George Soros: Ousted many Dictators, Bush next

Discussion in 'Politics' started by TigerO, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. TigerO



    The only reasons for the incredibly counter productive Iraq war that has created entire new generations of new terrorists and made the world a much more dangerous place:



    "George Soros putting his fortune behind a new cause: Ousting Bush

    By Rick Hampson, USA TODAY

    NEW YORK — George Soros bet against Polish communism when Solidarity was still underground and against Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic when he was one of the most feared men in Europe. He bet against the dollar and made "the killing of a lifetime." Then he bet against the pound and made a bigger one.

    George Soros addresses the 2004 graduating class of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
    Julie Jacobson, AP

    Now Soros, a storied financial and political speculator, says another of his bets is about to pay off: more than $15 million against President Bush.

    The Hungarian-born billionaire, who had vowed to spend more if necessary to deny the president re-election, says he's contributed enough to achieve his goal. "There probably will be some further contributions, but I don't expect any substantial increase," he says in an interview. "Large numbers of people are beginning to see the Bush administration in the same light as I do. Frankly, I don't think I'll need to do a lot more. ... I now take the defeat of Bush more or less for granted."

    Soros is used to winning — in finance (he's worth about $7 billion) and in politics. He did more than any other private individual to support the emergence of democracy in Eastern Europe and has bankrolled liberal causes around the world. But he hasn't always been confident of victory over Bush, which six months ago he was calling "the central project of my life for the next year."

    Asked by The Washington Post whether he would trade his fortune to beat Bush, he replied, "If someone guaranteed it."

    When Republicans howled, Soros warned that the more they bashed him the more he was likely to give. But the prospect of victory — or at least the perception — seems to have changed that.

    Now that he's predicting success, Soros even denies strong personal feelings about a president he had called "a warmonger."

    "I don't have a vendetta," he says. "He's a figurehead and was elected as a public face. He fills a role. It's the forces behind him that I consider to be sinister," including Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    However sincere, Soros' new tack also is politically expedient. His zeal had become a liability. By rousing conservative GOP donors, he says, "I probably raised more money for Bush than against him."

    Traditionally, the GOP has been seen as the party of big money and fat cats. But some Republicans have Soros envy. "He's convinced Republicans and conservatives to mimic him and go after big donors of their own," says Grover Norquist, a leading conservative thinker in Washington.

    It's not just Republicans and conservatives. Soros says he has concluded that very large personal contributions undercut broad popular support for a cause; the little guy is wary of the big money.

    Anyway, in a $1 billion campaign, even $15 million is a drop in the bucket. The market gets saturated. How many more TV spots are available in October? How many direct-mail appeals can the voters read? The presidency has become so expensive that even George Soros can't buy it.

    Soros, who loves to play chess and tennis, may have gotten into Republicans' heads — one in particular.

    Massachusetts Rep. Marty Meehan, a Democratic sponsor of the campaign-finance reform law that passed in 2002, met Bush in the receiving line at a White House holiday party last December. He reminded Bush that the Supreme Court was about to rule on the law's constitutionality.

    First, Bush wanted to know how Meehan thought the court would rule. Then he asked, "Is it gonna be OK for George Soros to do what he's doing?"

    The president's concern is understandable. Soros has been called the only man with his own foreign policy and the ability to implement it. The joke goes that he merely does what the government would do if it had the money.

    Self-made statesman

    At 73, Soros is the nation's 28th-richest person, according to Forbes magazine. Much of this fortune was made in currency speculation, notably a bet in 1992 that the British pound was overvalued. When the British government finally caved in and devalued the currency, Soros made about $1 billion. "All in day's work," he says.

    His childhood in Hungary was shaped by oppressors: the Nazis, whom his Jewish family survived partly by posing as Christian, and the Communists, whom he fled in 1947 and moved to London. Nine years later he moved to New York, where he made his fortune.

    Most rich men want to become richer. Soros wanted to become, in his words, "the conscience of the world." So he embarked on a philanthropic career in which he has, so far, given away almost $5 billion to promote what he calls "open society" around the world.

    Like Soros the financier, Soros the philanthropist invested long sums on short notice. He paid for construction of a municipal water filtration system in besieged Sarajevo; gave the fledgling government of Macedonia a $25 million loan; and sent hundreds of Xerox machines into Hungary, where photocopying was controlled by the government. He helped underwrite democratic movements in, among other places, Czechoslovakia (1989), Slovakia (1998), Serbia (2000) and the former Soviet republic of Georgia (2003).

    He was far less involved in U.S. politics. His biographer, Michael T. Kaufman, suspects that although Soros didn't mind controversy abroad, he didn't want to be a lightning rod back home.

    Ask Soros why he jumped into the 2004 campaign, and he says one word, "Iraq," and waits for the next question. In a book he wrote last year, The Bubble of American Supremacy, Soros predicted a Vietnam-like quagmire in Iraq that would sour voters on Bush. "As a market participant, I try to anticipate cycles of boom and bust," he says. "Look at what I wrote about Iraq. It's uncanny."

    Once, Kaufman says, he asked Soros whether he really was a smarter investor than everyone else. "He said, 'No, what I am is more critical. I catch my own mistakes quicker.' That's what must gall him about Bush. When he's asked what mistakes he's made, he can't name any."

    What a billionaire wants

    Soros spends more on politics than on himself. Although his family has many homes, including an apartment, a beach house and a country house in the New York area, Soros is no Donald Trump. He has neither jet nor yacht, neither art collection nor retinue.

    Nor is he after the kind of access that political contributions usually buy. "He doesn't need to make a contribution to talk to a president," says Anthony Corrado, an expert on campaign finance at Colby College in Maine.

    People fear Soros because they don't understand his motives, says Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and a longtime Soros adviser. "The average person asks, 'What's in it for him?' " Botstein says. "They cannot imagine that if they were that rich, they would be that generous."

    Soros understands the suspicion. "Why should a rich guy give money without ulterior motives?" he says. In fact, he adds, "I have ulterior motives, but they are clear: I want a hearing for my views. ... I want a referendum on the Bush doctrine" in foreign affairs.

    Spreading the message

    Soros has delivered his message on campuses across the nation, including Duke, Berkeley, Stanford, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins and Columbia, where last month he charged that between the Sept. 11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq, Americans turned from "victims into perpetrators." The war on terror, he said, has claimed more innocent victims than the terror attacks themselves."




  2. TigerO



    "Financier Soros puts millions into ousting Bush

    Julian Borger in Washington
    Wednesday November 12, 2003
    The Guardian

    George Soros, one of the world's wealthiest financiers and philanthropists, has declared that getting George Bush out of the White House has become the "central focus" of his life, and he has put more than $15m (£9m) of his own money where his mouth is.

    Mr Soros argues that the Bush White House is guided by a "supremacist ideology" that is leading it to abuse US power in its dealings with the rest of the world, and creating a state of permanent warfare.

    He has mounted a single-minded campaign involving a book, magazine and newspaper articles as well as multi-million dollar donations to liberal groups, all aimed at defeating President Bush in the November 2004 elections, a contest he describes as "a matter of life and death".

    The Hungarian emigre and finance genius has given nearly $5bn to oppose dictators in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet bloc, but now he is directing his energies at the elected leader of his adopted country.

    "It is the central focus of my life," he told the Washington Post in an interview published yesterday, after announcing a donation of $5m to a liberal activist organisation called The gift brings the total amount in donations to groups dedicated to Mr Bush's removal to $15.5m.

    Other pledges of cash have gone to America Coming Together (ACT), an anti-Bush group that proposes to mobilise voters against the president in 17 battleground states. Mr Soros and a friend, Peter Lewis, the chairman of a car insurance company, promised $10m.

    Mr Soros has also helped to bankroll a new liberal think-tank, the Centre for American Progress, to be headed by Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, John Podesta, which will aim to counter the rising influence of neo-conservative institutions in Washington.

    The 74-year-old investor, who made a fortune betting against the pound in the late 80s and against the dollar this year, is to lay out the reasons for his detestation of the Bush administration in a book to be published in January, titled The Bubble of American Supremacy, a polemic which he has half-jokingly dubbed the 'Soros Doctrine'.

    In the book, he will argue that the US is doing itself immeasurable harm by its heavy-handed role in the world. "The dominant position the United States occupies in the world is the element of reality that is being distorted," he writes, according to an excerpt to be published in next month's Atlantic Monthly magazine. "The proposition that the United States will be better off if it uses its position to impose its values and interests everywhere is the misconception. It is exactly by not abusing its power that America attained its current position."

    The Bush administration's "war on terrorism" cannot be won, he argues, but is instead ushering in "a permanent state of war". He uses the emotive terms like "supremacist ideology" deliberately, saying that some of the rhetoric coming from the White House reminds him of his childhood in Nazi-occupied Hungary.

    "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans," he said in yesterday's interview. "My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitised me."


  3. As usual, another excellent post...
  4. TigerO


  5. the quote by Hermann Goering is amazing. thanks
  6. TigerO


    vegas, cheers, too bad that his analysis is still so fitting in this day and age. :eek:
  7. Coins


    Keep 'em comin', TigerO!
  8. Cutten


    Soros seems a bit complacent about Bush's defeat. It's anything but a sure thing. Kerry is so pathetic that Bush may actually increase his winning margin from 2000.
  9. there was a Livermore quote I had written down somewhere.... the gist of is was that "the market will never change, because human nature never changes"

    same applies to war. Goering's statement applied in all periods of history, and will in the future. assuming that is true, interesting thing to look at is what happened to other empirial societies *after* the people were "dragged along" into committing wars of aggression at their leaders' command.
  10. #10     Jun 4, 2004