Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Asking nations to withdraw troops from Iraq

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Asking nations to withdraw troops from Iraq

    Recent statements made by Prime Minister elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has created quite a stir in the US. If Spain makes good on it's policy to withdraw her troops from Iraq unless United Nations is brought in could have far-reaching consequences to the ongoing operation. Though Spain has has a small force in Iraq, the withdrawal could undermine support both in Iraq and with allies even further. It is also placing a strain on American-Spainard relations, which is also counter-productive.

    No price can be placed on the value of the Trans-Atlantic alliance. It was instrumental to peacefully ending the Cold War and enhance democracy globally. It also helped contain what many feared would be chaos after the USSR disappeared. Today, this alliance continues to contribute to fighting terrorism, and to an extent aiding the global economy. Without the support of Europe, America's global position would be seriously threatened at a minimum. And with the US, Europe would likely be forced to face global challenges at a critical point in it's history, while lacking the capacity to be flexible as well as dynamic.

    It would be naive to believe the allies will always agree. Differing ideals, values, agendas are bound to create friction. Given the many challenges we all face, disagreements that seriously undermine cooperation is a grave threat to our collective vital interest. Thus we would be wise to consider establishing instruments to improve public relations between the allies when serious disagreements arise.

    1. The United States should immediately conduct a study of those nations currently participating in ongoing operations to determine their support. This should be argumented by candid discussion with contributors about their domestic political situation and it's impact on operations and our relationship.

    2. Those nations lacking considerable support from their peole should be asked to withdraw their forces from the coalition to minimize damage to our alliance. This does not mean we don't appreciate what they've done. Instead, the policy is basically saying we so cherish their friendship, we'd prefer not place unnecessary strains upon it.

    3. In the future, the US should consider the opinion of the public of our allies before approaching them for contribution. This is especially true when the issue lacks support from a major international body, such as NATO or the UN.

    4. Explore methods to reassure the people of the various relevant nations that disagreement does not equate to hatred. This should be done not only political officials, but somekind of independent source.

    Forgot this one, and it's just as important.....

    5. People should show less tolerance for reckless and unwarranted criticism that has appeared in the media during crisis. I don't mean censoring comedians who make jokes. I'm talking about news reporters acting stupid as has been the case on some media challenges. Journalists will only go as far as the people who turn to them for information allows. Forcing them to be lessed biased could enhance general understanding and acceptance of conflicting views.

    There are risk to this plan. One is that some governments might try to exploit it to minimize political risk in a particular cause, even if the local population might agree with course of action. The second is that it does not address times with division is fundamental.

    Despite this, I believe it is an option worth considering.
    Last edited by Deltapooh; 18 Mar 04, 05:08.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

  • #2
    If the US took half of this type of advice and applied it to so called ''Axis of Evil" states then maybe they might be able to solve a few problems rather than throwing the Military-Industrial Complex at every problem they face by countries that do not tow the line of American foriegn policy.

    Also, I hope your 5th point is directed at local media in the US, because conflicting views in the global environment represent the miriad of values ideals held by various nations/groups. This alone is a contributor to violence and therefore steps should be taken to understand that these conflicting views exist and are not a threat to security. 'Forcing them to be less biased', therefore forcing your ideals and values on them will not solve anything.

    My two cents
    Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Deltapooh
      4. Explore methods to reassure the people of the various relevant nations that disagreement does not equate to hatred. This should be done not only political officials, but somekind of independent source.
      Well, I do remember a certain president of the only remaining super power who refused to talk to Germanys chancellor Schröder for almost a year because he felt betrayed
      "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

      Henry Alfred Kissinger

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Temujin
        Also, I hope your 5th point is directed at local media in the US, because conflicting views in the global environment represent the miriad of values ideals held by various nations/groups. This alone is a contributor to violence and therefore steps should be taken to understand that these conflicting views exist and are not a threat to security. 'Forcing them to be less biased', therefore forcing your ideals and values on them will not solve anything.
        I am mainly referring to those reporters who seem to make it their job to project their own opinion instead of facts. For example, a few months ago I was watching early morning on CNN. One of the anchorers took a commerical paid by a tourism group that called for Americans to travel to France, and spent about ten minutes cracking jokes and saying Americans would be crazy to spin one dime on France. He just went on and on in a display of complete ignorance that made me want to fly to Atlanta, and kick his *ss for being stupid. It was unjustified, unwarranted, and unnecessary. Nothing he said had any real relevance to the facts. I thought the tourist group should have sued CNN for the error.

        That's the kind of stuff I believe people should be less willing to tolerate. We already have enough to worry about, without the junk.

        Beyond that, I do support debates. Someone must be willing to tell you that you are wrong if you hope to know when you are right.

        Originally posted by Kraut
        Well, I do remember a certain president of the only remaining super power who refused to talk to Germanys chancellor Schröder for almost a year because he felt betrayed.
        That was uncalled for. I did believe there should have been a cooling off period. From my understanding, that final week before the war involved alot of debate and back-channel diplomacy. I think a few weeks apart was justifiable to give people time to calm emotions, which can run high, particularly in a crisis like that one. A year though is just silly.
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

        Comment


        • #5
          Just like the cold shoulder routine Canada got.

          Whenever talk of allies and friends came up in the Bush Administration prior to Iraq, Canada was mentioned. In the leadup to the Iraq invasion, Canada said it would participate in any operation in Iraq as long as it was under the UN.

          The Bush administration failed to win the UN support and Canada, as we said, refused to participate in any operation in Iraq since there was no UN mandate.

          Since we said 'no', Canada completely disappeared off the vocabulary of the Bush administration. Now when Bush and company says anything publically about 'allies' and 'good friends' of the US, Canada is never mentioned. Despite the fact that Canada has a significant number of troops working along side US forces in Afganhistan.

          Because we said 'no', punishing tariffs have been placed on Canadian goods and lumber, the prohibition on Canadian beef (due to mad cow disease) has gone on longer than health concerns require and Canada/US relations are at the lowest point ever. Bush allegedly vowed that he would never say one more word to PM Chrietien. And Canada was lumped in with Germany, France, and Russia as not be eligible in bidding for Iraq contracts in the reconstruction.

          It remains to be seen if our new Prime Minister can mend Canada/US relations. Unfortuately, from my position in the cheap seats, Bush would have to be osted for that to occur.

          It is amazing how many Americans are unaware of how badly the US has treated longtime allies like Canada, France and Germany - simply because our countries disagreed with Bush's crusade. Bush has squandered the political currency of good will and cooperation that the US has long had.

          Recent polls on US/Global community relationships has shown that American prestige and standing in the eyes of the world has fallen. The US was looked upon as a world leader. Now that image is greatly tarnished.

          For that to change, the Bush administration has to go...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Black Moria
            Because we said 'no', punishing tariffs have been placed on Canadian goods and lumber, the prohibition on Canadian beef (due to mad cow disease) has gone on longer than health concerns require and Canada/US relations are at the lowest point ever. Bush allegedly vowed that he would never say one more word to PM Chrietien. And Canada was lumped in with Germany, France, and Russia as not be eligible in bidding for Iraq contracts in the reconstruction.
            I don't think the two are really related. Supposing there was no Iraq and no 9/11 I'm pretty sure the protectionist policies would have been enacted anyways. It's internal politics more than anything else. If the Democrats take power, expect it to get worse now that 'outsourcing America' is taking up so much time on the airwaves.

            It is amazing how many Americans are unaware of how badly the US has treated longtime allies like Canada, France and Germany - simply because our countries disagreed with Bush's crusade. Bush has squandered the political currency of good will and cooperation that the US has long had.
            We build our national character around being 'different' from Americans when we're more like fraternal twins. So, in a way it helped us too. I think we're pretty sure we're not American now, if there was ever any confusion before .
            "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

            – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Moria
              And Canada was lumped in with Germany, France, and Russia as not be eligible in bidding for Iraq contracts in the reconstruction.
              A condition which lasted all of what--72 hours? President Bush publicly stated that Canada would be allowed to bid within days of the original announcement.

              It remains to be seen if our new Prime Minister can mend Canada/US relations. Unfortuately, from my position in the cheap seats, Bush would have to be osted for that to occur.
              The problem predates Bush by many years. Canadians are a bit paranoid about being seen as similar to Americas , thus they sometimes go a tad over the edge to assert their "differentness." This sometimes leads to situations where Americans feel the Canadian government has taken a stand simply for the sake of being contrary.

              Canadians and Americans have very similar roots and share much of the same history. Canadians also like to remind everyone on a regular basis that they are good neighbors, yet they rarely vote to support America on any important issues, instead choosing to follow the lead of Europe. That often makes Americans feel jilted and it comes as no great surpirse that Canada's refusal to support the US on Iraq causes tempers to flare. Both sides have dug in their heels and the problem is unlikely to vanish any time soon.

              Your statement that Bush "needs to go away" to rectify the situation is somewhat curious. What you're basically saying is that if America would elect politicans more like Canadians the situation would improve. No big surprise there--if Canada elected politicans closer to Americans the situation would probably improve as well!

              It is amazing how many Americans are unaware of how badly the US has treated longtime allies like Canada, France and Germany - simply because our countries disagreed with Bush's crusade. Bush has squandered the political currency of good will and cooperation that the US has long had.
              First, your intentional use of them "crusade" is an obvious ploy to both marginalize the importance with which most Americans view this issue, and to further spin it in the least favorable light. I guess this is also a shot at Australia and italy, which also are supporters of the "crusade."

              Second, you are vastly oversimplifying how complex the politics were in this whole affair. Americans didn't get angry with Germany simply because Germany didn't see the world they way we do, American got upset because the German chancellor shamelessly fanned the flames of anti-americanism in a blatant attempt to leverage the issue for his own political carreer. As for France, French politicans didn't merely differ with the US's approach, they openly threatened to block Eastern European nations from joining the EU if they supported the US position. This went far beyond a mere political difference, this went to the very heart of what it is to be on friendly terms with another nation. France openly undermined the US operation after it had already begun and many Americans feel that this has made the entire situation more difficult (deadly) than it needed to be.

              Recent polls on US/Global community relationships has shown that American prestige and standing in the eyes of the world has fallen. The US was looked upon as a world leader. Now that image is greatly tarnished.
              And conversely, a clear majority of Americans now view the governments of those same nations in almost entirely unfavorable terms. The image of France and Germany is also quite tarnished in our eyes.

              For that to change, the Bush administration has to go...
              Or...
              Editor-in-Chief
              GameSquad.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Don Maddox wrote:
                The problem predates Bush by many years. Canadians are a bit paranoid about being seen as similar to Americas , thus they sometimes go a tad over the edge to assert their "differentness." This sometimes leads to situations where Americans feel the Canadian government has taken a stand simply for the sake of being contrary.

                Canadians and Americans have very similar roots and share much of the same history. Canadians also like to remind everyone on a regular basis that they are good neighbors, yet they rarely vote to support America on any important issues, instead choosing to follow the lead of Europe. That often makes Americans feel jilted and it comes as no great surpirse that Canada's refusal to support the US on Iraq causes tempers to flare. Both sides have dug in their heels and the problem is unlikely to vanish any time soon.


                A part of the problem rests with the misconception that most Americans seem to have that simply because Americans and Canadians share the same heritage that both nations should automatically see eye to eye on issues and that if Canada does not take the same stance as the US on a particular issue that it is somehow due to us wanting to appear 'different' or out of some desire to spite the US and not due to the more likely possibility that we simply do not agree with each other on a particular issue and nothing more.

                Yes, Canada and the US share many common traits but both nations also posses values and ideals that are different form each other. We value different things and our ideas and opinions on how to best approach a particular issue will not always be the same.

                If we disagree with you over an issue, it's not because we don't like you or we wish to distance ourselves from you, or some other ulterior motive. It's simply because we don't happen to agree with you, that's all.
                Last edited by Wolfleader; 18 Mar 04, 17:46.
                -----------------------------------
                Sings we a song of wolves.
                Who smells fear and slays the coward.
                Sings we a song of man.
                Who smells gold and slays his brother
                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the long UN debate contributed more than anything else to the dismal opinion of the global community. By taking his case before the United Nations, he acknowledged the organizations significance in the decision to execute military action. At the same time, Bush wanted to appease neo-cons and hawks by placing more importance on domestic support than global opinion. In doing so, Bush Jr convicted himself of violating the United Nations by going to war even though he seemed to believe the organization was so important he delay war for months. (Remember, alot of people thought the war would begin in late November at first. The date seemed to be pushed back every couple of weeks. We know better now, but still........)

                  I admit I was wrong to believe America should subject itself to a grueling UN debate in what I already saw as a hopeless situation. It would have been more appropriate to divide the effort into two phases, and execute a plan justly. The first phase, the military campaign, did not necessarily require any UN approval based on interpretation of UNSC RESO 687. Furthermore, international support was not required for victory. The second phase, the humanitarian, nation-building effort, should have been the focus on our international efforts. Most people supported the humanitarian front and based on opinion after the war, were willing to overlook the lack of approval for war, to help the Iraqi people. (I believe the polls in France was 66% in favor of.)

                  Unfortunately, by then, the American people, and to some extent, the international community had suffered significant damage. The UN debate was devastating to everyone involved. I know we Americans were tired of bickering, even though few wanted to admit it. I know I was. And it is not an overstatement to say we have yet to experience the full impact of the damage done to the alliance and it's role in promoting peace.
                  "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Don Maddox
                    Second, you are vastly oversimplifying how complex the politics were in this whole affair. Americans didn't get angry with Germany simply because Germany didn't see the world they way we do, American got upset because the German chancellor shamelessly fanned the flames of anti-americanism in a blatant attempt to leverage the issue for his own political carreer. As for France, French politicans didn't merely differ with the US's approach, they openly threatened to block Eastern European nations from joining the EU if they supported the US position. This went far beyond a mere political difference, this went to the very heart of what it is to be on friendly terms with another nation. France openly undermined the US operation after it had already begun and many Americans feel that this has made the entire situation more difficult (deadly) than it needed to be.
                    There was no anti-America Policy here, Schröder critizised your Iraq policy but never said anything against Americans in general! Infact he tried to keep good working conditions alive but Gergie was so upset with the german policy that he refused to even talk to Schröder. And if you look at the serious press I am sure you'll find a lot more general insults against France and Germany in the american press than you'll find anti-american speeches in german or french news papers. Oh, and a german minister who remotely compared the policy of Bush with Hitlers policy was immediately fired! So much for beeing anti-american. We aren't anti-american, we simply don't agree with your policy.
                    And why are you so upset with France trying to threaten the new EU members, just have a look at what the USA did trying to get some YES votes at the UN or trying to 'convince' Turkey to allow US troops to invade Iraq from their territory. I call it blackmailing and bribing, how do you call it... clever policy ??
                    "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

                    Henry Alfred Kissinger

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I thought Chirac's statement helped Bush's cause. It made the French appear at least as arrogant as America at the time. A more serious concern that I had was that it placed greater strain on the European Union, which was already in crisis over Iraq. I've heard a number of excuses for why Chirac said what said that night (mainly he was tired and under tremendous stress). However, overall, it was a statement that did not necessarily represent the European Union, but was interpreted as such. It was just as retarded as Rumsfield calling France and Germany old Europe. Trying to put out a fire by spraying gasoline is usually a bad ideal. That is what Chirac did.

                      Originally posted by Kraut
                      And why are you so upset with France trying to threaten the new EU members, just have a look at what the USA did trying to get some YES votes at the UN or trying to 'convince' Turkey to allow US troops to invade Iraq from their territory. I call it blackmailing and bribing, how do you call it... clever policy ??
                      You think that's something, you should have seen how we pulled together the first Coalition. America is use to buying votes at the UN and elsewhere. We in the US knew how much UN support would cost. And nations are use to demanding and accepting bribes. No one complained in 1991, when the US retaliated against Jordan by cutting vitally needed aid. (It was not a bad thing necessarily for it helped push King Hussein closer to peace with Israel.)

                      The price for a resolution supporting the war on Iraq was very expensive, around $100 billion dollars over a six year period. And that was just for the nod. Bush figured UN support was not worth the cost, and refused to make any deal with the major powers. France, Germany, and Russia didn't see it as a total lost because because everyone knew Bush would require support from the UN at some point.

                      Besides, why are complaining about Blackmail. Partly because Germany did not support the war, we are packing our bags and moving eastward. While local businesses near bases to be closed will suffer, over all Bush is punishing your country by saving a billion dollars per year and giving you back land after "WE" pay for cleanup. (I guess Bush figured you guys loose hours of sleep and develop ulcers from tackling the difficult task of figuring out what to do with the savings. )

                      (For the record, I do hope Bush's decision to shift bases Eastward were driven by a change in our policy situation. I thought repositioning forces after the Cold War was important. However, bases in Germany appear to me to be closer to expected hotspots, and are already paid for.)
                      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                      Comment

                      Latest Topics

                      Collapse

                      Working...
                      X