Wednesday, October 13, 2004
previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (6)
Using foreign policy to influence elections
I see the Germans have expressed their ballot preferences for the American ticket in the Financial Times:
This manipulation of foreign policy against a formal ally to provoke a change in government is somewhat distasteful. However, it's not nearly as distasteful as a government's manipulation of its own foreign policy such that it temporarily acts against the national interest in order to get re-elected. According to Mark Mazzetti of the Los Angeles Times:
So, basically, both the U.S. and key European states are fiddling around with foreign policy towards Iraq and Iran in order to manipulate the U.S. election.
The European actions are a venal sin, in that they contradict long-standing norms about overtly attempting to influence an ally's election. However, if the LAT is correct, the Bush administration's actions are more like a mortal sin.
UPDATE: Several commenters have pointed out that nation-states try to influence elections in other countries all the time. My point here is that while this is true, there is a pretty strong norm against this sort of thing taking place among the G-7.
Brad DeLong suggests that the Germans are plainly stating their foreign policy preferences. Except that a few weeks ago they also stated their foreign policy preferences to the Financial Times, and those preferences look pretty different from what Struck told the FT yesterday. See also this Greg Djerejian post from September 30th.
CNN's Chris Burns has more on the aftermath of Struck's interview.posted by Dan on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM
First of all, its the LA Times. I'd as soon take Dan Rather's word on the matter. Secondly, there is such a thing as disinformation. This could be a rouse. Thirdly, Ramadan is coming on, which may be a factor that has nothing to do with the election. Finally, if a major operation was launched pre-election, the same characters complaining already would complain about it being an election stunt. Bush can win either way.
"Bush can win either way."
Bush can't win either way, actually.posted by: Mark Buehner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
But after 3+ years, if it finally did happen in the 3 weeks prior to Nov. 2nd, it would be an election stunt.
And I'm sure it's nothing new, but just as distasteful then as now.posted by: wishIwuz2 on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
God forbid that one country might use foreign policy in an attempt to influence elections in another counry. The horror.
Thank goodness we live in a nation where such a thing would never happen! I'm sure the Bush Administration never tried to influence the results of recent elections in Venezuela, Iran, and Afganistan. And I'm sure the US will make no attempt to influence the upcoming elections in Iraq. After all, as Dan points out, such acts would be a "venal sin and contradict longstanding norms..."posted by: Kent on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"But after 3+ years, if it finally did happen in the 3 weeks prior to Nov. 2nd, it would be an election stunt."
But Wish, doesnt that put Bush in an impossible position? Attack is an election stunt, not attacking is an election stunt? Im pretty numb to the fact that the MSM will attack Bush no matter what he does, but this is a serious matter. Until proven otherwise i will assume the commanders on the ground are making the decisions as they see fit. This is a very serious charge and requires much more evidence than some unnamed source from the LAT.posted by: Mark Buehner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I noticed on the news last night that things appear to have ramped up in Iraq. Actions in Ramadi, Falluja, etc.posted by: Chad on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
if the LAT is correct
The LAT has ALREADY be proven to be wrong. Just look at this morning's papers. Sheesh, Dan.posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
On the alter of bad foreign policy for short-term political advantage, you also must include Kerry's prouncouncement that our coalition allies are the bribed, the coereced, etc.posted by: PD Shaw on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
No link yet, but on the BBC World Service this moring Schroeder stated emphatically that there will be no German troops going to Iraq, and no member of his cabinet thinks there should be.posted by: Bill on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
You know, if I were going to try for a surprise attack, I would leak just the sort of stuff that just went to the LA Times.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Dan's comments regarding the German position are amusing.
Bush claims he already built a grand coalition to go into Iraq. His more intelligent supporters don't parrot that, but instead claim that Kerry also won't be able to get more nations on board to really help out in Iraq.
Any evidence that both of those positions might be wrong must be suppressed, huh? I mean, it would be shocking, wouldn't it, if Kerry actually turned out to be right about all the points he is constantly being attacked on? (After all, this election appears more and more to be about Kerry's record and his plans, not Bush's!)
As for the German position - the refusal to participate in Bush's war was in retrospect the right decision. The continued refusal to help someone who attacked another country for shifting reasons and might well do so again is consistent with indicating that one might change this stance, at least slightly, if the person responsible for the mess is removed from office.
Having said that, I'm pretty sure the current German government will not send troops to Iraq, at least not before the next German election (in 2006), because they would almost certainly lose their own election if they did. The opposition to the Iraq war is what won them the last election, and they are very unpopular now in all areas except foreign policy. In fact, even if they don't send troops, they are quite likely to lose anyway, and the new government would probably be more friendly to America and would have an easier time justifying the sending of troops and other assistance if Bush is no longer president.
Dan, I see you're becoming as insightful as Andrew Sullivan.posted by: Jack B. on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
The key point here is that W. is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he makes a big push into Fallujah, it's an election stunt. If he doesn't, it's an election stunt. If he says it's not, than it is . . . and so on. Spin away.posted by: dan, not drezner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Mark Buehner is correct. If our forces were to move and something truly unfortunate were to occur and Bush were to lose, what effect would THAT have on the January election? Maybe no January election at all? I would say it would be a disaster for both the United States and Iraq. Too risky at this point. Not enough time to recover. The Bushies are playing it as smart as they can. Hell of a position in which to find oneself. You want to go get'em, you know that you can go get'em, but you just can't take that risk 2 weeks before the election. If, or rather when Bush wins, then all hell is going to break loose in Iraq. The gloves will come off and the variuos insugencies will be crushed, ruthlessly. And you are beginning to sound a little like Andrew Chicken Little Sullivan. Please avoid this as it is unbecoming.posted by: Mark in Mexico on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I think you should be clear that any distastefulness belongs to Peter Struck, not John Kerry.
Furthermore, I'd suggest that Struck's comments are a reaction to President Bush's negative campaigning against Kerry's Iraq alternative.posted by: Michael Weiksner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Yes the mighty German army will come into Iraq, 75,000 strong, and support John Kerry because it's the right thing to do.
And the UN is a powerful global force for human rights, Jimmy Carter struck a shrewd deal with North Korea in 1994, and Santa Claus rides a flying sleigh pulled by magical reindeer.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
2nd thought: Germany says it might consider sending troops if the situation on the ground were to change, meaning that security problems had been resolved, meaning that their troops would not be shot at, meaning that it would all be a big show for their own self-aggrandizement and of no help whatsoever to the Iraqis or the U.S.
3rd thought: Who cares what Germany thinks?posted by: Mark in Mexico on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
From today's WaPost: "Meanwhile, U.S. forces kept up military pressure Tuesday in several nearby cities. Marines raided eight mosques allegedly used as armed bases in Ramadi, a provincial capital about 25 miles west of Fallujah, and called in airstrikes in the town of Hit, about 60 miles to the northwest."
Sounds like the LATimes missed the story. That's a mortal sin, isn't it?
Dan, if you are going to believe anything you read from that hideous partisan rag then it's time to officially join on to the whole Kevin Drum / Oliver Willis / Andrew Sullivan axis of leftists and admit you are gonna vote for the most liberal member of the US Senate this year, the man who evidently was dishonorably discharged from the Navy and got Carter to "fix it" for him, the man who wanted to let Saddam keep Kuwait. "Make America Stronger" indeed.
P(kerry) = 1.0
Admit it.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Germany couldnt send a significant amount of troops if it wanted to. The thousands they sent to Afghanistan virtually exhausted their ability to project force. They had to borrow transport planes from the UKRAINE to ferry their troops. There would have to be a major military spending increase, a refocus in training, and none of that is going to happen, period. France is in a similar, if less toothless, position.posted by: Mark Buehner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Sounds like the LATimes missed the story.
Come on, now. Who you gonna believe, your lyin' eyes or the LATimes' anonymous "administration official"?posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
**"But after 3+ years, if it finally did happen in the 3 weeks prior to Nov. 2nd, it would be an election stunt."**
*But Wish, doesnt that put Bush in an impossible position? Attack is an election stunt, not attacking is an election stunt?*
Agreed. But who's to blame for him being in an impossible position? Wouldn't the public be asking "Why are we ramping up attacks now, after so many other necessary opportunites passed?"
(ps - I recognize that my '3+ years' was quite off the mark)
Wouldn't the public be asking "Why are we ramping up attacks now, after so many other necessary opportunites passed?"
Previous attempts to resolve the issues more peacefully have failed, miserably?
You know, those nuanced, diplomatic solutions that's always preferable to war? No attacking mosques, during Ramadan, etc?
I heard a nasty rumor that the Bush administration tried to influence the outcome of Afghanistan's election.posted by: praktike on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Er, and what if Bush is just holding back because he doesn't know if he'll win or not, and it would be pointless to push an offensive if he thinks it's possible (say, even 30% likely; I imagine Bush to be a fairly confident kind of guy) that Kerry will get elected and call it off (or even announce such an intention, which has immense internal and external morale effects)?
A half-measure like that could easily be more damaging than waiting three weeks and then acting... especially since plenty of "acting" is going on now, from all available data that isn't some anonymous guy in an LA Times story. If the anonymous source is correct, I still don't see anything damning. Military operations require ongoing political support, and I don't think anyone counts on that support shou;d Kerry win.
Funny thing about military campaigns, that. Nobody outside of them actually knows the details of what's being done when and why.posted by: Sigivald on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Has the US tried to influence Germany's election since the immediate aftermath of WWII? I believe we've shown them the respect of an ally to refrain from such things.
The rumor is nasty and spiteful and very anti-American. We have been definately involved with the process but I doubt we would have overthrown a less friendly government.
Those who hate and distrust America will, of course, see it differentlyposted by: Ptolemy on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
On the alter of bad foreign policy for short-term political advantage, you also must include Kerry's prouncouncement that our coalition allies are the bribed, the coereced, etc.
Posted by PD Shaw at October 13, 2004 11:44 AM
Au contraire: Speaking the truth is an absolute defense (except, of course, in the pro-Bush world view).posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Three things: "If the LAT is correct" is a BIG if. Second, assuming the LAT's report is accurate, on the face of it the story sounds apocryphal. My first thought was the Administration was leaking a false story to catch the enemy off guard. Third, if the Administration is, indeed, delaying big operations until after the election, why on earth would they want to give the enemy a heads up?posted by: Sissy Willis on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
You pro-Bushies are so funny! If a European country intimates that they might send troops to Iraq under a Kerry administration, you accuse them of inappropriate interference.
But if they don't give that signal, you accuse Kerry of promising the impossible.
Talk about having your cake and eating it too....posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Wonderful blog you've got here. Where else can one get such insightful comparisons, i.e., Andrew Sullivan as a member of the Axis of Leftists?
Just on fiscal matters: If Sullivan is a leftist, what's President Bush, a communist?posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Sullivan wants to raise taxes. The problem with raising taxes is it gives the government more money to waste.
You have to cut taxes before you can effectively cut spending.
If you paid attention to Sullivan over the past year, you can see that he is becoming a complete mouthpiece for the left. Daily KOS cites? Check. Juan Cole "sky is falling" cites? Check. Obligatory "Kerry is the conservative choice" Orwellian doublespeak post? Check. He's sold out his principles because of the FMA.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Saw this over at DeLong's blog. Hate to say this - but I agree with Brad.posted by: pgl on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Oh, I see. Anybody who ever approvingly cites a liberal blog is ... automatically a liberal! No need to grapple with the SPECIFICS of said cites.
You must have a lot of free time over there in Everything's-Black-And-White-So-We-Don't-Have-To-Think World.
And, re "You have to cut taxes before you can effectively cut spending."
Please justify your assertion, for us non-Koolaid drinkers?posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"Speaking the truth is an absolute defense . . ."
Truth may be an absolute defense to defamation, but it does not in and of itself make for good foreign policy. Please explain what foreign policy objectives were furthered by Kerry's expression of scorn and ridicule to our coalition allies?posted by: PD Shaw on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
One other thing, Matthew Cromer:
Since you seem to have such a hard-on about not trusting the government with the people's money, how upset are you about the current (record) budget deficit? You know, the deficit that will be handed off to future generations?
Quantify the level of your concern, on a scale of 1 to 10 -- with 10 meaning you're so upset about the deficit that you refuse to vote for Bush's reelection, and 1 meaning it's OK because they're all Republicans. Thanks.posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Oh, I get it. You're saying that when the opposition candidate is campaigning for President during war-time, they're not allowed to say something (including THE FREAKING TRUTH) without first making sure that it advances the foreign policy objectives of the incumbent.
Also: Kerry's scorn and ridicule are being directed entirely at President Bush. Funny how you-all like to pretend that it's directed at the coalition allies. If that's the case, where's the plethora of articles with coalition leaders (i.e., Blair) ripping Kerry for said disrespect?
Although I respect your political courage and honesty in criticizing the Bush administration’s failures in Iraq, it is kind of a cheap trick to contrast a true venal sin (Bush putting his political needs before the military’s needs in Iraq) with rather petty deed committed by a foreign government. As has been already pointed out on this thread, it is rank hypocrisy for an American to whine about foreigners trying to influence our elections since we covertly and/or overtly try to manipulate any European election where we see an advantage for America in one side or the other winning, not to mention third world elections where are record of intervention is truly atrocious. The only worse hypocrisy is when Americans try to impose an ideology of pacifism on people or nations under occupation (Palestine, South Lebanon, Iraq to name a few) while if America ever happened to be occupied and a fellow American suggested that it was immoral to attack the occupying forces you would (correctly) put a bullet between his eyes.
You failed to mention Vladimir Putin’s recent vocal support for Bush to win this election; why do you think he prefers Bush? My call is that Russia dreams of at some point in the future regaining parity with the US and he sees Bush putting our relative geopolitical position in a steep decline while Russia’s position is pretty much flatlined. He knows the lower America falls the less work Russia has to do to one again reach our level of global power and hope for more years of Bush will bring him even closer to parity.
Concerning the invasion of Iraq, since my degree is in architecture, not IR, I hardly profess to be an expert on the subject, but before the Iraq invasion I studied the Algerian War of Independence 1954-1962 and Hezbollah’s ejection of the IDF from South Lebanon and came to the conclusion that the required level of military performance by the insurgents to achieve victory is so low while for the Western occupiers to achieve victory the bar is set so high that, in fact, the only variable in these types of conflicts is the time required before the occupying power has to withdraw in humiliation. It took the FLN eight years to defeat the French despite the fact that the FLN was a rather mediocre guerilla operation and the French armed forces of that period were probably the greatest counter-insurgency force ever assembled. In Iraq the Sunnis have far surpassed the FLN’s performance (the Shiites have barely matched it) and the US has come nowhere near achieving what the French Colonels did in Algeria. From this I feel we can confidently predict that three years or so is the maximum duration of time before America withdraws in shame. Al-Qaida will have its strategically located base camp in the heart of the Middle East, namely the Sunni Triangle, from which to attempt to destabalize Iraq’s Sunni majority neighbors. Iran will have de facto control over the Iraqi Shiite areas while the Kurds are going to get what they got in 1975, the last time America cut and ran on them—massacred. This time the Turks and the Sunnis will tag team them since no Arab regime will allow a Israeli client state—which is what an independent Kurdistan would be—in their midst.
"Oh, I get it. You're saying that when the opposition candidate is campaigning for President during war-time, they're not allowed to say something (including THE FREAKING TRUTH) without first making sure that it advances the foreign policy objectives of the incumbent."
Used to be that during any time a candidate for president wouldnt say something without making sure that it advances the foriegn policy objectives of _the country_. Times have changed. I dont doubt Kerry believes getting himself elected is far more important than stomping on our relationships with places like Poland and Australia. Shredding the interim leader of Iraq can only be described as wreckless, no matter who is president.
Memories are very short in the Bush White House concerning the German government's support since 9/11. Schroeder offered and gave military support in Iraq, where German soldiers have died and remain stationed, and was willing not only to break with the pacifist tradition of the two coalition parties but also to face the Bundestag for a vote of confidence in his government. The dimensions of this have been scarcely appreciated in Washington, and the situation has only escalated since Germany chose not to join in the Iraq war coalition. The German decision was based upon a legitimate -- and in retrospect correct -- lack of conviction in the rationale for the Iraq action (Joschka Fischer's words were "I am sorry but I am not convinced"). The German decision was essentially identical to those of Canada and Mexico. The failure by the Bush administration to give due respect to Schroeder and Fischer for their politically courageous stance in Afghanistan, and the obvious signs of public support of Bush and Ambassador Coates for opposition CDU-CSU politicians make it little wonder that Schroeder is now sending signals in Kerry's direction.posted by: DJW on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"...the Administration was leaking a false story to catch the enemy off guard."
Ah, come on now! The press would never stoop so low as to present a false story or inaccurate account of a report, scene, or event. And, if by some means such a thing should happen, it would be corrected without any delay.
To those complaining about our coalition of the bribed and coerced, please talk to the Central American countries who were given reason to believe their participation would lead to a NAFTA type agreement in Central America. With no agreement forthcoming, they are now headed home.
Also, you would be hardpressed to find any coalition nation, aside from Great Britain, who truly gives a crap about Iraq, or believed the WMD threat nonsense. Poland? From the recent news it looks like, having joined the coalition to strengthen their allegiance to the US, they are now wary because they never dreamed the US could mangle the task so badly.posted by: readsomewillya on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Let's not get overwrought about this whole subject.
In the first place, few Americans are likely to be impressed with a statement by the German Defence Minister. Most have only vague impressions of German politicians to the extent they think of them at all. Few Germans would be silent, let alone supportive, if they thought he was making a commitment to putting German troops somewhere they might be shot at. If Herr Struck had intended to signal a definite change in German policy he would have not done so in a British newspaper.
What about military action in Iraq? In the first place, I'm not sure I do believe the LA Times. If commanders on the ground thought the iron was hot in Fallujah or one of the other insurgent strong points, I think they would get the go-ahead to strike. American troops on the offensive generally do not lose votes.
But having said that, there may be good reasons, having nothing to do with the election, to hold off on offensive action. If dissension is brewing between Iraqi and non-Iraqi fighters (as the Washington Post's Karl Vick reports today) there should be better ways to stoke it than sending American infantry charging into the midst of them both. Also, it won't do much good to take cities like Fallujah unless they can be held. Iraqi National Guard troops would have to hold them, and there aren't enough of these now to do it. In two months there will be more; perhaps still not enough, but more than there are now.
The Bush administration has made any number of policy decisions with the American election in mind. I'm not sure this is one of them.posted by: Zathras on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"Also, you would be hardpressed to find any coalition nation, aside from Great Britain, who truly gives a crap about Iraq, or believed the WMD threat nonsense. "
Is that how you would sell the invitation to send troops to Germany and France? Even if you're right, which you arent, it still harms American interest to say so as a major public figure. Politics ends at the waters edge.posted by: Mark Buehner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
There are the foreign policy objectives of George Bush.
Then there are the foreign policy objectives of our country.
They are not entirely identical lists. No matter how much you and other pro-Bushies try to pretend otherwise.
I assert, again, Kerry's scorn and ridicule (re: coalition of the coerced and bribed) are directed at President Bush, for his policy failures.
More importantly, I again ask, where is the evidence of coalition leaders complaining about Kerry's so-called disrespect towards them?
The person who continually hoists a claim without ever providing evidence or information to back up that claim is most certainly a liar, a fool, or both. As the President would say, "It's time to show your cards."posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
So, who decides whether German troops will be committed? Because it looks as though Herr Schroder disagrees with Struck (from the linked CNN article): "Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's office reaffirmed Wednesday that no troops would be sent to Iraq."
Now I don't know much about German politics, but I'm willing to bet that if Schroder doesn't want troops to go to Iraq, they won't go, no matter what Struck says.posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
More importantly, I again ask, where is the evidence of coalition leaders complaining about Kerry's so-called disrespect towards them?
"Reacting to John Kerry's omission of Poland’s efforts in Iraq, President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski said, “I find it kind of sad that a senator with 20 year parliamentary experience is unable to notice the Polish presence in the anti-terror coalition.”
When asked about Kerry's derogation of non-U.S. coalition countries fighting in Iraq, Kwasniewski said: “I don't think it's an ignorance. The anti-terror coalition is larger than the USA, the U.K. and Australia. There are also Poland, Ukraine, and Bulgaria etc. which lost their soldiers there. It's highly immoral not to see our strong commitment we have taken with a strong believe that we must fight against terror together, that we must show our strong international solidarity because Saddam Hussein was dangerous to the world.”
“That's why we are disappointed that our stance and ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers are so diminished,” President Kwasniewski said. “Perhaps Mr. Kerry thinks about the coalition with Germany and France, countries which disagreed with us on Iraq.”posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"However, if the LAT is correct, the Bush administration's actions are more like a mortal sin. "
Well put it like this. You are on the ground in Iraq, you know that you boss might not get re elected. You also know that you goals might change if your boss leaves.
Why get in the middle of a fight you might have to back out of.
It would seem to my that Kerry would want things at a semi stopping point in Iraq when he gets to office. Bush could be doing Kerry a favor, by not going in (not that bush is the one personally directing all troop movements)posted by: cubicle on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
How quickly people forget. It was not long ago (2002) that the Bush administration was trying to influence the German election. When they didn't get their way, the recriminations flowed freely, even calling for regime change in Berlin.
"The best thing would be for him to resign. But he obviously won't do that," he [Richard Perle] said.
Can anyone blame Struck and the rest of Schroeder's government for wanting grownups in DC to work with?posted by: D.H. on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Kerry did screw up by failing to mention Poland. It was a screw up by omission -- not a major, monumental screw up, but a screw up nonetheless.
I was referring, however, to coalition leaders who are supposedly offended by Kerry's use of the phrase "coalition of the coerced and bribed." Because so many people, from Bush to posters here, have been alleging that Kerry's use of said phrase is disrespectful to the rest of the coalition. Thanks.posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Beyond that its not just hurt feelings. Essentially calling Allawi a puppet is bad for everyone involved. You dont think that was blasted all over Al Jazeera?
Grandma, whadya call the person who accuses others of being liars, fools, and dopes but are too lazy to do their own minimal research?posted by: Mark Buehner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Mark B, His speech was written by Bush/Cheney '04 -- LITERALLY. What do you call that? IT never cease to amaze me how detached from reality the wing nuts truly are.posted by: Jor on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"Mark B, His speech was written by Bush/Cheney '04 -- LITERALLY. "
Prove it.posted by: Mark Buehner on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Completely dumb! Germans are already seeing that Iraq will be successfull(secret service is there) and are moving in.
If Iraq was a mess like some here say, and Mr Drezner almost say. Never Germany Defense Minister would have said that. Also all EU(exept french but they arent making much blocking) have increased cooperation with "evil" Bush behind doors: about 40 Millions $ will be for next elections.posted by: lucklucky on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"Kerry's scorn and ridicule are being directed entirely at President Bush. Funny how you-all like to pretend that it's directed at the coalition allies."
Please make the case that being refered to as a "bribed" country has no negative connotations. I think that is incredibly insulting but maybe I'm missing Kerry's 'nuance' (patent pending).posted by: Matthew Ryan on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
What was the last time a non USA soldier was killed in Iraq? And you have the answer why Germany is interested.
posted by: Lucklucky on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"More importantly, I again ask, where is the evidence of coalition leaders complaining about Kerry's so-called disrespect towards them?"
So Kerry insults them and they should insult them right back? Possibly the future President of the US? Wow. That's geopolitical genius.posted by: Matthew Ryan on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
The hidden premise of this Kerry insulting the allies meme is that Poland and Australia somehow agree with the Bush Administration’s contention that we have enough troops on the ground in Iraq and therefore the coalition is just large enough. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of war planning knows that there are certain ratios of occupying troops to number of population depending on type (i.e. friendly, hostile or very hostile) that military planners follow. Coalition troop numbers in Iraq are hardly adequate to deal with even a friendly occupation let alone a raging insurgency. By implying that the allies are so satisfied with current troop numbers in Iraq that they are actually taking offense at Kerry’s disparaging of the current coalition’s size and his call for addition boots on the ground you are implying that either the allies are so stupid as to be unaware of the actual required number of troops or that they somehow believe that their troops are so superior that we can use a factor of five to multiply their effectiveness. Only the bozos in the Pentagon are foolish enough to make either of these mistakes; our allies are very aware of the problems in Iraq and that is why both Australia and Poland are both planning to get out of there as soon as politically possible.posted by: Kevin on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Mark asks, "Grandma, whadya call the person who accuses others of being liars, fools, and dopes but are too lazy to do their own minimal research?"
If you're referring to my asking for evidence of coalition leaders being offended by the phrase "coalition of the coerced and bribed," number one, I did do some research (I didn't find anything but that doesn't mean it ain't out there); and two, the only people I referred to as "liars, fools or both" are those who continually hoist a claim without ever providing evidence or information to back up that claim.
If you weren't referring to me, then perhaps you could be just a little more specific with your question. Thanks.posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I would be satisfied if Kerry's statements on foreign policy were not detrimental to his own foreign policy objectives -- I've never insisted that his statements be subservient to the President's agenda. His Iraq plan is premised on bringing in more allies to join this coalition of the bribed and coerced. Will he bribe them to join? Will he coerce them? Or will he just cajole them by offering concessions? Will he simply show up at the door and announce that he is not Bush?
I think my initial point stands. Kerry's critism of the coalition is bad foreign policy intended for domestic consumption in an election year.posted by: PD Shaw on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I don't agree at all. this is clearly the press vonlunteering for the Kerry campaign. i've posted my take on my site, which i call "hopemongering." they did the same nonsense with the draft.posted by: jason on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Matthew Ryan says, "Please make the case that being refered to as a "bribed" country has no negative connotations. I think that is incredibly insulting but maybe I'm missing Kerry's 'nuance' (patent pending)."
I don't need to make any case on this. You're the ones making the original assertion that Kerry has disrespected the coalition. Where I come from, the person who makes the assertion is the one who bears the burden to back up said assertion.
There's nothing fancy about my request. This is pretty straightforward logic that most third-graders can grasp.posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Mark B, how about you start reading a god damn newspaper instead of getting all your information from lgf, freep, and instahack? The Bush/Cheney '04 campaign writing Allawi's speech is in the aforementioned link.
I always wondered how it was possible for 60% of republicans to STILL believe Saddam is responsible for 9/11 (they dont all read the wingnutstandard). But I think I know now, republicans have just been covering their ears yelling "I can't hear you".posted by: Jor on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I was referring, however, to coalition leaders who are supposedly offended by Kerry's use of the phrase "coalition of the coerced and bribed."
Uh, no. You asked "More importantly, I again ask, where is the evidence of coalition leaders complaining about Kerry's so-called disrespect towards them?" Nothing about a specific phrase. Moreover, Krasniewski's remarks have to do with all of Kerry's offensive remarks, not just him forgetting Poland's contribution. So, indeed, the complain by Krasniewski I posted IS a foreign leader's complaint about the use of the phrase "coalition of the coerced and bribed."
Nice try, but face it, Kerry has already proven to be a horrible, horrible diplomat -- far worse than Bush. The only reason countries like France like him is that they expect (and rightly so) that Kerry will just become Chirac's poodle.posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"I don’t doubt Kerry believes getting himself elected is far more important than stomping on our relationships with places like Poland and Australia. Shredding the interim leader of Iraq can only be described as wreckless, no matter who is president."
Did you mean "reckless", perhaps?
I doubt very seriously that the Poles or Australians feel "stomped on" by John Kerry's description of the "coalition of the willing" in the middle of a political campaign. I don't think their skin is quite that thin and I suspect that they, along with many non-members of the coalition, would be more than happy to work with a new foreign policy team (even if that may not meat troops). After all, can anyone honestly say that a Kerry team would be _less_ likely to obtain foreign cooperation and help in Iraq than Bush?
Matthew Ryan says, "So Kerry insults them and they should insult them right back? Possibly the future President of the US? Wow. That's geopolitical genius."
OK, now I'm seeing the "light."
Coalition leaders are offended by Kerry's phrase "coalition of the bribed and coerced."
And we know this, even though none of them have actually said it. Because we Bush supporters are, after all, brilliant mind readers, especially of foreign leaders.
And, we know they're all offended, even though what Kerry says is backed up by myriad reports in real-time which documented the fact that the vast majority of coalition members were in fact bribed and coerced. (Minimal research, fellas!)
Lovely little debate society you all have here, where you're always right, no matter whether you have any facts to support you.posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Me "Please make the case that being refered to as a "bribed" country has no negative connotations. I think that is incredibly insulting but maybe I'm missing Kerry's 'nuance' (patent pending)."
Grandma "I don't need to make any case on this. You're the ones making the original assertion that Kerry has disrespected the coalition."
Thanks, Grandma. I'm comfortable that being refered to as 'the bribed' is a put down. You apparently can't knock it down and haven't the basic honesty to say so. Toodles.
posted by: Matthew Ryan on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I still don't agree with your claim of catching me on the point made above.
However, for the sake of argument, let's assume you're right -- let's assume that because of Kerry, we've "lost Poland" (in the context of a possible Kerry administration).
Then, let's contrast that with all the other countries that we've "lost" due to Bush's obscene arrogance.
Advantage: Kerry (big time).posted by: Gramma Millie on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Well Polish President(?) remember talked about it.
Hmm Gramma could you please tell me how my country Portugal was bribed? Maybe i can use it to get an exclusive...posted by: lucklucky on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Allawi was obviously brought here for domestic political reasons
The ignorance of the left is stunning. Allawi was here to speak at the opening of the UN's general assembly session... along with the leaders of more than 100 other countries. Duh.posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
BTW - we can do a big Roseanne Roseannadanna on Struck's comments... NEVERMIND!
"Germany won't send troops to Iraq
Germany strongly opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq and has refused to send any troops to the country - a position that officials have said will hold no matter who wins the US presidential election.
"I want to say clearly and unmistakably what the chancellor told the Cabinet: the position of the German government as far as Iraq is concerned is clear - it will not be changed," Thomas Steg, a spokesman for Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
"It will remain in the future what it was in the past - there will be no German soldiers in Iraq," Mr Steg said."posted by: Al on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
AI, which is why Bush/Cheney '04 wrote his speech. Keep chugging kool-aid.posted by: Jor on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
"Coalition of the Bribed and Coerced"
"Countries you could buy on Ebay"
Telling Australia that backing America made them less safe
Trying to get Howard in Australia defeated
Yes I'd say the Kerry-Edwards ticket has a problem with international relations with our actual allies, rather than the countries they *wish* were our allies.
God help us if these loathesome pacifist huxters win in November, thanks to the leftist media.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Let me observe that the last 20 or so posts have done nothing but play ring around the rosy with a debating point over whether American coalition allies were to be scorned because there are so few of them. This protracted and boring argument introduces no new facts or ideas and has persuaded no one whose mind on this point was not already made up. It is also well removed from the topic of Dan's post.
If we're going to go off-topic, the last Presidential debate is tonight. Who has any ideas as to what questions will or should be asked?posted by: Zathras on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
KERRY GAFFE ON ITALY? [Michael Ledeen]
Martino remarked that Kerry, "instead of saying what he thinks, should think about what he says."
ROMA - Il ministro della Difesa, Antonio Martino, ha provato «grande amarezza e dispiacere» per le dichiarazioni di John Kerry, secondo il quale «le condizioni dell'esercito iracheno erano talmente patetiche che persino l'esercito italiano avrebbe potuto prenderli a calci nel sedere». Nell'apprendere le affermazioni del senatore, pronunciate in campagna elettorale e di cui ieri Kerry si è scusato in tv, Martino avrebbe detto: «Il senatore Kerry, invece di dire quello che pensa, dovrebbe pensare a quello che dice»
"Several commenters have pointed out that nation-states try to influence elections in other countries all the time. My point here is that while this is true, there is a pretty strong norm against this sort of thing taking place among the G-7".
Actually not strictly true. Though the G7 did not exist at the time, in the fifties the CIA was involved in funding anti-communist parties in both France and Italy. It might well be justifiable (from a US viewpoint at the very least) and it is a old precedent, but...
What a flaming asshole he is.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
I hate to post this if someone else already did, but I didn't have time to read all the comments. Isn't Ramadan coming up soon? Perhaps it's a wise strategy on the Bush admin.'s part, rather than manipulating the US election, to hold off on offensives until after that is over. Just a thought.posted by: Cjfeldy on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
F- the Germans. And the French. Next time they need help, they can whistle.
On the reasons for holding off on assaulting Fallujah, etc. - the official line, which may well be true, is that we are waiting until more Iraqi troops are trained - we had a few thousand well trained Iraqis with us recently when we took back some town from the jihadists, but there aren't that many available yet. That said, it is my opinion that if Bush hadn't blinked in Fallujah he would be up by 20 points now. Of course, Kerry only knows how to blink.
Consider this: Mrs. Heinz Kerry said over the weekend that her husband would never send troops for oil. Is that true? I suspect it is - I don't think Mr. Kerry would send the Marines even if Saudi Arabia were to cut off all oil shipments, thereby plunging the world into depression and throwing tens of millions out of work - based on his very dovish record in the Senate, I can only conclude that Kerry would never use military force except to repel armed aggression by foreign military forces against the continental US. If you think that's the right policy, vote for him.posted by: DBL on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
That LA Times headline and the lead paragraph bothered me too, Dan. Then I read it. The responsible headline would have been "Mixed Signals About Likelihood of Iraq Offensive Prior to Election".
In the story: the anonymous "senior official" who has some involvement in planning saying "we're gonna cool it". Then we have others (some or all named) saying things like (paraphrasing) "we've been having recent success with airstrikes, to soften up strongholds, so taking that into account for future initiatives we may not be so eager to go storming in so quickly, etc.", and "we have no orders to ease up", and "it depends on circumstances case-by-case", and "we'll go into as many places as the Iraqi govt wants us to clean up", and we have Allawi saying, "elections, schmelections, we have to do what we have to do when it is best to do it."
And out of this "opinion stew" we get the clear indication (in the eyes of one LATimes writer) that the US is playing footsy with Iraq because of wanting to keep a low pre-election profile.
It's a rather classic example of cherry picking to reach a provocative conclusion and ignore (in the lead and headline) the thrust of the report which is, basically, "Here's some varied input about this".
Then there's the fact, mentioned in other comments here, that since the story appeared there has been a concerted military push.
I resent the misleading and mislabeled story. Put the guy on the Dodgers beat or something if that's the level of objectivity and insight we're gonna get from him. At least there we know what team he's aligned with.
Oh, and good point about the potential "disinformation" angle, too, made up above I had not considered that before.posted by: Terry Ott on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
The LA Times, eh? As for the Europeans, I don't much care who they hope we elect. It's political gamesmanship - posturing.posted by: Curtis on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
German Defense Minister Struck is the kind of guy who occasionally speaks out of turn and says what he really thinks instead of the party line. He has already been called on the carpet - publically - for the remark by Chancellor Schröder. Perhaps Struck thought he might influence the US election campaign, but so far he has only embarassed the German government with this remark. It's more likely that Struck wasn't even thinking about the US election at all and wanted to see how the German public would react to the idea.
The current government in Germany is highly unpopular. Sending troops to Iraq would be unpopular with the voters. In other words, there is no chance that it could happen unless the government in Germany changes hands.posted by: js on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Apparently, however, it is okay for Putin, Allawi, and the Pope to interfere with a US election, no?
After all, the first has deliberately interjected himself into the election by suggesting that the terrorists want Bush to lose (despite Putin's denials, this is clearly an endorsement of Bush over Kerry), the second was invited by the White House to speak on Bush's behalf and the Bush campaign wrote his speech, and Bush actively sought the intervention of the third.posted by: Advocate of God on 10.13.04 at 12:47 AM [permalink]
Post a Comment: