Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Bush on Sweden - "They have no army" LOL

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Places » Democrats Abroad Donate to DU
 
Stockholm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-04 04:25 AM
Original message
Bush on Sweden - "They have no army" LOL
snip

There is one story about Bush's particular brand of certainty I am able to piece together and tell for the record.

In the Oval Office in December 2002, the president met with a few ranking senators and members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats. In those days, there were high hopes that the United States-sponsored ''road map'' for the Israelis and Palestinians would be a pathway to peace, and the discussion that wintry day was, in part, about countries providing peacekeeping forces in the region. The problem, everyone agreed, was that a number of European countries, like France and Germany, had armies that were not trusted by either the Israelis or Palestinians. One congressman -- the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress -- mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

A few weeks later, members of Congress and their spouses gathered with administration officials and other dignitaries for the White House Christmas party. The president saw Lantos and grabbed him by the shoulder. ''You were right,'' he said, with bonhomie. ''Sweden does have an army.''

snip

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html



Refresh | +1 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
German-Lefty Donating Member (568 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-04 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. The swiss do have an "Armee"
www.armee.ch
There's not much in the site in English. Yes this Army isn't designed to invade another country. Almost every male goes through a few months of military training. They give you a pistol and an automatic rifle, which you are required to stow away at home in preparation for an invasion.

Every now and then the weapons are misused. There was some story about a guy killing his wife, kid, and self with his army pistol a few years back. For the most part they're alright.

Anyway for whom were swiss army knives made?


What you might be thinking of is Iceland. They have no military. The US has a base there, that maybe protects them from invading hoards of other vikings who knows. :-)


Are the swiss neutral? Sure they haven't had a war with anyone for hundreds of years. They were well know for having great mercenaries they'd rent out to other wars. The pope is still guarded by Swiss guards. There's also the issue of their banks being involved with shady characters.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-23-04 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. It's a little more complex than that, though . . .
In addition to a few months of compulsory, military training, Swiss Army service includes annual service, too. Conscientious objectors and those unable to fulfill their military obligations can serve in the civil defense, which also has annual "refresher" training.

Swiss Army knives originally were made for the Swiss Army to use in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but there's some confusion about who made the original Swiss Army knives: Wenger Knife or Victorinox.

The Swiss government positions itself as neutral, but the Swiss people (including my family here) are highly opinionated. It's not the boring, blond-haired, blue-eyed Heidi-like culture portrayed by storybooks. (In fact, the Heidi in Johanna Spyri's "Heidi" books was portrayed as dark-haired child.) Switzerland has a small, very well-educated population, four official languages (French, German, Romansche and Italian), and operates as a direct democracy.

As to the Swiss banks being associated with "shady characters," I wouldn't debate that since reparations actually have been paid for some of those past "indescretions" (crimes, by modern standards). But, I think the "shady characters" characterization could fit almost any large banking institution.

Not being defensive . . . just sharing some of what I've learned since I moved here.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
trigz Donating Member (679 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-04 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Switzerland is the whore of Europe
*They were neutral towards Hitler and Mussolini and didn't lift a finger to help the allies during the second world war
*They refuse to join the UN, the EU or any other international effort
*Their banks have had blood on their hands for the last sixty years and helped store away stolen nazi gold and possessions after the second World War

Switzerland is a harlot, plain and simple.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
EricL Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-04 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Switzerland is a member of the UN
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-04 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. But not a member
of the European Union. A lot of people are confused about that, just as many confuse Switzerland with Sweden.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
EricL Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-04 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Nothing confusing
A sovereign country choosed to be member of an international organization (UN) and not to be member of another (EU).

Their choice.

Only Bush can confuse Switzerland with Sweden. ;-)


:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
praxiz Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. I love the idea of an army
who has a wine-opener as standard equipment.

"Listen up men! A few of you may never need to open a Merlot '37 under enemy fire, but pay attention while we go through this one more time!"
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-04 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. The Obstinate Bonehead................
does it again. He doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and when corrected insists he right and everyone else is wrong. George Bush is a little, little man.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-21-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Too true. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
TheBlackSteeds Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. What an idiot..
:wtf:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-06-04 03:35 AM
Response to Original message
10. well, i'm certainly looking forward to
4 more years of his foreign diplomacy
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
gigantor Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-04 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. Yeah, but...
Will he get any points for admitting he was wrong?

As another poster pointed out, many Americans confuse Switzerland with Sweden, it isn't just Bush that's a bit ignorant. Hell, many of my friends can't even find my own country on the map, The Kingdom of The Netherlands!

We're not a very big place, but it is ours and we like it. It's home to us and God Save Our Queen.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Switzerland is...
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 10:50 PM by Al_Elpino
Part of the United Nations
FOUNDER of the RED CROSS
harboring UN's second Seat (and the mainseat of its predecessor)

NOT PART of NATO
NOT PART of EU (that might change somewhen though)

What our whory ancestors did we cannot change, but then again if we want to resort to naming past crimes we could begin to dig in some other history part no matter if it's of an ex-colonial power or the american. At least genocide is not in our books.

Peace is the way, peace is the goal.

Hi^5 to Micheline Calmy-Rey
Feck Blocher

Greets from Berne/Switzerland

EDIT: in kind reply to trigz

Norge er kystskorpa fra sverige og hura til amerika naa fordi di har soldater i irak. de har hvaert okkupert og naa hjelper med i samme dritt? skamm deg norge du har synket so lavt som blucher i oslo-fjorden.

sveits har hvaert hura... naa er det norge.

;-)

http://www.mil.no/languages/start/news/article.jhtml?ar...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-05-04 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Greetings . . .
from Tessin!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Places » Democrats Abroad Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC