The other day, as I was bemoaning the tanking of the dollar versus the Euro (yes, my European friends are not crying in their beer over it; I'm glad for them. Now they can visit), I mentioned that it wasn't just the dollar that had taken a bath since GWB but also the US reputation as a force for Good in the world. Now the BBC World Service has put some numbers on this in a survey of 26,000 people from 25 different countries:
As the United States government prepares to send a further 21,500 troops to Iraq, the survey reveals that three in four (73%) disapprove of how the US government has dealt with Iraq.
The poll shows that in the 18 countries that were previously polled, the average percentage saying that the United States is having a mainly positive influence in the world has dropped seven points from a year ago -- from 36 percent to 29 percent -- after having already dropped four points the year before. Across all 25 countries polled, one citizen in two (49%) now says the US is playing a mainly negative role in the world.
Over two-thirds (68%) believe the US military presence in the Middle East provokes more conflict than it prevents and only 17 percent believes US troops there are a stabilizing force.
The poll shows that world citizens disapprove of the way the US government has handled all six of the foreign policy areas explored. After the Iraq war (73% disapproval), majorities across the 25 countries also disapprove of US handling of Guantanamo detainees (67%), the Israeli-Hezbollah war (65%), Iran?s nuclear program (60%), global warming (56%), and North Korea?s nuclear program (54%). (WorldPublicOpinion.org)
Do I have to draw you a picture? How about three pictures:
These are the averages across all countries and some countries have a more negative view than others. But in 18 of the 25 the majority of people thought the US was having a negative effect on world affairs and in two it was evenly divided. Only in 5 countries was the US thought to have a net positive effect. The negative end of the spectrum was held down by Germany (74% negative) and Indonesia (71% negative) while the nations most favorable to the US were Nigeria (77% positive) the the Philippines (71% positive). But the strongest trends were in countries that had formerly been much more positive: Poland dropped 24% over the last year (62% to 38%), the Philippines from 85% to 72%, India 44% to 30% and Indonesia from 40% to 29%.
There are specific reasons for the loss of favor, most having to do with Bush's disastrous handling of virtually everything in the Middle East: Iraq, Israel-Lebanon, Guantanamo, Iran. In 20 of the 25 countries there was disapproval by more than 20 of the 25 countries surveyed. Almost as high a disapproval was registered about the Bush administration handling of the North Korea situation and global warming (19 countries showed disapproval by the majority of respondents). Almost every other country (23 of 25) thought the US role in Iraq just provoked more conflict. Interestingly, US polls also show majority disapproval of virtually all the same issues except for the North Korean situation. Unlike the rest of the world, however, a moderate majority (57%) of Americans cherish the thought that their country is a positive influence in the world. That's stunningly bad.
But this administration doesn't really care. Or, to put it in Vice President Cheney's more succinct response, "So?"
Countries surveyed in BBC World Service poll: In total 26,381 citizens in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United States were interviewed between 3 November 2006 and 9 January 2007.
The only people who could possibly be surprised by any of this would be those who entered into a coma, a little more than seven years ago. I live for the day that this Administration leaves office. I would prefer, of course, that the chief offenders exit office by way of Federal prison, but I realize that as welcome as that might be, there is very little likelihood that justice will ever be served, here.
disapprovement of policy is not "hate"
Nor do we know who they polled in this. Its like polling people in the US. Turns out that when they want a poll done of 5000 people, they were pulling them from the DC or New York phone book. If you wanted a poll done you would never, ever poll in the places where you might get an opposing statistic. Here is the poll....It doesnt give a what do you think we should do about it.
Funny but, maybe you might have gotten something else if you asked if we should just ride in, kick the shit out of Iran, Korea and Syria? The supposition that is posted here doesnt indicate that we should change any strategies. Its a drive by shooting. So, lets see where they conducted the polls too. All that man about town stuff. Did they do it outside of a conservative church? Did they do it outside of a neo-nazi organization rally? No specification, just face to face and via phone. They even included Kenya and Mozambique, Ethiopia and Somalia... Now theres a place to meet people on the street.
So whats your point Revere? I talk to people all over the world that are their equivalent of good ole boys and I can only think of one that doesnt like the US. His name is Aachim and he lives in Bavaria. He has a problem with the US ever since we killed his brother in WWII in a P-40 strafing run on the last day of WWII -Europe. He makes no bones about it. He says that he likes the people of the US tremendously, but the government killed his brother.
Is this another one of those demonizations of the US things? What would you like us to do? Do you think we can just leave? I am truly interested because it would result in a civil war and someone would come in and fill the void we leave, say Syria or Iran. No, the reasons given for war were not the greatest-WMD. But the WMD's were there, UN verified in fact... Hans Blix... Remember him? Where did the VX go? If it was dumped we would have seen it. If it was neutralized then we would have been able to verify that....So no WMD's were found. Thousands of tons of the stuff, UN verified stuff just up and dissapeared. Hmmmm......?
Go to Iraq? Gimme a good reason. How about Saddam being an asshole of the Stalin/Hitler vein. Now we do know what happens when those kinds of people are in power or allowed to be left there. You might apply that to Bush and Cheney and rightly or wrongly, time will tell the tail of that. But it was a country we were going to have to do sooner or later. We all knew it. Just as the smart ones know we will be hitting Iran. Syria is too smart to get themselves wedged between the US military and the Israelis. They missed an opportunity a few months ago to take Israel off the map, they wont get that lucky next time out. Israel will be watching and waiting.
Shit...the Yugoslavia thing smoldered for 7 years before we did squat about it and only after the stain on the blue dress came up. Losing a bunch of embassies wasnt a problem until the threat from Osama bin Laden was acknowledged and our response was to hit an area with 30 cruise missiles. Whats your point Revere.? I can remember the same countries that hate us (or you indicate that they do) hated us in the 1960's, they hated us in the 80's, the 90's. So what truly is the big difference here?
For that matter they HATE the Russians too. Now theres a poll to conduct in Poland. But whatever the case the above carries absolutely no water with me.
If they had shown up in an African redneck bar in Chad what kind of answers would they have gotten.
"The only people who could possibly be surprised by any of this would be those who entered into a coma"
Certainly not the easily led who read the posts at EM, right?
I had to do frakking phone survey's for a few years to make ends meet and in all honesty the statistics don't fly, ever.
Normally one, maybe two out of 10 respondents, are honest and willing to really take the time to do the survey correctly. Plus the way the survey's are worded, the person on the other end has difficulty understanding what the question really is and will just give an answer to get it over with.
Keep in the mind too the pressure the person is under that conducts the survey, it's borderline slave labor folks.
Am probably about to be accused of going off on a Randy Kruger style rant here (even though I think he would and will disagree with many of the following particulars) but so be it.
The rest of the world thinks that America is ruining everything? Fantastic. Let's stop. I have absolutely zero inclination to spend even one thin dime out of my own pocket to militarily defend a single square centimeter of soil outside of United States territory, or to provide supposed improvements to living conditions outside of that sphere.
South Koreans don't like having US forces around? Excellent! Home by Christmas if we start tomorrow morning. We'll leave the keys to the bases wired to the gateposts. Watch out for the loose toilet seat in the men's room in the old Pusan PX. Best of luck negotiating with the crazy dwarf to the north, the one with a nuke in his vest pocket and 15,000 heavy artillery tubes pointed at Seoul. This guy certainly is someone's problem but he's not mine.
Germany is averse to the US? The grandparents of the present German generation figured out (the hard way) that it's not any fun having the Russian bear on the doorstep without an American watchdog inside the door.
I expect that the current crop of Germans will in time have an opportunity to relearn that lesson. Especially when dealing with the likes of the present Kremlin leadership -- you know, the charming fellows who think nothing of using radioactive isotopes to assassinate defectors. Those ruthless siloviki have a stranglehold on the energy reserves the Germans will need once the truth of their farcical wind and solar programs becomes more widely realized, to wit, that those programs mean spending a whole lot of money to get a tiny little bit of power. Again, no skin off of my nose.
And for that matter, for how many more years will Germany even be culturally German? Twenty-five? Thirty? I fully expect to see the Basic Law first supplemented by and then supplanted by shariah, as the Islamic demographic tidal wave drowns the ancient original Germanic peoples, who made two critical mistakes (forgetting to have babies and admitting culturally hostile auslanders who remembered to do so).
Taiwan and China? In case you didn't notice, the Taiwanese voted in a "reconciliation" candidate the other day, because they are tired of missing out on the imagined financial bonanza of trade with the mainland.
I myself think that this will not end well for the Taiwanese in the long run. They not only will get the short end of the stick on the trade deals which they imagine will make them rich, but will end up absorbed into the mainland political system. A system in which, let us remind ourselves, peaceable dissidents get shot in the back of the head after a show trial, by a system which simultaneously sells the organs of the deceased into the medical transplant black market for profit, while billing the grieving family for the cost of the executioner's bullet. Not my cup of tea. But I'm a coffee drinker.
So, hey, as the old saying has it, be careful what you wish for: you might get it. Again, if the voters of Taiwan wish to go to hell in a handbasket, who am I to stand in their way? And why should I spend any money on applying warning stickers to the handbasket?
AIDS relief for Africa? I didn't go around telling Africans to have promiscuous condomless sex. Curing AIDS is incredibly hard. Not getting it in the first place is incredibly simple. One may rely with complete confidence upon a slightly longer A-word: A-B-S-T-A-I-N. Which is what I and others did during the frightening early years of the epidemic, when no one knew anything other than that the stuff was a mysterious fatal STD of some kind. This ain't rocket science.
I would like to see *all* money currently spent by the US outside US territory withdrawn at once, and put to work on two key policy goals:
(a) paying down the financial debts Americans owe to non-Americans, with the ultimate goal of financial independence and disengagement from the rest of the so-called world economy, and
(b) attaining completely domestically sourced energy by any means necessary (including building bad-assed breeder reactors that will scare the pants off of whiny liberal types), again with the ultimate goal of complete energy independence and disengagement from the rest of the world.
I'm quite serious. Americans can and should be able to go it alone: economically, agriculturally, energetically and in every other way. We're not Belgium. We are in serious debt, but relative to the size of our economy we can and should pay it back down. Many of the EU states have considerably higher ratios of national debt to GDP than we do.
I find it grimly apposite that the target of the 9/11 terrorists was the World Trade Center. And what was it that made their attack possible? World trade and permeable borders. Without that, they'd never have been here in the first place to make trouble. For that matter, their lethal snit about infidels on holy Saudi soil would never have come up.
George Washington's farewell address to the Congress was annually re-read in the House for generations, until we lost the habit in the last century. He said, in brief, that the rest of the world is a dangerous, dingbat, messed-up place, and that we should have as little to do with it as possible, tending to our own knitting and keeping our powder dry. The events of the last hundred years have amply reconfirmed and underscored old George's wisdom in the matter.
Marquer I have only Two Words....Hear! Hear!
marquer: MRK rants are sui generis but nice try. My response to you? I agree with at least one thing you said: Be careful what you wish for!
Are you still trying to send to me? email@example.com
No one or no country is or can be perfect.
You have way more friends than you may know.
But Revere your postings never tell enough of the story. Its like putting up only the front of a coin. It pushes only the agenda that the US is always wrong, always doing something in contradiction to the rest of the worlds opinion. Well that certainly is based upon only that the Russians are back within their borders. Its a big world though. If we simply did what is suggested above you would likely see a Russian Bear or a Chinese Dragon starting to gobble up pieces of it in short order. Me, I am for just knocking them off and tamping them down. Regime change.... Not invasions. You want us to worry about the poll that was taken in Turkey about a war in a nearby Muslim nation that has a border with Iraq? Give me a break.
Its the not "our problem" people that get us into it. Everything is "our problem" in the world and the Dems have made it so. AIDS in Africa, sewage in Iraq, hospitals with crap in them in Afghanistan, Darfur, Chad, Kosovo, human rights in Tibet and China, silly britches Supari. Are any of them our problems? Dont flip out the Geneva Conventions on it, it doesnt say what you want it to. Its like Supari sitting around diverting attention from the fact that the Indon UHC heath system is broke and by a measly 2.5 billion dollars. Divert attention from the real story. Thats all this is. The BBC taking a poll is like going to a KKK meeting and asking how they feel about Americans of African descent.
Here is a real news flash. If we quit supporting all of these governments around the world, you can have UHC with my blessing as long as I get a 30% increase in military spending. Wont be enough but we should be able to hold them off for about 10 to 15 more years after that.
Tom: Who is asking for perfection? Competence and decency is enough for me at this point. We had a lot of friends and we can have them again. People around the world are looking for reasons to like us again. I hope we give them one in November.
Totally agree with the last of revere's comments.
This is not about hatred for the American people. It's about how the US government has been handling foreign policy in the past two terms of the Bush presidency.
And by the way: AIDS is not only an African problem, remember? And the world is not asking the US to be isolationist.
Sometimes it is not even about what you do...but how you do it. Doing it competently and more honestly might just be the answer to this conundrum.
So what is the world asking us to do Steppen? Hmmm.... Lets have Islamic terrorists go and bomb the fuck out of Germany, take down the Eiffel on the way. How about the new King Faisal Hotel complex in Riyadh? Hmmm. Lets go and kill Jewish tourists in Kenya, and lets not forget the Bali people. They havent gotten the snot blown out of them lately. So the assertion is that we just sit back and negotiate. You negotiate with governments, not terrorists. If they back terrorists as their little army of the 5th Column, you simply start executing them as they are caught.
Is there any competency in war? No, because if you were smart, really smart you wouldnt get into them. But every now and then you have to just back and let fly. Everyone misjudged the situation in Iraq between the various factions. Personally I dont see how we could have gotten it right with so many little militias.
Me, I dont think that because nearly all of the terrorists came from Saudi Arabia that it is a reason to blow Riyadh off the map. But I can say that if they consistently find that they are doing it then you make your protests known. If they do nothing about it then you blow Riyadh off the map. Dead people dont attack you. Me personally I see that unless these pissant countries get these people under wraps they will control Europe via the uterus as Marquer says. FAST at that. White Anglo Saxon Protestants and Catholics will be a thing of the past. Your daughters will suffer as a result. Womens rights? They aint got none!
If they take Europe, they will control the oil because our reach will have been limited beyond our ability to project sufficent power. We will be pushed out of the Persian Gulf. This little war has proven one thing. That is that unless you are willing to commit to unlimited war (conventional) that you are going to have to have more boots, more money, more everything. We had been going under the assumption that we could fight two major conflicts all at the same time. We can but not unless we are willing to smack the politically correct off the planet with the enemies. Else, you better have a lot more troops.
Maybe I am one of the few that get it, but it seems to be a big plan. Iran is awash in money and buying up just about every arms system that the can. The Chinese too. If the Chinese need oil they could invade Russia or go southwest thru Pakistan or Iran. It has become the biggest game in the history of the world and could end in a massive nuclear exchange between the Big 4.
But there are those that think having healtcare for everyone in the world is more important than domestic and international security. How do you administer that if you are getting a Baghdad style bombing every day? Do tell.
Randy: Yeah, you're the only one who gets it. Ever wonder about that?
Who cares what all those people in other countries think? What do they know? America is the greatest nation in the world and if you say anything else it just proves that you hate your country and you should move to France or something.
dd: The flaw in your argument is that the dollar is so weak I can't move to France.
That was absolutely spot on marquer. Truth is truth.
It'll never happen though as unionized bankers, the fed reserve (a corporation by the way), big pharma, and the oil barons rule the roost. We are truly victims of their greed.
I hope we give them one in November.
Sorry there revere, November isn't going to change a thing. Hopefully you'll live long enough to keep pissing me, MRK and a few others off to see this.
Check your email MRK.
My older sister forwarded me this email today:
I love this. IT'S TIME TO GET TOUGH.
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO TURN ON THE TV AND HEAR ANY U.S. PRESIDENT, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN GIVE THE FOLLOWING SPEECH?
My Fellow Americans: As you all know, the defeat of the Iraq regime has been completed.
Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.
This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now time to begin the reckoning.
Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short.
The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, and Poland are some of the countries listed.
The other list contains every one not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.
Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war. THEN EVERY YEAR THERE AFTER IT'll GO TO OUR SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM SO IT WONT GO BROKE IN 20 YEARS.
The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hellholes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.
Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France.
In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.
Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France or maybe China.
I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bonne chance, mez amies.
I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York
A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change.
Mexico is also on List 2, its president and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra thousand tanks and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put 'em? Yep, border security.
Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty - starting now.
We are tired of the one-way highway. Immediately, we'll be drilling for oil in Alaska - which will take care of this country's oil needs for decades to come. If you're an environmentalist who opposes this decision, I refer you to List 2 above: pick a country and move there.
It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying, "darn tootin."
Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America. To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thank you guys. We owe you and we won't forget.
To the nations on List 2, a final thought: You might want to learn to speak Arabic.
God bless America. Thank you and good night.
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.
I wonder why they didnt include Canada in this poll?
Well Revere, I always said they didnt kill enough people in New York to keep everyone on task. Your reality is yours because you think this isnt such a big deal. Its the difference between pacing the hospital or university floors and saying well this is the way it is, rather than what the true reality is. That being the pacing going on in the Pentagon and White House about how crappy the situation is. To me, the only way to win it is start taking places off the map permanently if they dont want to join the democratic process in Iraq. But thats just me.
When one of our cities gets poofed by either a dirty nuke or chemical weapon, or say someone is just dumb enough to launch on Haifa or Tel Aviv I will be automatically right though about getting it. Wont have to say a word. 30 minutes later WWIV will begin and we might be lucky to come out of it with our lives. Then we all get it. It is the stated policy of the US that if attacked with Chemical/Biological/Nuclear weapons that we will respond in kind. If a nation harbors them, then they too will face the brunt of it.
So, its a moot point until I am proven right. You get to pontificate. But I do get it as so many do that dont post up. Its not GWB or Clinton or whomever the next President is. We are in between a rock and some real hard cases and I see no way out of it except to kill them. If someone wants to negotiate with a terrorist who sits back and says convert or die and you say piss off and he starts killing your people, you tell me what you would do. Genocide? Destruction of a major city in a country? When Reagan bombed Libya every one of those little countries suddenly figured out that they were on the wrong side of the argument. They reeled their factions in and things cooled off. We are perceived right now as being weak. We are weak only in our resolve. Obama aint going to do it, nor are Hillary or McCain. We need someone who would not be Christian about an attack by terrorists on our allies, Israel or the US. I want someone else who GETS IT! That being that you wont fold in front of a pair when you are holding four aces.
You light them up. Keep it conventional if possible. If not stick it up their tails and send them packing. Its not Christians bombing anything but abortion clinics, the Islamists are bombing just about everything they can get access to. Targeting the non-combatants for the better part.
I still keep asking the same question Revere of what you would have this President or the next one do. If its negotiating with someone, point them out. Its simply not a government, its a group of terrorists and the ONLY way to get them is to hunt them down as they did after Munich and kill them. That is, unless you want to waterboard them first. Its either a law enforcement issue, or its a military one. It certainly isnt a diplomatic one as best I can tell. Muqtadr? I would wipe him out in an afternoon. If they go to ground in an area, the megaphones come out and they either surrender or we take it off the map. Very simple really. It might piss off more of them. Okay, but after attrition wears them down to the nubs they too will want to play ball. Benign dictatorship basically. Here is your government. Take your lunchbox and hat and go and yell and scream all you want. Vote on things. But if you attack us or the process or the people in the process, well you know the outcome.
dd-Sorry but I have to call a foul there. Revere is an American expressing his keen interest in a subject dear to us all. No one wants to see anyone in the military taking a hit-4000 today or the other day. He is an anti-war person and I remind you that if we had not had them in Vietnam days we might still be in there. All wars end, but how you end them is important. We didnt win Vietnam, we didnt win in Korea. We just kind of went away. As a result everyone doubts that we can win one, that we all are kinda pussied out when it comes to splattering a country all over the place. We were doing that in Iraq but our own commanders called it before the game was over. I would have simply kept on until their military strength was nearly zero and then put the military in there. Its a civil war in the middle of a democracy. They are right about that. Politically correct wars... Give me a complete and total fucking break. Revere never answers when I ask him what would it take for him to go to war. I dont think there is any. Thats acceptable to me and I admire him for it. Martin Sheen is a hero of mine because his thoughts about war are pure and ideological in nature and he stands by what he believes in, up to and including jail. I'll bet Revere took a ride in a wagon or two in his day downtown.
Throwing simulated blood on people, popping the front of a Marine Recruiting station isnt in his bag likely. He might get out there and express himself like he is here and that takes guts in the face of the religious right and heavily influenced Republican Party. But the intent is the same. Stop it if you can. Okay, we can stop it but Viet Nam isnt sitting on the economics of the world for the foreseeable future.
So telling an American to move to France is a little over the top. We have a very left party right here already in the Democrats thank you that he can and likely does participate in. Please dont question even super lib Nancy P's patriotism because thats wrong. She is also a patriot. I dont know what Obama stands for but its not the raising of the flag, but likely he too is one.
We are and have been divergent on the direction this country should be taking since 1774. Everyone gets to speak up and I dont like it when anyone tries to silence the mob. Back off on ole Revere as he is right about two things. The right to be heard and the fucking dollar is too low to move to France right now. It will be back and then the EU can bitch about the price of tea in China.
I received a fascinating email today, "So? ... A Note from Michael Moore (Mon, 24 Mar 2008)"
Interestingly, last nite I watched the Bruce Willis movie "Tears of the Sun" (2003) and haven't yet "come down" from the viscerally raw emotions evoked by that very, very, American story.
I watched that Darth Vader Cheney ABC news soundbite referred to by Bowling Ball Moore and thought, "God, America has allowed itself to be ruled by sociopaths (look up the definition in the DSM-IV, alternatively see "Vogon" in the Hitch Hikers Guide)!"
Anyway, the Bruce Willis movie. I couldn't help but see the 4,000th Bush-war-based dead American soldier in the actors faces within the fictional narrative.
I'm wondering what Republican Randy reckons is going on the minds of his leaders?
Moore: "4,000 dead. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000 wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a long, long time. God will keep blessing America.
And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this week told Dick Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer: "So?"
"So?" As in, "So what?" As in, "F*** you. I could [not] care less."
The Democrats have had the power to literally pull the plug on this war for the past 15 months -- and they have refused to do so...
Cheney spent Wednesday, the 5th anniversary of the war, not mourning the dead he killed, but fishing off the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht. So? Ask your favorite Republican what they think of that..."
Moore is an idiot Jonathon. There's some guy in Moore's hometown that did a documentary on him, wish to heck I could remember the guy's name, it was a few months past. Just google michael moore lies, might change your mind about the creep.
They had an epidemiologist opening in the Netherlands recently revere.
Pushing aside the religious things that make your lifestyle abomination in the eyes of most Republicans we have to talk about whores and pigs. Whores that take the money from our pockets and then hang with the Sultan. Then there are the pigs. Michael Moore is an opportunistic pig. His little rants about healthcare, election theft and other things have started to be debunked. In fact, he is an out and out liar about many of the things he says in his latest movie.
Man of the people... Guess what? He owns stock in just about all of the oil companies, GM and I think Ford two. Dont know about Daimler. Here is a link...
So the Republicans that you would vilify including Cheney are probably pretty tolerant people. Dick C.'s own daughter had a baby and she and her partner (lesbian) are raising it. Dickies daughter is going to be worth over 500 million after he is gone from what I understand and he gets an heir. Another thing Jonny, I am Republican and I go to church with gays. Our organist is gay and a pretty cool guy... funny as hell too.
4000 dead.... I can remember when that was cheap in comparison to Vietnam. What is going on in the minds of my leaders? Well Frist was upset enough with the system that he left, as did Thompson. Bill F. told me it left him feeling a bit dirty once having to deal with the slimeballs in Congress.
As for Dick C.'s comment I personally read it differently and its not the So What? It to me was so whats your question ABC. They do this and ambush electeds and they never are able to tell the truth of what they are really thinking. With him it was probably something like I'd like to kick this bitches ass. During the Republican Caucus in Memphis 2 years ago, I was sitting with Marsh Blackburn and two of the local electeds eating ribs. A reporter comes breezing through and sticks a mike into Marsha's face, complete with rib smacking it into her face. I stood up and told him to back off. So he proceeds to try to provoke an incident by doing it....again. Since it was a private party I happily scooped him up dragging his camera girl with him and put them both out on the sidewalk. The guy is screaming I am going to sue and I said fine, we have about 30 attorneys inside that will testify that you trespassed and assaulted a member of Congress... A federal felony. He shut up, incident ended and I called his producer and he got fired. Sorry, but there is no diff between this guy and Michael Moore. Its like the Florida Elections with Bill Maher and Michael Moore. The election wasnt stolen, in fact it was preserved because more people voted in Palm Beach County than were registered....Its a Democrat County. The same in Miami-Dade.... A supervisor tried to take the open ballot boxes into a room with only himself in it... A federal violation.
But just cause they say things on TV dont make it so. Like Michael Moores movie about Cuban health care... UHC. Well there aint an MRI in the country. They are using 50 year old EKG's and well TB, Cancer and staph run amok there. Toss in a little malaria while you are at it.
So my point is that each and every one of those guys that died and got injured signed the piece of paper because this country means something to them. It means something to the entire world. Some dislike us, some hate us but one thing is sure, most fear us. Fear is a good thing sometimes but there are those that dont believe that we will hit them. I personally believe that we will hit another country in the near future. Either Iran, Pakistan or Syria. ....Hugo Chavez also better not be confirmed to have Al Qaeda in country as this is now the Bush and Monroe Doctrines. The OAS is also gearing up for a conflict. So Cheney saying 4000 and SO, isnt so what. Its more like so better get used to it.
Yes Randy, the two year old Independent article from UK's Janet Street-Porter (daughter of an electrician and a Welsh woman who worked as a school dinner lady) is a rather damning indictment of Moore (trapped, as he is/was, in a "success meltdown ego paradigm" which destroys talented Americans eg. Britney Spears, Heath Ledger, etc...
FYI: "homosexuality" is as much a "lifestyle choice" as "heterosexuality" ie. delusional logic. All forms of an individual's core sexuality (even "bisex") is determined by parental gene sequences in the womb -- it's totally impossible for a person to purchase love or raunchy chemical attraction from a store, like you would an '08 model car!
Transcript of ABC news segment interview with Richard Cheney by White House correspondent Martha Raddatz:
CHENEY: On the security front, I think theres a general consensus that weve made major progress, that the surge has worked. Thats been a major success.
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say its not worth fighting.
RADDATZ So? You dont care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls...
Randy, you use the term "whores and pigs"! Well, I'd apply that equally to many Congressional Democrats...
Excerpt from an email message from Senator Charles E. Schumer (Mon, 24 Mar 2008) -- one of my NY Dem reps:
Schumer: "Recently, I worked with a bipartisan coalition to address our presence in Iraq. My colleagues and I in the Senate offered the Feingold-Reid amendment to the 2008 Department of Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 1585. This amendment would legally change the mission in Iraq to one of protecting our troops, fighting terrorists, and training Iraqi soldiers and police. It would require the military to bring all troops back to the U.S. that are not actively involved in that narrow mission within 90 days. Feingold-Reid would have cut off all funding by June 30, 2008, for troops not working on what would become the military's new core mission.
Unfortunately, some of my colleagues used a procedural objection to prevent the Senate from voting on this amendment. I am disappointed that we were unable to garner the sixty votes needed to add this measure to the bill. But please know that I will continue to fight to change our mission in Iraq, despite the ill-conceived [whore/pigish] opposition of some of my colleagues and the [Bush]Administration..."
The problem with the US administration is it just does things incompetently. I think popular opinion of US foreign policy would be a lot higher if it was broadly the same but showed signs of being thought through to a greater extent that what is currently apparent.
Because currently a lot of US foreign policy looks like it was constructed by the underpants gnomes and that is never a good sign for an empire, even on thats in denial.
1) Invade country, destroy infrastrcuture, dismantle all semblance of government.
2) Fluff around for years, failing to rebuild country to a level before our invasion, aggravating the populace and giving speeches which demonstrate our lack on contact with the rest fo reality.
4) People in the region now love us, removing all threats towards us.
Like it or not, we are part of a global economy, a global political system, a global climate. All the jingoistic rage-spewing rhetoric in the universe won't change that. It's the height of naivete to think our economy could stand on its own. The U.S. is in debt up to its red, white and blue to foreign countries such as Japan, China, the UK and (surprise!) oil-producing nations. About 25% of last year's $8.5 trillion debt. And that was last year. This year it's up to $9.3 trillion. Kinda hard to be separatist when you owe that much and are in a recession. And a war.
Good luck building coalitions and tracking terrorists across the world when you've told everyone to piss off.
I don't see anyone suggesting American policy should be based on world popularity contests, but this is the 21st century, not the 19th. It calls for new tactics, new vision and, frankly, some maturity, rather than adolescent posturing.
Guess who gets to default on their loans if we get hit again and it takes out say, Wall Street? You know, it could have been a lot worse in New York and DC. Global markets and every currency would fall like a rock if either one gets hit...
Some times you have to tell them to piss off. Especially if they are harboring them either willingly or unwillingly. If Pakistan is toppled France, the US, and the UK are very likely going to invade that country for two reasons. First is to secure those nukes and dismantle the ability to make them, second is Bin Laden.This is the reason I say we might just end up having to kill them all. Might have to because I dont think you could subdue that many people with what we have on the ground now. That only leaves a few options... all bad.
Janet its not adolescent posturing when you have the capability to kill just about everyone on the planet. That by default makes you either the good guy or the bully on the block. Some perceive the latter. Does anyone want to do what we are doing? Not really. But in the same breath we had better get these people and soon, or they'll get us.
Jonny you know my position on homosexuality. But I dont treat anyone any different because of it other than to say its abomination and let it go. I really dont know what the answers are for folks in that situation. Kind of like if you believe in God you dont do it. But on the other hand, which one is a greater sin...killing or being homo? I dont know. Not for me to decide. I dont Pat Robertson people with it either. I wouldnt rub your nose in it even on my worst day.
The deal with the Democrats...Schumer in particular. They were all presented with the same evidence of WMD's in Iraq. It was interesting stuff. I personally because of family relationships know that the info was good, solid and just flat wrong on some things. But not on others. The info on Afghanistan and Bin Laden was correct to the T because we had people on the ground. Iraq though we had only info from the UN, and we know how tainted that was. It was also being doctored by the French who were illegally selling weapons making items such as milling machines and centrifuges to them.
Put yourself into everyones position. What the fuck were we supposed to believe? There was a war chant going and everyone voted for it except for Obama... He was outta town. Once we were in country we found every piece of evidence it had been there, but no potato's were found. Even the UN verified stuff. Where did it go? So its reasonable to assume that there is a pot load of chemical and nuclear weapon level stuff either in the ground or in Syria. My bet is Syria. The Iranians got the Iraqi Air Force.
So plan on more of the same because we really have no choices here. Get it wrong and you lose say Los Angeles, whack the economy and the use of tactical nukes will likely be authorized. Any pull backs will ensure that we do get hit. Obama might if he is elected take us out of there, but only to our later detrimient.
Mr Kruger- ideologically driven fantasies based on overblown threats that lead one to suggest that LA would be "lost" lead me to think that you are quite bonkers. Would you like to shut up for 5 or 10 years until we see who is correct?
The best estimates of proven oil reserves in Alaska are that they would supply the U.S's needs for years, not decades, if we were to stop all imports of foreign oil.
Like it or not, we will be inextricably tied to the rest of the world for years to come for that reason alone.
You could be right CC. Honestly I don't know.
Don't know, not because I don't want to know, but don't know because I don't have the time to research everything that is relevant to the many discussions here.
It's astounding and mind boggling to me that so many people blogging actually have the time to research everything that is shared here.
guthrie, don't want MRK to "shut up" for five or 10 years.
I'm with you Mr Kruger. But mate, learn how to use a comma in a sentence will ya? The use of a few of them would make your excellent blogs quicker to read. Cheers.
CC is correct.
Even if the ANWR reserve is several times the size of Prudhoe Bay (the largest oil field ever found in the USA), it would be used up in less than a decade.
If the US wants to get off of the imported oil teat, it will have to use coal-to-liquids technology to make motor fuels. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal.
CTL is an atrocious, filthy, dangerous process -- Blake's "dark Satanic mills" writ large. Locally environmentally damaging, insatiably thirsty for water, and a major contributor of global warming forcing emissions.
But, hey, the atmosphere is a commons (pace the late Garrett Hardin) and we're only part of the globe, so we get all the benefit with only some of the damage, and the rest of the world are on record that they loathe us anyway, so let's go with the CTL for now. If they want for us to not emit carbon, they can pay up at the window.
I'm only partly joking here. It would be an ugly and self-indulgent course for the US to commit to coal on an epic scale. But China and India are burning the stuff like there's no tomorrow (as well there may not be).
And laughably politically correct countries like Australia don't help. Their new PM has said they will ratify the Kyoto treaty. Wow! Really? So Australia won't sell gigatons of coal to the Chinese any longer? Er, no, those sales will continue unabated. But a few percent of the profits from the coal sales will go to renewables. In other words, the style without the substance. About what one would expect.
For my part, I would prefer a commitment to advanced fission power in the short term (augmented by a serious energy efficiency push) and SPS in the long term.
Here's my suggestion for a thought (or real) experiment.
To dicover the answer to the question as posted in the title (assuming that is at least part of the intention of this discussion) what if you were to post the same question/commentary but ask all Americans to refrain from responding for 48 hours, and invite only non-US citizens to give their views.
Better yet, invite only those who do not live on the north American continent.
I have no ideas what kind of comments you will get, but I would imagine both the comments and the gut responses of American readers as they are confined albeit temporarily to read-only mode may be rather instructive and perhaps productive.
Just a thought. ;-D
mara-Sorry. Need a new keyboard, the y and comma have coke spilled into it thanks to baby boy Connor. See drinking that shit IS bad for you.
Yeah, because your fucking "American cowboy"/"World sheriff" attitude is not what's pissing off the rest of the world. Nah, it's your export of Britney Spears music videos. Yeah. Gotta be that.
Oh guthrie, unless you are in Oz you probably simply shut out of your mind the transportation system bombings in London of past... I got that from your bonkers reference... Generally UK, Oz, NZ use that term. It really wouldnt take much to knock out a major city permanently.
Think not? Lets talk isocyanate... funny stuff that. Arguably Bhopal India was caused by an unknown quantity reacting with water. Okay, but here in the US there are literally tank car loads of it rolling through our towns. It was posted here before that these things should be routed outside of cities. Well thats a good and bad brain thing. Good if you think it would work, bad if you know anything about chemical dispersal patterns in winds. If you route them outside of towns, you could lose a whole town rather than a quarter or so. But we are talking about how to take a town and for me, the rails are great little places for anarchists and terrorists.
Our tank cars are good, double walled in fact and now they are putting something between the walls to absorb shocks and shells. But they are supposed to be able to take everything up to a 50 cal. round. But it doesnt matter. If you penetrate one with Isocyanate, phosgene or whatever and the shit will hit the fan fast. You might be thinking nukes... Me too. But that would be state sponsored stuff there. To me it is very possible but we have the threat of home grown terrorism. We have had a few...The American Taliban....Lind. Dylan Klebold and company who were pissed at their classmates killed a lot of people. Should have seen what they werent able to carry into school because it was too heavy...Cooker propane tanks surrounding 5 pounds of black powder. Three in fact. The estimate on that one was it would have generated about a quarter ton of explosive force...enough to bring the place down to the ground. But there werent any rail heads nearby else maybe they would have been really pissed off?
Trains present a very viable capability to do something. All sorts of little goodies on wheels. Rail cars leak but they dont rupture totally as a rule, that is unless you know how and where to place the penetrator charges. One tank car would render Los Angeles or really just about any other city if you jack'd it a dead city in an hour or two. You simply use the wind to deliver whatever you want... You saw likely the pictures of Bhopal.
Here are some refreshers
Now that stuff traveled about 25 miles or so and just about anyone and everyone that was contaminated or inhaled it died. Some just got it on their skin. The post disaster effects continue today and this was an accident. Know how many things react with water, know what happens when it gets into a river...But this is only one way to take out a city.
Lets talk about fire for a bit. You roll down to the local gas station with a pickup truck load of gas cans and load up. Not unusual in Los Angeles these days when gas is found and its cheap. No one would notice. So you load up what would be approximately 150 gallons and the next day you buy diesel instead. You mix the two with good ole P&G soapflakes and you buy up a couple of dozen signal flares (I'll stop with the "how to" here). Anyway you take your newly made devices and start planting them in the industrial districts of Los Angeles preferably near the docks and wait for an on shore wind. 10-15 mph. If not there you go to E. Los Angeles and wait for the forecast of Santa Ana winds. Once its up above 15 you got your primary delivery. Then you set timers and your devices, hundreds of them to go off all at once. We saw what happens when its an accidental fire, what about several hundred intentional ones?
So you see, its VERY easy to kill a city if you put your mind to it. There are even better ones than this but I dont give away all my good stuff.
Bonkers...Well thats debatable and certainly relative to the insanity of the day. .
You say, "Now the BBC World Service has put some numbers on this..." but the data you link to are over a year old. It doesn't mean they're completely irrelevant, but they are a year out of date.
Wow, I didn't realize there were so many mini-Cheney's still out there.
I say go right ahead and withhold your foreign aid, which is FAR less than the average Yank wank thinks it is. The rest of the world is already getting prepared for a U.S. exit from the world stage (the stage where the adults play). However, once your dry-drunk president leaves office, maybe we'll let you back. Meanwhile we'll sell all our U.S. bonds and stop supporting your crazy Republican spending habits and see how you like playing with yourself. The U.S doesn't actually make anything that we need anymore. And we need your "protection" like New Jersey needs Tony Soprano's. It's all too bad, 'cause we like Americans quite a lot -- just hate your friggin current government. Well, maybe we'll see you in November, but if not, it's been nice knowing you.
At least have the gumption to let us know what country you live in Foreign bastard.
"The U.S doesn't actually make anything that we need anymore" And China is your alternative? Please!
i still think of the flowers the Iraqis throw into the paths of our valiant troops who liberated them so long ago. Those are flowers, aren't they?
Germany is averse to the US? The grandparents of the present German generation figured out (the hard way) that it's not any fun having the Russian bear on the doorstep without an American watchdog inside the door.
Being German, I would like to point out that the only reason the US did not fail totally during WW2 was because the Soviets had already killed more than 25% of the German forces. I like to say that the Axis lost in 1943--the next two years of war only happened because we were too stupid to understand we had lost.
The only reason West Germany existed was because Stalin, for whatever reason, permitted it to. At the time, the Soviets had more tanks than every other nation on Earth combined! It was the strongest military force in human history. America was not a watchdog. If the Soviets had honestly wanted to keep expanding, they would have and the rest of us would not have been able to stop them.
After reading some of these comments, I can think of some other reasons people in other countries might not like us, among them our stubborn belief that we're always "defending" other countries rather than attacking them, that we're always "helping" other countries rather than exploiting and harming them. Will Americans never get over their belief that they're always out tirelessly helping the world and never being appreciated? You'd think after millions killed in Indochina, hundreds of thousands killed in Central America, tens of thousands killed in the 1991 attack on Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by US-instigated sanctions, hundreds of thousands killed because of the 2003 US attack on Iraq, thousands killed in Afghanistan, on and on, that maybe Americans would start to form a more realistic picture of their actions in the world.
I feel like I am back at university!
Why does everyone dislike Americans?
The answer to this question is complicated but I think a few observations may help identify some of the reasons.
As the worlds most powerful economy, US markets are dominated by publicly traded organisations which have long since saturated the US domestic market. In order to satisfy stock owners profit expectations, the only way these companies can deliver required rate of returns is by cannibalising each others market share or by reducing costs through self cannibalisation. Obviously these are not viable ways of doing business in the medium to long term so these companies have sought market growth through international expansion this is an entirely natural progression. This expansion has been sold to the world as globalisation.
While globalisation is a fine ideal from the perspective of the dominant world players, the weaker economies have suffered with the expansion of US interests abroad (other countries can also be included but they are not seen to be as dominating as American companies). The benefits of globalisation simply do not transfer to the weaker economic communities. Not only are national sensitivities (religion, culture, etc) ignored in the dry financial analysis of global economics but there are the economic imbalances that do not permit for equitable distribution of rewards. For example, US shareholders obtain dividends from the success of globalisation but the international communities from whence some of this wealth is derived simply do not have the disposable income to participate. This generates a sense of being used.
In cases where US companies target international markets, they are usually pursued with the same gusto as marketing campaigns in the US domestic market. While most Americans would not be fazed by the ardour of this marketing, they are seen by viewers in the international markets as being very aggressive. For example, I would hazard the guess that there are possibly 1000 2000 African Americans living in Australia with a good proportion of these people totally disinterested in Hip Hop music and the culture associated with this genre. Yet the marketing of hip Hop music, the gangsta culture, its clothing, and speech is pervasive. It swamps the Australian music culture; its all over our media (newspapers, magazine, TV, radio, etc). Whilst Australia is not that dissimilar to the US in many ways, this kind marketing really gets up peoples noses.
In many parts of the work, there are numerous companies that are operated as family owned or socially responsive concerns; many of these are dominated by familial or social philosophies that encourage the spreading of wealth throughout the company in its wider social environment (for example Scandinavia). By American (or even UK/Aussie) standards they are all highly inefficient with far too many employees and way too many other inefficiencies. Their view of the world and how it should work is different to the US way, they reject your social systems and your ways of doing business. They like to be different and their own traditions. Yet, when your companies enter into their markets without the social inefficiencies identified above, the result is always the same: the efficient Western company wins. Socially concerned companies lose. As the premier Western economy du jour, you Americans are carrying the can as the major transgressor. Your dogged determination to grow your businesses internationally ignores these petty concerns there is a cost for this determination its called Anti American feeling. But dont feel too bad, youre not the first to have this kind of complaint just ask the African nations who their big hate was directed towards in the 1950s the pesky colonising Brits, of course.
And what about those Romans, or the Mongols, Alexander the Great.?
I follow your call, SusanC. Hope that people here can bear my biased comments. If I can not pass this quiz, please blame SusanC. This is her (real) experiment.:-)
I thought that the United States has been chosen to be great through suffering. Because you have been chosen, you can not escape from this destiny. The fish in the ocean will engulf you and vomit back.
Please bear for a while, let me continue:
1. American society to me is a post-Judeo Christian (JC) community as the main drive. The community has been born and founded by this proposition- God help me, or In God.... So, besides suffering, I can not see the path to be great. Even God Himself can not do it without suffering.
2. I say, post-JC implies a linear development, nevertheless it presupposes the non-linear process. The linear development is to continue creating a new form of vision by demythologizing the original text; sort of experimenting a new civilization and new religion. The non-linear process is recapitulation of the memory of who you are. So, from time to time, you have to reciprocate to the founding tradition. ( I thought local Indians and emigrant color people contribute to the greatness.)
3. American society has prominent traits as a service society (I am not the first one to say this.); America belongs to the world and everyone, so to speak. The greatness of America is her service as the steward to the world. You may say, every nation is supposed to do the same. It is right. The chosen one is just to do it first as an example. So, you are in a play, and the world is watching. And you are an excellent actors, the play would show the world the way.
4. As a leader, you have to bear the suffering and show the followers the way to greatness. If you do something wrong, you don't have privilege to be exempted from the consequence. You have to bear the consequence yourself. For instance, you like to purchase cheap oil, and you entertained with the dictating rulers in those countries, let them had felt that you are their best alliance, so they could continue dictating their people without relinquishing their wrong doings; they supposed that you would side with them anyway. OK, You learned the lessons. Hopefully fairly enough, no more mistake. In another words, if you have done great services, as I observe that you are generally quite capable of so far. Then, you would be rewarded by ever vibrant community- attracting best and creative people to come to you or live there. After all, best people are the most valuable asset.
5. I should give several examples to encourage you; I wish I can give twenty. But I am afraid that you feel boring, so let me start with three;
5-1. In 2002, I traveled to China, a town about hundred miles from Xiamen. I stepped into the office of travel agent to purchase a ticket, and right on the wall having a big and prominent picture of Bin Laden. It shocked me and I asked why, the people inside thumbed up to me. I said to myself, in a society which had no free expression, why this time were so expressive. Immediately, I could tell the ignorance from political censorship was the reason of hating Americans. Exactly like oil producing countries of brainwashing.
So, I hope that American government would not appease any other governments in the world for exchanging the care of their people's human rights and democracy potential.
5-2. A little bit earlier, in 1997, one time I traveled via Sri Lanka, I had to wait for eight hours for transit, small airport. I was tired but could not rest, so I wandered a bit. Right in a corner of a small restaurant sat a senior American couple, the senior lady gave me a very kind smile first and followed by the senior man and we said hi to each other; I clearly remembered the love for a stranger and the innocence until now.
5-3. Further earlier, in 1995, I attended a symposium in Gent, Belgium. On a shuttle bus between dormitory to venue, a lady American professor chatted with me, in fact several time already, she asked where I came from, I responded Taiwan. She smiled and whispered to me her secrete; "I don't buy Chinese products, several of my friends decide to do this, because we don't like China because they abuse human rights of their people. We know that we can not influence other Americans, but we persist to do this..." The staunch independence and the existence of creative minority are the conscience and the hope for tomorrow. When I am writing this, tell you honestly, I have mirrors in my eyes.
So, finally if anyone say you don't like to be great by suffering, I am ready to exchange my passport with you. Because, sometimes I have encountered suffering just because I have been coping some traits from you.
Excellent post, dear friend. I especially liked your points in 4.
"The U.S doesn't actually make anything that we need anymore" And China is your alternative? Please!
Well, why not cut out the middle man?
What are you referencing?
Thank you paiwan.
Further to the post, I would like to share the unique community that the Americans have shown to many people who have conversed to me by summarizing four traits:
1. Defense of diversity
2. Protection of fragility
3. Provision of innocence
4. Competency of anxiety
As I have observed that, some people in many countries have hated Americans are due partly or overall against these traits mentioned above. Perhaps it is a kind of sin of jealousy.
A bit philosophically, to be suffering as a sense of chosen-ness is an important hallmark of healthful society.
When I have read the posts above, I have sensed the struggle of the fourth point: competency of anxiety. I would like to affirm this point, therefore you can move on and humbly showing the people who hate you or are jealous of you the way for leading to a vibrant lifestyle which you have striven to establish for yourself and the world.
Thank you, paiwan, for giving such a succinct and profound 30,000ft expose of the issue. I agree with your analysis entirely. I travel round the world and see exactly what you see, ignorance, bigotry and, especially in Europe, double standards. It doesn't mean that such do not exist in America; they do. But the sheer might of America in the 20th century, in a turbulent and ever-changing world, has catapulted it into the world stage as both the demon and the savior, without it's people realizing that they are judged differently from others because of that unique and mostly-unintended situation.
Where to go from here? I believe you have 2 choices. Focusing on the good, or focusing on the bad.
Paiwan's story of the American couple smiling at strangers in a strange land, as a natural instinct that is so intrinsic that they don't ever have to think twice about it, is the best 'poster-child' for the way forward. Sure when you do good, you will still be hated. I would suggest that polls such as the one quoted here are only to be read for those who do not hold the goodness in their hearts in their dealings with the world. The rest of you should focus on the numbers of people trying to send their sons and daughters to be educated in your land, and trying to secure the prized green card. No matter how you feel about immigrants, I assure you, you will be sorrier the day when no one wants to come to your country any more.
By pure coincidence, straight after I wrote my last post, I checked my email and got this from the NYTimes
Pran's life story, both the first part as told in the movie 'Killing Fields', and also what happened after, is perhaps one of the greatest epics of the trials and tribulations of nationhood, the effects of American power, where they worked and where they didn't, viewed from the perspective of a nobody from nowhere trying to keep his family safe and to survive through the darkest hours of humanity, but also trying to live up to a bit of the idealism that appears to be contagious wherever it goes. That idealism can kill is not in question; but the same idealism can also triumph despite the odds.
Perhaps I'm being overly sentimental on this day when I read about his death; but I don't think so. I do believe there's a lot to learn from his story. Despite the gruesomeness of much of what happened, look beyond that, and I see goodness refusing to be snubbed out.
That is what I take away, from his life.
Susan, pailwan: There are two strands running in your comments. Pailwan says he believes the positive traits are the reason many people hate us. This is difficult to believe. Why should they care? Why would an ordinary person care about our justice system, except to the extent we profess one thing and do another? The other strand is probably closer to the truth. The US nation is very powerful. As an American it is probably one of the best places to live (along with many European countries who have plusses and minuses compared to the US but a comparable standard of living) but America's role in the world for non-Americans is what affects others and what people are reacting against. The attitude to the US has changed markedly in the last decade although our professed values haven't (only the distance between those values and reality). So I think Pailwan's point is lacking in cogency.
The other issue Susan brought up, although only in passing, is "nationhood." National sovereignty and the things that go with it -- patriotism, naitonalism, jinogism -- are historically new (400 years old) and played a part in the development of the modern world but aren't a permanent fixture of any world. Cf. the EU. They also lead to a very pernicious form of tribalism and the US is in the grip of that. Couple tribalism with power and you have a recipe for a bad meal when served up to guests. People may respect a powerful tribe because they are afraid of it. But they rarely admire it unless the people of that tribe behave toward others in a way that is not just based on power.
The three of us are scientists or science based practitioners who know that if you cut into a human being we all look the same inside. Americans aren't better (or worse) than anyone else. There are racist Americans and racist Chinese and racist Thais and there are people of all three nationalities with an abundance of goodness. Countries are like street gangs. If you aren't wearing the "uniform" you aren't part of the club and you may get hurt. The more powerful the gang the more likely they are to hurt someone.
revere, I think you are right in some ways but not in others. For example, I do believe that too many people, Americans and non-Americans, overly exaggerate the ability for America to hurt others in the world. This arises as much from an exaggerated view of American power as from, on one side, an overly romanticized view held by Americans (not you, but many others) of the rest of the world, and on the other hand, a kind of nationalistic pride pervasive everywhere that makes most people unwilling to discuss what is wrong with themselves and their own country. It is always easier to blame ones misfortune on others who purportedly (albeit with some truth) 'exploit' us.
The recent elections in Zimbabwe is a case in point. 28 years after gaining independence, Mubage and his gang are still using 'say no to foreign exploitation' or something like that as an excuse to rally people round his evil and disastrous policies.
I'm raising this not so much as 'proof' of any point, but rather as a counter balancing voice. That to the extent that America is powerful in the world, there is a natural tendency for all concerned to lay everything, blame and all, on its feet even though often much of the ills arise are equally if not more contributed by other factors. I believe we need to keep that in perspective; that much as victims like to remain victimized, we need to look more carefully to discern which part of any problem is truly due to any misdeeds of America, and which due to indigenous problems that for better for worse, whether America holds good intentions or not (more often the latter than former), still the sum total of effects on the ground should not be attributed so easily to such a simple answer as "it's all the fault of the Americans" as many in the world tend to do.
That is what I see, from talking to many people both in Asia and in Europe. I can tell you right off that I'm in the minority, but again I cite the recurrent pattern. Wherever I go, the same people who talk about America with vehemence and hatred, will, in minutes switch the conversation to how they can get a visa for themselves or their kids to America.
I have good friends, educated affluent people, liberal in other respects, who in the same breath will talk about how they want to go and live in the US but do not want their children to become Americanized. I'm sorry, I call that hypocrisy and bigotry. But then as I said, I'm in the minority.
Pailwan says he believes the positive traits are the reason many people hate us.
I don't know that is what he says. But it isn't what I believe.
This is difficult to believe. Why should they care? Why would an ordinary person care about our justice system, except to the extent we profess one thing and do another?
This is precisely my point. Yes, they apply that standard and find America wanting. BUT, do they apply it to their own countries? Which country in the world does not profess one thing and do another?
I will buy into that paradigm if and only if people around the world will (nay, dare) to think and speak in the same way of their own government as they do of others...
Susan, Revere: Perhaps I am a distant empathizer of America due to my past good experiences until now, full of emotional deposit:-).(I thought that it is a kind of providence to meet excellent people in my life.) But, I am not a person who is easy to flatter others.
I agree with Susan's observation in Europe, some sort of double standards. Revere, I guess in your career sometimes you encounter a situation when you become more competent or obtain better performance, are you getting all applause from the people surround you? Perhaps not, some are jealous and not happy.
Anti-American sentiment had some historical background; you know the emigrants in a society were people who were not surviving so well, they went to America and later flourish more than the people who stay in the original country. In the beginning, they can not accept you are more able than they are in many ways.
As a third party to comment: Americans can say, we granted Marshall Project to help Europe and got involved with World Wars I and II, or help NATO for Croatia crisis were our pleasure. But for Europeans, they could not say that, they needed to be grateful.
Revere, I agree with you that human being basically is the same. Nevertheless, the system and culture behind make the different. As Susan's post about Cambodia, people survived by eating the sentenced corpus. Not more than hundred years ago, the male servants around Chinese emperor had to be castrated. Human potential were conditioned negatively.
As revere pointed that our scientific background would tell us that without good system, scientific research is nearly impossible. That is the point which I stress that the beautiful part of American vibrant culture; love for strangers, protection of fragility. You see the political refugees from Europe were fleeing to find the shelter mostly in the US.
It is not necessary to care for people's jealousy. Do good- in a standard of the left hand does not know the right hand's doing good:--)
By the end, I just read a news about Princeton University is going to institute the system of encouraging the newly enrolled freshmen to take one year break for traveling to other countries or taking oversea assignments. I think that it is an excellent idea.
Openness and equal right are two valuable weapons, and Americans are very good at them. Keep it well.
Susan: " I do believe there's a lot to learn from his story. Despite the gruesomeness of much of what happened, look beyond that, and I see goodness refusing to be snubbed out."
The compassion for a person's misery and his courage to move on is very spirit-filling experience, not only sentimental; a deep human touch. Perhaps similar to the Movie -The Scindel List's script quoted from Jewish Adage" To save a person is equal to save the world." So, the compassion brings the world closer to you.
Music always can soothe us a bit, revere is very good at picking up right piece, many others perhaps are too. For the time being, I can think of a song of love from Sarah Brightman's "The Music of The Night", I interpret the love is the love of the world for a person and the other way around, the love of a person for a new world waiting to be born. Here it goes:
Again, I also praise New York Times; proud of to be her reader. :-)