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Bush, Forests and Integration

DW-WORLD readers this week commented on the US elections, Colin Powell's resignation, the state of forests, the integration of immigrants and the need to learn foreign languages.

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Were they ever a team?

US elections

Do I think the US elections were "free and fair"? Absolutely not. Too bad the mainstream media in US has dropped the issue of possible election fraud far too quickly and independent media does not get enough attention in Europe, so, we Europeans have no way to get sufficient and correct information from the US - once again. -- Jan Mukka, Finland

The US has "locked down" the media from talking about the voter fraud matter that has been developed in Florida, Ohio, and New Hampshire. The data is compelling and has been done by statisticians. The potential for hacking was clearly recognized by responsible academic institutions such as the Johns Hopkins computer security program. With our US press lockdown, we will be using the same mobilization efforts we created to get out the vote. -- Nancy, Minnesota

US elections cost as much as some small country's income. Do you think for that much money involved it will be a "free and fair" winning or rather winning for all cost? -- Andrzej, San Francisco

Bush-Anhänger feiern

Bush supporters celebrate the president's re-election on Nov. 3

I am convinced that the US election was stolen. I state that on the basis of a lot of reading for long before Nov. 2, reports about the exit polls, and discussion with people who are expert in this type of computer work. I am also familiar with the fundamentalist Christians who are the rank-and-file for right-wing fanatics. I dread the future for which this will have been history in the making. -- Madeleine Savit, an American living in Australia

Colin Powell

I believe that anyone following Powell as secretary of state in the second Bush administration will experience grave problems of trust and confidence. If that person is from within the national security realm of the government, and closely associated with its present policy, these problems will be compounded. The Bush government may attempt to be even more dogmatic in the pursuit of its foreign policy objectives now. -- Louis D. Armmand

I do not think the US and the EU will ever again be "close" because since the demise of USSR, EU leaders sense they do not need US protection. Pacifism reigns supreme in Europe and Europeans are unwilling to make the sacrifices of life, money, and work to improve and make safe the our world. It is lonely for America in the world, but we cannot look to any other power for action and sacrifice as the world looks to us. -- Eric Etchison, US

I do think with that Bush is in for a really big surprise. With the members leaving his side now when he needs them the most, I wonder how he will handle the Middle East. His father should have done the job years ago when we had a good reason to be in Iraq. I think it is after the fact. That's why we do not have the support from other countries. Because let's face it, it is all about the oil there and control of that and I think it backfired on Bush. He has done nothing good for this country we have our hands in to many things where we do not belong. We have many problems right here in the US -- without getting in to more wars we should start taking care of what we have in our country. I do not think things will change: As long as Bush is our leader it will be four more years of hell on earth. -- James P. Constantine

The loss of a great person like Colin Powell to help guide my country and build bridges with others definitely is heavy on my heart. I hope him the best and wish we all will continue on the path he has lead us. -- Jason Graves, US

Forests

Waldroden im Regenwald Brasilien

A man cuts a tree with a chain saw in the Amazon forest, Brazil

While development countries are concerned about their environment, developing countries are trying to solve more crucial problems such as malnutrition, starvation and child mortality. Unfortunately, I can not affirm that my country - Argentina - is worried about forest situation. In fact, soybean boom is an important source of incomes for our current administration. More soybean farmer produce, more incomes that our Government collect. Due to this reality, farmer companies are cutting trees and destroying natural forest in order to increase their productivity. As a consequence of soybean dependence our government does not put restrictions to reduce the process of degradation of our environment. Carlos Adrian Ferretti

I live in London, Ontario, Canada. Canada is cutting down its forests and flushing them down the toilet. Global warming is putting great stress on trees. Developers cut down trees and build houses that we do not need. The government is to blame. -- Jan Velema

Integration of Immigrants

Islamists will make things hotter and hotter in Europe once America relaxes the pressure on them. Hence the need of Europe to support America in wiping out the Islamist menace. -- K.B. Chowdary

Europe should first define what is integration. If integration means speaking the language, understanding the culture, following the law and being able to work and understand with the natives, then integration for Muslims is no problem. That is the model that is successfully followed in America. But the integration model Europe is currently following means that immigrants basically have to become clones of the natives, and must speak, dress and behave exactly in the same way as the natives. That is a very narrow and disrespectful and should be modified. -- Aamir Ali

Einwanderung Passkontrolle

EU passport sign at Berlin's Tegel airport

If those Muslims who move to a Western country find us so evil and don't like our culture why do they remain here? If I live in any Muslim country, am I allowed to practice my Christianity openly? No. Am I allowed to criticize the Muslim way of life? No. Christian Western democracies have nothing to fear from those Muslims who follow the teachings in the Koran but we need to guard against fundamentalists who twist the Koran's message and defile the religion and who actively use our democracy to work against us. Welcome those of other religions who respect the native culture and integrate with it (but who can freely practice their own religion) but identify and repatriate those who undermine and attack our culture. -- Adrian H., Germany

Many Muslims do not wish to integrate into German society or for that matter into any western society. They wish to reap the economic benefits of residing in those countries but wish to remain socially apart. With their greater numbers in population growth (through immigration and child-bearing) Muslims will overtake Europeans in short order. Watch for the growth of separate schools and political strength. What would Spain do if terrorists from within demand all churches be converted to mosques? Do you think that day cannot come? -- Maggie Gara, US

Efforts should be made to 'enforce' integration. The requirement for the use of German as the language of instruction in schools and mosques would be a step in the right direction But, more importantly, Germany needs to radically revise its immigration policy, before the skirmishes in this clash of cultures turn into a war! -- Jack Bremer

Multiculture societies are successful only when integration is desired by both parties (the host and the new arrival). Throughout history religion has been the main factor in preventing a harmonious union between different societies. As in Europe, Canada will experience Islamic fanaticism -- it's just a matter of when! Our immigration open doors policies will ensure this outcome. When will mankind realize that you cannot mix honey and vinegar and expect a pleasant tasting result. My only suggestion is to begin a common sense approach to immigration from third world Islamic countries beginning with greater scrutiny and enforcement of existing immigration laws. Good luck --- hope it's not too late! -- John Spears

Foreign Languages

I'm a 50-plus Brit (trying) to learn German. Yes – our approach to European languages deserves criticism. I do feel that 'language flexibility' is surely not a uniquely British problem – I spent some time in northern Italy and would say the reluctance of German visitors to attempt Italian is very evident. -- Jim Fergusson, England

Sprachverwirrung in der EU Zeichnung

Without foreign language abilities, it all tends to sound Greek...

I believe it is extremely important to learn a foreign language and unlike most of my fellow countrymen, I believe that it should be compulsory in schools. Learning a language is about so much more than vocabulary and grammar -- it can be a key to different cultures and opinions. During the Iraq war, I read German commentaries on what was going on as I knew that they would be less biased than our reporting. What upsets me, though, is that not only do many English people think learning German is a waste of time, but so do many German people. When I lived in Frankfurt about seven years ago, people could not understand why someone from Britain would ever learn German, as after all I already spoke English! -- Alice Mills, UK

Learning a foreign language, a language other than ones mother tongue is very important. In a multilingual country like India, it helps us to understand cultural diversity and respect others cultures and lifestyles. I helps us Indians be global citizens and integrate easily into different cultures. -- Emmanuel Murray

Although the US is another English-centric country, I believe learning a foreign language is critical in today's global economy. Foreign language fluency is one of several competitive differentiators when searching for a job. One cannot master every language, but the fact you know more than English demonstrates that you are not a cultural isolationist. -- Garth Zoller, US

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