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62 thoughts on “The Putin Legacy

  1. This cheap tactic is played on us by our media very frequently:

    “You think that we are violating human rights, look at Guantanamo or Abu gharib
    you think that we oppress minorities look at Iran
    you think we limit freedom of expression look at Libya”
    you think we mock the constitution look at Syria

    The West strove to reach its ideals; therefore the Americans are right to demand from their president the utmost respect and protection of their rights to privacy and their constitution. They are also right to renounce anything committed in their name and they see as unacceptable.

    The existence of many dictators around should not create a smoke screen to cover the aberrations of democratic presidents.

  2. Amgad, here here ! The evils of one leader do not negate the evils of another. As the last term of our decider in chief comes to a close ( as is always the case ) all of the control freak tactics used to keep power are revealed and lets’ be clear, that count for count Mr. Bush and his team of henchman have a great deal more blood on their hands then Putin. As my first sentence also turns back to Putin, this does not negate the evils of Putin by any means. It’s like comparing serial killers and saying that one is less evil then the other when in fact both should fry on the electric chair.

  3. Sorry, dude, but this tactic is a bit tired. For much of the European left and maybe a non-insignificant amount of the American one, Bush is the root of all evil in the world. And they ignore the crimes of Putin and/or the douchbagness that is Hugo Chavez.

    The Iraq war wasn’t all about oil. Cheney’s not trying to inflate the Halliburton stock price. Bush is still one of the worst presidents in American history. You can drop the names of Cindy Sheehan or that Ward Churchill guy. Mention Al Gore’s electrical bill. But he’s still a terrible president. The caricaturing of the left hasn’t gone so well for my country.

  4. Frenchman, “count for count Mr. Bush and his team of henchman have a great deal more blood on their hands then Putin”

    How so?

  5. At least Putin restricts his villainy to his own borders, Bush likes to shit all over the world. But who set the limit on evil dictators to just one? There’s plenty of room for both assholes.

  6. At least Putin restricts his villainy to his own borders

    Unless, of course, he finds an enemy in London. Then, he poisons him right there in a hotel or restaurant…

  7. Putin is a cold-war tyrant.

    But he will be remembered as the man who got citizens off Vodka, improved the (faux) economy, convinced people to have babies, and made Russia important again.

    Collective ego trumps human rights every time. People rather have pride than freedom.

  8. Leo, do I really need to expand on my comment regardint the amount of blood on Bush’s hands. OK, I am not a historian regarding Putin and my comments did not absolve Putin by any means of having blood on his own hands but every single Iraqi ( and American service man ) that has died since 2003 and will continue to die is a direct result of Bush’s ignorant war. While I am at it I could also add every drug addict that overdoses or every new kid that tries smack. Simple fact is that if Bush had kept his eye on the ball, we might have already slit Osama’s throat and gotten the drug lords of Afghanistan under control. Instead we now have two countries in worse chaos then they were before. Afghanistan needed to happen, but Iraq did not. Again not to diminish Saddam’s evil, but fact is that given what we have always known regarding the hatred between Sunni and Shia, props have to be given to him for managing to keep these two groups living together and in check. I cannot believe that Bush was oblivious to this fact but went ahead and invaded anyway. He so wanted to be the knight in shining armour but has instead turned into the grim reaper. The fact that an Iraqi dies at the hands of another, does not absolve Bush from the fact that before the war Bush started all of these people were alive. Estimated Iraqi death toll since 2003, 650,000 plus. No way to verify but hard to negate. For what ? At least with Putin, these were internal matters. Again does not negate the horror, but Iraq was none of Bush’s business, except that Saddam tried to whack Bush senior and of course the oil and the other strategic interest.

  9. The Frenchman Says: While I am at it I could also add every drug addict that overdoses or every new kid that tries smack.

    While I am at it I could also add every drug addict that overdoses or every new kid that tries smack. He so wanted to be the knight in shining armour but has instead turned into the grim reaper.

    Frenchman, there’s an old Arab saying that goes something like: It’s best to keep your mouth shut and let people assume your ignorant instead of opening your mouth and verifying it. You make assumption after assumption about what you think President Bush thinks, feels or knew. Are you related to Martin or Charlie Sheen? You even state there is no way to verify, but hard to negate? Hard for a gullible self loathing liberal fool to negate but not and educated rational person who knows how to spot bias and politcal agendas in suppossed news sources Why don’t you waste your time analyzing the doofus French leaders. Go watch CNN or Reuters and believe the faux photos and stories. As Most Americans know, It’s hard to take the French seriously.

  10. Frenchman,

    I my be mistaking but Americans never engaged in to deliberate killing of civilians while Putin did (est. 400,000 dead in Chechnia after second war).

    ‘650,000 plus’. First of all it is mainly result of Sunni-Shia violence against each other. Kurds do not have this problem.

    Not that it matters whether it is 650,000 or 650 of dead but did you ever try to question this number just as an exercise?

    What was the highest daily CIVILIAN death toll in Iraq since March 2003?

    Multiply it by number of days from then until today. How much do you get?

    Is it still 650,000 or much less?

    “At least with Putin, these were internal matters.”
    From whose point of view? Chechen’s? Russian’s?

    “also add every drug addict that overdoses or every new kid that tries smack”

    And I suppose it is Bush’s fault when another kid OD in France, Russia, US, …

    “Simple fact is that if Bush had kept his eye on the ball, we might have already slit Osama’s throat”

    I never believed that speculation is convincing way to deliver one’s point of view.

  11. As Most Americans know, It’s hard to take the French seriously.it would have saved you lot of money and american lifes if your actual administration had just condescended to listen to them ; for your guidance, the Frenchman is american !

  12. Didn’t the French intelligence agencies agree with the Saddam WMD speculation before the war? I do believe they “did” and U.S. actually “did” listen to them.

    But Even Foreign Governments That Opposed The Removal Of Saddam Hussein Judged That Iraq Had Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD).

    French Foreign Minister Dominique De Villepin: “Right Now, Our Attention Has To Be Focused As A Priority On The Biological And Chemical Domains. It Is There That Our Presumptions About Iraq Are The Most Significant. Regarding The Chemical Domain, We Have Evidence Of Its Capacity To Produce VX And Yperite. In The Biological Domain, The Evidence Suggests The Possible Possession Of Significant Stocks Of Anthrax And Botulism Toxin, And Possibly A Production Capability.” (United Nations Security Council, 4701st Meeting, New York, 2/5/03)

    German Ambassador To The United States Wolfgang Ischinger: “I Think All Of Our Governments Believe That Iraq Has Produced Weapons Of Mass Destruction And That We Have To Assume That They Still Have That They Continue To Have Weapons Of Mass Destruction. We Have Not Yet Seen Evidence Produced By The Inspectors.” (NBC’s “Today,” 2/26/03)

    The whole world believed Saddam had WMD’s. Saddam’s bluff (if that’s what it was) led to his downfall. To place all the blame for the war or all the deaths in the war on President Bush is disingenuous at best.

    In case you didn’t recognise the quote Nomad, it’s from Vice President Cheney,”As Most Americans know, It’s hard to take the French seriously”. I think it may have been a jab at the French for voting against the war after they voted for the war, just like Kerry.

  13. thank you for enlighting me you quoted Cheney, so it is just unseful that I waste my time to cite controversial arguments, keep your ways, it doen’t do you any good anyway, soon or later you’ll pay the bill too, sorry, as a little mouse, I have already stocked my wheet for the bad days

  14. Folks, as an American, I can tell you that the majority of our country knows that Bush is a blood hungry imbecile. But I personally don’t think he is actually running our country. I believe he is too stupid. Thats why he has Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and others to do it for him.

    Unfortunately, our government has been hijacked by the right-wing conservatives, who are mostly all sycophants of the Bush regime, and religious right. Which is ironic, given that the “religious right” has shown it has a lot of internal issues with morality and integrity.

    I think Cheney and Rove, are two of the most evil men alive. Apoligies from America. We are NOT all behind the Bush regimes killing spree.

  15. “And the ambassador does not hesitate, with good reason, to give the points over I to the attention of the friends of on the other side of the Atlantic: “the American companies were more or less directly important actors of the humane program. France was even used as box with letters for a certain number of companies, in particular American, which find an interest political or commercial not to post their true nationality. Our mission in New York considered the value total of the contracts “American” signed by subsidiary companies established in France to 500 million dollars, on the 3 billion dollars of contracts concluded between January 1998 and March 2003 “. For once, the diplomat passed in addition to the set language.”

  16. Howard Beale.

    My liberal qualities are:
    I am agnostic.
    I support stem cell research.
    I support abortion right.
    I do not like Bush starting war in Iraq and Iraq war itself.
    I am sure I could find few more ‘liberal’ qualities just ask something specific.

    What I cannot understand why I am more often on the side of ‘imbecile Bush’ as opposed to being on the side of ‘intellectuals’.

  17. Jordan

    Bush got citizens off Vodka? Dream on, dreams are good,.Russian still are getting drunk by a thousands if not drinking vodka then drinking home made vodka
    Hmm, and corruption is going as strong as always.


    So according to you it is better to decimate your own population than to kill outsiders (admittedly majority of these killing are done by the citizens of another country, i.e. Iraqis themselves)? Great, why don’t you and other people like you tell your president to do that. I am sure you want to stand in line to be a shining example of such a new policy.

    BTW I don’t like Bush, but like someone before me I wonder why I support him more than all intellectuals talking about peace and love amongst the natives.

  18. Please extrapolate Nomad. I’m not sure I understand the meaning of this text you wrote:

    “so it is just unseful that I waste my time to cite controversial arguments, keep your ways, it doen’t do you any good anyway, soon or later you’ll pay the bill too, sorry, as a little mouse, I have already stocked my wheet for the bad days”

  19. Tedders, whatever I would say in the name of France will never reachs your soul, for you are naively persuaded that your camp is the trustful one ; as you kindly ask me to express my view, I think the disregard that US manifested against us, could be dated from 1995, when France, Russia, China did not vote the “full sanctions” upon Irak UN resolutions. as your rightwing propaganda displayed throurough internet or your diverse medias : it was to preserve our “oil for food” contracts ; what you don’t want to understand, this is may-be our particular view in politic : it was as usual for human rights sake, it was cause a lot of people and especiaklly Children happened to die under these circumstances and that these did not undermine Saddam nomenklature at all ; your government didn’t care of that, it preferred a weakened Irak with a moribond population but still with a strong power at the head.

    Naturally there were overflowings in that deal, some made traffic for their own profit, some in France, some every other countries in EU, and US too. but it was convenient for Bush and neocon propaganda to put all the evil on France, and especially when we did not vote (again) for the war in Irak, for it was not proved that Saddam projected to rearm soon and be a danger for other countries in ME. The fact is, in letting iraki population starved you were at the origin of the hate towards your country from most arab countries, and we could see the issues of this conflict, you could not be possibely be seen a liberator but a n occupation force ; wether you like it or not we have 2 centuries of wars experiences with the arabs, the lately one was Algeria, militarilly, we won the war, but not politically ! if we had stayed there, there would have been revolts after revolts with new leeders each time ; so we know them ! for my sake I live near Poitiers, and it is the city were franks stopped the arab advance in EU in 732, at least we know them for more than a millenium.
    what our government could explain to Bush father, it was not possibe to be in phase with GW, too obstinate, too arrogant, too idiotically religious ; and now there is a more big mess in ME, that you may have to pay in dollars, for your country has the highest level of debt since 1929 ; it doesn’t mean that our countries inEU would not be hited, they may pay the price for your falling down too. as I said, as a little mouse, I spared enough to be out of big problems when it will occur

  20. Nomad, Oil for Food failed miserably. Saddam managed to build dozens of new palaces while the population *still* starved. Oil for Food achieved nothing more than keep Saddam in his seat during the sanctions.

    In any case, many people failed to see the point of this post, though a few did. You are so focused on demonizing Bush that people who are much worse are being completely ignored.

    Bush may have erred, but Putin deliberately and intentionally did what he did. And no, screwing your own people is not OK.

  21. “For me Bush, Néocons, or the war in Iraq, are not the cause 1st fall of the American leadership. Here a possible list of cause: 1) the disappearance of the Soviet Union: Before it was necessary to choose its camp there were people prosovietic and of another pro American. Maintaining that with less of direction, for me even any more. There is no more much of reasons to be pro American without Soviet threat. Well on there is the islamist threat. But these countries are weak. Only the countries which onts fear are very proaméricains: Israel and Taiwan are two good examples. Each country is folded up on itself since there are no more 2 camps. The Latin America is a good example: it does not need more the United States. Certain countries are really anti-American, especially poorest or most dependent culturally: Venezuela, Bolivia. Those which are more autonomous by their economic or demographic weight divert of the United States: Argentina, Brazil. 2) the cultural ghettoïsation of the USA. Less and less from American learn the foreign languages, less still than the countries of Europe of the South (France, Italy, Spain) or the level is already low. American travels little in comparison of the other of the same people standard of living. The creation planned of a wall enters the USA and Mexico. Very few foreign books are translated and even less read. 3) the trade deficit with a rather weak dollar however. The debt of the households is really enormous: 120 % of the income of households (as in GB and Spain has little near) in France 60 %. American almost do not save (0,3%) All this with for advantage of making go consumption and of accelerating the growth which is good and due: they live with credit. A consequence is the reduction in the means of retortion of the USA against others. the problem of the USA, and their force perhaps, and that this country with need for a scapegoat, to remain leader. The disappearance of the USSR has to carry a fatal blow to the software power American, they to seek new enemies: Moslem country, Venezuela, Iran, France, North Korea, sometimes also Russia China, but they are not very fixed. As made it noticed Edward Luttwak (Brilliant absolutely with reading), Geopolitical Stratège of the Reagan administration: the United States needs an external enemy because of their internal fragmentation (Ethnic and now social). JLS Let us not forget that David Brooks, even if it put water in its wine since, was before 2004 at the sides of the keenest néoconservateurs. He was an even editor in standard Weekly, the carry-standard of the neoconservatism. Its leading articles then were particularly gratinés.”

  22. Thanks for the thoughtful response Nomad, while I’m assuming English isn’t your first language I appreciate the effort, it would be much worse if I were to try and communicate to you in French!! Also let me tell you that I love France, the few times I’ve been there were nothing short of wonderful (I hope I never said anything to make you think otherwise). The people, the FOOD, and the unimaginably beautiful architecture and country side. I can say nothing bad about the experiences I’ve had in your beautiful country.

    However, Europe is not the U.S. and we will always see things differently, politically we are usually on opposite sides but to assume that because France has nearly a thousand years of history and the U.S. only has 231 years that we can’t make cognitive and lucid observations of the current world situation is quite frankly, “naive” of you to think so. You said, “I think the disregard that US manifested against us, could be dated from 1995, when France, Russia, China did not vote the “full sanctions” upon Irak UN resolutions”. In reality I can’t recall a single time the U.S. and France have agreed on or even been on the same page on something since the war of 1812, it’s alright to disagree. But like the Republicans and the Democrats here in the U.S., I think we agree on 90% and disagree (sometimes vehemently) on the remaining 10%.

    To blame the U.S. for the “oil for food” fiasco seems a bit arrogant of you to me. It was a humanitarian effort that was turned into a criminal escapade by Saddam and others that benefited. None of the intended benefactors did benefit as intended, no one except top U.N. and Iraqi (and as you say, “other countries”) officials. To this day I can’t understand why Koffi and his son aren’t in jail for stealing millions from the program and letting those children starve to death. You state that, “The fact is, in letting iraki population starved you were at the origin of the hate towards your country from most arab countries” but I would counter with, The radical Islamists/Misogamists were trying to kill (hate) as many Americans as they could when the Uber pacifist Jimmy Carter was president and now they are trying to kill (hate) as many Americans as they can since we’ve got a President with a little backbone, I think it’s time we took some of their own misery back to them (just my personal opinion). Everything that goes wrong is the U.S.’s fault seems to be your modus operandi and answer for all of the worlds woes. You make uninformed statements like “GW, too obstinate, too arrogant, too idiotically religious” when you never turn the same measuring stick to leaders in the Middle East or Europe, or Russia as this thread had started with. When you blame G W Bush for children starving in Iraq, “a lot of people and especially Children happened to die under these circumstances” and never give Koffi or Saddam their due part in the criminal venture, well, it’s hard to take your other opinions seriously. You state, “your government didn’t care of that, it preferred a weakened Irak with a moribond population but still with a strong power at the head.” Saddam and Koffi and all that stole and misappropiated those food funds are the ones to blame for the starving children, I can’t even fathom how this could be the U.S.’s fault any more than it could be France’s fault. One minute America is a doofus that can’t get anything right and the next it’s omnipotent and is responsible for every tragedy for the last 200+ years, seems rather a bit of duplicity in your thoughts about the U.S.. It also seems akin to the rabid anti Semitism that exists in the Middle East and Europe today. You can’t have it both ways, omnipotent and impotent. Reality is that it’s somewhere in between the two opposites. Finally you come to the thesis of your post, that, “and now there is a more big mess in ME”. Call me cynical but it was messed up before the war and it looks like it’s gonna be messed up after the war too, no big surprise there. I personally don’t mind the “can do” attitude of Americans, it may seem arrogant to you but it’s better than wringing your hands and making up excuses as to why you never tried to do anything about it. Let me also take this opportunity to inform you that the news media is alarmingly liberal and anti Bush, I’m sure you’d feel write at home here in the U.S. watching any of the major network news programs.

    One last point that I believe you’re mistaken on (you seem to be listening to our liberal U.S. media!), you stated that, ” for your country has the highest level of debt since 1929″ which of course, dollar to dollar is a correct statement. But if inflation Is accounted for and you look at the chart of debt vs. GDP, you’ll see that the ratio was actually much much higher just before Operation Overlord (the invasion of Nazi Europe) and directly after the end of the Pacific conflict during world war 2 ( I’m no economist but I am an engineer and see through most of the number games the media throws out at the masses). I’ve always enjoyed Sandmonkeys readers opinions and I’m not saying you’re wrong and I’m right. I Hope you don’t take it that way.

  23. Oh, one more thing Nomad, Poitiers sounds like a wonderful place to live, Being a travel bug I’m more than a little envious of you daily surroundings

  24. First to clarify Nomad’s comment regarding my nationality. I actually hold both a French and US passport ( both by birth ). I was born in Germany but have spent 25 of my 39 years in Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents still live and French father has a business. I have traveled the globe at least three times over but have called the US home for 14 years ( on and off ). I am patriotic to the French as well as to the USA and criticize both when I believe it is called for. Nomad : J’etais pas sur si tu a annoncer le fait que je suis Americain car tu voulait pas que mes opinions soit associe avec celle d’un Francais ou pour indiquer a qui ce soit, que je peut voir les chose les choses comme un quelqun qui connait tres bien ce pays. J’avoue que je n’ai j’amais vecu en France, mais j’ai passer assez de temps la bas, a toujours beaucoup de famille en France et me consider tres Francais.

    So ” tedders “, given my extensive travel experience, I believe that your round about insinuation that I am ” ignorant ” is about as far off a statement as they come. I do not pretend to know it all, but I would say my life experience qualifies me to render a pretty well rounded opinion.

    To the topic at hand, first to all who have tried to simplify my argument regarding culpability of each leader being discussed in this subject matter. I REPEAT, I do not condone the behaviour of any of these leaders, they are all ego maniacs. Sandmonkey was the one who instigated a comparison between the two leaders. An important thing to note is that Putin is still the communist leader of a second world nation, so while it does not negate his actions, no one should be surprised by his legacy, whereas Bush and his team are from a first world democratic nation and are expected to conduct themselves better.

    It has been the source of amusement how so many who jump in to defend Bush’s policy’s now end there commentary with ” by the way, I don’t like Bush “. And how anyone who opposes Bush is a bleeding heart pussy who, if in charge after 9/11 would have done nothing to retaliate. So many Americans still believe that they are right and the entire rest of the world is wrong. And that any foreign leader who critics the foreign policies of this nation are socialist pigs who hate the US for it’s freedoms. The entire planet, short of the ass kissers who knew that they would get paid, was against pre-emptive action in Iraq, not only because there was ample proof to dispel almost all of the reasoning used by the Bush administration to attack Iraq. For some of you to absolve Bush on grounds he did not know is simply ridiculous. If he really wanted to know, he could have asked his father at the dinner table. For as much as I did not like Bush Sr., he knew what a disaster such a move would be, that the Sunni’s and the Shia’s despised each other. Most importantly, so many of you same people seem not to give a shit that Osama still roams this earth and that Afghanistan is all but returning to the control of the Taliban. This alone should have outraged everyone in this country. ” Dead or Alive ” right, he should have said dead or alive unless we find a more convenient distraction.

    It also blows my mind that so many simply ignore the reality of no-bid contracts or question where all of the money has gone, or that while preaching ” support our troops ” Soldiers families are paid a pittance, returning Vets are treated in third world hospital conditions and many are now homeless. All of this just shines of a conscientious administration. Yet when someone of a foreign background makes a comment against Bush, the peacock feathers fling up and that person is lambasted as if they were complete idiots.

    Why is it that so many of you now end your comments with ” I do not like GW Bush ” ? Why do so many of you feel so compelled to point this out ?

    Yes, I acknowledge that a huge portion of the Iraqi death toll is at the hands of other Arabs, but this does not absolve Bush from starting the war, so he and the other goons in the White House are directly responsible for creating and prolonging this horror.

    America might be the only military super power in the world, but until many Americans recognize that they are part of a global village then America will not own the most important components of superiority, trustability. Having the biggest dick in the whorehouse does not make you the best lover.

    I note that there are many occasions where I defend this beautiful country when talking with people from other lands. On this forum, however, always end up looking like I am from the ” other ” side because without fail, I am called out for being French and therefore ignorant.

    Someone pointed out that America, despite it’s youth is as mature as Europe. Unfortunately until it starts acting it’s age, instead of an insolent know it all, then I fear that America will never earn the respect it could from the rest of the world. To do so requires a grass roots campaign, where all Americans are taught global geography and cultures. The world can and does learn from America, but Europe, in particular has much to teach America, but it refuses systematically to listen.

    By the way most Europeans make a clear distinction between Americans and their leadership, whereas most Americans do not.

  25. Why do people assume that any government can spoon feed peace into another country? that is totally ridiculous. The war in Iraq has been over for long time. Do not mistake Civil war from Total War. Just as people here have said before me. Sectarian Violence is the result of the natives not the soldiers of Bush and Co. Who’s killing who in Iraq? Muslims against Muslims. I do not have anything against this since its better off that they off themselves than us wasting bullets or men protecting them from [Themselves]. The liberals here are very predictable and very ignorant. Its pretty evident that Nobody in the middle east wants Peace. they have to want it, they have to sacrifice for it, It cannot be given. It can only be given a chance (removal of a dictator allows for this change). Despite the fact that I dislike Bush as much as every other guy here, I would rather support him than a leftist Intellectual who offers no real solution but prolonging the hatred with in people while assuming everyone should think like they would.

  26. Frenchman, pas tout à fait sous cet angle, j’ai voulu surtout montrer que tu étais un américain comme un autre, issu de l’immigration, en particulier française, et qu’un américain pouvait ne pas être d’accord avec l’opinion consensuelle véhiculée sur ce site, à savoir : le mépris et l’agressivité envers tout ce qui est français ou arabe

  27. “Frenchman, “count for count Mr. Bush and his team of henchman have a great deal more blood on their hands then Putin”

    How so?”

    Frenchman counts the victims of Arab terrorism in Iraq as Bush’s victims.

    George Bush, like Israel, has the dubious honour of being responsible for the acts of everyone they associate with in any way, whether friend or enemy.

    Hence if an enemy of George Bush kills somebody, George Bush is responsible for the murder.

    I believe it’s a new philosophical concept, the super free will. If an individual or group with super free will interact with people with mere free will, all the free will agents’ acts will have been caused by the individual with super free will.

  28. “Sectarian Violence is the result of the natives not the soldiers of Bush and Co. Who’s killing who in Iraq? Muslims against Muslims.”

    No doubt the thousand-year war between Shiites and Sunnis could have ended hundreds of years ago, if only there had been Americans around at the time to retreat.

    Anybody who believes that it is the presence of American soldiers that causes thousand-year old wars must have a very weak understanding of history (and of how time works).

    Look at Europe. The nations of Europe have been at war with each other for thousands of years, literally. But the European nations still fighting each other are not those that had much contact with American soldiers.

  29. “Apoligies from America. We are NOT all behind the Bush regimes killing spree.”

    Don’t apologise for the acts of Arab terrorists and don’t call their actions the “Bush regime killing spree”.

  30. “So ” tedders “, given my extensive travel experience, I believe that your round about insinuation that I am ” ignorant ” is about as far off a statement as they come.”

    I think it is because you blame George Bush for murders committed by Arab terrorists as if Arabs had no free will and are not responsible for their actions that made people think that you are ignorant. I don’t think it was a comment about your travel experiences.

    I have myself been born in one country and I live in another. I agree that such an experience gives you experience. But whether or not one is ignorant depends not only on one’s experience, of which I am sure you have a lot, but also one’s open-mindedness and willingness to accept facts one doesn’t like.

    At some point one learns that X is not responsible for the action of Y, no matter how much one hates X or pities Y.

    I guess it will take another few years for you.

    I was myself once like you. When I was a kid in 1990 I too demonstrated against America, blaming the US for Saddam invading Kuwait and demanding that America not act against the invasion. After all, what did I care about Kuwaitis? What did I know about how Saddam treated Kurds and Shiites? I didn’t care, I simply joined the large group of people who “knew” that it was America’s fault and that defending Kuwait was about oil while invading Kuwait was not. And anything that was done for oil was evil.

    But over the years I learned.

    And today I no longer blame X for the actions of Y. It was a gigantic step and I have only noticed that I took it after I had taken it.

    If Arab terrorists kill Iraqis it is not the Americans’ fault. It’s very difficult to understand that, I know. I imagine it is as difficult for you as it was for me to accept that Kuwait was also people, not just oil, and that Saddam wanted Kuwait’s oil, but not her people. The thought was and still is unpopular where I grew up, but the step had to be taken.

    Good luck!

  31. “By the way most Europeans make a clear distinction between Americans and their leadership, whereas most Americans do not.”

    Many Europeans still view a government as something unrelated to the people it rules. Americans feel more involved, I am sure.

    European leaders often are unelected and disconnected from the people. For example, I am sure I can name more members of the US administration than of the EU administration and more members of congress than members of the European parliament.

    Europeans also tend to demonstrate against unpopular laws rather than vote against them; which is why loud minorities can easily shape policy in Europe.

  32. I guess I need to re-iterate my opinions regarding the sectarian violence we now see in Iraq. First off let’s be clear that thousands of Iraqi’s have and will continue to die who did not ask for this war. So while literally speaking you are all correct that this is a Muslim on Muslim issue, I guess none of you seem to be getting the fact that Iraq, while under Saddam was not the war zone that it is today and that these thousand upon thousand of Iraqi’s would be alive today if Bush had minded his own fucking business. Let me also make another position completely clear, my opposition to this war from the beginning was the inevitable dealth and casualty rate that I knew would be born by our US service men and women. While not nearly as horrific as the loss of Iraqi life, we have still lost overy 3000 US service people and no one knows how many dramatically wounded soldiers that have suffered in this war. That alone is a lot of blood on Bush’s hands.

    Andrew you persist with this ” ignorance ” statement by assuming that because I am against this war, that I am not open minded. Which is again a call of ignorance to the rest of the world, who have consistently been against this war. Don’t you think this is a little presumptious of you ? At what point were you annointed the wise one, with all due respect. Don’t accuse me of being closed minded on an issue that has but two sides, for or against. I never stick to my side of an argument to win. Once given logical sensible proof to negate any position I have on any topic, I have and will continue to admit when I am wrong and either back off from my position or change it completely. I am being called ignorant because I refuse to agree with the other side. This is not ignorance. I could easilly turn the tables and call you all ignorant for persisting with your position despite global opinion, a downward spiralling situtation in Iraq that is happening as a result of facts that were known long before the war was even started.

    I am very open minded and I look purely at facts.

    Tokyo, once again uses the ” canned statement ” accusing anyone against the war of being a liberal etc etc.. . And you further accuses ” liberals ” of not providing any answers or solutions. What nonesense !!! Many options have been provided for pondering, besides the ” don’t get into this war in the first place “.

    Now that we are in it, what do I suggest. First stop fucking acting like an insolent child Bush administration and talk to Iraq’s neighbors. These are the only ones who have the power to change the course of this civil war, the only ones !!!!!!!!!!!. Ignoring them will not make them go away rather it does nothing more than infuriate them and cause them to make stupid statements like arresting those poor British soldiers. Sitting down across the table from Iran and Syria is not appeasement, it is intelligent. Without them this war never end.

    The objective of these talks is to get these parties to not only clamp down on each group but also to try and arrange, what is probably the only solution which is a division of Iraq into sectarian states, each with an equal share of revenues generated from the sale of Iraqi oil. American styled democracy will never happen in the Middle East. Once troops have been pulled out, send some to afghanistan to finish the real threat. Bring the rest home from the third tour of duty and re-direct all of the billions of dollars coming out of our pockets into actually securing our borders from the next attack that will come. How about not cutting the NYC security budget in half. How about increasing the percentage of containers being scanned from 2% to……….

    There are some answers for you Tokyo. Now what is your plan ? Keep sending more troops !!!!! Throw in more expendable American bodies. Pound your chest and tell everyone how tough you are. The resitance in Iraq will never ever give up, don’t you get it. So long as fundamentalist Islam is alive, we cannot beat them, no matter how powerful our army is and rest assured all stats show a clear increase in Islamic fundamentalism, not the other way around. While I write this, a new bumper crop of insurgents are being brainwashed and trained to kill the infidel.

    Don’t you get it, they want us off their land and to stop trying to shove our democracy and value system down their throats. What do you not understand about this ?

    And I am the one being called ignorant. At what point will all of the in your face facts, finally sink in ?

    Besides the Iraq war, the pile up of scandals facing this administration prove how innocent and well meaning these guys are. After Bush’s election what did I hear was the primary reason so many conservatives re-elected him ? the fear that if a democrat was elected, gay marriage would be allowed. This is not something I just made up, it’s a very real fact, at least as it was presented in the media.

    Let me make one last thing clear, I am no big fan of the pandering democrats either. They are proving to be spineless and as corrupt as the Republicans, but at least they have want change, not simply Iraq war, the extended version.

    Now it’s your turn to provide a plan, I am all ears. All i see in these rebuttals against me is the pot calling the kettle black. Come at me with more substance.

  33. Roman K. sorry to monoplize the topic, but as the conversation turned towards us, I took the train on, of course Putin is a far more dangerous person

    “Everything that goes wrong is the U.S.’s fault seems to be your modus operandi and answer for all of the worlds woes. You make uninformed statements like “GW, too obstinate, too arrogant, too idiotically religious” when you never turn the same measuring stick to leaders in the Middle East or Europe, or Russia as this thread had started with”

    Tedders, the impression I got since your country is involved in Irak, that was and is that your government put ervery desease they encountered on our shoulders, and that was the ocasion for your medias to undermine our country and bash us as if we were the real ennemies and the “preventers of turning around”, one could feel proud of feeling such important deal in america’s mind, but you see, we haven’t got such big powers on the earth, but I agree, you can’t take off our frank “big mouth”, when we don’t agree with some politic we say it, unlike your opportunist alliees in this period

    anyway, I am pleased to have discussed with you, seems we can over pass our difference, I shall be happy to see you whenever you want to visit Poitiers 😆

  34. 1. Agreeing with a majority doesn’t mean one isn’t ignorant. In fact any such argument is a fallacy.

    2. George Bush is NOT to blame for other people’s actions. Not if these other people kill Iraqis, and neither if these other people kill American soldiers. You, Frenchman, are still falling into the trap of shifting reponsibility from others to George Bush. It is the terrorists who kill Iraqis who have blood on their hands; and it is the terrorists who kill American soldiers who have blood on their hands; NOT George Bush. That’s a simple fact.

    3. “At what point were you annointed the wise one?” I told you. It was when I finally realised that X is not reponsible for Y’s actions. I don’t know if that qualifies me as the “wise one”, but it certainly makes me a bit smarter. It took me years to understand the concept of blaming X for X’s actions and Y for Y’s actions. Before that moment, before that process to be more precise; I also thought it was completely logical to blame X for Y’s actions.

    4. “They” do not want the US off their land, which is why “they” (the Iraqi people) voted for a government that asked the US to stay. You are mixing the terrorists and their very vocal supporters with “the Iraqis”. The groups overlap, I am sure. It is that X-Y thing again. You have X, the Iraqis, and Y, the terrorists and their supporters. While some Y are X and some X are Y, the two are still distinct groups (Y is not even a subset of X). And X is NOT reponsible for Y’s actions, hence what Y does to Americans does not represent X’s will. But the elected government does.

    5 “And I am the one being called ignorant.” Yes. I think you are still not getting the X-Y problem. I think you ought to be more precise in what you say. You summarise too much. You see terrorists attacking American soldiers and you conclude that the Iraqis want the Americans to leave. If you kept telling yourself the middle part of the story, that most Iraqis are not terrorists, you would realise that the terrorists do not represent Iraqi opinion.

    Have you read the article the Iraqi president wrote about the American and British troops? Can he represent the people who elected his government? Or can only the terrorists represent the people?

    As for the administration’s internal scandals etc., they have nothing to do with whether the administration was right about Iraq or not.

  35. Nomad says: “I shall be happy to see you whenever you want to visit Poitiers”

    Yipee!!! Franco-American relations on the mend! Hey I only ordered freedom fries once, they’ll always be French fries to me!! LOL

  36. did you know that the guy who named the “freedom fried” is in jail as a crook ? by the ways, the F fried are originally from Belgia, who cares ? Belgians were frank first 😆

  37. Blaming terrorist activity on the US military is not unlike blaming police for crimminal behavior. The US military is making me be a terrorist. Police make people be crimminals. Yea, right. The whole world is like a disphynctional domestic police call. Someone calls the police, the police arrive, break it up and then they both turn on the police. We (US military) are still in Germany, Japan, Phillipines, Kosovo and where ever the hell else we are. The world is a mental institution. You’re all a bunch of loons. I’ll start worrying about this country when the day arrives that the wall we’re building on our southern border is there to keep me in. The US is the hospital staff. Get over it.

    Hey, fwency fwenchman, I’ve read your postings over and over. Can’t get to where I see a rational, normal thought process working. Oh, so traveled. Oh, so worldy. Oh, so above it all. Oh, so enlightened and oh, so, shallow. Just a bunch of disconnected rambling one liners. You, by your own writings can be best be described as a barely sophmoric, pseudo-intellectual, buckshot ramblings generalizer. I fart in your general direction.

    Nomad, I’m not going to waste my time. Sounds as though you went to the same school as fwency, fwenchman.

    Andrew Brehm and Tedders, hear, hear, bravo. Couldn’t have done any better.

  38. one post get lost : trying to rember it

    So, Johnny be good, I said that my fellow fwench is not supposed to have the same background as me (see his CV above), my studies were surely not made in the same atmosphere : mine were mostly in contestation and trying to find my own soul ; now my participation here is due to the lies or twisted views some lazy or bad intentionned people spread on my country : you see I like the burning charcoals and not “surrending” 😆

  39. “Andrew Brehm and Tedders, hear, hear, bravo. Couldn’t have done any better.”


    The major principle, I think, is the X is responsible for X’s actions axiom. It is something that sounds simple (and it is), yet it is VERY difficult to understand for some.

    Think of trial lawyers and liberals who blame society for crime rather than the criminals.

    Now we have liberals who blame not society but the criminals’ enemies for the crime.

    Who is to blame for blowing up a mosque in Iraq?

    1. The terrorist who did it and the people who funded him.

    2. Iraqi society.

    3. The Americans.

    4. Israel.

    These days the differences between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives blame 1, 2, 3, 4 in that order while liberals blame Israel first, the Americans second, Iraqis third, and the terrorists last.

  40. Leauki,

    “These days the differences between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives blame 1, 2, 3, 4 in that order while liberals blame Israel first, the Americans second, Iraqis third, and the terrorists last.”

    Does it mean that moderates would blame it only on 1 and 2 in no particular order?

  41. Leo,

    You might just find that there are no “moderates” on these issues.

    Self-proclaimed moderates are often 4-3-2-1 people who believe that their position is so objective that surely the opposite of 1-2-3-4 must be something else.

    I have met, online, people who claimed to be “neutral” on the Palestine issue and proposed deporting all the Jews (including those expelled from Arab countries) to Europe and America to solve the problem.

    But I have not met anybody who proposed deporting all Arabs from cisjordan Palestine (Jews had already been deported from transjordan Palestine) and called himself a “moderate”. In fact, I have not met a single self-proclaimed right-wing Zionist who supported such a measure.

    1-2-3-4 people are proud of the fact that 1-2-3-4 is an extreme position. 4-3-2-1 people do not want to be extremists and rarely admit to holding an extremist opinion.

    In Europe those open-minded enough to see George Bush as something other than Satan’s evil brother (Stalin without the charm) will usually only consent to consider 1-2-3-4 if it has been declared before the discussion that anything America does that doesn’t actively kill people is only done for either reasons of propaganda or for the sake of an even more sinister plan. And these people are your European “moderates”.

    And while Iran openly threatens another people with annihilation while Israel threatens nobody, most “moderates” would still regard Israel as a threat to world peace and not Iran.

    The truth is that to those “moderates” and the life they want to live, Israel is a greater threat than Iran. They are not lying, they simply fear Jews more than they fear another holocaust. And they are not anti-semites either. That’s the extremist position, not the moderate position.

    But since I am now at it…

    Here’s is a list of things “moderates” of the type described above fear:

    1. A Jewish state that develops faster and better than all neighbouring countries despite having fewer natural resources (other than Jews).

    2. American successes.

    3. Black African countries that speak English and embrace western culture instead of their traditional African cultures.

    4. Modern Christianity, Judaism, capitalism.

    5. Equality for men and women and between “races” (i.e. no laws protecting one or the other and no special treatment for minorities based on their genes).

    6. Conservative election victories.

    Happy Easter!

  42. Different attitutudes towards solving the Iraq crisis:

    1-2-3-4 (conservatives):

    1. Fight the terrorists and kill them all.

    2. Reform Iraqi society.

    3. Withdraw American troops after tasks 1 and 2 are performed.

    4. Peace in Palestine will follow once the terrorists see that they are being opposed by greater powers.

    4-3-2-1 (liberals):

    1. Force Israel to give up fighting and sign another peace treaty with the terrorists. The situation in Palestine is the root cause for all other terrorist acts.

    2. Withdraw American troops from Iraq. (Particularly Pro-Israel liberals will argue that American troops should withdraw before the Palestine problem is solved. They are 3-4-2-1 people. They blame America first, Israel second.)

    3. Let the terrorists represent Iraqi society and give them international aid. (Worked in Palestine.)

    4. Do not disturb the terrorists.

  43. “Is it still 650,000 or much less?”

    4 years a 365 days = 1460 days

    650,000 dead in 1460 days = 450 bodies a day

    How do you vanish 450 bodies a day?

    Saddam used mass graves.

    The Nazis used furnaces.

    Did the report that found the number mention the trick?

  44. sorry I ment Kerry, anyway, it’ not our business who leads your country, unless this person is non sense and dispizes the rules of diplomaty

  45. “actually, Kerry is better viewed, cause he did not insult any country who do not agree with US policy”

    I am afraid the people who prefer Kerry over Bush are those who believe that the Iraqi government can vanish 450 bodies a day.

    Most of the sane people might not see it that way.

  46. we may prefer Kerry as a personality and not enter in all his arguments, things are not white or black, we use lights and shades

  47. “we may prefer Kerry as a personality and not enter in all his arguments, things are not white or black, we use lights and shades”

    Of course, I forgot about the sophistication issue.

    What lights and shades are there?

  48. Nomad, Kerry is no better than Bush, he just has never had to make a decision affecting another country. That the Europeans like him better is a given. But then that is because they have never had to get to know him very well, and given current trends, never will.

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