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    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Good luck, and when you stay in germany, belgium is nearby... so come and visit flanders fields too!

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    edz61 said:
    So becareful, Americans are not liked much in Germany or France.



    I beg to differ: not all Germans are like that and even in France there are lots of french people who actually like Americans. It is no secret that although I think that what the Bush government did after 9/11 was right and justified up to a certain point, I still think that lots of things have been handled poorly, without brains and not very smart.
    If you want to have support from friends, you can't just ignore what they tell you. If you want to get your friends to help you, you have to be patient and work on convincing them. The whole stuff after 9/11 was a diplomatic nightmare for the US, they offended so many countries and friends and what is even worse: the media worldwide has found a common "enemy": Bush. Of course this is stupid since Bush is just part of the government, even if he is the president. But it is very sad and it should give the US government food for thought if people worldwide actually view the current US government worse than the dictatorship of Fidel Castro or other totalitarian regimes, like the one in China or even North Korea.
    If the Bush government would be a company, it would go bankrupt after that "marketing desaster".

    I always was pro-USA and I'll always be. But even I have had my doubts, especially after the "official" fighting ended in Iraq. I asked myself: how could the Americans be THAT dumb not to think about a massive police force, a massive medical support for the population and of course food, goods, etc. What happened? People started looting and the US soldiers were just watching them. Pathetic.
    Also "funny": the first "free" TV station for the Iraqi people with news, etc. was actually transmitted from IRAN. Why didn't the US forces set up a TV and Radio station the second day they finished the "official" fighting? People were using satellite receivers to get their news from Al Jazeera instead. Clever move from the US. Why didn't they supply the population immediately with newspapers, explaining the upcoming changes, also asking them to stay calm. Why didn't the US forces confiscate all those weapons and threaten to shoot ANYBODY who is carrying a weapon in public? Just because a dumb advisor told them that arab men are proud of their weapons?!
    Iraq isn't the US, Iraq isn't Europe. People have a different mentality. And although I know several Iraqis who live here in Germany and although all of them cheered the US army when they invaded Iraq, they now want them out. Too many bad news like torturing prisoners, etc. have put a black spot on the white american "shirt" of freedom.
    And although there are a lot of good and nice things to report from Iraq too, the media worldwide (incl. arab and western media) are only interested in terror attacks and suicide killings. This happens when you (as a government) ignore the press and media completely and make them your enemies. Dumb move again.

    So yes, I like the USA a lot and I identify myself with the western values (and I'm sometimes sorry that some arab friends misunderstand these values) but I wish the USA would get presidents, senators and military who are a little bit more open minded and who know how to win people's hearts not only fights. Speaking of propaganda, the USA has the WORSE propaganda machine I ever encountered. They should definetely take lessons from the Russians.

    And now let's stop with politics. I know that those who are against Bush, will not like what I said. And I also know that those who "adore" Bush, didn't like what I said. But I think that working for several years in the diplomatic service and having met dozends of different nationalities, I know what I'm talking about.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Obviously you're not getting early to bed either (like me) -TT-rumors might keep you away from sleeping

    RE poltics: I couldn't have said it better - exactly my opinion what you have explained in your post (I don't like Bush's approach like: either you are unconditionally with us or you are our enemy). I like US-people a lot and during my frequent visits to the US (unfortunately most just for business rather than pure fun) I always have very much appreciated the warm and respectful attitude of most people. BUT: to me a good friend is only a real good friend, if he tells me now and then where he would disagree helping myself to rethink my own views.

    Anyway, I'm sure Matt will experience a very warm welcome over here (actually I don't know one single anti-US guy amongst my friends) and of course there is no need for Matt to refrain from any discussion about politics. He just should make sure beforehand, that he's talking to a normal nice guy (i.e. P-car enthusiast ) rather than to some primitive folks with a belly full of beer at an ugly pub (I guess not Matt's favourite place).

    Perhaps we just should swap the topic in order to further encourage Matt: how about german girls

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    RC, Before the invasion of Iraq, There were no public government condemnations from Germany or France for Iraqs very public financial involvement with Arab suicide bombers blowing up civilians in Israel.

    So maybe its hard to believe that those governments, and their leaders, and key top officials who had a personal history of public animus towards the US before 911, and their own expressed desire to set up a third political pole, would ever have agreed to materially support the US in any Iraqi military action.

    It was pretty much the US and English aircraft flying over Iraq before the war to enforce the no fly zones,and France, Russia and Germany trying to get us to remove that and the embargo while Hussein was still paying to kill Israelis.

    And Hussein did a good job of bad PR about WMD inspections in Iraq. Maybe to impress his neighbors, maybe to thumb his nose at the US, maybe for being pissed off about his failed assasination attempt on Bush Sr. Whatever. He hardly set a positive tone and stupidly did all he could do to bait the US in.

    So with the Taliban quickly ousted in Kabul, and Iran and Iraqs open hostility to the US, guess who was going to get removed next in the exigency of the post 911 war on terror? Puerto Rico? Easier to quickly remove the Iraqi government than the Iranian one.

    Naivete, errors and inadequecies in US occupation planning? Yes. We basically dont do that well. The US Army isnt the smartest at that. But I didnt see any offers of German or French Army Divisions for military occupation duty for Iraq either. For all of their chest beating indignant outrage, where was their large offer to show the US and the UK just how to do that right?

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Jim,

    It's because hindsight is 20/20. And it's so easy to be moral when you're sleeping . Fact is, several countries bet on the wrong horse.

    It's amazing that it appears to mean little or nothing to many that over 50 million souls no longer live with the boot of tyranny in their face.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Richard,

    Not only did they bet on the wrong horse, they also like to poke it in the eye and throw rocks at it.

    What next with Iran? Extremist Mullahs with their hands on nuclear armed missiles pointed at Europe is likely by this summer 06.

    What European country has the area force presence and the specialized ordnance to deal with that? Germany? France? Did they have the vision to plan ahead for that? No. Did they have the temerity to ostracize the US for that, yes. Tunnel vision has its benefits if you have someone else to do the dirty work and can make internal political points from it.

    Its ok, we still love Europe anyway.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Jim,

    Of course we do!

    Most folks recognize the threat! Others seem to be more interested in scoring political points and trying to bring the President down- at any cost. And some just seem to have a very short memory.

    Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas everyone! Take care!


    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    RC said:
    Quote:
    edz61 said:
    So becareful, Americans are not liked much in Germany or France.



    I beg to differ: not all Germans are like that and even in France there are lots of french people who actually like Americans. It is no secret that although I think that what the Bush government did after 9/11 was right and justified up to a certain point, I still think that lots of things have been handled poorly, without brains and not very smart.
    If you want to have support from friends, you can't just ignore what they tell you. If you want to get your friends to help you, you have to be patient and work on convincing them. The whole stuff after 9/11 was a diplomatic nightmare for the US, they offended so many countries and friends and what is even worse: the media worldwide has found a common "enemy": Bush. Of course this is stupid since Bush is just part of the government, even if he is the president. But it is very sad and it should give the US government food for thought if people worldwide actually view the current US government worse than the dictatorship of Fidel Castro or other totalitarian regimes, like the one in China or even North Korea.
    If the Bush government would be a company, it would go bankrupt after that "marketing desaster".

    I always was pro-USA and I'll always be. But even I have had my doubts, especially after the "official" fighting ended in Iraq. I asked myself: how could the Americans be THAT dumb not to think about a massive police force, a massive medical support for the population and of course food, goods, etc. What happened? People started looting and the US soldiers were just watching them. Pathetic.
    Also "funny": the first "free" TV station for the Iraqi people with news, etc. was actually transmitted from IRAN. Why didn't the US forces set up a TV and Radio station the second day they finished the "official" fighting? People were using satellite receivers to get their news from Al Jazeera instead. Clever move from the US. Why didn't they supply the population immediately with newspapers, explaining the upcoming changes, also asking them to stay calm. Why didn't the US forces confiscate all those weapons and threaten to shoot ANYBODY who is carrying a weapon in public? Just because a dumb advisor told them that arab men are proud of their weapons?!
    Iraq isn't the US, Iraq isn't Europe. People have a different mentality. And although I know several Iraqis who live here in Germany and although all of them cheered the US army when they invaded Iraq, they now want them out. Too many bad news like torturing prisoners, etc. have put a black spot on the white american "shirt" of freedom.
    And although there are a lot of good and nice things to report from Iraq too, the media worldwide (incl. arab and western media) are only interested in terror attacks and suicide killings. This happens when you (as a government) ignore the press and media completely and make them your enemies. Dumb move again.

    So yes, I like the USA a lot and I identify myself with the western values (and I'm sometimes sorry that some arab friends misunderstand these values) but I wish the USA would get presidents, senators and military who are a little bit more open minded and who know how to win people's hearts not only fights. Speaking of propaganda, the USA has the WORSE propaganda machine I ever encountered. They should definetely take lessons from the Russians.

    And now let's stop with politics. I know that those who are against Bush, will not like what I said. And I also know that those who "adore" Bush, didn't like what I said. But I think that working for several years in the diplomatic service and having met dozends of different nationalities, I know what I'm talking about.



    RC,

    The US has a huge propaganda/PR, what ever you want to call it, machine rolling in the Middle East. We get every thing that the US viewer gets like CBS, CNBC, CNN, Fox just to name few of them and we even get chanels geared specificaly toward the Middle East like CNBC Arabia, Alhura, Alhura-Iraq among others. So if the US is loosing the Propaganda war its not because of lack of trying. The real reason for the US propaganda Debacle is that its NOT practicing what its preaching in the ME.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    JimFlat6 said:
    RC, Before the invasion of Iraq, There were no public government condemnations from Germany or France for Iraqs very public financial involvement with Arab suicide bombers blowing up civilians in Israel.

    So maybe its hard to believe that those governments, and their leaders, and key top officials who had a personal history of public animus towards the US before 911, and their own expressed desire to set up a third political pole, would ever have agreed to materially support the US in any Iraqi military action.

    It was pretty much the US and English aircraft flying over Iraq before the war to enforce the no fly zones,and France, Russia and Germany trying to get us to remove that and the embargo while Hussein was still paying to kill Israelis.

    And Hussein did a good job of bad PR about WMD inspections in Iraq. Maybe to impress his neighbors, maybe to thumb his nose at the US, maybe for being pissed off about his failed assasination attempt on Bush Sr. Whatever. He hardly set a positive tone and stupidly did all he could do to bait the US in.

    So with the Taliban quickly ousted in Kabul, and Iran and Iraqs open hostility to the US, guess who was going to get removed next in the exigency of the post 911 war on terror? Puerto Rico? Easier to quickly remove the Iraqi government than the Iranian one.

    Naivete, errors and inadequecies in US occupation planning? Yes. We basically dont do that well. The US Army isnt the smartest at that. But I didnt see any offers of German or French Army Divisions for military occupation duty for Iraq either. For all of their chest beating indignant outrage, where was their large offer to show the US and the UK just how to do that right?



    May I suggest reading the Iraq Survey Group Report better known as the Duelfer Report.I am sure you will find it very interesting

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    The Duefler report is very interesting but it does not provide the full context.

    Blix's actual effectiveness was overshadowed by Husseins attitude, actions, history, 911and the US and allied forces quick removal of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

    Husseins constant attempts to shoot down allied aircraft enforcing the No Fly Zones that he had agreed to, his previous use of chemical weapons,assasination tries and his funding of Palestinian suicide bombers, all gave some credibility to the bogus intel reports from Husseins opposition about WMD.

    The fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan also made the Iraqi government look like the next most likely country Al Quaida could turn to for overt or tacit support.

    Even after Gulf War 1, the US let Hussein stay in power. How many leaders in modern history got a chance like that? None.

    Hussein until the last day did not believe that the US would invade Iraq. And the US did not believe that his government, military, tribe and clan could organize a effective post war insurgency. And the US planners did not anticipate that the vision for a democratic Iraq would face major insurgent action, internecine fighting and factional squabbling.

    After the US had seized Baghdad, France, Germany and some of the Arab countries could have put their politics aside and said, OK, whats done is done. Lets get involved and provide major political support and operational forces so that Iraq can be stabilized quicker.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    I deduce from your posting that you have not fully read the content of the report. If you read Vol I (Regime Strategic Intent) Page 31 of the report you will see the following paragraph "In 2004, Charles Duelfer of ISG said that between 1994 and 1998, both he and UNSCOM Executive Chairman Rolf Ekeus were approached multiple times by senior Iraqis with the message that Baghdad wanted a dialogue with the United States, and that Iraq was in a position to be Washington's "best friend in the region bar none."". The report also says in the same volum that "Saddam did not consider the United States a natural adversary" and he was hoping to improve its relations with the US. Saddam made some major consations and he even offered to assist in the Arab/Israeli conflict to improve its relations with the US.

    I strongely recomand to read the full report, its real eye opener.

    "After the US had seized Baghdad, France, Germany and some of the Arab countries could have put their politics aside and said, OK, whats done is done. Lets get involved and provide major political support and operational forces so that Iraq can be stabilized quicker."


    The US Disregarded the opinion of Allies and friends on the Iraq issue, so its natural that the US is on its own to solve the problems that have been created by its actions.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    I was reading this debate with great interest but, some things said are strange to me... I agree with RC to some point and I also think that Saddam's Iraq was disaster...
    Since I am a lawyer with PhD in International law I can tell that several things that USA did was clear breakin of some International Laws. Guantanamo Bay prisons for example.
    If this prisoners are truly dangerous for USA(or any other country) put them to trail(I love USA legal system!) in USA and after fair trail sentence them to prison(or death). But, do not keep them in some allmost ilegal prison for infinite time!
    Iraq is the country with excellent natural resources(read OIL) and IMO this was a major reason for USA military intervention. I also belive that some western leaders should learn a lot about Islam as a religion and as a culture. Some of our precious western values do not work there... Models of western democratic systems can not be applied to Islamic countries without big modifications to that systems... Look at Turkey right now- they started negotiations together with my country(Croatia) to join EU but, who will join first? In Croatia we get signs from EU commision that 2008 is the time to join... And Turkey??
    I also receive an emial from my friend who is in US Military and is in Iraq at the moment(he was an official US advisor to Croatian Army before...) and his enthusiasm about US involvment is droping rapidly! He literally said "we need to end this quickly or we could stay here for another decade!".
    And gents there are again IMO some other countries that are more dangerous to our western values then Iraq or any other Islamic coutry...
    BTW, Merry Christmas and happy holidays with best wishes in new year!
    Branimir

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Congratulations Matt, I think this is a great opportunity not given to many people, Enjoy!!!!

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Sorry Matt I jumped into the political debate and I forgot to congratulate you, so congratulation, have fun and Merry Chrismas and Happy New Year to all of you .

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    Branimir said:
    I also belive that some western leaders should learn a lot about Islam as a religion and as a culture. Some of our precious western values do not work there... Models of western democratic systems can not be applied to Islamic countries without big modifications to that systems... Look at Turkey right now- they started negotiations together with my country(Croatia) to join EU but, who will join first? In Croatia we get signs from EU commision that 2008 is the time to join... And Turkey??
    I also receive an emial from my friend who is in US Military and is in Iraq at the moment(he was an official US advisor to Croatian Army before...) and his enthusiasm about US involvment is droping rapidly! He literally said "we need to end this quickly or we could stay here for another decade!".




    This is true. And we shouldn't always to try to "bring them" our lifestyle and democracy beliefs, I think especially the oil rich middle eastern countries managed pretty good without our advice so far.
    I have many friends in the region and none of them is an enemy of the US or the western lifestyle. On the contrary, the love US movies, they love western music, they love women (like we all do... ), they love fast cars and beautiful things. None of them would ever harm an American. But they have their own culture, their own politics and their own pride and religion. If the US wants to win the hearts of the arab people, they should have worked on it seriously. You can't put a gun at his head and tell him "either you're with me or against me", this doesn't work. The arab world is about talking, argueing, deception, friendship, trust, distrust, religion, hypocracy, pride, manhood and many other things.
    I also don't understand why the US for example has a female as secretary of foreign affairs. Mrs. Rice is NOT good for this job, especially when you have to deal with islamic states. Or can you ever imagine a woman to travel to Iran and conduct political talks with the Ajatollahs? I can't.

    So as much as we love our western culture, we have to adapt to other cultures too. This doesn't mean that we have to allow other cultures to destroy our culture. But with a little bit of understanding and tolerance and friendship, a lot of things could be achieved. Using the "friend or foe" strategy doesn't really work, not even in Europe.

    And if the US can do everything alone, I wonder why there are soldiers, police forces and specialists from other countries helping them in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Cap Horn, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc.? A little advice for US politicians: we love what the US did during WW1/WW2 and the former Warsaw Pact and all those changes throughout the world. But you have to understand that it is in your own interest to make friends and KEEP friends.
    And you also have to learn to use PROPAGANDA for your own purpose. Torture news: bad propaganda. Guantanamo: bad propaganda. NSA spying on own citizens: bad propaganda. Vice president indirectly involved with largest military supplier: bad propaganda. You HAVE to adapt to arab mentality if you want to win the hearts and souls of the people there. President Bush speaking of a "holy mission" against evil with the help of god: bad propaganda.

    C'mon, guys: you did a great job after WW2 in Europe, why is it so difficult to try to learn that walking with heavy boots over your friends' feelings won't get you far?

    Look at Iran now: the Persians are even giving the Europeans a hard time. But the fact that they're still into talking means that they actually want something. Arabs and Persians love to do business, they love to make a deal. And if they get the feeling they made a good deal, the better.
    So let's just sit there and talk and talk and do business because in the end, the only solution would be more killings.

    If Arabs in the middle east start to understand that the US is NOT their enemy, things will change. But this won't happen if Al Jazeera and other media in the region get material from the Americans themselves to keep that hate going on forever. Burning or tearing the Koran: bad propaganda. Letting female soldiers touch prisoners or even guarding them: bad propaganda.

    Enough said, I guess. And to Jim, regarding the german involvement: it was the US who put pressure on Germany not to have a Army anymore which can operate outside Germany. Even the german consitution has been created in this spirit after WW2 with the help of the US. Germany agreed immediately after 9/11 to help the US in Afghanistan. We have a major military force there, even if it is mainly a peace force with the exception of the KSK troops which are actually only on a reconnaissance mission to help the US special forces find their targets.
    We also help out with navy patrols around Cape Horn with ships which actually have never been designed to travel such a distance (some needed an A/C retrofit since they were never designed for operations in warm regions).
    Iraq? Different story. Sorry but the war was started based on false information. And I doubt the Bush government didn't know it. I agree, Saddam had to be removed. But using perception and lying to justify a war? I don't know.
    The whole Israel suicide bombers stuff is crap. Palestinian terrorists are directly or indirectly supported by many arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, a US ally in a way or another. So please don't give me this "justification" because it is simply not true. To stop suicide bombing in Israel, the palestinian authoroties have to take firmer action upon insurgents. But of course it doesn't help a lot if the US invades Iraq at that time and arabs always get the feeling that Israel gets away with everything and they (the Arabs) are always punished. It is a matter of trust and distrust. If the US wants to win the heart of the people in the middle east, they have to take a different approach. And finally, look at the aspects of soldier moral. I doubt that many US soldiers really enjoy what they're doing in Iraq. Why is that? I remember watching the report of a US soldier having an iraqi woman as a girl friend. He wanted to marry her but the US authoroties didn't give permission. This woman was a doctor(!) from a pretty wealthy iraqi family, not a terrorist. Finally, both moved to Jordan to marry there, he resigned his commission but as far as I know they're still there because the woman didn't get permission to enter the US. Just an example of things which stirr up emotions.

    YOU (the US) "invented" the media, advertisement and all this stuff. Why can't you use it in your own advantage in the middle east? And like "Yarub" said: it is one thing to pray something and another thing what your actions are.
    That said, I think the whole US government AND military needs a crash course in diplomacy and cultural "delicacies".
    Keeping a "low profile" sometimes can do wonders, especially in regions where you're not welcomed.

    But let's stop now, it is christmaas or whatever this day means to you, so let us all be friends.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    yarub1 said:
    I deduce from your posting that you have not fully read the content of the report. If you read Vol I (Regime Strategic Intent) Page 31 of the report you will see the following paragraph "In 2004, Charles Duelfer of ISG said that between 1994 and 1998, both he and UNSCOM Executive Chairman Rolf Ekeus were approached multiple times by senior Iraqis with the message that Baghdad wanted a dialogue with the United States, and that Iraq was in a position to be Washington's "best friend in the region bar none."". The report also says in the same volum that "Saddam did not consider the United States a natural adversary" and he was hoping to improve its relations with the US. Saddam made some major consations and he even offered to assist in the Arab/Israeli conflict to improve its relations with the US.

    I strongely recomand to read the full report, its real eye opener.

    "After the US had seized Baghdad, France, Germany and some of the Arab countries could have put their politics aside and said, OK, whats done is done. Lets get involved and provide major political support and operational forces so that Iraq can be stabilized quicker."


    The US Disregarded the opinion of Allies and friends on the Iraq issue, so its natural that the US is on its own to solve the problems that have been created by its actions.



    yarub1,

    Dozens of other countries are helping the US in Iraq!
    And President Bush absolutely did seek the assistance and advice of those who oppose him now. I remember that he bent over backwards, sideways... not only to world leaders but to the opposition party in our country. Try scutinizing those countries motives!

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    RC,

    Hello! The media despises President Bush ( and any other conservative President). Most of the media is in bed with the liberal party in our country. They said the same negative things about President Reagan. Our mainstream media amplifies to the max any negative ( real or fabricated) and suppresses/ censors the positives.

    Sad, that our brave and honorable troops are so nobly helping to get the Iraqi and Afghan people on there feet and you folks want to cite one possibly disgrutled soldier as the norm - amazing. Same goes for the so called torture, and the fabricated Koran story- all intended to make the troops and our President look bad. Where is the context?

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    SVNSVN said:
    yarub1,

    Dozens of other countries are helping the US in Iraq!
    And President Bush absolutely did seek the assistance and advice of those who oppose him now. I remember that he bent over backwards, sideways... not only to world leaders but to the opposition party in our country. Try scutinizing those countries motives!



    I can list the reasons of each contry as to why they are in Iraq. Its either to return a favor to the US or they want something from the US.

    The current administration did not bent backward like you mentioned, it was using the "Telling" approach. A good example is Turkey. That contry refused to give access to its ports to the US due to not "requesting" but "demanding" approach.

    Anyways, its getting late and we should adjourne this discussion till 2006 so you can go and celebrate with your family. Happy Holidays

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    yarub1 said:
    Quote:
    SVNSVN said:
    yarub1,

    Dozens of other countries are helping the US in Iraq!
    And President Bush absolutely did seek the assistance and advice of those who oppose him now. I remember that he bent over backwards, sideways... not only to world leaders but to the opposition party in our country. Try scutinizing those countries motives!



    I can list the reasons of each contry as to why they are in Iraq. Its either to return a favor to the US or they want something from the US.

    The current administration did not bent backward like you mentioned, it was using the "Telling" approach. A good example is Turkey. That contry refused to give access to its ports to the US due to not "requesting" but "demanding" approach.

    Anyways, its getting late and we should adjourne this discussion till 2006 so you can go and celebrate with your family. Happy Holidays



    Agree! Let's agree to disagree!

    Again , Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    This sucks...this topic went from a man being given an oppurtunity to work overseas and possibly in the automotive business to a political forum for those against or with the US and President Bush. Let's put it to rest and just wish Matt luck that he lands a job at Porsche!

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    yarub1 said:
    The current administration did not bent backward like you mentioned, it was using the "Telling" approach. A good example is Turkey. That contry refused to give access to its ports to the US due to not "requesting" but "demanding" approach.



    You mean, all we had to do was ask and we would have gotten access? I remember reading and hearing about all the negotiations that were going on right until the last minute and apparently whatever we were offering was not enough.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    RC said:
    So as much as we love our western culture, we have to adapt to other cultures too. This doesn't mean that we have to allow other cultures to destroy our culture. But with a little bit of understanding and tolerance and friendship, a lot of things could be achieved. Using the "friend or foe" strategy doesn't really work, not even in Europe.



    RC, it works both ways. Both sides should try harder to be friends and stay friends. In all of your posts, 95% talks about how the U.S. needs to try harder. Well, how about BOTH sides trying harder. The same goes for the "either with us or against us" comment. I know it sounds too simplistic but there is actually something there. Can you see it? Actually, the President should have said, "you are either with us, against us, or just don't give a shi$". Where are some of you guys?

    Quote:
    RC said:And if the US can do everything alone, I wonder why there are soldiers, police forces and specialists from other countries helping them in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Cap Horn, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc.? A little advice for US politicians: we love what the US did during WW1/WW2 and the former Warsaw Pact and all those changes throughout the world. But you have to understand that it is in your own interest to make friends and KEEP friends.



    I don't understand. How could we have countries helping us if they aren't our "friends"? Nobody said that the US can do everything on our own. We always appreciate help. It would be nice if the rest of the world worked harder in front and behind the scenes, rather than rely on the US to do everything. Why would we want to do everything by ourselves? That doesn't makes sense, does it?

    Quote:
    RC said:And you also have to learn to use PROPAGANDA for your own purpose. Torture news: bad propaganda. Guantanamo: bad propaganda. NSA spying on own citizens: bad propaganda. Vice president indirectly involved with largest military supplier: bad propaganda. You HAVE to adapt to arab mentality if you want to win the hearts and souls of the people there. President Bush speaking of a "holy mission" against evil with the help of god: bad propaganda.



    What would you suggest us to do? Control all of the media worldwide?

    Quote:
    RC said:C'mon, guys: you did a great job after WW2 in Europe, why is it so difficult to try to learn that walking with heavy boots over your friends' feelings won't get you far?

    Look at Iran now: the Persians are even giving the Europeans a hard time. But the fact that they're still into talking means that they actually want something. Arabs and Persians love to do business, they love to make a deal. And if they get the feeling they made a good deal, the better.
    So let's just sit there and talk and talk and do business because in the end, the only solution would be more killings.



    Maybe stalling for time? That was something we found out was a good tactic, like in Tora Bora and North Korea?

    Quote:
    RC said:If Arabs in the middle east start to understand that the US is NOT their enemy, things will change. But this won't happen if Al Jazeera and other media in the region get material from the Americans themselves to keep that hate going on forever. Burning or tearing the Koran: bad propaganda. Letting female soldiers touch prisoners or even guarding them: bad propaganda.

    Enough said, I guess. And to Jim, regarding the german involvement: it was the US who put pressure on Germany not to have a Army anymore which can operate outside Germany. Even the german consitution has been created in this spirit after WW2 with the help of the US. Germany agreed immediately after 9/11 to help the US in Afghanistan. We have a major military force there, even if it is mainly a peace force with the exception of the KSK troops which are actually only on a reconnaissance mission to help the US special forces find their targets.
    We also help out with navy patrols around Cape Horn with ships which actually have never been designed to travel such a distance (some needed an A/C retrofit since they were never designed for operations in warm regions).
    Iraq? Different story. Sorry but the war was started based on false information. And I doubt the Bush government didn't know it. I agree, Saddam had to be removed. But using perception and lying to justify a war?



    Why weren't countries prior to Mar 2003 stating that Saddam didn't have WMD's. The argument was always, "let the inspections continue". So how can you argue that the US lied? Wouldn't that imply that the rest of the world lied also? Remember the mindset in Mar 2003, and it was reasonable to believe that we thought there were WMD's hidden in Iraq.

    Quote:
    RC said:I don't know.
    The whole Israel suicide bombers stuff is crap. Palestinian terrorists are directly or indirectly supported by many arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, a US ally in a way or another. So please don't give me this "justification" because it is simply not true.



    I agree with you that this alone is not justification. There were many reasons put together that made the decision.

    Quote:
    RC said:YOU (the US) "invented" the media, advertisement and all this stuff. Why can't you use it in your own advantage in the middle east? And like "Yarub" said: it is one thing to pray something and another thing what your actions are.
    That said, I think the whole US government AND military needs a crash course in diplomacy and cultural "delicacies".
    Keeping a "low profile" sometimes can do wonders, especially in regions where you're not welcomed.



    We really can't control our media in the US. They can write literally anything they want and get away with it. You're fooling yourself, RC. Maybe it's different in Germany. The BBC is controlled by the British government, last I heard. It's more difficult here. I don't know if you read the NY Times or the LA Times but you will be amazed at how biased and irresponsible they are. But that is the price to be paid for a free press.

    Quote:
    RC said:But let's stop now, it is christmaas or whatever this day means to you, so let us all be friends.



    Merry Christmas.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    All I know is if I convinced a Board of Directors to go along with my urgent though risky plan to take over another company because they had, say, enormous hidden cash reserves, and then they went along with it only to find out there was zero cash anywhere and I probably lied in the first place, I would be instantly fired and would never work again. I must have awakened in the bizzaro-world because don't get how that guy is still in office.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    harryo2b said:
    This sucks...this topic went from a man being given an oppurtunity to work overseas and possibly in the automotive business to a political forum for those against or with the US and President Bush. Let's put it to rest and just wish Matt luck that he lands a job at Porsche!



    I agree.

    Matt, I would be very surprised if you as a young American student travelling in Western Europe would come across animosity as long as you do nothing yourself to provoke it. Normally you'd be unlikely to see a bar-room brawl, let alone get involved in one, unless you actively go looking for the wrong kind of bar. Contrary to the impression you might get from some of the above posts, Western Europe is a long way from being the new Wild West!

    Just use a little common sense - just as you should at home - and you'll be fine. Make the most of the opportunity to broaden your horizon so that maybe your generation can finally see that people are people are all over the world, and to celebrate the diversity of cultures, beliefs, and ways of life instead of condemning people just for being different.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Quote:
    SVNSVN said:
    RC,

    Hello! The media despises President Bush ( and any other conservative President). Most of the media is in bed with the liberal party in our country. They said the same negative things about President Reagan. Our mainstream media amplifies to the max any negative ( real or fabricated) and suppresses/ censors the positives.

    Sad, that our brave and honorable troops are so nobly helping to get the Iraqi and Afghan people on there feet and you folks want to cite one possibly disgrutled soldier as the norm - amazing. Same goes for the so called torture, and the fabricated Koran story- all intended to make the troops and our President look bad. Where is the context?


    I like the way you speak on this Richard. When this happened, do you think these images made it onto American TV? No way! They would not dare show anything to add credence to the argument for going to war. In my profession, I have numerous colleagues who are on their second and third tours in Iraq. These are people who have shared my house, and I trust my life and familys life with. The stories I hear are sad, yet filled with hope. Many of them are volunteering on their tours, leaving their families during the holidays, because of the passion in their hearts for doing the right thing. Richard, you are right on about liberals and the media being in bed together. Bush may not be a great orater, but he has vision for the long haul. Tolerance, tolerance, tolerance. If Clinton were still in power, he would have lobbed a few scuds at Afghanistan after 9/11 and called it even. Look at what happened after the WTC bombing in '93, and the USS Cole. I appreciate diversity and other cultures, but our soil needs to be protected from further terrorist attacks on innocent women and children. And tyranny needs to end. There may be the oddball soldier who will say that he doesn't understand what we are doing in Iraq, but I have heard firsthand, the stories of crying Iraqis, not being able to show ENOUGH gratefulness to the Americans for what they have accomplished. Poor people trying to give the soldiers what very little they have to offer. Does anybody remember the videos of Iraqis smacking the Saddam statue with the soles of their shoes... we all know what that means in the Arab culture, of course that video was not shown here in America for longer than 5 seconds. I pray for all americans and arabs to have a safe and peaceful holiday season. And I pray that the insurgents and people who kill in the name of their god or some political reason, get what they deserve.

    Re: OT: I'm so excited- Germany here I come!

    Since I have access to various TV stations worldwide, I would recommend the following to some people: watch a little bit less Fox News. What these guys are doing is not journalism, it is the worst form of dumb propaganda and they hurt international US interests more than they are aware of. As much as I like the US and the American Way of Life: whenever I watch Fox News, I can't believe my ears and eyes. Unbelievable. So if you don't like Al Jazeera (and I don't like it because they are actually using a US-like method of sensational pictures/stories and are stirring up emotions in the middle east), you shouldn't like Fox News either. And another thing some of our US friends may not be aware of: you don't get a fraction of the international news we're getting here, apparently some drug dealer killing in the neighborhood or an alligator crossing into someone's swimming pool is more important than international politics. Fact is: whenver I'm in the US on our family vacation, I become "blind" regarding international news. Thanks god there is the internet. In the past there was CNN International available in many hotels, now they changed it to CNN...the "local" version.

    And a last comment after I close this thread: the problem is that some Americans see enemies everywhere. What you're actually overlooking is...your friends. If you want to have international friends, you have to play by international rules, even if it is the more difficult and longer path.
    I know that the US had 9/11 and they have all the right to defend themselves. But to be honest: I would preferred the US to nuke Afghanistan after 9/11, this would have made sense by that time. More sense than what is happening now. You can't make the whole world your enemy, you kill a few terrorists and in the end you have more enemies than you had before. Is this smart? So please understand that the US and it's people have lots of friends around the world, we're even using English for communicating here on the forum. I love the US and I love being there. I love the friendly people and I love Disney, Hollywood movies and monster steaks, medium done. But please listen to your friends, even if you are educated to think in "liberals" or "conservatives" categories. There is always something in the middle too, this is where I'm standing and lots of other people. Don't get me wrong: terrorists have no right to live, I agree and I'm not defending their actions. But the US could need a bunch of friends now more than before. Because they already have enough enemies.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, enjoy a peaceful moment with your loved ones. And never forget: no matter what I or others said here, we're adult people having an opinion. This is nothing personal and we should act like adults and take it as a friendly discussion between friends, even if we don't always agree.

    That said, I'm proud of this community. I just wish there would be a way to meet somewhere and celebrate our community and internet friendship. Imagine people from various countries from all over the world, celebrating peacefully what we love most (well, almost): CARS.

    Good night guys, I love you all.

    BTW: believe it or not but this picture really is showing a part of our christmas tree, taken a few hours ago.

     
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