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Afghanistan: Merkel Has "No Time" for Burden Sharing Proposals

Chancellor Merkel attacked suggestions that Germany had taken the easy option in Afghanistan: "We're not just digging wells and building houses; we also have a military mission."  Hugh Williamson reports in the Financial Times:

In her most outspoken comments on Afghanistan since Germany came under pressure this month to send more troops, the German chancellor said she had "absolutely no time" for proposals to redeploy Nato troops within Afghanistan.

According to Williamson she made those comments in a meeting with foreign correspondents in Berlin. It's bad diplomacy to tell the foreign press that she has no time to consider proposals for better burden sharing in Afghanistan. Usually, Merkel is more careful.


Perhaps, Williamson misunderstood her... His colleague from the Associated Press wrote only about Merkel's diplomatic excuse for not sending German troops to the south:

"Our mandate is how it is. Beyond the term of the mandate, we have no plan at the moment to go to the south. (...) It would be really bad if we, because it is a little bit quieter in the north, opened up gaps there, went to the south and left a vacuum behind in the north which the Taliban would immediately push into."

Angela Merkel's exact words to the foreign correspondents are not that important. Fact is that she has not done more for Afghanistan than Chancellor Schroeder. Merkel has not increased support for US led policies. The praise she got in the US press after her election in November 2005 was not justified, but merely a reflection of how unpopular Chancellor Schroeder and Foreign Minister Fischer have been among US journalists.

Schroeder and Fischer have supported the Kosovo and Afghanistan wars from the very beginning. Thereby they have changed German defense policy fundamentally. Schroeder's predecessor Helmut Kohl has just written a huge check to support the Iraq war in 1991.

Before Schroeder's election the Federal Republic of Germany has never participated in a war that was not authorized by the UN Security Council (Kosovo) or deployed troops in a NATO mission outside of Europe (Afghanistan), including special forces. All this support for US foreign policy was forgotten, when Schroeder and Fischer dared to express strong public criticism of President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld during a German election campaign that coincided with the US government's campaign for the Iraq war.

 

Back to the Afghanistan issue:

While the United States (and Canada) are pushing strongly for more European troops, the Afghan government has different priorities: President Karzai has "repeatedly urged Western allies to provide more funds and resources to the Afghan security forces, rather than send more troops," writes Sayed Salahuddin for Reuters. He adds that a government-run daily newspaper accused Karzai of being "under the influence of foreign powers and troops led by NATO" and that "the U.S. must set a firm date for their departure from Afghanistan."

Then again, Karzai is not a great president...

Karzai also rejected Paddy Ashdown as the United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan, although he might have contributed to better coordination among various international agencies in Afghanistan.

Hugh Williamson writes in the above mentioned Financial Times article about Merkel:

She also said "one of the biggest weaknesses" of Afghanistan's reconstruction was the reluctance of Kabul to specify its expectations of the international community's work. Referring to the international training of the Afghan police force, in which Germany had assumed a leading role, she said: "Afghanistan must say more clearly what it wants." Otherwise international support would be wasted.

What is needed is an International Afghanistan Study Group, modeled after the Iraq Study Group. The Afghanistan debate should not be limited any more to the number of troops European and American nations deploy in southern Afghanistan. We need a frank and honest evaluation of all our political and military strategies in Afghanistan. We have to debate fresh and controversial policy alternatives, which include negotiations with the Taliban, the replacement of the Karzai government, incursions into Pakistan, and the involvement of Iran and Russia.

 

Related Atlantic Review posts on Afghanistan:

Three Perspectives on NATO and Afghanistan

Afghanistan: NATO-Crisis Gets Worse

A Shared Mission in Afghanistan?

War for Dummies: Step 1, Fighting Is Necessary

Afghanistan: Fighting is Not Most Important

Chancellor Merkel's Lack of Leadership on Afghanistan

Fischer: "One day we'll be the ones asking for help, and no one will help us"

 

Related Atlantic Review posts about the American media's previous love and and admiration of Angela Merkel:

Better Transatlantic Relations in Style, not Substance

The U.S. Media's Admiration of Chancellor Merkel is Suddenly Over

Chancellor Merkel and Queen Victoria (UPDATE)

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Joe Noory on :

It might be bad diplomacy, but I sense that it's good populism.

Zyme on :

I agree :) It´s not the Nato-allies that can keep Merkel in office. In 2009 she is instead going to need the main target of populism.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

@ Joe Noory, I would agree if she had spoken to German journalists, but this was a meeting with foreign correspondents. There are no voters among their readers. On a side note: I appreciate your many comments on Atlantic Review and hope that you become a regular commenter. (I wonder if [u][url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/1012-Are-Europeans-Hiding-in-the-Bush,-or-is-Transatlantic-Panacea-to-Come.html]Kyle's post [/url][/u]will reach one hundred comments in the next few days.)

Kyle Atwell on :

Regarding the creation of an Afghanistan Commission, the study group might come up with great suggestions, but each country will probably pick and choose the proposals based on their own interests, and perhaps less then 1 in 10 of the suggestions will actually affect policy." However, the study group is probably still a good idea so long as NATO is not already doing this kind of assessment internally... how successful such a commission is will probably depend largely on its membership and how much each government in Europe and the US invest into the group and take stock in the nationals the contribute to it. For the US, James Jones has been all over the place... I be he would jump on board.

Nanne on :

Indeed. It's worth remembering what happened to the Iraq Study Group's report.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

I hear you, but the next US president might implement the ISG recommendations. Clinton's and Obama's "plans" for Iraq read much like the ISG recommendations.

Joe Noory on :

Jeorg - Your faithful readers appear to be working on it. I promise to be a gentleman when I link back to AR. I'm writing a post citing Atlantic Review as a rare example of good blogging in an environment where think-tanks and journals with grants or equipment or deskspace are initiating so many truly awful blogs. It could be because someone told them that they have to, but I don't think these often unmaintained blogs that look mostly like RSS feed aggregators speak very well for what the big brains they're supposed to represent are up to.

Zyme on :

btw is "Joe Noory" identical with "Joe" or ar these different persons?

David on :

Fascinating first-had account of the failing counter-insurgency in southern Afghanistan is the [url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/magazine/24afghanistan-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin]cover story of today's NYTimes Magazine[/url]. This graph jumped out at me: "By now, seven years of air strikes and civilian casualties, humiliating house searches and arbitrary detentions have pushed many families and tribes to revenge. The Americans then see every Afghan in those pockets of recalcitrance as an enemy. If you peel back the layers, however, there’s always a local political story at the root of the killing and dying. That original misunderstanding and grievance fertilizes the land for the Islamists. Whom do you want to side with: your brothers in God’s world or the infidel thieves?"

John in Michigan, USA on :

Uh David, the entire article you link to is about the "Korengal River valley in Afghanistan’s [b]northeastern[/b] province of Kunar". This is the tiny stretch of no man's land that improbably connects Afghanistan to China. How is this an example of the failure in southern Afghanistan? Talk about a template! In fact it is a positive sign that we are trying to harass and deny insurgent safe havens even when they are far, far away from Kabul. The situation in Afghanistan is difficult, but I simply do not trust the NY Times to report on a contemporary war, unless I recognize in the byline those few names that have proven reliable. For example, John F. Burns. He hates war, and has plenty to say that is critical of the US and NATO efforts, but he also understands the difference between killing civilians in the heat of battle, and [url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F03E2D61639F934A15753C1A960958260]deliberate slaughter after the fact[/url]. He won a Pulitzer for reports such as this. Also he understands geography.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Crap...my geography is weak also. I read that there was a town in the Korengal valley called Yaka China and assumed it was in the part of Afghanistan that starts some 400 km NE of Kabul, and extends east to, well, China. Turns out the [url=http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&output=html&q=34.9425+N,+70.8519+E&zoom=0&zp=OOOOOOOOOLLR]Korengal River valley[/url] is about 150 km ENE of Kabul, near Pakistan. But it still isn't anywhere near the south.

Elisabetta on :

Joerg: I would disagree with your assessment of the reason behind most American's fondness for Merkel. It was partly due to the nightmare that was Schroeder, but also to her bluntness and rather stabile political outlook. She has 'no time' for these type of discussion b/c the Bundestag has made its feelings known on the subject, Steinbrück and the SPD will not help and for the sake of God von Beust just scraped by in Hamburg--you should know these things and if you do not stop bothering me and read a primer on German politics. She may not be very helpful in a global context; read, not very helpful at all. However, she is a stateswoman and never acts from spite or juvenile passive aggressiveness. She just does not think that more troops are necessary and even were she to agree, she can not get them. So --basta-- go away. Kind of like Kohl with George P. Bush. Most people trust and like her and still refuse to understand 'why she doesn't see it our way?'.

Joe Noory on :

I think you're right Elizabetta. There was also the matter of her origin in the DDR, that knowing the value of her freedom would also likely giver her an appreciation of the (for example) pluralism that the DDR's propagandist Arno Winkler tried to deconstruct in the mind of the population. Much like the foundation of Lech Walesa compared to the complicated and often humanistically bereft thing that much of European leftism has often grown to be.

Elisabetta on :

She has 'no time' for these type of discussion b/c the Bundestag has made its feelings known on the subject, Steinbrück and the SPD will not help and for the sake of God von Beust just scraped by in Hamburg--you should know these things and if you do not stop bothering me and read a primer on German politics. This was of course my imagining of Merkel's thought processes whenever she hears that Gates is on hold.....again.

Don S on :

The problem is not with Merkel; it lies entirely in German public opinion and possibly in large part with the way the German media portrays issues to the German public. I'm not going to weary you with a rehash of the way US 'sins' were magnified beyond recognition or other much larger sins almost completely ignored, but recognize that the context exists. "Thereby they have changed German defense policy fundamentally." I think you are FAR too kind to Schroeder/Fischer! They did the absolutely least that they believed could do and remain part of NATO after the vote to invoke Chapter Five. Less than the minimum, really, although the magnitude of the shortfall might be subject to debate. Had they not done that much we would not be debating about the unlikely future of NATO; we'd be arguing who pays for the coffin. So the 'revolution' was mere necessity. They did what they had to to patch things together for a few years, no more. Neither Schroeder nor Merkel have attempted to address the real problem, which is that German public opinion makes it impossible for Germany to effectively participate in the NATO Alliance. Germany is the second-largest power in the entire alliance - and contributes less in effective terms than the Canadians do. Not to mention the UK, Nederlands, and even the French (in their difficult way) do. Nor does it seem possible that German public opinion will change enough quicly enough to permit that to change soon enough to save the alliance! Merkel (and perhaps even Schroeder) saw that but have made few attempts to change German public opinion which remains overwhelmingly opposed to any actions which would make Germany into a load-bearing member of the alliance. The primary difference between the Schroeder and Merkel governments is that the Schroeder/Fischer government merrily sawed away at the remaining frail timbers supporting the Atlantic bridge; Merkel's government has ceased sawing. But the current continues to weaken the structure; without major engineering works it is doomed to collapse.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

"The problem is not with Merkel; it lies entirely in German public opinion" Sorry, but Merkel has huge possibilities to influence public opinion, but she does not even try! Besides, we live in a representative democracies. Our politicians should not go by opinion polls. They anyway go against popular opinion whenever they want to. Why not in this case?

Don S on :

"Sorry, but Merkel has huge possibilities to influence public opinion, but she does not even try!" Can't disagree here: she is not trying very hard. "Besides, we live in a representative democracies. Our politicians should not go by opinion polls." Ummmm, right. In theory. In actual life whyat is the proportion of states(wo)men to poll-watchers? Bush shows the wages of ignoring polls.... "They anyway go against popular opinion whenever they want to. Why not in this case?" I can think of several million reasons? Remember the demonstrations in 2003. Millions of people chanting that people like me are fascists. Millions of Germans. Millions of French. I find that very memorable somehow.....

franchie on :

not millions of frenchs but of Brits, of Italiens, frenchs remained temperate ; may-be our muslim population did more the show with the extrem left ; in any case it wasn't turned against the american population but against its administration

John in Michigan, USA on :

"it wasn't turned against the american population but against its administration" I'm sure that was true for many of the demonstrators. What bothers me is their willingness to march in apparent solidarity with others for whom it is not true. I've read about the European style of demonstration, and I've watched a few in person (many years ago). They are well planned and organized, and there are official statements by the demonstrators stating which organizations are officially part of the demonstration. Individual demonstrators might not be responsible for the extremists groups among them, but the organizers are certainly responsible. While I generally try to avoid [i]ad hominem[/i] arguments, in this case it is impossible. The issue must be addressed. Here is why it is hard for me to accept your statement that it only concerns the administration. A while back, you seemed to agree with an article you provided, that [url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/988-German-Politician-Urges-Canadian-PM-to-Pressure-Germany.html#c12217]accused America of "being behind" the Rwandan genocide[/url]. Franchie, you yourself wrote about Rwanda, "yeah, bizarre that your country is likely behind each evenment there too" You didn't mention the Clinton administration, and the article you linked to mentioned Clinton only in passing. Now, I am willing to accept that you linked to those hateful words in a moment of passion and maybe I should not take them too literally or personally. And if I've somehow misunderstood, I am interested in learning where I went wrong. Do you understand how some Americans conclude that such accusations or demonstrations are aimed at the country, our system, and by implication our people, and not aimed just at a particular administration or policy?

Anonymous on :

John in Michigan, I didn' either see that your compatriots had any thoughful feelings towards the Frenchs, or was it only against me ? I doubt though ; so I am aware that I sometimes outpass the correctness in speechs, I found there a few persons that also did ; if it was aimed against Chirac, or whatever person that represents our government, sorry, I miss that, just saw France or the frenchswere incriminated in the whole. the above link, is just a link to remind to some of you that we aren't the lonly faultives in what's going wrong in the world ; I understand you are not escusing me, I don't mean to ask for it either ; since I surfed on the conservatives places (about 2 years now), I don't find sympathy or any attempt to understand us, except on your army blog. may-be they are too "primitive" for you, I empathise with the soldiers there, so, I guess, I am a primitive too !

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

@ Don "Remember the demonstrations in 2003. Millions of people chanting that people like me are fascists." Huge exaggeration of numbers.

Don S on :

Possibly, but the repoirted figures were enormous. 250,000 here, 750,000 there, 3000,000 in a third place. Multiple cities in Germany, as many as 10 perhaps? It adds up to millions. Unless the numbers reported in the press were - enhanced, Joerg? Why would anyone want to do that?..... ;)

Anonymous on :

And you believe that every single demonstrator chanted that "people like me are fascists"???

Don S on :

Perhaps not all at one time, of course. one needs a pause to draw breath or take a drink, after all. They associated themselves with the 'progressives', did they not? By being there. They knew what the rally was going to be, the impression it would make, and the message it would send - and decided to go nonetheless. So the message was delivered to people like me, very forcefully. It removed a few illusions about the nature of the European-Ameircan 'friendship' I can tell you!

Zyme on :

"They did the absolutely least that they believed could do and remain part of NATO after the vote to invoke Chapter Five. Less than the minimum, really, although the magnitude of the shortfall might be subject to debate." Please don´t take it personal Don - but precisely because you normally offer insightful comments, I assume that one has to be german or must have lived here for a long time to understand what a huge step Schroeder and Fischer were taking. Sending german forces around the world the way we do today was as unimaginable only ten years ago as other signs that were closely associated with the Third Reich. Deploying our army abroad one might argue was considered to be as unthinkable as founding the Fourth Reich. What size of a step would you have called the latter to be?

Don S on :

Lot's of unimaginable things happened in the past decade, Zyme. The WTC towers toppling was pretty unimaginable though perhaps not well recalled outside the US. I thought millions of European marchers (and in the US) calling the US President (and really any pro-war American) fascists pretty unimaginable also..... Just my 5 pfennigs-worth....

Zyme on :

Now we all have read and discussed an endless number of reasons of the transatlantic ice age, regarding the emotions of the people. But who doesn´t agree to the following bottom line? I dare to assume that the very moment Europe would regain its place as leading world affairs, all the hatred would vanish. The more europeans move together, the more they realize what can be achieved together. The closer we get to leadership (just think of the currency issue), the more we want it. On which level hasn´t the EU started to compete with the americans? I think once the american domination were broken and nobody would have any reasons for fearing them, people here in Europe would have no different feelings towards americans than to any others in the world.

John in Michigan, USA on :

That certainly explains some of the feelings. But how then to explain the rabid anti-Americanism of the 80's, when we were no different than the USSR, when [i]we[/i] supposedly had painted a target on Europe with our nukes? Back then, the complaint was remarkable similar: just let the Soviet Union have its rightful place in world affairs, and all the hatred would go away. I am not, of course, comparing the EU to the Soviet Union. Furthermore, I am only talking about the irrational, over-the-top hatred, not the ordinary resentment that comes from genuine policy or cultural differences. And yes, there are irrational US feelings about Europe...

Zyme on :

I have to admit that this era took place before me noticing anything aside from my family and consumer products :) So judgding just from what I have read about it, I can hardly explain the public sentimens back then.

John in Michigan, USA on :

I have been trying to find an article I read in the past 1-2 years that discussed the history of European anti-Americanism that long predates WW I and II. So far, no luck. Instead, I have tagged two items for the "Tips From Our Readers" section here on Atlantic Review. One discusses anti-Americanism as an attempt to reassemble Marx's theories from the ashbin of history. The other is a book review of two books. It is the second book, L'ennemi americain: Genealogie de l'antiamericanisme francais by Philippe Roger, that was the basis for the article I remember reading. I don't mean to focus only on French anti-Americanism; indeed, I think that prior to WW I the French view represented the European view as a whole. In the 19th century, European experimental science was much more advanced than American. Nevertheless, there was still a tendency to derive testable conclusions about the real world from assumed first principles, rather than actually collecting data. In Roger's book there is a wonderful story of how the European journals of science described the flora and fauna of the American continent as weak or diminutive. Supposedly, nothing grew to full size. "Georges-Louis Buffon, an eighteenth-century French scientist, was the first to promote the widespread idea that nature in the New World was deficient; in America, which he had never visited, dogs don't bark, birds don't sing, and—by extension—humans are weaker, less intelligent, and less potent. Thomas Jefferson, infuriated by these claims, brought a seven-foot-tall carcass of a moose from America to the entry hall of his Parisian hotel" (from [url=http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/16567.ctl]a book review of an English translation of Roger's book[/url]) This is the part I am taking from memory: confronted with increasing evidence that some things in the American continent did indeed grow large, the academe modified it's position: everything in American was either too large or too small, over-developed or stunted, reflecting an unnatural imbalance that was assumed to exist in the New World. Today the theory is that everything American is just too large -- gigantism. And indeed our houses and trucks (and perhaps certain body parts) are at times ridiculously large. So I thought that was a funny story. Perhaps the Europeans could share some funny stories about crazy American ideas of Europe.

Pat Patterson on :

John in Michigan-Were you possibly referring a rather long review of several books on French diplomacy and French and American relations in The National Interest by Martin Walker? Also I think you might be referring to the book by John J. Miller and Mark Molesky titled Our Oldest Enemy. This book essentially argues that French interests and behaviour rarely coincided with those of the Americans even when allies. The book begins with the French and Indian Wars but doesn't go back to discuss the almost 150 years of incursions from French Canada into the colonies or the sea born attacks and massacres of Protestant communities on the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coasts. Link below second paragraph. But I think that this opposition to the US lies not in any abiding hatred but rather that France realizes and realized that it never had the numbers to threaten first the English and then the Americans in the New World. So it makes sense that French policy is a continued round of appeals to common roots and then covert and overt opposition. [url]http://www.nationalinterest.org/PrinterFriendly.aspx?id=10498[/url]

franchie on :

BS, yeah, quite interesting, the reference is de Villepin, I am not sure anyone will buy his book here, but you did of course. Nixon center ? isn't during reagan times that an "ennemy" should be defined ? in order to lauch your army investments ? and France was the easiest and commun admitted profile

franchie on :

"le problème des USA, et leur force peut-être, est que ce pays à besoin d’un bouc émissaire, pour rester leader. La disparition de l’URSS a porté un coup fatal au soft power américain, ils cherchent de nouveaux ennemis : Pays Musulman, Venezuela, Iran, France, Corée du Nord, quelquefois aussi la Russie la Chine, mais ils ne sont pas très fixés. Comme le faisait remarquer Edward Luttwak (Génial absolument à lire) , Stratège Géopolitique de l’administration Reagan : les Etats-Unis ont besoin d’un ennemi extérieur à cause de leur fragmentation interne (Ethnique et maintenant sociale)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Luttwak

Joe Noory on :

Absolute nonsense: The US has enemies. It isn't seeking a scapegoat. Its' actions show that obviously to be the case. Were we to scapegoat an entire religion as we're often accused of doing, there would something more than isolated and overpublicized anecdotes of prejudice in the US, and there would be larger and more generalized military action worldwide. European are the ones looking for a scapegoat in an America that they know will benignly accept the jibing because no action will come of it and there are no cosequences to it. It's been that way for 3 decades. THink of the last set of accusitory obsession that have captrured the attention of those predisposed to disagree with every and any American policy... they change every couple of months, because even that subculture of people notices itself becoming repetative.

franchie on :

all I can remember of your rants, no passaran :lol: a sub product of fuckfrance, less funny though

Joe Noory on :

Hardly - I have nothing to do with them and don't even know who cooks it up. If you're looking for irrational invective, look at any number of thousands of "PS militant" web pages pouring out of the universities - they're far more critinous in nature. In fact look at Le Monde, Libe, Rue89. and Le Figaro quite frequently. Plus, I really wonder what you're after, my affection for you? Pity?

John in Michigan, USA on :

Thanks but no, that is not the review I'm talking about.

Anonymous on :

don't mean to focus only on French anti-Americanism; indeed, I think that prior to WW I the French view represented the European view as a whole. but you do, and emphasised since the nineties

franchie on :

You could never find such sites in france against the americans such as : "fuckfrance.com", "no passaran", "merde in france"... I didn't find any of the sort against Germany, Italy, UK... "The funny thing is to try to understand why the French are so specifically targeted. What have they done to Americans? One could expect the Germans not to be their favorite friends. Weren’t both twice at war within 25 years? And not precisely skirmishes. But no, nothing against the Germans. Or the Japanese (Pearl Harbour anyone?). What about the Vietnamese? Or the Russians after 40 years of cold war? Nichts, nada, zil, zero, rien. Well, I thought the Iranians were now America’s bêtes noires. But nothing against the people of Iran, just the leaders of the regime. And what about the English? Didn’t they burn down the White House in 1812? And they weren’t exactly helpful in Vietnam, were they?” (from superfrenchie) http://superfrenchie.com/?p=1460#comments given that "hate" is communly admitted and spread according to your 2nd amendment : "liberty of free speach" on your side, I am quite surprised that our fellows compatriots still revere your country ; that's may-be they are freakin romantics, they still dream of one "America".

Don S on :

"You could never find such sites in france against the americans such as :" Except perhaps for lemonde.com of course.....

Anonymous on :

no Don, they are a bit more "subtil" there ; anyway it's not my cup of tea, I rather go on foreign papers and or on conservative american blogs

Don S on :

"I didn't find any of the sort against Germany, Italy, UK..." Ah, I see you have not been reading the comments section here from a year or two ago! Or at Non Parasan or Medienkritik. I used to comment at those places as well as here! Joerg can confirm that when I started here in 2006 I would dip my pen in hydrochloric acid and ETCH my comments on his blog! Or on his skin. I've given up on certain things since then and am not as sarcastic as I was. I had hope that things could change; now I'm resigned to see NATO/UN die with a whimper of irrevelance along with Europe..... I dropped off of Mediencritik and Non Parasan quite a while ago. Too much heat and not enough light there. This blog serves for my etchings these days.... ;)

franchie on :

dur dur de perdre son prestige :lol: at least you have one positive point : were are not talking with "one" voice in EU (that is precily what fears your administration the most) and for a long time I suppose ; so now you can quietly think to the news economical partners such as China India, Brazil... really more interesting than those ingrat (irrelevant) europeans who will dip into a big mess :lol: yes forget about UN, Nato, (we should too) time for building other alliance contracts on the pacific... Anyway, I appreciate your sincerity

Joe Noory on :

I think they're more sophisticated than you generalize, especially when you're worried about people generalizing about opinions you concur with.

franchie on :

"the hospital that makes the charity look fool" have good evening

joe on :

Zyne, Have some more Kool Aid. Your comment about the EU was priceless.

Kevin Sampson on :

The hatred, maybe, the condescension, I doubt it. Quite the opposite, I would expect.

Zyme on :

Yes I agree to that - I originally wanted to make that distinction but forgot about it then. The main difference would be that hatred can affect foreign policy, it can weld together entirely different people. Condescension though is generally polished up by diplomacy.

Kevin Sampson on :

'Condescension though is generally polished up by diplomacy.' Perhaps amoung the diplomats, don't count on the rest of us just shrugging it off. And condescension breeds hatred, Zyme, as surely as standing water breeds mosquitos.

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