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Readers Back Citizenship Tests and Obama, Criticize Bush

Readers responded to recent articles about Germany's new citizenship test, Bush's farewell visit to Europe and his stance on Iran as well as the nomination of Barack Obama to run for US president.

photo montage with pictures of Bush and Obama

For now, Obama is far more popular in Europe than Bush

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Citizenship tests

Germany, after decades of self-loathing, is actually ready to stand up for the country's national sovereignty, to insist that those who come to Germany to live, to earn German money from German employers, to participate in German social programs, must actually study German society and, to some degree, the language. The fact is, no one is forced, compelled or otherwise "pressed" into living in Germany. The choice to live there is made by free will and there ought to be absolute requirements to prove that a person is worthy of residence, that one will make a contribution to the society and not merely be a drain on society or a liability to the natural citizens. The world has seen too much of arrogant people entering countries and then refusing to assimilate and demanding that the countries should cater to their own provincial "cultural" oddities. -- Julian , US

Sounds like Germany has the same problem as the US, where some immigrants believe that they have an absolute right to the benefits of citizenship. It is interesting that one critic calls the test too simple and therefore no use, and the other says the uneducated cannot pass it and presumably would therefore be discriminated against. I think a country has a right to determine who can become a citizen. -- Emil Brupbacher , US

When I became an American citizen, I had to answer 100 questions about US history and the political system. I do not think asking 33 questions is out of line and to only have to answer half of them seems pretty easy. I went and took a class on citizenship to make sure I would pass the test, and the good part about this is that now I know more about the US then most people born here. -- Traudl Foster , US

Bush's Iranian push in Europe

As US President George W. Bush was on his last official trip to the EU, he definitely put pressure on Angela Merkel to change Berlin's stance on Iran, as the US is accusing Iran of enriching nuclear materials. Whether it's true or not, it's the duty of Berlin to take stock of the situation in Iran on its own and not dance to the US tune. The poor foreign policy and the useless war strategy of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a great failure in terms of controlling the activities of insurgents. So it's better to act cleverly rather than nodding [one's] head in front of Bush. -- S. Sreejith, India

German politicians are perfectly right in criticizing him. The world has not become a better place since Bush became president of the US. Let's hope that his successor will do better! -- Aliena , Austria

I want to apologize to the world for us having elected Bush as president. Germany's criticism is valid because he has made the world a more dangerous place. I hope we can elect someone like Angela Merkel to lead this country out of its funk. -- Tyrone Harris, US

Barack Obama

It is high time that we, the people, put a stop to this racial segregation that our fellow blacks are going through both in politics and in the field of football. The new dawn of American history is arising in the image of Barack Obama to show to the world that it is time we put a stop to the racial calamities. Barack Obama's vision, sense of humor and empathy make him the man to win the White House come November 2008. -- Frank Adu-sarpong , Ghana

Barack Obama looks like a good, kind, and honest man who should succeed in the presidential election. My prayers and sympathies are with him. He will do good job for the US and never get drawn into an unnecessary war. -- Ishrat Hussain , Pakistan

Obama sounds like a good choice for the next president of the US. He is compassionate, intelligent, with high ideals and a fair plan for his country's future. Sadly for the world, he is too late to overcome the stranglehold of the military and industrial powers. -- G.Gosau , Canada

A few months ago, no one outside the US knew about Barack Obama. All I know is from the media and they have mostly been on his side, since there is a good chance he will win. And because he is colored, his becoming president could set an example for the rest of the world. Good luck Mr.Obama. -- Gerhard Seeger , Philippines

I consider myself an educated American. I know what the candidates' positions are and how they plan on acting, and I am against Barack Obama. He promises hope and change, but he doesn't have any real ideas. I was with several friends who support Obama. We were talking about politics, and I was just asking them his positions. Half of them didn't even know, but a few did. I didn't get an answer to these questions. A trip to Obama's Web site shows that he knows as little about his own policies as my friends. -- James Chang , US

I believe Barack Obama will usher in peace to the world. I am not calling him a "savior" but he stands for peace and hope. Nothing of which Bush, Merkel, Cheney or Blair believe in. -- Dubois , Great Britain

Barack Obama is a fake and just another wolf in sheep's clothing. -- Tasha Wooten , US

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