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Spanish PM Phones, Bush Doesn't Pick Up

Old 11-10-04, 11:37 PM
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Spanish PM Phones, Bush Doesn't Pick Up

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138209,00.html

Spanish PM Phones, Bush Doesn't Pick Up


WASHINGTON — The White House has put out word daily of calls flooding in from around the world to congratulate President Bush (search) on his re-election victory. But somehow, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (search) just hasn't been able to get his call past the switchboard.

Zapatero phoned Bush not long after his Nov. 2 win, but wasn't put through to the president. Now, more than a week after the voting, the two leaders still have not hooked up.

The White House explanation signaled something of a cold shoulder toward the Spanish leader, who angered the administration by withdrawing troops from Iraq just after taking office in April.

"I think that may be the case, that he has tried to reach out," Bush press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. "Calls are scheduled at times that are mutually convenient. Some calls are able to be scheduled quicker than others."

Meanwhile, Bush met privately on Tuesday at the White House with Spain's former prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar (search), who was a chief Bush ally in the war in Iraq.

France's Chirac phones Bush

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...eut/index.html

PARIS, France (Reuters) -- French President Jacques Chirac phoned George W. Bush on Tuesday to congratulate him a week after his re-election as U.S. president, and his Foreign Minister Michel Barnier called for better trans-Atlantic ties.

Relations between the two Cold War-era allies have been cooled since Chirac opposed last year's U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and both sides have said that patching things up will be a priority in the second Bush administration.

Chirac's office said he had told Bush he looked forward to continuing the two nations' "constructive and friendly relations."

"(Bush) highlighted the United States and France were doing great things together," Chirac's spokesman Jerome Bonnafont said, pointing to cooperation in the fight against terrorism and in addressing crises in Afghanistan and Ivory Coast. (Ivory Coast exports blocked)

Many other state leaders congratulated Bush in person well before Chirac made his phone call. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder -- another critic of the war in Iraq -- called Bush on Friday. Chirac sent Bush a letter last week.

In an opinion piece entitled "Letter to an American friend," published by the daily Le Monde, Barnier called for a fresh impetus to trans-Atlantic relations.

But he also stood by criticism of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, saying such crises were calling international law into question.

"It is obvious that on the political front, dialogue between the European Union and the United States is neither sufficient, nor sufficiently regular," Barnier wrote.

"America needs a capable and responsible Europe. And Europe needs a strong America that is involved in world affairs, committed to multilateralism ... convinced that the world needs rules -- and rules that apply to everyone."

Barnier proposed a working group of independent and recognized personalities from both sides of the Atlantic to find ways to improve dialogue. He also called for better cooperation to help solve conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.


"Let's reactivate the Quartet," he said, referring to a peace mediating group in the Middle East comprising the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia.

"There are many other subjects, many other regions that should benefit from our new dialogue so there will not be a second Iraq; so there will be no more crises in which international law is so profoundly questioned, in its legitimacy and even its utility."

France has worked hard to patch up ties with Washington but continues to promote a multilateral approach to solving world conflicts. The two countries also remain divided over global trade issues and have clashed over NATO's role in Iraq. (NATO agrees to train Iraqi forces)

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Monday he wanted to make clear to European nations that the United States wanted good relations despite the disagreement over Iraq.

"I'll be spending a lot of time in Europe in the weeks coming up just to make sure our European friends have no illusions that the president wants to have a strong relationship with all of our European friends and allies and notwithstanding any disagreements we have had in the past," Powell told reporters as he flew to Mexico City for talks.

In a survey last week, 65 percent of French people questioned said Bush's re-election was a bad thing, and three-quarters said they expected no change in relations between Paris and Washington.
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Old 11-10-04, 11:56 PM
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Spain won't be sitting at the cool table at lunch anymore.
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Old 11-11-04, 12:02 AM
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There is only so much time that nations can openly oppose the United States. Methinks for many that time is running out.
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Old 11-11-04, 12:06 AM
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stupid, he should beg Bush to pick up the phone like Chirac did a while back
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Old 11-11-04, 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
There is only so much time that nations can openly oppose the United States. Methinks for many that time is running out.
I know I shouldn't, but- huh?

Other countries shouldn't be able to "openly oppose" the U.S.? We're not the Roman Empire.
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Old 11-11-04, 12:20 AM
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Originally posted by TracerBullet
I know I shouldn't, but- huh?

Other countries shouldn't be able to "openly oppose" the U.S.? We're not the Roman Empire.

They can do whatever they like, as they should be able to. I am simply speaking to the geopolitical realities of the world we live in. France and Germany can not spend the next four years attempting to oppose the US at every turn, they can not afford to.
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Old 11-11-04, 01:17 AM
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I think I would have been polite enough to talk with Zapatero. I don't see why Bush needs to give Zapatero the cold shoulder, since he's not going anywhere for at least five years or however long terms are for spanish pms. This isn't a big deal but is this a message for Zapatero to change his position or a punishment?

It will be interesting to see if Blair wins another term. If not, will his opponent keep troops in Iraq?
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Old 11-11-04, 01:33 AM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
They can do whatever they like, as they should be able to. I am simply speaking to the geopolitical realities of the world we live in. France and Germany can not spend the next four years attempting to oppose the US at every turn, they can not afford to.
Gotcha. I find your posts to be reasonable and well-informed, but I wasn't sure what you meant there. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 11-11-04, 03:15 AM
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Ah, I'm so proud to see our leader acting like a teenage girl.
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Old 11-11-04, 03:35 AM
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is a Socialist, of the PSOE.

PSOE = Partido Socialista Obrero Espańol = National Socialist Workers' Party = Nationalsozialistische Arbeiter Partei = NAZI

Both parties savagely persecute those not of their kind. The PSOE persecutes those not of Spanish birth, and those who are not Catholic or who have disavowed their faith in it. It's next to impossible to be a foreigner and get a job in Spain. It's a bass-ackwards place that's still living in the Franco era.

Last edited by Forum Troll; 11-11-04 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 11-11-04, 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by Forum Troll
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is a Socialist, of the PSOE.

PSOE = Partido Socialista Obrero Espańol = National Socialist Workers' Party = Nationalsozialistische Arbeiter Partei = NAZI

Both parties savagely persecute those not of their kind. The PSOE persecutes those not of Spanish birth, and those who are not Catholic or who have disavowed their faith in it. It's next to impossible to be a foreigner and get a job in Spain. It's a bass-ackwards place that's still living in the Franco era.
Whoa - so many falsehoods in such little space. The PSOE is a Social-Democratic party, similar to Germany's SPD or Britain's Labour Party.

Back to the topic, Bush really needs some Diplomacy 101. After all, even Nixon took calls from Communist leaders.
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Old 11-11-04, 08:09 AM
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Originally posted by TracerBullet
I know I shouldn't, but- huh?

Other countries shouldn't be able to "openly oppose" the U.S.? We're not the Roman Empire.
Well, they can, of course, but then they shouldn't expect us to play like we're "best buds."
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Old 11-11-04, 08:53 AM
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The reason he couldn't pick up the phone for Zapatero was beacuse he was on for way-too-long of a time with Poland:

A telephone conversation between the President of the Republic of Poland and the US President
(2004-11-04)

On 4 November 2004, the President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, held a telephone conversation with the US President, George W. Bush.

The President of the Republic of Poland congratulated George W. Bush on behalf of Poland, the Polish government and on his own behalf on a decisive victory in the presidential election. The President of the Republic of Poland emphasized the fact that the election result testified to the great trust that the American people put in President George W. Bush. In the opinion of the President of the Republic of Poland, this is largely attributable to the determination the US President has shown so far in moments that were difficult and tragic for the United States, to the consistency with which his clear and coherent vision of presidency has been translated into practice, and to his having embarked on an uncompromising fight against terrorism.

Furthermore, the President of the Republic of Poland offered thanks to the US President for his personal contribution to shaping Polish-US cooperation, expressing a belief that George W. Bush’s second term would strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries even further. The US President confirmed that the arrangements made during the visit of the Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka to Washington, DC, would be put into practice as agreed.

The US President thanked for the congratulations and good wishes. He expressed his satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations and assured of his respect for Poland for supporting the stabilization missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As regards Iraq, he said international consultations would continue both within and outside the coalition.

The President of the Republic of Poland also asked the US President for assistance in ensuring the release of the Polishwoman held hostage in Iraq.

Commenting on the international situation, President Aleksander Kwaśniewski indicated the need for a new opening and new initiatives on the part of the US administration in transatlantic relations vis-a-vis all EU member states, notably France and Germany. Thanking for these suggestions, President George W. Bush answered that the US administration would take appropriate action on the matter.

Closing the telephone conversation, both Presidents expressed a hope of meeting in person in the not too distant future.
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Old 11-11-04, 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by TracerBullet
Gotcha. I find your posts to be reasonable and well-informed, but I wasn't sure what you meant there. Thanks for the clarification.
Anymore I seldom post my full thoughts. I don't feel like boring everyone.

The larger point was, even if I didn't make it clear in my first post, many nations opposed the United States actions in Iraq, and opposed many later US actions because of the Liberation of Iraq, simply as a tactical maneuver. The opposition was a short-term strategic move designed to promote the position of the opposers in the global community while simultaneously diminishing a bit of the United States global influence. In some cases it was also necessary for political gains within their own countries, such as the case with German elections.

The opposition stance was never intended to be permanent, or even relatively long lasting. Either the situation in Iraq would work itself out, the Bush administration would see "the error of their ways," or President Bush would lose his re-election bid. At any rate, it was expected that many things would return to the way they were, albeit with some differences indelibly ethced into the relationships, such as the clear quest for power by France in a renewed Europe. All of the opposition nations, from the smallest to the largest, require the assistance and aid of the United States, even if it is merely because of our globally connected economies. They all assumed that in short time, that reciprocal cooperation would begin again.

The reality is the situation in Iraq is not going to go away any time soon, and that President Bush not only won his re-election, but did so in a manner that makes his domestic postion more solid than previously. He is not the one now in a postion forced politically to make concessions. (Note, I said politically, not practically.) If the opposing nations wish to continue with their opposition, it will no longer be a tactical or strategic move, it will in fact become a policy change necessarily lasting many years. With this type of policy change comes vast repercussions. The assistance and aid of the United States that all global nations rely on would have to basically be written off. I seriously doubt any nations can do this. Since the President is not forced to make the concessions hoped for by the opposers, the choice is theirs. It seems obvious to me what is begining to happen.
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Old 11-11-04, 09:52 AM
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It's Spain, for pete's sake. They haven't been relavent since 1588.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:18 AM
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Old 11-11-04, 10:28 AM
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Some would argue that Spain was somewhat relevant in 1936 & 1937 ......
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Old 11-11-04, 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by Jaymole

A telephone conversation between the President of the Republic of Poland and the US President
0/5

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Old 11-11-04, 10:55 AM
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I wish Bush would do this to that Fucker Vincente Fox in Mexico. I think Fox has W's and Laura's private cell phone #'s.
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Old 11-11-04, 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
Anymore I seldom post my full thoughts. I don't feel like boring everyone.

The larger point was, even if I didn't make it clear in my first post, many nations opposed the United States actions in Iraq, and opposed many later US actions because of the Liberation of Iraq, simply as a tactical maneuver. The opposition was a short-term strategic move designed to promote the position of the opposers in the global community while simultaneously diminishing a bit of the United States global influence. In some cases it was also necessary for political gains within their own countries, such as the case with German elections.

The opposition stance was never intended to be permanent, or even relatively long lasting. Either the situation in Iraq would work itself out, the Bush administration would see "the error of their ways," or President Bush would lose his re-election bid. At any rate, it was expected that many things would return to the way they were, albeit with some differences indelibly ethced into the relationships, such as the clear quest for power by France in a renewed Europe. All of the opposition nations, from the smallest to the largest, require the assistance and aid of the United States, even if it is merely because of our globally connected economies. They all assumed that in short time, that reciprocal cooperation would begin again.

The reality is the situation in Iraq is not going to go away any time soon, and that President Bush not only won his re-election, but did so in a manner that makes his domestic postion more solid than previously. He is not the one now in a postion forced politically to make concessions. (Note, I said politically, not practically.) If the opposing nations wish to continue with their opposition, it will no longer be a tactical or strategic move, it will in fact become a policy change necessarily lasting many years. With this type of policy change comes vast repercussions. The assistance and aid of the United States that all global nations rely on would have to basically be written off. I seriously doubt any nations can do this. Since the President is not forced to make the concessions hoped for by the opposers, the choice is theirs. It seems obvious to me what is begining to happen.
Except that Zapatero did not suddenly decide to oppose U.S. involvement in Iraq on a whim -- he came into office with the explicit promise to carry out the will of the Spanish people and withdraw troops.

Those (increasingly few) world leaders who still support us are doing so in explicit contravention to the wishes of their populaces. A better president would have tried to persuade the people of these nations that a stable Iraq is in their best interests, too, would have tried to inspire instead of browbeat. But this president couldn't persuade a dog to lick itself, so instead he leads his shaky "coalition" through barely disguised coercion, as your post matter-of-factly indicates. In doing so, he's also asking other leaders to be much braver than he's ever been in going against the wishes of their people. (All that sanctimonious bullshit about strong leaders taking unpopular actions to do what's right would melt away in a heartbeat if Bush was getting the same poll numbers Blair is.) It's a shame that our foreign policy has been reduced to inarticulate thuggery, but I guess when you've got the biggest dick you don't have to justify yourself to anyone. Not what I recall America being all about, but then it's been a few years since civics class.
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Old 11-11-04, 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
Anymore I seldom post my full thoughts. I don't feel like boring everyone.

blah
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blah
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Old 11-11-04, 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
Anymore I seldom post my full thoughts. I don't feel like boring everyone.

The larger point was, even if I didn't make it clear in my first post, many nations opposed the United States actions in Iraq, and opposed many later US actions because of the Liberation of Iraq, simply as a tactical maneuver. The opposition was a short-term strategic move designed to promote the position of the opposers in the global community while simultaneously diminishing a bit of the United States global influence. In some cases it was also necessary for political gains within their own countries, such as the case with German elections.

The opposition stance was never intended to be permanent, or even relatively long lasting. Either the situation in Iraq would work itself out, the Bush administration would see "the error of their ways," or President Bush would lose his re-election bid. At any rate, it was expected that many things would return to the way they were, albeit with some differences indelibly ethced into the relationships, such as the clear quest for power by France in a renewed Europe. All of the opposition nations, from the smallest to the largest, require the assistance and aid of the United States, even if it is merely because of our globally connected economies. They all assumed that in short time, that reciprocal cooperation would begin again.

The reality is the situation in Iraq is not going to go away any time soon, and that President Bush not only won his re-election, but did so in a manner that makes his domestic postion more solid than previously. He is not the one now in a postion forced politically to make concessions. (Note, I said politically, not practically.) If the opposing nations wish to continue with their opposition, it will no longer be a tactical or strategic move, it will in fact become a policy change necessarily lasting many years. With this type of policy change comes vast repercussions. The assistance and aid of the United States that all global nations rely on would have to basically be written off. I seriously doubt any nations can do this. Since the President is not forced to make the concessions hoped for by the opposers, the choice is theirs. It seems obvious to me what is begining to happen.
And to add to what Dork said, isn't it rather short-sighted of the United States to pursue this policy? I know it seems as though we're going to be top dog forever, but we're not going to be. If we deliberately alienate our "allies", when we're down and need help, who's going to be there?
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Old 11-11-04, 11:23 AM
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Did anyone else think of THIS ?

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Old 11-11-04, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by dork
Except that Zapatero did not suddenly decide to oppose U.S. involvement in Iraq on a whim -- he came into office with the explicit promise to carry out the will of the Spanish people and withdraw troops.
Where did I say the decisions were made on a whim? This nugget of information backs up my point, that conscience premeditated decisions were made to oppose the United States.


Those (increasingly few) world leaders who still support us are doing so in explicit contravention to the wishes of their populaces. A better president would have tried to persuade the people of these nations that a stable Iraq is in their best interests, too, would have tried to inspire instead of browbeat. But this president couldn't persuade a dog to lick itself, so instead he leads his shaky "coalition" through barely disguised coercion, as your post matter-of-factly indicates. In doing so, he's also asking other leaders to be much braver than he's ever been in going against the wishes of their people. (All that sanctimonious bullshit about strong leaders taking unpopular actions to do what's right would melt away in a heartbeat if Bush was getting the same poll numbers Blair is.) It's a shame that our foreign policy has been reduced to inarticulate thuggery, but I guess when you've got the biggest dick you don't have to justify yourself to anyone. Not what I recall America being all about, but then it's been a few years since civics class.

Your whole line of reasoning assumes that the President would have been able to persuade the leaders of the opposition nations, and their people, that a stable Iraq was, not only in their best interest, but also that supporting the United States was a better reward than opposing the United States. I don't agree that was possible. It is extremely difficult to engage in diplomacy when one side desires only one outcome. You may argue that one side was the Bush administration, and I don't know if I would disagree that there is some merit to that, but I would also argue that the other side was equally, if not more so, as guilty. The opposition to the United States saw a unique opportunity to advance themselves. They took it. I just don't think it worked out quite the way they had hoped.
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Old 11-11-04, 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by Thor Simpson


See, I told you.





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