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Old 02-24-2005, 12:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Has Bush Become Too Isolated and Controversial To Even Be A Benefit To His Supporters

Along with your knee jerk reaction....there goes that bush hater, "host" again, starting another anti Bush thread......consider the possibility that it might not be hate that motivates me....and apparently a lot of other people.....maybe not all to protest this president's policies and actions, but to unceasingly call attention to the impact on U.S. foreign relations and on Americans relationships with each other as a result of Bush serving as president.

Can he still be an effective president, being this isolated ?

Given the cost and the impact on the places that he visits, is there a
signifigant benfit vs. risk (his safety, chances of more positive than negative reaction by local populace and their media) of future Bush travel to foreign population centers ?

Do you think that the White House believed that it would be allowed to
hold a town hall meeting with Bush and members of a diverse German public,
on it's terms, as it routinely does here in the U.S. ? Is this a sign that the
president's advisors and the state department are not accurately assessing
public and press awareness/opinions of the Bush town hall meetings format.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/23/news/scene.html">http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/23/news/scene.html</a>
News Analysis: Bush sealed off from Germans in Mainz
By Richard Bernstein The New York Times
Thursday, February 24, 2005

<center><center><img src="http://me.to/mainz.jpg">
Isolation is metaphor for strained ties

MAINZ, Germany The main event of President Bush's visit here was a speech to an enthusiastically applauding audience of about 3,500 German citizens, gathered in a flag-bedraped hall in this town on the Rhine, thrilling to his declaration that Germany and America are more than "firm allies and friends," they are "partners in leadership."
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And then, after the speech, Bush and the German chancellor took a boat trip on the river, just to enjoy each others' company.
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That was 16 years ago, when George Herbert Walker Bush was president, Helmut Kohl the German chancellor, and Germany and the United States were united in the great cause of winning, or at least surviving, the cold war.
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The current president, George W. Bush, who made a seven-hour stopover here Wednesday, had a very different sort of trip to Mainz. It was a very successful one, according to German and American officials; it helped a great deal to repair German-American relations damaged over the war in Iraq.
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But there was something about the very physical setting that suggested how different and less automatically warm German-American relations remain, despite Bush's strenuous effort to improve them. Most conspicuously was the almost total lack of any contact between ordinary Germans and an American president visiting what could almost have been a stage setting, a German town with buildings but no people, a depopulated place, its shops and restaurants closed, and only police in green uniforms visible on the streets.
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Of course, in the post-9/11 world, it is no longer possible for visiting American presidents to stand before throngs of German citizens, as John Kennedy did in 1963 when he made his famous "I am a Berliner" speech, or as Ronald Reagan did in 1987 when he declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
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But Bush was so sealed off from Germans other than Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the two German journalists able to ask questions at a joint press conference that even a town meeting-type encounter with Mainz residents was scrubbed, out of the worry that the mood would be hostile. A meeting with a group of carefully screened Young Leaders was put in its place.
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So the Bush-Schröder summit meeting went well, and both sides in this critical trans-Atlantic relationship were determined that it would go well. But the almost total isolation of Bush from Germans seemed a metaphor for how far apart Germans and Americans have drifted in the past couple of years, how wide the gap is.
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"I think it was not only fine, but excellent," Karsten Voigt, a senior German Foreign Ministry official, said after Bush's meeting with Schröder. "Both sides obviously want to symbolize, by language, by rhetoric and by body language that German-American relations are good. When politicians do that, it's more than symbolic; it's also substance, because it gives a signal to public opinion that this is the way they want it to be in the future."
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"I'm not saying that all the differences have been solved," Voigt said. "But the dialogue is no longer about whether a policy is right or wrong; it is now about developing the right strategy to deal with problems."
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But what of the eerie depopulation of Mainz, and the cancellation of the town meeting? Voigt said that, aside from the post 9/11 security aspect to it, the absence of any connection between Bush and ordinary Germans illustrates what he called the skepticism toward Bush felt by a majority of Germans.
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"It's simply a fact that the German government is moving in this direction," Voigt said, meaning toward warmer ties with the United States, "but that German population is skeptical."
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To be sure, one of the purposes of Bush's visit was to erase the bad memories of those days two years ago when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called Europe "irrelevant," and Bush and Schröder were essentially not on speaking terms.
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He may have succeeded; certainly, in calling Schröder "Gerhard" at their joint press conference and in thanking Germany, France and Britain for "taking the lead" on Iran - an initiative toward which the Bush White House was initially openly suspicious - Bush has altered the rhetoric and perhaps the mood.
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It may in this sense be unfair to compare Mainz 2005 with other, showier American presidential visits to Germany, from Kennedy's in 1963 to Bill Clinton's memorable stroll through the Brandenburg Gate, marking the withdrawal of American troops from a reunified Berlin. Those were times when Germany lay exactly across history's main fault line, and, quite simply, it does not any more.
Quote:
<a href="http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,343281,00.html">http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,343281,00.html</a>
February 23, 2005

BUSH IN GERMANY

With a Hush and a Whisper, Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans

During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?

AP
US President George W. Bush arrived in Frankfurt on Wednesday morning. He won't be meeting with the people here, but he will be meeting with a handpicked bunch of Germany's future business and political leaders.
The much-touted American-style "town hall" meeting the White House has been planning with "normal Germans" of everyday walks of life will be missing during his visit to the Rhine River hamlet of Mainz this afternoon. A few weeks ago, the Bush administration had declared that the chat -- which could have brought together tradesmen, butchers, bank employees, students and all other types to discuss trans-Atlantic relations -- would be the cornerstone of President George W. Bush's brief trip to Germany.

State Department diplomats said the meeting would help the president get in touch with the people who he most needs to convince of his policies. Bush's invasion of Iraq and his diplomatic handling of the nuclear dispute with Iran has drawn widespread concern and criticism among the German public. And during a press conference two weeks ago, Bush said Washington is still terribly misunderstood in Europe. All the more reason, it would seem, for him to be pleased about talking to people here.

But on Wednesday, that town hall meeting will be nowhere on the agenda -- it's been cancelled. Neither the White House nor the German Foreign Ministry has offered any official explanation, but Foreign Ministry sources say the town hall meeting has been nixed for scheduling reasons -- a typical development for a visit like this with many ideas but very little time. That, at least, is the diplomats' line. Behind the scenes, there appears to be another explanation: the White House got cold feet. Bush's strategists felt an uncontrolled encounter with the German public would be too unpredictable.

To avoid that messy scenario, the White House requested that rules similar to those applied during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit two weeks ago also be used in Mainz. Before meeting with students at Paris's Institute of Political Sciences, which preens the country's elite youth for future roles in government, Rice's staff insisted on screening and approving any questions to be asked by students. One question rejected was that of Benjamin Barnier, the 24-year-old son of France's foreign minister, who wanted to ask: "George Bush is not particularly well perceived in the world, particularly in the Middle East. Can you do something to change that?" Instead, the only question of Barnier's that got approval was the question of whether Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority might create a theocratic government based on the Iranian model?

The Germans, though, insisted that a free forum should be exactly that. Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany's Ambassador to the United States, explained to the New York Times last week: "We told them, don't get upset with us if they ask angry questions."

In the end, the town hall meeting was never officially dropped from the agenda of the trip -- instead it was dealt with in polished diplomatic style -- both sides just stopped talking about it.

As an ersatz for the town hall meeting on Wednesday, Bush will now meet with a well-heeled group of so-called "young leaders." Close to 20 participants will participate in the exclusive round to be held in the opulent Mozart Hall of a former royal palace in Mainz, giving them the opportunity for a close encounter with the president. The chat is being held under the slogan: "A new chapter for trans-Atlantic relations." The aim of the meeting is to give these "young leaders" a totally different impression of George W. Bush. In order to guarantee an open exchange, the round has been closed to journalists -- ensuring that any embarrassments will be confined to a small group.

The guest list for the Wednesday afternoon gathering has been handpicked by several US organizations with offices in Germany. In recent days, the Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund have sent lists of possible guests to the German Foreign Ministry. The requirement was that all of the nominees had to be in their twenties or thirties and they must already have been in a leadership position at a young age. In other words: there won't be any butchers or handymen on the elite guest list, but rather young co-workers from blue chip companies like automaker DaimlerChrysler, Deutsche Bank or the consultancy McKinsey. The fact that two American organizations are the ones managing the guest list suggests that the chat won't be overly critical of Bush.

One participant in the Bush round is 31-year-old Katrin Heuel of Berlin, an employee of the conservative Aspen Institute. Just a few days ago, she received an invitation from the Protocol Office of the German Foreign Ministry. She's a bit nervous about the encounter -- after all, Bush isn't someone she's likely to encounter in her daily life in Berlin. She says she hasn't heard anything about questions being scrutinized in advance or of any kind of script for the event. "I will ask very open questions about Iran, North Korea and Russia," she said, adding that she's excited to see how the president will react to the young people's questions.

Foreign Ministry sources said Berlin wasn't planning any briefing on the course of the chat prior to the event. And it's unknown whether the American staff will make any suggestions to the young leaders. Then again, the day's issue -- a new chapter for trans-Atlantic relations, seems to ensure that things won't get out of hand -- after all, this event is supposed to focus on the future and not dwell on prickly questions about the past.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1497764,00.html">http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1497764,00.html</a>America

February 24, 2005

Germans believe debt of gratitude has been settled
By Roger Boyes
THOUSANDS of demonstrators defied one of the biggest security operations in modern Germany yesterday to march in Mainz in protest at American policies.

Massed police units who had made a virtual ghost town out of the city — blocking air, river and rail traffic — corralled the demonstrators in front of the town hall.

Despite concern that the No Welcome To Bush rally could explode into violence after nightfall, the police allowed the protesters to march past the railway station and around the fringes of the city. An anti- terrorist unit overpowered some protesters as they tried to plant a banner declaring “Go Home Mr President!” on the roof of the station.

Police reported some scuffles, but by the time that President Bush had left Mainz on his way to Bratislava, there had been no big confrontation.

About 10,000 demonstrators came from across Germany, by train and by coach, and were determined to show their opposition to America’s intervention in Iraq and to US policy on the environment.

At least three police barricades always separated the American leader from his critics. As they edged closer to the security zone in the early evening, the President was already miles away in Wiesbaden addressing US troops.

Opinion polls published yesterday suggested that the demonstrators spoke for a large number of Germans. According to one survey, Germans trust President Putin of Russia more than they do Mr Bush.

Certainly, there was no mistaking yesterday the personal animosity towards Mr Bush. “This is about the man and his policies,” Andreas Atzl, 22, a sociology student and one of the organisers of the rally, said. “We are not anti-American. After all, many Americans are against Bush, too.”

Germans have a peculiarly emotional relationship with the leaders of the world’s superpowers. They loved John F. Kennedy, above all because of his commitment to West Berlin; and they loved Mikhail Gorbachev. At first they hated Ronald Reagan for his Star Wars weapons programme and his determination to station cruise missiles in West Germany, but they even learnt to love him (“Tear down this Wall, Mr Gorbachev”).

Yet there seems to be little chance of Germans rethinking their opposition to Mr Bush: there has been a fundamental change in German attitudes to the United States.

“Never in the history of the United States was anti-Americanism so broadly spread and so deeply anchored as today,” Mariam Lau, one of Germany’s shrewdest commentators, said.

The anti-Vietnam protests in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s were loud and influential, but nonetheless marginal. “A majority of Germans in the late 1960s saw themselves clearly on the side of the Americans,” Frau Lau said. “Today 70 per cent of 30 to 44-year-olds in Germany say they have no debt of gratitude to the US.”
Quote:
16.02.2005 <a href="http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1491765,00.html">http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1491765,00.html</a>
Mainz to Lock Down for Bush Visit

Mainz will basically shut down on Feb. 23

Tight security measures are being put into place for George W. Bush's stop in the city of Mainz next week during his European tour. Highways will be sealed off, schools closed, and river and air traffic suspended.

The US president's visit to Germany is meant to help patch up his relationship between Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, which was strained to the breaking point over the Iraq war. But the one-day stopover likely won't do much for residents of the Mainz region, since much of their city will be sealed off on Feb. 23, the day of Bush's visit.

Portions of four highways will be closed from Frankfurt International Airport, where Bush arrives, past the city of Mainz, where he is meeting with the German leader in the city's Kurfürstliches Schloss (photo), a castle along the Rhine River. Portions of the Rhine, Europe's busiest waterway, as well as the nearby Main River will be closed throughout the day.

Air space in a 60 kilometer (37 mile) radius around Mainz will be closed for all non-commercial aircraft, according to police. Several area schools will be shuttered.

"We have had Clinton, Gorbachev, the pope, Reagan and Chirac in Mainz. But this visit is the biggest challenge we've ever had," Wolfgang Lembach, an official in the region government, told Reuters.

Less than a hearty welcome

Bush remains very unpopular in Germany, despite recent efforts by Washington to get relations back on track and put differences over the Iraq war behind them. Police say they expect between 5,000 and 6,000 demonstrators on Wednesday to attend at least six protests against Bush's foreign policy.

Bush will likely not hear their message directly; a "red zone" has been set up in Mainz where only authorized people will be allowed.

German officials said they believed that Bush would visit American troops at nearby bases in Wiesbaden, but did not have specific information.

Plans for a short walk through Mainz's historic city center appear to have been cancelled, although Laura Bush might visit the city's Gutenberg Museum.

Initial plans for a "town hall" style meeting between the president and local students, businessmen and Americans in the area have also been scrapped, out of fears that such a public forum could backfire.

Like father, unlike son

Bush's itinerary in Germany stands in sharp contrast to a visit his father made to Chancellor Helmut Kohl in May 1989, when the elder Bush took a boat ride down the Rhine with the then-German leader and addressed more than 3,000 Germans and Americans in a speech, during which he was warmly received.

"The relationship between the US and the Federal Republic of Germany has never been better," George H.W. Bush said at the time.

Today, that relationship has been turned on its head and the bond between the two allies is probably more strained than at any time since World War II. In a BBC survey, 77 percent of Germans said they believed Bush's re-election had made the world more dangerous.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As stated here by myself and other before, Germans don't like Bush, great. They are allowed that, nobody forces them to like America, our politicians, or our policies, I could care less, and I don't see what the big deal is. There has long been a growing Anti-American sentiment before Bush, there has long be a holier then thou feeling there, it will continue to be there after Bush. We have our own policies that we need to take care of, Germans, Europeans, any nation/continent can deal with it; it's no surprise that the germans operate the sameway.

Bush swears an oath to America and it's citizens to defend our constitution, our country, and our interests, he doesn't swear an oath to anybody else. Germans/French/Russians/UN be damned.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Germans/French/Russians/UN be damned.
Um...... Is it just me or is that the reason why he's over there kissing European ass in the first place?
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Who's kissing ass? Overall we are still "friendly" nations, still "allies", plus it is in both parties interest to remain that way. This is the first time in a minute that Bush has been over there. We are past the point of the original Iraqi political infighting, plus as it goes there is much more to American/Euro relations then Iraq. Also I must say, I have been watching the daily show more often, tonight was a good one, Jon brought up them same point about our presence being there as more or less "kissing ass", the "reporter" (still not good with names, guy from MAACO commercials...) told him it was Bush doing quite the opposite, he went to war, got re-elected, and Chiraq can suck his balls.

Plus my Germans/French/Russians/UN be damned was in regards to Bush's responsibilites and feality, they belong to America and it's sovereign, no one else.

But to answer the original posts' question, I don't think Bush is any longer to controversial and isolated, we are past any debate on Iraq, we are committed and nothing is going to change that. The Europeans can bitch at him for whatever reason they want, it won't change anything either way, if they want to get stuck on Iraq two years ago that's their beef, I think it's legit if they are pissed of about enviromental shit or whatever else, but fucking get over Iraq people...
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Uh, he has reconciled with those countries as well as the UN because of that "damn them" policy, only to later realize, oh, maybe thats not too smart. I mean hey, after telling the UN to essentially shove it, we're invading Iraq, he later goes back and asks the UN for help on Iraq. Now its Europe's turn.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It just depends on how you look at things. You can look at it (as I am sure you do) that Bush's policies have isolated America from Western Europe. Alternatively, you can look at it as Western Europe isolating itself from America because of disagreements on policies. Either way you look at it, I think the idea that the views between America and Europe are so divergent that Bush cannot be an effective president is laughable. Then again, I guess it depends on your meaning of effective...
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by retsuki03
It just depends on how you look at things. You can look at it (as I am sure you do) that Bush's policies have isolated America from Western Europe. Alternatively, you can look at it as Western Europe isolating itself from America because of disagreements on policies. Either way you look at it, I think the idea that the views between America and Europe are so divergent that Bush cannot be an effective president is laughable. Then again, I guess it depends on your meaning of effective...
When the president is scheduled to appear in a place that the public would conceivably have access to, at home and abroad, that city or town, or a large segment of it, and several hundred square miles of air space above it, are
"locked down", access is blocked, businesses and schools are closed, and all
normal daily activity ceases. We saw this here, last month in DC, on Jan. 20.

Even for a brief Bush "public" appearance, work, shopping, school, and travel are interrupted for hours, or a day. Since at least early last year, only carefully pre-screened individuals who are sympathetic to Bush may be allowed in his presence to ask him pre-submitted and pre-approved questions, at home, and now in foreign countries as well.

White House attempts have recently been disclosed to provide Bush and his
press secretary with at least one sympathetic questioner who poses as a journalist at press briefings, to defuse and distract from real questioning by legitimate members of the press corp.

Executive branch department heads and aids have all been re-evaluated recently and it has been reported that loyalty to Bush was the determining factor in promotion, retnetion, and dismissal.

Bush seemed disoriented in the environment of the first presidential debate,
against John Kerry. The commentators of the press specualted that Bush lived in a "bubble" where he experienced no dissent or challenges by the limited number of people with access to him.

Now that Bush has removed even people like Colin Powell, who was presumed to disagree with him from time to time, has no spontaneous contact with the public and only a very limited amount with the press, is enveloped in the tightest and most extensive curtain of security that any official in the western world has apparently seen, can he be regarded by even those who support him as an effective, realistic, national and international leader, able to correctly sense the sentiment of the outside world, and it's reaction to what he says or does ?

How can he do this, given his ever increasing isolation, and doesn't the likelyhood increase that newly appointed deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and newly sworn in Sec'ty of State Condi Rice will interpret the outside world for Bush ? Is this what Bush supporters voted for ?
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Then again, I guess it depends on your meaning of effective...
I would define effective partly as the ability to negotiate with Europeans on issues of strategic importance to the U.S. Before Iraq, Europeans were more willing to make sacrifices during the negotiation process; now they are less willing, and hence Bush is a less effective President.
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Old 02-24-2005, 07:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This sort of story always seems to come up during a presidents second term.

Has President _______ become too isolated and out of tocuh? Can he still be effective? It's nothing new. History shows that the first two years of a second term is often the most productive for a two term. The last two are the least. I suspect it's why Bush seems to be on a break neck schedule: He knows he's only got two years
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by raveneye
I would define effective partly as the ability to negotiate with Europeans on issues of strategic importance to the U.S. Before Iraq, Europeans were more willing to make sacrifices during the negotiation process; now they are less willing, and hence Bush is a less effective President.
France has never been down with our military moves from Gulf War I to allowing us use of air space after Qahdaffi blew up a discoteque. Schroeder (at least as depicted in the American media) has been elected on an Anti-American platform. I think you are really giving them too much credit as far as how "open" they were/are with us. Plus your comment seems to negate, or at least doesn't acknowledge, the fact that France and Germany had/have their own interests in regards to Iraq and Saddam. Plus the fact that it's not big secret that one of the sole purposes of the EU is to act as a counterweight to American power and influence.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Schroeder (at least as depicted in the American media) has been elected on an Anti-American platform.
Definatly exaggerated, Schröder was elected for differend reasons, one has been his antiwar stance (while the CDU copied the US "hurray, we're going to war" mood). He made clear that he would not support a war without UN approval. The people liked that (among other things) and voted for him, thats democracy! While other nations, like spain or Britian ignored what the people want.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Uh, he has reconciled with those countries as well as the UN because of that "damn them" policy, only to later realize, oh, maybe thats not too smart. I mean hey, after telling the UN to essentially shove it, we're invading Iraq, he later goes back and asks the UN for help on Iraq. Now its Europe's turn.
I'm not the biggest bush supporter around here, but he NEVER told the UN to shove it. They were given opportunity time and time again to finally do something other than make another useless resolution and they could not come to a decision to do anything but make another useless resolution.

Even now, if the UN decides that they would rather see Iraq suffer instead of helping us and our allies out, so be it. It just makes it easier to dislike them. Europe is the same way, except the other members of the security council had no intention of sabotaging their behind the back deals with Iraq and lose billions, even though it was borderline, or fully, against the current sanctions in place against Iraq.

Personally, France/China/Russia all need to be globally rebuked for their total disregard for Iraqi Life and their unwillingness to maintain global security against terrorism.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well to be fair America sucks just as much as those guys for voting for the sanctions.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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to be even more fair, America AND Great Britain suck more for not voting to remove them when it was deemed that it wasn't hurting hussein but his general population.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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France has never been down with our military moves from Gulf War I to allowing us use of air space after Qahdaffi blew up a discoteque.
And our relationship with France now is even worse than in the past, because of Iraq.
Quote:
Schroeder (at least as depicted in the American media) has been elected on an Anti-American platform.
Yes, in part because of Iraq. Hence our relationship with Germany is also worse now because of Iraq.
Quote:
I think you are really giving them too much credit as far as how "open" they were/are with us.
Regardless of how willing they were or were not to make concessions with us before Iraq, they are less so now. That's one of the reasons Bush was there in the first place, to try and reverse the damage he has done.
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I like how the blame is put on America and George Bush for Iraq. Time to resurrect a dead horse, but people seem to forget either willingly or not, about all the shady dealings governments like France and Russia, and even Germany to an extent had with Iraq and Saddam. You had French companies like TotalFinaElf with 60+ billion dollars worth of contracts on the table with Saddam, you had French Foreign ministers on the take from Saddam's oil in the Oil-for-Food scandal, the majority of Iraqi's air force and helicopters were all French; then there's Russia, which as a country took over 8 billion dollars worth of oil from Saddam, plus was selling him weapons illegally, the main outfitter of Saddam's army (infront of France and Germany), plus both countries were owed money by Saddam, chances are they aren't going to get it now that he is gone. Also China fits in there somewhere, but I'm too lazy atm to throw out any dirt on them.

So tell me again why we should try and deal/mend fences with shady ass fuckers like that?
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Last edited by Mojo_PeiPei; 02-24-2005 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I like how the blame is put on America and George Bush for Iraq.
Doesn't matter who is to blame. He's still a less effective president because of it.
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Doesn't matter who is to blame. He's still a less effective president because of it.
thats why libya turned over all its nuke materials, because of bush's ineffectiveness?
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
This sort of story always seems to come up during a presidents second term.

Has President _______ become too isolated and out of tocuh? Can he still be effective? It's nothing new. History shows that the first two years of a second term is often the most productive for a two term. The last two are the least. I suspect it's why Bush seems to be on a break neck schedule: He knows he's only got two years
I think that it's different, this time. Unprecedented, in fact. A pathetic comedy.

The "lead in" made me anticipate that there was actually a show of support
for Bush that was worth reporting.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050224.wbush_slov24/BNStory/Front">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050224.wbush_slov24/BNStory/Front</a>
Despite considerable opposition to Mr. Bush's policies in Slovakia, whose government is a staunch U.S. ally that has deployed troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, about a half-dozen Slovaks gathered near the palace in a show of support for Bush. They held banners in English that read: "Values of America

Values of Slovakia" and "Slovakia Welcomes President Bush."

"We share the same values presented by Mr. Bush, and this gives us room to show people that not everybody is against him," said Laco Bariak, 26.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I had a well thought out (at least in my opinion) response, but the server went down, and now I will have to do it all over again.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:32 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth
thats why libya turned over all its nuke materials, because of bush's ineffectiveness?
Is that event sufficient to conclude that Bush is more effective now than previously?

Especially when you consider that his Iraq focus has ignored more significant nuclear threats then either Iraq or Libya?

Quote:
Stockpiles in Russia, Pakistan

Libya's disarmament, Khan's exposure and the ongoing war in Iraq -- signature events in Bush's nuclear record -- do not address what intelligence agencies describe as the major source of terrorist risk: "the vulnerability of Russian WMD materials and technology to theft or diversion," as Tenet put it last year.

Half the world's stockpile of plutonium and highly enriched uranium is in Russia. About 600 metric tons are warehoused in some form. Of that quantity, the Department of Energy reported at the end of 2003 that 22 percent is satisfactorily secured with U.S. technical and financial assistance. The department predicted that such "comprehensive" upgrades would cover 26 percent of the stockpile by the end of this year.

Extrapolating from those figures in his first debate with Bush, Kerry said it would take 13 years to secure Russia's bomb ingredients at the current pace.

"The big gorilla in the basement is the material from Russia and Pakistan," said Robert L. Gallucci, dean of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and a classified consultant to the CIA and Energy Department laboratories. "This is the principal, major national security threat to the United States in the next decade or more. I don't know what's in second place."

Securing the materials is laborious, expensive and dangerous work. Bush decided to let two of the major programs lapse because Russia declined to accept a change in the agreement that would shield U.S. firms from liability for worker safety.

Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), who asked to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 15, noted Bush's emphasis on the "immense threat" of nuclear terrorism and said acidly, "I wonder if he has been advised that liability -- that the liability issue is preventing destruction of enough plutonium for about 10,000 weapons?"

. . . .

Gallucci, who held arms control posts under presidents from Gerald Ford to Clinton, said he finds himself "on the edge of saying really shocking things."

"If tomorrow morning we lost a city, who of us could have said we didn't know how this could happen?" he said. "I haven't felt like this in all the years I've been in government or the nine since I've been [out]. I am -- I don't want to say scared, because that's not what I want to project, but I am deeply concerned for my family and for all Americans."
http://www.ransac.org/Publications/115200495539AM.html
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Because we have become more isolated from Europe doesnt make Bush any less effective here at home.

Until the UN opens up all the records (all the way to Kofi), they hold no juristiction over how I feel. It's REALLY hard to believe or support an organization that would allow the abuse of millions yearly just for some change in their pockets.

I dont agree with much of Bush's plans, especially the social ones here at home. But internationally I believe he put the big-boy pants back on America. Let the corrupt in Germany, France, Russia, China, and all those others piss and moan because we cut the head off their cash cow and gave some sort of freedom back to Iraq.
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:30 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Because we have become more isolated from Europe doesnt make Bush any less effective here at home.

Until the UN opens up all the records (all the way to Kofi), they hold no juristiction over how I feel. It's REALLY hard to believe or support an organization that would allow the abuse of millions yearly just for some change in their pockets.

I dont agree with much of Bush's plans, especially the social ones here at home. But internationally I believe he put the big-boy pants back on America. Let the corrupt in Germany, France, Russia, China, and all those others piss and moan because we cut the head off their cash cow and gave some sort of freedom back to Iraq.
Discussion in this thread hasn't quite turned toward the crux of the original point...........
(This is the best article that I've found to better convey my concerns. We
are a country not unlike a "deadman walking". We are led by a president who
is so isolated that he is delusional, without incoming channels of information and opinion that is diverse and unscrubbed enough for him to have the potenital of making better decisions than the ones that he makes, and the world must live with. We have a currency that can be unpredictably "talked down" because it's only backing is by "the full faith and credit of the U.S. government; a government headed by a "bubble boy".)

Quote:
<a href="http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=2222">http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=2222</a><p class="specialSauce">Potemkin World… or the President in the Zone</p>
"The great motorcade," wrote <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_murray/20050224.html">Canadian correspondent Don Murray</a>, "swept through the streets of the city… The crowds … but there were no crowds. George W. Bush's imperial procession through Europe took place in a hermetically sealed environment. In Brussels it was, at times, eerie. The procession containing the great, armour-plated limousine (flown in from Washington) rolled through streets denuded of human beings except for riot police. Whole areas of the Belgian capital were sealed off before the American president passed."

Murray doesn't mention the <a href="http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/top/story/0,4136,83614,00.html">19 American escort vehicles</a> in that procession with the President's car (known to insiders as "the beast"), or the 200 secret service agents, or the 15 sniffer dogs, or the Blackhawk helicopter, or the 5 cooks, or the 50 White House aides, all of which added up to only part of the President's vast traveling entourage. Nor does he mention the huge press contingent tailing along inside the president's security "bubble," many of them evidently <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4294359.stm">with their passports</a> not in their own possession but in the hands of White House officials, or the more than 10,000 policemen and <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,2763,1424007,00.html">the various frogmen</a> the Germans mustered for the President's brief visit to the depopulated German town of Mainz to shake hands with Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder.

This image of cities emptied of normal life (like those atomically depopulated ones of 1950s sci-fi films) is not exactly something Americans would have carried away from last week's enthusiastic TV news reports about the bonhomie between European and American leaders, as our President went on his four-day "charm offensive" to repair first-term damage to the transatlantic alliance. But two letters came into the Tomdispatch e-mailbox -- one from a young chemist in Germany, the other from a middle-aged engineer in Baghdad -- that reminded me of how differently many in the rest of the world view the offshore bubbles we continually set up, whether in Belgium, Germany, or the Green Zone in Baghdad. (Both letters are reproduced at the end of this dispatch.)
<h3>
Here's one of the strangest things about our President: He travels often enough, but in some sense he never goes anywhere. As I wrote back <a href="http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?emx=x&pid=1064">in November 2003</a>, as George and party were preparing to descend on London (central areas of which were being closed down for the "visit"):

<blockquote> "American presidential trips abroad increasingly remind me of the vast, completely ritualized dynastic processionals by which ancient emperors and potentates once crossed their domains and those of their satraps. Our President's processionals are enormous moving bubbles (even when he visits alien places closer to home like the Big Apple) that shut cities, close down institutions, turn off life itself. Essentially, when the President moves abroad, like some vast turtle, he carries his shell with him." </blockquote></h3>

Back then, I was less aware that, for Bush & Co., all life is lived inside a bubble carefully wiped clean of any traces of recalcitrant, unpredictable, roiling humanity, of anything that might throw their dream world into question. On the electoral campaign trail in 2004, George probably never attended an event in which his audience wasn't carefully vetted for, and often quite literally pledged to, eternal friendliness, not to say utter adoration. (Anyone who somehow managed to slip by with, say, a Kerry T-shirt on, was summarily ejected or even arrested.)

In a sense, our President's world has increasingly been filled with nothing but James Guckert clones. Guckert is, of course, the "journalist" who, using the alias Jeff Gannon, regularly attended presidential news conferences and lobbed softball questions George's way. The Gannon case, or "Gannongate," has -- are you surprised? -- <a href="http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/02/25/gannon_coverage/">hardly been touched on</a> by most of the mainstream media despite its lurid trail leading to internet porn sites and a seamy underside of gay culture -- issues that normally would glue eyes to TV sets and sell gazillions of papers (and that in the Clinton era would have rocked the administration). On the other hand, it did cause an uproar in the world of the political Internet, where, if we were to be honest -- and stop claiming to be shocked, shocked -- we would quickly admit that almost all of George's world has essentially filled up with Gannons (though not necessarily with the porn connections).

After all, even the President's Crawford "ranch" is really a Gannon-style set. And in Germany and France, George and Condi, his new Secretary of State, managed to have town-hall style meetings only with audiences of European Gannons; audiences so carefully combed over that, on a continent whose public is largely in opposition to almost any Bush policy you might mention, not a single challenging question seems to have been asked. That certainly represents remarkable advanced planning. It's no easy thing, after all, constantly to rush ahead of a President and his key advisors and create a Potemkin world for them from which reality has been banished and in which no rough edges will ever be experienced.
<h3>
This urge to shut down a pulsing planet rather than deal with it is but the other side of a no-less-powerful administration urge -- to free the President as Commander-in-Chief (and so the Pentagon as well) of all the fetters of our political system, of all those <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/27/opinion/27dowd.html?">checks and balances</a> so dear to high school civics classes throughout the land, and to encase his acts in a shroud of secrecy as well as non-accountability. More news about this appears practically every day. Just last week, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A48522-2005Feb23?language=printer">Ann Scott Tyson and Dana Priest of the Washington Post</a> reported that the Pentagon "is promoting a global counterterrorism plan that would allow Special Operations forces to enter a foreign country to conduct military operations without explicit concurrence from the U.S. ambassador there." The only authority for this would evidently be an "execute order" from the President.
</h3>
So the President passes through the empty cities of the world and, even when in filled auditoriums, through a world emptied of all reality but his. As I wrote in that 2003 dispatch, this impulse to shut down and shut out

<blockquote>"combines many urges at once. Certainly, there's the urge to stamp an imperial imprint of power on the world, and allied to it, the urge to control. The desire to cut off information, to rule in silence and secrecy, must undoubtedly have allures all its own. And then there's also simple fear (a feeling not much written about since our President and his administration quite literally took flight on September 11, 2001)."</blockquote>
<h2>
As the Iraqi letter-writer below makes clear, when you live in this way, only listening to your own voice or to those who don't dare to or care to challenge you, you don't always get the best advice. And while for a time you may be able to maintain your fantasies relatively intact, you're likely to have a tin ear for how you sound to others.</h2> If, for instance, this was the President's charm offensive, consider the "charm."

His "conciliatory" speeches and press conferences, his pledges to "listen" to the Europeans and "think over" their proposals (though not, of course, <a href="http://slate.msn.com/id/2113964/">to do anything about them</a>) were filled with nearly his normal quotient of imperial "musts," issued like so many diktats to the world at large. These pass largely unheard by American journalists, few of whom seemed to wonder how they sounded, along with the President's typically hectoring/lecturing style, to European leaders or publics:

<blockquote>"<a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/20050223-4.html">The European project</a> is important to our country. We want it to succeed. And in order for Europe to be a strong, viable partner, Germany <i>must</i> be strong and viable, as well… Syria <i>must</i> withdraw not only the troops, but its secret services from Lebanon… Iran <i>must</i> not have a nuclear weapon… <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/20050224-1.html">Today,</a> a new generation [of Slovakians and other Eastern Europeans] that never experienced oppression is coming of age. It is important to pass on to them the lessons of that period. They <i>must</i> learn that freedom is precious, and cannot be taken for granted; that evil is real, and must be confronted..."</blockquote>

One congenial crowd on the President's tour was filled with American troops, many from Iraq, gathered at Wiesbaden Army Airfield in Germany to "hoo-ah" him. <a href="http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050224/ZNYT03/502240469">As Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times</a> wrote, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "served as a warm-up speaker. Ms. Rice was raucously greeted with shouts of ‘We love you!' In a pep talk delivered without notes, Ms. Rice asked the crowd of 3,000: ‘Do you know why America has the greatest military in the history of the world? Because it has the greatest soldiers, airmen and seamen in the history of the world.'"

So on the one hand, that diktat tone traveled to Europe inside the Bush bubble; while on the other, those grandiose fantasies of American power made it as well (even if just barely). Since most U.S. media organizations exist more or less inside that bubble too, the "charm offensive" largely carried the day -- at least in the United States, where vivid descriptions of a Bush-depopulated Europe were scarce and <a href="http://www.campaigndesk.org/archives/001327.asp">analysis of transatlantic handshakes</a>, forced smiles, and body language (as if these were substantive policy) was plentiful indeed.

Of course, just about nobody in our mainstream media thinks -- or writes anyway – that George's musts and Condi's grandiosity are even passingly odd, but the Europeans, evidence tells us, generally think otherwise. As <a href="http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/022305I.shtml">Alain Duhamel of the French paper Libération</a> reminds us, over the last two years our President has had a striking unifying effect on Europe. At the crucial moment when he and his advisors, marching toward the war they so desperately wanted, did seem successful in splitting Europe's governments:

<blockquote>"France, Germany, and Belgium stood firm against him, and, miraculously, a massively refractory European public opinion emerged. What the European Council of Heads of Government never was able to do, George W. Bush succeeded in achieving: the citizens of all of continental Europe and a good number of Britons, whether their governments were left or right, whether their Prime Ministers had committed themselves in the American wake or had refused, all these citizens purely and simply rejected their choices and American methods. George W. Bush was midwife to the birth of a European public opinion."</blockquote>

So yes, last week European leaders stepped inside the presidential bubble, smiled, supped, shook hands, and said the right things to signal amity-restored; but they also understood that the very presence of the President in Europe and his visible unpopularity outside that bubble were indications of just how humbled the American "hyperpower" had been. And then they went their own ways.

So much for the good old days when there was to be an "old Europe" and a "new Europe" -- and National Security Advisor Condi Rice could claim our policy vis-à-vis Europe was to "forgive Russia, ignore Germany, and punish France"? Well, how the mighty have… if not fallen exactly, then slipped badly. (And <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/02/23/neocons_fret_over_tilt_to_europe?mode=PF">neocons lurking in think-tanks</a> all over bubblized Washington are fretting about exactly that.)

Nor, last week, could Europe's leaders have missed the way, as a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/24/opinion/24thu1.html?">New York Times editorial</a> put it, "a seemingly innocuous remark from the central bank of South Korea" about "diversifying" the dollar into other currencies, made "the dollar tank" and markets briefly plummet. Call it a little taste of another kind of "shock and awe." The greatest superpower with the greatest military and the greatest muscle and the greatest threat potential and the greatest power-projection ability and the greatest …. (well you get the idea) turns out to have <a href="http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=9242">economic feet of clay</a>.

Thanks to this administration, our military has been overstretched and humbled by the rebellion of a ragtag bunch of comparatively under-armed rebels and fanatics in Iraq. Administration officials have managed, in a fashion that must be stunning to some of the officers who rebuilt the armed forces in the 1980s, to recreate a Vietnam-like catastrophe, a tunnel with no light whatsoever at the end -- so much for the "lessons" of that war -- and are now clearly considering furthering the Vietnam analogy by hitting out at the present-day equivalent of "sanctuary areas" in neighboring states (Syria and Iran).

No wonder the Europeans mouthed the right words, offered to train a feeble 1,500 Iraqi police recruits a year (not even in Iraq but in Qatar) -- the French donated a single "equipment officer" to the project, about as close to a smirk as you can get -- and then went about their Iran-negotiating-China-embargo-dropping-post-Kyoto-Treaty business. From American mainstream reporting, you generally would have had only the most modest idea that this was the case, though there were a few honorable exceptions, just as you could find <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0224-06.htm">rare accounts</a> (usually on the inside pages of newspapers) of those emptied streets of Europe. Probably the single canniest exception I saw came from Tony Karon of <i>Time</i> magazine, who began a piece with the pungent title, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/columnist/printout/0,8816,1029937,00.html">Why Europe Ignores Bush</a>, this way:

<blockquote>"Machiavelli's advice to political leaders was that it's more important to be feared than to be loved. That's no help for President Bush on his European tour; in spite of the warm words he's exchanging with European leaders, the reality is that the Bush administration is neither loved nor feared in growing sectors of the international community -- increasingly, it is simply being ignored."</blockquote>

And he ended the piece with a reminder that the rest of the world is not simply waiting for the last global superpower to do its thing. It's reorganizing itself and going about its business just beyond our bubblized line of sight:

<blockquote>"All over the world, new bonds of trade and strategic cooperation are being forged around the U.S. China has not only begun to displace the U.S. as the dominant player in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization (APEC), it is fast emerging as the major trading partner to some of Latin America's largest economies… French foreign policy think tanks have long promoted the goal of ‘multipolarity' in a post-Cold War world, i.e. the preference for many different, competing power centers rather than the ‘unipolarity' of the U.S. as a single hyper-power. Multipolarity is no longer simply a strategic goal. It is an emerging reality."</blockquote>

With that, let me turn to those two letters from outside the bubble. Oliver Hass, a 28 year-old chemist and graduate student from Oldenberg, Germany, wrote me recently about what the President's trip looked like to him. In introducing himself, Hass commented on "how necessary it can be for a chemist to forget about molecules and think about real problems." America as a country, he added, "is still largely admired here in Germany and was also a likely place for me to work and live in. Since my teenage years, I've had complaints about American foreign relations, but the core American freedoms -- freedom of speech, tolerance, pursuit of happiness and the will to do better -- shined bright and dissolved the shadows. These days the shadows get ever darker and, like a black hole, they eat up my confidence in our deepest ally and friend (at least in my lifetime)." He then wrote me the following – I've added a few links -- under the title:

<blockquote><b>Green-zoning Germany</b>

I want to describe to you some of the circumstances of President Bush's recent visit to Germany, because it's a beautiful example of the divergence of intentions and impact. Reading the headlines in the American newspapers, I see that this visit is being treated as a great opening for the healing process in the transatlantic alliance and your public opinion seems optimistic that your President's journey will improve our relationship, despite the continuing great divide on major subjects of international policy.

But let me describe to you this visit/experience through the eyes of the average German citizen:

This last week, after all, Mainz, a little town in Germany, was turned into a Potemkin village. General Potemkin first arrived a few weeks ago in the person of Condoleezza Rice, who informed Germans, that the president forgave us, that we were right, and therefore that our disputes are over and our relationship is excellent.

To underline the new era of friendship, the President was to pay a visit to us, a stop-over on his European charm offensive. But to make sure that the President wasn't appalled by reality, so much was done to create a bubble at Mainz in the heart of Germany. And here's where the Green Zone comes into play. As in Baghdad, so Mainz too was turned into a maximum-security zone and the citizens of Mainz and the surrounding area learned what exporting democracy really meant.

First and most obvious was the great disproportion between the President's freedom to travel and the average citizen's right to move in public places. Last Wednesday for his arrival, all Autobahnen (highways) around Mainz were closed for several hours. A helicopter flight from the airport to the city might have seemed like a more practical way to transport the President than cutting the veins of the most frequented Autobahn-segment in Germany -- and that was just the beginning of our voyage into the absurd.

Many citizens of Mainz weren't even able to drive their cars. They were forced to park kilometres away from their homes, simply because they lived near one of the maybe-routes the President's convoy might conceivably have taken. Using the railway system might have seemed a solution, but unfortunately over 100 trains were also cancelled (and <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000100&sid=aY1snp6Ck0Js&refer=germany">a similar number</a> of flights at the airport in Frankfurt during the time that Air Force One arrived).

One could imagine George Bush sitting in a car, but in a train? If you smiled at that, you'll laugh when I mention the Rhine River. The route of the President crossed the Rhine and so the whole river was closed to shipping. (Estimated losses in profits only for this: 500,000 euros.)

Anyway, most people in Mainz didn't really have a reason to leave home that day. For example, Opel decided to close its factory on Wednesday, because workers and suppliers wouldn't make it to work in time. 750 cars weren't built and the production loss has to be compensated for by the workers on the next two Saturdays. Linde Vacuum asked their employees to take one day off. In addition, most small businesses in Mainz were closed and the inner city had all the charm of a ghost town -- the streets were totally empty.

In Germany you are free to write a letter to your representative, but unfortunately if you wanted to, you would have had to wait a few days, because all letter boxes were taken away too. The costs of this extravaganza can't yet be tallied. 15,000 additional security forces were out on the streets and the one thing we know is that we, the taxpayers, will be left with the final price tag.

The most disturbing aspects of this visit/nightmare haven't even been mentioned yet. People were told to stay away from their windows and <a href="http://telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml%3Bsessionid%3DW4HMJLRNZ4SDRQFIQMGSM5OAVCBQWJVC?xml=/news/2005/02/24/wbush124.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/02/24/ixnewstop.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=27707">they were forbidden</a> to step out on their balconies! And the Secret Service that protects your President even had plans to shut down the mobile phone communication system. They didn't actually go so far, but the public expression of that idea alone tells a story about the direction of Secret-Service thoughts. And I don't think the intention on this subject was to disrupt "mobile-ignited" explosives, but to further complicate the situation for Germans who wanted to protest the visit. It was hard enough to organize a demonstration in a ghost city, where you couldn't even get lunch at a cafe. With the communication systems off, the protestors would have been further marginalized and easily scattered.

To complete the Potemkin masquerade, I should just mention the planned meeting between some ordinary citizens of Mainz and your President, like the town-hall meetings in America. But don't think the assembly actually consisted of ordinary citizens. After the German delegation emphasized that they would not collect the questions beforehand and fake the conversation (as had happened at the meeting Rice had with students in France), the American delegation cancelled that meeting. An emperor shouldn't be annoyed by tough questions. <a href="http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,343281,00.html">Instead 20</a> so-called young leaders were chosen by the [conservative] Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund, and so a few hand-picked Germans were talking with the President instead of upset citizens.

The overall feeling that remains is that we got trampled upon by the President's baggage -- like those beds of roses at Buckingham palace, if you remember that "the-queen-is-not-amused" episode. Mainz was not blessed by this visit, it was doomed. Liberty of action was interrupted and the burden of costs for the visit remains in Germany. Diplomats are trained to accentuate symbolic gestures and the return to a dialogue, but average citizens have been stunned by how much less our freedoms were worth than George Bush's. The media worked fine for the President's propaganda and you won't hear too much about this, especially not outside of Germany. The latest Potemkin village was planned all too well and, as you know, the people have no role in this scenery. Welcome to the world of delusion...........
$9 billion under our watch in Iraq, money belonging to the Iraqi people, is unaccounted for, yet it is still so easy to pontificate about the "corrupt" in
other countries, while the former CEO of the corporation that is the poster child for windfall profits in Iraq, Halliburton, stuffs it's receivables for more that 2 years on the flow of cost plus, no bid, U.S. taxpayer debt.

What used to be described as a "big tent", is now a "big bubble"....big enough to shield more than Bush and his motorcade from reality.
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Old 05-08-2005, 01:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Bush in a bubble: empty streets in Latvia

Just an update to remind you that Bush is still marginalized by controversy and isolation of his own making:
Quote:
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/world/3172247
May 7, 2005, 10:20PM
BUSH NOTEBOOK
Latvians not sold on Bush
By JULIE MASON
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
.....................But with freedom comes dissent. The Latvians may be slightly more pro-American than the Russians these days, but the U.S. president received a notably mixed reception from the people.

A full-page ad in one local newspaper showed two proud parents cooing over their new baby.

"Isn't little Georgie cute?" said one. Responded the other, "He would never kill anyone for oil."

There were billboards across the city with oversized green peace signs asking "George" to "Imagine." And fresh stickers plastered on utility poles near the stops on Bush's visits dubbed the American president a "terrorist.".............

...............Head to countryside
Local residents had been urged to head for the countryside during the Bush visit, and apparently many of them heeded.

In a full day of events in the Latvian capital, the president's fortified motorcade raced through empty streets.

Fencing and barricades created an unwelcoming security perimeter around the president's stops. Every few feet along the motorcade route, a Latvian police officer maintained an expressionless guard.

Events staged for Bush with state pomp and ceremony were by design attended by virtually no ordinary citizens.

Overcast skies, empty streets and the absence of life gave the president's day a strange, stark atmosphere.
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Old 05-08-2005, 07:02 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth
thats why libya turned over all its nuke materials, because of bush's ineffectiveness?
Here's a nice little hypothetical to ponder over.

Khadaffi was in the news swearing he was turning everything over and that was news for about a month then nothing has ever been said about it. We didn't even (as far as I know) go in and check, we took his word and the GOP used that to say look how scared he is. That's the factual part.

The hypothetical is: If you look at it like a parent with a drug abusing teen, the parent threatens, the teen says, "okay, here's my stash please don't search my room." The parent says, "cool, we respect you now for your honesty." And the parents back off.

The kid then goes and makes sure his real stash is untouched, buys more and flips the parents off.

In other words, Khadaffi didn't want us there searching to see what he may truly have so he gave us what he knew, we knew he had and laughed as he kept what we didn't know he had.

Just a weird hypothetical, that if you are paranoid like I am, is a possibility you can't just laugh away.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 05-08-2005 at 07:05 AM..
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Worldwide, he's about as effective as Buchanan was.

Nationally, a lame duck president is usually more bipartisan and tries to get through what HE (the pres. not God) wants and not just party platform. However, the GOP treatment of Clinton and the fact a lot of Dems. hold resentment may throw some wrenches into that. Also, Frat-Boy Bush, is not the most decisive and is pretty much a puppet so......
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:55 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I dont see how protecting the president of the united states makes him isolated...? keeping potentially crazy people away from our president isnt anything but protection. Correct me if im wrong but your saying since we keep the german people a distance away fomr the man who controlls the most important nation on earth is a bad thing? What if one of those germans is a terrorist? Post JFK and especially after 911 presidents have been give a great deal of protection, that dosent make them less effective or isolated, it keeps them alive.
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:58 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Here's a nice little hypothetical to ponder over.

Khadaffi was in the news swearing he was turning everything over and that was news for about a month then nothing has ever been said about it. We didn't even (as far as I know) go in and check, we took his word and the GOP used that to say look how scared he is. That's the factual part.

The hypothetical is: If you look at it like a parent with a drug abusing teen, the parent threatens, the teen says, "okay, here's my stash please don't search my room." The parent says, "cool, we respect you now for your honesty." And the parents back off.

The kid then goes and makes sure his real stash is untouched, buys more and flips the parents off.

In other words, Khadaffi didn't want us there searching to see what he may truly have so he gave us what he knew, we knew he had and laughed as he kept what we didn't know he had.

Just a weird hypothetical, that if you are paranoid like I am, is a possibility you can't just laugh away.

heres a fact for you before spewing your opinions, there will be inspectors overseeing everything, they might be in their right now.

and no we didnt say oh you gave up or weapons so well lift sanction etc etc... no were taking is slow and havnt lifted sanctions... get your facts straight.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/...in589638.shtml

http://www.pinr.com/report.php?ac=vi...&language_id=1
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