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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
The USA Soils Itself
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Kookoo



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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...they don't go beating their chest about being "the home of the free" ot the world's policemen either while the U.S. do.

The more I've thought about this, the more I start to wonder where the US got the image of chest-beating about being the home of the free. I suppose it's from the vocal minority of citizens that are seen on television and in movies who proclaim US superiority on behalf of 290 million people who might wish that the chest-beaters would just shut up. There's the president, but I'd expect the leader and administration of any country to exhibit extreme patriotism.

The Indian constitution, for example, declares the following fundamental rights (from http://india.gov.in/knowindia/fundamental_rights.php):
Quote:

(i) right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment;

(ii) right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality);

(iii) right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings;

(iv) right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion;

(v) right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice; and

(vi) right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.


Yet in India, there are numerous examples of blatant disregard for the constitution - one can be arrested for sodomy, and the government abuses its power to support Hindu extremists who have murdered hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of Muslims (see http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/09/23/india9383.htm).

I'm sure there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. Kashmir) that contribute to these events... but aren't there similar circumstances in the US's "favor"?

My goal is not to defend or attack ANYone - I'm curious what you all would say is the reason that the US is seen as a seething hive of patriotism, and further, why we seem to be the biggest violators of our own principles despite the fact that we may be one of the smallest offenders?
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Stanley Pain



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i dunno... let me see...
it's been a while since India invaded another country to impose their ideals on them.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I heard a professor on NPR talking a few days ago (they do that a lot on NPR). Anyway, he said that there is irony in the fact that the USA was the first major country to get it's start by throwing off a colonial power. From one perspective, the USA was the first anti-colonial country. On the other hand, the USA may be viewed as one of the last colonial powers.

The neocons really believe that everyone wants to be just like Americans. They really think that all we have to do is invade their country and set them up. They believe that the American way is the right way. They would never admit it, but this is a rewrite of "The White Man's Burden" - a direct decendent of missionary Christianity.

What a great tragedy.

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
a direct decendent of missionary Christianity.


Amen Shocked

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
What a great tragedy.


Amen Shocked

At least the US managed to give us a white sanitized Texas Jesus. I guess Isreal will have to do a "Mickey Mouse 2.0 Pro" in order to top that one.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Isreal will have to do a "Mickey Mouse 2.0 Pro" in order to top that one.


2.0 Pro would be mighty fine, but I'm looking for them to come up with a cure for oil.

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Kookoo



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Stanley Pain wrote:
i dunno... let me see...
it's been a while since India invaded another country to impose their ideals on them.


(First let me say that I don't think the invasion of Iraq was justified, and I hate the word "liberate" used in this context.)

Point taken, but I don't think it's so conclusive as to warrant that much sarcasm Wink

In 1961, India invaded Goa in order to "Liberate" it from Portugal, which had previously invaded and taken control of Goa. Indian troops encountered little military resistance and were met with cheers of joy by the inhabitants of Goa. (Reference)

In 1990, the USA invaded Kuwait in order to "Liberate" it from Iraq, which had previously invaded and taken control of Kuwait. US troops encountered little military resistance and were met with cheers of joy by the inhabitants of Kuwait.
(Reference)

The difference is that Goa became part of India, while Kuwait became... occupied by the US, I suppose? And then King Bush I came out with his "new world order" garbage and it all went downhill from there.

I think the problem is not the invasion. The US action in Kuwait agains Iraq in Kuwait in 1990 was arguably the morally correct thing to do. It's everything that happens afterwards that gets us in trouble. Opportunistic politics and delusions of grandeur. The inability to establish stability after bringing instability.

Anyway, the more I read and think about this, the more I realize I'm in way over my head on this subject. There are rooms full of books written about this subject and I don't think there's a conclusive objective answer anywhere in sight no matter how many of them you read. It seems like it always comes down to the apparent objectionability of a single over-simplified military action versus the incredibly complex reality of world politics, morality, and humanitarianism.

A lot of people view Bill Gates and his company as evil. Still most of us use their products. Some may claim to use it because they have no choice, but that is false - you have a choice. Also, Bill Gates and his company donate *billions* of dollars and plenty of resources to charities every year. So which is it? Microsoft or no microsoft? I fear that we'd be worse off if we'd never had MSDOS or Windows. The reason it's so popular is that for most people, most of the time, the OS works very well (as opposed to the software beside the OS). On the other hand, what had the biggest impact was the rise of the IBM clone. Microsoft just happened to be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of it. And for that revolution we can thank a group of Compaq engineers who used the very legally and morally questionable process of reverse engineering IBM's computers, explicitly intending to use a loophole in the law to get away with it. Who knows what state IBM and Apple would be in today if the IBM clone had never come to pass? But I feel that everyone on the whole would be worse off despite IBM and Apple's gain.

Disclaimer: I realize that everything I'm saying may be wrong in some way or another - please be gentle Smile
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
elektro80 wrote:
Isreal will have to do a "Mickey Mouse 2.0 Pro" in order to top that one.


2.0 Pro would be mighty fine, but I'm looking for them to come up with a cure for oil.


OK. I´m not.

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Kookoo



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
At least the US managed to give us a white sanitized Texas Jesus.

I may be missing some sarcasm here, but wasn't Jesus bleached and sanitized long before the US even existed? The whole Roman Catholic thing?

BTW I just found http://www.whitehouse.org/ It's a pardoy of whitehouse.gov. Holy crap it's funny Laughing
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kookoo wrote:
elektro80 wrote:
At least the US managed to give us a white sanitized Texas Jesus.

I may be missing some sarcasm here, but wasn't Jesus bleached and sanitized long before the US even existed? The whole Roman Catholic thing?


Very true, but now he is a Texan. That is progress.

Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kookoo wrote:
BTW I just found http://www.whitehouse.org/ It's a pardoy of whitehouse.gov. Holy crap it's funny Laughing



Quote:
I only hope that future world travel with your dad will make you even more racially open-minded – perhaps culminating in one of Neil's adulterous gangbangs with chinkotronic hookers


You are sure this is a parody?

Shocked

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Kookoo



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
You are sure this is a parody?

Ha! I wish I could say yes Sad
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bachus



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I’ve never been overseas so if you are and this is a stupid thing to say, speak up. My guess is that a lot of people are afraid of the USA or afraid of what we might do. For whatever reasons, the USA was perceived as being and acting like the biggest baddest badassed troop of monkeys in the world, particularly in the period just after the end of the cold war and the fall of the Soviet Union. So all the other monkey troops in the world are rightfully afraid because they know just how shitful monkeys can be. And fear leads to resentment, and resentment leads to bad-mouthing and anger. And before you know it the Norwegians are waggling their monkey tongues and ululating their mellifluous aspersions which flowing across the cold and barren Norwegian landscape eventually fall upon America’s wounded body.

Ayup, that’s what I think. It's just more monkey shit. Be the same if we was France.

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bachus



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
Be the same if we was France.


By which I mean, the notion that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” has as much relevance for troops of monkeys as it has for individuals. If the French were the biggest baddest badassed troop of monkeys in the world they would tend toward the same behaviors currently drawing aspersions for the USA.

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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Warfare is so often thought of in terms of armies and armament. It can be fought in different, often much more effective ways.

For quite some time now, China has been and is waging a war of economy, based on the military teachings of Sun Tzsu. As far as I can see, they're doing splendidly. They are not distracted by the quick reward.

Clay feet.

Cheers,
Scott
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bachus



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
For quite some time now, China has been and is waging a war of economy, based on the military teachings of Sun Tzsu. As far as I can see, they're doing splendidly. They are not distracted by the quick reward.


Ah, but we are even more subtle and plan over even longer spans. America's secret long term strategy is to collect all the worlds natural resources in our landfills which we will begin mining in the last half of this century. Bwhhahahahaha

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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
the military teachings of Sun Tzsu. As far as I can see, they're doing splendidly.


If only Cheney had read this (I don't think Bush reads anything), we would never have invaded Iraq. Surgical raids - yes. Plunder - yes. Terrorize - yes. Occupation - never.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
I’ve never been overseas so if you are and this is a stupid thing to say, speak up. My guess is that a lot of people are afraid of the USA or afraid of what we might do.


As a european: afraid, annoyed and in love. The fact is that the USA dominates everything, and it seems like our countries and kids are slowly turning into strange american-like things, ruled by influences from over-seas. Still, there are subtle differences (I think) in the way we look at religion, individuality, or competition, which just makes it all even more scary.

All the same we'll go to the next Hollywood premiere and love every second of it. Eat at Wendy's like it's a big deal. A lot of people want to live in those movies.

This is just a guess from my part, since I'm from a country that is one of the most secularist in the world, and uses a kind of dodgy chickening-out policy that has kept us out of world wars and the cold war. I don't speak for all of Europe, I'm just guessing.

That's another thing - Europe is a bunch of countries, many of which absolutely hate each other. USA is just a bunch of squares. Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
Warfare is so often thought of in terms of armies and armament. It can be fought in different, often much more effective ways.

For quite some time now, China has been and is waging a war of economy


Yes, how very true. The US is being "boycotted" by a large group of south american countries, because of "our" resistance to the world court in The Hague. As a result, China made no hesitation in stepping in to provide economic support, as well as military training (most officers in south american countries now train in chinese military acadamies).
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
As a european: afraid, annoyed and in love. The fact is that the USA dominates everything, and it seems like our countries and kids are slowly turning into strange american-like things, ruled by influences from over-seas. Still, there are subtle differences (I think) in the way we look at religion, individuality, or competition, which just makes it all even more scary.


Thanks for those insights, Antimon. I think many Americans have analogous feelings except that the perceived agent of this disturbing transformation is, to a great extent, the corporate world and technology.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
Antimon wrote:
As a european: afraid, annoyed and in love. The fact is that the USA dominates everything, and it seems like our countries and kids are slowly turning into strange american-like things, ruled by influences from over-seas. Still, there are subtle differences (I think) in the way we look at religion, individuality, or competition, which just makes it all even more scary.


Thanks for those insights, Antimon. I think many Americans have analogous feelings except that the perceived agent of this disturbing transformation is, to a great extent, the corporate world and technology.


That's interesting. From here, it's easy to blame everything on the States. Perhaps we should channel some of that fear and anger towards our own high towers instead - parts of the global corporate machine...

/Stefan
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:

As a european: afraid, annoyed and in love. The fact is that the USA dominates everything, and it seems like our countries and kids are slowly turning into strange american-like things, ruled by influences from over-seas.


We feel the same way over in the US. Laughing

Seriously, the impression from the US is that America is loosing it's influence everywhere, including in the US. The old industrial world leadership is gone. Economic power is moving to Chindia. There is talk of General Motors going bankrupt. American technology is mostly imported. We even get our synthesizers now from Sweden. Shocked

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think there are still some good things much of the US is good at. Food production (be it real food or genetically modified). And Design Engineering is still a strong suite. You don't find it in simple products, or much of musical instruments, but many of the japanese companies have their design done here, but supply both cost effective manufacturing and superior materials. China is currently in the phase of making cheap copies of everything (that is, things they design themselves), but as they get expertise and educated, they will dominate in a few decades. Still, the most complex products have the strongest support here in there states. Germany is probably 2nd in that department. But that might be due to # of engineers doing the work.

Who knows. You'd think we (the human race) would have figured out how to play together as a team by now.
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Kookoo



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
Who knows. You'd think we (the human race) would have figured out how to play together as a team by now.


For some reason this led me to imagine "the internet" as a nation unto itself. No military to speak of, but plenty of global influence. No leaders, but a strong aristocracy. The laws that govern its citizens depend on the context in which actions are carried out (i.e. physical locality).
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dmosc



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

someday soon the world will switch to ethanol instead of oil and on that day, the midwest will be the next saudi arabia of the world.
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