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Posts by qwertz

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  • Poland presses for World War II compensation

    09/11/2004 12:57:55 AM PDT · 38 of 82
    qwertz to Lukasz
    I personally have lots of sympathy for the Poles, but sorry: politically they're a bit, excuse me, stupid.

    What's the point of pissing off the best friend they have inside the EU today? If they've succeeded in alienating Germany who else in the EU is their friend? Who in the EU will support them, financially and politically?
    They, the brand-new member, have managed to annoy everyone else in the EU, including the rest of New Europe.

    Poles have a thing for seriously overplaying their hand. Their national mindset is traditionally fluctuating between megalomania and paranoia. Paranoia thanks to their victim's mindset, megalomania because of a demand to be recognized as one of the big guys, as a key player. Which they aren't, neither given their size - nor their economy. I wonder what %age of their economy runs on stealing German cars.

    Their attitude towards Europe is neurotic at best. They still haven't understood what the EU is about. Poles seem to think the EU is only about handing them money as just compensation for WWII and the Iron Curtain.

    National myths of heroism and historical woes (in which, I hate to say it, they're being supported ATM by Americans for political reasons) keep the Poles detached from the realities of today's Europe.

    Someone needs to tell the Poles it was a stupid idea right after WWI to both attack Germany AND the Soviet Union (and Lithuania, and later even participate in the partition of Czechoslovakia), even though both looked weak at that moment. Because 20 years later they weren't. It's a mere fluke of history Poles are still around. They could very well be speaking German, and Russian today; and if it wasn't for someone on the other side of the globe deciding to bail them out, they would.

    Will America be there in 30 or 50 years if Poles again have made both Germans and Russians enemies, and they've destroyed the EU which protects them? Who knows?

    Which brings me to another point: Poles don't seem to understand the concept of divide et impera, which is somewhat strange since their own country has been partitioned a couple times.
    Why did the Polish partitions of the late 18th century happen? Someone needs to tell the Poles the historical truth: because your elites sold out to foreign interests - specifically Russia (and Prussia). And because the abuse of the Polish institution of liberum veto (all bills had to passed by unanimous consent) had made the country next to ungovernable. Someone had to run the country, and Russians, Prussians and Austrians took over. Poland had been a failing state.

    Now the EU runs on a similar principle of consent, and guess what: the Poles are again wielding their mighty veto to bring the EU to a screeching halt. Again their elites are proxies of interests that are not their own, they're selling out for a temporary boost of self-importance they're getting from a pat on the back from the Iraq war. They don't realize that temporary influence stemming from a naturally selfish foreign power (be it Moscow or Washington) can only be borrowed, it's only granted as long as you play along with the foreign power's plans, and be taken away any time - while the influence you have in Brussels is institutional, and based on common interests.

    One day the Iraq episode will be history, one day Republicans will be gone in Washington - and one day America again will have lost interest in Poland.

    If Americans are real friends of Poland, they need to tell the Poles: stop PMS'ing abot stupid *hit, and get along with Germans.
  • Bush "Memos" Look Forged

    09/09/2004 9:56:56 AM PDT · 70 of 108
    qwertz to dwaynestomp
    I don't think we can make too much about the use of abbreviations, etc. Remember, these are personal memos to the file. I write them all the time in my work within the US government. It's so that when someone accuses me of not knowing about, or dealing with, a situation, I can pull out my file and show them my thoughts at the time. Since they are for personal files, it's reasonable that they would not be on letterhead, and not follow strict military memo guidance.

    I agree. I briefly scanned the President's ANG records released by the White House, and it appears 1st Lt was as common 1LT, if not more so.

    example:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/bushdocs/7-Security_Clearance.pdf
  • UN Confirms: WMDs Smuggled Out of Iraq (could be a repost, but uncertain. CHECK THE DATE!)

    09/04/2004 1:39:34 AM PDT · 20 of 20
    qwertz to Spanaway Lori
    I'm not sure what you're trying to prove. Please elaborate.

    Just in case, here's some context from May 2003 about Tuweitha:

    "Before the allied invasion, Tuweitha was a high-security area monitored by the IAEA with the cooperation of the Hussein regime. But in the chaos after dictator's downfall and before the arrival of U.S. troops, locals stripped the complex bare."
  • CA: Historians criticize governor for flubbing Austrian history at GOP convention (Update)

    09/03/2004 11:56:58 AM PDT · 37 of 45
    qwertz to NormsRevenge
    1. Let's be real: young Arnie didn't give a §hit about politics when he left for California. All he cared about was bodybuilding. Whatever he may say today is rhethorics.

    2. Truth is, it can be both argued that Austria was "Socialist", and that it wasn't. Things are sometimes too complicated to give easy answers.
    Whatever the specific Austrian economic/political model was after 1945/55, it was quite successful - considering the country had been dismembered, rolled over, bombed, disowned, partitioned, destroyed more than just once in the 1st half of the 20th century: World War I, Depression, Civil War, nazi terror, World War II, Soviet occupation, then surrounded by the Iron Curtain´on 3 sides.
    Austria worked herself up from being one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest: unemployment in Austria is at 4.5%, lowest in all of the EU. If Austria is "socialist", then most of the other "capitalist" countries must be doing something wrong.
  • UN Confirms: WMDs Smuggled Out of Iraq (could be a repost, but uncertain. CHECK THE DATE!)

    08/31/2004 1:01:32 PM PDT · 15 of 20
    qwertz to Trident/Delta
    Not only are you entitled to think for yourself, you're even asked to do so - and share your ínsights with us.

    So go read the relevant UN report linked to by UseYourHead, and then tell me where exactly it says (or from where it can be logically concluded, for God's sake) that

    1. Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction
    2. which he smuggled out of his country
    3. before, during and after the war
    4. and UN inspectors said so

    Your turn.
  • UN Confirms: WMDs Smuggled Out of Iraq (could be a repost, but uncertain. CHECK THE DATE!)

    08/31/2004 12:33:25 PM PDT · 13 of 20
    qwertz to UseYourHead; Trident/Delta
    Hear is a link to the UN Document discussing this information:

    http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/new/documents/quarterly_reports/s-2004-435.pdf


    I remember reading that UN report a few months ago, when a similar story had surfaced at WorldTribune.com (something like "Saddam shipped out WMD before war and after"). Let me tell you what I had to conclude back then.

    In short, it didn't take me long to realize the story is highly misleading, if not an outright lie.
    What the UN report evidently is about is stuff that had been safe, tagged and locked up in sealed and monitored UN storage sites by UN inspectors, but got looted when coalition forces failed to protect the material stored at those sites from looters.
    Some of the stuff, like rocket engines, turned up in scrap yards in Rotterdam, which brought this massive failure to the UN's attention. It's worrying because noone knows what else with UN tags on it (and the coalition didn't protect) was sold as scrap metal. In fact, UNMOVIC isn't provided much information by the Iraq Survey Group, nor do they have inspectors on the ground. In no way would they even be in the position to say: Saddam did this or that. The only thing they're able to say is whole UN storage sites had disappeared since Saddam had been disposed.
    Also, the UN report isn't talking about weapons, but "weapons components"; not about WMD, rather material like rocket engines; and - again - they clearly weren't shipped out by Saddam BEFORE the war, because they had been tagged and locked down by UN inspectors in UN-monitored store sites, and at the end of May 2003 those sites had been still intact according to satellite images provided by the UN report.

    In conclusion, one shouldn't believe everything one reads. There's a lot of misinformation and spin going around. A lot of shitty sources fom whence a host of deliberately deceiving articles ricochet through the internet and political message boards to finally disappear, but to never get retracted and leave false perceptions.
  • Bodies of WWI soldiers found in Alpine glacier -

    08/25/2004 8:06:01 AM PDT · 59 of 62
    qwertz to Old Sarge; Jet Jaguar; Atlantic Friend; Modernman
    I can't help but wonder, what military honors these troops will be buried with? Since they were Austrian, that means they served under the Austro-Hungarian Empire - my mother's and grandmother's people.


    I did some googling. They were Tyrolese Kaiserschuetzen, specifically from the III. Regiment. So they were members of traditional Tyrolese home defense ("Landesschuetzen") which was part of the k.k. Austrian army, as opposed to the k. Hungarian army, or the k.u.k. common Austrian-Hungarian army. The Landesschuetzen were reservists, yet considered elite troops, and in 1917 were given the right to call themselves "Kaiserschuetzen" ("the Emperor's riflemen") for their bravery. In 1914 they were moved to the eastern front where most of them perished fending off the Russian steamroller, and in 1915 back to Tyrol to face the Italian army.

    The three were likely killed in a foggy battle on Sept. 3, 1918 when the Austrians retook the peak of San Matteo which had been lost the month before. The Italian defense was completely crushed.

    Today the body of the best preserved soldier was moved to a hospital in Bozen/Bolzano (South Tyrol, Italy) to be examined by experts of the same archeological museum that's studying Oetzi. He will be later buried next to his comrades at a military cemetery in Pejo - where the other two were buried yesterday with full military honors: representatives of the Kaiserjaeger (who are obviously still around in some form), Tyrolese Schuetzen, the Austrian Black Cross, and an honor guard of the Austrian army were present.

    Thought this might interest you.
  • Bodies of WWI soldiers found in Alpine glacier -

    08/22/2004 6:42:09 PM PDT · 13 of 62
    qwertz to UnklGene
    troops killed in WWI
    by gas: 90.000
    by avalanches: 80.000














  • Auf wiedersehen to GI-style living

    08/21/2004 7:06:08 PM PDT · 15 of 17
    qwertz to MadIvan
    German trade union Verdi says Baumholder and two other towns, Birkenfeld and Idar-Oberstein, will be worst hit by the US plans which, across the country, will lead to an estimated 80,000 German job losses.

    Let's not forget the US bases also cost Germany a lot of money. The German government had been paying at least 1 billion euros per year to the US for those bases.
    Which means Germany can give everyone who's going to lose his job because of G.I.s finally leaving 25.000 euros, a pat on the back, and the advice to find another, better profession someplace else, and still make a great deal short-term.
    The army is moving on, and so is Mother Courage. It's not like selling daily necessities to foreign soldiers can be the basis for an economy. If that was the case the 1st thing they should do is invite the Russians back in.
  • Prisoner Abuse Not Limited to Abu Ghraib

    05/29/2004 3:07:13 PM PDT · 51 of 58
    qwertz to Kaslin
    They're just warming up. There much worse stuff already floating around out there..


  • Israeli Agents Believed Involved in Abu Ghraib

    05/25/2004 6:38:52 PM PDT · 28 of 125
    qwertz to TruthWarrior
    The name Israel does not necessarily indicate someone being Jewish. Israel is a common first name in Catholic Latin America.

    It's not his 1st name however. I bet he has dual Israeli-American citizenship..
  • Israeli Agents Believed Involved in Abu Ghraib

    05/25/2004 6:31:43 PM PDT · 13 of 125
    qwertz to TruthWarrior
    Doesn't surprise me that Israeli involvement would be an issue sooner or later.

    One of the contactors assigned to Military Intelligence and involved in the Abu Ghraib abuse even was one John Israel... doesn't take much to figure that one out.
  • Army Drops Brigade From Medal List [Abu Ghraib fallout]

    05/09/2004 6:52:15 PM PDT · 47 of 64
    qwertz to AntiGuv
    "The vast majority of fine, outstanding soldiers in the brigade are paying dearly," Karpinski told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

    A majority can't be "outstanding", let alone a vast majority.
  • German troops 'hid like rabbits' in Kosovo riots

    05/09/2004 3:22:46 PM PDT · 81 of 89
    qwertz to COEXERJ145
    Somewhere Otto von Bismarck is turning in his grave.


    I'm sure he's spinning, albeit for other reasons:

    "The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier."
    Otto v. Bismarck, 1876
  • Inspector (David Kay) says he warned U.S. officials of Iraqi prisoner abuse

    05/08/2004 5:54:53 PM PDT · 34 of 41
    qwertz to Anti-Bush Hater
    What a load of crap. Are you saying the administration is lying to us about what they found in Iraq?




    Do you know who owns "Insight Magazine"?


  • International Impact of US Presidential Elections

    05/08/2004 3:35:02 AM PDT · 4 of 4
    qwertz to mcgiver38
    Those in Eastern Europe, who remember the heavy Soviet thumb, are rooting for President Bush.

    I seriously doubt that.

    The differences between "Old" and "New" Europeans are not as big as they want to make us believe. In fact there are vastly bigger differences among New European countries than between them and other old European countries.

    A Scandinavian-Baltic, as well as a Central European block are more natural, and historically justified alliances than those created by the rather artificial Iron Curtain.

    Poland is more or less on its own though, and they will have to decide if it is in their interest to be isolated, or whether they turn westward (which will mean towards Germany).
  • More Photos, Videos in Iraq Abuse Scandal-Rumsfeld

    05/07/2004 2:57:59 PM PDT · 15 of 48
    qwertz to dawn53
    What I don't understand is how seemingly "normal" people would do such things, and then videotape themselves doing it, and posing for cameras.


    That's easy. It's human nature: Stanford Prison Experiment

    Americans are not better or worse than anyone else.
  • New Prison Images Emerge: Graphic Photos May Be More Evidence of Abuse (1000 Photos)

    05/06/2004 1:48:36 AM PDT · 299 of 463
    qwertz to Eurotwit
    I don't get the surprise. It's not like US prisons at home are a bastion of human rights - a sad fact which is not only readily accepted by the public, but abuse and rape is already considered to be a normal part of the penal system in popular culture.

    Here's my proposal: let's get the *hit at home in order first, then talk about exporting human rights and democracy to other countries.
  • Oil soars despite overproduction

    05/05/2004 11:53:30 AM PDT · 26 of 48
    qwertz to Pikamax
    No surprise here. The dollar is diminishing in value, so oil has to become more "expensive".

    By cuttng interest rates to absurd levels and pushing up the money supply the Fed has been playing with growth numbers, as well as inflation. All that talk about that great "deflation threat" was rubbish. Also, many did take comfort in the prospect of putting the euro economy under pressure with a falling dollar, making excuses for the Fed.

    Alas there's a price to everyting. If handing out money for free was a sound monetary policy, everyone would be doing it. Now the rising costs of importing resources come to bite the US economy in the tail. While in Euros the oil price has been moving in a rel. narrow band between 22 and 26 per barrel since the war...
  • Germany Says Protection of U.S. Bases to End

    05/03/2004 3:41:23 AM PDT · 19 of 47
    qwertz to Young Rhino
    OK here's what to do:

    - Pay an estimated 39 billion US dollars (replacement value according to DoD report) to move 250 military bases or so 300 MILES eastwards. The troops will love to move from Heidelberg to Sczitholowatcz.

    - Forfeit the 1,3 billion Germany contributes every year just to share the costs of US troops stationed in Germany ("bilateral cost sharing").
    Poland will not be able to share the bill for toilet paper, unless the EU pays for it (aka Germany pays for it).

    - Spend an additional 100 billions to give those new bases an infrastructure worth mentioning, like turn dirt roads into autobahns. Poland has whopping 300 miles of highway (built by Hitler I guess), not to speak of their shitty railway network.


    Are you willing to go ahead with this, for absolutely NO strategic advantage (or even disadvantage if you have to move equipment to the Middle East), just to prove a stupid a point?

    If not - shut up, and find some other BS to constantly rant about.
  • Europe Enlarges. Big Deal.

    05/01/2004 10:00:35 PM PDT · 16 of 18
    qwertz to quidnunc
    It's the largest peaceful expansion in history. That is significant.
  • Marc Rich Tied to U.N. Oil for Food Scandal (NewsMax)

    04/29/2004 6:02:08 AM PDT · 34 of 46
    qwertz to jmstein7
    Close Friend Of President Clinton Was A Top Mossad Source,
    Could Wreck Hillary's Presidential Run


    Billionaire fugitive Marc Rich, a close personal friend of President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hilary, was one of the most important high-level contacts Mossad had in the United States.

    The revelations published here for the first time, could be a serious blow for Hilary Clinton’s plans to run for the Presidency.

    Today Rich, a Belgium-born Jew who has taken Spanish nationality, lives in Switzerland under heavy armed guard protection. There is no extradition treaty with the United States to enable him to be questioned by the FBI about his until now secret connection to Mossad.

    In January, 2000, his last day in office, President Clinton pardoned Rich, a secretive commodities trader indicted in 1983 on charges of evading almost $50 million tax and illegally buying oil from Iran during the Tehran hostage crisis in 1979.

    The question that will inevitably dog Hilary Clinton, if she runs for the Presidency, will be how much did she and her husband even suspect about Rich’s Israeli intelligence links.

    An MI6 file covering the Clinton years in the White House reveals that Rich is also suspected of knowing the real identity of a top Mossad informer in the Clinton Administration.
    The informer is still only known as “Mega”. The name was first discovered on February, 1997, by the National Security Agency, NSA. It provided the FBI with an intercept of a late-night telephone conversation from the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

    It was between a Mossad intelligence officer, still identified only as “Dov” and his superior in Tel Aviv. He was later named as Mossad director-general, Danny Yatom.

    “Dov” had asked for guidance as to whether he “should go to Mega” for a copy of a letter written by Warren Christopher, then Secretary of State, to PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat.

    Yatom instructed Dov, according to a transcript of the intercept, “this is not something we use Mega for”. The MI6 file indicates that Mega had been in place towards the end of the first Bush Administration.

    It also describes how Rich had acted as a “conduit” for the powerful Jewish lobby in the United States to counter FBI demands that the hunt for Mega should be pursued as vigorously as the FBI dealt with spies from other countries.

    The then MI6 head of station at the British Embassy sent a memo to London stating that “dinner guests at the White House dining table – who include Hollywood stars, attorneys, editors and senior members of the Anti-Defamation League – lose no opportunity to remind Clinton of the damage he could face in this matter. They argue the hunt is not properly grounded and that Israel has already explained to DOS (Department of State) the use of Mega”.

    Mossad sayanim – the Hebrew name for “helpers” – in the US media had already planted stories that Mega was an incorrect hearing of the Mossad slang for the CIA, Elga.

    “Further, Mega is supposedly a well known word in USIC (US intelligence community). It is said to be a joint code for shared intelligence with Mossad”, the MI6 memo stated.

    President Clinton’s only comment on pardoning Marc Rich came after he left office. “It was terrible politics. It wasn’t worth the damage to my reputation”, he told Newsweek magazine.

    There has been widespread speculation among opponents of the Clintons that Marc Rich “bought” the pardon with political donations and gifts that his former wife, Denise Rich, gave the president and other democrats.

    But in a hint of Rich’s important connections to Mossad, Clinton has admitted that he granted the pardon “partly because the Justice Department did not oppose a pardon and because I had received a request from the government of Israel”.

    That request came in a personal handwritten note from another old friend of Bill Clinton, Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Barak.
    The MI6 file reveals that the pardon was stitched into the Camp David peace agreement by another plea-bargainer, Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Clinton was convinced there were “strong mitigating circumstances for a pardon”. Rich and his first wife, Denise, fled to Switzerland in 1983 – just before US prosecutors brought charges against him of tax evasion and trading with the outlawed regime in Iran.

    The couple divorced a decade later and Denise, 59, now lives in a magnificent Fifth Avenue duplex overlooking Central Park. Rich, 69, has remarried and lives in similar splendor in the exclusive town of Zug in Switzerland. He still deals in commodities. His company, Marc Rich & Co Investment, has recently been taken over by the Russian Alfa Group for a reported $3 billion.

    Rich’s secret work for Israel included organizing Israeli passports for members of the Russian Mafia. So far thirty known members of various Mafia groups are currently traveling on Israeli passports. The FBI were also investigating Rich’s connections to various money-laundering operations involving mid-European banks and those in Canada and the United States.

    Rich’s prime use for Mossad was as someone who moved in the highest financial circles in Europe, the Middle East and South America.
    It is those links the FBI and other teams of US investigators were examining to see if they link to the large sums of money Rich paid to the Clintons and other Democrats before the pardon was granted.

    At the time, US Federal prosecutor Mary Jo White launched a criminal investigation into Rich’s financial links with Clinton and his wife.
    White obtained copies of Clinton’s White House phone logs and those of Air Force One, the Presidential aircraft. The logs covered all calls the President and Mrs Clinton made to Rich. There was also a complete record of all his calls to them.

    All official calls are monitored by the US communications team that accompany the President and his wife on all visits. The calls were described at the time as “a key element in our investigation” by one of White’s aides.

    Clinton himself received from Rich, just before leaving office, a check for $450,000 to help him set up his Presidential Library Fund. Rich also sent $1.1 million last year to the Democratic Party to help Al Gore fight for the Presidency.

    Until now, all the financial links to Rich’s past have not been pursued. But it is the Mossad connection which could prove to be a “smoking gun” for Hilary Clinton, should she enter the Presidential race – either next year or in 2008.

    Shortly before he was kidnapped by Hezbollah in October, 2000, Mossad agent Hanan Tannenbaum visited Rich in his Swiss home.
    Tannenbaum had been sent by former Mossad director, Danny Yatom, to discuss what Tel Aviv sources later admitted were “intelligence matters of the highest order”. At the time, Yatom was personal security adviser to prime minister Ehud Barak. Hezbollah somehow spirited Tannenbaum out of Europe to their base in the Beka’a Valley. His fate remains unknown.

    In January, 2000, shortly before the Rich pardon was granted, the Senate Judiciary Committee received documents that showed Marc Rich played a crucial role in helping the Bank of Credit and Commercial International (BCCI) arrange for Abu Nidal to receive “hundreds of millions of US dollars for illegal arms transactions in an effort to persuade its wealthy Middle East backers that the bank was staunchly pro-Arab”.

    A sworn affidavit by Ghassan Quassem, for 17 years a senior officer with BCCI, states: “British weapons secretly destined for Abu Nidal were financed through BCCI offices and shipped under export documents that Marc Rich knew to be phony. My role at the bank was to handle the Nidal account. I later became a spy for the CIA and MI6”.

    With the coming election years promising to be a knuckle-duster fight, there is a real possibility that the closest Jewish friend the Clintons had may once more step back into a spotlight he has never welcomed. Nor them.

    Rich was one of 140 pardons Clinton granted for what was a rogues gallery. The clutch of shady characters included a heroin dealer.
    But it was the odious figure of Marc Rich who has left a permanent stain on Clinton’s presidency – and raised questions now.

    March Rich played a key part in supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the economic rape of post-Soviet Russia. His former wife, the Manhattan socialite, pleaded his cause by throwing money at the Clintons – even giving Bill a saxophone.

    A hint of Clinton’s feelings for Rich is contained in a book proposal he has entered into with Knoph, the New York publisher, for $10 million.
    In an outline for a chapter headed “How A Man Gets What He Really Wants”, Clinton writes: “Sometimes people who seem to have very little in common can discover what they have in common”. Was he referring to Rich?

    Certainly the billionaire is not quite as rich as he was two years ago. In March, 2001, British Customs officers at Gatwick airport seized $1.9 million of Rich’s money. The money was seized under UK laws designed to “prevent the movement of money from suspected drug trafficking”.

    Last week in Zug, Rich refused to answer questions about his intelligence links – or his connections to Saddam Hussein and the remaining members of the “axis of evil”, North Korea and Iran. Having renounced his American citizenship, he now travels on Spanish and Israeli passports. He has dual nationality with both countries. Until recently, he also held a Bolivian passport.

    The power for a President to grant a pardon stems from the Constitution. This states that the President “may grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States. A President can issue a pardon for “any Federal crime for any reason and no reason – before or after conviction”.

    The Clinton pardon stopped the prosecution in their tracks. Post-pardon Rich is free to return to the United States without fear of prosecution – except possibly in the case of compromised national security.

    There is no precedent for that – and Rich is unlikely to provide one.
    But his links to Mossad remain a ticking time bomb for Hillary Clinton.

    Gordon Thomas
    09.29.03 06:21 AM


    http://www.bushcountry.org/news/sep_news_pages/g_092903_thomas_president_clinton_mossad_hillary.htm


    Once a Mossad agent, always a Mossad agent. So what did our friends in Israel have to do with the oil-for-food scandal?
  • Austrians Prepare to Choose New President

    04/27/2004 11:38:40 AM PDT · 8 of 8
    qwertz to rogue yam
    Sorry for not getting to answer sooner.

    Seems to me like at least a third of the nations listed on the Centcom page as coalition members haven't done more than raised their hand, maybe appointed a couple liaison officers, and demanded financial assistance...

    Austrian soldiers however have been in Afghanistan as part of ISAF until 4 months ago (with only a couple staff officers being still there): gallery 1 gallery 2

    Austria certainly isn't a freeloader. The reason Austria can't be part of an official coalition (yet) is that, well, neutrality is part of their constitution, and guaranteed by the victors of WWII (USA, GB, France, and Russia) according to the Austrian State Treaty of 1955. The Austrian government doesn't want to get either one of these powers into their face by breaching that treaty.

    Participation in peace-keeping missions sanctioned by the UN is as far as they can stretch their neutrality. Over the last decades 60.000 Austrians have volunteered for peace-keeping missions abroad - population wise that's the equivalent of 2.1 million Americans. They are renowned for being being disciplined and professional. They're just not putting on a show about what they do. E.g. they've opened their Alpine Infantry School to friendly armies a few years ago, and NATO (including British and American) special forces had the chance to take courses in winter and mountain warfare there.
  • Disturbing video from Iraq

    04/27/2004 7:54:47 AM PDT · 34 of 92
    qwertz to Joe Brower
    Where there's war, there's war crime. No matter which side, or what war.

    It's impossible to control every single soldier on the ground, especially when things get tough.
    The general aim of the Geneva Conventions is to keep the overall circumstances of organized people killing each other as "humane" as possible. That has succeeded so far in Iraq -- even though you will find people here (civilians) advocating Oradour- or Lidice-style massacres if it comes to hotbeds of resistance like Falluja. Thank God American military leadership is smarter than that.
  • Austrians Prepare to Choose New President

    04/24/2004 8:16:46 PM PDT · 6 of 8
    qwertz to rogue yam
    Let's see them try playing freedom-loving liberators and peacekeepers on the world stage for a change.

    Where does it say Austrians don't participate in international peacekeeping missions? You shouldn't be assuming too much just from having read one article.

    A little research before hitting post would show you that Austrian troops are in Kosovo, or Golan at the moment, for example. They've been in Bosnia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Afghanistan, and participated in dozens of other UN peacekeeping missions over the years. Population wise Austrians are doing more than most other, non-neutral countries.