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#52999 - 08/19/04 07:01 PM Re: OT: politics
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
bigjohn... a couple of questions for you.

1. Where has GW Bush "flip-flopped?"
2. What would John Kerry do regarding Iraq that is different than current policy?

Please be specific... this is an interesting topic...
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#53000 - 08/19/04 08:11 PM Re: OT: politics
md55 Offline
local

Registered: 05/20/03
Posts: 284
Loc: Nevada City, CA
I can't point to Bush flip-flops. On the other hand I don't consider consistency on an erroneous course as particularly desirable. Each time a decision is made, aren't there many other factors to consider beyond consistency with what was decided before? Nor do I consider it flip-flopping to consider nuances as situations develop. So I don't see either of these qualities definitive of either Bush or Kerry as either good or bad.

I find it very difficult to wade through all the media hype and political manipulation to really know what either candidate is really capable of.

As to the question of what Kerry might do differently: I just returned from a trip to Sweden and Norway. What I heard there is that 90-95% of Europeans do not support Bush’s policies. One of the people I spoke to was a Swedish professor of Political Science who does support Bush so I think his information was probably accurate. Interesting also was that in countries like these, and I’m sure in most others, what happens in the U.S. has enormous consequences. They follow the U.S. stock market on a daily basis, maybe more closely than we do. We are truly the giant on the block and what is good for us is generally perceived as what is good for them as well. Interesting also, was how universally English was spoken. One German speaking Swede told me that now, when he does business in Germany it is more common to do it in English.

So one thing Kerry may be able to do differently is to re-establish support from Europe to take some of the burden from the U.S. financially and militarily. I think the fact is that Bush has taken the great sympathy for the U.S. after 911, and turned it to antipathy in much of the world.

For me, one of the most disturbing things the Bush administration has done is the attempt at abrogation of all legal process in taking prisoners, attempting to hold them indefinitely outside the jurisdiction of any legal body, and denying them any process to assert their guilt or innocence or as being entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. To me this is conduct for which losers are tried for war crimes and the victors get away with because no one has the power to condemn them. Is this how we bring democracy to the world? What does it cost us to act as civilized people and allow each accused to assert the facts as to their conduct? A little flip-flopping here rather than waiting for the Supreme Court to rebuke you would be quite desirable in my opinion.
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#53001 - 08/19/04 09:06 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
"So one thing Kerry may be able to do differently is to re-establish support from Europe to take some of the burden from the U.S. financially and militarily. I think the fact is that Bush has taken the great sympathy for the U.S. after 911, and turned it to antipathy in much of the world."

Howdy, md55. Welcome home.
You make some good points, but the above paragraph I will choose to take exception with.
European countries will not pick up the banner in Iraq if Kerry wins the election. NATO is irrelevant now that the Russians have joined it - they were the reason NATO was created in the first place. As the EU progresses the US will become less important to Europe in every way, IMO.

European countries are not as militarily capable as we are, even when their interests do happen to coincide with our own. Neither is it easy to get the military units from different countries to operate together as one - especially if there are language differences involved. And when accidents happen, it harms relations betwen those countries.

And, after 9-11 there was some real sympathy directed towards the US, but by the time the Winter Olympics rolled around the following year - it was gone.

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#53002 - 08/19/04 09:07 PM Re: OT: politics
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
So... He is bad for and for not flip-flopping... got it. Let us take a look at another scenario. The 17th UN Resolution is passed. Four months go by, and we have this large military because we made the mistake that the UN was actually SERIOUS this time. We now leave 135,000 troops in the middle east waiting for... what... the French, Russian and Germans to actually admit they make too much money from The old Iraq regime to ever support this effort ?

Can you imagine the cries were this to have occured... I know it is now considered Passe' to discuss the torture rooms under Hussein. I have talked to people who saw these rooms... (I have several family and friends in the military) ... And roughly 100,000 people per year were either raped, tortured, or killed.... We are about 16 months since the start of the war... Or about 133,000 people spared that. The calls for The current President's head for NOT stopping these atrocities would be quite loud. And yes, Had Al Gore been president, and being pummeled for believing what every other politician believed, I would be asking the same things.

Is it pretty ? No.

Does a lot of Europe support us ? No.

Should we govern according to Europe's desires ? Well, In 1946, 70% of the French said they were better off under Hitler than under freedom.

MD... You call it an erroneous course. I have tried to find this... Can you point out any Democratic Politicians that were saying "NO WMD's Exist" before January, 1, 2003 ?
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#53003 - 08/19/04 09:47 PM Re: OT: politics
md55 Offline
local

Registered: 05/20/03
Posts: 284
Loc: Nevada City, CA
Bigwill, first a clarifcation: Russia is not a member of NATO NATO countries.

But, I wasn't speaking of NATO but of a larger coalition of the willing to help Iraq to a better life. Why do you think it is that so few in Europe support what we are doing?


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#53004 - 08/19/04 10:01 PM Re: OT: politics
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
md... I will try to answer that, too... in 1983, the vast majority of Europe was terrified of the Pershing Missiles... Many thought the US was intent on starting WWIII ... Reagan challenged Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall in 1986, when it fell in 1989, how many Europeans gave Reagan any credit for helping to free Eastern Europe? The intellectuals pounded Reagan for years... "Communism works" ... "Reagan is unrealistic to expect a free Eastern Europe" ... "The people of the Warsaw Pact do not WANT Freedom" ... the list goes on.

The same arguments are made today... Iraq has its own government, and a real chance for freedom. Yet we don't celebrate it... Again, There are problems, and hopefully we will stay the course and assist the wonderful people of Iraq to total self-governance...

And watch... IF this works, 10 years from now, The French will take much credit for it...


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#53005 - 08/19/04 10:21 PM Re: OT: politics
md55 Offline
local

Registered: 05/20/03
Posts: 284
Loc: Nevada City, CA
Craig, sorry I didn't notice your question post was directed to Bigjohn. I'm not sure what your second post was in response to. I don't see any posts about WMD or the build up to the Iraq war and waiting for Europe to join the liberation effort.

My concern is getting the job done with as few killed and mamed as possible, and with reducing the deficit spending to get it done. Why do you think 90% of Europe and perhaps much of the rest of the world does not support the U.S. in its efforts?

Do you think it served any real purpose to hold hundreds of people in a prison camp contending it is outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. legal processes, or that of any other nation or body? Is this morally defensible? Does this help make the U.S. safer? Have you seen Mr. Bush admit and correct many, or any, mistakes? Is that because he would be a flip-flopper as he labels Kerry?

You asked what Kerry might do differently. I suggested one thing that might help--improving relations with other countries that might help carry the burden and change perceptions in the world that it is just U.S. imperialism at work. I think that perception, right or wrong, makes us less secure, tending to breed terrorists. It doesn't make Kerry the right man for the job, but maybe it is something the guy in the job should work harder at. What do you think?


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#53006 - 08/19/04 10:27 PM Re: OT: politics
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
Here is a quote... Kudos to anyone who guesses from where this quote came. "All of our efforts in the past few weeks were intended to give peace a chance, that is for Iraq to disarm peacefully (the "disarming" referring to the stipulation that Iraq was to eliminate all WMD's and any missiles with a range of 150 KM or more)..... If Iraq wishes to avoid confrontation, it must understand that the opportunity it has been given is the last."

Anyone care to guess who said it, and when it was said ?


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#53007 - 08/19/04 10:45 PM Re: OT: politics
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
md, Two other presidents also worked for 12 years with every country on Earth to try to solve the problem. Hussein was never going to allow "his" property to be taken. He viewed Iraq as his... and completely his.

As for the holding of terrorists in prison ... they are not US citizens, therefore are not entitled to constitutional protection. In order to get protections afforded by the Geneva Convention, all they need to do is state which country they are fighting for, and give rank and serial number. I have a business partner who is an ex green beret... served in the original Gulf War... and speaks often with guys still there. That is how the Geneva convention works.

By the way, it is not 90% of Europe... it is the majority... true. But people talk about how we should worry about Europe... 90 days AFTER 9/11, 33% of Germans thought we DESERVED to be attacked. Many are taught hatred in Europe today.

Have I seen Bush take responsibility ? YES ... HE DID say they were mistaken in their belief that the WMD's would be found quickly.

You have a desire to see as few maimed/killed as possible.. well... at the risk of sounding obtuse... who WANTS more dead ?

By the way...The following European countries WERE Allied with us in the war... United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands, Iceland, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Albania, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Ukraine. That is 22 countries, plus another 27 countries around the world.

This list includes Nicaragua and Angola... both sworn enemies of ours 20 years ago.




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#53008 - 08/19/04 10:56 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
I stand corrected, they didn't let Russia into NATO...yet.

Y'all continue.

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