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Old 02-08-2003, 03:01 PM   #16
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Originally posted by U2girl
Well, the problem is it's hard for Europe to do anything because it's split over this. Some support US, and some do not. France, Russia and Germany have said war can be avoided all along, said inspectors should be given more time and that UN should handle this.
split over it?
trying to find 2 Europeans countries who agree on how to handle this situation is nearly an impossible task

Europe has a history of acting too late
sometimes not just too late but way too late

we should have been able at some point during the last months to make a decision (and SO WHAT if it's not unanimous) so the US at least knows what to expect from us

except for getting the US to at least work through the UN we achieve nothing
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:12 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Salome
Europe has a history of acting too late
sometimes not just too late but way too late

And the U.S has a history of taking pre-emptive actions that Europe likes to side with after it's all said and done.

What exactly do you want from us here?
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Old 02-08-2003, 05:17 PM   #18
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France Said to Favor Peacekeepers in Iraq

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BERLIN - Germany and France are working on a broad disarmament plan for Iraq designed to avoid war, including the deployment of U.N. soldiers throughout the country, reconnaissance flights and a tripling of the number of weapons inspectors, a magazine reported Saturday.

The plan could be presented to the U.N. Security Council as a resolution, the weekly Der Spiegel said, though it was unclear how the two countries or the United Nations would win Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's approval for carrying it out.

The plan would have international peacekeepers "in effect take control of the country for years," declare all of Iraq a no-fly zone and lead to agreements with Iraq's neighbors to crack down on smuggled exports of Iraqi oil as part of strengthened economic sanctions.

The German and French governments - which are opposed to a war on Iraq - have been working on the plan since the start of the year, the report said.

A German government spokesman said Germany and France are "jointly considering specific peaceful alternatives to a military solution" in Iraq. The spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, refused to comment on details of the report.

German Defense Minister Peter Struck, attending a security policy conference in Munich, said Schroeder would address the topic during a speech to parliament Thursday.

As part of intensified sanctions against Iraq, Western countries would tighten export control laws, Der Spiegel said. France would provide Mirage jets for reconnaissance flights to aid the inspectors in their search for weapons.

Some of the ideas were presented to the Security Council this week by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. He suggested tripling the number of inspectors and aiding their job with Mirage jets.

Der Spiegel said Germany and France are sounding out other critics of the U.S. approach about their plan, including Russia, China and Greece.
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Old 02-08-2003, 06:10 PM   #19
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Originally posted by Lilly
What exactly do you want from us here?
umm, I want nothing from you
I want the European Community to take their responsibilities
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
Tony Blair has gotten a lot of flack because of the way he has handled himself in this situation, but - whatever you might think of Blair - the US government at least listens to him
Blair is the only one who is at least able to have some sort of influence on what's going on while the rest does near to nothing
I wouldn't call it influence, because he's just repeating what G.W.B. says. Maybe that's the reason why G.W.B. loves to talk with him. I guess he can't stand critics (as you can see by the way he treated Schroeder - didn't even send a letter to congratulate after the election, something that's a matter of course and politeness)


Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
umm, I want nothing from you
I want the European Community to take their responsibilities
Well europe has lots of experience with wars (Greece, Roman Empire, Napoleon in France, the BritishEmpire and Adolf Hitler's 3rd Reich to name a fiew). If you look at our history, noone ever started a war, we were always "defending" ourself before we were Attacked. Maybe we just learned our lesson. We want to avoide a war as long as it's possible. And in Germany you can find even in our constitution that point.

So - talking about responsibilities ...
Think how the world would be if more countries will start to act like the US and "defend" before they are threatened by another country.
(To give you a quick history lesson:
Hitler started war with Poland after he was attacked by polish (which were german troops in pol. uniforms -> "defense"
Later he attacked Russia because russia might attack him later just "defense" again)

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Old 02-09-2003, 03:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly



And the U.S has a history of taking pre-emptive actions that Europe likes to side with after it's all said and done.

What exactly do you want from us here?
Pffftt, The US need Europe for Nation building in Iraq so get of of your high horse.


I agree with salome that there should be a joint decision from Europe instead of al this wordfighting politicians. But i think this is not posible with this New Europe because those countries ( the old communist countries ) need the money and the friendship of the USA and that is the only reason the lined up behind America.
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Old 02-09-2003, 03:27 AM   #22
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Originally posted by the olive
One of Leno's jokes last night:

"France has said it will not help the US kick Saddam out of Iraq... Well Duh! France didn't even help the US kick the Germans out of France!"
I found some statistics about this. America lost 300.000 soldiers and France lost about 100.000 people in worldwar II .



( Russia about 10 million soldiers and 10 million civilians )
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Old 02-09-2003, 07:27 AM   #23
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An interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0207/p01s03-woeu.html
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Old 02-09-2003, 03:46 PM   #24
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Klaus,

If there is one thing the USA learned that Europe did not in the 20th century, is that isolationism and staying out of conflicts does not make for a more secure future. The Europeans thought they could appease Hitler, and look at the cost of that. The Europeans were unable to stop the fighting in Bosnia and Kosovo. It took US military power to make a difference there and ultimately save lives. It is simply a fact that there are some countries and dictators out there that understand only one language, the language of military force. Just as your local police force in your community sometimes has to use deadly force to stop and prevent crime, it is the same on the international level as well. It is better to Pre-empt and Prevent than to let a problem grow and develop into a smoking gun. 9/11 was a smoking gun, Hitlers march through Europe was a smoking gun. Waiting for the smoking gun is to late. Threats that grow and develop largely unchecked are much more costly for the planet to deal with in the future than acting before such threat develops to that level, and you have a smoking gun.
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Old 02-09-2003, 06:04 PM   #25
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Dreadsox:
Interesting article - some thruth inside, sometimes they really missed the point.

STING2:
I can't see any isolationism in Europe in the 20th century, GB and France are still international active because of their colonies and Germany started to send their troops to different countries for peacekeeping missions.
The EU itself proves that we are no isolationists - remember we are lots of different countries, not a single one - and we decided to integrate even more countries (but still not Turkey, also our countries get a lot of presure from Washington to do so)

Not only Europeans thought that they could appease Hitler, the US and Russia also. Obviousely he was better in hiding his real face then todays dictators.

Europeans were unable to stop the fighting in former Yougoslavia - worse than they were a reason that it started (as the US had some guilt that Iraq invaded Kuwait). Also the US military action stoped that war.
I still dissagree how things happened there and how we reacted, so i guess former Yougoslavia is a thread on its own.
I guess you know my position from one of the other threads - but for the others: i'm not a pacifist, i know that military action is neccessary, but it's just the last (because it's the worst) option.
All European leaders see the need to react, but that dosn't mean war from our point of view.

I love that comparision with the police.. a few questions to this parable:
- if you see the need for the police (as i do to) - why don't you see the need for a judge?(the ICC) imagine how a world would be where the police officers do the job of the judges too.

9/11 was a problem of the nsa/fbi/cia - they failed and if they fail again it will happen again, no matter how many countries of dictators will be bombed. The terrorists only needed plastic knifes (you can get this in every shop in our free world) and hate - hate which is produced in scenarios like in israel and in iraq. Ppl tend to hate you if they have no choice to influense their own future and you decide what's best for them.
You can't fight terror with military, you just feed it with the only thing it needs - hate.

If you think you can solve those things with military power take a look at the Palestinian problem - another problem which was initialized by our "western" countries.

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Old 02-09-2003, 08:51 PM   #26
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Klaus,

I'd agree Europe is not isolationist, that has been the USA tag in the past before World War II. Europe's problem is their appeasement of dictators. Dictators have also found it easy to manipulate Europeans.

I don't think Hitlers motives were hidden. There were actions and situations that happened in full view of the public and the Europeans chose not to act. It would have taken a very small effort by European countries to bring Hitler down in the 1930s before he had gain so much power.

The USA is not guilty of European Appeasement but of Isolationism before World War II. But early on, Hitler was a problem that Europe could have taken care of on its own.

I don't see where the USA had any guilt over Iraq invading Kuwait. Back in the Summer of 1990, Saddam moved two divisions of the Republican Guard to the border with Kuwait. For the next two weeks, the Arab countries insisted there was no need for alarm. Most intelligence experts around the world did not believe Saddam would invade Kuwait. Most Analyst at the CIA did not think Saddam would invade. Although, Kenneth Pollack did predict they would. Because the Arabs refused stationing of large numbers of US soldiers on their soil at the time, there was little the USA could do but hope the Arab countries in the region were correct about Saddam's motives. Unfortunately they were wrong and Saddam invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The country was taken in 12 hours. Although only 2 Republican Guard Divisions performed the operation, the other 6 Republican Guard Divisions came into Kuwait as well during the first two days of the invasion. It is now known the reason for this was that Saddam expected and immediate military attack by the USA within days of his invasion of Kuwait.

As far as 9/11 goes and further terrorism, the military is needed when certain Countries support terrorist in any way shape or form. State supported terror can only be actively stopped by the military, because the CIA, FBI are not equipped for that type of an operation.

Take some of the largest battles with Al Quada and Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan like Anoconda and Tora Bora. Large numbers of US military aircraft dropping Precision Guided Munitions and US troops on the ground were needed to win those battles. The CIA and FBI were not equipped to bring down the Taliban government and Al Quada in Afghanistan. That was a much needed military operation.

I have a good friend that just got back from Afghanistan in November. He is in the USA Marine Corp. He was home for two months and now he is in Kuwait. When he was in Afghanistan, his job was to set up base camps all over the country from which US and coalitions special forces could operate from to do their search, destroy and capture missions against remaining Al Quada and Taliban members. He did work with some CIA and FBI officers but most of his work was with the military engaged in operations that the FBI and CIA could not handle.

Terrorism is not always about people that are locked up and have no way out. In fact, that is rarely the case. I don't think you could make a convincing case for the IRA and Palestinians that their only option was to target and blow up innocent civilians. In addition, many of the hijackers on 9/11 were well educated individuals who came from middle class backgrounds by western standards. Certainly not desperate.

The military can and is needed in certain cases to fight terror, especially when that terror is being committed by a country or a very large organization. Thats not to say military action is warrented in all cases, but in those cases that its not used, police or other type of security service is involved. Terrorism is a crime and those that commit that terror must be stopped and hopefully brought to justice in some way.

In situations like the Palestinian and Northern Ireland situation, everyone agree's that negotiations are needed to fully resolve those specific problems. But until those problems are resolved, military and police forces have a duty to capture or kill any terrorist before they strike.

Managing and preventing terrorism involves multiple efforts from the military, police, intelligence services, Diplomats, political leaders, and ordinary people. There is no single effort or group or organization that accomplishes the goal of stopping and preventing terrorism. Depending on the situation, all are needed to achieve that goal.
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Old 02-10-2003, 06:28 PM   #27
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I'm glad that we agree that isiolationist is the wrong word for Europes behaviour.



There's one huge difference between Europe and the US. The US was involved in lots of wars but never on their own ground - that's the reason why it's easy for people to be pro war - they have no idea what they are talking about. All they know about war is what they see from censored tv (in war all media is censored, you have no chance to fly over the battlefield to make your own pics, do interviews with lots of soldiers from both sides the only thing you can do is take both censored versions (yours and your enemy's) and start to think what might be true). And of course from the army.



But most important: there is a difference like day and night from being a military in a war and being a civilist - a man who has kids and a whife and he has no chance to give them safety because of the bombers.

I hope you will never know how it feels when you sit in a classroom and there's noone who hasn't lost relatives in war.

Because of that i guess we can feel better how important it is to try everything - really everything before bringing a war to a country.

(And that's also the reason why you get imprisoned in germany for lifetime if you make plans to attack any other country)



So back to Kuwait:

Before invading Kuwait Saddam contacted the US ambassador and he told him the US would "look the other way" -> it was your country (G. Bush sen. responsibility) who signaled Saddam that there will be no consequences.



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Old 02-10-2003, 07:21 PM   #28
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Klaus,

First, about Iraq and Kuwait, the US ambassador said that we had "no opinion" on the dispute about oil between Iraq and Kuwait. We believed such a dispute to be something that we be resolved between Kuwait and Iraq or at most would not involve other countries beyond the Arab world. It was NOT a green light for Iraq to invade Kuwait. Saddam never asked the ambassador what the USA would do if he invaded Kuwait. More importantly, he never indicated that he was about to invade Kuwait in his conversations with the ambassador. The Bush administration never signaled anyone that there would not be consequences to what was then a hypothetical Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

You are wrong to say that the USA has not fought war on its on ground. There has been a long history of war in North American going back before the USA's independence from England. French and Indian Wars(3 of them), (fighting with Indians through much of its history and expansion westward), The Revolutionary War, War Of 1812, Civil War. More Americans have died in these wars than in all wars on foreign ground combined. So clearly, your statement that the USA has never been involved in a war on its own ground is a false one.

"I hope you will never know how it feels when you sit in a classroom and there's noone who hasn't lost relatives in war."

First, the USA lost over 520,000 people in the past 60 years fighting to defend other people on foreign ground. So this idea that we don't have relatives that have been lossed in war is a false one.

I'm sure you know where 9/11 happened. It happened in New York City, Washington DC and rural Pennsylvania! How many Europeans know what it was like on that day from our perspective!

Over the past 12 years, nearly everything that could be tried has been tried in trying to disarm Saddam under the conditions that he agreed to. It was not supposed to take 12 years! Saddam had the obligation on the ceacefire agreement to give disarm or face a war to disarm him. Those are the conditions in the ceacefire agreement no matter how you interpret it.

Everyone knows the cost of not acting. Look at the results of not acting against Hitler. Over 50 million dead and mass destruction through out Europe. What many who are against military enforcement of Iraq's obligations fail to see is that there is a much greater risk and cost to not acting with military force now. They only look at the short term and not the long term risk by Iraq that will eventually arm itself with Nuclear Weapons if something is not done.

There is still a chance for peace, for Saddam to disarm unconditionally as he was required to do in March 1991. It is possible that the real and immediate threat of a massive US military invasion will force Saddam to give in and disarm himself as he is required to do. But, as long as Saddam believes that he can play hide and seek with the inspectors, and has the French and the Germans actively trying to stop and American invasion for him, he does not feel threatened enough to comply. The only chance that there can be peace is a united commitment to enforce with military force the resolutions that Saddam was supposed to of complied with 12 years ago. But if Saddam does not see a united front against him, then he will be under much less pressure to comply. He will believe that he can string the crises out and that time will be on his side. Ultimately, Saddam may not give up his weapons which will mean war. But if France, Russia, China and Germany would support military action and not give Saddam and wiggle room, there is a chance he will comply to save himself and there will be a peaceful resolution of the conflict. But France, Germany, Russia, and China are not helping to make this a reality with their current behavior.
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Old 02-10-2003, 07:55 PM   #29
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Kuwait:

Well it's the same level of guilt like Germany has with the former Youguslavia war - we didn't want it but we reacted in a way which made it possible to happen.



War:

Of course you're right, i was talking about Wars in your own country which living ppl can remember, afik the Civil War was the last one on your ground and there was no agressor from a foreign country who forced that war.



And in the 2nd point i was talking about civilians.. not about soldier, if you become a soldier it's your free choice that you are going to war, if you are a civilian it's not.



And the number of dead people from 9/11 is nothing - really nothing to what hapened in Worldwar II to civilians. You can compare 9/11 to European terror attacks from IRA, ETA or RAF (also this one will fail but it might be closer to that) a real war is different and you know that.



No foreign forces on your ground which can decide about your future as they like (like in France after the German won against them, like in poland after Hitler and Stalin decided to devide that country and make it vanish)

You might have stories like the one of my Grandgrandmom:

They had just a week after mariage, after that he had go to the East front and She could never tell her husband that she was pregnant

But war writes worse stories, like to another relative of mine:

After she helped the allied in the underground and her town finaly was freed by the US Army she was raped several times by members of the Army. For the rest of her life she felt guilty and not worth being maried with her man anymore - she began to drink and tried to make an end to her life again and again.



These are just 2 short examples from my family, i could tell you about 10 more from close relatives - not less cruel. And here in Europe almost EVERYONE has relatives where things like that hapened.



And that's an experience which changes your view for war.



You could count the sheer numbers of civilians which were kiled in WWII in US, France, Germany and Russia. But even then you are not even touching the real sadnes of a war - because surviving can be even more cruel than being killed.

Imagine that a whole generation of children in these countries had to grow up with the fear of being killed anytime, lots of them had to watch the dead of their parants or how their mothers or sisters were raped. This did change more than one generation and since we all know what "colateral damage" means - not only from TV we know we do to hundreds of thousands if we start an invasion. And we refuse to start a war as long as we see other ways to remove Saddam.



So if you try to compare again: a real war and 9/11 you realize that it was just naive to try - and not only because of the number of dead people.



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Old 02-10-2003, 08:08 PM   #30
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I'm sure Sting knows these numbers but for the others who don't:

about 25.000.000 Russians died
about 6.000.000 Polish died
about 4.000.000 Germans died
most of them (2/3?) were civilists
about 300.000 US men died
almost no civilists

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