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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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...
- 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.