Spiegel: Bush can barely string a sentence together, and more

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Submitted by powayseller on November 12, 2006 - 10:23pm

Spiegel, a german magazine
"In practical terms, Rumsfeld's departure was a completely botched operation. Bush stumbled through the two press conferences -- over both of which the issue of Iraq hung like a foul-smelling cloud -- as clumsily as he used to do during his Texas days. The elections seem to have rattled him.

Indeed, Bush was barely able to string a sentence together. He avoided the questions he was asked, lost track of what he wanted to say and produced verbal monstrosities like this one: "And he (Donald Rumsfeld) and I are constantly assessing. And I'm assessing, as well, all the time, by myself, about, do we have the right people in the right place, or do we -- got the right strategy? As you know, we're constantly changing tactics. And that requires constant assessment." Not much later, Bush said: "I think it sends a bad signal to our troops if they think the Commander-in-Chief is constantly adjusting tactics."

End of a 6 Year Nightmare
"Europe has been increasingly skeptical of US foreign policy under President George W. Bush. While France and Germany led the opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, even former allies in Spain and Italy have since been swept from power by parties opposing the war. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led his country into the Iraq war despite widespread public opposition, is now all but a lame- duck leader, expected to stand down in May next year at the very latest.

Now the midterm elections in the United States have dealt a severe blow to the White House, it would seem the Europeans are relishing dealing with a weakened president. There is even a hint of schadenfreude on this side of the Atlantic -- and some relief.

Europe has been increasingly skeptical of US foreign policy under President George W. Bush. While France and Germany led the opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, even former allies in Spain and Italy have since been swept from power by parties opposing the war. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led his country into the Iraq war despite widespread public opposition, is now all but a lame- duck leader, expected to stand down in May next year at the very latest.

Now the midterm elections in the United States have dealt a severe blow to the White House, it would seem the Europeans are relishing dealing with a weakened president. There is even a hint of schadenfreude on this side of the Atlantic -- and some relief."

Editorial comments
"The left-wing Berliner Zeitung writes that the election was not so much a defeat for the Republican Party as it was "a defeat for a school of thought, a defeat for the neo-conservative ideology".....
"The Financial Times is happy to see that Bush got an electoral "slap in the face" for the war in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and his "one-dimensional foreign policy."....
"Meanwhile, the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung calls the Democratic victory at the polls nothing less than the "victory of democracy." The paper says "the US nation experienced a revolt of the political center" against its commander-in-chief, whose "arrogant one-party rule threatened to undermine pillars and principles of America's system of governance."....
"Finally, Die Welt argues that although the US president is not yet a lame duck, "the end of the era of George W. Bush has begun."

Personally, I can't stand Bush, and am perplexed that our nation elected a man of such inferior intelligence, who can't even carry a speech, and killed 100,000 civilians, many more people than the terrorists killed in the trade tower attacks. Bush is an arrogant man who uses his religion and greed of power to justify war and killing civilians for his higher purpose (God wants him to do it). Doesn't that define a terrorist? In my opinion, Bush is a terrorist.

Bush's war in Iraq killed five times as many civilians as were killed in the 9/11 attacks. His war is an obvious blunder, and he is a worse murderer than the terrorists. Life for Iraqis is now worse than before the US came to save them.

"the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion.....Violent deaths were mainly attributed to coalition forces - and most individuals reportedly killed were women and children.

Dr Les Roberts, who led the study, said: "Making conservative assumptions we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more, have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. "

Bush, as well as the terrorists, should be tried for mass murder, and I hope the Democrats will uncover every one of his horrendous secrets.

It is amazing that Americans have not held Bush accountable. He should be fired. The guy is a complete moron.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 13, 2006 - 10:16pm.

"Today's terrorist list includes Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Bush (and his military leaders)."

Nice, you must have some serious moral misalignment in your
confused mind. Are you sure, you wanted to share this great
opinion piece with the members of this forum? I think you
owe an explanation to the rational segment of society.

L Thek

Submitted by surveyor on November 13, 2006 - 11:51pm.

Powayseller:

Here is an article for your perusal that states that the Lancet was wildly exaggerating the 100k civilian deaths.

How Lancet Cooked Up the Numbers

Some interesting quotes from the article:

" The recent survey, published in the British medical journal, "The Lancet," claiming over 650,000 civilian deaths due to the liberation of Iraq, was quickly labeled propaganda, not science. Is the survey accurate? The answer is, apparently not. The survey is widely out of sync with casualty counts by other organizations, and by a wide margin. A 2004 study by the same authors claimed 100,000 civilian casualties – a survey at odds with one done by the United Nations at the same time (which estimated 18,000 to 29,000 deaths). To compare this with other studies – the group Iraq Body Count only claims 49,000 civilian deaths, the Brookings Institution reports 62,000, and the Los Angeles Times has reported 50,000 civilian deaths since the liberation of Iraq."

So Powayseller, if you are using disreputable sources and not doing your due diligence before making genocidal and terrorist accusations, aren't you LYING? I mean, the information is out there by a simple google search. Are you being arrogant by only looking at data that favors your point of view? Maybe you are so blinded by your anger and hatred that you can ignore the other evidence that does not fit your world view?

I am not being accusatory or making allegations towards your person, but I just thought you would like to know how the shoe feels on the other foot.

Submitted by surveyor on November 14, 2006 - 12:01am.

Here's another detailed analysis of the Lancet numbers:

Iraqi death reports merely propaganda

Some notable quotes:

"Consider just this: Because the sample size was so small, the range for deaths was wider than Mick Jagger's mouth: 8,000 to 194,000. So Roberts and company just split the difference. They said the tiny sample size was necessary because the interviewers were in constant danger. No doubt they meant being caught in the crosshairs of an F-16, rather than any possible threat from those jolly terrorists who routinely kidnap civilians and slowly saw off their heads.

Further, the researchers didn't feel bound by anything official like death certificates. Interviews were fine. "In the Iraqi culture it was unlikely for respondents to fabricate deaths," they wrote."

"Even anti-war and anti-American groups and individuals have indicated the Lancet figure is outlandish. "These numbers seem to be inflated," due "to overcounting," Marc Garlasco, of Human Rights Watch told the Washington Post. The website www.iraqbodycount.com estimates about 14,000-16,000 deaths since the war began. The Evil One himself, bin Laden, in his pre-election video, made reference to the Iraq war and stated "over 15,000 of our people have been killed.""

Submitted by lostkitty on November 14, 2006 - 4:35am.

jg said: "The Lancet is a leftist medical journal, as is JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association): every other paper or article is on AIDS, breast cancer, ..."

Are you kidding me??????? Since when is breast cancer a "leftist" issue? That was a positively assinine posting. You show yourself to be a real 'boob'.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 14, 2006 - 6:42am.

"Patriotic? Are all people who criticise the President or government unpatriotic?"

If the criticism is constructive and well argued, no. When
become hysterical and is helping the propaganda of our
enemies, defenetely unpatriotic, even treasonous.

"The only thing I hate about America it is the stupidity of these types of people, who would dare question someones patriotism or love of country simply because they are critical of the government."

Did someone smacked you on your head, so keep running in circles?

"I'm sure these same idiots were whining along with Rush Limbaugh every day that Clinton was in office. I guess they all hated America too."

Actually one of the idiots (me), become U.S. citizen just before the
'92 elections. I volunteered for the Clinton campaign, and celebrated
his win. It's not my fault, Clinton betrayed every straight thinking
Democrats and destroyed the traditional Democratic base. I'm one
of the many, who can say, the Party left me. (Rush Limbaugh has
nothing to do with Clinton's ethical standards.)

L Thek

Submitted by davelj on November 14, 2006 - 8:12am.

This series of posts reminds me of something my father told me a long time ago: "Don't get into a fight with a pig, son. You both end up getting dirty but the pig enjoys it."

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on November 14, 2006 - 10:25am.

Hey I was a Clinton '92 voter, while active-duty military.

I grew up a Union Democrat, one that the brie-eating, foreign car driving california liberal tolerates once every 4 years before going back to their social clubs.

I thought the Democratic Party was out to protect the auto and steel industry. Economic Nationalists. So despite my pro-gun stance, my distaste for welfare-queens, affirmative action, death penalty opponents, etc. I plugged my nose and voted conservative Democrat (Abilene - Charles Stenholm, Youngstown - Jim Traficant). At some point, I just couldn't take it anymore, and since both parties became Pro-Nafta, I at least agreed in principle more with Newt Gingrinch than I did the granola crowd so here I am.

Submitted by sdnativeson on November 14, 2006 - 11:03am.

I can't believe this thread lasted this long on a R.E. site.
This site didn't provide any new insights so, before I delete this link a couple of thoughts.

The original post, ps, you posted (parroted) a quote
from Spiegal.
Reading news (all opinion and/or propaganda) from around the world falls short of the true (I assume, unless your goal is purely self validation) purpose of the endevour.

I browse through hundreds of publications world wide daily
(it's my work), I say browse, meaning when something of interest is found, I look for the actual source of the content, then the motivation(true intent) becomes (hopefully) clearer, then I have an idea of
where and to whom to go for something more concise.
Needless to say, it's necessary to find and look at all sides (not both) of a..... "event" however distasteful and tedious, in order to attempt even a modicum of understanding.

My point(s) (there are several), maybe take away this one, reading and gathering information that only validates your opinions is ultimately worthless to you and those you espouse it to.

I would also suggest that the practice of using vindictive toward those with whom you disagree and their subsequent opinions be stopped. Name calling and insulting comments is not the way to create an dialogue. If it's a dialogue you want. It shows a style that has no class. If you cannot show respect to those with whom you disagree (until they have proven they aren't worthy of it)
you certainly aren't entitled to it. It's juvenile and shows a lack of intelligence.

I didn't come here for social rhetoric, I came here to see if there was something to be gleaned as to a section of the market in San Diego from those who are living it.
Ignore the typos and grammatical errors I choose not to fix them but move on.

Submitted by picpoule on November 14, 2006 - 11:32am.

Spiegel online has an article entitled, "Bye, Bye, Deutschland" about how productive working people are leaving Germany in droves because of very poor career and job prospects. At the same time, poor Muslim immigrants keep streaming in. Germany is a sclerotic, state that is collapsing in on itself. It is also virulently anti-American, even though we rescued them from the Nazis last century.

And along those lines, why should we listen to anything Germany has to say about our leaders? They have shown very, very poor judgment in picking their leaders. And the Germans have proven far more dangerous than the U.S. in world affairs. Thanks to them, we had wholesale manslaughter, bloodshed, death camps and genocide during two World Wars that they were responsible for. After their sorry history, they get to make fun of us? What a joke!

In the next ten years, when decadent Germany comes running to the U.S. to save them from the civil war they'll have with the Muslims, the U.S. will turn its back on them -- finally. And I'll say, "Good Riddance."

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 14, 2006 - 1:10pm.

"Spiegel online has an article entitled, "Bye, Bye, Deutschland" about how productive working people are leaving Germany in droves because of very poor career and job prospects."

Absolutely correct, well done. The sad part of the story, too many
boneheads in our great country ignores the lessons of history and think, they stupid head will not be chopped off by the militant islamist, because they hated Bush and America.

L Thek

Submitted by socalarm on November 14, 2006 - 2:04pm.

deleted

Submitted by socalarm on November 14, 2006 - 2:06pm.

"The sad part of the story, too many
boneheads in our great country ignores the lessons of history and think, they stupid head will not be chopped off by the militant islamist, because they hated Bush and America."

i will memorize this one

Submitted by PerryChase on November 14, 2006 - 4:17pm.

The Germany of today is much different from the Germany of 60 years ago. Germans are the most well-traveled people in the world so they are very open to what's going on in the world. You can see Germans just about everywhere you go.

On the other hand, Americans tend to stay home in the comfort of their living-rooms. They base their opinions on what they see on TV.

Submitted by startingout on November 14, 2006 - 4:55pm.

Well said, PerryChase. I know far too many people in America who couldn't be bothered to visit neighboring counties, let alone other countries. When I'm abroad it always amazes me how much citizens of other countries pay attention to what is going on in the world- they pay close attention not only to their own politics, but also the politics of many other countries.

I'm not sure if that has something to do with the media though, as American media tends not to report on foreign politics (unless it has to do with some fear-mongering subject like nuclear war), while I've noticed that news programs in other countries include news from many different nations and cultures in their reports. It can't all be blamed on the media though, a certain amount of personal responsibility for being aware of the global community that one is a part of is necessary, and certainly is found wanting in most Americans today.

I think the bubble analogy applies not only to housing, but to most Americans themselves- they're bubble people, living inside their own bubble and totally unaware and uninterested in anything that happens outside of their bubble.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 14, 2006 - 5:43pm.

"I think the bubble analogy applies not only to housing, but to most Americans themselves- they're bubble people, living inside their own bubble and totally unaware and uninterested in anything that happens outside of their bubble."

Called liberal elite...

L Thek

Submitted by PD on November 14, 2006 - 7:07pm.

The "liberal elite" in SoCal includes a good number of Hollywood types. Although rich, they aren't known for their education. Sean Penn really looked like a big smartie when he went over to Iraq before we invaded. Ben Affleck is a big smartie too. Did I hear that Barbara Streisand is secretly a physicist? Hmm… maybe I’ve got her confused with someone else.

Submitted by blahblahblah on November 14, 2006 - 7:25pm.

Whoops, ended up with 2 copies...

Submitted by blahblahblah on November 14, 2006 - 7:24pm.

Yep, it's no problem finding poorly educated spokespeople from the extreme end of either the right or left wing. Rush Limbaugh, for example, dropped out of Southeastern Missouri State University after one year.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 14, 2006 - 8:22pm.

"Liberal Elite is just a label that uneducated people like to call smarter people in order to feel better about themselves"

Education has nothing to do with smartness. Actually today's
college educated leftist "smartys" are the dumbest most uninformed
and segregated people. They've learned only how to look and act
"smart". Easy to recognize them, they're spending large portion of they
money and time at Starbucks Coffees, talking to each other only,
watching the screens of laptops, and obviously calling normal Americans
ignorent. They're very concerned about "global warming", oil drilling,
tobacco smoke and health, generally. Awsome...
By the way, I couldn't hire a single college educated "smarty" in the
past 10 years. Sorry, they're just a bunch of useless, dumb kids. I hope
they'll grow up by age 45.

L Thek

Submitted by PerryChase on November 14, 2006 - 9:13pm.

I did read somewhere a while back that Germans are the most well traveled as a proportion of the population of a "big" economy. Americans rank pretty low possibly because America is so big and people don't feel they need to leave the country. George Bush felt that way and before becoming president, he'd not been anywhere (except for perhaps Mexico?).

However, Jeb Bush (the smart one) lived in Venezuela and married a Latina.

In my view, it's admirable to be being well-educated and prosperous, yet care about the environment and the poor. Better than the conservative elites who care about nothing and on one but themselves.

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 12:05am.

The wisdom of deadzone:
'The only thing I hate about America it is the stupidity of these types of people, who would dare question someones patriotism or love of country simply because they are critical of the government.'

'You guys need to get out more often.'

'Liberal Elite is just a label that uneducated people like to call smarter people in order to feel better about themselves.'

'Sounds like some of you lack of self confidence if you have to resort to name calling of people who are more successful than you.'

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on November 15, 2006 - 12:32am.

Travel sucks. Tales of an American dummy. (just having some fun)

In my previous company, my CTO was in Holland, and my boss was in Scotland so I traveled there for 3 weeks on 2 occasions. I like the experience for a few days, hung out in Amsterdam, got drunk in Scotland, went to William Wallace's monument, etc. However I got so tired of taking buses and trains everywhere and living by the schedule.

When I got back to the US, I wanted to do something completely American. I hopped in my pickup truck, drove it to a steakhouse, where I got to park my own damn car, in a free parking lot, and didn't worry about leaving at a certain time. Also the freakin' techno music blaring everywhere I went was nauseating. Christ didn't Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath come from the UK? What was with this blaring sissy music? So upon returning, another thing I did for about two days until it nauseated me was to listen to country music. I don't care much for that genre but it was so not Euro, that I just had to do it.

Similarly I went to Tokyo for 3 weeks, and I ate a lot of McDonalds. However Tokyo it was easier to find a good steak, and I did like Shabu-Shabu or Swish-Swish, whatever it's called.

In all cases I liked the local beers, except the Guiness type heavy stuff. The scottish women were just yuck the first time, but when I went back it seemed they discovered tanning salons, and streaked-multi colored hair so they looked much better. Dutch women I just loved, tall, thin, with nice backsides. I kind of liked the Japanese girls, but it seemed like I could throw them 20 feet. You can't breed football players with a 4'11" 80 pound woman. I am 6'1" barely above average and I felt like a Giant in Shin-Juku city down at the train station.

In any case no voluntary trips in smelly tubes for me. It's either corporate based or I won't go. I recently passed on an option to go to India on business. I follow the Anabolic Diet, and what would I eat for two weeks over there? Actually the new version is called the Metabolic Diet.

Submitted by carlislematthew on November 15, 2006 - 10:22am.

Wow, what a thread.

Personally, I can't wait until BOTH sides (liberal-elite lefty sissies AND uneducated right-wing neocon nutjobs) get thrown out of the mainstreams and into their traditional place, the extremes.

I'm fed up of debates that in the Moore vs Limbaugh style. Everyone gets worked up, insults each other and just end up throwing sh*t at each other. Lovely.

L-"Bush is a complete idiot!"
R-"Clinton was worse!"
L-"Bush is a terrorist!"
R-"You hate America!"
L-"Free speech!!! Gotcha! You must hate America more!"
R-"Free speech means I can say what I want!!"

Sigh.

Submitted by lindismith on November 15, 2006 - 10:24am.

Yeah, good stuff.

Michael, great letter! Just curious if you got a reply?

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 11:11am.

deadzone, that's a poor argument on several levels. First, the war is still ongoing, and it can't be a success or failure until it's over. Would you have advocated surrender in WWII in 1943 because the war was not yet won?

When you say newspapers from other countries have no interest in American politics, how do you square that with the assertions of several people on this thread that people from other countries are worldly and cosmopolitan? Wouldn't such people have knowledge of American politics, and given their knowledge and our power wouldn't they have to have an interest in who runs this country? I bet if I held up Fox News as a source of unbiased opinion on Australian politics you'd disagree. Why should Australian or British journalists, who tend to hold the same views on common domestic issues as American journalists, view American foreign policy any differently?

Finally, exit polls say the primary issue in the Republican defeat was corruption. I won't defend them there, they deserved to be hit on that score. I wish there was a better alternative to turning the country over to the party of Alcee Hastings (removed from the federal bench for perjury and bribery) and William Jefferson (in whose freezer the FBI discovered $100,000 in alleged bribe money).

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 11:44am.

It may be clear to you, but it wasn't to CNN, whose exit polls "showed that 42 percent of voters called corruption an extremely important issue in their choices at the polls, followed by terrorism at 40 percent, the economy at 39 percent and the war in Iraq at 37 percent." I'm sure I'm not as smart as you think you are, but even my meager counting skills put Iraq in 4th place in that list.

I'm glad you threw in that side note. The New York Times managed to interview a couple of those retired generals. Guess what? They want to continue the war, and they want more troops.
One of the most resonant arguments in the debate over Iraq holds that the United States can move forward by pulling its troops back, as part of a phased withdrawal. If American troops begin to leave and the remaining forces assume a more limited role, the argument holds, it will galvanize the Iraqi government to assume more responsibility for securing and rebuilding Iraq.

This is the case now being argued by many Democrats, most notably Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who asserts that the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq should begin within four to six months.

But this argument is being challenged by a number of military officers, experts and former generals, including some who have been among the most vehement critics of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.

Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the United States Central Command and one of the retired generals who called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, argued that any substantial reduction of American forces over the next several months would be more likely to accelerate the slide to civil war than stop it.

John Batiste, a retired Army major general who also joined in the call for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation, described the Congressional proposals for troop withdrawals as “terribly naïve ...There are lots of things that have to happen to set them up for success,” General Batiste, who commanded a division in Iraq, said in an interview, describing the Iraqi government.

Yet somehow media coverage before the election convinced even sophisticated people like yourself that the generals' position was closer to the Democrats' than to the administration's. Do you still think their recommendations are sacrosanct, now that you know what they are? Do you still trust the New York Times as much?

I didn't miss your point on the foreign press. Your writing isn't so bad, it's your reasoning. Australian journalists have views on topics like global warming, free trade, the war on terror, etc. Their views tend to go in lockstep with those of self-styled free thinkers the world over. They can identify which American political party better matches their own views, and color their writing correspondingly. To the extent an Australian paper is critical of John Howard, who's a strong conservative, it will be critical of Bush.

Or do you turn to FNC to find out about Paris?

Submitted by blahblahblah on November 15, 2006 - 12:58pm.

We did have a big coalition for Afghanistan, by the way. Worth noting in those stats is that everyone's favorite whipping-boys the French sent the largest contingent of troops after the US. We are all Americans, if anyone remembers that...

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 1:49pm.

The gap is shrinking? Who's catching up? It's ludicrous to say we don't have the firepower to win a full scale war. We do, and we're not in one at the moment. Counterinsurgency is not what the Army is built to do at the moment. The way o free up manpower is to ditch the Cold War setup and reorganize into smaller, lighter units. Which Rumsfeld was doing.

What would count as a coalition of some significance? We had Britain and Australia, plus smaller contingents from dozens of countries. Who's missing that would make it 'significant'? Aren't you ashamed of your arrogance calling a coalition of two UN Security Council members plus dozens of other sovereign states insignificant?

Was the war against Japan a failure? That was the US, UK, and Australia as well.

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 1:56pm.

CONCHO, you're wrong. According to your own link, the French sent '4500 including 3500 for the Marine Nationale', or navy. given that Afghanistan is 500+ miles from any body of water, I'd consider that 3500 less than significant.

Your other link, to the disingenuous 'we are all Americans' editorial, doesn't make it 3 paragraphs before blaming the US for all the sins of the world, up to and including bin Laden.

Submitted by PerryChase on November 15, 2006 - 2:05pm.

deadzone is right. Republicans will soon be coming out of the closet. The fact that Jim Baker (who's not even a government official) is talking to Iranian diplomats in New York is a clear sign that something is in the works.

We normalized relations with China in 1971 and pulled out of Vietnam in 1972. Something similar will happen in Iraq. Perhaps we'll normalize relations with Iran and Syria?

The neo-cons gambled for world dominance. It was a bold move but the gamble didn't pay off and now the Republican party has to pay off the gambling debts.

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