Sense Beats Hysteria (Bush Wins)

Actually a win all around. We are proud of our President meeting in Vienna with our our good -if troublesome - allies. The Europeans are backing us on Iran and N. Korea. We endured the obligatory grumbling about the 460 terror suspects gaining weight at Guantanamo etc. A good counter came from a Frenchman, BTW. The Euromob did the usual anti-American street Theater with carpetbagging Cindy Sheehan as a guest star. But ignoring their impotent rhyming rants, we did well.

I kind of feel sorry for the protestors. They try so hard and many, like Sheehan, clearly no longer have both oars in the water. When I see them, the line from Macbeth always leaps to mind. They are poor players that strut and fret their hour upon the stage and then are heard no more: a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The only part that is not true, unfortunately, is " heard no more."

Back to important things . . .

It looks like we are getting strong support on Iran, a serious discussion about Russia's drift toward authoritarianism, promises to cooperate on energy and new technologies as well as ways to bring Central Asian energy to Europe and continued good cooperation against terrorism. We should remind ourselves and our friends that the things we have in common are more important than those that divide us.

There were lots of tough questions. President Bush did not duck them. He addressed them head on. Our European friends also did not hide their disagreements, but they put them in proper context.

I particularly liked the pithy comment to the Iranians by summit host, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, "This is the carrot. Take it." To continue the comments of my new favorite Austrian, Schuessel said, "I think it's grotesque to say that America is a threat to the peace in the world compared with North Korea, Iran, a lot of countries," adding about our President, "He came up, and he said, 'Look, this is my problem. This is where we are,' and I think we should be fair from the other side of the Atlantic. We should understand what Sept. 11 meant to the American people."

Presidents usually do foreign policy better in their last years. It comes both from their growing experience and the fact that everybody knows they won't be around much longer. It certainly was the case with Clinton. This positive news does not mean our problems are over, far from it. But some of those ideas liberals have for cooperation - we are already doing them.

Posted by Jack at June 21, 2006 1:05 PM
Comments
Comment #160015

Jack, I agree with Condie Rice’s lead toward Iran and Bush’s new found wisdom to listen to reason and follow her advice.

I love this VERY CAREFULLY worded quote: “I think it’s grotesque to say that America is a threat to the peace in the world compared with North Korea, Iran, a lot of countries,”

In other words, America is a threat to the peace of the world under GW Bush, (e.g. Iraq) but, not in any way as big a threat as Iran and N. Korea. And yes, I would agree entirely with his words and only slightly vailed qualification.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #160018

David

Read the linked press conference. In the context it does not have the kind of meaning you attribute to it.

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #160019

“a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing”

One of my favorite lines from Billy Shakespeare and I even like the context.

I totally agree about the best foreign policy usually coming in the last years of a second term. I was going to cite examples, but the lengthy list would require commentary, and I thought I’d just make this post short and simple. But anyone whose curious, check it out.

I think Europe is being forced to re-evaluate based on the very real threats they all face. It will probably take another decade of attacks and social unrest before they become as unified as we were after 9/11. The one thing about Americans (both red and blue) is that we can unite instantly in the face of an outside threat.

Then we went to Iraq and confused half our population (again, both red and blue). But I haven’t heard one person since 9/11 say we need to withdraw from Afganistan.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 21, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #160037

Re the Euromob

Before anyone give me the “they hate Bush because of Iraq or Guantanamo” line, check out this story from October 13, 2001. These clowns (and many even dress as clowns) come out whenever they have the opportunity. It is their hobby and sort of their job. That is what happens when a lot of people cannot find steady work but live comfortably off the state’s largess.

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #160050

Jack, I hate Bush for invading Iraq, it was a blunder in the making and wasn’t afraid to say so then or now. No question I hate his “we reserve the right to torture whom we please” policy. Even the President admits it was one of his greatest negative responsibilities.

But before you go grouping people, may I make the obvious point. Our prisons have many devout Christians who murdered, raped, and tortured others. This hardly means all or even most Christians are in the same category. Liberals and Progressives painted by a radical fringe overlay is an equally absurd postulation as that of criminals over Christians.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #160053

Jack,

I lost interest in Bush’s comments after the “I like to call him Wolfgang” statement, and that was his first line.

While Bush may have vast ideas, his applications and speech are truly half-vast, and an embarrassment to America.

Posted by: Rocky at June 21, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #160056

Jack:

I’m glad you are rejoicing and I’m rejoicing too. But you have things backwards. Europe did not agree with Bush’s position on Iran; Bush got closer to Europe’s position: let’s negotiate. We can credit Condi for this.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 21, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #160057

Jack,

What is it that Bush wins?
Support from Australia? A country that has already sided with this administration on the invasion of Iraq, refusal of the Kyoto agreement and has been a lap dog and yes man to this administration.
So if my golden retreiver who already loves me wags her tail tonight when I get home i’ll claim a moral victory.
Remember when a President could, through good foreign policy, bring home a historic agreement that helps the nation and makes us all feel victorious or proud and was cheered by most Americans?
I guess we have to settle for, well at least he didn’t look like a complete asshole or, thank god Wolfgang was there to defend him and do most of the talking so he didn’t tell the world he was a speecherer, caus’ he gives speeches.
Maybe he could have made fun of a blind and deaf deligate.It would have sounded like this.”you gonna ask those questions with those that ear-piece, standing next to that dog with a handle?”Ha Ha Ha. He’s priceless. He could have explained how China and the U.S. were seperated by a “vast ocean” again.
Bush is a moron.
I don’t feel victorious.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 21, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #160058

Jack - America is a good ally. Even if we sometimes act like a bully, we’re an ally that most European governments would be afraid to lose. The world saw how truly vulnerable a country could be on 9/11, therefor it would be shocking if the Europeans disagreed with our position on Iran. Bush didn’t win anything.

Common sense is common sense.

Posted by: DOC at June 21, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #160060

All,

Correct me if I misread or misunderstand. Isn’t our current issue with “Iran” based on their unwillingness to suspend unranium enrichment?

While I agree with most of your opinions regarding Iraq, it’s not the topic.

Posted by: DOC at June 21, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #160065

Rocky

That is a good line. As the saying goes, I wish I had said that and I will.

Paul

The Bush position on Iraq has been more or less this one for a long time. I agree, Condi does a good job. I also have noticed that foreign policy improves in the last years of a president. It did for Nixon, Reagan and Clinton and it is for Bush. Not to say all is ever great, but better.

Andre

Yes, I remember Ronald Reagan, but it is hard to top him. This was good, competent diplomacy, not a Reagan like breakthrough, but good nonetheless. I did not write this to overly praise our President, but rather simply to point out the success and that many of the “radical” new ideas we see that Bush SHOULD do he is doing already.

Look at the prosaic fact sheets.

And we are talking Austria not Australia. The Austrians did not back us in Iraq.

David

I didn’t bring up any Christian thing. I was only making fun of the Euromob, its cousin the Ameromob and its little brother the Australiomob. These guys protest anything. They protest ALL our presidents. They seem to have nothing better to do. The Euromob tends to be the most creative. They have all sorts of professionally done signs and props. We may be entertained by them and they seem to entertain themselves after an autoerotic fashion, but we need not take them seriously. Some of these guys are getting pretty old. They came out against Reagan’s starting of WWIII and destroying life on earth and they have at it ever since. W/o the financial backing of Moscow, they cannot get that many new recruits. They used to fill the streets. I hear they only had about 1200 real demonstrators in Vienna.

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #160071

Those cute Euro-commie protestors used the same descriptions for Reagan that they currently use for Bush: “Cowboy”, “Stupid”, “Nazi”, “Gonna blow up the world”, ad nauseum. Truly pathetic losers.

Posted by: nikkolai at June 21, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #160079

David — good posts
Rocky, half vast! love it.

Jack — Bush WINS? Decent diplomacy must now equate to a “win”? Honestly, you guys just never stop the campaigning for You Dear Leader, do you? Btw, many of his remarks were totally embarrassing for me to read. Bush speaks like a total moron and has absolutely no sense of dignity or decorum. Doesn’t that ever make you ashamed of and for, him?

Posted by: Adrienne at June 21, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #160088

I guess there is no room for new discussions or ideas. Otherwise this would not have gone from European support of our position on IRAN, to yet another “Bush Lovers .vs. Saddam Lovers” snitfest.

For the record, on Jacks original topic, the European government backed our position on Iran, but presented no agreement with our position on Iraq. In fact they specifically urged for more U.N. involvement in Iraq.

Posted by: DOC at June 21, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #160096

Jack:

Again, you are just asking people to find that damned cloud behind the ole silver lining. And guess what, some of em don’t even see the silver lining. It’s invisible to them.

It interesting to me that Condi is starting to get some good press on WatchBlog. Seemed just a short while ago that she was “Aunt Jemima” and all that. I guess she’s starting to smarten up, if she’s getting compliments. Of course, the compliments for her are also used to buttress the hate for Bush, as in the “well, Condi did a good job despite the buffoon she works for” type of comment.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 21, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #160101

Adrienne

You know I put the Bush wins just to annoy you, but I wrote the article for a better reason. I often am surprised by some of the things I read on the blue side. Most recently, Paul had an article re how to win the war on terror where he proposed many of the things Bush has been doing for years. Many Dems have convinced themselves that all the problems in the world are the result of Bush screwing up.

This is a good illustration of competent diplomacy. Our relations with Europe are improving. Our relations with China are about as good as ever (better than in 2000). Our relations with Japan remain good. Those with India are better than ever. And this is an important thing - actual cooperation with most Islamic countries is better than in 2000. The Muslim street is fickle, with a downward bias. Remember many cheered when the Twin Towers came down. But that also can be a type of theater and so can “approval”. As an illustration, our reputation in Pakistan was significantly higher in 2000 than it is today. But during that golden era, the Pakistanis were selling nuclear technology and working with the Taliban. Watch what people do, not what they say. Actions tell the truth more often than words.

As the article I linked shows, the protests against us started in October 2001. It was not Iraq. Many of these protestors just don’t like the U.S. to act to defend itself. They opposed Reagan for the same reasons and in greater numbers. Remember all those nuclear freeze half wits? Many similarly disliked Clinton’s Kosovo policy. If the Serbs had not caved (and they really didn’t have to when they did) we would have been in a world of trouble.

When you are the superpower, you have to put up with the chihuahuas nipping at your heels. Sometimes they have a point. Sometimes they are just yapping.

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #160159

Jack

I think you have it backwards, Europe is not backing us on Iran, we are backing them. We (The US) is working through the EU.

This is a far different GW from the arrogant, huberis, unilateral Bush in his first term. We no longer here the belicous and rightous hard line talk that you conservatives love to hear. The damage from his first term is deep.

But Bush has finally learned lessons the hard way, what we liberals have been saying all along. We do not live in this word alone, we need the consensus of our allies.

I am glad he is slowly coming to reality.

Posted by: Jerseyguy at June 21, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #160178

You a funny man, Jack.

So what exactly did the EU AGREE to do in conjunction with the US on Iran and North Korea?

You give too much importance on meaningless speeches and ignore the reality on the ground.

Brag when something tangible happens.

Posted by: Aldous at June 21, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #160210

WW

I can understand why you’re weary. Backing a weak, uninformed, inarticulate, and impulsive man like Bush as President would be enough to wear anyone out.

I know y’all will jump all over those adjectives as unduly disrespectful, but c’mon, in your heart of hearts, you know they’re all true. If he were a Democrat you guys would be raggin’ on him for all those things constantly.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at June 21, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #160220

Weary Willie
Good to hear from somebody from my neck of the woods. I was born and raised in Osceola (between Elkhart and South Bend).

Now to get back on topic.

The groups of people who want to cut-and-run, or redeploy, or whatever the losing strategy might be, should take stock of where this would lead. North Korea’s nut job wants to test our will, Iran wants to test our will, the UN Security Council couldn’t test anything and come up with a winning score, so let’s just get the job done and then we can all agree to bring the heroes home and treat them as mighty, strongth, American’s of valor. We can say, well done to our finest young men.

Posted by: tomh at June 21, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #160254

So Jack what are you saying? Seems to me W is so far behind that he, and now you and you fellow republicans, thinks he is first.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 21, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #160292

Aldous

It really doesn’t matter what success we have, you cannot see it.

And what do you advocate re Iraq and N Korea? In other words, what COULD Bush do that you would consider success?

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #160351

W. Weary - Thanks for the support.

All can argue till the end of time on alternate points. It makes the blood boil.

We can take up the bones of our ancestors and beat each other into submission. It’s just politics.

Children must be both protected and honored.

The Old must be both protected and honored.

Everything you’ve ever thought was wrong with someone else has been reconciled by your ancestors, without your help.

Everything you’ve ever thought might be wrong with someone else will be reconciled by your descendants, without your help.

Our answer, NOW, is in each other.

Posted by: DOC at June 22, 2006 2:38 AM
Comment #160364

Jack,

The Europeans are backing us on Iran and N. Korea.

Regarding Iran, I dare to say it’s the other way.
But who care, what matter is that we share the same point of view. Which I doubt it’s totally the case here…

We endured the obligatory grumbling about the 460 terror suspects gaining weight at Guantanamo etc.

Yeah, gaining weight thanks to a tube.
From you, this kind of sarcasm is very deceiving.
Why not focus on the most important word of this line instead: “suspects”? Charge them or release them NOW!

There were lots of tough questions. President Bush did not duck them. He addressed them head on. Our European friends also did not hide their disagreements, but they put them in proper context.

AFAIK, European “friends” did not hide their disagreements either years ago, but they didn’t put them in Bush context.

You know what’s new for us europeans here: Bush speech tone. No more total certaintity, no more “we don’t need you”, no more “we do no mistake”, no more “we don’t care about your opinion”. From my side, that’s refreshing and it happened since the second term, agreed.

To sum up, Bush seat (back again?) at diplomatic world table. Welcome (back?).

Your “troublesome” french poster,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 22, 2006 4:59 AM
Comment #160366

Andre M. Hernandez,

What is it that Bush wins? Support from Australia? A country that has already sided with this administration on the invasion of Iraq, refusal of the Kyoto agreement and has been a lap dog and yes man to this administration. So if my golden retreiver who already loves me wags her tail tonight when I get home i’ll claim a moral victory.

FYI, while what you say about Australia sounds valid, and even if I own a lovable golden retriever myself and found your analogy quite good, I’m sorry but I should tell you that Austria, not Austriala, was the host of yesterday EU - US meeting. Austria didn’t back Iraq War but is an EU members, while Austriala will probably never be for some sad and obscur reasons I fail to catch.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 22, 2006 5:14 AM
Comment #160367

Andre,

I want to add that I’ve both a golden retriever male *and* an austrialian shelter female at home.
Pure coincidence.
;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 22, 2006 5:17 AM
Comment #160369

Phillipe,

“and even if I own a lovable golden retriever myself”

Golden Retrievers only think they are “lap dogs”.

Posted by: Rocky at June 22, 2006 5:23 AM
Comment #160370

[OT]
Rocky, agreed but 38 kilograms is definitively way too much for my laps!
http://riley.ouaf.free.fr/images/Arizona%20et%20Riely%20006.jpg
[/OT]

So, Bush wins when a bunch of nations don’t officially disagree anymore with him?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 22, 2006 5:40 AM
Comment #160633

Phillipe,

I had two adults and 10 puppies all at the same time.

My male lived to be about 13yo, even at the end he still wanted to get in my lap.
Great dogs.
Sorry I am on the road and don’t have any pictures to share.

Posted by: Rocky at June 22, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #160634

Jack,

Can we all take up a collection and rent a speech coach for Mr. Bush?

And maybe some hints on how to address foreign dignitaries.

Posted by: Rocky at June 22, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #160746

Rocky

Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan were great speakers. Bush is the worst. But Carter was not very good and Clinton is only good in retrospect.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #160768

Bush as a public speaker is embarrassing. Oh how I long for the days when our president could actually sound like he knew what he was talking about.

I miss it when the president would get caught in a lie, and the American public would actually be shocked and demand action. Now they just expect it, and half even justify it. Sad state of affairs.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 22, 2006 10:24 PM
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