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vniow
Nov 23, 2002, 01:34 AM
PUSHKIN, Russia (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Bush on Friday the United States should not wage war alone against Iraq, and he put Bush on the spot by questioning whether White House allies like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are doing enough to fight terrorism.

"Where has Osama bin Laden taken refuge?" the Russian said in a joint news conference with Bush at an 18th century czarist castle.

The sharply worded question, though not a direct criticism of Bush, touched a nerve with the U.S. delegation and underscored the frustration felt by U.S. officials since the al-Qaida leader resurfaced after months of silence in an audiotape praising recent terrorist attacks.

In Washington, Democratic leaders have accused Bush of focusing on Iraq at the expense of the broader war on terrorism. Some have suggested the White House fueled a conflict with Iraq to take command of the agenda for midterm elections, which resulted in big GOP gains.

Meeting with Putin beneath the golden domes of Catherine Palace, Bush cited the recent arrest of al-Qaida's Persian Gulf operations chief, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, as evidence of the U.S.-led coalition's success.

"People who love freedom are one person safer as a result of us finding this guy," the president said. "We did bring to justice a killer."

But Putin, while issuing a statement in support of Bush's Iraq policy, followed quickly with severe doubts about the war on terrorism. It was not clear whether he was putting more weight on the fight against terrorists than the Iraq conflict, but that implication could be drawn. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=518&e=1&u=/ap/20021123/ap_on_re_eu/bush_putin_27)

Kethoticus
Nov 23, 2002, 03:13 AM
...[Putin] put Bush on the spot by questioning whether White House allies like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are doing enough to fight terrorism.

Excellent question. I'm glad Bush had to face that in public. The fact of the matter is, it's all about the Saudis' oil. Time to break the habit America!! Similar politics have kept our borders as holey as swiss cheese for the past 14 months.


The sharply worded question, though not a direct criticism of Bush, touched a nerve with the U.S. delegation and underscored the frustration felt by U.S. officials since the al-Qaida leader resurfaced after months of silence in an audiotape praising recent terrorist attacks.

We're looking for one particular cockroach among thousands in a large apartment complex. We knew from the beginning that this would be difficult and time-consuming. I'm not at all surprised that we haven't found Osama yet. In fact, I'd be very surprised if we'd found him already.


In Washington, Democratic leaders have accused Bush of focusing on Iraq at the expense of the broader war on terrorism. Some have suggested the White House fueled a conflict with Iraq to take command of the agenda for midterm elections, which resulted in big GOP gains.

The way the Republicans accused Clinton of using the Kosovo war and Afghanistan missile strike as political distractions? It's all about politics over American safety, unfortunately. Even if Bush or Clinton have used such things as distractions, I still agree with WHAT they did/are doing.


But Putin, while issuing a statement in support of Bush's Iraq policy, followed quickly with severe doubts about the war on terrorism. It was not clear whether he was putting more weight on the fight against terrorists than the Iraq conflict, but that implication could be drawn.

I personally feel that we do need to take out Saddam. But if we are able to replace him with a gov't that's actually friendly to Iraqis (a very hopeful "if" for me), we will still have a very long way to go. This terrorism war is far from over. We still have the Saudis, Syrians, Iranians, and possibly the Chinese and North Koreans to deal with (and I'm not necessarily advocating dropping bombs on all of them as the way to deal with them). I don't believe that we'll completely get rid of Muslim--or any kind of--fanaticism, no matter how effective we are over the next 5-10 years. But if we can reduce it to the occasional criminal act, we will have been pretty successful. Even WWII did not completely eradicate Naziism.

I think Putin asked some fair questions, some I'd love to ask the President to his face myself.

Okay, I'm ready. Flame me for being an intolerant, right-wing fanatic who hates darker-skinned people or something (my having Asian and near-Eastern heritage notwithstanding).

atomwork
Nov 23, 2002, 07:07 AM
Hi, i liked some of your thoughts. In fact i liked to add only this what i read last days in the New York Times.
They said that that Afganistan is falling back into the Al Quida regime and the US is slowly moving out of there. Now, what the hell is this? You can't just totally bomb a country and praise yourselfe it was for glory and the freedom and then leave it out to die. That will also happende in Irak and thats the bad part of it. The US ain't care for peace. Thats such a BS public statement. There are so many other counties that would need help against terror and peace but there is no US soldier!

Gus
Nov 23, 2002, 02:44 PM
We are not just leaving Afganistan. They want to form a stable, sovereign government, and they asked us to only help when they asked for it. You people complain when we help somebody saying that we are trying to build a puppet government, and then when we leave them alone to form them own, you complain that we don't do enough. Which is it?

The question you should really be asking is what interest does Russia have in not attacking Iraq? What do they gain by not joining a coalition against Iraq? There is something going on other than old blood from the U.S.A./Russia relations here.

Gus

Kethoticus
Nov 23, 2002, 05:05 PM
We are not just leaving Afganistan. They want to form a stable, sovereign government, and they asked us to only help when they asked for it. You people complain when we help somebody saying that we are trying to build a puppet government, and then when we leave them alone to form them own, you complain that we don't do enough. Which is it?

Excellent point. I'm glad someone said it. It seems like there are elements out there to whom the US is damned if it did and damned if it didn't.


The question you should really be asking is what interest does Russia have in not attacking Iraq? What do they gain by not joining a coalition against Iraq? There is something going on other than old blood from the U.S.A./Russia relations here.

I think the old ways are hard to get rid of. That's just my opinion, I claim no special insight. I mean, in spite of Russia's democratic reforms, they still persecute Christians over there. Their political evolution will take some time.

I also think that it has a lot to do with their own political and economic expediency. The US forged an alliance of sorts with Saddam 20 years ago, (obviously not looking too far into the future when they did). Nations often signs deals with the devil to quickly deal with an immediate problem, obviously taking the stand that their official ideologies will have to take a backseat to something they feel is more immediately important. Look at France's attitude towards Iraq. Same thing. All of these countries love to criticize the US in their own self-righteousness, but they're just as guilty. People are people, as Depeche Mode once said.

topicolo
Nov 24, 2002, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by Gus

The question you should really be asking is what interest does Russia have in not attacking Iraq? What do they gain by not joining a coalition against Iraq? There is something going on other than old blood from the U.S.A./Russia relations here.

Gus

umm... Russia only has a couple of BILLION US dollars worth (over 50 billion I believe) of investments and loans in Iraq. If the US government topples the Hussein government, what guarantee is there that all of the investments and property would still be Russia's?

wdlove
Dec 3, 2002, 08:19 PM
EU countries & Russia are high invested in Iraq. To them its a business deal.

The British will help us, also Turkey has offered us limited assistance today!

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/03/international/middleeast/03CND-TURK.html

job
Dec 3, 2002, 08:26 PM
Heh.

France already invests heavily in Iraqi oil.

Hypocrits.

They accuse the United States of wanting to start a war for oil when they themselves are already dealing with scum for oil/profit.