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OT: Very Political (But needs to be said) our Euro members..
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CAG Hotshot

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Post subject: OT: Very Political (But needs to be said) our Euro members.. Reply with quote
This string will be highly politically charged...

I am suspending the regular no political posts because I want some first hand information instead of media filtered and sensationalized news...

Quote:
I want to ask all our European members to post their opinions here on what has really happened to poison the relations between Europe and the US over the last few decades...

France, in particular, has gone from being a touchy ally, to being a near enemy...

Germany, while not historically an ally prior to post WWII construction, was a staunch ally of the US through the Cold War, but no longer seems interested in maintiaining much of a relationship with the US...

Italy has begun to drift as well, the recent elections in that country seem to indicitate a lack of desire to stay allied to the US...

Spain turned their back on the US and allowed terrorists to influence their elections. In my opinion this is disgraceful, but I can only say I know what I know through the media, and not through any first hand knowledge...

What about Belgium and the Netherlands? I have no real information on either of these countries positions...

Greece and Turkey still seem consumed by their own mistrust of each other, but the lack of support in Iraq by Turkey and the denying of access to a norther invasion route during the Iraqi Freedom war demonstrated their complete lack of alliance.

To me this just meant NATO was nothing more then a fair weather alliance...

The way things look now, it seems only the UK is a strong ally of the US and it will remain that way for the foreseeable future...

I want our European members to understand that the media here presents it as though Europe has abandoned their relationship with the US because they no longer perceive any real threats, though their ignorance of the real Islamic threat is staggering., or they are to cowardly to stand up to any though a lack of moral fiber in their governments...

And that the US should regard Europe, if not a complete threat, at least a growing one and alter our policies accordingly...

This is the media line...

I want to hear from you, our European brothers, and tell us how you see things. I also want to get feedback from our American contingent and Canadian contingent in relation to this...


Please post what you think on all the above...

No one will be attacked for their opinions, as long as they are civil in the way they are presented. But please post how you 'feel' on this top and please remember no cheap shots or name calling will be allowed...

*** Be Warned - If anyone gets out of hand they will be banned! I want this exchange of information to be done in a professional manner. If you present your post with dignity you will be treated the same way.


CAG out...
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Last edited by CAG Hotshot on Thu Dec 28 14:30:51 2017; edited 3 times in total
PostTue Apr 12 21:02:41 2005
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CAG Hotshot

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Post subject: Reply with quote
More examples of the discussion topic above...

Quote:
Turkey aims for better U.S. ties


By Andrew Borowiec
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Turkey is attempting to mend ties with the United States that were strained badly over the war in Iraq, and is willing to let U.S. planes operate from its Incirlik Air Base for some missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, diplomats say.

As part of the effort, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hoping for an invitation to a meeting with President Bush after his planned trip to Israel in May, according to reports in Turkey.

Last year, Turkey refused a U.S. request to deploy at Incirlik two squadrons of fighter aircraft from German bases.

Diplomats think Mr. Erdogan and particularly his Justice and Development Party (AKP) are anxious to improve relations with Washington, feeling that prolonged alienation would be harmful.

"Erdogan has realized that he must find a way of cohabiting with the United States in this part of the world if he wants to protect Turkey's interests," political analyst Burak Bekdil said.

Turkey recently indicated a possible concession on the use by U.S. aircraft of the air base in southern Turkey.

Relations between Turkey and Washington soured after the Turkish parliament refused to allow the use of Turkey's territory for military deployment against Iraq. Subsequently, Turkey became a vocal critic of U.S. policy in Iraq.

In recent talks with diplomats, Mr. Erdogan has stressed objectives in the area that are shared by Turkey and Washington, particularly concerning opposition to Iran's ambitions to become a nuclear power.

In March, Murat Mercan, deputy chairman of the governing AKP, traveled to Washington with Mr. Erdogan's message of support for U.S. policies in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Turkish government's latest feelers come against a background of an intense nationalist campaign in the media, with strong anti-American overtones, which caused concern for the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

The intensity of the campaign prompted an alarmed comment by Mehmet Ali Birand, one of the best-known Turkish political commentators, who wrote in Ankara's Turkish Daily News:

"Turkey's extreme nationalists use every opportunity to further their message. ... I am scared because nationalism in Turkey is something that can be turned into a very aggressive sentiment."

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PostWed Apr 13 1:46:09 2005
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Jackal

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Post subject: Reply with quote
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Guess now to who may be addressed this Laughing

Ah, CAG, BTW: the treatment you quoted at the last line of your first message may be related to the gun under your signature? Mr. Green

Better ask before, you see... Mr. Green Wink
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PostWed Apr 13 7:26:36 2005
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Jackal

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OK, joking time's enough.

More seriously:

CAG,

I can obviously answer about the actual political situation in my Country, about Spain maybe at the beginning of the next month - I'm going to travel abroad for a little period (for work, as my usual Sad ).

Well, after our last regional elections 11 on 13 regions went to the left coalition, so thus your sensations could be fairly explained.
Let me try to say also this, however:
- first, please always keep in your mind that Italian politics could drive mad, forits complexitity, every wise non Italian man, more over then you Americans, used to confront your two-parties system to ours - we have more than a dozen!
- second, while your two parties may have some differences, about foreign and social security politics especially (to what I can understand of American politics, of course...) but substantial identity of view about the main themes, here in Italy the opinions may vary among a really huge series of different way of thinking.
- third, BTW I would advise you that here in Italy still "live" (it's a pun, of course) even three communist parties: they're that way, the Wall in Berlin or USSR never fell down for them Twisted Evil, but no one, if not insane or a leftie traditionalist, could really trust to them.
- fourth, the regional elections above were politically important, and that's a fact, but the main event will be our political elections to be the next year - unless someone will decide it's time to go to anticipated polls, of course, but until then we are resigned to an whole year electoral campaign so what a laugh...

All these above only to describe such a complex situation, not ready to be ultimately oriented.

At my eyes remains a fact, though: against the abominations WWII inflicted to my innocent people - with almost endless examples, so at this point only who lived under a dictatorship's tyranny could understand what I say - we know what America (so we call your Country, bud) and Americans did for us. Too many of ours went to the USA and came back to help us, in Italy, to get free. Too many of yours died for us, and we could forget it not even if we would.

Another thing I was to forget: we had a (formally named) Communist government in the early '90, at the time of Serbia and Kossovo facts, but our Premier at that time (On. Massimo D'Alema) as all our two Parliament Houses (Camera dei Deputati and Senato) lined up to NATO's side ...

after a well heated discussion, so real Italian style, of course Wink Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostWed Apr 13 8:19:26 2005
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CAG Hotshot

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Well...

That sounds complicated Jackal...

I hope I can figure it out, because I really want to come to complete understanding of what is occurring between the US and Europe today...

I was hoping for feedback from Tank and Kewell, truncana, and a few of the other European members...

Unfortunatley we havent gotten any as of yet... Confused


CAG out...
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PostWed Apr 13 17:55:15 2005
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Jackal

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CAG,

I too hope our other European members will let us know their opinion about one of most interesting topics you started since I joined this Forum (and the previous Yahoo one, to tell the whole truth...

I can only say that sure politics in Italy IS complicated, but it's not too difficult to get used to it, even if an American like you may like more clean-cut states... what more? Also we Italians would like so, but we got used from birth to complex situation - genetic heritage? Who may knows...

Another thing: I was to forget, and my apologies for that...

I want let you know that I, an Italian citizen and an European, appreciate a lot your efforts to understand every sleaziness of our politics, that may sound almost incomprehensible to the sketchily observer's mind.
The mean opposite you really are instead, my congrats to you.

To some and well qualified fellow citizens of mine: so there are also some Texans with a more refined mind you expected they have, isn't it?

So be aware, you all lazy ***** Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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PostFri Apr 15 10:36:29 2005
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CAG Hotshot

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One point of interest...

Belgium, every year, commerates the battle of the Bulge and the losses that America suffered to win them back their freedoms...

They seem to have not forgotten what the US has done for them...

However I still dont have any first hand knowledge on the overall feeling about the US today.

I was hoping Tank would reply and give us his opinions about the German society today and how the average citizens thinks of the average German citizen thinks of the US today...


CAG out...
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PostFri Apr 15 22:31:09 2005
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DukeB-120th

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This is in a way related to the topic going on here
It sheds light on some of the happenings in Italy.

Quote:
Italy's Berlusconi Faces Political Crisis
Apr 16, 5:58 PM (ET)
By AIDAN LEWIS

ROME (AP) - Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi left Rome Saturday despite the worst political crisis of his four-year leadership, leaving negotiations to salvage the government to his top deputy.

As Berlusconi tried to brush off the problems triggered by a weak performance in regional elections this month, ministers from the centrist Union of Christian Democrats, or UDC, formally submitted their resignations Saturday.

Berlusconi insisted late Friday that he would press on with the government's program. "I am continuing to work even if I take moments of rest. I hope that this weekend will be half holiday and half work," he said in comments reported by Italy's Apcom news agency.

The decision by the UDC put pressure on Berlusconi to resign and form a new government, a tactic past Italian premiers have used to strengthen faltering coalitions. Despite tax cuts last year that Berlusconi championed, his popularity has faded amid a weak economy and Italy's continued presence in Iraq.

But Berlusconi has repeatedly insisted he is determined to serve his full five-year term until 2006 - something no government has done in postwar Italy. Berlusconi's government holds the record for longevity.

Berlusconi, who is Italy's richest man, is known for his unorthodox political style and has been criticized for unannounced absences from Rome during his premiership. His office did not say where the premier went or when he would return to the capital.

His top deputy, Gianni Letta, met in Rome with Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini and other ministers. Fini is deputy premier and leader of the National Alliance, the biggest party in the governing coalition after Berlusconi's Forza Italia.

"Berlusconi is presumably going to keep his head down," said James Walston, a professor of politics at the American University of Rome. He said it was unlikely that the premier would make more than cosmetic changes to the government, "but often cosmetics is what matters in politics."

The UDC and the tiny New Italian Socialist Party triggered the turmoil Friday by announcing they were pulling their ministers and other top officials from the center-right government. The parties said they would continue to support the government in parliament, where Berlusconi has a comfortable majority.

One of the UDC ministers, Mario Baccini said Saturday the party wanted to see a new government formed under Berlusconi, not just a reshuffle.

"We are interested instead in a direct line with citizens. Our loyalty and reasonableness is not in discussion," he told Italian state television RAI.

On Friday, the premier said adjustments on economic policy and policies for poorer southern Italy might be needed, but "we have to fulfill our mandate and complete the legislature."

"If there are situations that smack of old politics, we need to overcome them with patience," he said, according to Apcom.

In April 3-4 regional elections, Berlusconi's coalition lost 11 of the 13 regions up for grabs. His Forza Italia performed especially badly, losing a bigger share of its vote than the other parties in the coalition.

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PostSat Apr 16 17:06:24 2005
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i don't check the board everyday, Razz anyway,

Blair really put himself on the line for the iraqi war, he's not stopped being critised by the Tories, Lib democrates, and other parties, even people in his own labour party, Razz

its a very touchy subject, imo i think the war was justifyied not for WMD but for peace in iraq and for the iraqi people, but thats just my opinion,

we the UK are the States stongest and big ally and will be with you unless something really happens, but you just gotta remember that these countries have people that don't want to be at war and think its morally wrong because they are not involved, they don't see the suffering that the iraq ppl went through with hussein in power, so thats why they have always been against the war,

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PostSun Apr 17 7:01:19 2005
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In terms of relations between governments it is not just an illusion created by the media, that the US and Europe have become alienated even though recently relations have somewhat improved.

I see a couple of reasons for this:

Before WWII Germany used to be a country in which the military was regarded very highly. This was turned into disrespect and hate for all things connected with war and stayed that way until about 1990 when the public image of the Bundeswehr started to improve again because of the UN missions.

What has remained is a (maybe paranoid) mistrust of all glorification of war and militaristic societies. This is still evident in the way German soldiers are seen by the public (very bad effect, in my opinion), but politically it has the effect, that any military action has to be backed by very persuasive reasons, while a peaceful alternative, even with lower chance of success, will be accepted much more easily.

To some extent this reservation against the military is present in those countries with histories of prevailing military defeats (France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, ... [sorry, but I had to say this Wink ]), there it is mostly restricted to foreign powers, though.

The US and the UK are both militaristic societies, however over here they are regarded in very different ways. I believe that this is mainly (but not completely) due to George Bush's way of handling the WMD issue in Iraq.

Even before he became president the majority of Europeans didn't like him, just because of the way he presented himself. After his election he lost any respect he had left over here and was regarded as someone who would tell any lie and use any legal and illegal way to get his will.

In the year leading to the Iraq war he started to act like a Führer-personality. His choice of words and images and his appearance (look at the way he waves, it is strikingly similar to the Hitler-Gruß) gave everyone in Germany a very bad gut feeling and I wouldn't be surprised if other Europeans felt the same way. People started to fear him as someone who would drive his country and the whole world into chaos to satisfy himself.

Tony Blair acted very differently. He honestly tried to integrate other countries and refrained from glorifying the war, while George Bush conveyed the feeling that he wasn't really interested in getting an alliance, but that he just wanted everyone to keep their mouths shut.

I believe that the personalities of the politicians involved is the main factor in the alienation. Of course it cannot be denied, that Gerhard Schröder and Jaques Chirac should receive their fair share of the blame because they antagonised George Bush to gain support locally (because it is always good to mock someone who isn't liked). I have experienced, that this political alienation is nearly no issue between individual people and I think it shouldn't be.

On the other hand, people here in Germany think that democracy in the US is not working as it should. By this I am not thinking of George Bush's election or Guantanamo Bay, but instead Im referring to more subtle points, which are not a development of recent years:
There is the feeling, that Americans are being brain-washed from their birth onwards (by school education, movies, the media ...) to religiously love and trust in their own nation too much and this results in the fear that the Americans can be (maybe not easily, but more easily than any other people) manipulated to wage war against anyone without a real reason.
Of course I know that this is not really a present or developping danger, but I can understand what makes people feel this way, even though I know enough Americans to know that the opposite is true.

Which makes me come back to the beginning:
What makes the American way of glorifying war (I know that this is more a prejudice than truth, but a prejudice strengthened by George Bush) stick out over here is that people in Germany are brainwashed in the exactly opposite way. In school and in the media the Holocaust is brought up day after day and you are taught to question any call to arms, prevent any war if humanly possible and never trust Führer-personalities.

I don't really like to post in threads like this one, since I don't have the time to really convey my opinion, and even despite this long post I still think I haven't come close to explaining the reasons I see for the attitudes which are observable over here.
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Great post Tank, I would like to further discuss some of your issues and some of your points...

1) "...would tell any lie and use any legal and illegal way to get his will"... Actually Bush is seen as the opposite of this, this is more of a description of Clinton, then any other president since Nixon...

Now I believe you know I think Bush is not the smartest President we have ever had, but he is one of the most honest. He may be an idiot, but he isnt a liar, though I can NOT say the same thing for some of his advisors. But generally his administration has been more honest then most of the others, and this is causing him problems as some of his major decisions of late has generated alot of heat at him and the Repulican party...

2) I agree the US, and slightly less so the UK, are both militaristic, but in a world full or terrorist threats and every increasing nuclear proliferation I believe you have to be to stand ready. I have no problems with being agggressive, as long as we are not trying to tell eveyone else what to do (one of America's biggest failings). To not be aggressive invites another 9/11... Its going on 4 years now since that attack and the US has not seen another one due to this new aggressive stance.

3) Never thought of Bush presenting himself in any Fuhrer way... He is slammed so much in the press everyday here that I dont see how this is possible.. He actually modelled much of his imagery after what President Teddy Roosevelt did a century ago. Except he never learned to talk softly! ("Talk softly , but carry a big stick" was Roosevelt's motto) lol..

Frankly I think Bush looks like an idiot whenever he opens his mouth...

He doesnt have that 'aura' about himself like that psycho Hitler did...

4) "There is the feeling, that Americans are being brain-washed from their birth onwards (by school education, movies, the media ...) to religiously love and trust in their own nation too much and this results in the fear that the Americans can be (maybe not easily, but more easily than any other people) manipulated to wage war against anyone without a real reason." That is odd, I think just the opposite... The media here is hugely (95%) liberal and anti american in my opinion. The school systems even more so. I personally think our aggressiveness comes from our pride and that is not institutionally taught. It results from being the biggest, baddest Mutha on the block... Our only challenge, the Russians, are now a shell of their former selves and no longer considered a threat. If anything I think we are looking for a new challenge to bind us, and in the absence of that, a war accomplishes this... Its the old political ploy here in the states and has worked since we kicked the Brits out during the Revolutionary war.

However, I am sure this is not the image presented in the Euro media, which is what people there form their opinions on, just as they do from our manipulative mdeia over here. I think the media is the biggest threat there is on this planet and needs some sort of oversight or at least consequences for irresponsible behavior. The media here sensationalizes absolutely everything in the never ending ratings battles...

5) I fully understand the anti-militaristic feelings of the Germans and other Europeans to a certain degree. We experienced it here as well at the end of the Vietnam War, when everything in the military was considered bad, but the American people woke up to the fact that these men that served did so on their behalf and to not blame the men or the military for wars, but to blame the governments and especially the enemy first.

Europe has a problem of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses (in my opinion), but those days are slowly coming to an end with the types and varities of threats in the world today. You cant make the Islamic threat go away with a national holiday... (but one thing is certain, you are no fool and already know this)

You have a great point in the following...

"Which makes me come back to the beginning:
What makes the American way of glorifying war (I know that this is more a prejudice than truth, but a prejudice strengthened by George Bush) stick out over here is that people in Germany are brainwashed in the exactly opposite way. In school and in the media the Holocaust is brought up day after day and you are taught to question any call to arms, prevent any war if humanly possible and never trust Führer-personalities. "


It is tough for Americans to think in these terms, since we have never experienced what Germany has. We have no history of tyranny since the forming of this country. The only experience we had was against the British rule that led to the Revolutionay War. I think that this lack of understanding causes harsh judgements of some european reactions.

Americans are narrow minded and tend to think that the world thinks just like us and are taken aback whever we find out that isnt so! Shocked Laughing

When I was in NATO I saw quite a bit of difference in the way the countries thought. I was there duing the GLCM installations, and all the anti-nuclear protests. So my experiences have been much more diverse then the average American. I dont know whether this is good or bad! lol...

But I honestly do think we needed to go forward after 9/11 with or without international support, but the next steps forward requires a unified US/Europe partnership. We are mostly all from the same roots, we need to look at our similarities instead of our differences...


6) "I don't really like to post in threads like this one, since I don't have the time to really convey my opinion, and even despite this long post I still think I haven't come close to explaining the reasons I see for the attitudes which are observable over here."

I disagree here, I think you did a hell of a good job! (as usual). I have learned to think more and talk less since I have met you. Understanding you has helped me get a better understanding of Europe today and your loyalty to duty is something I recognize in all honorable people such as yourself...

Thanks for you input! Very Happy


CAG out...
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PostMon Apr 18 16:32:26 2005
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DukeB-120th

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Yes! Tank, that was an awesome post! And CAG's answer really fleshed it out.

I think differently about the world after reading that.
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PostThu Apr 21 21:36:44 2005
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CAG,

only to let you know I appreciated a lot your answer to Tank's post ... especially your point 5, that can't be limited to Germany only.

As you (and Duke, of course) just saw, European politics may seem complicated, and it is many times indeed, but our political vicissitudes had also their price, and we paid it all.

I only would remember to your attention - to give an example -that we Italians got to our national independence only in 1860, after a long period of several wars against Austrian Empire and France beginned in 1848.
Our form of government was constitutional monarchy until 1946, when we choosed parliamentarian republic after a referendum and we was close to come out in a civil war.
While from 1922 to 1943 we had a dictatorship that drove us to three wars (Spain, Somalia and WWII, of course).
Our contemporary governments (i.e. since 1946) have all been characterized by a troublesome basic political instability...

That's only an easy and partial summary, of course, and even you know it yet, but as I said before, I thought fair let you know this too...

Thanks anyway for your attention, especially in a period like this - guess what? The second government Berlusconi ran in crisis after our last regional elections...
here we are again, guys... Rolling Eyes
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PostFri Apr 22 7:23:39 2005
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That has got to be the best insight I've seen (Tanks post). And CAG's response pretty closely mirrors mine.

Impressive posts actually. I know personally after the French denied overflight to Libya during Regan's Presidency I was disgusted with our "allies". Ever since then it is simple to see the amount of times the US is berated for creating problems of today (while conveniently neglecting to mention the USSR side of it). We are chided for not giving enough aid, yet condemned for giving aid to Israel.

As an ordinary citizen of America you are more often then not made to feel that the world wants the benefit of our economy while spitting on it at the same time. To some people it makes you want to give the finger to Europe, others feel we need to do more for Europe. We as a country have certainly contributed to enough problems in the world, but we have also contributed to much good in the world.

Qualifying that to some degree. It does not mean that it is a correct view, that we're always right and that countries should always follow our view. Because countries should act for the good of their country. But when you are faced with institutions such as the UN where the US is billed for what 20, 22% of the budget, yet the US is supposed to take an equal view taking the entire view of the institution's choices over what seems to be the best path for our Countries interests. That's a pretty tough pill to swallow.

And like CAG mentioned, I do not necessarily agree with all policies of President Bush - but I do believe he means what he says.
PostWed Aug 24 20:09:15 2005
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And I have frankly to thank you too, Mag, for your post...

I'm Italian, and consequently have my own ideas about the different opinions we have about why we all got in this situation of deep misunderstanding among allies, so I believe that your advise (like CAG's) helped me a lot in understanding your point of view, that only a sketchily person could call 'isolationist'.

May I add only a thing, at this point?

I didn't get why you both pointed at France's position. Well, may I remember you that France isn't the only Country in the UE, so France could act for itself only, and that its position in the OTAN was from always deeply conflicting with those of the other members?

So no wonder if they did something exceptionable in some critical situation... they're unfortunately just French.
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FAF / FA-2 Beta Tester
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Nassiryja. We won't forget!
"Nei secoli fedele"
("In the ages Faithful", Italian Arma dei Carabinieri's motto)
PostThu Aug 25 5:39:03 2005
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