Dissent (or not) in Europe?

So much for European unity against the war in Iraq.

In the words of Bismarck, “And who is Europe?”


France and Germany :)

Nah, France and Germany are “Old Europe.” But ya just know that ol’ Chirac wants to rule it all. Deep in his heart. He’s Sauron. Not to mention French, those cheese-eating Surrender Monkeys.

I thought Bush was Sauron. And Blair would be Saruman. The fighting Uruk-hai would be British football fans.

I picture Chirac to be more like Gollum actually.

So Saddam is the plucky hobbit to bring Bush/Sauron down? Christ, and I though Clydesdales had big blinders.

Note the lack of French and German signatories to that Times letter.

Flame on:

Sauron? Saruman? Don’t make me laugh. Germany and France are more like Robert Jordan or Stephen Donaldson characters than Tolkien characters these days – whiny ditherers who can’t do anything but wring their little hands watching their friends get killed, while their own situations gradually deteriorate.

As for Chirac, as far as I’m concerned he is a complete nonentity. I’m not sure why anyone outside France could possibly care what he has to say. In fact, it’s unclear to me why anyone outside the FIE should much care about France at all. This is a country that can be brought to a complete halt by a dozen truck drivers, and which since the end of the cold war has used its intelligence services for industrial espionage against its own allies more than it has done anything to help them.

The Germans, on the other hand, are more concerned with the embarrassment of future EC economic penalties than with anything outside their own borders. Heck, even Spain is looking to have a better economy than Germany these days. NATO ministers had to drag them kicking and screaming into even noticing the situation in Bosnia and Croatia back during the initial Yugoslavia breakup period. It’s one thing to be honestly pacifistic, it’s another thing for conservatives to pander to liberals with a hypocritical platform to get votes, or to use pacifism as an excuse not to get involved in the community of nations…

Flame off.

OK, OK, I’m actually against the war in Iraq, and I think Bush is an imbecile with a cabinet of criminals, but really, Germany and France have made me more proud to be an American these days than anything any American in government has done… not that that’s saying a whole heck of a lot.

The New Republic says “yay” on war and lambasts anti-war liberals. And this is a liberal magazine we’re talking about.

The latest issue of The New Yorker does as well, but they don’t publish it online. From Slate: Just as Midas turned everything he touched to gold, Kenneth M. Pollack’s book The Threatening Storm seems to turn everyone who reads it into a hawk. [The New Yorker] Editor David Remnick laments the Bush administration’s “lack of public engagement in the argument for force” in Iraq and notes that Pollack, at least, is willing to answer the questions: Why Iraq? And why now? Remnick finds the answers convincing; he concludes that if Saddam won’t step down, “a return to a hollow pursuit of containment will be the most dangerous option of all.”

Yowsa, the world has turned upside down.

Also, the latest Economist has a great article on why France’s foreign policy is so fucking bizarre.

Also reminds me that Slate had a great article this week on French anti-Americanism.


Yeah, The New Republic has been urging war with Iraq since just after Sept. 11th. So has Newsweek’s liberal (and Arab) European edition Editor Farheed Zakarhia (I know, that’s spelled wrong).

They convinced me back then with less detailed versions of what I imagine “The Gathering Storm” covers. As a liberal, I’ve been wondering exactly what liberals have been reading for the past year or so.

Good call on that Slate article too.

Sheesh. I understand politics and how when the “other” party wins you hate their people with an irrational passion and see them through your partisan filters, and I voted more Democrat than Republican in the last election, but:

Bush has said consistently that Saddam is an evil man with a great deal of power, a weapons program and a lot of existing and unaccounted for catastrophic weapons. He has talked about Saddam’s cruelty and torture and genocide of his own people. He has talked about a dictator such as Saddam owning such biological, chemical, and potentially nuclear weapons and the high potential that he would gladly give them to any terrorist group that would use them on the U.S. Obviously he can’t share a lot of the eyes-only information that he sees every day, but the case he has made has been clear and pursuasive for quite some time, stripping away what political bias would present. I honestly think you have to be completely partisan, completely naieve, or completely stupid to not understand the danger that Saddam presents to the U.S. and to the world.

In the naive or stupid category are the people who have been screaming that since the inspectors didn’t find anything, there’s no case. It’s just the opposite - they are supposed to be examining the evidence that Iraq shows them of how they have destroyed the weapons that they were documented to have had years ago, or show them the actual caches and the subsequent destruction. That’s how this works. Are the world media so stupid that they believe what they say when claim that since the inspectors didn’t find anything, Iraq is in compliance? Why do we not see the videos that were shown back in Clinton’s era of the streets in villages of Iraq with all of the dead men, women and children that he killed with chemical weapons because they were of the wrong ethnicity? I remember my wife crying when she saw the Iraqi mother lying on the ground, holding her dead baby in her arms and her small little girl under her, dead. Thousands of his people have been killed this way - I suppose it doesn’t count because they were gassed by helicopters flying over the villages rather than in a shower in a concentration camp. Where was the fucking U.N. then? The stories of Saddams prisons, essentially torture chambers, have been documented for years. As Bush mentioned, it is common for parents to be tied up and forced to watch as their children are tortured and mutilated in front of their eyes. In many cases reported very small children are raped in front of their parents.

Yeah, let’s all hold hands and say give peace a chance. Maybe Saddam will join hands with you. I’m sure Mandela, with his claim that no country in the world has been more responsible for atrocities, who claims Bush doesn’t want to go along with the U.N. because the head is black, would join you.

I voted Democratic more than Republican, like I said, and I was convinced Bush was a good old boy who won becuase Gore was incompetent. But I’m glad that he is more worried about what’s right than making sure everybody likes him (see the previous 8 years.) Shedding partisan filters, whether I agree with him or not, I’m convinced that Bush is doing what he thinks is right, period, and is willing to stick to his convictions without regard to whether France and Germany and Mandela like him. Anyone who thinks this is about oil needs to do some homework - that falls apart pretty quickly, although it does make a nice shallow-minded argument. Saddam is as close to Hitler as we’ve seen in a while, and I don’t say that lightly.

But I’m glad that he is more worried about what’s right than making sure everybody likes him (see the previous 8 years.)

Oh, please, Bush is just as obsessed with polls as Clinton.

What friends of Germany and France are getting killed that need their assistance? Sounds like a crock o shit.

Well, France is usually selling the weapons that are killing the friends to their enemies… (At least I know that was the case for a long time… “We’ll sell Mirage fighter jets to anyone!”)

I’ve avoided political discussions here lately - mainly because no one does anything but state their unmovable biases and positions, and I’ve already heard all of them, so I’d rather read other discussions. But Clinton was well known for being almost pathalogical about wanting people to like him, all through his life, far beyond the political aspects (although it was pretty clear that it rubbed off in his political life.)

I think the point he made was valid. Clinton didn’t grab Bin Ladin when he was offered up because he didn’t want to get the Muslim world angry with him. He would have never taken on the U.N. in the way that Bush has - he was obessed with having the rest of the world like him. You can argue whether Bush is right or not, but the point that he is doing what he thinks should be done, whether other countries like France and Germany approve or not, while Clinton would have never dared having European countries disapprove of him, is valid.

And since I did jump in here, I agree with the post referred to. When Clinton was trying to divert attention to Iraq, I also remember seeing photos and videos of atrocities in Iraq, and I’ve heard and read interviews with people who have escaped and tell of the atrocities and torture this devil has handed out. I’d like to see a commercial run right after Susan Sarandon’s, showing the gassed people, including close-ups of the women and children and babies, with their faces in such obvious agony, followed by the couple who were recently interviewed on BBC radio who were forced to watch their 4 year old daughter and 7 year old son raped by 3 of Saddams torturers, then skinned alive. Then ask MS. Sarandon why she is supporting this piece of shit. Ditto his comments on the weapons inspectors - does no one understand what their job is? Why do the networks not tell folks what the inspectors are supposed to be doing, instead of what I saw Jennings say on ABC about two weeks ago: “Much to the chagrin of the Bush administration, the inspectors have been unable to find any real evidence of the weapons Bush claims are in Iraq.” That’s just completely misleading.

OK, I’m getting irritated, not gonna go on. A former U.N. inspector from the last batch, an Iraqi defector, and another source that I forget all independantly talked about a training site where the body of an airliner was used to train terrorists in how to take over an airplane - that’s old news. Saddam is a monster, guilty of genocide, mass tortures, he has a documented store of nasty weapons that he is refusing to give up nor is he willing to show the evidence he’s supposed to be showing of how they were destroyed, and he would delight in giving these to any organization willing to use them on the U.S. (assuming he hasn’t already.) As for me, I’d take him out just for the incredibly monstrous torture and terror he inflicts on his own people, every day, and the gassing of the families and villages who are of the wrong “race.”

If others want to defend why we should ignore him, fine. There will always be people willing to turn their back on such dictators and horror as long as it isn’t in their country. The U.N. has a wonderful track record. We no doubt wouldn’t be doing this if there wasn’t tremendous evidence of stores of weapons of mass destruction and the belief that Saddam would gladly provide them to terrorists - I think that’s too bad. I think the terrorizing of his own people, the unthinkable things he does that would make Hitler shudder, should be enough on it’s own to take him out.

Yep, I recall before the first Gulf War an analysis of the Iraqi air defense system. It was declared one of the most advanced in the word, and most of it was purchased from France.

France also has a LOT of oil business with Iraq. Plus lots of other businesses with Iraq.

" During that time, Hussein launched what is known as the “Anfal Operation,” aimed at eliminating the Kurds from certain parts of Kurdistan. Makiya says the documents detail how the operation began with a relocation program, then evolved into the systematic removal and disappearance of thousands of men, women, and children, and the subsequent destruction of several hundred villages that they left behind. "

Does that sound familiar? This is from a Harvard study in 2000 of thousands of military and security documents pilfered from the Iraqi government in the closing days of the Gulf War.

Then ask MS. Sarandon why she is supporting this piece of shit.

If you think Bush won’t install a democracy, and instead will put in a wink-wink US backed dictator like in Afghanistan, it’s entirely justifiable to oppose the war. People will get killed in the invasion and the next dictator will inevitably degenerate into something just as bad.

I think this is a more reasoned argument than they make, but it’s the logical endpoint of “not trusting Bush.”

I think the point he made was valid. Clinton didn’t grab Bin Ladin when he was offered up because he didn’t want to get the Muslim world angry with him. He would have never taken on the U.N. in the way that Bush has - he was obessed with having the rest of the world like him. You can argue whether Bush is right or not, but the point that he is doing what he thinks should be done, whether other countries like France and Germany approve or not, while Clinton would have never dared having European countries disapprove of him, is valid.

Yeah, Bush’s policy of telling the UN to go fuck itself has convinced a lot of people to ally with us.

Is this that “Sudan offering to hand him over” thing?

WASHINGTON The government of Sudan, using a back channel direct from its president to the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States, offered in the early spring of 1996 to arrest Osama bin Laden and place him in custody in Saudi Arabia, according to officials and former officials in all three countries.
The Clinton administration struggled to find a way to accept the offer in secret contacts that stretched from a meeting at hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on March 3, 1996, to a fax that closed the door on the effort 10 weeks later.
Unable to persuade the Saudis to accept Mr. bin Laden, and lacking a case to indict him in U.S. courts, the Clinton administration finally gave up on the capture.

Clinton administration officials maintain emphatically that they had no such option against Mr. bin Laden in 1996. In the legal, political and intelligence environment then, they said, there was no choice but to allow him to leave Sudan unmolested.
“In the United States, we have this thing called the Constitution, so to bring him here is to bring him into the justice system,” said Samuel Berger, who was deputy national security adviser then. “I don’t think that was our first choice. Our first choice was to send him some place where justice is more” - he paused a moment, then continued - “streamlined.”

I don’t think “Clinton didn’t do it because he didn’t want to piss off the Arab world” is accurate. This was before the USS Cole bombing; we didn’t have anything to grab him on.

Oh, and Clinton not wanting to piss off Europe isn’t accurate either; he drove them up the fucking wall over Kosovo.

It’s true. I bought one. It’s in my garage right now.