[FoRK] Is Schwarzenegger really this dumb?

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Fri Sep 3 08:51:31 PDT 2004

It was completely fictitious. Not only was there no Humphrey-Nixon 
debate, but there were no tanks in his home town, and no socialist 
And I love CNN's idea of balance - lets find a couple of morons on the 
street who think its ok for a politician to lie.


>   Schwarzenegger criticized for Austrian history gaffes
> *VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Austrian historians are ridiculing California 
> Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for telling the Republican National 
> Convention that he saw Soviet tanks in his homeland as a child and 
> left a "Socialist" country when he moved away in 1968.*
> Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the 
> aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on 
> Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."
> No way, historians say, challenging Schwarzenegger's knowledge of 
> postwar history -- if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who 
> admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest 
> official in America's most populous state.
> "It's a fact -- as a child he could not have seen a Soviet tank in 
> Styria," the southeastern province where Schwarzenegger was born and 
> raised, historian Stefan Karner told the Vienna newspaper Kurier.
> Schwarzenegger, now a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born on July 30, 
> 1947, when Styria and the neighboring province of Carinthia belonged 
> to the British zone. At the time, postwar Austria was occupied by the 
> four wartime allies, which also included the United States, the Soviet 
> Union and France.
> The Soviets already had left Styria in July 1945, less than three 
> months after the end of the war, Karner noted.
> "Let me tell you this: As a boy, I lived for many years across the 
> street from where the Russians were based in Vienna -- and honestly, I 
> never saw a Russian tank there," retiree Franz Nitsch said Friday. "He 
> said it all on purpose -- and that's bad."
> In his convention address, Schwarzenegger also said: "As a kid, I saw 
> the Socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left" in 
> 1955 and Austria regained its independence.
> But Martin Polaschek, a law history scholar and vice rector of Graz 
> University, told Kurier that Austria was governed by coalition 
> governments, including the conservative People's Party and the Social 
> Democratic Party. Between 1945 and 1970, all the nation's chancellors 
> were conservatives -- not Socialists.
> What's more, when Schwarzenegger left in 1968, Austria was run by a 
> conservative government headed by People's Party Chancellor Josef 
> Klaus, a staunch Roman Catholic and a sharp critic of both the 
> Socialists as well as the Communists ruling in countries across the 
> Iron Curtain.
> Schwarzenegger "confuses a free country with a Socialist one," said 
> Polaschek, referring to East European Communist officials' routine 
> descriptions of their countries as Socialist.
> Polaschek saw the moderate Republican governor's recollections at the 
> convention as a tactical move. Schwarzenegger, he said, was "using the 
> old Communist enemy image for Bush's election campaign."
> "He did not speak as a historian, after all, but as a politician," 
> Polaschek said.
> Norbert Darabos, a ranking official of Austria's opposition Social 
> Democratic Party, sharply criticized Schwarzenegger's "disdain for his 
> former homeland."
> "The Terminator is constructing a rather bizarre Austria image," he said.
> But many ordinary Austrians seemed to be in a forgiving mood Friday 
> over the gaffes.
> "Maybe he has a wrong recollection -- it's so many years since he 
> left," said Wilma Fadrany, 32, a Vienna waitress.
> "There must be political reasons for such comments," she said. "You've 
> got to tell the (convention delegates) what they want to hear in order 
> to win them over. Politicians always talk the way it fits into their 
> agenda."

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