Skip to comments.A friendly reminder: Bill O'Reilly takes aim at Saddam Hussein, Gerhard Schroeder
Posted on 08/07/2002 11:18:32 PM PDT by JohnHuang2
There is a life lesson in watching how America's alleged allies are dealing with the Saddam Hussein situation. Just this week, Germany and Saudi Arabia said flat out that the United States could expect no help from them in attempting to remove the Iraqi tyrant. The Saudi behavior was predictable, as that nation has proved over and over it will not cooperate with America's war on Islamic terror. But Germany's stance is extremely interesting.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is up for re-election this fall and things are not looking good for the big burgomaster. He is running behind in the polls to a conservative candidate, and his only hope is to galvanize the anti-American German left. So Schroeder is putting his political career ahead of doing the right thing supporting his friends the Americans.
There is no question that Saddam Hussein is a murderous thug. He has started two wars, gassed Kurdish children, fired Scud missiles at Israeli civilians, and killed and tortured thousands of his own people including his son-in-law. According to defectors, Saddam has highly paid scientists working on biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Does anyone believe the man is not capable of handing over deadly germs to al-Qaida operatives?
Still, we hear the drumbeat of skepticism about Saddam's intentions and capabilities. This same drumbeat was heard 65 years ago in Germany itself. It was in the late 1930s that journalists like William Shirer began reporting on the murderous intentions of Adolph Hitler. Yet many refused to believe the Third Reich was bent on world domination and savagery. President Franklin Roosevelt and Ambassador Joseph Kennedy scoffed at early reports of mass executions by the SS and the Gestapo. Millions of Americans wanted to see more "proof."
Saddam Hussein is not nearly as powerful as Hitler was, but his mindset is similar. He hates the Jews, hates the decadent West, hates just about everyone. Yet millions clamor for more evidence that Saddam is a danger.
Of course, this is foolish and dangerous. And it is exactly the way the United States handled Osama bin Laden in the '90s. The Clinton administration thought it could contain bin Laden after he ordered the bombings of two American Embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen. The men captured and tried for those crimes gave up bin Laden, but the United States did not aggressively go after him because of the perceived political damage killing him would have caused in the Arab world and Afghanistan.
U.S. intelligence rightly concludes that it is just a matter of time before Saddam finds a delivery system for whatever weapons he is able to develop. We know from Czech intelligence that one of Saddam's top spies met with 9-11 hijacker Mohammed Atta in Prague a few months before the attack. We also know from Russian intelligence that former Soviet weapons experts are on the Iraqi payroll.
Gerhard Schroeder knows all this as well. But he is calculating that Saddam will not attack his country, and Schroeder seems to be ready to accept a first-strike by Saddam somewhere else. Danke, Gerhard.
For sheer, colossal ingratitude, it is hard to beat Germany. America rebuilt that country after World War II and protected the majority of Germans from the Soviet Union. We have spent trillions over there and now, when we need them, the Germans are not there for us. This is a very vivid lesson that generosity does not always swing both ways.
Even if Schroeder and his countrymen have doubts about the wisdom of America's Saddam policy, they should give the United States the benefit of the doubt. Don't they owe America that much after all it has done for them?
It disturbs me greatly that so many people all over the world are willing to play Russian roulette with the likes of Saddam Hussein. They are comfortable betting that this madman might not strike them. That if he attacks, somebody else will bear the brunt of the carnage. This is cowardly and unacceptable after 3,000 American civilians were killed last September.
The Gerhard Schroeders of the world are terrorist enablers. There is no reason on this earth why a man as dangerous as Saddam Hussein should be able to continue to operate. The rest of the world may not have the courage to deal with Saddam but America knows that with weapons of mass destruction a "one strike and you're out" policy is simply irresponsible. Saddam has to go. And so does Schroeder.
The Germans "owe" intelligent dialogue and discussion. Not blind obedience. As a German radio commentator said to O'Reilly on Tuesday's show, a proper ally brings up the possibility of alternative courses of actions. It doesn't simply rubber-stamp the "senior partner" in whatever that State chooses to do. And Germans have earned the ability to be skeptical about how war may, or may not, solve matters.
O'Reilly steamrollered right over all this, not wanting anyone to get in the way with his blasts against the supposedly puerile and fraidycat Germans, those "ingrates." Anyone who dissents from the let's-rush-to-war viewpoint was connected, not so subtly, by O'Reilly with those who may have sympathized with Hitler.
Bill O'Reilly has become a hectoring demagogue who is patently uninterested in discovering the truth, or in weighing alternatives he may disagree with. Nowhere is this more evident, these days, than on how he lectures anyone who disagrees with him on TV, as he redefines "no spin" as "no dissent from my talking points." He has become painful to watch, or even to listen to in the background when I'm facing the computer and reading FR on my monitor screen.
By the way, on the same Tuesday show, Michael Newdow stood up to O'Reilly and said, in effect: "No, you're not going to put words in my mouth to suggest I'm lying about my daughter (in the Pledge case), and I did use her situation in public school as a matter of gaining legal standing, and it was within my parental prerogatives to do so." He was confident, wouldn't give any quarter to O'Reilly's obsessions about judging his personal behavior, and O'Reilly the bully backed down. I admire Newdow for that, whether or not I agree with him otherwise (I mostly do agree).
Option 1: We can take out Saddam.
Option 2: We can continue to die.
Also just as the US did not involve itself in the fracas that afflicted Germany in the 70s and 80s (the Red Brigade terrorists that were virtually bombing and shooting all and sundry in W. Germany) because we did not feel that was pertinent to the US in any way, maybe the German Chancellor believes Iraq is not pertinent to Germany and hence he might have distanced himself. Which is interesting since he seems to be for us 100% in the war against terrorism, but he must see Iraq as moot for reasons only he can explain.
And think about Israel when they went into the Palestinian enclaves a couple of months ago and Bush was telling the Israeli leadership to cease its activities. I remember this Israeli government official coming up on Fox then and saying our POTUS's statements were for naught because Israel was self-governed and needed to do what was best for ITS interests, and at that time the Israeli leadership felt heading to Jenin and similar cess pools of terror was the way to go. The thing with the greatest impact that guy said was that sovereign nations have to ensure their own best interests before ensuring the best interests of others, and that Israel had to go and take care of these terrorists instead of ceasing just because GW told them too (he also went ahead to say him and his govt were still with the US, but that GW needed to let Israel take care of a threat that was killing their citizens every other day instead of ceasing just to appease the international public and garner support for the US led war on terror).
Hence I would say the German position is similar. Does Schroeder automatically follow what we say or does he first listen to what the German people want and then weigh that against international interests (the US included)? I guess Schroeder went with listening to Germany first and the rest later.
And although personally i feel he 'abandoned' us i believe that in his position i would do the same exact thing. Up to now we have not released evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Iraq has anything to do with global terror, and although I personally think Saddam might have had something to do with terror the german chancellor Schroeder needs more than mere assertions from our White House for him to send German soldiers into war. After all if any died he would have to explain to his public why they died, and for now he really has no way of doing that.
And i think additional reasons for his actions are that German unemployment has gone up for the 17th month in a row up to the current 9.7%, plus he faces re-election this September (22nd) which means he is under added pressure to take care of national politics before tackling 'international' issues. And his rivals are already attacking him for 'leaving the german people behind,' which is why i guess he is taking a Germany first objective. That (politics) coupled with the lack of concrete evidence against Iraq is probably why he backed off.
I guess that is why he said, and i quote: I will not help the White House go off on an adventure!
Actually the thing that worries me is the current British position! Although the UK seems at present to be for us there have been some rumblings and some shifts that have been rather 'interesting' if i can sue that word.
A good example is when Foreign Office minister Mike O'Brien said the international position would be "very different" if Baghdad agreed to readmit U.N. weapons inspectors. Asked by BBC Radio 4's Today programme about the likelihood of military action against Iraq, he said: "It is not imminent and it is not inevitable. Nobody wants war for the sake of it. "We understand there are issues in relation to Iraq. In particular we need to make sure the inspectors go in. "The ball is now in Saddam Hussein's court. He must ensure that the inspectors go into Iraq and that international law is complied with." Then he added war with Iraq is not ineveitable.
On top of that polls show most Britons are against war with Iraq, which could prove to be a troubling political front for Blair. Which is why Mudhafar Amin, the Iraqi representative in England, is meeting with the British government because he says that '"Nobody supports the United States except Britain.If Britain refused to go along with the United States' war against Iraq then I think the American administration would find it very difficult to go ahead."
We do not need any allies, the only reason we use them is for 'international reasons!' We could have taken care of Iraq solo in '91, and we can take care of it alone today if we wanted to. However to make the rest of the world not think we are a hegemony we are usually 'forced' to get allies. And it seems there has been a rash of withdrawal of support for us, and that is something we should rectify (even if we really do not need to). We should.
And one way is for the POTUS to release whatever information, if any, he has against Saddam and do it soon. That would silence all the pro-Iraqi detractors and enforce our zeal around the world. Without that there is the strong chance that even Great Britain, our vaunted ally, will back off.
And although we really do not need anyone such a position would not be prudent in any way.
Based on what i have seen on Mr O'Reilly's show he actually does a lot of spin, more than almost any other person i know (the thing with O'Reilly is that he does not go straight into propaganda, that he does not. But spin he does).
He never seems to think any other viewpoint but his is correct, and i have seen him at varios times totally spin something out of context. And whenever someone seems to be getting the upper hand he at times changes the subject or flips the script. Which is ok since it makes the program very interesting (that coupled with his 'go get 'em persona and aggressive commentary), but he should not say his show is a no-spin zone. It is not. Actually him uttering that statement always makes me smirk, and the word oxymoron keeps flashin in large neon signs in my head.
Actually i just checked out the synonyms for Spin and they are as follows: slant, position, stance, partiality, prejudice, preconceived notion, foregone conclusion, predisposition, bias, preconception, opinion, perspective.
Now, from the above words, does mr .O'Reilly spin or not? Does he have a 'foregone conclusion?' Does he have a certain 'stance?' Does he depict a certain 'predisposition?' Does he have a certain slant, a given perspective, does he show a tendency towards having preconceived notions?
Hmmm, to use a phrase mr O'Reilly seems to enjoy saying, 'I say, you decide!'
That always makes me either have a smirk, break out in giggles, or just burst out in outright laughter.
I especially like the seriousness in his face when he says it. As if it was gospel truth (or maybe due to the fact he knows he is spinning spin but he has to have a facade or else even he will burst out laughing). I can actually swear i have seen moments when his eyes start to sparkle as if in silent laughter when he utters that phrase (or maybe it is because i am laughing so hard that i see his eyes laughing when they are not).
Hey, i even admit to spin! Right now i am trying to assert that O'Reilly spins in his no-spin show, and in the process of writing this down i am spinning in the process.
That is not to say it is not true, it just means there is a point i am trying to prove and by the very process am spinning stuff. Why? Because i have this 'position' that O'Reilly spins, and that notion is spin in itself.
However O'Reilly's spin is simply amazing (although very entertaining which means Mr O'Reilly, if you are reading this, spin spin spin away).
O'Reilly, for all his faults, is right on. Germany owes us, big time!!! But this is a good thing also. It shows who your friends are. So here we are, the United States, about to get into a bar fight, and no one has our back. That's fine. It will take a little longer but we can do it. Then we turn our attention to thus who deserted us. You are either with us or with the terrorists. Those words will come back to haunt certain people and countries.
Next time the Germans need help, let's just let 'em fry and drown in their own liberalism. Future problems solved.....
I was not privy to that info Psyop and when i wrote that post i was not aware that the Red Bridage used to target our posts over there. The reason is that all the info i had on the R.B indicated that they used to target W. German targets that they did not 'deem' worthy to let live. For example how they would kidnap high ranking German diplomats using highly complex abduction strategies, use them as pawns in a bid to release some of their imprisoned, and then kill them and dump their bodies in some damp cellar or in a car trunk. If you do most 'conventional' research on the R.B the mention of US involvement in thwarting their activities is strangely absent.
The Red Brigades, in particular the Red Army Faction (the reason i emphasise this one is to differentiate it from the ones that used to be rife in Italy and concentrate on Germany) was merely the successor of the Baader-Meinhof gang which orginated as a student protest movement and grew into a mix of Marxism and Maoism!
Actually id di have some info on the RAF (Red Army Faction) attacks ont he US, but these started occuring later on in the life of the RAF. Reports list the RAF coming into being in the 1960's, and it is still in existence altough mostly in hiding. Their last known operation was in 1993 when they destroyed a prison that had just been built with 600 pounds of explosives (and a shhotout with GSG-9 operatives). And before that during the Gulf War they had shot up the US embassy in Bonn with assault rifle rounds.
Apart from that there is very little (actually nothing I could get) depicting the RAF as a big threat to the US. The official description of the RAF is 'an ideological armed cadre of Marxist Maoist adherents whoe are small and well-disciplined and carried out bombings, assasinations, robberies and kidnappings in a bid to further propaganda, logistical support and armed struggle in support of global communism. They concentrate on domestic targets, specializing in German security and Justice officials, and officials involved in German and European unification.'
The only reference to the US i saw was the attack on our embassy in Bonn during the Gulf war.
However since you were there in person your experience with them must be the most reliable (since after all when some kook comes at tries to plant explosives at your installation you immediately acquire first hand info on the group, whether or not that occurence is reported as it should). And obviously when i think of it if th RAF were advocates for communism that would make them automatic enemies of the US and the US installations in Germany then.
However when i initially wrote that post i was just going on what i had, however based ony our statements it makes sense that the RAF would target our installations. Why they are listed as 'purely domestic' is beyond my understanding. Maybe someones ele might have a better answer to that.
And by the way the post was merely my speculation on why Mr. Schroeder would be saying no to assisting us in the anti-Iraq war, and why he would go as far as saying he will not help the White House go on some 'adventure.' My inclusion of the Reds was just pure speculation on my part, as well as my assertions that it might be due to politics involving his re-election campaign this September as well as the lack of a definite body of evidence from GW to Germany. All of it was speculation. The German Chancellor's reasons might be totally different from the ones i listed ....who knows, he might just have woken up on the wrong side of his bed.
Anyway let me take this opportunity to apologze to you for not realizing your important work in Germany ('80-'83) where you were trying to negate the threat of the RAF. I did not mean to take away from your work. Hope you accept my apology.
Things were bad enough that U.S. soldiers were warned to use the buddy system when travelling or going out on the town. There had been attacks on individual soldiers caught alone, that were attributed to RB and their thug sympathizers. I have no idea how much, if any of this was ever reported at home, but I get the impression that, except for the attack at the airport in 81 (?), little was reported.
All i have to say is Whoa! I have heard of some rather 'interesting' stuff, however someone stealing a fully armed tank (especially a Leopard 2) is something that you do not see everyday! And then trying to strip the main gun! Ai yi yi ......that is what i refer to as ambitious!
However what astonishes me is that most of the stuff you are saying is complete news to me! The only info i had about the Red Army Faction pertinent to US personel was the attack on our Bonn Embassy during the gulf war. Everything else refers to them as 'domestic' which is quite weird. If anything was reported it must have been 'watered down.'
However another strong possibility is that in 1981 i was only 2 years old (LOL) and although even as a child i was given high marks when it came to IQ and such stuff the fact still remains that when you are two years of age attacks by groups that go by the moniker 'Baader-Meinhoff' and Marxist-Maoist 'Red Army brigades' really does not have the same impact as an ice cream cone and a multi-colored ball(then multi-coloUred since i lived in Kenya ...for the British tradition and spirit mixed with the cacophonic medley African vivacity and heart)! When you are a kid you really do not follow everything that happens in the globe no matter what 'specialists' say.
Thus there is a great probability that i never got to see the info because i was still suckling and trying to wean on solid food! However i did an internet check and references to US attacks on US officials or installations that alluded to the Red Army faction was only the one i posted on the Bonn embassy attack! Why it is the only one i do not know.
Maybe some people who are supposed to be responsible for keeping such info in the public records probably decided that it was not relevant (which pisses me off since as you said American soldiers were wounded or killed over there).