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In case you missed it... (Iraq related)

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  • In case you missed it... (Iraq related)

    A week and a half ago, eight European heads of state wrote an editorial that was published in the Wallstreet Journal. It was written in response to the statements from France and Germany regarding the Iraq situation, and the story behind it is quite intersting, but not the subject of this post. Suffice to say that the Bush administration had nothing to do with it. The complete text of this editorial follows my post in case you missed it.

    As I'm sure you can imagine, this editorial has had a number of serious consequences, and there have been a number of accusations against those involved. Recently, the Wallstreet Journal published a second small article -- written by the editors -- about this editorial. After having read that entire Iraq post on these forums, I thought that these articles were worthy of a post. The text of both follows.

    United We Stand

    By Jose Maria Aznar, Jose-Manuel Durao Barroso, Silvio Berlusconi, Tony Blair, Vaclav Havel, Peter Medgyessy, Leszek Miller And Anders Fogh Rasmussen

    The real bond between the U.S. and Europe is the values we share: democracy, individual freedom, human rights and the Rule of Law. These values crossed the Atlantic with those who sailed from Europe to help create the United States of America. Today they are under greater threat than ever.

    The attacks of Sept. 11 showed just how far terrorists -- the enemies of our common values -- are prepared to go to destroy them. Those outrages were an attack on all of us. In standing firm in defense of these principles, the governments and people of the U.S. and Europe have amply demonstrated the strength of their convictions. Today more than ever, the transatlantic bond is a guarantee of our freedom.

    We in Europe have a relationship with the U.S. which has stood the test of time. Thanks in large part to American bravery, generosity and farsightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: Nazism and Communism. Thanks, too, to the continued cooperation between Europe and the U.S. we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent. The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime's persistent attempts to threaten world security.

    In today's world, more than ever before, it is vital that we preserve that unity and cohesion. We know that success in the day-to-day battle against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction demands unwavering determination and firm international cohesion on the part of all countries for whom freedom is precious.

    The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security. This danger has been explicitly recognized by the U.N. All of us are bound by Security Council Resolution 1441, which was adopted unanimously. We Europeans have since reiterated our backing for Resolution 1441, our wish to pursue the U.N. route, and our support for the Security Council at the Prague NATO Summit and the Copenhagen European Council.

    In doing so, we sent a clear, firm and unequivocal message that we would rid the world of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. We must remain united in insisting that his regime be disarmed. The solidarity, cohesion and determination of the international community are our best hope of achieving this peacefully. Our strength lies in unity.

    The combination of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism is a threat of incalculable consequences. It is one at which all of us should feel concerned. Resolution 1441 is Saddam Hussein's last chance to disarm using peaceful means. The opportunity to avoid greater confrontation rests with him. Sadly this week the U.N. weapons inspectors have confirmed that his long-established pattern of deception, denial and non-compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions is continuing.

    Europe has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. Indeed, they are the first victims of Iraq's current brutal regime. Our goal is to safeguard world peace and security by ensuring that this regime gives up its weapons of mass destruction. Our governments have a common responsibility to face this threat. Failure to do so would be nothing less than negligent to our own citizens and to the wider world.

    The U.N. Charter charges the Security Council with the task of preserving international peace and security. To do so, the Security Council must maintain its credibility by ensuring full compliance with its resolutions. We cannot allow a dictator to systematically violate those resolutions. If they are not complied with, the Security Council will lose its credibility and world peace will suffer as a result. We are confident that the Security Council will face up to its responsibilities.

    Messrs. Aznar, Durao Barroso, Berlusconi, Blair, Medgyessy, Miller and Fogh Rasmussen are, respectively, the prime ministers of Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K., Hungary, Poland and Denmark. Mr. Havel is the Czech president.



    The Op-Ed Alliance

    The statement we published last week from eight European leaders in support of U.S. Iraq policy has caused much consternation, especially in France and Germany but also among American media ethicists. How delightful, and instructive.

    Our sin seems to be that we assisted in exposing as fraudulent the conventional wisdom that France and Germany speak for all of Europe, and that all of Europe is now anti-American. Those ideas were always false, but they were peddled as true because they served the political purposes of those, both in Europe and America, who oppose President Bush on Iraq.

    The notion that France and Germany speak for all of Europe is especially absurd, akin to assuming that New York City and Washington, D.C., speak for all of America. Down in the polls, German leader Gerhard Schroeder barely speaks for a majority in his own country. The fact that France's Jacques Chirac threw him some anti-American political cover is news, but still a dog-bites-man story of Gallic hauteur. The vote in NATO on helping the U.S. in Iraq was after all 15-4 in favor, with the other opponents being the global powers of Belgium and Luxembourg.

    This newspaper has editors based in Europe, and their insight was that the views of the Continent's pro-American majority weren't being heard. In most newsrooms, they call this having sources and a nose for news. That's why our editors decided to solicit an op-ed from the leaders of Italy, Spain and Britain, as Michael Gonzalez explains here . The leaders then took it from there, writing the op-ed and gathering signatures from the nations of "New Europe."

    The fact that a newspaper would practice such journalism has caused some wonderful exasperation, and even conspiracy theories. The normally serious Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ended its report on Friday with this probing question: "Did The Wall Street Journal really come up with the idea to suggest a declaration by the eight leaders, or did someone lend a helping hand?" The French newspaper Liberation, also scooped on its own turf, wrote that, "The very strong links between The Wall Street Journal and the 'hawks' of the Bush Administration also raise the question of the role Washington played in the initiative."

    We admit to having sources in the Bush Administration, among other places, but they had nothing to do with our soliciting European leaders. We've been in favor of ousting Saddam Hussein for years, going back to the Gulf War and long before President Bush made it his policy. If the op-ed by Europe's leaders somehow helped Mr. Bush's diplomacy in addition to selling newspapers, that's fine with us.

    We've also come in for some criticism from the usual suspects in the U.S., in particular one Orville Schell, dean of something called Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. The "pro-Bush" op-ed "reminds one of the old adage: 'If you don't like the news, go out and make some yourself,'" Mr. Schell told the Los Angeles Times. We remember when journalism schools taught students how to find a story, not ignore one because it disagrees with their political views. His students should demand a refund.

    We admit to committing journalism. And if our critics want to accuse these pages of having so much clout that we can dictate policy to eight European heads of state, we will humbly accept.
    Nearly all men can stand adversity -- if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

  • #2
    Aha...

    Hmm...

    Yeah, so what?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not trying to make a point, or promote my opinion, or anything subtle like that with this. I was merely correcting a popular misconception, pointing out an outstanding piece of writing to people who likely missed it when it was published, and giving everyone who posted into that Iraq thread something to think about.
      Nearly all men can stand adversity -- if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LegalAssassin
        Aha...

        Hmm...

        Yeah, so what?
        I thought you were the one with the attention span to handle politics. Apparently not...

        To summarize it for the unwashed, this article basically argues against the stereotype that Europe is totally and completely against the US policies concerning Iraq. France and Germany do NOT represent Europe, nor do they even represent the public opinion. These terrorists would be just as happy to attack European countries, because they attack our values, our very foundations.

        The majority of European governments still favor disarming Iraq, and shall support the resolution that promises "severe consequences" should Saddam continue to ignore requests to disarm. That is SUPPOSED to mean that we exert some leverage to FORCE him to disarm. It's an immutable fact of life that, when you exert a force on something, you will eventually displace it.

        Now for my opinion...

        Publishing articles supporting America's policies has never been popular. In fact, it is so unpopular, you rarely see it anymore. Now tell me... is that fair to the US government and the people that work for it? They have rights as well; they have the right to have their views published as well, and the right to have it published in a good light for once.

        So if you ever see an article praising the government for it's policies, don't write and complain about it. Anyway you put it, you're trying to suppress the views of what is a media-minority. Now that to me, is the greatest discrimnation: totally surpressing the views of someone, because those views are not seen as popular. In fact, they might get surpressed SO MUCH, you won't even know they exist! How does it feel to be prejudiced?
        TCO – Retired
        Former TCO Head of Intelligence – Retired

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SNAFU
          Publishing articles supporting America's policies has never been popular. In fact, it is so unpopular, you rarely see it anymore. Now tell me... is that fair to the US government and the people that work for it? They have rights as well; they have the right to have their views published as well, and the right to have it published in a good light for once.

          So if you ever see an article praising the government for it's policies, don't write and complain about it. Anyway you put it, you're trying to suppress the views of what is a media-minority. Now that to me, is the greatest discrimnation: totally surpressing the views of someone, because those views are not seen as popular. In fact, they might get surpressed SO MUCH, you won't even know they exist! How does it feel to be prejudiced?
          Actually, they don't have a right to be heard. They have a right to hold what opinions they will, and to say what they want -- it's not their right to be heard, or to be published. That technicality aside, I do agree that it's sad so many people choose to focus on negative views of the US and its government, especially when they often don't understand the issues.
          Nearly all men can stand adversity -- if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd read all that cas i'm sure its real interseting but DAMN thats alot to read!
            !i>A High IQ Doesn't Make Up For A Lack Of Common Sence<i!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SNAFU
              Originally posted by LegalAssassin
              Aha...

              Hmm...

              Yeah, so what?
              I thought you were the one with the attention span to handle politics. Apparently not...

              To summarize it for the unwashed, this article basically argues against the stereotype that Europe is totally and completely against the US policies concerning Iraq. France and Germany do NOT represent Europe, nor do they even represent the public opinion. These terrorists would be just as happy to attack European countries, because they attack our values, our very foundations.

              The majority of European governments still favor disarming Iraq, and shall support the resolution that promises "severe consequences" should Saddam continue to ignore requests to disarm. That is SUPPOSED to mean that we exert some leverage to FORCE him to disarm. It's an immutable fact of life that, when you exert a force on something, you will eventually displace it.

              Now for my opinion...

              Publishing articles supporting America's policies has never been popular. In fact, it is so unpopular, you rarely see it anymore. Now tell me... is that fair to the US government and the people that work for it? They have rights as well; they have the right to have their views published as well, and the right to have it published in a good light for once.

              So if you ever see an article praising the government for it's policies, don't write and complain about it. Anyway you put it, you're trying to suppress the views of what is a media-minority. Now that to me, is the greatest discrimnation: totally surpressing the views of someone, because those views are not seen as popular. In fact, they might get surpressed SO MUCH, you won't even know they exist! How does it feel to be prejudiced?
              Read it before, that's why.

              Europeans aren't anti-US (though americans seem to think so) but are k/o antiwar, as long as it can be solved with better meassures.

              As I'm too tired to read it all, I'll reply half-intellegent tomorrow, instead stoned now :wink:

              And remember: "The right to speak does not include the right to be heard" - Some wiseguy, can't remember who.

              AND EVERYBODY: Read Noam Chomsky and read/watch the guy who made "Bowling for Columbine", Michael (Moore, was it? M something...)

              Good guys.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SNAFU
                So if you ever see an article praising the government for it's policies, don't write and complain about it. Anyway you put it, you're trying to suppress the views of what is a media-minority. Now that to me, is the greatest discrimnation: totally surpressing the views of someone, because those views are not seen as popular. In fact, they might get surpressed SO MUCH, you won't even know they exist! How does it feel to be prejudiced?
                By telling me not to write in opposition to government policies I disagree with, you are attempting to suppress my views. Is that somehow less discriminatory that what you've described?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LaughingRat
                  Originally posted by SNAFU
                  So if you ever see an article praising the government for it's policies, don't write and complain about it. Anyway you put it, you're trying to suppress the views of what is a media-minority. Now that to me, is the greatest discrimnation: totally surpressing the views of someone, because those views are not seen as popular. In fact, they might get surpressed SO MUCH, you won't even know they exist! How does it feel to be prejudiced?
                  By telling me not to write in opposition to government policies I disagree with, you are attempting to suppress my views. Is that somehow less discriminatory that what you've described?
                  Join the club... by asking to suppress the views of someone else, you violate their rights. By not allowing you to write in order to suppress someone else is also a violation of your rights. However, what I meant to have stated is for the people to have some self-control, and instead of flooding out the competition, let them say what they want to say, and they'll do the same for you.

                  If it sounded like I was saying "You should NEVER write to oppose government policies." then I apologize. Bad communication there. But do the world a favor; don't write complaints in what is a blantant attempt to CENSOR the view which you oppose. Try to use some constructive criticism instead of writing "I hated that opinion article you wrote. Don't publish anything like it again.".

                  Unfortunately, whatever you write will most likely be interpreted as saying "Your newspaper sucks because of these articles.", and they will be removed anyway. Media companies don't give a damn about the truth; they just want to money, and that means you have to be a rebel to make things interesting to read...

                  Does that make sense? It doesn't to me...
                  TCO – Retired
                  Former TCO Head of Intelligence – Retired

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I write to newspapers, it's usually to mention some key and important point they've left out of an article, not to say something shouldn't have been published.

                    It's what ISN'T getting reported that bothers me, much more than what is. For instance, there were over 13000 articles on Clinton's draft-dodging during his election campaign, but fewer than 50 mentioning that Bush Jr DESERETED his position in the military during Viet Nam. Such key omissions in reporting disturb me greatly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LaughingRat
                      When I write to newspapers, it's usually to mention some key and important point they've left out of an article, not to say something shouldn't have been published.

                      It's what ISN'T getting reported that bothers me, much more than what is. For instance, there were over 13000 articles on Clinton's draft-dodging during his election campaign, but fewer than 50 mentioning that Bush Jr DESERETED his position in the military during Viet Nam. Such key omissions in reporting disturb me greatly.
                      I feel the same way; it's like, only the negative "the end is near" stuff is reported to me. Yet they overlook things like Bush Jr.'s desertion, which I admit, wavers my faith in the strength of his character. I find it most puzzling about what everyone seems to determine newsworthy...
                      TCO – Retired
                      Former TCO Head of Intelligence – Retired

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LaughingRat
                        It's what ISN'T getting reported that bothers me, much more than what is. For instance, there were over 13000 articles on Clinton's draft-dodging during his election campaign, but fewer than 50 mentioning that Bush Jr DESERETED his position in the military during Viet Nam. Such key omissions in reporting disturb me greatly.
                        That would indeed seem to be a key omission. Would you mind pointing me towards some information about it? I'll admit to not knowing as much about it as I should.
                        Nearly all men can stand adversity -- if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SNAFU
                          Yet they overlook things like Bush Jr.'s desertion, which I admit, wavers my faith in the strength of his character.
                          Really? Then how do you feel about the fact that Clinton's marijuana use was spammed all over the news diruing his election, yet Bush's hard drug use was virtually swept under the rug?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LaughingRat
                            Really? Then how do you feel about the fact that Clinton's marijuana use was spammed all over the news diruing his election, yet Bush's hard drug use was virtually swept under the rug?
                            My primary objection to Clinton isn't his actions -- although they disgust me -- but his blatant lies about them. If he had come out and said he smoked pot, I wouldn't have really cared, although I would have disagreed with his choices. But the lies he forced upon the public upset me deeply, and gave America a glimpse into his character that the majority seemed to not care about. I'll stop rambling, though, I really shouldn't be getting into this.

                            Again, however, would you mind pointing a shamefully ignorant taffer towards some relevant information on Bush's hard drug use?
                            Nearly all men can stand adversity -- if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So, now there's no way the USA will not invade. But what allies?

                              This is after seeing Colin Powell's blatant reaction during the debate today, he was getting a color very close to red, out of anger towards Europe. Though I laughed, it proves that the Bush-regim will attack.

                              Also, a fact that just struck me was that Bush will have to invade now - it's the only really big thing he's aimed resources towards. If not, ppl in the US will think about what he's done for the USA internal politics (or what it's called) and come up with a small list of things. This is what he hopes will re-elect him. If he doesn't invade, his war-mongering's been to no use, thus costed lots of money to no use.

                              200 000 US soldiers is in the area, and they are expensive. He's got to invade, or, most likely, lose the next election (again).

                              Now it's up to the "allies": Do they really want to invade Iraq? If there's no HARD evidence after the war, not planted, the Labour goverment in GB will have hell before them. This is the case for all of the goverments.

                              I think Austria did the right thing: they said they were to be neutral and now they wont let US troops go to Italy from Germany, at least not through Austria (yanks, look Austuria up, it's there, in the center. While you're at it, Sweden is in the center of northeren Europe: next to the island of ضland, in Kalmar, I live. Don't think you'd know where to look :wink: )

                              And again, lol, Powell and Bush lost control and got more bitchy than my middle-school teacher :lol: )

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