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   Politicsforeign affairs, unchaperoned


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To: Thomas M. who wrote (247)2/22/2005 4:38:56 AM
From: GUSTAVE JAEGER
   of 261
 
Charm and seduction amid the chandeliers

Martin Kettle in Brussels
Tuesday February 22, 2005
The Guardian


The aristocrats of Brussels used to come to the Concert Noble to charm, to seduce and, eventually, to find themselves a mate. So this elegant 19th century Belgian drawing room was a tailor-made venue for George Bush to start the task of wooing European opinion once again.

Rarely can so many famous Belgians have been gathered together in one place as they were at lunchtime yesterday when Mr Bush strode to the podium in the company of the Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt to deliver the speech that is the political centrepiece of his visit to Europe this week.

The great and good had come from every corner of the European Union. There was the foreign minister of Luxembourg, a Danish general, and even the former head of the Tory group of MEPs.

If you are told to get to the hall two hours before the speech, then you don't count for very much. The later you are allowed to arrive, the more important you are. So it was only when Condoleezza Rice, followed by Laura Bush, slipped into the room that the invited audience stopped gossiping and snapped to attention.

And then, quite suddenly, there he was. Under five of the biggest chandeliers in Brussels the president and his Belgian host entered to a standing and prolonged ovation. So prolonged, in fact, that Mr Bush had to gesture to his own people to encourage the audience to sit down.

Mr Verhofstadt seized his brief moment in the spotlight to make the kind of remarks that British Eurosceptics expect from a Belgian prime minister. He said that Europe had failed to prevent the civil war in Yugoslavia because it had been hesitant and divided. The answer was a united Europe, as strong as the United States, he said.

But it was Mr Bush the audience had come to hear and he did not disappoint. When he described Brussels as the capital of "a beautiful nation", it was immediately clear that he was aiming to please.

Then he told a graceful story about Benjamin Franklin coming to Europe and being greeted everywhere as a friend of humankind. "I have been hoping for a similar reception," he observed, and everyone laughed, "but Secretary Rice told me I should be a realist." Laughter again.

George Bush will never be a great orator. The gestures and grimaces are too often too hard to square with the immensity of his power.

But he is a far better speaker than his most implacable detractors allow. And this speech was, quite simply, one by a politician at the top of his game. It was like listening to Caesar reviewing the condition of the Roman empire - daunting but irresistible.

At times it seemed as if Mr Bush was going to say something about every single country in the world. One moment he was reprimanding the Dutch for their racial violence, the next he was slipping in a compliment to Morocco for its embrace of reform.

But it was the Middle East that was at the heart of this speech. And it seemed to be the issue that most people in the Concert Noble wanted to hear most about too. When he called for a Palestinian state "with contiguous territory on the West Bank" and declared that a state of "scattered territories" would not work the applause was loud and heartfelt.

Afterwards the verdict was positive in the hall. Charmed? Certainly. Seduced? They liked the thought. But a partner for life? Let's see how it feels in the morning.

guardian.co.uk

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (247)4/16/2005 2:01:06 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
 
I see they haven't gotten any smarter on the "Politics for Amateurs" thread.

Message 21219518

Of course, it was the Contras and their allies that were killing nuns. Archbishop Romero was not murdered by the Sandinistas. He was murdered by American-trained right-wing terrorists. The Sandinistas were by far the least violent and repressive government in the area.

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (249)4/16/2005 2:04:51 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
 
<<< Barry Healy on the Dead Pope's opposition to Liberation Theology:

"By assiduously aligning himself with the most reactionary elements of late 21st century power politics, John Paul II left a profound crisis in Catholicism in his wake. Latin America was once overwhelmingly Catholic but the US rulers have used their Protestant fundamentalist sects as weapons against liberationist Catholics there. Now 10% of Brazilians are believed to be talking in tongues!

In the developed capitalist countries, Catholicism continues to bleed membership as believers tire of the ridiculous strictures on their sexuality and democratic rights within the church. As AIDS threatens millions in the crucified impoverished world and wars and indebtedness worsen, the Catholic Church's lame responses are simply making it irrelevant."

The effect of II's horror at Liberation Theology - and for that matter for any kind of freedom outside of Poland - has been to drive the people of Latin America out of the Catholic Church and into the arms of American evangelical fruitcake religions, which are spreading like a plague over Latin America. >>>

xymphora.blogspot.com

And these fruitcake Evangelicals are taken seriously by amateurs like Cobalt, even as they tell obvious lies.

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From: Thomas M.4/16/2005 2:42:59 AM
   of 261
 
Is Faultline an incompetent moderator or does he have an agenda? I have always tended to the former theory.

Message 20713170
Message 20719129

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (249)4/16/2005 2:54:26 PM
From: marcos
   of 261
 
This post was in response to the Zapata-goes-marxist [!] part of that exchange - Message 21228922

La Robolución was complex, carranza is quite right in that, however zapatismo was deadly simple - folks wanted their stolen land returned, and Zapata meant to get it back for them, and to such extent as he was able, he did so, and continues to do so

As for FaultLine, he's not around FADG recently, for a long time now ... possible health concerns again, or a recognition of the futility of it all, i think there are far more twisted moderators though, like Evile and Lindy [who banned me, lol] [but who have both lifted the bans since, for whatever reason]

Agreed on the utter uselessness of the self-professed lawyer of ad hominem fame ... on liberation theology versus whacko evangélicos, it's not quite that simple, a pure black and white thing ... from personal experience at the seventeenth parallel, trust me, there are idiots on both sides, and useful principles from both sides being used by the greedy and unscrupulous ... in the specific case in which i was involved, it was a land dispute, a clash of cultures as to the way in which they viewed land tenure, as well as competing claims to the land - and neither side had an exclusive right to the land, imho, as nobody had lived in that valley for a thousand years - until both factions moved in, in the same year[!] ... and both sides lied to me, one more than the other, this is true, but on neither side was there anyone with authority who failed to lie ... there will be other stories elsewhere, of course ... generally, yes it was a retrograde step for Juan Pablo to stomp on the LTs, but hey, this is the catholic church, what do you expect, and anyway, there are scarey whackos in all fanatic movements, and the term 'liberation' abused by many

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (251)4/18/2005 4:52:04 AM
From: GUSTAVE JAEGER
   of 261
 
A Cursed Day for Washington:

Apr. 18, 2005
India, Pakistan leaders call their peace process "irreversible"
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW DELHI
The peace process between India and Pakistan is now "irreversible," leaders of the two longtime rival nations said Monday, announcing a series of agreements to increase trade and cross-border travel in Kashmir and elsewhere.

With Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf standing beside him, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said they had agreed to continue talks on the divided region of Kashmir, the heart of decades of disputes, in "a sincere and purposeful manner" until a settlement was found.

"They determined that the peace process was now irreversible," Singh said, reading from a joint statement the two leaders had just signed.

The two countries agreed to increase the frequency of a cross-Kashmir bus service that started earlier this month and to identify more places along the Kashmir frontier that could be opened to traffic.

They agree to revive a joint commission to boost business ties and to open consulates in the Indian city of Bombay and the Pakistani city of Karachi by the end of the year.

They also vowed not to allow terrorism to thwart the peace process.

Earlier, Musharraf said the talks with the Indian leader were more successful than he had expected, but warned that settling the Kashmir dispute would take a long time.

Musharraf said there had been a change in attitude in Pakistan about Kashmir, which is split between the neighbors but claimed in its entirety by both. The two nuclear armed rivals have fought two wars over it.

"Domestically there is a realization that the military option is not the option any more," he told Indian journalists. "The strategy of a coercive diplomacy is no more an option."
[...]

iht.com

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To: marcos who wrote (252)4/19/2005 1:58:17 PM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
 
Nadine sez:

"Who do i think should have ethnically cleansed this 'government owned' yet arab-inhabited... How exactly did Israel wind up with over a million Arab citizens if they were all so gung-ho to ethnically cleanse the Arabs?"

Message 21152537

Which leads directly to this question: Why are there so many Jews around if the Nazis were really so gung ho about wiping them out?

Nadine's question would be wholeheartedly approved of by FL and the mainstream media. My question would rightly be scorned (and probably evoke instant permanent banning) by FL and the media.

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (254)4/19/2005 2:42:26 PM
From: marcos
   of 261
 
Well, your question will get scorned by me too, it is a stupid question, tempts the respondent to give a stupid answer ... yes i realise that you intend it as response to Nadine's stupid question, but think about it, how does that advance the sum of human understanding, how many hearts and minds do you capture

The correct answer to your question is, The nazis didn't have enough time and resources, due to my nation and yours and a whole lot of other nations halting their efforts

The correct answer to Nadine's question is, The zionists calculated, quite rightly, that they did not have the political capital to completely ethnically cleanse the captured land, that the most they could do at that point was to dominate demographically, and loot the possessions of those indigenous who had fled from the hostilities ... recall that they were considered oppressed underdogs in 1948, not much time had passed since the russians had found the camps, that story was still coming out, and being used in the 'land without a people' project ... they were sufficiently shrewd with their political capital that they still had some left to spend when they invaded Egypt in 1956, even beyond, in some quarters, through the nuclear weapons and other chess moves

Imho that answer will stand more chance of winning hearts and minds than yours will ... at least it might stimulate one reader somewhere to look at the actual history ... the reason i didn't answer Nadine's stupid question at the time, was that i didn't have time, and she throws out so many you can't even keep track ... she must think it an effective tactic, maybe it is to some, not to me though ... and neither is yours

But hey, check it out today, i discovered what mike9 really really likes, 'you people' ... applied it by accident to stockman scott and any ilk he felt he might have collected, and michael figured it applied to some unspecified group he's in ... lol ... it is good that people have the capacity for arousal, it would be better if they could at the same time smarten tfu

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To: marcos who wrote (255)4/21/2005 8:33:11 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
 
yes i realise that you intend it as response to Nadine's stupid question but think about it, how does that advance the sum of human understanding

It's really not that complicated. Here it is again:

"Nadine's question would be wholeheartedly approved of by FL and the mainstream media. My question would rightly be scorned (and probably evoke instant permanent banning) by FL and the media."

One cannot even begin to analyze American politics until one understands the inherent biases of our political community. On the topic of the Middle East, this example speaks volumes.

Nadine's question is not significant. It is the reaction to her question that informs us.

Tom

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (256)4/21/2005 1:50:05 PM
From: marcos
   of 261
 
Yes, gotcha on that, you're probably right to an extent, FL would likely have allowed hers, and disallowed yours ... there is always a cultural slant of some sort, probably, we are human beings, after all ... it is better to get both questions out in print imho, because they get asked all the time, they are not really questions, and should be refuted

Other questions too ... there's a surprising one this morning, about 1956 ... seems odd to see it from the questioner, because her side doesn't come off too well there, it was a clear case of attempted conquest of another people's land ... but, got to go soon ... what a black hole for time it is play internet, eh

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