DeltaSFO
Topic Author
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Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 3:54 pm

I'm wondering how other American users here feel about the great number of our friends here from other countries telling us in such strong terms how it is in our best interests to unseat George W. Bush, in favor of John Kerry.

Does that bother anybody?

While I don't care one bit how foreigners think I should vote, I don't lose any sleep over the constant criticism and name calling here--although in the case of a lot of them, I'm glad their say is limited to telling us what they think, as opposed to being able to vote!

But it seems to me that if I were to tell some people that the leader of their country is a "nutjob," to borrow an expression I saw a European member use earlier today, I would be sharply rebuked as an American sticking his nose in another country's business.

Maybe this speaks to a bigger issue, which is that the 100 million or so Americans who vote in a U.S. presidential election have a disproportionate amount of influence in determining the direction of the world for the next four years, so powerful is the U.S. Presidency. Some people seem to feel that because of that, we should listen to what the rest of the world says and take that into account when we choose our President.

What are your thoughts?
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
cfalk
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:21 pm

I speak as a dual-national, Swiss-American (who will be voting in November)

Foreign Opinion should be a consideration, but not an overriding one.

The #1 job requirement of the government of the United States is to look after the interests of the United States. Sometimes those interests will run counter to the interests of other nations. Jacques Chirac, for example, has said in the past that he does not wish America to be the lone superpower in the world. When U.S. interests conflict with those of other nations, it is the duty of the U.S. government to seek the best solution for the U.S. - all other conditions are secondary.

Clearly, there are some things that can best be achieved through alliances, and the government should pursue those alliances as long as the purpose of those alliances is for a benefit for the U.S.. If the cost of maintaining the alliance is greater than the actual benefit that you gain from it, then the alliance must be put on hold.

It is utterly meaningless, therefore, whether foreign opinion is for or against the U.S. government. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, nor in U.S. Law, does it say that the U.S. government must be friends with foreign countries.

All other countries in the world are dictated by self-interest. The U.S. should be the same. As it happens, however, in the same way as Adam Smith's (Wealth of Nations said that in a society where everyone is ruled by self-interest, people will find that working together can bring greater benefits (synergy), nations will often find a collective benefit in an alliance (win-win). But the alliance serves the participants' self-interest, and as soon as it becomes a win-lose relationship, because one side demands something that the other side finds disadvantagious, the alliance MUST fall.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
9A-CRO
Crew
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:32 pm

As America is one remaining superpower it is of concern of other nations will the person with a nuclear launch codes be utter idiot or someone intelligent.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward...
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:42 pm


our friends here from other countries telling us in such strong terms how it is in our best interests to unseat George W. Bush, in favor of John Kerry.

Not all! I certainly dont want GWB to be unseated and would hope that he cheats his way to another victory! The dodos continued presences as Americas head honcho is beneficial to a lot of other countries including mine!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Plus the Iraqi freedom struggle should hit a high point around MArch next year, and it shouldnt happen that somebody else is left to clean up a mess that GWB and his cronies created! GWB must pay for his own crimes.

-Roy
 
RT514
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:48 pm

I'm wondering how other American users here feel about the great number of our friends here from other countries telling us in such strong terms how it is in our best interests to unseat George W. Bush, in favor of John Kerry.
Does that bother anybody?


That's easy. Bush supporters would be more bothered by it, Kerry supporters less so.


While I don't care one bit how foreigners think I should vote, I don't lose any sleep over the constant criticism and name calling here--although in the case of a lot of them, I'm glad their say is limited to telling us what they think, as opposed to being able to vote!

It must have bothered you enough to post a thread on the subject!  Laugh out loud

Due to my ties, I have a great interest in the politics of three countries. Comments from foreigners and citizens alike have value but certainly not to the point where it would be an ultimate deciding factor for my vote. I know that my vote is ultimately cast based on my own decision. Besides, you will find just as strong words bashing Bush or Kerry on this site as you would in any American newspaper anyway, so why not supplement it with foreign opinion as well? If you're interested in politics, you won't find that there is "too much" information and opinion out there.

I also don't think that it is really a "foreign opinion/domestic opinion" issue anyway. There are some US citizens who will vote who are clueless and foreigners who can't vote who are enlightened and knowledgeable to the fullest. It's usually rather easy to distinguish valid opinion from meaningless garbage, regardless of nationality.

 
solarix
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:58 pm

Plus the Iraqi freedom struggle should hit a high point around MArch next year

You call Sharia Law freedom?  Insane
Bong Hits 4 Jesus
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 6:49 pm

Hey - here's a foreign opinion for you: I don't care because I think whichever guy gets in - not much will change!

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
gkirk
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 6:59 pm

Sooner its over, the better.
Personally, I hope Bush stays in
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IndianGuy
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:27 pm


You call Sharia Law freedom?

That is for the Iraqi's to decide. Freedom means an IRaq ruled by Iraqis, chosen by Iraqis and a sovereign government that takes decisions keeping Iraqi interests in mind. A puppet regime that controls Iraq by proxy for America is not Freedom. It is slavery.

 
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BNE
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:08 pm

Sooner its over, the better. Exactly, and you people in the US have got to put up with the crap more than we do, enjoy the circus.

I would hope that John Kerry gets in. GWB has done what his father set out to do, get rid of Saddam Hussien.

Hope the voters of West Palm Beach at least take a look at the how to vote card this time.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
Qb001
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:18 pm

Here's the flaw in the reasoning of this thread starter. The US WANTS to be considered the leader of the free world. Well, then, a US President must demonstrate the wisdom required to be such a leader. And that's where GWB failed big time.

Personally, I tend to agree that foreigners should not be involved too much in the US elections and, as such, I don't think I've expressed too many opinions in the ongoing, countless Bush VS Kerry threads.

And for that exact reason, I'm a strong believer in the rise of another world power, to counter-balance the US, and I hope this power will be a unified Europe. GWB has demonstrated at large that an unwise US president is a very dangerous man.

So, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you don't want foreigners to stick their nose in your business, you'll have to accept the fact that foreigners will not recognize the US as the world leader.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
Klaus
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:10 pm

One of the slogans that drove the birth of the USA was "No taxation without representation!"

And the same principle is still true.

So if you´re dumping your waste in other people´s front yards and insult and abuse them, they have every right to take an interest. Normally, international law should prevent the kinds of transgressions we´ve seen in the past four years. But it seems international law needs new champions. The USA is not among them any more.


By the way, Cfalk, if you´re known to be shortsighted and selfish, you simply will find fewer and fewer people who would want to enter any kind of alliance with you. And you will find growing opposition at every turn. If you believe that´s a way to go, you´re deluding yourself.
 
steve7e7
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:12 am

Personally, I hope Bush stays in

Me too,better the devil we know in my opinion.
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:19 am

I do not get why people from other coutries try to criticize our president when they dont live here. We are not talking about German or French government.
 
777236ER
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:20 am

I do not get why people from other coutries try to criticize our president when they dont live here

Maybe because it effects them too?

We are not talking about German or French government.

I bet you think that's a good thing don't you?

As for DeltaSFO, you don't care, but you care enough to start a thread about it? Sure.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
whitehatter
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:32 am

Foreign opinions are sometimes worth reading as you can get an outsiders view, rather than what is being reflected back off the inside of the fish bowl.

Personally I like debating the points and issues, but wouldn't go as far as endorsing a candidate. That to me isn't acceptable as I am not a voter.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:37 am

Foreign media is even more liberal than here so you dont get a fair view there. If they would portray Bush fairly it would be a different story. It seems like the only intelligent international person on this website is luisca.
 
777236ER
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:44 am

It seems like the only intelligent international person on this website is luisca.

There goes your credibility.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:55 am

While I don't care one bit how foreigners think I should vote

Actually, I'd take it a step further:
do the opposite, and for good reason....




I'm glad their say is limited to telling us what they think, as opposed to being able to vote!

Agreed.



it is of concern of other nations will the person with a nuclear launch codes be utter idiot or someone intelligent.

Ah yes... the USA's (ya know, the world's only nation with a nuclear arsenal) President can just press a button any time he feels compelled, and singlehandedly blow away any target in a hail of atomic holocaust  Insane  Yeah sure
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
iakobos
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:59 am

Well ConcordeBoy, there are 17,000 fresh deads that can witness !
You need more of course to consider considering...
 
B747-437B
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:59 am

The dodos continued presences as Americas head honcho is beneficial to a lot of other countries including mine!

This is one occasion where I must concur with Roy. The people suffering the most as a result of George Bush's poor leadership are the American people. It is business as usual for the rest of the world, and in many cases such as India, business better than usual thanks to being able to step in where the US has fallen.

If the American people want to spend another 4 years pursuing wars (justified or otherwise), living in a constant state of fear (justified or otherwise) and watching their great-grandchildren's paycheck pawned off for deficit spending (justified or otherwise), then democracy gives them the right to choose that option.

John Kerry will probably be a poor leader judging by his performance on many issues to date. George Bush is a proven poor leader judging by the mess he has created over four years. It is truly the choice of the lesser evil. I don't envy the choice you guys have to make.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
BarfBag
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:16 am

I would prefer to see Bush being re-elected. The Indo-US business relationship has generally flourished under his administration. Besides the potential for a more protectionist US business policy under Kerry, another matter that leads me to hope Bush will be around till 2008 is the fact that the last Democrat in the Oval Office led a nuclear non-proliferation policy that was hopelessly misdirected - focussing primarily on India when recent events have proved that the problem of proliferation lay elsewhere.

We WILL build a full strategic thermonuclear deterrent capability - including road/rail mobile ICBMs and SLBMs within this decade - whether anyone likes it or not. We'd also like it if we were left alone to do it without assorted nonproliferation ayatollahs bawling about it incessantly. With the potential for people like (shudder) Madeleine Albright in a Kerry-led administration, I'm certainly not enthusiastic about the possibility of the Democrats returning to power. On the same token, it would be nice if Bush jettisoned Colin Powell (and maybe Rice as well). The guy and the State Dept have been a source of continuous irritation in the Indian Government thanks to their carte blanche policy to the military thug who runs the show in Pakistan.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:21 am

There goes your credibility.

What credibility?

Bushcheney is a soundbite parrot, repeating cribsheet bilge and without any kind of backup or explanation of his weird one-line posts. Typical one sentence crap from someone who has to be "given" their opinions.

Maybe if the US media was a little bit more receptive to journalism from outside the US then some pretty incisive and non-partisan stuff would make it into print or broadcast. But then again that doesn't fit the "script" that the soundbite parrots of whatever political complexion constantly screech.

God forbid a real debate should break out... Insane...

Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
RT514
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:34 am

Foreign media is even more liberal than here so you dont get a fair view there.

LOL! Thanks for the laugh!
Seriously, though... A generalized statement like that only shows you to be not well-traveled or well acquainted with media other than your own. There's some pretty far right-wing media out there in lands everywhere... enough to even make the staunchest conservative blush!


If they would portray Bush fairly it would be a different story.

What is "fair"? It would seem that "fair" in this case means more congruent with the belief you have formulated.
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:38 am

RT514, some examples please.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:18 am

Your, Bushcheney2004, post was full of accusations so YOU should be the one who provides some examples.
I support the right to arm bears
 
RT514
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:34 am

RT514, some examples please.

Much obliged.
While living in Australia, I read "The Australian" almost on a daily basis. http://www.theaustralian.com.au
Currently, I read the Globe and Mail http://www.globeandmail.com and usually tune into CTV http://www.ctv.ca, CNN, and I also read the Colorado Springs Gazette online. http://www.gazette.com
I provide links because I invite you to check them out. There, you will find that regardless of nationality, there is largely no marked difference in "liberal" or "conservative" slant between each of them. I guarantee it.

As for the more far-fetched right-wing examples...
Although I haven't viewed the news sources personally, I know people who have immigrated from countries of far right-wing influence such as Nepal and Bhutan. I'm told that state television is skewed beyond belief... and very far on the right side as well (virtually to a fascist degree).

What I think many don't really realize is that there is very little correlation between a media source's "fairness" in relation to where it sits on the political spectrum.

Now let's see your examples, BushCheney 2004, please.

[Edited 2004-09-04 21:36:56]

[Edited 2004-09-04 21:38:30]
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:51 am

NoUFO, examples of what?
 
sv7887
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:11 am

Hi All,
The American press is pathetically biased. Fair and Balanced? Please, I'll stick to the BBC. The press seems to think the world revolves around the USA..I bet that arrogance (or is Ignorance?) is what made them think they're immune to terrorist attacks..

To address the question, "Why should we care about Foreign opinion?"
Simple: You need a global coalition on Terror if you're going to get anything done..After thumbing their nose at Europe, Bush and CO are now asking for their help in Iraq. Terror is a global problem, not just an American one.

You also might want to consider the economic implications of pissing off the entire world in today's Globalized economy. America is becoming heavily dependant on outsourcing, so you might want to keep in the world's good graces. I'd love to see what would happen to the US economy if India suddenly kicked out American companies. With the US becoming more dependant on foreign workers for Engineering and other science based industries, think twice before you alienate others. (Go check US students scores on international exams if you don't believe me)

Just as the American press is quick to criticize France, the world is entitled to critique America. It's called Free Speech, so deal with it. I can't believe the ignorance of my fellow countrymen, it's really sad.

SV
 
NoUFO
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:37 am

Bushcheney2004, is that really so hard to grasp? You wrote that if media outside of the US would only portray Bush fairly it would be a different story. Please provide examples of those reports that portray Bush unfairly. By the way: Can you read french, german, italian or at least spanish? What reports are you talking 'bout?

Then you have said It seems like the only intelligent international person on this website is luisca.
Could you please provide examples to proof that an agreement with your positions indicates intelligence?
Besides, what is an "international person"?
I support the right to arm bears
 
iakobos
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:51 am

The media is representative of the population.
There are as many components in the media as there are in the political spectrum of the population, at least in countries which benefit from free expression.

They feed our eyes and imagination with their images, relations, reports, comments and analysis.
They do this exactly like everyone else would do, that is they convey their vision of things through their sensitivities.
They are not meant to be fair in the real sense of the word.

Taking a single media source content at face value is pretty similar to closing one eye while driving a fast car.
Fairness does not emanate from the media, it grows up in every reader/viewer's (supposedly open) mind through a necessarily slow process involving comparative analysis, preferably in a psychological environment devoid of preconceptions.

Like in statistics, the more inputs one can get, the richer the data base for further analysis.
In most Europeans countries (not exclusive of course), people have the chance to have a very broad spectrum of information, both in terms of sources and in terms of sensitivities.
It usually ranges from the extreme left to the extreme right.
One who makes the effort to use this panoramic opportunity has all that is needed to form himself a reasoned personal opinion on facts and events.
What his opinion will be is of course a personal matter, though it is not daring to say that a majority will end up advocating centric views.

The US of A does not have that opportunity. Its political world is (mainly) split in two forces only. The REP which ranges from right to extreme right, and the DEM which fills the center right to right. Nothing else is offered or so little.

So, when US friends note that many of us are leftists, liberals, socialists, (they fall just short of throwing communists, though they dont know what it is) they are correct because we fall left from everything they know.

I guess that a general acceptation of fairness would be, the broader the political spectrum of the population, the best you are likely to form a fair opinion.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:03 am

Clearly, there are some things that can best be achieved through alliances, and the government should pursue those alliances as long as the purpose of those alliances is for a benefit for the U.S..

True. Although I thought that alliances are made for more noble and universal purposes reaching over the 4-year election term of any politician. But if this is the view of the US, then why do you blame Germany/France for not getting involved in Iraq? Their government has equally legitimate right that doing so may not be a beneficial for them.

The US WANTS to be considered the leader of the free world. Well, then, a US President must demonstrate the wisdom required to be such a leader.

The fact that the US was left as the only superpower means that its president will get far greater attention than Swiss president or Japanese prime minister. And due to global impact of the presidency people feel the need to voice their opinion about the US president since it affects them one way or another. One example for all: Since GWB's (anti)environmental policies are motivated purely by selfish interests of 250 million and give the impression that he perhaps thinks that there will be no tommorow and that the US is on Earth alone. A
If fellow republicans wonder wonder why is Bush so hated both at home and abroad, try one thing. Reread newspapers and replay tv news from post September 11 and in case you've forgot you will see how the whole civilized world supported and rallied behind the US and Bush as its president. How did he manage to completely waste this "sympathy capital" and even did a great job turning it into hatred is a sad proof of his lack of leadership and diplomatic skills.

Foreign media is even more liberal than here so you dont get a fair view there.

Yeah, blame the media! It's his actions and policies that speak for himself.

[Edited 2004-09-04 23:05:29]
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:06 am

NoUFO, yes I can read German and Spainish. I speak both fluently, thanks for the question. I go to Germany every year for a month and watch Tv with the German Press portraying Bush so badly. By an international person I mean someone not from the U.S, because this is predominantley American.
 
cfalk
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:12 am

Foreign media is even more liberal than here so you dont get a fair view there.

Yeah, blame the media! It's his actions and policies that speak for himself.


I was reading the "Tribune de Geneve" this morning, Geneva's largest paper. It's articles about the U.S. election were 100% pulled from Kerry campaign claims and spin. Absolute propoganda, misleading and sometimes wrong in many places. No opposing point of view, and clearly painting Kerry as a noble warrior against a neofascist idiot. And this was NOT in the editorial pages - this was supposedly the news!

I think American papers generally do a much better job of segregating news and editorials. Not perfect mind you, but better.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:17 am

And what exactly is it that cracks you up, what did they say you consider unfair?
Furthermore, please keep in mind that you have your opinions and that a report or a comment slightly left from your position could still be considered conservative.

This side is Swedish if not international, rerardless of the number of Americans.
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iakobos
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:23 am

Cfalk,
You must have missed a thing or two.
Expecting one single source of information to be fair is expecting it to make the analysis for you. There is no such source in the world.
They are people hired to convey information as THEY see it, not as you wish you would read it.
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:31 am

NoUFO, I said this site is PREDOMININTELY American. I did not say it is not Swedish.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:51 am

Yeah, I know, I know ... predominatly American ... you Americans are getting used to predominate foreign areas, don't you?  Big grin

Seriously: You provided an evasive response to say the least.
Still no examples, but to help you out and since you can read german: What, in you opinion, is wrong with this report:
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/ausland/schwerpunkt/845/24821/1/

Edit: Fixed link

[Edited 2004-09-04 23:55:18]
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iakobos
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:59 am

...perhaps "die rote elefant", or "politik ist der neue sex" ? (LOL)
 
Guest

RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:03 am

It sais he lost a lot of credibility because of the weapons of mass destruction, which is not true because he only acted on false inteligence
 
NoUFO
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:42 am

More precisely, the report (or the beginning) says Bush's undisputed within his party but recently lost a lot of credibility within the population due to the lack of WMD and and the torture of prisoners in Iraq.

I think this is an accurate appraisal and not so much an opinion of the author.
He basically describes the actual situation against the background of the election campaign. It doesn't matter whether or not those people who lost their faith in the President are right.

he only acted on false inteligence He still says it was right to invade Iraq - false intelligence or not. But that doesn't belonge here.
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NoUFO
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:50 am

Closer to the original topic: I think it's fine if non-Americans share their opinions on the candidates. It, however, shouldn't happen that i.e. Europeans (or Britons  Big grin ) don't show respect for the outcome of the election.

I won't be thrilled if Bush gets reelected, but I sure as hell won't call this American majority (or thin minority) stupid.
I support the right to arm bears
 
Russophile
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RE: Foreign Opinions On U.S. Elections

Sun Sep 05, 2004 10:40 am

I really could care less about the US elections. Because whoever wins, it is likely to be the same old same old.

But after the other night, I am 120% incensed at Bush.

I was watching BBC World, keeping a close eye on what had been happening in Beslan. There was a commercial break, and I switched it over to CNN, and there was Bush, giving his speak at the rally in New York. And I caught the speech at precisely the right time. He was talking about having a positive plan for making a safer world.

I wonder if Bush had any clue of what was unfolding in Russia at that time?

If he has been, and is, serious about building a safer world, why did Bush (or direct representatives of his government):

1) invite Ilyas Akhmadov, a Chechen terrorist, to the US on an official visit in March 2001 where he was given an audience at the US State Department?
2) continue to give military aid to the Georgian government of Shevardnadze, even thought Shevardnadze allowed Chechen terrorists to maintain an office in Tbilisi?
3) threaten Russia (the US State Department called it 'urging them'), when Russia said they would send their own troops into the Pankisi Gorge, because of the total lack of co-operation from Shevardnadze in ridding the area of terrorist bases and training camps? The US was worried that this would harm Georgian sovereignty, and would seriously weaken Shevardnadze's hold on power in the country (don't want to harm the puppet). Sidenote: To this day, the Pankisi is still suspected of harbouring Chechens. The official line is that the terrorists have been kicked out, and that all training camps have been demolished; however, people (mainly journos) who travelled to the area were warned about venturing into the Gorge area by local Georgian military officials who cited that the area is still unsafe. Flies in the face of the line out of Tbilisi.
4) continually tell Russia to seek a dialogue with Chechen terrorists, which when it was done, was met by various Chechen factions with bombings of various public places in various Russian cities and towns? The US insists that the Russians should be seeking dialogue with Maskhadov, as he is, in the words of the US State Department, 'respected', although there is tape evidence that Maskhadov either knew of the hostage drama at the Nord-Ost theatre in Moscow in advance, or approved the actions personally.
5) ignore repeated requests by RF government to declare Chechen groups as terrorist groups, and to seize US assets of these groups? It wasn't until August 2003, that Basayev (behind recent attacks) was listed as a terrorist.
6) in August 2004, give a Chechen terrorist political asylum in the US?

The list can go on and on.

Whilst Vladimir Vladimirovich has questions which he needs to answer, so does Bush. I would like to ask him

How in hell can you seriously say that you have tried to make the world safer, when whilst you spoke these words at your rally, 300+ people were killed in an atrocious way by the exact people you say you want to protect the world from? Are you aware that actions by yourself, or by your own representatives, have created an environment within that region, whereby Russia has not been able to effectively protect their own population from the type of people you want to save the world from? Mr Bush, you said "You are with us, or against us", can you explain this to me? Does it mean that you have to be with 'us' only when the terrorism is directed at your country, whilst you chose not to be with others, but rather go against them, when fighting terrorism within their borders?

I lost all respect on the 'war on terror' within days of him making those comments, when the US State Department continued the same line with the Russians in regards to Chechnya.

I doubt it would be any different under Kerry. But Bush's comments the other night defied belief.

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