Diplomats, Politicians, and Polls
by James Glaser
Diplomats and Politicians are always on the watch and are careful about what they say. Politicians never want their true thoughts to make it to the public. (Think Trent Lott) They are always phrasing their words so that they can fall back on "out of context" or they are so ambiguous, no one know for sure what they meant. To tell the truth most politicians probably mean what they say, two ways. That is called talking out of both sides of your mouth. That way, which ever meaning polls best becomes what the politician meant.
For Diplomats the problem of words becomes even harder and that is because some words just do not translate well and must be avoided. Diplomats have their own language and words their citizens take one way, can be codes to tell the other country something different. Just this week as the whole world was talking about North Korea and their threat to test nuclear weapons, Colin Powell stepped in and told us that it might have sounded that way, but if one listened close, the word test was never used.
I write about these two groups and their way of speaking because I think most Americans have failed to see just how strong the language has been in describing our President by some foreign politicians and diplomats. In Germany and Canada, George Bush or his policies have been referred to as being like Adolph Hitler's. Nothing could be stronger than outbursts of feelings like these. If some will bring thoughts as strong as these out in public, how many are saying the same thing in private?
When you think about it there is not a bigger slam one politician can make on another than to call the other, Hitler like. I will admit I have thought the same thing. I see George using many of the same tactics as Adolph did. Maybe it is just that these ways of manipulating the public work so well that George and his cronies use them without knowing that Nazi Germany perfected them.
George doesn't out and out lie to us, he just plays word games. Before this last war with Iraq started, George Bush could not say Saddam Hussein's name, without saying September 11th or terrorists in the same sentence. After months and months of our President saying this, most Americans believed that some of the September 11th terrorists came from Iraq. They didn't, but as Joseph Goebbels the Nazi Propaganda Minister for Hitler said, "The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly... It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."
Just like Adolph Hitler telling the German people what a threat Poland was, (the Polish Army was still fighting from horseback) George Bush was repeatedly telling the American citizen that Iraq was a real threat to us and the words "Mushroom shaped cloud" started to enter into every speech George made. Hey it works! The whole Bush Administration kept hammering America with the code phrases of "Regime change," "Weapons of mass destruction," "Iraq and al Qaeda," and "war on terrorism"
Like I said, it works. I just don't like a President who feels that it is OK to lie and manipulate the public in order to get his foreign policy . If it works in foreign policy it will work in domestic policy too. I feel that if George Bush got on television and addressed the nation and said, Saddam Hussein is a scum bag who is killing his people. He is screwing up the oil markets and I want America to take him out. I want to have honest Iraqis run their oil, in a business like fashion that will help the people of Iraq. I think most Americans would have jumped up and said, YES! I also think most in the UN would have too.
I don't like people that feel they have to be sneaky in order to get their way. Lying and bullshitting will not get me on your side. It makes people compare George Bush with Adolph Hitler and I think the comparison fits.
Polls reflect what people believe. George Bush has something like a 73% approval rating for how he has handled foreign policy and this is where lying comes into play so strongly. America lost badly in the United Nations. Countries that have been with us for over fifty years, through thick and thin would not vote with us. Even Mexico and Canada turned us down.
We did not win the war in Afghanistan and we have not won yet in Iraq. American soldiers are still getting killed in Afghanistan, we are still having military operations with close air support and bombing runs. We never found Osama bin Laden nor Mulla Omar and nobody from the Taliban Government signed any sort of peace agreement.
In Iraq we are still at war. Nobody from Saddam's government has stopped the war, they just disappeared which shows just how much of a threat they were. They couldn't defend their own country and chances are, they couldn't have attacked ours. Two days ago four American soldiers were ambushed right in Baghdad and today 13 Iraqis were killed and 75 wounded by our troops during a demonstration against our occupation.
We have had peace keeping troops in Kosovo for over five years, we were told they would be needed for two. We will have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for many years to come or like in the past, we will run and let those countries turn back into breeding grounds for terrorists. That is what happened to both Iraq and Afghanistan a little over a decade ago.
Still we read how George Bush is claiming victory and how America has showed the world we keep our word. That plays well here at home, but most of the world is not watching our media and so they see the truth. Americans are only given a sanitized version of our wars and anything that would look badly on us is edited out. Innocent life destroyed by American troops is seldom seen, but is the main focus of the rest of the world.
Most of the world can see the real correlation between the Bush administration and Nazi Germany's political tactics. This is so obvious to many in this world it is even being talked about in Political and Diplomatic circles and that talk is reported by journalists. This talk is something new in these circles and has not happened before. This not only scares much of the world, but they are starting to look at the American public like those German people that claimed they had no idea the holocaust was going on. The German People said they had no idea of how corrupt the Nazi government was and that excuse wore thin.
Many look at the American public and wonder why we can't see what is going on. The rest of the world can look at our past wars and see we attack countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Haiti, Grenada and now Iraq again. All of these countries have defense spending that is less than one half of one percent of ours, some one hundredth of one percent of ours. Billions of people in this world can see American troops in their country every day and they have been there for years. Nobody in America thinks of that as occupation, but those billions of people do. We have never been under occupation so we have no idea of the shame and fear our troops bring with them.
The United States is our country and everything our nation does is done in your name and mine. We better start thinking of what that means.
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