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 blahblahblah on November 15, 2006 - 2:35pm.

bgates wrote: "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"

I'm sure our US sailors reading this blog will appreciate your comment that Navy troops are insignificant in ground wars like Afghanistan and Iraq.

And yes, we did fund, train, and equip the Taliban as well as Osama and his goons during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The article I referenced didn't "blame" the US for the 9/11 attacks, it merely pointed out that one of our useful monsters had come back to bite us. Saddam was another of those useful monsters.

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 3:17pm.

CONCHO, I'm pretty sure any sailor reading this little exchange is going to take my side over yours. Saddam wasn't a US creation, anymore than Osama. They chose anti-Americanism of their own free will. There was never any American funding of Osama, and your link doesn't say anything to the contrary. Your French friends say that 9/11 would never have happened without American support of Osama. That's blaming us.

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 3:21pm.

Deadzone, what are the Chinese doing in this discussion? You were making a poor argument that the US didn't have enough coalition support to win a war; if you're now claiming that the US can't win a war without a Chinese alliance, you've gone from poor to laughable.

Your disparagement of dozens of other nations who support the US during time of war would be laughable if it weren't near-treasonous. Yes, I'm questioning your patriotism. Gratuituous insults of allies serve no purpose beyond weakening those alliances, and that's not the action of a patriot.

Why are you so excited by the size of the Chinese army?

Submitted by blahblahblah on November 15, 2006 - 3:51pm.

I wrote something here but I have deleted it. This is all so silly. Let's all grow up and stop posting to these stupid threads.

Submitted by startingout on November 15, 2006 - 4:04pm.

I really don't feel that this is a "silly" thread. Some people may have resorted to name calling, but overall the discussion has been insightful. Debate is useful, and it's nice to see people actually thinking about the issues at hand, rather than taking the typical American "La la la, I can't hear you, I'll pretend that nothing is wrong and I'll just keep buying and increasing my debt to make myself feel superior to my neighbors!" stance, complete with fingers in ears.

By the way Concho, you aren't obligated to read every thread on the website. The title obviously let's potential readers know that the thread has nothing to do with housing, and if you'd prefer to limit your reading experience to housing threads, then I suggest that you do just that. If you feel this thread is silly, then don't read it.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 15, 2006 - 10:11pm.

"Are you guys happy with a coalition that only supported 5% of casualties?"

Well, a good number of American leftists are aiding the terrorists, the
"coalition" of their side (the terrorists) suffered 100% casualties. The
left must be very happy... They just found the really helping coalition.

L Thek

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 10:30pm.

Deadzone isn't claiming the Chinese military is superior to the US, just saying that we "wouldn't want to mess with" them, pointing out they have a 3x manpower advantage, and some technology besides.

Deadzone, remind me how China fits into your argument that the US didn't have enough coalition support? I was under the impression that the vast majority of coalition casualties were being suffered by the Iraqi state. So, you consider the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, and Iraq to be not significant, at least from a military standpoint. Would you like to add to your list of countries you consider insignificant, or go back to criticizing my arrogance?

Submitted by bgates on November 15, 2006 - 11:12pm.

I read the posts. Like I said before, your arguments are poor, so you need to restate them to make them intelligible.

That's a clever comment about flunking math. You do go on about the intellectual superiority of people who think like you. Do you have any kind of credential or evidence of your brainpower? Besides your posts, of course. I suppose you could let those speak for themselves.

It's just that they don't speak well of you.

Because you argue so very, very badly.

When I said Iraqi casualties, I was referring to the military and police of the current Iraqi government, which is an ally of ours. But I must give you credit - Iraq is indeed the coutry we invaded. A fine point. One of your best so far, I'd say.

Submitted by lostkitty on November 16, 2006 - 7:51am.

JG - take a closer look at that link you posted. On the left there is a "multimedia" graph and link. If you open it it clearly spells out that men's higher incidences of heart disease may be related to higher percentage of tobacco and alcohol use. I bet if we searched for studies on eating habits, men would show higher percentages of overeating and excessive meat eating as well. All directly linked to heart disease... no mystery there!

In regards to incresing spending on women's health issues research... well.. the pendulum swings. Historically, medical research did not even consider women. Almost all research was based on males, medical and psychological scientific research... so get over it. I entirely disagree with you.... Disproportionate coverage of women's breast cancer research vs. men's heart disease research does not equate to a "liberal" slant in scientific journals.

Submitted by bgates on November 16, 2006 - 8:22am.

Finally we can agree on something:
I won't say deadzone is particularly smart, either.

I'm still curious about this 'utter failure' talk. When did it become obvious, even to someone of your admittedly limited intelligence, that the war was lost? What made you believe that? It can't be because of casualty levels, which are historically low for a war. It can't be because of mistakes, because there are mistakes in every war. It can't be because we're still fighting, because we've won war that we fought longer. It can't be for lack of coalition support, because we've won wars fought completely unilaterally.

But you have no doubts in your mind. Having decided on the end state you want to see, you have no interest in competing theories or contrary data. You act exactly like your own caricature of the administration.

Submitted by bgates on November 16, 2006 - 10:23am.

Unilateral US victories include the Spanish-American War, Moro Rebellion, Mexican-American War, and War of 1812.I think I can throw the Civil War on that list, too. Likewise the Indian Wars of the late 19th century. These are all armed conflicts that the US won on its own.

For that matter, the Korean Conflict was every bit as unilateral as Iraq is (vast majority of casualties on our side suffered by indigenous allies, vast majority of remainder suffered by America, 5-10% by other allies) and that wasn't a defeat.

Which argument did you find silly? Was it the US won no wars unilaterally 'in this century'? (Did you mean to say 'in the past 100 years'? That would look a little more reasonable.)

Yes, you do have to convince me that the Iraq war is a failure. Or rather I have not yet been convinced. You're clearly not up to it, since you prefer insults to argument. I prefer both, but then I have both the ability to argue and the presence of facts on my side, advantages you lack.

This is fun, though - please tell me how I've made it clear I know nothing about history. Awe me with further display of your intellectual acumen.

Submitted by bgates on November 16, 2006 - 11:58am.

Hey there kristinejm. There are still two Koreas because, as I said in my post, we weren't defeated. If we were, the peninsula would be united under the Kim family. Ask somebody from South Korea if they would be better off that way.

I'm very interested in what the Iraqi people think. So are others who have the resources to ask them. The internet has things called 'search engines' which can help to find answers on these topics. I used one called Google to find this. I don't know much about the group, other than one of its advisors was Clinton's NSC advisor. So it's not affiliated with the administration. According to that survey, 61% of Iraqis think deposing Saddam was worth it. What do you think of their answer?

To be honest, I'm not sure that we're winning. My major argument in this thread has been against the notion that we've already lost. We haven't, but saying we have makes it more likely that we eventually will - it boosts the morale of our enemies and disheartens our allies.

It's ok that you made some little mistakes reading my post. Don't be embarassed to call a grown-up over to your computer to help you read the longer sentences. I think it's great you're making an effort.

Submitted by bgates on November 16, 2006 - 12:56pm.

Everyone I've talked to who's been over there, and most of the guys I've read, are more optimistic than you. What's you definition of losing the war? Who did win, since we lost?

What is being accomplished is a slow process. Building a civil state from the ground up takes time. Building professional police and military from the ground up is slow. The US Army has over 200 years of tradition, and can train its people in a very secure environment at West Point, and it still takes 4 years to get the lowest level officer ready to go out in the field - at which point he gets led around by a senior noncom with several times as much experience. The American government took seven years to junk the Articles of Confederation, and they weren't being shot at. Iraq has a written constitution, its government has broad popular support, and its enforcement ability is growing - all thanks to the efforts of American servicemen, including those whose graves you spit on by saying little has been accomplished.

It's not over. It will be if we give up and go home. The Americans can go home. Our allies in the Iraqi government are home, and will still have to deal with the terrorists, the criminals, the militias, and the Iranians no matter what we do. If the Iraqi people know we will help them as long as they want it, but will leave when asked, their resolve will be strengthened. People like yourself, who would rather hurt Republicans than help people trying to establish something like a free country, make it more likely that our allies try to cut a deal with our enemies before they're abandoned by us. That would leave Iraq and us worse off.

You have an interesting definition of 'allies', if you think most US allies were never involved. Who are you talking about?

Submitted by PerryChase on November 16, 2006 - 3:07pm.

bgates is certainly very knowledgeable and well-informed. Her(?) defense of GWB and the Iraq War is like the performance of a good attorney defending her powerful (possibly guilty) client. Think Kenneth Lay. The court of public opinion has already spoken but the trial is still going on and the jury won’t deliberate for a while.

Since we’re “in court,” let’s define what “win” means. Based on the expectations created by the Bush Administration, we can probably agree that a win in Iraq means that 1) Iraq retains its territorial pre-war integrity/unity, 2) Iraq develops a multi-party democratic government, 3) the sectarian violence stops, 4) Iraq develops a “prosperous” economy where the per-capita GDP is at least equal to that of Iran, 5) American troops are reduced to less than 10,000.

I can accept that we shouldn’t say that we lost the Iraq War since it’s still going on. However, we are certainly not yet winning. The war itself is not over so it can’t be called a failure. But, so far, the implementation of the war has been a failure.

Can the Administration rescue the war and turn it into a win by their own definition? I doubt it. They are going to redefine what win means and reset the public’s expectations. That’s probably what Republican strategists are working on right now.

The real estate bubble will be still be deflating a few years from now. I think that Iraq will be over before the real estate bottom. So, in a few years, Piggington will still be around and we’ll be here to start a thread on whether we won or lost.

In the mean time, we can continue to debate how the war is being fought. The tactics for winning the war have so far turned disastrous. Bush has two more years to see his strategy to fruition. The problem is that his strategy is democracy, unity, prosperity, they-stand-up-we-stand-down rhetoric. What kind of strategy is that? How can the strategy be the same as “winning” itself?

Submitted by bgates on November 16, 2006 - 3:57pm.

Deadzone, I appreciate your wish to see me bleed. It confirms something I had suspected about your character. Thanks very much; rather than wishing the same in return, I hope you live long enough to gain some wisdom and grow to regret making that sort of comment. Since you won't bother answering any of my questions, I'll keep my answers to yours short: Our chief ally in Iraq is Iraq. If we stay and help them, together we can beat the various factions that want to take the place over. If we leave, the people who had supported us will be killed as collaborationists. If I were an Iraqi working with the Americans, I would be very troubled by talk of giving up and going home.

Deadzone, your hatred of Bush and anyone who supports him is the only partisan thing in our debate. I don't like Bush's stance on immigration, his campaign appearances at Bob Jones, his failure to veto bloated budgets, or his position on gay marriage. I've voted for Nader as many times as I've voted for Bush and his father combined. My defense of an aggressive foreign policy to spread freedom around the globe, the kind of thing Truman and JFK tried to do, isn't based on some love for the Republican party, you narrow-minded hate-filled hack.

Kristine, what goes around comes around. Since you can't take it, you shouldn't be trying to dish it out.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 16, 2006 - 7:27pm.

"Invading a country with virtually no military is not a great accomplishment"

War, invasion of countries, other military actions are not part of a silly
pissing contest. They're serious moves by grown adults. There is a long
list of American military successes, very short list of failures. History is
not the past three or five years. Wait and see how history will judge
George Bush's vision for the Arab world. His vision, spreading
democracy, needs to be played out. Deadzone and others, do you really
want to loose the war? Are you anxious to see a couple of million dead
Iraqis? Do you have high hopes about the success of Iran's nuclear
program? You guys, really want to see the destruction of Israel? If you
think, the situation was not serious enough before the invasion of Iraq,
wait and see how serious it can become. It can reach the point, when
the only solution is to nuke the whole Arab world. (After seeing a dozen
nukes destroying vital cities and several million innocent people of the western world.) Are you leftists are insane?

L. Thek

Submitted by bgates on November 16, 2006 - 11:59pm.

dz, the statement "why don't you go over there and shed some of your own blood" is in no way figurative, and I have no interest trying to communicate with someone dishonest enough to claim that it is.

Submitted by bubba99 on November 17, 2006 - 12:34pm.

What I haven't seen in this thread surprises me. No mention of N. Korea, and Iran and the bomb. While we have had all of our attention and resources in Iraq and Afghanistan, N. Korea has developed the bomb. IAEC has found Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) in an Iran dump site. This means they probably have a heavy water reactor that can develop a couple of bombs per year and our Intel groups completely missed it. Next year they are adding 3000 centrifuges which can add another 2 or 3 bombs per year. Who do you think they will use them on?

Not Israel because they want Palestine back for the Palestinians - that leave us. It is a small leap from the fission bomb to a Thermo-nuclear bomb with un-imaginable devastation.

Back in 1956 the US tested a device with the "Apache" design. It was a 3-part bomb expected to yield 700 kilotons of energy. The actual yield was 1.85 megatons. I mention this bomb because in 1956 it was cutting edge, and one of the first to overcome the need for liquid hydrogen to create the fusion process with very stable 6LiDeterorid. The first bomb was 40 feet long and 10 feet wide, the Apache was small enough to fit in a car trunk 3 ft x 6 ft. This was all very secret 50 years ago, and now the techniques are "well known" anyone could build this bomb if they had access to Plutonium or HEU. 1.85 megatons are enough to crater the greater San Diego area. Make no mistake they are coming, and we are not prepared. One device can destroy everyone and everything we hold dear.

This group of supposed hawks has been asleep at the helm, while our real threats have moved fifty years ahead in nuclear technology.

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 17, 2006 - 5:02pm.

"And in addition to N. Korea, what is the US response going to be when China finally decides to take Taiwan back (after the Olympics are over)?"

Ask Jack Murtha, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi
and Barbara Boxer. I'm sure they know better...

L Thek

Submitted by L_Thek_onomics on November 17, 2006 - 5:32pm.

"It doesn't matter who is in charge at this point, our Army is so overburdened in Iraq we don't have the ability to respond to any major crisis."

Did you know? We have a few more airplanes, ships, missiles, even a few nukes... just in case.
Instead of being a great military mind, I let the adults handle all
the military affairs.

L Thek

Submitted by bgates on November 17, 2006 - 8:44pm.

We've not had all attention on Iraq; there have been 6-party negotiations involving NK for years, plus an American military presence on the border. North Korea is a problem that affects some of our allies at least as much as us; South Korea and Japan have strong incentives to work with us there. I don't think the administration approach is very likely to succeed, but I can't think of a better one.

Some on the left like to accuse the administration and its supporters of arrogance, but they have the assumption that it is within the power of the United States to produce any outcome it desires if only it acts correctly. That's not how the world works. There are other independent actors on the planet, with interests opposed to ours; sometimes there is no good way to stop them. North Korea may be like that.

Iran may be too far gone as well. Here again the administration has forgone military action and relied on negotiation and our allies, the exact strategy many bad-faith leftist critics urged for Iraq. Unlike in Korea, we have no allies willing or able to impose consequences on our opponent. I think the admin should have expanded the ground war years ago; instead Iran and Syria have served as safe havens for our enemies. Our effort in Iraq has suffered, and the danger from Iran has grown.

I can't imagine options besides continued negotiation; increased military intervention; or surrender. The first and third will not reduce the risk from Iran, the second might. Bubba, do you have any other ideas?

Submitted by PD on November 18, 2006 - 9:04am.

Bgates, I always love your posts. They are so factual, reasoned and well done. Thanks!

Submitted by PerryChase on November 18, 2006 - 11:31am.

bgates, I agree with most of what you said on your two latest posts (on this thread and on the Milton Friedman thread).

Did you get drunk (the Bgates impostor incident) and are now sober? (just joking).

I too beleive that America does a lot of good around the world and that we should help spread democracy. But we need to choose our battles carefully and not overreach.

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