Geeks With Blogs

Post Categories

Henk Devos Henk's Random Thoughts

Since George W. Bush was elected President of the United States (or was he elected?), the rest of the world perceives the US as a rogue state.

Today the US, a country that possesses weapons of mass desctruction (unlike other countries such as, say, Iraq), lead by a president who was not democratically elected, is considered an unreliable country, that doesn't wish to honor international treaties and conventions. The US is considered a threat to world piece.
Today the world feels that the unreliable US may invade any country at any time as they see fit for their own economical reasons.

I live in Belgium, a traditional partner and friend of the US, where we have all grown up with the idea that the US is our savior. Yet here in my country, research shows that 90% of the population considers Gearge W. Bush a serious threat to piece. If that is how people feel here, just imagine what the sentiment must be in certain other countries that do not traditionally have such a good relationship with the US.

Here are few things i don't understand very well:

  1. The previous president of the US, a wise man who was greatly respected throughout the world, was almost impeached because he lied about his personal life. This was nobody's business but his. Yet when the current president of the US lies about his reasons for starting a war, there seems to be no problem.
  2. The day the US president almost admits the war in Iraq was a mistake, the US media seem to find the breasts of Janet Jackson more interesting.

When George W. Bush took the power, the rest of the civilized world was struck with horror and disbelief. But there was nothing we could do about it.

I think today, I speak for a large majority of the world when I say: Give us anyone but Bush for president!


P.S. I was wondering if anyone else referred to the US as a rogue state. Turns out i'm not alone.
When typing "rogue state" in google, the large majority of the entries are about the US as a rogue state.

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 6:45 AM Politics | Back to top

Comments on this post: The Rogue State

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...
boooo...modded down for being political crap that I don't want to read about and if I did I would go to a news website. How can this junk make it to the main feed??
Left by d on Feb 12, 2004 3:44 PM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...
who or what is a "belgium"?
Left by A Merican on Feb 13, 2004 7:40 AM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...
Belgium is the country where the NATO hedquarters are located.
It's a small country in western Europe, between France and Germany, with 10 million inhabitants.
According to the UN reports, it's one of the 5 most developed countries in the world. The US has the 6th place (for now, but will probablyly loose a few places because of the Bush administration). Belgium has a higher education level and life expectancy than the US, but lower annual income per capita.
Belgium is very much into technology. The World Wide Web was a Brittish/Belgian invention. The new encryption standard was developed in Belgium. Belgium is one of the top 5 countries worldwide for fast internet connections (cable/adsl).
The capital of Belgium is Brussels and is also considered the capital of Europe.
Because of it's position (geographically and politically) the views of the Belgian population are usually representative for mainland western Europe.
Belgium is also representative in it's anti-Bush attitude. You will find the same in countries such as France and Germany. But in Spain the attitude will be different, because of their specific situation (ETA etc). And in the UK the attitude is also different, but seems to be changing recently.
The languages spoken in Belgium are mostly Dutch and French, but you will also hear some German and, because of immigration, Turkish and Arabic.
Left by Henk Devos on Feb 13, 2004 8:46 AM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...

Thanks for finally giving some decent feedback.
First of all, Belgium has adjusted its laws and no longer judges and sentences people from other countries.
In the time that this was possible (but never done), the only crimes for which people from other countries could be prosecuted were crimes that were punishable by international laws that have been agreed upon by the UN, such as genocide.

To answer your remarks:
1. What i referred to was that Bush lost the elections. There is no denying that.
2. Of course the president has not admitted to lying,. I never said that. But he was clearly lying. How could the intelligence have "failed" if there were inspectors in the country who said they couldn't find anything?
The real reasons were strategic and economical, and nothing else.
All the other things you mention happen also in, say, China (who even dropped nuclear bombs on their own minorities, i bet you never heard about that). But China has become economically interesting to the US so they will support them. If you really want to do something about human rights, go to China.
As for supporting terrorism: I suppose you are talking about the alleged contacts between Saddam Houssein and Al Qua'eda? If you would really understand the Muslim world you would know that they are each others worst enimies, so that doesn't make lots of sense and has been proven completely wrong.
3. That's how i felt and what many of my friends told me. At that time. The blueprints for attacking Afghanistan and Iraq were already there at the time, set out by Bush Sr. and his entourage.
If you do NOT want this to happen again, get rid of Bush. He is encouraging everyone to try it again. Sorry but that is reality. Make sure the rest of the world likes the US again.
It seems that you don't understand why there are terrorist attacks against the US. As long as the US is led by Bush, attacks other countries, supports Israel and so on, there will be terrorist attacks against the US. Bush is only making your life more dangerous.
4. Good point, what others write is irrelevant. But i just hope some of the US citizens will realize how the rest of the world is perceiving them under the US administration and will wake up and make the world and their own country a safer place by sending him home.
Left by Henk Devos on Feb 13, 2004 8:55 PM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...

1) Again, Bush did NOT lose the elections.
2) Intelligence fails meaning the intelligence agencies of the democratic all were in agreement that Iraq has/is pursuing Weapons of Mass Distruction. Using your precious UN as an example, all the resolutions passed on Iraq demanded they prove that they destroyed the weapons. What we did was bring that question to a conclusion by answering once and for all whether or not Saddam did...which I still think is an open question considering the work is not yet done.
3) The real reasons were to protect ourselves and to prevent this from ever happening to us again. I find it a bit disconcerting that the people of the world cannot even see this as a valid reason. Let it go they say. Its the past. Repent. Blah blah blah. Guess what Henk, we will never forget. We will make sure it never happens again and if it does, those who are responsible will pay dearly.
4) Paying palestinian families $25K and up for homicide bombings in Israel is considered supporting terrorists in my book.
5) Blueprints for attacking every country already exist. I am sure though that the ones for Belgium, Canada, Mexico etc are not as detailed as countries like Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, etc. Failure to plan for contigencies is a deadly and unforgivable sin. I would remind you that the American people support the action in Iraq. The Congress gave the Bush adminstration their ok. Whether you and your friend agree is irrelevant. We are protecting ourselves. We are not asking you or anyone else to protect us.
6) "Like" is overrated. "Respect" is better. "Feared" is good for those we do not see eye to eye with. Would you go out of your way to try and make someone like you even though they keep telling you they will kill you, your family, and your friends? I won't. And I have a feeling a majority of my fellow americans do not as well!
7) Regarding your courts. Yes you changed you laws after we threatened to move NATO HQ to another country since no US commander would ever set foot there. This, I say, was economically driven!
8) Good point on genocide that occurs through out the world. Where is the UN? We did make the attempt. Why isn't Belgium pursuing this case against China? No resolutions sponsored by Belgium?
Left by Brian on Feb 14, 2004 4:13 AM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...
Hi Brian,

1. I think you know very well he did loose the elections. Let's not argue about that. But it was very close.
2. Iraq did have chemical weapons in the past, as was clearly demonstrated. But they dismantled them all. They were trying to proove that and were succeeding. International inspectors were pretty much convinced that they had all been destroyed. It is really amazing that although the US were ready to invade, Iraq still showed all their military bases and so on. They did this only because they were convinced it would not come to a war, for the simple reason that there was not any reason for a war. I don't think if an enemy would be surrounding the US, the US would agree to show all their military secrets to the enemy. But Iraq had to do so. When it was becoming clear that Iraq was cooperating and doing everything possible to avoid a war, that was the time the US had to strike, because their grounds for attack were disappearing and it was their last chance.
The position of most countries (including Belgium, France and Germany) was something this: "There is no proof that Iraq has or is persuing weapons of mass destruction. There are no grounds for attacking Iraq. That's why we are opposed to the US action."
Yet Belgium did help the US in this war with weapon transports, because they are bound to do so by bilateral treaties.
There are other countries, such as Israel, who do possess nuclear weapons, in violation of the non-proliferation agreements. But these are left alone. I never heard Bush say that Israel has to dismantle their nuclear weapons.
3. There is lots of fear in the US, i understand that. And Bush is abusing this fear to justify his actions. But fear is not a good advisor, and Bush only made things worse.
One thing you have to understand is that there is no connection whatsoever between Iraq and Al Qua'eda. That's why i never condemned the actions in Afghanistan: There you can hold your reasoning that you are reacting to the terrorist attacks in the US.
But suppose there is a new president, and he says something like this: "I acknowledge that former leaders of my country have been abusing their power and have done many things i do not agree with. I can tell the world that i will honor international treaties, that i will not attack countries such as Syria and Iran, and that i will deal with Israel. I want to turn the US into an example for the whole world, building bridges, working on piece."
That is really all it takes to stop terrorism. And of course, bring this in practise.
4. I can't say much about that. Who was paying them? Do you have independent sources confirming this?
5. They were not just blueprints, they were very concrete plans.
6. I don't think you realize how bad the image of Bush is in the world. Here in Europe people consider him an idiot, laugh at him, and can't understand how he can be the president of the US. Also here in Europe, for the first time there is a feeling that we need a stronger defense to form a counterforce against the US. The European governments started organizing this the moment the US attacked Iraq. Maybe not the whole world has to "like" the US, but if they "fear" the US they will take counter actions, be it in the form of stronger defense or of terrorism.
8. You are partly correct. But another reason was that there is now an intenational court that can deal with these issues.
I am not saying that i support my own government, and i am criticizing my own government every day.
But that's a totally different issue. I will be very happy to share my worries about the Belgian government if you like.
8. As Belgium was prosecuting Americans, they were also (and still are) prosecuting Chinese.
You can not handle China in the UN, because they have a permanent position in the security counsel. Same goes for the US.
I do believe that all countries should tell China that they will cooperate economically only if the human rights situation changes. Belgium did make this very clear several times, but in reality there are also Belgian investments in China without any conditions.
You can of course also say that the only way to improve the situation is making them economically stronger, so that people in the country have more chances to revolt.
But all i meant with my remark is that you can not have one reasoning for one country and an opposite reasoning for another country.

Finally, i want to make one point very clear.
I don't have any problems with US people, and in fact i have many good friends in the US, more than in any other country. On several occasions i discussed these issues with my US friends and they usually agreed with what i was saying.
But i do have a very serious problem with the current president of the US, as does the majority of the world.
Left by Henk Devos on Feb 14, 2004 11:05 AM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...

1) You are still wrong. Bush won the election.
2) You must be living in a dream world to think that Iraq was cooperating. Even the inspectors from the UN will dispute this. The efforts that were made to appease this murdering dictator is beyond contempt. You want an example of cooperation with disarmament, look at how South Africa did it. Correct me if I am wrong, but it did not take over a decade to come clean. Even Libya has shown more cooperation!
3) How can the president of the US abuse powers that were given to him by the legislative branches of our government? We even had 17 UN resolutions to fall back on. The idea to avoid war at all costs is and will always be too costly in the end.
4) Saddam Hussein was paying Palestinians $25K or more to the family of homicide bombers for their "loss". That is who!
5) Concrete plans means you have the assets, people, authorizations, etc in place and ready to go. I don't think Bush was doing that pre-9/11. As I recall we did not over 150K troops around Iraq at that time.
6) The "laughter" you talk about is just an attempt ignorant people to justify their own place in society. Dumb? yeah right. Many of us here also laugh heartily at the "Cheese eating surrender monkeys", maybe the rest of Europe should talk to them and identify the root causes of this derision. How can they make us like them better? I will wait eagerly for these findings.
7) International Court is a joke. The UN is a joke. How can the Court enforce its will without the wills of the countries behind them? How can the UN enforce its resolutions when countries are not willing to abide by them? How can the EU make countries follow economic rules regarding how much debt each country can have? Talk is cheap.
8) Your comments on China and the UN just reinforces my belief that this organization no longer functions. It must be destroyed and rebuilt on a different set of goals.
9) I don't say that regarding China. I think its a very complex issue as are every country but this does not mean we should treat each country the same.
10) Can you prove that Israel has nuclear weapons? Israel has not admit it and we know they haven't even used them. Where's the proof?

You may have a problem with the president as does a percentage of our own citizens but keep in mind that a majority of us approve the way he is handing the war on terror. So your disgust with his policies are a reflection on our wills, at the very least.

Henk, you need to realize that America, like all other countries has its good and bad sides. But I find it amazing that in this day and age where we are unarguably the most powerful nation in the world, we have been acting very well. Look to the past and tell me if there has ever been an "empire" that behaves as we do. I believe you will not find much. I can also assure you that we will leave Iraq and lets it people govern themselves. I can also assure that the same will happen in Afghanistan. When? Can't say. How do I know then? Because if the administration at that time won't we, the people, will vote their asses out of office. And you know what? Unlike other countries, that administration cannot do a single thing about it!
Left by Brian on Feb 15, 2004 5:32 AM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...

About the UN: You are right. Although the UN is doing lots of good work, they have continuously failed in conflict containment. The structure of the security council is not working.
About supporting terrorism:
You are (more or less) right, an organisation related to baath was paying all Palestinian victims a check of 10,000$. This was for victims of Isreal's rocket attacks and so on, but also for suicide bombers.
From everything you say, this seems to be the only justification that you can sustain in an objective way. But if the war in Iraq was intended to solve the Palestinian situation, then it has greatly failed.
In fact, what ever official justification you use, the war was a failure.
Except when you look at it differently.
Now let's imagine a goverment that's controlled by the oil industry, the weapon industry and the construction industry.
what should they do?
Very simple: Buy weapons to destroy roads and bridges in a country that has oil that's outside your control.
In this respect the war in Iraq was a great success: The weapons were sold, the oil is now controlled by the US, and US companies got contracts to rebuild the roads and bridges. Everyone wins!
Cynical, but much closer to the truth than what you are claiming.

I do wonder about one other thing: As i said in Europe Bush is considered an idiot. Not my words, but what i hear every day in the mdeia. Is this different in the US? Is he there considered intelligent? This would surprise me.

Which actually brings me to the reason for my post. I know it's not really nice to post things like this in a place where you're not supposed to do this. But i am just wondering what the current perception of Bush is in the US. The majority of the world would say, as i said before: Give us anyone but Bush. But i am wondering if this sentiment is now also prevailing in the US. From your remarks i got the answer that this is not the case. So thanks for making this clear to me, even if i'm not happy with the outcome.
Left by Henk Devos on Feb 15, 2004 4:10 PM

# re: The Rogue State
Requesting Gravatar...
all this crap is made up i will never go to this site again
Left by !!!!!!!!!!##### on Apr 13, 2005 2:28 AM

Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © Henk Devos | Powered by: