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Unlikely Expressions of Support for Bush (Will wonders never cease?)
The International Herald Tribune ^ | June 7, 2004 | John Vinocur

Posted on 06/07/2004 3:14:55 PM PDT by quidnunc

A couple of weeks ago, an important player at the G-8 summit meeting that begins Tuesday told another international gathering to lay off beating up on the United States about the Iraq torture scandal. Enough had been said, he insisted, and the Americans were working "urgently to elucidate the situation."

Over on Sea Island, Georgia, where the summit talks are being held about 45 minutes' drive from here, even the Glynn County Committee to re-elect George W. Bush could not have shushed the detractors more confidently. They were a group of developing countries at a meeting of Latin American and European Union government leaders in Guadalajara, Mexico, who wanted to sharpen the wording of a joint statement that included disapproval of American prisoner abuse. No "new, explicit condemnation" was necessary, came the message from the administration's friend.

The straight-arm was the work of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, one of a series of tacit, don't-make-problems-for-Bush gestures from him since January that serve as broad political signals beyond divesting Schröder's Germany of its brand as American antagonist. Schröder's effort, which seems certain to win him the Strange Political Bedfellow of the Year Award, is a mixture of sincerity and calculation, now spelled out with a kind of shirt- tugging directness.

"I'm convinced of it," the chancellor said over the weekend when he was asked if the America of intervention in Iraq was the same generous nation of D-Day. "American democracy has not been diminished, whatever must be criticized about the war in Iraq or what's been learned about torture. The process of self-cleansing has been immediate and remarkable. Nobody has to doubt American democracy."

In some real respects, there is more here than verbal foam.

With the New Year, Germany signed onto Bush's Greater Middle East Initiative, and still spoke for it hopefully before the G-8 meeting. Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who calls jihadist terrorism the new totalitarianism and the greatest global threat, has persisted in referring to the United States both as a beacon of democracy and a unique source of international stability. In March, Schröder agreed to a grandiloquently named German-American Alliance for the 21st century which, at the least, gave the Germans and Americans a sense of diminished tension and a common denominator for Middle East policy.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Germany; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: germany

1 posted on 06/07/2004 3:14:56 PM PDT by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc

Gee..the idea of removing a few divisions from Germany has a powerful ability to make one "focus"


2 posted on 06/07/2004 3:20:02 PM PDT by ken5050
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To: quidnunc

Someone pinch me...


3 posted on 06/07/2004 3:20:16 PM PDT by AZamericonnie (God bless President Regan....He blessed us with you. Rest in peace Gipper.)
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To: quidnunc
If Schroder thinks Germany is going to get a permanent seat on the Security Council - including veto - he should think again.

If we see any reform there, it's going to be transferring the seat from France to the EU.

4 posted on 06/07/2004 3:28:44 PM PDT by jdege
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To: ken5050

Exactly my thoughts.


5 posted on 06/07/2004 3:31:18 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news.)
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To: jdege
If we see any reform there, it's going to be transferring the seat from France to the EU.

That would be a good thing, wouldnt it?

6 posted on 06/07/2004 3:34:23 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Terrence Maculiffe-Ariolimax columbianus (hint- its a gastropod.....)
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To: ken5050

You noticed that, too, huh?


7 posted on 06/07/2004 3:36:16 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno-World!")
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To: cardinal4

can't happen, the United Kingdom also has a seat. They're in the EEC too.


8 posted on 06/07/2004 3:38:02 PM PDT by Murtyo
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To: ken5050

Multiply this butt-kissing a few dozen times, and just maybe we'll have our troops wave politely on their way out, Herr Schroeder.


9 posted on 06/07/2004 3:39:32 PM PDT by Coop (Freedom isn't free)
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To: quidnunc

It takes some places in the world longer to wake up to the threats to freedom than others. Not sure where their tack is taking them, but it's better than before. Murphy was an optimist, I sleep with one eye open, support "W" with trust but verify.


10 posted on 06/07/2004 3:39:49 PM PDT by Issaquahking (U.N., greenies, etc. battling against the U.S. and Constitution one freedom at a time. Fight Back !)
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To: Issaquahking

Redact on that..... I trust "W" and meant for it to mean exactly that. As far as some of our allies....that is where "trust but verify" is directed.


11 posted on 06/07/2004 3:42:10 PM PDT by Issaquahking (U.N., greenies, etc. battling against the U.S. and Constitution one freedom at a time. Fight Back !)
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To: cardinal4

Not that the EU is a good thing but it would sway power away from France, which is a good thing.


12 posted on 06/07/2004 3:42:40 PM PDT by Delta 21 (MKC USCG -ret)
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To: ken5050

Oil For Food, too?


13 posted on 06/07/2004 3:43:31 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: jdege

The EU is not and will not be politically stable or viable enough for such a status enhancer. If the Security Council is to change it will be in the context of major overall reform. It's too archaic to be fixed by tinkering.


14 posted on 06/07/2004 3:53:10 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Delta 21

That what I think. A lot of recently "liberated" countries, like the Baltic States and Bulgaria, have shown a willingness to back the US, and would be a good counter to the commie french..


15 posted on 06/07/2004 4:05:09 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Terrence Maculiffe-Ariolimax columbianus (hint- its a gastropod.....)
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To: jdege

That won't happen because of the UK. But It would be wonderful if we could keep the UK and have just one EU seat in the either UN. It will never happen.


16 posted on 06/07/2004 4:07:10 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: jdege

That won't happen because of the UK. But It would be wonderful if we could keep the UK and have just one EU seat in the either UN. It will never happen.


17 posted on 06/07/2004 4:13:57 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: quidnunc

Schroeder has kissed up to Bush twice in the past and shafted him twice when it was politically expedient for him. I don't trust any of that bunch in Germany . . . and neither should W.


18 posted on 06/07/2004 4:29:08 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: ken5050

I was just thinking that too!! LOL!


19 posted on 06/07/2004 4:50:17 PM PDT by The Final Harvest (The 2004 Election is for the SOUL of AMERICA)
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To: cardinal4
"If we see any reform there, it's going to be transferring the seat from France to the EU.
That would be a good thing, wouldnt it?"

I am not sure. I worry that the EU, under the current European thinking, would pose itself as an adversary to the US (can you imagine the EU, Rusia and China against us 20 years from now?). I would prefer a rotating EU country on the UN Security Council. Divide and conquer strategy.
20 posted on 06/07/2004 9:09:30 PM PDT by Chgogal (Hey Arab Street...better watch out for the American Street. We are pretty hot and bothered.)
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