U.S. President Bush likened the fight against terrorism to World War II in a speech on Wednesday. DW-WORLD readers commented on Bush's speech and on Deutsche Welle chief correspondent Peter Philipp's opinion piece on it.
Bush made his comments shortly before the 60th anniversary of D-Day
It's painfully obvious, from his actions, that President Bush knows little about history. Additionally, it's doubtful that the president either wrote the speech or questioned its accuracy when handed the finished product to read. The Bush administration's right-wing speech writers have been trying to "re-write" history to justify it's belligerent actions for almost four years now. Hopefully that will draw to a close in a few months.
-- Dick Bryce
It must seem unbelievable to listeners in other countries that the leader of the world's current superpower makes such egregious and distorted comments about not only himself (likening himself to Winston Churchill of whom he is a great admirer) but that our country's present "struggle" is in any way comparable to that faced under Roosevelt's administrations. However, anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in the United States would certainly realize that the lack of historical knowledge, let alone understanding, is epidemic throughout the country. It is obvious to anyone who has studied history (as I have) that Bush not only misinterprets and distorts events to suit his own political agendas, but that the war in Iraq (which was perpetrated by the United States) is nothing more than a criminal act that (ironically) places the United States at the other end of his WWII comparison (i.e., the U.S. in this war serves the aggressive role of the invader rather than the liberator). Because the main source of historical education comes to Americans not from their schools but from the media, many Americans too eagerly absorb the nonsensical rhetoric of their politicians (and cast stones at those who dare to dissent based on an equally nonsensical idea of "patriotism" without the slightest hint of irony considering the country was founded by revolutionaries who dared to dissent). It is quite obvious to those who have studied the events of WWII that there is little parallel between it and the war in Iraq. Moreover, it is insulting to the memories of the Allied soldiers who combated a direct and real threat to their countries' safety and security to attempt to draw any comparisons between a war that had to be fought to preserve the integrity of the world, and a war that has no justification. -- Sharyn McCown
I know that there are different ways of looking at many complex issues. But to matter-of-factly pronounce that September 11 wasn't and isn't comparable to Pearl Harbor does nothing but point to the fervent anti-Bush predisposition by the author. 9/11 and Pearl Harbor were certainly both unprovoked attacks (comparison!). Bin Laden and the Nazis both certainly present(ed) egocentric agendas that are/were not accepting of diversity (comparison!). And if the author does not believe that this "challenge" constitutes war, then maybe he should have described what should have been the "long-term" solution to defeat Nazism. -- C.L. Kuch
Isn't Bush getting ready to visit Germany with his hat in his hands? What a better way to start a trip. Peter Philipp's article is correct on many points, but his suggestion that Bush would benefit from a better grasp of history misses the point: it is Bush's failure to understand anything more complicated than a handshake that makes it so easy from him to reach a conclusion. He recently said that he had no hand in picking the new interim Iraqi government. He apparently does not see the relationship between his being president and Bremer's actions. Bush expects you to demonstrate how far off the mark he is. Remember that he got rich without ever running a business well. Your logic will have no affect on him. He is "above" (or below) the application of history or logic. Bush is now saying that his differences with France and Germany are just different opinions between friends. Yeah, rewind to Jan. 2003 and see if he said that then. Where did "We don't need Old Europe" go to? It is less expensive not to be Bush's friend. The real Bush tragedy is that $200 billion and tens of thousands of lives have been wasted. Like buying a car that doesn't run, but you paid a million dollars for it. No matter how you define smart, that is not part of it. -- P. Harrison Picot II, Virginia, USA
Peter Philipp is right! People are getting fed-up with 'apostle' Bush's mistakes. Note the new movie coming out Fahrenheit 911!
-- Anthony Oland
I agree with all points made by Peter Philipp except one. Israel is NOT a "democracy," because democracies DO NOT have different sets of rights for different segments of their population, based on ethnicity. The Arab Israelis (Muslims and Christians) have considerably fewer rights than Jewish Israelis. For example, building permits in Jerusalem are refused for most Arab Israelis, but approved for Jewish Israelis. -- Wahed Muttaqi
The international community is facing group and state terrorism. The group terrorism is committed by organizations such as al Qaeda, state-terrorism is caused by endless states, including the U.S. Bush comparing this battle against al Qaeda with the WWII is false and ignorant. However, one issue is common with the Nazi racist ideology and the extreme Islamist ideology of the Wahabist-inspired al Qaeda: both extremes were supported and even nurtured in/by Americans. The Nazis mythical beliefs developed seriously in the U.S. back during the 19th century. Leading American scientists and researchers forwarded their beliefs to ignorant German thinkers. In the 1980s the mujahedeens were also nurtured and promoted to religious extremism by U.S. policymakers. Jihad was a concept introduced seriously into the Muslim-dominated world by the Reagan administration. Hence, the U.S. is far more responsible for both the Nazi and al Qaeda ideologies. -- Atilla A. Iftikhar
I expect nothing less from a man who proudly proclaims he does not read books. Clearly, he has read no history books. President Bush is a bully and an ignorant man: a deadly combination. Know that I and millions of Americans are working tirelessly to rid the country and the world of this shameful American emissary. -- Terry Morgan, USA
I was surprised at this president's attempt to make what appears to be an action of greed and false pretenses into a noble cause. I hear many people talking about how horrible Saddam was, and how liberals should be happy that he was removed. As a free thinker I am upset that the president did not just come out and say we were going to liberate the Iraqi people. It is as though it was an afterthought. Not the thought. I would have even been happier if he said "We are going for their oil." That would have added some moral clarity. Instead, it is all spin and deception. We have turned into a country of CD burning fools. Remember the Dixie Chicks? Free speech? Ha! It just goes to prove that as a nation we were always CD burning fools. Leave no child behind for Bush's war. -- Stoney, USA
I am a German-American, a son of a native German mother. I agree with Bush's assessment and comments made about the war on terror and WWII. I question the opinion and historical interpretation of your commentator, Mr. Peter Philipp. -- Boyd Lawrence, USA