Thursday, April 12, 2007

Europe and the Sickness of Anti-Americanisim

Justin Web has a good article today in the Guardian of all places, that analyzes the roots of European anti-Americanisim. I have my own take on the issue which is:

Why is it that in almost every poll, when Europeans are asked if there is anywhere on Earth they would want to live, where that would be? A majority always choose someplace other than Europe. On the other hand, when Americans are asked the same question, the vast majority always say "America."

Could it possibly be resentment? Jealousy? A need to justify in their minds why they or their ancestors did not make that leap, and move away from Europe (mostly to America) as so many did, and prospered as a result in comparison to those who stayed behind? And to add insult to injury, these former lowly, poor Europeans that fled Europe then came back as loud and brash "Americans" to save their skin in two World Wars... and then paid for their reconstruction! It's enough to drive anyone insane with resentment.

I would also argue that anti-Americanism is a strange form of old fashion Anti-Semitism: Resentment of perceived power and success by folks who are annoyingly brash about it, conspiring to "control the world"...etc... I truly feel sorry for those Europeans who wallow in the "anti-American" mindset. Thank goodness there are still a few Europeans who have a shred of real (not false) self pride and confidence and can't be bothered with that kind of unproductive loathing.

Joe

Malik Shabazz to Malkin: You are a Whore (ho) for O'Reilly

Couric: Is America ready for a President who grew up praying in a mosque?

14 comments:

  1. The reason Americans only wish to live in America is because they know of nothing else, which is just one of the many arrogancies of the average american. Anti-Americanism is often justified, and comparing it to Anti-semitism is an inspired, if somewhat flawed observation. In Anti-semitism there was at least a perception of skill in the Semitic people, whereas the reason we hate Americans for their power and succes is because we think (often know) that they do not know how to handle it.

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  2. Another interesting thing is how Neocons have this tendency to jump back to the era of World War II when any criticism of "modern" America comes up (as if it means "anything" in relation to modern America). Look,that was the 1940s.

    Many of the extremely questionable American foreign policys that people (Europeans or otherwise) point to as being the root of their 'so called' "Anti-Americanism" (which most of the time is actually "Anti-current American Government foreign policy-ism") actually began in the 1950s. So this "magic card" of "We saved your skins in WWII,so you owe us eternal respect and obedience no matter what we do" (even though this often comes from people who weren't even born when these things were taking place) is like saying - "Jews suffered the Holocaust,therefore nobody has a right to ever criticize the actions of a modern Jewish state because remember we are 'always' victims".

    It is not that anti-americanism is anti-semitism. I'd suggest you just "want" it to appear that way, to make it seem that any criticism of modern America is unjustified. Israel uses it, and some Americans have noticed how effective it is.

    My view is that dragging up the heroism of past Americans in WWII and trying to use them as a kind of "usefull" blackmail against Europe, is insulting to the American men and women of WWII who you cannot say with certainty would "all" support the U.S government foreign policys of the 1950s up to today.

    On a side note,had Pearl Harbour not been attacked,it is not certain that America would have joined the European war. Washington dithered, watching it go on. Let history not forget that too, before it keeps pulling out the "We saved your asses" card. Europe is certainly very gratefull to America of the 1940s for everything it did. At the same time, it wasn't the sole hero.

    Even France (which some people like to fashionably paint as a nation of cowards) fought in the ways it 'could'. Read some of the diarys by the largely unsung brave French men and women who put their lives on the line (and often lost them) in the underground resistance groups.

    Movies like "Saving Private Ryan" could easily fool people who don't know otherwise,that only Americans fought on the beaches. Once again, Europe certainly is very grateful to America of the 1940s for finally joining in and helping in WWII...

    But it doesn't mean modern Europe has to automatically owe subsequent generations of Americans,modern American culture,or modern American governments and their leaders modern policys,unquestioning embrace. Europe does not have to agree with the actions of the modern U.S government because it is not the America of the 1940s,Joe.

    You'll probably find the majority (as you claim) of Europeans would probably like to live somewhere else because our weather is grim and shocking over here for most of the year, and nobody should underestimate how much that can affect peoples feelings to emigrate (tongue in cheek). In sunny southern climates of Europe,it is often economical reasons that cause people to flock elsewhere instead.

    You also said that the majority wanted to move elsewhere. But did they say they wished to go to America? You didn't make that clear. Here in Britain, many who have ideas of emigrating actually go to New Zealand,Australia, southern France, and increasingly buying houses in the Balkans due to those areas opening up in Europe.

    Some can't wait to get to America, but those are usually (but not always) the very young generation who have a certain idealized view.

    Americans probably like to stay where they are, because you have a lovely mix of climates over there,a good economy, lots of space, and although a lot of Americans travel, there is also a gigantic amount who have never stepped outside of the country,I believe. If someone has no experience of other cultures, then they'll usually choose their own as - "surely being the best choice?". "Comfort zone" syndrome.

    Furthermore,I personally don't dislike "all" Americans at all. I have several American friends, but I do despise some ideologys that come from the mouth of certain Americans who seem shockingly ignorant of other cultures far away from them. I 'personally' don't know anyone who dislikes America as if it is a block. They may well exist, but commonly people are criticizing U.S foreign policy and are called "Anti-American" for it.

    America of today also brings many positive things to the world, but that doesn't mean that people are not allowed to point out the seriously questionable aspects of current foreign policy. Suggesting their criticisms are ungratefull considering "we saved your skins in WWII" is not going to work, Joe. Especially when it comes from people who weren't even born then.

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  3. I know for some people history began when they woke up and fell out of bed this morning, so talking about the last 90 years seems like ancient history, even though I personally know many people who served in WWII. OK, since WWI & WWII are too painful for you to digest, let’s talk about the last 50 years…shall we? After World War II, US taxpayers funded the largest reconstruction project in the history of mankind, known as the Marshall Plan, to rebuild Europe after the devastating war. USAID coordinated massive food shipments to Europe from the US to prevent massive starvation in the two years following the war before European agriculture and distribution systems recovered. The reconstruction project continued well into the early 1960’s. The US formed and largely funded NATO to counter the Soviet expansionist threat & to protect the European continent; stationed hundreds of thousands of troops in Europe, and worked tirelessly to reunite the continent. This goal was achieved with the fall of the Soviet Empire after over 40 years of a “cold war” which America took the lead on. America continues to be the single largest donor for fighting poverty and disease around the world, especially though private American non-profit organizations. When a Tsunami happens in the Far East, it’s not French helicopters dropping food and delivering first aid, its US helicopters flying off of US aircraft carriers. When a devastating earthquake happens in Pakistan its US aircraft and personnel flying in tons of food and survival equipment and supplies. That is not to say that other don’t (to a lesser degree), or that the US is not doing this out of its own self interest to a degree, but so what?

    As for Anti-Semitism being “at least related to a perception of skill:” I guess that whole going to the moon thing was a gigantic hoax. American ingenuity and skill produced virtually every technology that you take for granted today. Airplanes, computers, the light bulb, the telephone…I mean really.

    As for America not knowing how to handle their power and success: Certainly America is not perfect and mistakes are make every day, but when you compare America to other powers in history, especially European powers, America is light-years ahead in every respect. The Spanish inquisition…the Napoleon wars of France, the Wirmire Republic and the Third Reich of Germany…the communist empire of Russia. I would argue that only the British Empire served, on balance, as a positive influence on the world, and even that empire was deeply flawed and the perhaps the source of many of the conflicts today.

    As for Americans not knowing much about the world. America is a big country, many people do travel, others have no need or desire to. It’s not like Europe where you can cross the channel and be in another country in an hour by car, unless you live along the Mexican boarder. By the way, the busiest border crossing in the world is the San Yasidro crossing between Tijuana Mexico and San Diego, California. I have traveled around the world and would probably be in the top 99% of world travelers. I know many Americans like me. The United States is the most “multi-cultural” country in the world with more ethnic groups than any other country. Anyway, I find those who dwell on Anti-Americanism to be sad creatures with low self esteems.

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  4. My comment was the 2nd one which appears here, and not the first one. So some of your reply is not related to my comments. I guess I should choose a name to avoid such a problem. I'll use "Other Guy". Anyway, I'll respond to areas that seem to be speaking towards me.

    Not all U.S Foreign policys are self interested and devious. I'll certainly admit that. And I will always acknowledge the good America does in the world (unlike some people, admittedly). But I will also point out the devious manipulating it has done and continues to do at times, too. Every coin has two sides. Pointing out the other side doesn't lessen the opposite side. It merely points out the other side that some try to hide by showing just one side.

    It simply says that sometimes the U.S government (like many superpowers of the past) jumps in feet first and doesn't think enough about what it is doing. Several times in history,that has led to the death of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people as a result, and citizens of superpowers often seem incapable of entertaining the fact that those decisions blow back later in history and have a root in poorly thought out U.S government policys carried out on others.

    Below are some examples :

    Let us begin with the 1950s coup d'├ętat in Iran which was conducted by the American CIA and the British SIS. Iranians went berserk at this illegal ousting of Mossadaq who was nationalizing Iran and who the U.S and Britain found was detrimental to their influence in Iran. The U.S (and UK) of today suggests that Iranians have no reason to feel bitter about how they had to live under the Shah dictatorship where corruption was rife and thousands were tortured and executed for ever challenging his rule? Interesting.

    How about when American businesses in Guatemala became pissed off at the leader Arbenz who was moving in semi Communist (not Soviet communism) ideologys for the country? Overthrowing this guy, the country suffered decades of civil war. America would consider that collateral damage because they'd class it as a war against communism. Debatable. But at what cost? 100s of 1000s dead from it.

    How about the overthrowing of Allenda in Chile and the installation of dictator Pinoche who went on to become infamous? Nixon was reported to have written - "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup" and "it is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG (United States government) and American hand be well hidden."

    How about support during the Afghan war for Mujahadeen (the type of people that the U.S today call "terrorists")? Yet another war that was claimed to be fighting Communism. What happened when it was over? The destroyed country was left to warlords. Afghans were used as tools, and discarded when their job was done. Civil war broke out, thousands upon thousands were killed and all this eventually led to the creation of the Taliban who brought some order to that country despite their later extreme ways. The U.S government claim any resentment has no justification?

    Later in history, the U.S government kicks these people out and installs a puppet this time, assuming decades of accumulated bitterness can just be erased.

    How about suppporting Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war and arming the guy with some seriously nasty weapons that were later used on his own citizens aswell as the thousands upon thousands of Iranian fighters? Iran has no reason to feel angry at the United States for backing Iraq and providing Iraq with the means to kill as many Iranians as poss? Later in history, the U.S decided they didn't like Hussein anymore after the Gulf war, and inspired a revolt against Hussein (which when it needed support,didn't get it and ended up with them tortured and killed).

    Later in history the U.S government cooks up some story about him being a threat to the "Free world" and invades, knocking him off his perch and (appparently) not having thought about the consequences of opening that pandoras box of Iraq.

    The Iraqi death toll due to the "liberators" not thinking this through properly before this "rush to war",has been astronomical and is ongoing. Once again,the U.S government acting in its own interests first and foremost has created chaos not only in Iraq, but has increased hatred of the U.S.

    American governments have done immense good for the world, but (like Britain) also have an enormous amount of blood on their hands due to playing with nation building and assuming far too much.

    When you travel,you mention it is often due to business. Do you stay cocooned in high class hotels like some of these diplomats do? Or do you speak to the everyday people on the street in those nations,to find out what they "really" think?

    Because I've found that the best way to gauge the real opinion is to put yourself in situations where you're more likely to hear what people "really" think about things.

    Although you are referring to the other guy. I don't think comparing the ancient history of Europe with relatively modern America, works.

    When it comes to aid and amounts. Well, the U.S is a superpower and that can explain the larger quantities of virtually everything. True, some nations are very stingy with aid. But others do their best and as I say, I think the sheer size, vast population, and economy of the U.S goes a long way to explaining the vast difference in size when it comes to aid etc.

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  5. As mentioned, Ameerican is not perfect, as heaven knows we try (as the song goes), which is more than can be said for most. All of the examples that you gave have context and the "other side" that are missing. Allende, the Mujhadeen in Afghanistan, etc..., these are examples of the worldwide struggle to defeat the spread of communisim and Soviet expansionisim. People want to win, but don't want to do the sometimes ugly but nessisary deed to ensure victory. And are big "humanitarians" with the benifit of hindsight. Supporting Saddam for example was only undertaken after the war turned in Iran's favor and Iraq was as risk of being overrun. The US interest was of "dual containment" meaning that no side become a dominent power in the region through a clear victory. Suppling Iraq with just enough weaponry to avert being over-run was the goal, and it worked. Saddam was not an "ally" in any sense of the word. So context is important, hindsight is always easy and makes one look good. America is not perfect and makes mistakes all the time, but it is a force for freedom, stability and good, in a world where none of those things can or should be taken for granted.

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  6. Often (not always) it comes down to business interests rather than defeating certain ideologys. Many of the wars fought in history have used some grand and heroic reason to invade (or meddle in) other nations, when the actual motive was often to do with resources.

    The American buisinesses in Guatemala finding their profits being threatened by the new leaders, and then complaining to the U.S Government, is one example.

    Of course, ousting him was justified as a heroic fight against Soviet Communism. Romans did it with the Celts. Rome had been trading with Celts for a long time in peace, and then the Romans decided they were sick of having to "pay" for the gold and other riches of the northern areas of western europe when the Celts raised their prices. A propaganda campaign began, to portray the Celts as nothing but backward and aggressive (a portrayal which surprisingly continues in school rooms today, despite evidence showing otherwise) and even a "threat" to the Roman world. Any little incident was blown out of all proportion to make it look as if the Celts had attacked the Roman Empire.

    Perfect excuse to invade. Rome did,and Rome soon became very very wealthy on the resources of Northern Europe it no longer had to pay for anymore. In the case of Afghanistan, it was 'Soviet' style Communism expansion yes. Of course, whether or not that struggle was "right" depends on who you are.

    U.S would say it was right to defeat the plans of the Soviets moving further into Central Asia. But let's turn this around. Anyone who makes life difficult for American plans for the Middle East (Iraq) is called a "terrorist".

    If Iran "is" really helping cause chaos for American nation building in Iraq by supplying arms behind the scenes, it is called a "terrorist state". Yet, the Americans working in a such a way behind the scenes in the Soviet-Mujahadeen struggle,consider themselves the "good" folks despite leaving that country to deal with its own destruction after the Mujahadeen had done the dirty work for them. That is why I think that if someone calls these things heroic or evil, entirely depends on their interests. Do I think that sometimes war is nescessary?

    If someone is attacked first, then I feel they have the right to defend themselves while in their country/home. Going out crossing oceans to attack "perceieved" threats to defend oneself, is always going to be open to serious problems and manipulation by politicians with other interets.

    As for the U.S being a force for freedom,stability,and good. What one person considers freedom, stability, and good, another sees as contamination of a culture. I'm not taking a side here. I'm simply saying that "assuming" other nations are going to welcome (or are even ready for) the type of system that operates in the U.S or Europe, is open to debate.

    Other cultures do things in their own way. "We" may not like how they do things. But we can cause more problems when we assume too much that they need to be "enlightened".

    When Hamas was democratically elected, the U.S said - "Erm..well, no this isn't acceptable folks". Such a response now makes many in the Middle East think that the U.S is not interested in true democracy, but just interested in having puppet leaders that it finds acceptable, ruling these nations.

    One person considers democracy the best way to live. Others consider an Islamic government to be the best way to live. Both see their ideologys as "freedom" in their own 'particular' way. Islam often views western culture as sheer chaos, leading to souless materialism, greedy consumption and lack of morals. Western culture often views Islam as a restrictive tryanical system that rules through fear.

    Both see theirs as freedom. Just,not in the way the other does.

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  7. You pointing out flaws with the benefit of hindsight is not convincing. People are trying to make the best calls that they can now, without the benefit of hindsight. Would the US have been more cautious with the Mujhadeen had we known that they would evolve into the Taliban? Sure. Would the US have been more cautious had we known how Saddam would evolve? Maybe; Pointing out these issues in hindsight makes you and everyone like you look smart to those who fail to think the issues through, but would you have proceeded differently if you were making the decisions? Of course, you can say you would have now and who would be in a position to contradict you? And if you would have, is there any guarantee that things would have worked out for the better? What if Iran had over-run Iraq at the time? What if Allende joined Fidel to create an affective axis to spread communism throughout Latin America? Who's to say that far more people wouldn't have died under such scenarios? The point is that most Westerners on the left are real geniuses at hindsight, sitting on the sidelines and pointing the finger at every perceived flaw with the benefit of hindsight and at little or no personal risk, but are rarely in the arena to fight the good fight and shape history… that is left to better men than themselves.

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  8. Hindsight needn't be required. We have countless examples in history already, about what happens when nations far away decide they're going to invade another nation and "liberate" them (even though in the case of Iraq,that was the "fall back" excuse. The initial reason sold to citizens was that it was all about protecting the western world against an imminent threat).

    If a clear request for 'liberation' doesn't come from a majority in that country, then it will always be a gigantic risk that is fraught with potential disaster and can end up in guerilla wars of resistance that can go on for decades and leave the country worse off.

    Long before the Iraq war began,I felt this was going to be a huge error because it was too trigger happy. It didn't seem it had been thought through enough. It didn't seem to have a strong post-war plan. It was a war proposal being "rushed" through, that sexed up (to use the British media term) suspicions, to make it appear as if Iraq was an "imminent" threat and there was no time to sit around.

    Other people were challenging these claims and they were swiftly told they didn't know what they were talking about because "we have special intelligence". Also such people were told - "Look, there is no time for this. He has to be removed while there is still time".

    Iraq was actually on its knees militarily (in terms of it being a major power) after the Gulf war defeat, and years of crippling sanctions. The way the coalition virtually strolled into Baghdad with light resistance,proved that.

    As time went on,it became a guerilla war in the same way the Mujahadeen fought the soviets. Outside elements began to fund it too,in the same way the U.S funded and armed the Mujahadeen. Fighting the Soviets by proxy. It appears this possibility wasn't even considered when it came to Iraq.

    That is simply short sightedness. Did the coalition really think surrounding nations were going to allow a foreign power which is "already" hostile to them, park itself next to them and nation build? If so, then they were extremely deluded. It wouldn't surprise me if Iran, Syria, or even elements in Saudi "are" funding and arming the guerilla war in Iraq.

    Because they'd simply be trying to scupper the nation building plans that the coalition has, in the same way the U.S and Islamic resistance were buddys in order to defeat the Soviet plans for Afghanistan. They'd justify as "stopping further western expansion in the region" in the way the U.S says funding the Islamic resistance in Afghanistan was to prevent further soviet expansion in the region.

    American troops were expecting a Gulf war battle scenario as they went into Iraq 2003, and were perplexed when it seemed so easy.

    Before the invasion,the propaganda machine kept rolling on with persistance and people bought it. Hussein had experience of the historical Sunni and Shia tensions in the country and that both had intentions to dominate the other.

    In comes the coalition, and knocks out all security and assumes that everyone is just going to get over it and start afresh because "now you're free". Examples in Chechnya and Afghanistan show that foreign fighters will often come into these conflicts because they consider them a "Holy war" against invasion of lands where Muslims reside. That particular scenario stretches back to the birth of Islam itself even.

    As mentioned, the U.S saw such people as an ally when they were fighting the Soviets for them. But it considers the same kind of people "terrrorists" when they are fighting against "their" plans?

    Interesting.

    So no I don't buy this excuse that "Well,we couldn't have seen it would turn out this way. We had the best intentions when we began, so we cannot be blamed". People could go on for years and years using this one,to justify and exhonerate themselves.Examples of the dangers of screwing around with far away nations are well documented, stretching back 1000s of years. Examples of it taking place in recent times (such as Chechnya) were there to be observed also.

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  9. The answer on the left is, in almost every instance,...to do nothing in the face of adversity, and even in the face of evil (against Islamo-fascism for example). Freedom isn't free and evil prevails when good men sit around and do nothing in the face of evil, and make excuses all day long why nothing should be done. I would rather see people do something, even a mistake in the face of evil, than sit around all day making excuses, appeasing, groveling and identifying with the enemy at the end of the day.

    You are free today to criticize in hindsight (and I would fight for your right to do so), because better men than yourself sacrificed for that right.

    To quote John Stuart Mill from an earlier post: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept free by the exertions of other men better than himself."

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  10. Historian Andrew Roberts:
    ”The US liberated huge portions of the world from Spain at the start of the century, protected Europe from being taken over by Wilhelmine Germany in the Great War, called a unilateral moratorium on War Debts under the Dawes Plan, aided the Allies before Pearl Harbor, chose to destroy Hitlerism before Japan, mobilised more men in World War II and spent more money for victory than any other power, liberated North Africa, France, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Italy and Austria from the Nazis, and the Far East from the Japanese, launched the $14 Billion Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, saved Berlin from being forced into the Soviet zone of Germany in 1948, protected South Korea and Chile, attempted to her uttermost to protect South Vietnam from the murderous scourges of Communism, it reached the Moon, won more Nobel prizes per capita than any other country, discovered the cures for numerous diseases such as polio, spends more in private philanthropy than any other nation by a significant factor, financed a large part of NATO for over 60 years, masterminded ultimate victory in the Cold War under Ronald Reagan bringing democracy to Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltics, and crushed Milosevic’s murderous regime in Kosovo. The US is presently shouldering around 90% of the burden defending Civilisation from the lethal and unappeasable threat of Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism. It’s a glorious record, and one that deserves to be lauded more by a nation that all too often deprecated the enormously beneficial world role it has played since 1900.”

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  11. Wonderfull.Somebody only today on the internet was saying how Neocons pull this stock - "You are free today to criticize in hindsight because better men than yourself sacrificed for that right" card.

    Oh c'mon,less of the John Wayne.

    If you're referring to our freedoms being saved in the events of WWII by resistance to huge consistent military attack,we've already been through that one. Our nations were attacked by vast military forces.

    Not by an "idea" which leads to small groups of rabble launching suicide attacks in other countrys.

    The U.S (and UK) would like to give the impression that ideas like Al Qaeda are an "object" that can be chased. A nation to be invaded.

    In reality,it is an "idea" which only needs one person to attack and kill many. Invading nations and ousting regimes won't work against that. Bludgeoning with military might,can't kill ideas in peoples minds. Does the U.S and the rest of the coalition really think it can erase ideas out of peoples minds with military force? Evidence seems to be showing that military might and invading nations is actually "strengthening" their ideas and making them more determined infact.

    We didn't intentionally go out to "nation build" in WWII. There is a big difference between defending against a sustained army,navy,air attack, and invading nations pre-emptively just because of what they "might" do. The later is wide open to all sorts of lies,deception,and corruption, and has the tendency to piss a lot of people off in the process. History shows this time and time again.

    You are questioning how much of a "man" I am, simply because I question the hypocrisy of the U.S regarding its proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in which it funded and armed resistance, but now calls those same kind of people "Terrorists" in Iraq, calling the nations behind the scenes supporting them, "terrorist states, axis of evil" when the coalitions own plans of nation building are being scuppered by such opposition.

    The U.S didn't consider itself a terrorist state when it was scuppering the plans of the Soviets by funding the type of people it now considers "insurgents,foreign fighters, terrorists". But it considers anybody else,terrorist when somebody scuppers their plan.

    Rather than ignoring all the points I write, and questioning my level of "manliness", perhaps try answering some of these questions about the United States "screw ups" for a change. Rather than repeating the "pluses" of the U.S (which I acccept) when views which point to what seems to have been intentional deception,spin,and hypocrisy with the Iraq affair are put forward, how about looking into such things?

    When the U.S (or UK) "does" screw up big time, it simply is "not" acceptable to shrug shoulders and say - "We're not perfect. We do our best", in a kind of - "It's better to open the zoo cage and let all the animals out, even if they're all knocked over by passing traffic or shot by poachers, rather than keeping them behind bars" thinking.

    One persons "tyrannical rule", is seen by someone else as "secure stability in a nation where the hotbed of ideological conflict is best kept under control with an iron fist". We may not understand that, but it is often the case.

    Afghanistan was apparently "freed" in 2001, but Kabul is the only secure place in that country now (even that has been lessening recently). Afghans miss security.

    They want security, because most say at least the Taliban brought security. Crime is rife there now,as promised funding for security was diverted into this Iraq war,and increasingly Afghans are starting to flip back to desiring tough hard rulership like the Taliban,due to largely being left to deal with the aftermath of a war, once again in the same way it was left after the Soviet war.

    More and more Iraqis living under the chaos, don't seem to agree that opening the cage door and letting everybody out, was a good idea.

    Several documentarys recently followed emergency rooms in Iraq in which locals were in despair saying it would be better to have the control of Hussein back, rather than live in this hell where you leave your house one morning and never know if you'll come back.

    Death of 100s of 1000s due to a hastily launched war, cannot be brushed away so easily. Somebody must answer for those mistakes, these deceptions,and this hypocrisy we keep seeing again and again.

    Lessons must be learnt,instead of carrying on with them. You keep talking of hindsight. No,I've said that it was clearly obvious "before" the Iraq misadventure that this was going to be a serious mistake and I have given reasons why myself and other people felt that way. We were ignored. People were ignored at the highest level and the war went ahead, rushed through without enough planning.

    Iraq simply was not this "imminent" threat to the western world, and no amount of cut and pastes about the U.S "good points" will whitewash.

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  12. In answer to the entier rant about how the US is a screw up and how the world would be a better place if only you were making the decisions, I refer you to my previous post:

    The answer on the left is, in almost every instance,...to do nothing in the face of adversity, and even in the face of evil (against Islamo-fascism for example). Freedom isn't free and evil prevails when good men sit around and do nothing in the face of evil, and make excuses all day long why nothing should be done. I would rather see people do something, even a mistake in the face of evil, than sit around all day making excuses, appeasing, groveling and identifying with the enemy at the end of the day.

    You are free today to criticize in hindsight (and I would fight for your right to do so), because better men than yourself sacrificed and are willing today to sacrifice for that right.

    To quote John Stuart Mill from an earlier post: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept free by the exertions of other men better than himself."

    I did not question your manhood (I do not know you) but I do find it interesting that you took it that way. As for me, during my military service years ago I discovered that war (an instrument of foreign policy) usually consists of one big series of mistakes. The key is to limit the mistakes to the extent possible. Just because you say that every mistake should have been foreseen in advance and that you would have had the foresight to have avoided all mistakes is...well...I'll let the reader decide as to the credibility of that. Just because you opposed the war in advance does not make you a genius, it most likely simply makes you an ideologue leftist who worships at the alter of appeasement and moral relativism. It makes you a person who sees the value in every culture except your own. A person who believes that all ideologies and ideas are morally equally, and a person who does not believe that his own culture is worth protecting, preemptively if necessary. Most wars are fought over ideas. Communism was and idea, Nazi-fascism was an idea, Japanese expansionism was an idea...and Islamo-fascism is an idea. Ideas have been defeated in the past and they will be defeated in the future. Your problem is that you apparently do no recognize or value the ideas of Western Civilization, and seem unwilling to defend it in the face of a clear challenge. Fortunately, better men than yourself will step up to the plate, weather rightwing or leftwing there will be those who value what we have and believe it worth defending.

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  13. '...came back as loud and brash "Americans" to save their skin in two World Wars...'

    Why is that always the last line in the Europe vs. America argument? The old: Oh yeah well we saved your asses in WWII..

    Well if you want to reduce it down to playground level one-upmanship, then France saved your skins in 1776.

    Could it be resentment and jealousy? That's a good example of why everyone thinks Americans are obnoxious, you believe your own hype. You're not just selling the stuff, you're using too.

    Now don't think I'm just picking on you US of A. I think most gov'ts are full of it. Take WWII for example. Every one of the 'Allied' countries that fought in it like to trumpet about how it was so honorable and noble a cause. When it comes to foreign policy and war, every country has dirty laundry.

    If Hitler hadn't invaded Poland, all the Allied countries would have been quite content to let him do whatever he wanted to the Jews and he would have died peacefully in bed sometime in the '60s.

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  14. because better men than yourself
    sacrificed for that right.


    You assume that a certain group of people are better men than myself, which looks to me like you have made up your mind how much of a man I am,by my differing opinion Joe.

    In answer to the entier rant
    about how the US is a screw up


    Never said that,Joe. Read my post again. When I agree that the U.S (and other coalition nations) have much good for the world "but" show that we have also done a tremendous amount of damage with our screw ups moments that some people seem to think are "beyond" criticism, you seem incapable of accepting that I hold both views. It's the old "Black or white" thing again. Not allowing me to see both sides and commenting. Only allowing me to "Love America" or "Hate America". Either "with us" or "against us". It seems that when disturbing points about the U.S are put forward to be commented on, they're just dismiseed as a "rant".

    and that you would have had the foresight to have avoided all mistakes

    Again you speak as if I'm talking in hindsight. Before it even "happened", even "I" could see many (not all) of the problems that were going to occur in Iraq. So could a lot of other people. But they were "ignored" by those who were absolutely determined to ignore them and push through something they'd been wanting to do for years. That is why warmongers cannot say that others have the luxury of hindsight. Because people were telling the trigegr happy warmongers before it even happened, what would happen within Iraq.

    It makes you a person who sees the value in every culture except your own

    Nope. Read my posts again.

    a person who does not believe that his own culture is worth protecting

    Nope. Read my posts agaain.

    you apparently do not recognize or value the ideas of Western Civilization

    Nope. Read my posts again. This is actually about the pitfalls of going around the world trying to shape the rest of the world in our image without majority consent in those nations, and hiding that behind a foye of "We're fighting those who threaten us". I don't hate western civilization. I despise lying governments abusing the trust of their citizens and using spin and every trick in the book to make this a "us against them" situation as if the world is split cleanly in two sections of "The civil west" and "Barbaric others places who wish us all dead"

    May I remind you that most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi. Interesting how Saudi Arabia wasn't "regime changed" isn't it. Perhaps it is because the U.S recognizes that it is only a "small band" of people in that country who are extremist. Even no convincing link between Hussein and Al Qaeda has ever been proved (Hussein was seen as a secular heretic by Wahhabis), the war went ahead. Funny that, isn't it. I wonder why it did. A war on terror can be fought without invading nations and killing a hell of a lot of people in the process. It can be fought using intelligence.

    Fortunately,better men than yourself

    Here we go again.

    Most wars are fought over ideas

    Yes,some are. But many in history have also really been about resources and strategic advantage hiding under a noble "cause".

    Communism was and idea,

    Communism is an idea. It never came to fruition. Totalitarian regimes came to fruition. But that is not Communism. Communism isn't evil (if that is how you're using the word). I've seen and experienced Communism work very well in small settings. Communism is one thing. Stalinism or many of the other bizzare alterations are something else.

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