Kinda Feels Like Custer's Last Stand

Other than Great Britain and Israel, and with great deference to Holland,Norway and Finland, exactly what countties in this world have the testicular fortitude to really combat terror?

If you think that our “European” friends are up to the task, I think you may need to re-think your position. The Islamic invasion of Europe is well underway……and George W. Bush has nothing to do with it.

Three weeks ago while in Italy, I had the opportunity to have a pretty good go-round with a group of communist intellectuals from Northern Italy.

After dueling them for a while (actually, it wasn't much of a fight...after all it was only five of them against the Mighty Eagle) over the pros and cons of socialism (Italian communists are really of the socialist variety...like many people you may know from California, for instance), the talk turned to the task at hand: How would Italy react to a devastating terror attack?

I presented the hypothetical to my sparring partners in the form of this question:

Suppose a fanatical Islamic terror cell planted a bomb in Saint Peter's Cathedral at the Vatican that exploded on Christmas Eve while the Pope was celebrating Holy Mass and with one billion Christians tuned- in world-wide. As a result of the attack, five thousand are killed or wounded. How would Italy react?

This one fellow, Salvo, spoke for the group. An ardent supporter of Prodi and the socialist-communist administration now in power, he is from Trieste. He had an important government job in trade and knew his stuff.

He told the story of how his father had lived through the devastation of the Mussolini era, how the fascists first rounded up the communists,including his father, and the subsequent horror of German occupation followed by Allied invasion. His father told time and again to him terrible tales of death and devastation. These stories were told a thousand times to him by his father.

His father in turn had been told of the tales of death and destruction that took place in Italy by his father that happened during the First World War and then in a subsequent bloody and vicious civil war which took place..

The difference between how Italy would react and how America would react, I was told by Salvo, was that Italy had been awash in blood for centuries and tales of horror and of blood had been handed down from generation to generation, and that the World Trade Center Attack was only the first act to take place on US soil. (Recall that Hawaii was not a state on December,1941,thus Pearl Harbor does not count).

Thus his view was that as a collective society, in light of the horrific past events of the twentieth Century, Europe lacks the will or the desire to really combat terror and that understandings or dialogs should take place subtly, to the Islamaic "group" so to speak, that things are different there than in America.

His view was that while Italy would be berserk over such an attack,and the government would try to do something to appease the population immediately, he believed that in six months or so the anger would have boiled away,and life would have moved on.

The Mighty Eagle stared at him in complete disbelief.Preemptive surrender, I thought to myself. Right before my eyes.

Multiply this guy's story times 100 million times and now you have a better idea why I say that we are going at this fight against Terror pretty much alone and that European help should not be counted on when the chips are really down.

While we can urge them, negotiate with them, coach them, advise them, and so in many helpful ways, I doubt that the will exists in Europe to fight anyone.....even the Devil

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at September 5, 2006 8:33 PM
Comments
Comment #179285

SE,

Kinda sounds like you went to France. You wouldn’t think that Italy would just roll over in capitulation. That country has been through hell and back.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #179286

SE,

I stopped hoping for help from Europe back in ‘99 when it was announced officially that there was a European Union instaed of individual nations. It’s just another form of the UN.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #179287

Can one wonder what the war in Iraq would (or I should say was like) if instead of the Democrats fighting for political power here in the USA by politicying the war. Instead, if the whole country had banded together as after 9-11 and put all efforts and energies into stomping out terrorist who would nothing more then to see Americans dead.

Whaterver happened to the “United” States of America?

From my point of view Europe is soon to be run over by Muslums, much the same way USA will be overrun by Hispanics.

both of these cultures will be destroyed as we know them now…that is USA and European.

China will be the super power, but unlike USA, will not bully others. See China’s long great history.

Posted by: everett Hatton at September 5, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #179288

DWAYNE

I think the view that I wrote about is that of the left. Berlisconi, who I very much support,and a similar view to the Republican party…as does 49% of the electorate there…that’s how close the electionb was.

Listen, Italian intelligence is Europe’s best,their special operators superb.

However, a big chunk of the population still wears the horros of war on their sleeve and is resigned to what the future will bring, I think.

I have comments on every country there..believe me,but Italy is a good a place as any to start.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 5, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #179289

Everett,

Don’t under estimate China, they’re still sore at the Japanese for the invasions and occupation durring WWII.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #179290

SE,

Let me ask you this, suppose the attack you descibed happens, God forebid, do you think that the rest of Europe would come to the aid of Italy, or would they ” hem and haw” the way they do when we ask for help? I ask because the last time I was in Europe was about 20+ years ago. So I am not as familiar with them as I once was.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #179291

SE - I see two extremes

We Americans are not yet war weary as the Europeans surely are. The tragedy of 9/11 is a drop in the bucket of what happened to them in WWI and WWII. We have not experienced an invading force in our neighborhood and enemy planes droping bombs on our cities killing 100,000 innocent civilians - our fellow citizens.

As a result we Americans are quick to use violence in response to violence since we do not feel the pain of war and detached from its reality. The Europeans have been beaten into submission since they know the reality of war from personal experience.

Maybe working together we can find a middle solution.

Posted by: Jerseyguy at September 5, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #179293

DWAYNE

Germany is still engulfed in WWII guilt..Thus the single biggest and potentially most powerful nation does little except in the intelligence area and maybe logistical support. Think about that. The strongest power on the sidelines ab initio. Plus the are being overrun by Turks. If anything,expect to see a sanatized versionism of neo-nazism emerge in response.

France

Other than what you saw on tv last winter,not much to add. They are getting involved in Lebonan as you know, but they are in no way an ally. The administration is corrupt. Socialist and corrupt.Count on them only for brie

Holland.
They have the balls to do something. Since the killing of Van Goth 18 months ago,they have gotten their act together. The exit interviews at Schipol are the bets in Europe.There,airport security jobs are not partronage jobs. They mean something.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 5, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #179294

Jersey Guy

Bravo. Excellent post. You get it. Hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 5, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #179295

So, since these guys say they won’t allow terrorists to keep them in a state of perpetual war and fear, you say they’re preemptively surrendering. Interesting. What’s your definition of bravery? I think it takes a whole lot more testicular fortitude to gut it out, make some sacrifices to secure your borders, and engage in the long process of intelligence gathering and police work than to panic and send other people’s kids into an irrelevant, costly, counterproductive , neverending war, but maybe that’s just me. But hey, guys, keep congratulating yourselves on how brave you are. Im sure it scares the terrorists silly.

Posted by: Brian Poole at September 5, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #179298

SE,

Unfortunately we have already seen some of the “sanitized neo-nazism” rear it’s ugly head in Germany.

What about Spain, they were also attacked. Is it that the only one we can really count on is Great Britain? And even Tony Blaire is finding things difficult for himself. We may not be able to count on them as heavily as we have in the past.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #179302

Brian Poole
Well at least you similarity of thought between the socialist view in Italy and the current democratic viewpoint. Politics of appeasement always fail.

DWAYNE
Remember another socialist administration is in power…are you seeing the pattern? SPain…France…Germany..Italy….

The Poles are tough too…95% Catholic,but all in all a very interesting dynamic has developed over there.Note I said Italians. The Sicilians have a different view on things,and if the Vatican were in Sicily, vengence would be repaid in spades, I think

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 5, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #179303

SE,

Also did you hear that Pakistan has withdrawn troops from the area where Al Qaeda has been hiding out. Apparently they signed some sort of peace deal with the militant tribal leaders who are openly calling for a jihad against US troops in Afghanistan. This is not good.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #179306

Sicilian Eagle,
Who do you think I am suggesting we appease? Have I mentioned any concessions? That’s the problem with Republican talking points, they sound all brave and superior but they don’t really make sense.

You do realize that the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, right? That by panicking and remaining in a state of perpetual fear we are playing right into the terrorist’s hands, right?

Posted by: Brian Poole at September 5, 2006 11:16 PM
Comment #179307

Why Iraq? They didn’t have anything to do with 9/11 and the CIA knew it.

I AM NOT PREEMPTIVELY SURRENDURING. I think we should have used air bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Israel and Turkey to attack specific targets, like terrorist hideouts. Bombs and rockets, spec ops if necessary or to capture some guy. But targeting an entire country…other than Afghanistan and Iran, I don’t think any country in the Middle East is significant enough for it.

Anyway we’re to tied up in Iraq to do anything…unless we institute the draft. And we all know how well that will go over with democrats. They probably wouldn’t let it go over. They’d probably filibuster. Or is the draft by executive order? Anyone know? In any case I hope we don’t have a draft cause I’m 18 next June…bad news.

Posted by: Silima at September 5, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #179309

Brian
No, we’re not. The purpose of terrorism is the terrorize us into surrenduring. What we are advocating is beating the stuffing out of them instead.

Posted by: Silima at September 5, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #179310

SE

I do not think it is that our European allies are cowardly but rather that many of their elite opinion makers are not sure their cultures have a right to exist. Take the case of the Poles. Poles, like most Americans, still believe their country has something important to contribute to the world and deserves to continue.

You really cannot be neutral about your right to survive. For too many cultural relativists, the ONLY culture they can justifiable criticize is their own. It is a short journey to believing that other cultures are better than your own.

I assume most Muslims think that they are - all things considered - better than non-Muslims. I am pretty sure most Russians think they are better than non-Russians and I have observed the same among the Chinese I meet. There is nothing wrong with that. I assume everyone would like to be an American if only they could. I KNOW this is not true, but I FEEL it nevertheless. The problem with many Europeans is that they really don’t feel that way about their own countries.

Every winning team believes it deserves to win. Some losers do too. But nobody ever succeeds when he thinks he cannot. The same goes for cultures.

Posted by: Jack at September 5, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #179312

I didn’t make myself clear when I refer to Poles and Americans, it is the counter example. These are cultures that DO believe they have the right to exist.

Posted by: Jack at September 5, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #179313

Can one wonder what the war in Iraq would (or I should say was like) if instead of the Democrats fighting for political power here in the USA by politicying the war. Instead, if the whole country had banded together as after 9-11 and put all efforts and energies into stomping out terrorist who would nothing more then to see Americans dead.

Yeah, I would have indeed banded together, but George Bush didn’t tell me to ask not what my country could do for me, but what I could do for my country, instead, he told me to go shopping and that he and Haliburton would take care of it.


China will be the super power, but unlike USA, will not bully others. See China’s long great history.

Yeah, like Tibet, ah yeah, I see what you mean.

Morons to the left of me, idiots to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you…

Posted by: Rene at September 5, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #179314

I think they would fight in their own defense if it came to that. Many people had low opinions of what Americans, especially Democrats would do when confronted with terrorism, but we basically united on it.

Besides, if they blew up the Pope, Italy would not be alone. I think the response would be positively apocalyptic, to be honest. Reprisals against Muslims would be severe, and you would have Catholic nations of many stripes going after them.

I think the Europeans have a right to be war weary, after all the centuries of violence and warfare, especially where the wars of the twentieth century are concerned. But I think even they have their limits.

In the meantime, I’m fairly sick of this headache inducing garbage about Democrats being soft on terrorism. I recall the Republicans, in majority not giving a crap about terrorism. I recall them caring more about kicking Clinton out of office than taking care of that issue. Would the people who accused Clinton of Wagging the Dog when he shot cruise missiles at terrorists, and even when he shot them after Saddam have stood behind him for more aggressive measures? I hardly think so.

The problem is, first and foremost, Republican foreign policy has not so much changed form as changed costume. The neocon initiative on Rogue states has been grafted onto our fight against the terrorists, even to the point where the GOP is calling an ongoing bungled war against a rogue state a central front in the war on terror.

The real war is going to take place across the world, but it won’t be a world war. It might involve rogue countries, but our enemy won’t be built of them, or depend on them intierly. Something new faces us, and we will need to work the problem on all appropriate levels.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #179315

Silima,

you said “I think we should have used air bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Israel and Turkey to attack specific targets, like terrorist hideouts” Well, Pakistan was not avery big help for the past 5 years and as of today can no longer be counted on for any help. We asked turkey for use of the air bases and they said NO. As far as Afghanistan goes, you saw what happened to the Russains. Lastly, If we struck from Israel, the terror attacks would jump 1000 fold. That would be the unifying factor for the Muslem world.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #179316

Silima,

The purpose of terrorism is the terrorize us into surrenduring. What we are advocating is beating the stuffing out of them instead.

The terrorists don’t want us to surrender (well, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind, but it’s not their goal). They want us to collapse economically to the point that we withdraw from the middle east and stop propping up governments that they see as evil, like the Saudi monarchy. This will pave the way for a theocracy where they can rule in the name of Allah. Panicking into attacking random Muslim countries (Iraq) goes a long way towards achieving their goals for them. We have the largest deficit ever, our military is tied up, we have more terrorist attacks throughout the world than ever before. Panic is the primary ally of terrorists.

About the draft, don’t worry about it. The Republicans won’t even ask people to make financial sacrifices in the form of taxes to pay for the war, let alone institute a draft. President Bush wouldn’t even admit that we needed more troops to pacify Iraq. A draft would be political suicide for the Republicans, and have the effect of sending support from the war from the low thirties into the negative range.

Posted by: Brian Poole at September 5, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #179317

SE,

Please explain how you go from

he believed that in six months or so the anger would have boiled away, and life would have moved on…and that … dialogs should take place subtly
to
Europe lacks the will or the desire to really combat terror
Sounds to me more like a mature response to a serious problem, rather than Bushies politically inspired temper tantrum and cowboy up nonsense.

BTW; Doonesbury had a superior observation in this Sundays strip.

I like my lamb Frenched, please…

Posted by: Dave1 at September 5, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #179328

Stephen Daugherty,

“even to the point where the GOP is calling an ongoing bungled war against a rogue state a central front in the war on terror.”

If you believe that al-Zawahiri’s letter from July last year was authentic, he states much the same thing — that Iraq is the central war that they fight.

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 6, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #179329

SE
Once again you pull through with an excellent post.
Modern leftism with its self emasculating cultural relativism and and undying hatred of morality of any kind (except islamic, they are ok, they’re underdogs, besides, they hate us! We must be more understanding to them~ barf!) has brought the world to its knees before not a great and might superpower like the tyranical US of A or those benign commies of the Peoples Republic of China (and you thought I was going say California).
Utterly amazing that the strength and power of the west has been so hollowed out by pointy headed intellectuals, hollywood elite and cigerallo smoking black turtleneck wearing unemployed dweebs from Europe. Where are the generations upon generations of our old allies in Europe. Aborted for the sake of making sure that a night’s pleasure is not interupted by the responsiblities of family. While the imams preach violent overthrow of the disgusting and decadent cultures surrounding them, most jaded Euros take the time to wallow in self pity and white guilt for being members of a once superior culture and take some more drugs or slurp down their coffee and wine.
Is it hardly any wonder that Europe has been known as the “Continent of Death”.
Oh and for you fools that think that China has a history of “peacefulness” and “nonaggression”, maybe a better look at Sun Tzu’s classic “The Art of War” is in order. Ancient China, modern China, imperialist ambitions held in check only by the presence of equally fierce competitors.
But hey, lets face it, none of this international stuff is of any concern. Why should it bug you that China has been fighting a war against us by proxy for years, providing weapons of war to our enemies, bolstering north korea and so forth.
Go back to sleep….
After all, its those damn chickenhawk repulicrats from Halliburton (owned by walmart) that are the real threat (especially southern baptist ones!).
Peace out!
er
Allah akbar!

Posted by: HardHatHarry at September 6, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #179330

Dwayne
Pakistan has not been a lot of help with its own military, no, but they have let us use their air bases. Turkey would have let us if we didn’t intend to depose Saddam, only attack isolated groups. We own Afghanistan, using bases there isn’t a problem. On Israel you have a point.

Brian
Please note I do not support the invasion of Iraq, or cutting taxes while doing so. Nor do I like the US propping up the Sharia Saudi gov’t. The people should rule. Not some family set up by the British or a bunch of fundamentalist theocrats. And I’m pretty sure they mean it when they chant “Death to America.” I say we reciprocate the feeling.

Posted by: Silima at September 6, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #179331

“Kinda Feels Like Custer’s Last Stand”

Huh, this article kinda seems more like a Custard Stand to me. You know, one where you stand there having a sudden, very painful brain freeze? I think it must have been quite a prolonged episode with a heaping spoonful of gelato to have come to such sweeping and illogical conclusions.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #179332

An interesting piece of 9th Circuit liberalism (California)
It is ok for schools to require students to practice muslim rituals including observing parts of Ramadan. This was an acual 9th Circuit decision. That students can be required to practice parts of Islam. Meanwhile two lesbian girlfriends can sue a private christian school for being expelled over their homosexuality. Apparently everyone can be forced to practice Islam but when Christians practice theirs they get sued. God Save America.

Posted by: Silima at September 6, 2006 1:20 AM
Comment #179333

Adrienne
Could you provide some reasons why what we believe is incorrect rather than hurl unjustified insults at us?

Posted by: Silima at September 6, 2006 1:22 AM
Comment #179334

Pakistan announced it has signed a deal with tribal leaders:

Pro Taliban militants and the Pakistani government signed a peace deal on Tuesday, according to Pakistani negotiators.

The militants said they would stop attacks in Pakistan and across the Afghan border on the condition that the Pakistani government stop air and ground operations in the Waziristan region and dismantle newly built checkposts.”

http://www.gulfnews.com/world/Pakistan/10065200.html

The news from Pakistan gets even worse:

“If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden “would not be taken into custody,” Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, “as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen.”
– ABC News, Sept. 5, 2006.

The Major General is a Press Secretary.

Posted by: phx8 at September 6, 2006 1:27 AM
Comment #179335

Silima,

Sounds like judicial activism to me. Don’t forget about the school districts knowing more about raising kids than the parents.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 6, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #179336

Silima:
“Could you provide some reasons why what we believe is incorrect”

Sure. I find this a totally insane leap of logic:

I say that we are going at this fight against Terror pretty much alone and that European help should not be counted on when the chips are really down. While we can urge them, negotiate with them, coach them, advise them, and so in many helpful ways, I doubt that the will exists in Europe to fight anyone…..even the Devil
“rather than hurl unjustified insults at us?”

For your information, I never hurl unjustified insults. I have family in Europe — and if they were reading this ridiculous garbage, their entirely justified insults would be far more heated than mine, I assure you.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #179337

Adrienne,

When terrorist struck at spain just before the elections there, it scared the populas to the point of effecting the outcome of their elections. If I recall correctly, they elected someone who was soft on terrorism.

The political machine in Europe is that which lacks the will.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 6, 2006 1:55 AM
Comment #179342

Dwayne:
“When terrorist struck at spain just before the elections there, it scared the populas to the point of effecting the outcome of their elections. If I recall correctly, they elected someone who was soft on terrorism.”

This is how they tried to sell it to us in America. The truth is, if you’d been reading the foreign press before that terror attack, you would understand that the majority there had not wanted to be a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq. Their election reflected the popular sentiment— and would have whether their trains had been bombed, or not.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #179348

SE,

France

Other than what you saw on tv last winter,not much to add.

Sure, keep your narrowed view of France by focusing only on some domestic issues as shown by foreign, french-bashing addicted american media. Never ever talk about french unique experience of Algerian War, the torture usage and the lost of heart and minds, it’s too much irrevelant in current war against “terrorists”. Be my guest.

They are getting involved in Lebonan as you know, but they are in no way an ally. The administration is corrupt. Socialist and corrupt.Count on them only for brie

Then why CIA Counterterrorist Center decided to fund and install the Alliance Base in Paris instead of, well, London, Amsterdam, Bruxelles, Rome, Barcelona or Berlin? Hum?

And calling our current government a socialist one is showing your ignorance. UMP, the party on power, is more like american liberals party than anything else. Sarkozy, current leader of UMP and self-proclaned unique candidate of its party for the 2007 Presidential election is a clone (and a clown IMHO) of Italy’s Berlusconi.

What will be your next name-calling, SE? France government is a terrorist antisemitist corrupted communist dictatorship? Stop kidding yourself. Please.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 6:22 AM
Comment #179349

BTW, SE, I didn’t knew you consider, if I follow your hypothetical terrorist attack on Vatican, that World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon (and a Pensilvany’s field for that matter) as being religious places.

Which religion could it be?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 6:27 AM
Comment #179350

Silima,

Brian No, we’re not. The purpose of terrorism is the terrorize us into surrenduring. What we are advocating is beating the stuffing out of them instead.

Oh, as if it was never tried before! Why nobody think about it before US???

Ask Israel (HAMAS, Hezbollah and like). Ask UK (IRA). Ask Spain (ETA). Ask France (Algerian FLN, AIS and like). Ask Russia (tchechens). Ask “old” nations, pretty much everyones have and had in the past its own terrorism issues.
Terrorism didn’t start in 9/11, you know.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 6:36 AM
Comment #179351

Silima,

Anyway we’re to tied up in Iraq to do anything…unless we institute the draft. And we all know how well that will go over with democrats. They probably wouldn’t let it go over. They’d probably filibuster. Or is the draft by executive order? Anyone know? In any case I hope we don’t have a draft cause I’m 18 next June…bad news.

The good news: you could vote in 2008.

See, with rights comes duties. Sometimes thru a draft. Indeed, duties could fall on your before you could even exercice your new democratic rights in 2008. Well, meanwhile you could lobby your parents for the november elections…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 6:43 AM
Comment #179353

Jack,

I assume everyone would like to be an American if only they could. I KNOW this is not true, but I FEEL it nevertheless. The problem with many Europeans is that they really don’t feel that way about their own countries.

Maybe because when we did in the past centuries, we were at war pretty much every decade, and we all know how ugly it ended in the 20 century.
You americans should remember too.
Does nationalism + Aryan “culture” (which BTW come from Iran, how ironic) superiority complex sound any ring, guys?

Call us culturally shy or unproud people, but we europeans knows better than anybody else what evilness an hypertrophic nationalist proud could do. Been there, done that.

Every winning team believes it deserves to win. Some losers do too. But nobody ever succeeds when he thinks he cannot. The same goes for cultures.

As an European, indeed, I value all human cultures as equal, with their pros and their cons. The sum of all cultures is way more valuable for us than the so-called “best” one n times larger.
For every winner, there’s many losers. What happened when the winner don’t value as much as the losers’s values sum? Negative net.
Every closed ecosystem is unstable on the long term by nature. External input is a need for every alive body, hence biodiversity importance.

The same goes for cultures, I think. Remember, EU’s motto is “United In Diversity”. That’s not a coincidence.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 7:11 AM
Comment #179354

“… sound any ring, guys?”

Now I’m embarrassed :-). Please read “ring any bell, guys?” instead, thanks.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 7:13 AM
Comment #179357

Adrienne,

Dwayne: “When terrorist struck at spain just before the elections there, it scared the populas to the point of effecting the outcome of their elections. If I recall correctly, they elected someone who was soft on terrorism.”

This is how they tried to sell it to us in America. The truth is, if you’d been reading the foreign press before that terror attack, you would understand that the majority there had not wanted to be a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq. Their election reflected the popular sentiment— and would have whether their trains had been bombed, or not.

Plus a few days before election, a scandal show up about Aznar trying to forge false links between the terrorist attack and ETA, not Al Quaida or spanish official (but no way popular) support of Iraq War. Most probably because he knew otherwise he’ll not be re-elected.

Spanish don’t re-elect him because they didn’t support his policies, foreign and domestic.

Being catch lying is not a good way to get enough trust to be relected. Except for Bush, but that’s another story.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 7:33 AM
Comment #179358

Charles Adams-
Iraq was made attractive to al-Qaeda, it wasn’t that way to start. Iraq merely does them the favor of keeping us occupied, distracted, sapping the will and resources we would use to actively seek them out and destroy them. It also does them the favor of turning world opinion against us. So from that perspective, Iraq is as central to al-Qaeda operations because it presents a fine opportunity to turn our drive to win against us.

The only way to truly defeat al-Qaeda here is to get out of the quagmire and leave behind a stable Iraq, if that is at all possible. That is why I advocate a more goal oriented, less reactionary, lest perseverative strategy. We should set a timetable for withdrawal. If things are as bright and rosy as Bush claims, and we are doing things right, then we should have no problems gradually leaving in full view of our enemies. Only if we have failed at our objectives in this war will we have difficulties.

HardHatHarry-
The modern lefties you so despise have brought tyrants like Hitler, Mussolini, The Emperor in Japan, Khruschev, Milosevic and others to their knees. It’s taken the stubborn contrariness of a so-called conservative to bring your party and our nation to its knees.

You evoke all these stereotypes, acting as if you understand the people of the world, yet your party has shown marked incomprehension of the world scene, creating one foreign policy disaster after another. Europe is having to deal with aftermath of its previous generation’s interference in the Middle East. Who do you think created Iraq? Who do you think cobbled together the borders and the dynasties that now rule that area. Europe has to deal with the consequences of centuries of violence and destruction. They hardly want to experience more.

You should read Sun Tzu’s work more closely. He tells you there’s no such thing as a skillfully protracted campaign, that such efforts are often expensive, and that if alternatives to wars or fighting battles are possible, they should be sought out. He advocated, as others do, that one attack with overwhelming superiority of numbers.

The Republicans have gotten stuck up about what great war fighters they are, having only fought a few minor wars in the Twentieth Century as political leaders. Now they have gotten us into two wars, and have lead us to victory in neither despite the help of the world’s best military.

I think it’s about time you folks get a dose of humility and start listening to the experts you’ve been dismissing as naysayers and defeatists. We’re not going to win by obnoxiousness, stubborn error and proud conceit, like the Republican Party thinks we will.

Dwayne-
They elected somebody who was soft on support for the war in Iraq, not on terrorism. That’s just the typical Republican conflation of the two. The Political Machine in Europe is not soft on terrorism, it does not lack the will there to do what’s necessary. It just doesn’t want to get drawn into our ill-advised war.

It’s our fault we ended up in the wrong place, our fault for putting our trust in a leader whose drive to settle things in Iraq, personal and otherwise, lead him and us into and ill-advised, poorly justified war. How can we ask the help of the very folks who told us not to go through with this? How can we ask them to shoulder a burden for us that we placed upon ourselves?

We should admit we did wrong, and that things need to be set right. No “stay the course.” The course isn’t serving its purpose. How can we ask for Europe’s help when we won’t even ask for help from the average citizen? Where’s the recruiting drive for more soldiers, the draft to fill in the numbers for Bush’s indefinite campaign?

The plain truth is that Bush cannot and will not admit that he sent too few American soldiers to do the job. If he admits that, he has to pay for more soldiers, and he has to either draft them, or recruit them from a largely unwilling population. If he drafts, then it is a political defeat for him, and unfortunately this president has been much more adept at avoiding that kind of defeat than the military variety.

So before you Republicans talk about people without the guts to win against the terrorists, let me ask you folks whether your leadership has had the guts to do what it takes to win, or whether just hiding like cowards from the negative opinion that the admission of mistakes would bring. What do they value more, our the security of our nation, or their jobs?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2006 8:24 AM
Comment #179359

What did Bush lie about?

Posted by: nikkolai at September 6, 2006 8:29 AM
Comment #179360

nikkolai,

Here’s one for you:

“Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so [emphasis mine]. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.” -George W. Bush, April 20, 2004.

Now doesn’t the end of the quote, where he mentions Constitutional guarantees being in place, admit that he recognized the unconstitutionality of wiretapping without a warrant?

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 6, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #179361

Adrienne

Welcome back,my intellectual nemisis (written in a non-patronizing way,of course). Gelato is ok,but I much prefer a cold “granitta con brioche” in hot weather (a Sicilian thing),and I think that I hit yet another nerve today.

Remember Dante’s Inferno? Probably the greatest piece of literature ever written…insightful even until this moment. In one of his Cantos in Hell,all the people who were “neutral” in their life were condemed to an eternity of being suspended in air and bitten by hordes of wasps. Neutrals,he said,were really the enemy as they spap man’s spirit.

Europe has to take a side. Berlisconi wants Italy to stay Christan. Te left wants a pluralistic society full of African Muslims from Moracco and Tunisia and Lybia. They want to throw open the borders to the Turks. They want to dilute and eventualy intigrate and then change the fabric of Italian society to a “modern” society.

Thus the lines are drawn. It’s really a fundamental choice and folks are lining up on both sides. Dous Italy and the rest of Europe accept being over run by many foreing cultures in the name of pluralism, or is trying to keep a society that has existed for 2 milinia really that bad.

That scenario is playing out over the continent.Substute a different name for a counrty and the issue is the same.

Phillipe
Don’t forget that I AM European too.I have benn an Italian citizen for years and a vocal critic of European administrations who ,I think need a dose of Dante’s punishment. I am also a proud US citizen as well….and a backer of the president’s policies…then again,you know that.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 6, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #179363

What a load of incoherent and ignorant bovine excrement. The ignorance of Europe displayed here is simply awesome. SE thinks that because he had a chat, probably over too many valpolicellas, with a bunch of lefty intellectual dipsh**ts, that he has the pulse of Europe? And then his simpering groupies parrot their own ignorance? I really don’t know where to start!

or maybe I do. We “Europeans”, with a few dishonourable exceptions, declined to bleed ourselves dry of youth and treasure chasing a sprite in Iraq. Terrorists by definition, are small hidden groups of discrete fanatics. In order to get at them with a massively powerful military, you have to go full on. This means what you guys call collateral damage. What the victims of it call mass murder and wanton destruction. You become their recruitment agency. And you do it for free? How dumb is that? And I thought Americans knew about business? What you have for your adventure in Iraq, is what? about 2,700 dead, 20,000 injured? I don’t know how much treasure squandered. Guys, what do you have to show for it? No end in sight, a powerless government in Iraq, an ineffective army there, and a police service massively inflitrated by your opponents. And an unacknowledged civil war raging. What are you guys on? when are you going to deal with reality?

Fighting “terrorism” can only be done with intelligence, ie, intelligently! Putting your brains into your genitals does not make them work better. It just blinds you to reality. Time to get your heads out of your unmentionables, and start using your eyes, and ears and less of your mouths. In other words get your heads in gear. Fighting terrorism is a surgical procedure. You have to know where the disease is present and its nature. You have to establish its cause. You have to know where to put the knife in, as any surgeon will tell you. Mere milimeters off with the scalpel will often kill the patient. You have to avoid doing damage to surrounding tissue, which could end up being worse than the original condition. We Europeans are admittedly not as quick to go for our guns. But maybe that’s because reaching for your gun is not necessarily the best way to solve the problem. You know, Clint Eastwood in really just a movie star, and his work is based on fiction. It’s diverting entertainment, and it puts bums on seats. But it’s not the real world. That’s a little more complicated. But then I suppose, for the majority, it’s easier to shout shallow slogans, your own or someone elses, than it is to “THINK”. AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! Anything but that!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 6, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #179365

SE,

Europe has to take a side.

Doesn’t she?
Doesn’t most of European nations opposed Iraq War?
Doesn’t most of European nations contribute to counter-terrorism (hint: check this summer newspapers about UK, German, French, Danish counter-terrorism successfull operations)?
Doesn’t most of European nations but UK refused to support Israel overreacting (as in giving Hearts and Minds to the enemy) and flawed (air strike vs urban terrorists warfare???) war against Lebanon?
Doesn’t European nations the ones commiting the most troops to FINUL II in Lebanon right now???

Or do you mean the chosen side is not the exact same than US one, so it’s the wrong one? Still locked in black and white world? There is way more sides than just “mine, neutral and not mine”, you know. And it’s too early to know which from mine or your is wrong…

Berlisconi wants Italy to stay Christan.

Separation of state and church anyone?
In a secular Europa, who care about dominant religion? We should care about values and morality, not from which (or none) religion(s) it comes.

The left wants a pluralistic society full of African Muslims from Moracco and Tunisia and Lybia.

Please provide link backing that was in Prodi election program, because I really doubt it.
For one, because they can’t without having all others EU members falling on them the minute after!

They want to throw open the borders to the Turks.

First, Turkey EU membership is a very heated debate in EU since years.
Second, it’s not opening the borders to Turks, it’s “expanding” EU borders up to Turkey ones.
Last, seems that Turkey is still far away to meet the reforms required. I hope she will.

They want to dilute and eventualy intigrate and then change the fabric of Italian society to a “modern” society.

What’s wrong with that? Didn’t Italian society ever changed since Caesar or what? Where are Roman gods? Where are romans numbers??? Didn’t Romans and Greeks eventually mixed?

Thus the lines are drawn. It’s really a fundamental choice and folks are lining up on both sides.

If they’re, doesn’t it means European *are* taking a side? And why only two sides (us or them???)?

I think the line you want to drawn is Sicilia shaped…

Does Italy and the rest of Europe accept being over run by many foreing cultures in the name of pluralism, or is trying to keep a society that has existed for 2 milinia really that bad.

Now that’s funny because the most important (overrun!) *foreign* culture in Europe is the american one.
Your question is: does we (EU) should accept non american culture in name of pluralism? I stand on the yes side, definitivly. Not because of anti-americanism but because of monopolistic pro-americanism.

Plus, Italian society 2 milinias ago was an empire powered by faith on several gods. Today she’s christian. Italy society *has* changed a lot since, as many others societies, and will continue in the future. You can do nothing about that. That’s all societies destiny. Change is life. Deal with it.

Oh, BTW, what’s wrong about muslims? Or do you confuse all muslims with islamic terrorists in your posts or what?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #179370

Stephen,

Iraq is what it is. Today, it is the central front in our battle with al-Qaeda and fundementalist Muslims. And its a two way street. It saps the treasure and will of all involved.

“The only way to truly defeat al-Qaeda here is to get out of the quagmire and leave behind a stable Iraq, if that is at all possible.”

Then we are agreed. We must win in Iraq.

“That is why I advocate a more goal oriented, less reactionary, lest perseverative strategy. We should set a timetable for withdrawal.”

Timetables are not goals, they are constraints. Securing the peace is a goal. Defeating the enemy is a goal.

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 6, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #179372

SE speaks of his support for Berlusconi and the Republicans. Oh well now, there’s a surprise! Considering that Berlusconi is regarded as perhaps the most corrupt politician in Europe. Others have made comments about Chirac. Well, its true that Chirac is widely regarded, even in France as corrupt. Indeed, he only got in the last time because in the second round of voting, the electorate were left with the choice of either Chirac, or Jean Marie le Pen, the right wing facist wingnut.

But how about this? A country that votes an incoherent drunk into the highest and most powerful office in the land? A man whose resume might just get him a job flipping burgers in any civilised nation, gets to be state governor and National leader? Puts one in mind of the story of Caligula appointing his favourite horse to the Senate and attempting to appoint it consul. Well, the good ole US of A didn’t appoint a horse, just a horses ass! Shades of decay and decadence. I find it difficult to imagine the shame of having a leader who is a laughing stock around the world. A man who cannot even speak coherently. If his speech is incoherent, then, as the expression of his mind, his mind is incoherent also. And that’s saying something, coming from a country that, with some homourable exceptions, doesn’t have a great deal to boast about in our national leaders since independence.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 6, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #179373

Timetables are not goals, they are constraints. Securing the peace is a goal. Defeating the enemy is a goal.
Posted by: Charles Adams at September 6, 2006 10:24 AM

Charles, a goal is not a goal, without a timeframe for its achievement. Without that, it is merely a meaningless aspiration. the time frame is what gives the goal momentum and urgency.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 6, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #179374

Methinks what masquerades as a soaring eagle, is merely a squawking flightless chicken. Bwaaawwwkkkk bawk bawk bawk bawk!

No offence eagle, just having a little fun at your expense.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 6, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #179375

Paul,

Timeframes are exactly what al-Qaeda is looking for. Read al-Zawahiri’s letters. Read bin Laden’s speeches. To present them with a timeframe for departure regardless of outcome is playing right into their hands. We’ve done enough of that already.

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 6, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #179379

Funny, most of my anecdotes serve my purpose, too.

Posted by: Gerrold at September 6, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #179380

everett, the US did pull together after 9/11 and we all wanted Osama head on a silver platter, then the problem arose, Georgie Boy decided that Saddam was behind it all, and if we took him out then everything would fall into place. The only thing that has fallen beside Saddam is the number of US service members killed in a war that should have never happened.
Georgie and his evil three (Rice, Rumsfeld,Cheney), decided that the 3 evil countries needed to be taught a lesson, N.Korea, Iran, Iraq. Now who to pick on as the bully of the world, mmmm lets pick on Iraq, the weakest with the least amount of friends to back it. Wait lets see if we can bs the rest of the world into believing lies we tell in the UN with false intel.

Well now we are in the middle of a civil war in Iraq, losing more service members everyday.

The only reason the US has not had the amount of blood shed as Europe is because 2 oceans help keep it out of the US, during the World Wars, but now we know that has changed.

Get back to where the problem started and get Osama because Iraq if NOT the front against terror, and impeach georgie

Posted by: KT at September 6, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #179385

KT,

The only reason the US has not had the amount of blood shed as Europe is because 2 oceans help keep it out of the US, during the World Wars, but now we know that has changed.

Except if someone with huge ICBMs stock is fool enough to attack US cities, I think US is still well defended by these 2 oceans and the kind of bloodness several generation of European had known in their flesh and mind won’t happen in US anytime soon. You lucky.

You can’t compare the multi-millions of casualties in last centuries European wars with US terrorism casualties. Both deserve equal respect, sure, but the scales are not comparable. Few americans lives are really concerned by War On Terror, no draft, no war tax, nothing. Very few americans, compared to the whole, are actually paying today the price of Bush’s War On Terror. Sure, next americans generations will, thanks to the debt.
But still, it’s nothing comparable with a full European generation very concrete experience with bloody wars at home.

Last concrete americans experience with bloody war on their land was during its own civil war, long ago… Weapons technology have made huge (deadly) progress since.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #179386

Jerseyguy, nice post at top.
Agreed fully.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #179388

Silma-

“students can be required to practice parts of Islam.”

Way to not even read the case you cited. (Eklund v. Byron Unified School District)

Would you like to actually read it and then comment? Or do you want everyone to know that you have absolutely no clue what the case is about.

It’s called social studies…not self studies. If all they did was teach you about your own beliefs, then it wouldn’t exactly qualify as education now would it? All the students had to do was engage muslim culture for an hour while in class so that they could learn about it. Its no different than Rumsfeld constantly engaging in WWII analogies except that in this case, the school was not looking to decieve anyone.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 6, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #179411

A few thoughts on the Iraq war-
1) The idea that everything will get better if we just leave NOW or set a timetable seems illogical to me. We are dealing with fanatics who look down upon what they perceive as weakness. We must stay long enough to give the new Iraqi government a chance to build up its own defenses.
2) I wonder if Europe’s response to our requests for help in Iraq reflect an attitude of dependency? “The Yanks rescued us from two world wars, so they will ALWAYS be around to set things right in the future, even if we flip them off now.”

Finally, a slightly off-topic question for Philippe: is it true, as I have read elsewhere, that French people from rural areas have vastly different political viewpoints from city dwellers? I have never set foot in your country; I’m genuinely curious.

Posted by: Dan Cochran at September 6, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #179429

Dan, surely the same question could be asked about rural and city dwellers in the US? Does it matter either way? In my experience attitudes attributed to city dwellers in general more often only apply to those who are more vocal in their views. Maybe the silent majority are really silent?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 6, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #179439

Nikkolai-
Let’s start with John Dean’s example of Bush providing Congress with a presidential determination (as required under the war powers act and the Authorization to use force) that called the informal introductory language of the authorization itself a congressional finding- a report, and basically plagiarized that language to stand for the findings.

Then let’s go to the National Intelligence estimate that was provided to congress to get that authorization. There were two versions, one declassified and public, the other secret, classified.

The declassified version had many of the qualifications, disputes and other issues edited out of it. This also gives us the grounds to consider the standard talking point of “everybody had the same information” not only a lie, but damned lie, especially when you also factor in that Bush has revoked clearance for most members of congress and the Senate.

He lies everytime he says he did not link Saddam and al-Qaeda. He lies when he says that WMDs were not the big concern they were. He lies when he says commanders on the ground aren’t asking for more men; they are, it’s just that the generals above them know what Rumsfeld and the president don’t want to hear.

SE-
My observation is that the best way to to deal with incoming foreign hordes (at least if we’re talking about immigrants) is to make them feel welcome. Let them put down roots. Then they’ll defend and stand for the country with equal zeal, like the Irish(my folks), the Italians (especially sicilians!) and everybody else who has been designated a foreign horde by the natives.

The problem with Europe right not is that it hasn’t been so welcoming. The immigrants have been treated as the hired help, and were expected to completely and utterly assimilate. Here in America, our saving grace has been assimilation by identification. You need not dispense with most of your customs and sensibilities to be American. You can maintain a loyalty to the homeland without being untrue to America. I’m certain you can understand that.

The choice here is not between us and the Islamofascists. It’s not between purity and dilution. It’s between communion and conflict. We win if they lose their will to strike against us. We don’t have to control every Middle Eastern nation, kill every terrorist, become ruthless parodies of our former selves or grow paranoid about rivals and foreigners. In fact, those actions and tendencies will often serve their purposes. There isn’t some central authority here to be subdued. The forces we face are decentralized. They not only hide amongst the population, sometimes the distinction isn’t even practical. Appealing to and reshaping the sentiments of the masses there is not some inconvenience we venture to deal with once the military campaign is over and done with. It’s the battleground itself. The more our actions entrench anti-American sentiments, the closer we edge towards losing this fight for the next generation, if not longer.

Our victory over the terrorists requires cooperation from the people who live alongside them. Only with their aid does al-Qaeda endure. Only with their help can we kill it. Only with their consent can we enlist their aid in ironing out the radicalism and the tyranny in their culture.

We need these people to balance whatever anxieties they have about the changes we work with their own belief that the changes are for the better. If we fail to do that, then it’s going to be bruising, expensive, and likely unsuccessful fight for the next few decades.

Do we need to be wimps or pacifists to do this? No. What we need to do is better justify our actions in their terms. If we go to war with somebody, the consensus in the region should be that our targets brought it on themselves. This was part of Bush 41’s brilliance with his confrontation with Saddam. He got clerics to call Saddam’s actions unislamic, issuing fatwas that made opposition to Saddam a holy duty. He got leaders in the region to band against Saddam, and even to provide bases and logistical support. He kept the war short and sweet.

Ultimately, you have to be real creative if you want people to draw conclusions they normally wouldn’t. Being that creative takes time, effort and understanding that Bush and his folks are too self-assured of their own righteousness to undertake. This can’t be about their being two sides to the issue, with Muslims and Arabs on one side and ourselves on the other. If we want peace, The Muslims and Arabs have to side with us against their own. The real quesiton here is how we achieve that.

Charles Adams-
Bush’s policy is a constraint. It constrains us to remain until things get better, while not doing much to make things that way.

Any goal, any plan constrains one’s actions by what it requires. What a timetable, properly made, would require would be that we and the Iraqi’s improve things to a certain level and that we would go after that.

We wouldn’t sit around hoping things would get better. If the terrorists or insurgents think they’re getting the time off, they should be sadly mistaken. With the end of our involvement clearly in sight, it would be in our interests and those of the Iraqis to get a handle on things. Once we start doing so, once we get those trouble spots pacified, we can go about the business of preparing for the next step.

If we are doing our jobs, we should be prepared to leave in an orderly fashion. In fact, that’s the ultimate test of the success of our efforts.

If we can’t leave without throwing the country into chaos, then we cannot say we’re winning the war. Only when we can leave on our own terms can we claim we’re getting close to victory.

For all the talk of standing down as our Iraqi allies stand up, we have yet to see great reductions in force. That’s telling. Bush’s refusal to consider timetables is a dead giveaway to the real state of this war, and the real need to get on the ball. It’s also indicative of the need to shift policy on this war before it’s too late, and how much Bush stands in the way of that.

If we can’t leave without these people getting the upper hand, then our goal of Democratizing the Middle East is a failure from the get-go. These nations have to be self sufficient for our efforts to be successful. What plays into Bin Laden’s hands is not the timetable, but the failure of the Iraq policy in general. If the policy were truly successful, there would be no reason not to begin our departure.

Dan Cochran-
It’s true that these people look down on weakness, but you can wage a war so ineffectually that staying in a region will hardly improve their opinion at all. We’ve kept an undermanned mission in Iraq for three years now, showing America’s incapable of turning a striking military victory in the beginning to real control in the aftermath. We have brought chaos, radicalism, and civil war in our wake. How does that demonstrate our strength?

If we can implement a phased departure without the nation collapsing, then that will amply demonstrate our strength, not only in being able to hold off the enemy forces, but also the strength of the policy. If our administration does not have faith in the results of its policy or it has no plans to leave, then the talk of standing down as Iraqis stand up is just bluster and B.S..

As for European dependency, I think that was intentional on our part. In the wake of WWII, we didn’t want the newly conquered enemies to rebuild armies and remake themselves as new threats, so we made them more or less dependent on our protection. In the course of the Cold War, we sought to shore up the borders of the regions containing the Soviet threat, which ended up being Western Europe. World War II made it strategically necessary to make them dependent, the Cold War made it necessary to keep them that way.

If we want to break them of their dependency, it’ll be necessary to let them go their own way. Of course, that might mean that they feel less inclined to go ours. Them the breaks.

Now do you see why we have such a problem with Bush’s attempts to subvert international organizations? If everything is about expedient relationships, we’re more likely to find a former friend allying against us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #179505

Pennsylvania

Posted by: SteveH at September 7, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #179528

Thanks SteveH, I should have check the spelling. Sorry.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2006 4:15 AM
Comment #179530

Dan Cochra,

I wonder if Europe’s response to our requests for help in Iraq reflect an attitude of dependency? “The Yanks rescued us from two world wars, so they will ALWAYS be around to set things right in the future, even if we flip them off now.”

Europe’s response to Iraq War reflect more an attitude of foreign policy *independency*. “the Yanks freed us in two world wars, so let’s use this FREEDOM to disagree with warmongers, even if they’re yankees”.

At least, that’s the way I see it, as an european.

Finally, a slightly off-topic question for Philippe: is it true, as I have read elsewhere, that French people from rural areas have vastly different political viewpoints from city dwellers? I have never set foot in your country; I’m genuinely curious.

Not “vastly” different, but in general rural people have a bit more conservative and nationalist political viewpoints than urban ones. And I don’t really think that’s specific to France, either. Check your own blue/red states map to see too.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2006 4:24 AM
Comment #179657

Philippe, Paul in Euroland, great posts! Very glad you two were both here to refute the Sic Eagle’s nonsense.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #179804

If Republicans are so strong on Security, why did they disband the government body that was solely designed to track down bin Laden? Could it be that they only are interested in Security when they can scare some lower-income housewife with 4 kids into voting against her own economic interests just because she’s been terrified into thinking that Republicans care about “Security”? Could it be that Republicans only care about keeping themselves and their rich friends in the business of sponging off the Middle Class until it’s no longer in existence? Brian Poole is right, the rest of this is mostly nonsense. The sad thing is that Al Quaeda really is highly dangerous, and far more so since we recruit for them every day we stay in Iraq. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11, and it’s about time the Republicans quit trying to say it did. We are in Iraq because Saddam tried to have Bush’s father killed. Oh yeah, and Bush thought he could get a monopoly on their oil.

Because of our ill advised attack on Iraq, we are (as Gingrich said), actually in a world war against Islam, one that could have been avoided easily if we’d left Iraq alone and concentrated on the Arab countries who really are terrorist sponsors like Iran and Syria. But no, just because that would have made sense, Bush chose to invade Iraq instead. Worst President in American history, and the damage he’s done would take 15 Presidential terms to fix. Fortunately, we won’t have any more Bushes. Thank God for that at least. Isn’t it hilarious that Gingrich would have been wrong if Bush hadn’t worked to make him right?

I’m an ex-Republican. There are a lot of us out there now. The longer Bush stays there, the more of us there will be.

Posted by: JimD at September 8, 2006 11:11 AM
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