform, astride a horse, as often as possible.

It worked: Boulanger became immensely popular. If he hadn't lost his nerve on the night of the attempted putsch, French democracy might have ended in 1889.

We do things differently here or we used to. Has "man on horseback" politics come to America?

Some background: the Constitution declares the president commander in chief of the armed forces to make it clear that civilians, not the military, hold ultimate authority. That's why American presidents traditionally make a point of avoiding military affectations. Dwight Eisenhower was a victorious general and John Kennedy a genuine war hero, but while in office neither wore anything that resembled military garb.

Given that history, George Bush's "Top Gun" act aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln c'mon, guys, it wasn't about honoring the troops, it was about showing the president in a flight suit was as scary as it was funny.

Mind you, it was funny. At first the White House claimed the dramatic tail-hook landing was necessary because the carrier was too far out to use a helicopter. In fact, the ship was so close to shore that, according to The Associated Press, administration officials "acknowledged positioning the massive ship to provide the best TV angle for Bush's speech, with the sea as his background instead of the San Diego coastline."

A U.S.-based British journalist told me that he and his colleagues had laughed through the whole scene. If Tony Blair had tried such a stunt, he said, the press would have demanded to know how many hospital beds could have been provided for the cost of the jet fuel.

But U.S. television coverage ranged from respectful to gushing. Nobody pointed out that Mr. Bush was breaking an important tradition. And nobody seemed bothered that Mr. Bush, who appears to have skipped more than a year of the National Guard service that kept him out of Vietnam, is now emphasizing his flying experience. (Spare me the hate mail. An exhaustive study by The Boston Globe found no evidence that Mr. Bush fulfilled any of his duties during that missing year. And since Mr. Bush has chosen to play up his National Guard career, this can't be shrugged off as old news.)

Anyway, it was quite a show. Luckily for Mr. Bush, the frustrating search for Osama bin Laden somehow morphed into a good old-fashioned war, the kind where you seize the enemy's capital and get to declare victory after a cheering crowd pulls down the tyrant's statue. (It wasn't much of a crowd, and American soldiers actually brought down the statue, but it looked great on TV.)

Let me be frank. Why is the failure to find any evidence of an active Iraqi nuclear weapons program, or vast quantities of chemical and biological weapons (a few drums don't qualify though we haven't found even that) a big deal? Mainly because it feeds suspicions that the war wasn't waged to eliminate real threats. This suspicion is further fed by the administration's lackadaisical attitude toward those supposed threats once Baghdad fell. For example, Iraq's main nuclear waste dump wasn't secured until a few days ago, by which time it had been thoroughly looted. So was it all about the photo ops?

Well, Mr. Bush got to pose in his flight suit. And given the absence of awkward questions, his handlers surely feel empowered to make even more brazen use of the national security issue in future.

Next year in early September the Republican Party will hold its nominating convention in New York. The party will exploit the time and location to the fullest. How many people will dare question the propriety of the proceedings?

And who will ask why, if the administration is so proud of its response to Sept. 11, it has gone to such lengths to prevent a thorough, independent inquiry into what actually happened? (An independent study commission wasn't created until after the 2002 election, and it has been given little time and a ludicrously tiny budget.)

There was a time when patriotic Americans from both parties would have denounced any president who tried to take political advantage of his role as commander in chief. But that, it seems, was another country.
from NYTimes Article at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/06/op...06KRUG.html?th
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:49 AM   #21
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It has become another country. One I almost don't recognize anymore.

It's disgusting.
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Old 05-07-2003, 05:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharky

And dammit! Sept. 11 is not a Patriotic day. The people that died were just people, they weren't American heroes. They were British and Japanese and, oh my God!, some of them were French! And they were at work. Nothing remarkable. If people started to realize how normal those that died were, how much they were just like any of us with families and friends, people would be pissed off and wondering why we are going after Iraq and not still trying to find bin Laden to put an end to any threat to us.
The people who died that day are some of the greatest heros American has ever seen, for the exact reasons that you say they weren't. They were just going about their day, doing their job, living their lives. That makes them all heros in my mind. And I'm not even mentioning the 343 fireman, 23 nypd, and 37 papd who died that day. they were all true american heros. everyday heros. and those are the best kind. and ya' know, every day when i think of those men who gave their lives that day, it makes me proud to be an american... which i would say is a very patriotic feeling. memorial day is a day to remember those who were lost fighting for our freedom. it's one of the most patriotic days of the year. so why would a day honoring those who gave their lives on 9/11 also not be a patriotic day? and need we not forget those who died at the pentagon, mainly military.

and on to the little rip on bush's tailhook landing... the
Quote:
There was a time when patriotic Americans from both parties would have denounced any president who tried to take political advantage of his role as commander in chief. But that, it seems, was another country.
to be exact... the only thing i have to say to that is bullshit. so by that thinking, the gettysburg address was mearly just a political ploy by that dastardly lincoln in order to get himself reelected.
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:15 PM   #23
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Sharky,

Its the military's job to do contingency planning all the time. There are currently plans for military operations in virtually every region and country on the planet. That does not mean a single one is about to be implemented or ever will be. So yes, the State Department and Defense Department had a working plan for Iraq. There has been a plan in place since the United Nations authorized the use of all means necessary to bring Iraq into compliance with the UN resolutions all passed under Chapter VII of the United Nations. Chapter VII rules allow for the use of force. It would be rather stupid not to have an invasion plan in place for Iraq considering Iraqi non-compliance was always a possibility.

There does not need to be any connection between Bin Ladin and Saddam or Saddam and any other terror organization. The UN resolutions are clear that Saddam had to disarm or face the use of military force. Thats why all the resolutions were passed under Chapter VII rules which allow the use of force.

As far as Ground Zero or any other site where Americans have died, I'll leave it up to them to decide whether its appropriate to hold a pro US rally there. Thousands of family members of the victims would definitely approve. Some would not. I know I'm not about to tell a family member of a victim that they can't hold a rally there and invite as many people as they want.
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:51 PM   #24
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Klaus,

"The horrible thing is that the US burned a lot of diplomatic bridges - not by invading the countries, i'm sure the others could have bin convinced, but by the way they did it."

"One of the political results is for example that the EU starts to build their own military command.
US diplomacy made it possible that lots of powerful countries start to allie against the US. Not "only" one big country (USSR) with its satelites this could have serious longterm effects.
I really hope that this won't happen and i really hope that the next US government has diplomats whos excelence can be compared to the excelence of the US army."

"Other examples are the boycots in France and US. They really hurt the economy of both countries - and by that the people who loose their jobs."

"Europe and US drift in 2 different regions and as long as the US president is unwilling to talk to France and Germany this problem dosn't get smaller."


There is a new movement by Germany, France, Belgium, and Lux., the same countries that initially with held the NATO request by Turkey for defensive systems against Iraqi balistic missiles, to form a military command entirely independent of NATO. The old plan was for the European Union and NATO to have connected and complimentry command structures.

But it should be emphasized that other European Union members have ridiculed Germany and France for doing this because it is counter productive and unnecessary. It is Germany, France, Bulgium and Lux. that need to do a rethink on diplomacy.
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:57 PM   #25
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Klaus,

One more thing. There is no official boycott of French goods by the US government. If US citizens, for whatever the reason, stop buying French goods, that is their right. Just like if a teen stops attending Boy Band shows in order to see U2, its their right. If I decide to buy American, Spanish, or Italian, as opposed to buying French, there is nothing wrong with that.
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Old 05-07-2003, 07:13 PM   #26
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STING2:

we don't need the debate about the legal issue of the iraq war in this thread to.
You think it was legal, i don't think so - anyone who's interested in this debate can read one of the 20 threads where we debated it.

To the Boycot:
A german company called KEIM got the "yes" for a contract for the cololor for the White House" 1/3 was delivered allready when so called patriots said that it would be a shame to make a contract with a german company - now they rethink their decision. If this is not childish boycot than what?

With turkey i allready responded in the other thread (search and reread it) that Germany said no to because the US asked for the weapons in turkey. And they added that they will of course send the weapons if Turkey asks for them.
Turkey then was verry clever, because they had no interest in pissing of US or Germany and made a smart neutral move. (I asked you that time why you thought that the US asked instead of Turkey and why they wanted Patriot Systems (built in the US) from Germany.

The decision pro war against Iraq was made a long time ago (Richard Perle for example gave those infamous investment tips before there was a official decsion pro war).

G.W.Bushs economic concept isn't just a mistake, it's a debacle and this is the reason why he needs the image of his role as sucessfull commander in chief.
Flying in a Jet with this army-suit looks much cooler than a classical speach in a Suit. And i'm sure he will use this pictures in the election campaign - and all you americans have to pay for his propaganda (i'm sure that a speach in the oval office is much cheaper than this flight)

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Old 05-07-2003, 07:38 PM   #27
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Klaus,

I'd only have a problem if the white house said KEIM was not permitted to do business in the USA. That is not what happened. As long as the white house did not violate any laws on the books by cancelling what ever agreement there was, there is nothing wrong with it.

With Turkey and the missiles, it is a known fact that Iraq had Ballistic Missiles that if fired into Turkey could cause heavy damage to civilians, especially if armed with WMD. It is obvious that war was going to occur, so the least Germany, France, and Belguim could do was approve the positioning of defensive missiles in Turkey, to give the citizens of Turkey a better chance of surviving a ballistic missile attack by Iraq.

What is childish and immature is when Germany, France, and Belguim care more about politics than defending member of NATO's citizens. Regardless of what the Turkish government may have to say, it is a fact that those missiles are needed to destroy ballistic missiles coming in from Iraq. Blocking the transfer is inexcusable!

"The decision pro war against Iraq was made a long time ago (Richard Perle for example gave those infamous investment tips before there was a official decsion pro war)."

Not long enough in my opinion. There should of been more talk of this following Iraq's first attempts to block UN inspectors in 1992. But of course, we had to please the French and the Germans and go the peaceful inspections route longer than was useful while Saddam played with it like a toy.

"G.W.Bushs economic concept isn't just a mistake, it's a debacle and this is the reason why he needs the image of his role as sucessfull commander in chief."

The economic news while bad, is not as bad as much of Europe. Despite being very sluggish, US GDP continues to grow and US unemployment figure is still one of the lowest in the world and is still lower thant he average unemployment rate in Bill Clintons first term. Plus, the Democrats do not have a silver bullet solution for the economy.

"Flying in a Jet with this army-suit looks much cooler than a classical speach in a Suit. And i'm sure he will use this pictures in the election campaign - and all you americans have to pay for his propaganda (i'm sure that a speach in the oval office is much cheaper than this flight)"

God forbid that the Commander in Chief of the US armed forces actually visits his troops. I'd like to inform you its not the first time a US President has visited an Aircraft Carrier.
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:57 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
God forbid that the Commander in Chief of the US armed forces actually visits his troops. I'd like to inform you its not the first time a US President has visited an Aircraft Carrier.
But as CNN told us over and over again, it was the first time a sitting president actually flew on a plane that made a tailhook landing on an aircraft carrier. I'm pretty sure he was the first president to do that and jump out of the airplane looking like Ton Cruise a la Top Gun.

Headache, it amazes me that you and I are in the same city, see the same things and have two COMPLETELY different views on what happened. Nothing wrong with that, just interesting.
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:29 PM   #29
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STING2:

the point is Turkey DIDN'T ask for nato assistence, the US asked that Germany should send the Patriot systems to turkey.

Since Turkey has a own government who can judge wether they are in danger or not i think it was ok to tell the US no, we won't send weapons unless Turkey asks for them.

Your unemployment rate is just so low because you throuw many unemployed out of your statistics.

If you take a look at what budget Mr. Bush II had and what he did out of it i'm sure many of you will start to think what the *** he has done with all the money.

sharky said the most important things about Bushs landing on the aircraft carrier.
Some additions:
1st the White house said Bush had to take the plane because the aircraft carrier was too far away, later they had to admit that the aircraft carrier was close enough for the presidential helicopters and they had even turned the aircraft carrier so that the TV-Cameras didn't have San Siego in the Background of the picture.

So to me it dosn't look like he traveled to the troops to support them but to use their good image for himself.

We'll see how he (ab?)uses this in his next election campaign.

And i'm also interested how many money he and his party will get for this campaign from the companies who got the Iraq contracts.

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Old 05-08-2003, 12:32 PM   #30
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From Yesturdays NY Times:

Quote:
Trouble in Bush's America
By BOB HERBERT

While our "What, me worry?" president is having a great time with his high approval ratings and his "Top Gun" fantasies, the economy remains in the tank. And the finances of state and local governments are sinking tragically into ever deeper and ever more unforgiving waters.

You want shock and awe? Come to New York City, where jobs are hard to find and the budget (as residents are suddenly realizing) is a backbreaking regimen of service cuts, tax increases and that perennial painkiller, wishful thinking.

The biggest wish, of course, is that the national economy will suddenly turn around and flood the city and state with desperately needed revenues. Meanwhile, the soup kitchens and food pantries are besieged.

"This is the worst situation I've been in," said Alfonso Shynvwelski, an unemployed waiter who stood in a long line of people waiting for food at the Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry on Broadway in upper Manhattan. Mr. Shynvwelski, 36, has worked at a number of upscale restaurants, including the Russian Tea Room, which has closed. He's been unemployed for a year.

"It's the first time in my life I've had to look for food this way," he said.

This lament is being heard more and more often in the city, which has an official jobless rate of nearly 9 percent. The real rate is substantially higher, which means that more than 1 in 10 New Yorkers who would like to work cannot find a job.

Last week Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers Union announced that it would allow 200 people to apply for membership, which would mean a shot at high-paying work. The line of applicants began at Third Avenue and 76th Street and almost circled the block. The earliest arrivals waited in line for three days. They slept on the sidewalk.

In George Bush's America, jobs get erased like chalk marks on a blackboard. More than 2 million have vanished on Mr. Bush's watch. There are now more than 10.2 million unemployed workers in the U.S., including 1.4 million who are not officially counted because they've become discouraged and stopped looking.

There are also 4.8 million men and women who are working part time because they can't find full-time jobs.

John Challenger, the chief executive of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, offered a cautionary word to the wishful thinkers who insist that prosperity is just around the corner. "The sharp increase in the job cuts last month," Mr. Challenger said, "should serve as a warning that it is premature to conclude that the quick end to the war in Iraq will bring a quick turnaround in the economy and job market."

The high unemployment and sharply reduced social services are having devastating consequences. In some cases people are being driven to destitution.

"This is a really spooky time for us," said John Hoffmann, who runs a food pantry and soup kitchen in the Bronx. He's faced with both a surge in demand and, because of government budget cuts, a threat to his financing.

"These are folks who are new to services like ours," Mr. Hoffmann said of his latest wave of clients. Many of them are working men and women who were struggling to support their families from one paycheck to the next. When workers in that situation are laid off, they have nothing to fall back on.

Nearly a quarter of a million jobs have been lost in New York City in the past two and a half years. Taxes are going up and services are going down and still that is not enough. Similar scenarios are being played out in city and state governments throughout the country.

California is trying to borrow its way out of a nightmarish crisis. Texas, already near the bottom nationally in social services, is heading further south.

Two forms of help from the federal government are needed. One is direct assistance to local governments to help alleviate the disastrous budget shortfalls. The other is an economic stimulus program that really works, that boosts the economy and creates jobs through investments in some of the nation's real needs, rather than simply transferring trainloads of money to the wealthy in the form of tax cuts.

Mr. Bush has no interest in such remedies. Easing the economic struggles of poor and working families in America is not part of his agenda.
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