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View of the US from "Outside the continent"

 
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I've been listening to a lot of BBC radio lately. To be honest Im getting real sick of the US news "slant" (If we have to be nice)... Its amazing how the rest of the world looks at the US & our cough, cough ....leadership. Since I know a lot of non-US programmers are on here I was just wondering....do we look as idiotic to the rest of the world right now as I think we do?
Now before we start jumping all over me about that comment let me state I love this country as much as the next guy but this administration (he said with a perverse sigh) just scares the hell out of me. To me it seems like the US is perceived as the "schoolyard bully" running around flexing its muscle & Im wondering if thats not a fairly accurate description.
I dont know, I seemed to be becoming more John Lennonish with age.......... Just like to hear some thoughts from around the world....how do you, your friends & family feel about the US & Its policies right now.
 
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Perhaps they are pissed off by something like this:
How America Should Lead
"The time has come to pivot the international system from one that served the interests of the United States and the vast majority of other states well in the post-World War II environment to one that will perpetuate and advance American interests into the next American-led Century. It is manifestly in the U.S. interest to attract and bind other states into voluntarily supporting this international agenda. Americans may not like all those other states wringing their hands with concern about America’s behavior in the world and complaining that they are essentially supporting the U.S. agenda. Imagine how much less attractive an international order would be in which the U.S. had to force the other states into going along with U.S. choices. Far better that participating states benefit from a system of accepted leadership and see that they can best advance their interests by working with a United States advancing its own."
http://www.policyreview.org/AUG02/schake.html
 
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Originally posted by DC Dalton:
[QB]To me it seems like the US is perceived as the "schoolyard bully" running around flexing its muscle & Im wondering if thats not a fairly accurate description.
QB]


(Rightly or wrongly) That is a commonly held view in my experience.
It's not easy to be the most powerful *and* popular.
 
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I've just dug up an interesting article I read on this topic a coule of months ago.
Suzy Hansen Interview with Mark Hertsgaard
 
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This weekend's NY Times Sunday magazine has an insightful story about the US's burden and why the US can't afford to ignore it.
Sorry you will have to register.
It's kind of long too.
Sorry you'll have to register.
Get used to it.
The get used to it phrase comes from a few links towards the home page.
 
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I don't think the US is hated all over the world at all. Primarily because world's two most populous nations- China and India, do not hate US... and that takes out a full 33% (2/6) of the population. Then you are left with Europe and the Muslim world. I am not sure but I dont think Europeans hate US. So finally, you get the Muslim world.
I don't completely understand the cause of this hatred, but I also don't understand why the US HAS TO poke its nose everywhere in the world. The muslim world, in general, is a crazy place already. I mean, look at their laws, their system of fatwahs, etc. I would never want to be born there. So when you know that they are a people with strange and orthodox (read orthogonal to the advancement of humanity) philosophy, why do you want to mess with them?? Commmon sense says that leave them alone!!! Let them die (i mean, change or whatever) their own death.
Frankly, a very good (and trouble creating) portion of the Islamic world wouldn't even matter if they had no oil. And that wouldn't exist after 50 yrs. The rest are immaterial anyway. So nobody really cares if they hate US. As a matter of fact, they hate all non-muslim countries. Their nations thrive on hatred. Their goal is to have a caliphate all over the world :roll: So you can't do much about it. Just sit tight for another 50 years
 
Don Kiddick
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I think hate is too strong a word but I believe a lot of Europeans are of the opinion that the US is reaping what is sowed in terms of its foreign polcy.
 
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I guess the real question is why should the US care what other countries think of us? Does India care what the US thinks of it? Does Saudi Arabia stay up nights worrying about how the US feels about them?
 
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I guess the real question is why should the US care what other countries think of us?


I think, It has to...to some extent. At least, to prevent 9/11s.

Does India care what the US thinks of it?


Oh yes! Other than the fact that Indian politicians are as spineless and clueless as its Raja's (Kings) of the Raj, US is the only Super Power... not just miltarily but ecomonically and scientifically/techologically too. It does matter to India what US thinks, says, and does about India. It is more of a necessity than any thing else though. You would be stupid not to be on the side of the only bully in the classroom US, on the other, had has no such necessity regarding India. That's why it doesn't care about India. However, terrorism has given it a bloody nose and has forced to care about thinking of the muslim world.
 
Don Kiddick
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I guess the real question is why should the US care what other countries think of us? Does India care what the US thinks of it? Does Saudi Arabia stay up nights worrying about how the US feels about them?


Are you saying the US doesn't care what countries think about them ? Shurely shome mishtake ?
 
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Our current president can't name very many foreign heads of state off-the-cuff -- that should tell you something. So should the way he wipes his lips on a short sleeve shirt. Even if all you wanted was a President that looked good to us and the rest of the world, can't get that from George II.
We have some old and crusty career dogs leading this administration too -- Rumsfield and Cheney in particular -- and a lot of ideas about how to operate in the international arena go back to rough-and-tumble doctrine of the 70's and early 80's. I can't even believe Henry Kissinger was brought up as someone to head the 9/11 commission. Does any one in this administration understand how crass and cynical that is? Or are we genuinely that short of talent in international politics?
As for the schoolyard bully business, let's see: when's the last time you heard the words "axis" and "evil" in U.S. rhetoric? Right, World War II. We've sure got some likely-looking enemies in Iraq and North Korea! North Korea wants the bomb, and China is waiting for us to sort it out? Are you f***ing kidding me?
The CIA has friends happy to torture mutual enemies on our behalf. Some people call all stuff that bullying; we call it "compelling," but you get the idea. Anyone have a better way to deal with idealists, zealots and fanatics prepared to kill anyone to make their point?
Peace is good work, if you can get it. John Lennon sang for peace; even so, someone thought he should die in the street.
I don't think it makes a bit of difference what other people think of you unless you want something from them.
[ January 06, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
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In Germany anti-americanism is clearly on the rise.
3 reasons:
- traditional capitalistic cowboys without culture prejudice.
- US stands for capitalism. Germans are afraid of more capitalism. The mayority know that we need to, to get out of this crisis. At the same time the mayority is afraid. German politics now is like meaningless drivel. Lots of discussions and no solutions.
- Germany is now a quite pacifistic country. We don't like wars. A lot of people here think that americans like war. There is a huge mayority against a second Iraq-war.
Personally, I think that americans might be a little bit to self-confident. Remember the time in the 80ties when books like "Age of diminished expectations" by Paul Krugman where published. It is different now. USA is now for more than 10 years the locomotive of the global economy. Thank you. But historical evidence shows that this won't last forever. Hope that Asia and/or Europe will regain strength until then.

I don't want to live in a world where N-Korea or Iraq can build their own atomic bombs. Somebody has to take care for that. At the balcans Europe has shown its incapability for joined actions against a policy of genocide.
I don't think that we could solve the problems of the arabic world with just bombarding their most crazy leaders (and supporting other dictators like that of Saudi Arabia).
A more peaceful arabic world can only be created from inside.
Reconstruction is much more difficult than to win a war. Without reconstruction there will be allways new Sadams or Osamas causing trouble. And they must do the reconstruction themselfes.
If US troops conquer Bagdad the popularity of Bush will rise in the short run. In Iraq this won't be the end of the show. Its the start to reconstruct.
 
DC Dalton
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I have to agree with our German entry to the discussion on some points but not on others.
- traditional capitalistic cowboys without culture prejudice.
- Yes as far as the goverment goes....it doesnt take a telescope to see that big business (esp. the oil biz) is running this country, on the other hand the average American citizen is, in my opinion, starting to feel like they have NO control over anything anymore, even there own life. They like eveyone else in the world just want to live & be happy.
- US stands for capitalism. Germans are afraid of more capitalism.

- The average american has been PROGRAMMED to stand for capitalizm.....most dont understand 99% of it but they are too damn chicken s**t to speak up for themselves. Capitalism isnt a bad thing....Capitalism completely out of control IS! (Every read the new world order? Not that I believe all that but it sure makes you think)
German politics now is like meaningless drivel. Lots of discussions and no solutions.
- UHH Hello, have you taken a good listen to King George II lately.......its so far past drivel its resembling "Rain Man" Yeah...Wapner at 5, Yeah
I agree the meatheads (fanatics) have to go away but does going on worldwide TV & beating ones chest like a retarded king-kong do any good.....no it just pisses of more people (fanatacs or not)
I just have to wonder how much more fanatical "religion" we have to endure & kill - die for. Not just Muslim but fundamental Christians, Jews etc.......
I guess we just have to hold on & hope this mess blows over too......... I just wish the REAL voice of the US people could be heard so the rest of the world knows we arent all like that.. Im afraid too many people think we are all movie characters.
Funny, even my die-hard staunch republican mother in law is started to talk about a new American revolution......Man did that take me back a step or to. She said "throw them all out, throw out the lawyers & let's start over again!"
 
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Originally posted by DC Dalton:
I just wish the REAL voice of the US people could be heard...


Wasn't it heard during the last elections?
 
DC Dalton
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Yeah it was heard, just as clear as the Florida elections!
 
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This thread needs a bilge pump.
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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Wasn't it heard during the last elections?


No it was not heard. Certain groups seem to vote more than others. Social Security recipients are a block of subsidize voters. Did you notice how much press prescription drugs got?
Not it was not heard. Certain groups seem to have the money to buy better access.
Don't bother to tell me - Well, it's nobodies fault but the non-voters.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:

No it was not heard. Certain groups seem to vote more than others. Social Security recipients are a block of subsidize voters. Did you notice how much press prescription drugs got?

Lots of press but... I was just wondering... when did the prescription drug subsidy pass Congress?
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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The prescription drug plan won't get passed until just before the 2004 election, if at all, Thomas.
How's the Simpson say it - Duh?
[ January 07, 2003: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
The prescription drug plan won't get passed until just before the 2004 election, Thomas. How's the Simpson say it - Duh?


I see... you are just blowing smoke. Thanks for the clarification.
 
Jason Menard
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Ah so votes don't reflect the real voice of the people? Votes were bought? How else could the Republicans have done so well, right? Absurd.
The cold hard fact is that the majority of the US seems to have taken a slight step to the right. Not very far, most of us still hover around the center, but far enough that it showed up at the polls. The winds of politics are ever shifting though, and you can count on a little jump to the left sometime in the future.
It's just a jump to the left.
And then a step to the right.

-- Richard O'Brien, "The Time Warp"
[ January 07, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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How else could the Republicans have done so well, right?


LOL
51 to 49
Bush lost the popular vote.
There's been no mandate. There's been no landslide.
The politicians have become so adroit at lying and deception that we are seeing almost a straight split at the ballot box. In general, the best looking candidate wins because that's all the average joe has the time or inclination to make an educated decision on.
Did the people get a fair election in NJ or Paul Wellstone's state? If another Democratic Senatorial cadidates plane drops from the sky will 1 in 8 be enough to start a conspiracy web site? Talent's election in Missouri is another place where a Democrat might likely be holding a seat if that plane too had not suddenly gone bad just before an election.
None of this is on view from outside the continent. Yesterday's editorial in the NYTimes
A War for Oil? by Tom Friedman makes the point better than I do.
... the Bush team would have a stronger case for fighting a war partly for oil if it made clear by its behavior that it was acting for the benefit of the planet, not simply to fuel American excesses.
I have no problem with a war for oil — if we accompany it with a real program for energy conservation. But when we tell the world that we couldn't care less about climate change, that we feel entitled to drive whatever big cars we feel like, that we feel entitled to consume however much oil we like, the message we send is that a war for oil in the gulf is not a war to protect the world's right to economic survival — but our right to indulge. Now that will be seen as immoral.
 
Thomas Paul
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This war for oil nonsense ignores the facts. The US gets very little of its oil from the Mideast. And that percentage has been shrinking over the years, not growing.
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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Are you implying that US dependence on imported oil is shrinking? Or are you saying logistically it's cheaper for the US to get it's imported oil from sources that are closer and thereby cheaper?
The US depends materially on mideast oil for it's supplies and for the economic well being of it's trading partners about the world. Without mideast oil the US economy and life as we know it is bye, bye.
 
Jason Menard
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Because importing oil is generally cheaper for us, we have been relying on it more. This has had the effect that we have severely curtailed our domestic operations. Given the absense of Middle-Eastern oil, we rely on other sources and ramp-up our domestic production. Naturally this will make oil much more expensive. Additionally we export more oil to Europe, which in turn serves to raise prices at home. However, we do not want Europe to be under an oil crunch any more than we want to be. They were hurt more than we were in the 70's. Also hurt worse than we were was Saudi Arabia, who is unlikely to ever want to go down that path again. Read up on the oil embargo in the 70's for more info.
All this of course is why I heavily support ANWR exploration.
 
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Without mideast oil the US economy and life as we know it is bye, bye.


Really! The proposed attack on Iraq is gnerally perceived as an act to gain more oil fields, not as an attack against terrorism. But what does US really plan to do with all the oil reserves at Alaska?
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
The US depends materially on mideast oil for it's supplies and for the economic well being of it's trading partners about the world. Without mideast oil the US economy and life as we know it is bye, bye.

The main US oil suppliers are:
Ranking Country
1 Canada
2 Saudi Arabia
3 Mexico
4 Venezuela
5 Nigeria
The amount we get from Saudi Arabia has been decreasing. In addition, the US has been working with the former Soviet countries to increase oil production in those countries. Now explain why an invasion of Iraq is about oil.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Sudharsan G'rajan:
Really! The proposed attack on Iraq is gnerally perceived as an act to gain more oil fields, not as an attack against terrorism. But what does US really plan to do with all the oil reserves at Alaska?

Why would the US want Iraq's oil? We have no oil shortage in the US. We have plenty of partners who are happy to sell us oil. We are helping other countries expand their oil drilling. Is Iraq oil very sweet tasting? Does it go great with pancakes? Why is Iraq's oil more desirable than Mexico's?
 
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Now explain why an invasion of Iraq is about oil.


Because the New York Times says so.
By the way Rufus. Talent was leading a close election until Carnahans' plane went down (Plus the election night shenanigans). Minnesota was a fair election. NJ election violated the law.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
None of this is on view from outside the continent. Yesterday's editorial in the NYTimes
A War for Oil? by Tom Friedman makes the point better than I do.


There are many facets to this impending war, one of which may be oil. I believe it is likely that the war will be paid for in part by future Iraqi oil sales.
I don't know to what degree oil is or isn't a motivator for action in Iraq, nor do I even slightly care. What I do know is that destroying his regime is the "right" thing to do. I know full well what he has done and will continue to do to the Kurds in the north and the Shia in the south. I deployed to Turkey in early 1991 as part of Operation Provide Comfort and again in 1992 as part of Operation Provide Comfort II and got a pretty good perspective of the kinds of things he was doing to those people.
I have zero doubt in my mind that he has an active WMD program with nuclear asperations and that he will use them on somebody, as already he has on the Kurds. It is a well known fact that he finances terrorism. While these are all factors that threaten everybody, the best reason I can come up with to remove the guy is compassion for the people of Iraq.
Yeah there are people like him all over the world, but he is an extreme case, and we are in a position to do something about it. Read-up on the horrors he has perpetrated in that country, particularly the horrors directed at the Kurds and the Shia, before crying about how awful we are for wanting to remove that parasite from the face of the planet. Why should we yet again turn our backs on these people? Who cares what our other motives might be? The end result is the same.
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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I agree that outside of Iraq there are few that love Saddam Hussein. There are few that wish to see him stay in power.
The view from outside the continental 48 is that the US will attempt to set up another puppet that caters to US economic interests. That's the Republican way.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
The view from outside the continental 48 is that the US will attempt to set up another puppet that caters to US economic interests.


That may be the view, but history doesn't back this up.
 
Paul Stevens
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Take the quiz.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
The view from outside the continental 48 is that the US will attempt to set up another puppet that caters to US economic interests. That's the Republican way.

I think the US would be very happy to have a government in Iraq that doesn't like us as long as they don't build WMD's or support terrorists. There are plenty of countries that don't like us that we don't plan to invade (Cuba for example) because they aren't a threat to us.
 
DC Dalton
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That may be the view, but history doesn't back this up.
What history books are you reading!
Half of the governments in the middle east were supplied & trained by the CIA or another branch of the US government! Have we forgotten Iran, & the fact that we supplied the early years of Saddam's regime! Have we forgotten that the US supplied Afganistan to fight the Russians?
We set these people up to help us screw with another countries & then end up fighting our own damn weapons.... why the hell don't we just stay the hell out of other peoples business, try taking care of our own INTERNAL problems. If they want to kill each other fine, so be it...why the hell do we have to be the world's babysitter!
In my opion this is the EXACT reason half the world is pissed off at us, we cant mind our own damn business. We have this "vision" that every country has to be just like us.....well folks that isnt ever gonna happen, Tradition, religion & other aspects will always effect how a country runs itself.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by DC Dalton:
What history books are you reading!


The ones that are applicable to the direction this looks like it may be heading in. The assertion is that we will invade Iraq and set up a new government there. Fair enough. Let's look at where this has actually happened: Germany, Japan, Bosnia (still ongoing), and to some extent Afghanistan (still ongoing). All of these were their own unique situations, but we along with our allies still had influence in the direction they went after the war and we and our allies contributed much to reconstruction.
As I said, look at circumstances where we have actually taken military action and performed reconstruction afterwards. These are the only cases that are remotely applicable.
 
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by DC Dalton:
That may be the view, but history doesn't back this up.
What history books are you reading!
Half of the governments in the middle east were supplied & trained by the CIA or another branch of the US government! Have we forgotten Iran, & the fact that we supplied the early years of Saddam's regime! Have we forgotten that the US supplied Afganistan to fight the Russians?
We set these people up to help us screw with another countries & then end up fighting our own damn weapons.... why the hell don't we just stay the hell out of other peoples business, try taking care of our own INTERNAL problems. If they want to kill each other fine, so be it...why the hell do we have to be the world's babysitter!
In my opion this is the EXACT reason half the world is pissed off at us, we cant mind our own damn business. We have this "vision" that every country has to be just like us.....well folks that isnt ever gonna happen, Tradition, religion & other aspects will always effect how a country runs itself.


Are you American? If not, you must be anti-american
 
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

The ones that are applicable to the direction this looks like it may be heading in. The assertion is that we will invade Iraq and set up a new government there. Fair enough. Let's look at where this has actually happened: Germany, Japan, Bosnia (still ongoing), and to some extent Afghanistan (still ongoing). All of these were their own unique situations, but we along with our allies still had influence in the direction they went after the war and we and our allies contributed much to reconstruction.
As I said, look at circumstances where we have actually taken military action and performed reconstruction afterwards. These are the only cases that are remotely applicable.


US actively supports or has supported puppet regimes in Afghanistan, Iran (before the revolution), Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. I know of these for sure. Others I don't know. US supported these regimes irrespective of their idiology only because they helped american interests.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Pakka Desi:
US actively supports or has supported puppet regimes in Afghanistan, Iran (before the revolution), Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. I know of these for sure. Others I don't know. US supported these regimes irrespective of their idiology only because they helped american interests.


Ii don't deny this. I am saying it's irrelevant. We are not talking about propping up some foreign regime that is friendly to us. We are talking about invading a country, removing it's current government, and installing a new one. This has only been done a couple times, and I gave you examples of when and where. So if you want to see what the likely outcome of a post-war Iraq is, then you should take a look other places this has happened. Out of the four examples I don't think you can point to any one of them and say "that's what will happen in post-war Iraq", but it does give you some indication.
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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These are the only cases that are remotely applicable.


You would like to forget Chile and the Bannana republics wouldn't you?
 
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