Granny's Programming Pearls
"inside of every large program is a small program struggling to get out"
JavaRanch.com/granny.jsp
Win a copy of Machine Learning for Business: Using Amazon SageMaker and JupyterE this week in the Jython/Python forum
or Object Design Style Guide in the Object-Oriented programming forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Paul Clapham
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Knute Snortum
Sheriffs:
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Tim Cooke
  • Junilu Lacar
Saloon Keepers:
  • Ron McLeod
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Tim Moores
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Joe Ess
  • salvin francis
  • fred rosenberger

Europe is Europe, and US is US, and never the twain shall meet

 
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Power and Weakness
By Robert Kagan
I know I exceeded my quota for quotes long ago (and yes, pun intended :roll: ), but this article is different! It's about how and why European and American views on world affairs is different and only becomes more different over time. "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus: They agree on little and understand one another less and less."
This is a rare case when author's explanations of both viewpoints make sense. He, naturally, leans to the American side, yet his insight into European worldview seems pretty accurate. (I hope European people will either confirm or rebut it). Maybe it will even help to advance flaming "Richard vs. Jason" war in some meaningful direction.
What's interesting, that "European" approach is so close to what Americans call "liberal". Are liberals "American Europeans" (as opposed to "European Americans")? The next puzzle is that I feel like home in the midst of European sentiments, while American are a big enigma for me. Why is it so? Was the Soviet Union a part of European tradition? I often feel infuriated by some of American statements, because even "evil" communists were too shy (or too sane? ) to openly proclaim that this is their natural right to invade countries at will and to establish "better" governments.
Europeans often argue that Americans have an unreasonable demand for “perfect” security, the product of living for centuries shielded behind two oceans. Europeans claim they know what it is like to live with danger, to exist side-by-side with evil, since they’ve done it for centuries. Hence their greater tolerance for such threats as may be posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the ayatollahs’ Iran. Americans, they claim, make far too much of the dangers these regimes pose.
“You are so powerful,” Europeans often say to Americans. “So why do you feel so threatened?”

Precisely my bewilderment. In this case explanations make sense...
The problem is that the United States must sometimes play by the rules of a Hobbesian world, even though in doing so it violates European norms. It must refuse to abide by certain international conventions that may constrain its ability to fight effectively in Robert Cooper’s jungle. It must support arms control, but not always for itself. It must live by a double standard.
This was another thing that baffled me: how is it possible to employ double standards so blatantly, yet consider themselves not only a morale nation, but the only morale nation, looking down at the rest of the world. "Hypocrisy and arrogance" was my verdict, but Robert Kagan claims that's because there is basically no other choice. I do not quite agree with this, but at least I can see how double standards amount to high morale in American system of coordinates.
------------------
"It is past time to move beyond the denial and the insults and to face the problem head-on."
Robert Kagan
[ July 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5390
1
Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Though I am not very much aware of Europian/American social system.
But the only problem I see with America is its immaturity.
A nation who is just 400 yrs old, where most of the festivals are not more than 200 yrs old, it will take time for US to come to the ground reality*.
IMO its not double standard, its immaturity and it will mature only after learning from its own mistakes. [again I cant predict future, what mistakes it will do or doing to learn lessons.]
Immaturity can be seen in the writing of Robert Kagan also like when he writes The United States is a behemoth with a conscience.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1340
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Power and Weakness By Robert Kagan That link is broken for me. Here's another:
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/kagan.htm
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:
But the only problem I see with America is its immaturity.
A nation who is just 400 yrs old, where most of the festivals are not more than 200 yrs old, it will take time for US to come to the ground reality*.[/i]

That's just silly! India is what, 60 years old? The current form of the government of Germany (since reunification) is about 20 years old? The French government has only been around since the end of WWII. England's form of government can trace back about 100 years. Japan is 50 years. Russia is 20 years old. So where is the nation that is more than a few hundred years?
 
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting article.
 
R K Singh
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5390
1
Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
That's just silly!


You are right.
 
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
aMEricaNs are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus
Hmmm... I really like that!
 
Rancher
Posts: 1449
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Map,
While the terms liberal and conservative are still used they are almost meaningless. To the question about the European approaching being liberal I'd say a better term is "statist".
I've seen at least part of this article previously because I remember the part about the man and the bear. I'd thought the differences in viewpoint were more philosophical but Kagan makes a good case that the POV differences also come out of abilities.
A personal observation - the people I have met from Europe (including the former USSR), Asia, and Australia/NZ all seemed to be more fatalistic than Americans. Sort of a "I can't do anything about this so I'm not going to worry about it" approach. Is that something you perceive/have observed? Or are Americans just optimistic nutballs who believe every problem has at least one solution?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1408
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mapraputa Is: ? I often feel infuriated by some of American statements, because even "evil" communists were too shy (or too sane?) to openly proclaim that this is their natural right to invade countries at will and to establish "better" governments.
Stalin considered it his natural right to invade other countries at will to establish (or preserve) "better" governments, e.g. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, South Korea. Later communist leaders did the same, e.g. the invasion of South Vietnam and Afghanistan to install "better" governments. Then there was the Soviets' training and funding of armed revolutionaries and terrorists in dozens of other countries aimed at replacing foreign governments with "better" ones.
I don't remember hearing much criticism for this by communists in western countries; on the contrary, their intellectual activity centered on justifying these acts.
Unlike the communists, Americans have always been willing to pursue a policy of "live and let live" with other governments as long as these governments were not hostile and militarily threatening to us or our friends. (For this we are also condemned -- we are accused of coddling dictators. Well, if we are neither to overthrow nor to befriend tyrants, exactly what _are_ we supposed to do with them?)
In any case, the natural alternative (to the projection of American power in defense of itself and its friends) is not European-style international law, but rather a Swiss-like neutrality -- let the world fend for itself. The argument that, rather than confronting people such as Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden militarily we should avoid doing things which anger them (e.g. supporting Israel) implies that we were equally wrong to annoy Stalin with our post-war occupation and defense of Western Europe, and that in the early stages of WWII we should not have angered Imperial Japan with a steel embargo, and should not have angered Nazi Germany with our loans and gifts of weapons and money to Great Britain.
Europeans had better be careful of what they ask for -- because we just might give it to them. If their new political theories are wrong, or are of limited applicability, it could be disastrous for them.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2166
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Read the book 3 month ago and I did not like thinking that some co-ranchers would love it There was a another book by a french who claimed that US power have passed its peak.
Europeans are from Venus. Americans from Mars.
Maybe you are lacking an enemy after end of cold war. Maybe you like competition and you love to win. ... and nothing against competitive behaviour, though please with some ethic standards. Maybe you like to see lederhosen where are mostly blue jeans. Helps to straighten your patriotism.
Is it typical european to be against war? Mayority of Brits was pro war. Mayority in every latin american country was against war. People from India , Bangladesh and Pakistan were against war. There were people in the USA against war. I saw Hussein as a crazy dictator, so I was more pro-war.
Maybe its more difficult for not-US people to accept that US must live by a double standard than for US citizens.
In topics like defence policy, war, etc. europeans are mostly much more "moralistic" than Americans. So it would be more greek_god_of_law than Venus. Its hard for europeans to accept killed children for political reasons. Europeans are mostly much less moralistic when it comes to our agro-import policy.
A lot of americans say that exporting of IT jobs fills the bank accounts of some managers. I have the impression that 2 month after the looting of Bagdad museums lots of this stuff will be bought by some of those managers. Important reason for the unpopularity of Bush in Europe has to do with the general feeling that it is a government very pro super-rich.
Axel
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
(I hope European people will either confirm or rebut it).
I can't wait to throw some of these points back at my Euro-buddies. Thank you for sharing that. I'm sick of being ganged up on!
I like the way he mentions how Europe has the attitudes of a 'weak' power, like the U.S. had when European nations were stronger. VERY interesting...
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
[John W.]A personal observation - the people I have met from Europe (including the former USSR), Asia, and Australia/NZ all seemed to be more fatalistic than Americans. Sort of a "I can't do anything about this so I'm not going to worry about it" approach. Is that something you perceive/have observed? Or are Americans just optimistic nutballs who believe every problem has at least one solution?
Fatalistic... I can only say for the country I lived in and for the time I lived in, it's not as much "fatalistic" as "pessimistic" perhaps. Too often things went from bad to worse when you tried to improve them, so it's an objective pessimism ("pessimist is a well informed optimist"). By contrast, Americans do often strike me as "optimistic nutballs" who believes that happy end is in the nature of things and something to be expected. But then, it does work this way here, so why would Americans be pessimists. I only worry when they (as I construe it) project their natural optimism on other countries, where it might not fit.
Frank: Stalin considered it his natural right to invade other countries at will to establish (or preserve) "better" governments, e.g. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, South Korea.
Regarding East-European countries, these were exceptional circumstances. After 4 years of War, the USSR lost 20 millions lives (according to official statistics), a big part of the country was destroyed. Don't you think that after all this the USSR could be umm.. a little concerned about its security? And Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany aren't situated on another continent, you know. :roll: Speaking about double standard...
But anyway, I was talking about "openly proclaim". I do not recall "evil countries", "we need to do something" rhetorical figures in communist speeches. Instead, they declared right of every nation for independent development (again, I can only speak for my time). I won't argue that the practice was different from rhetoric, as it always is. I was only amazed how people here can say such things openly, if even communists found it necessarily to conceal them.
Frank: Unlike the communists, Americans have always been willing to pursue a policy of "live and let live" with other governments as long as these governments were not hostile and militarily threatening to us or our friends.
You will laugh, but communists would say the same. Afghanistan, for example, actually shared a border with the USSR, and how many countries the USA has bombed, nuked, or invaded do?
Axel: Read the book 3 month ago and I did not like thinking that some co-ranchers would love it
One thing I like about this article (did you read the whole book?), it shows how self-serving our morale ideas are. And the text itself is no exception, it nicely highlights what's American ego is comfortable with, and downplays what's not. Yet it's a big step on the path to better understanding.
One question that I got upon reading. Europeans are military weak, that's why they despise power. Ok, but what prevents them from becoming military strong? If it' such a good thing.
Another question, not even a question, a remark. I noticed that a lot of American authors, and Robert Kagan is no exception, have rather static picture of the Soviet Union -- evenly evil throughout all its almost 70 years of existence. Just like Satan - never changes... In fact, the country evolved of course, and Western European influence was one of the hidden forces behind "perestroyka". When after 1985 communists let its East European satellites as well as Baltic republics go -- peacefully, no one could predict or explain it, yet amazingly this did not change too much in American understanding of the Soviet Union, as I observe (correct me if I am wrong). Americans popular notion of the USSR remains about as accurate as Arab terrorists' about the USA.
When Robert Kagan writes: "They also reflected a European conviction that America’s approach to the Cold War was too confrontational, too militaristic, and too dangerous" -- a European conviction was actually much closer to the reality, I believe.
And this brings us to the point he missed or omitted. Being weak implies not only restrictions and constraints, it (paradoxically as it is) provides opportunities. It makes one work harder on understanding Another and on finding ways to find a compromise, rather than to kill this another, which is a Good Thing™, as I believe lots of hostility (although not all, of course -- and I want to stress it, before you shred me in pieces) has its ground in misunderstanding and suspicion, rather than in truly evil nature. It's just easier to be arrogant and rigid if you are strong.
John D. I can't wait to throw some of these points back at my Euro-buddies. Thank you for sharing that. I'm sick of being ganged up on!
But be careful! What I learnt from all this, is that it is very natural to refuse the other side in morale stand, as it gives a warm cozy feeling of superiority... It does take a lot of time and pain to move beyond the denial and the insults, so good luck on your fight intercourse with your Euro-buddies.
----------------------------
"It is past time to move beyond the denial and the insults and to face the problem head-on."
Robert Kagan
[ July 17, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 225
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I've got a few points concerning this whole area ( but not just in this thread ):
1. can we generalise about the whole of europe, eg - on us foreign policy? A Pole, a Briton and a Frenchman will have very different views for different reasons.
2. Does disagreeing over one issue, for example the invasion of Iraq, mean that europe and the US have irreconcilable differences? After all, if you expect a friend to never disagree with you its a bit of a wierd friendship.
3. I think europe and the US have huge amounts in common, which is probably why we can debate the differences.
4. I think the two biggest differences are the amount that people want the state to be involved in their lives ( ie. in europe a lot more, in us a lot less ) and the fact that it seems to me that Americans think that if you work hard enough you can solve any problem or achieve anything ( which is probably why you're the largest economy in the world.)
5. The majority of British were anti war before it started, and we'll have to wait for the next election to see what the result of Blair ignoring the electorate is.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Another question, not even a question, a remark. I noticed that a lot of American authors, and Robert Kagan is no exception, have rather static picture of the Soviet Union -- evenly evil throughout all its almost 70 years of existence. Just like Satan - never changes...

I don't think that is true. Certainly, prior to Gorbachev there wasn't a tremendous amount of change in the USSR. Kruschev did reform things a bit after Stalin but his reforms didn't markedly change the nature of relationship between the USSR and the west. Even Gorbachev in the beginning found it difficult to convince himself of the need for radical reform.
I think the history of the USSR is fairly clear. From it's founding until the death of Stalin it was incessantly an evil state. After the death of Stalin reform was slow but inevitable as the crushing poverty of a lack of physical wealth and spiritual growth caused by the communist state forced successive governments to change. Even during this period however, the USSR struggled to remain a totalitarian state that imprisoned its citizens and the countries that it controlled (e.g. Czechoslovakia, 1968). It was only with the continuing collapse of the Soviet state and the rise of new leaders willing to take risks to transform the USSR that the USSR peacefully vanished from the face of the Earth.
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It does take a lot of time and pain to move beyond the denial and the insults, so good luck on your fight intercourse with your Euro-buddies.
A fine example of anthropomorphism:
an�thro�po�mor�phism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nthr-p-m�rfzm)
n. 1. The representation of objects (especially a god) as having human form or traits. [syn: theanthropism]
2. Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.
anthro�po�morphic adj.
anthro�po�morphi�cal�ly adv.
anthro�po�morphist n.

 
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1408
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Axel Janssen In topics like defence policy, war, etc. europeans are mostly much more "moralistic" than Americans. ... Its hard for Europeans to accept killed children for political reasons.
I guess that explains why European nations were so reluctant to have anything to do with Yassar Arafat and his supporters, and why their U.N. representatives so loudly denounced the countries which provide aid to Hamas. Or is it the other way around -- that Europeans chide Americans for injecting moralism where Real-Politik is called for?
Or maybe Europeans make an exception where the children are Jewish and killing them is deliberate rather than accidental. (That would explain alot.)
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Axel Janssen In topics like defence policy, war, etc. europeans are mostly much more "moralistic" than Americans. ... Its hard for Europeans to accept killed children for political reasons.
Actually I think it is exactly the opposite. The Europeans are always blaming the USA for being too emotional and not taking a neutral view of things.
 
arch rival
Posts: 2813
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Axel, from where did you get the impression that
"Mayority of Brits was pro war."
 
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2166
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

But anyway, I was talking about "openly proclaim". I do not recall "evil countries", "we need to do something" rhetorical figures in communist speeches. Instead, they declared right of every nation for independent development (again, I can only speak for my time). I won't argue that the practice was different from rhetoric, as it always is. I was only amazed how people here can say such things openly, if even communists found it necessarily to conceal them.


The big difference between the URSS and western states was, that in western states there was a free press, which critiziced when the gap between oficial speeches and reality became too big.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

One question that I got upon reading. Europeans are military weak, that's why they despise power. Ok, but what prevents them from becoming military strong? If it' such a good thing.


Money. German state is absolutely lacking money. We are in crisis. In the last 30 years our state has shown a notable incapacity to cut back expenses for created interests. There is a growing feeling that in politics we are great in talking about problems, but not yet great in changing things. ...and foreigners often underestimate the huge costs of german reunifications. The way we did it is and was very expensive.
A conservative government would me more inclined to increase defense spendings.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

When Robert Kagan writes: "They also reflected a European conviction that America’s approach to the Cold War was too confrontational, too militaristic, and too dangerous" -- a European conviction was actually much closer to the reality, I believe.


The general feeling here was twofold. We did not want to become under communist regime. On the other hand we knew that we would become the first battle field, if cold war were turning hot.

Maybe there was more understanding for the the traditional fear of Russia to be invaded compared to the USA. Nobody believed that URSS wanted war. They tried to expand there ring of satelites to the west only until mid-50ties.
Since the 60ties, when a very open discussion about the 2nd world war started, there was a widespread conciense that Russia paid the highest price (after the jewish population).
Gorbachev, perestroyka was very, very popular in the 80ties. And maybe we observed the small steps towards change in the eastern block more closely.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

And this brings us to the point he missed or omitted. Being weak implies not only restrictions and constraints, it (paradoxically as it is) provides opportunities. It makes one work harder on understanding Another and on finding ways to find a compromise, rather than to kill this another, which is a Good Thing™, as I believe lots of hostility (although not all, of course -- and I want to stress it, before you shred me in pieces) has its ground in misunderstanding and suspicion, rather than in truly evil nature. It's just easier to be arrogant and rigid if you are strong.


What do you mean? I think you are idealizing western europe here. Most people don't try to understand, why the US population supports those positions. Mayority follows a popular image. This changes slowly over time. This image has positive aspects (cool "hands on type of guy attitude", less status-driven and more capability-driven, friendly, customer-oriented, flexible) and negative aspects (superficial relationships, turbo capitalistic, simplistic culture, cowboy style attitude).
Thomas: I've meant with "moralistic", that there is less willingness to accept colateral damage.
My problem with the not only, but heavily school kid based anti-war movement often forgot that this was a war against a cruel dictator.
A popular image that "entusiastic, patriotic Americans are more emotions than brain-driven", shows only that those people themselves are very little brain driven. Otherwise they wouldn't have such prejudice about one of the economic power centers of the world.
Frank: I think you have a sometimes very simplified picture about Europe. Even if I concede that Europe is more prone to fall back in the arms of the old devil called anti-semitism. But there is still more than enough common sense and historical consciousnes to not repeat that again.
[ July 17, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
[ July 17, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
But be careful! What I learnt from all this, is that it is very natural to refuse the other side in morale stand, as it gives a warm cozy feeling of superiority...
I am always open for people to poke holes through my arguments, as long as they can do it with sensible, logically rhetoric. I genuinely appreciate it when folks can share their wisdom with me.
I often ask my friends what exactly would they do if they were GWB?? It makes them look at the situation more realistically. It is always easier being idealistic from the outside looking in.
 
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1408
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mapraputa Is: even "evil" communists were too shy (or too sane?) to openly proclaim that this is their natural right to invade countries at will and to establish "better" governments.
me: (examples of Soviet aggressions)
Mapraputa Is: Regarding East-European countries (in WWII) the USSR lost 20 millions lives (according to official statistics... Don't you think that after all this the USSR could be umm.. a little concerned about its security?
The eastern European countries would have been happy to be neutral and at peace with the Soviets. Security did not require imposing communism, e.g. the re-invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 to prevent market-oriented reforms.
The fact is, the Soviets did indeed have an ideology that demanded continual "progress" towards a uniformly communist world by any means necessary. That meant military invasion where possible, and criminal subversion through financing of political subversives, guerillas and terrorists otherwise.
The U.S., in contrast, has always been perfectly happy to ignore other countries as long as they kept their evil to themselves.
From 1922 until 1945 when the Soviets kept to themselves, the U.S. ignored them. From 1933 until 1939, the U.S. ignored Nazi Germany. And America ignored Islamic intolerance in Saudi Arabia and other places until the movement for World Jihad became virulent. To equate our behavior to these aggressors is to ignore the difference between aggression and defense. It's like equating the behavior of a kidnapper with the behavior of the state when it arrests and imprisons him.
Interestingly, Robert Kagan's article "Power and Weakness" claims that America was once as opposed to the use of power as Europe is now. Well, yes, we once did have an ideology of non-interference in world affairs. We can document the struggle to change over the last hundred years. First there was WWI and president Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to get us involved in the League of Nations. But when WWI ended, the traditionalists demanded a return to our prior policy -- much to the anger of Woodrow Wilson.
The battle resumed in the late 1930s when the opponents of our overseas use of power opposed FDR's "everything short of war" support for the Allies. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, they had the decency to support America's war efforts, and they've had no real influence ever since.
Any American who says that the America's original forbearance was morally superior owes an apology to surviving remnants of the Isolationist movement (Pat Buchanan being the only example I can think of).
 
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1408
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Axel Janssen: Even if I concede that Europe is more prone to fall back in the arms of the old devil called anti-semitism. But there is still more than enough common sense and historical consciousnes to not repeat that again.
No, but the anti-American protestors in Europe certainly didn't seem to hold any resentment against Arab countries that print and distribute Nazi-era antisemitic literature and allow religious leaders to call for genocide against the Jews. In fact, many of the signs carried expressed solidarity with these thugs.
When Europeans take a tone of moral superiority claiming a greater reluctance to inflict collateral damage, it reminds me of a friend who calls himself a pacifist. He refuses to own a gun, claiming moral superiority over people who are willing to kill to defend themselves and their rights. I asked him, "What would you do if a burglar broke into your home?" He replied, "I'd call the police."
The police, of course, would come with loaded guns, prepared to defend themselves and their right to arrest burglars.
My friend things he's morally superior because he relies upon someone else to do his dirty work for him. (Naturally, he also feels morally superior to the policeman who answers his call for help, and chooses not to associate socially with such people.)
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Frank: The eastern European countries would have been happy to be neutral and at peace with the Soviets.
Really? Or would they join NATO with all consequences? Read: aggressive block right at the USSR border. And USSR already had almost whole Europe ganged up on him once, thank you.
Security did not require imposing communism, e.g. the re-invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 to prevent market-oriented reforms.
Or to prevent joining NATO?
The fact is, the Soviets did indeed have an ideology that demanded continual "progress" towards a uniformly communist world by any means necessary.
The Soviets had an ideology that predicted continual "progress" towards communistic way of development, naturally. Not by means of military invasion, mind you.
That meant military invasion where possible, and criminal subversion through financing of political subversives, guerillas and terrorists otherwise.
You do not talk about the US, by any chance, do you?
Case study 1.
"This is one of the more complete accounts of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954 -- a textbook case of how a superpower can destroy a Third World country at will. The propaganda which accompanied the military campaign required the loyal cooperation of the American media, because the world had to be convinced that Guatemala was being saved from a Soviet takeover. In fact, the Soviet union could hardly have had less interest in Guatemala and did not even maintain diplomatic relations with them.
What actually caused U.S. intervention was the nationalization by Arbenz of much of the land of United Fruit Company; it turned out that United was extremely well-connected in Washington and knew how arrange a fix. Arbenz was also unwilling to persecute Guatemalan communists and other leftists who had not committed any crimes.
The authors make extensive use of U.S. government publications and documents, as well as interviews with former CIA and other officials and individuals who played a role in the events. -- William Blum "
http://www.namebase.org/books78.html
Case study 2.
"On 28 April 1965, U.S. military forces found themselves in the Dominican Republic protecting U.S. interests for the fourth time in 58 years. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and the actions of three U.S. administrations (Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson respectively) resulted in the eruption of hostilities in the Dominican Republic in April 1965.
The Johnson Administration's unilateral decision to invade the Dominican Republic was based on erroneous information and the President's own concerns over the possibility of "another Cuba" in the hemisphere and the residual effect that it would have on U.S. efforts in Vietnam.
President Johnson ordered U.S. troops into the Dominican Republic under the pretext of protecting American lives. Limited events in Santo Domingo offered credence to this premise of protection. "Rebel paramilitary groups entered the grounds of the Hotel Embajador and harassed U.S. Citizens gathering there in anticipation of being evacuated."
However, there is no doubt that the real reason for the invasion was prevent another Cuba. "Having seen Eisenhower criticized for 'losing' Cuba and Kennedy humiliated by the Bay of Pigs failure, Johnson was determined that no similar disaster would befall him: there would be no 'second Cuba.'" Johnson also confronted managing the growing U.S. intervention in Vietnam, another battleground of the Cold War. Johnson realized that American credibility was on the line. If he could not demonstrate U.S. resolve to curtail Communist expansion of "the American Lake," how would be the result in Vietnam?" http://fuentes.csh.udg.mx/CUCSH/Sincronia/dominican.html
Case study 3.
<center>International Court of Justice
CASE CONCERNING THE MILITARY AND PARAMILITARY ACTIVITIES
IN AND AGAINST NICARAGUA (NICARAGUA v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
(MERITS)
Judgment of 27 June 1986</center>
Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State...
Link
[ July 18, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Frank: me: (examples of Soviet aggressions)
Aggressions?
As far as I know, only invasion into Afghanistan can be considered an "aggression".1 Occupation of East-European countries was a response to aggression, really.
I wonder what the US would do, if Canada, Mexico and a bunch of other countries invaded it and killed 20 millions! Extrapolating US' benevolent manner of reacting, it's a safe guess to estimate that a couple of continents would be nuked by now.
-----------
1 There is another case, but I am leaving it as an exercise for a curious reader to find out.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[QBAs far as I know, only invasion into Afghanistan can be considered an "aggression".1 Occupation of East-European countries was a response to aggression, really. [/QB]

Hungary 1956? Czechoslovakia 1968? So did the Czech air force attack Moscow? Is that why the tanks rolled into Prague?
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hungary 1956? Czechoslovakia 1968? So did the Czech air force attack Moscow? Is that why the tanks rolled into Prague?
Gee. Did Iraq ever attack the US? So why the tanks? Are you going to agree that the US administration is evil? If not, then why communists were evil? I am curious. :roll:
In both cases the Soviets responded to a rebellion, they did not simply invaded a country out of a blue. Their paranoia was that if to allow Hungary or Czechoslovakia to overthrow the governments, other countries will follow the example and very soon the USSR will have the whole (hostile) Europe at its borders once again. You think one time was not enough?
Now explain to me, what was the reason for the USA to send troops to Russia when Rusians overthrew their government in 1917? Did Russian air force attack Washington or did they plan to?
Is there one set of rules to judge countries by, or are there two, one for communists (according to which they are always evil) and another for the USA (which mysteriously always ends up as a noble hero)?
And while we are at it, remind me, what the USA did when Chile elected a president the USA did not like?
[ July 18, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 456
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Are you going to agree that the US administration is evil?


Yes, I agree the current US administration is evil.
And they are hipocrits (sp?) at that. The US helped put Saddam in power, they helped Osama, they have helped many of the evil leaders of this world. Then they turn around and attack them and at the same time causing a lot of harm and sorrow to millions of innocent people, including the US soldiers they duped into helping the administration with their evil schemes. Can you imagine your child being killed in a stupid and pointless war just because some wacko in power wills it? It is easy for Bush to start wars, his drunk kids aren't in the army, nor is his drug addict niece.
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
, his drunk kids aren't in the army, nor is his drug addict niece. :roll: Bush's daughters are probably closer to normal young women than not. You should leave young girls out of politics surrounding their Dad. Try to have a little compassion for his neice. Imagine if your uncle is Prez AND your Dad is a governor of an important state - AND you still mess up with drugs during a campaign when both are in the limelight. To me it screams the horrors of drug addiction and the difficulty in controlling oneselve when faced with the desire for more drugs.
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
they have helped many of the evil leaders of this world. That is quite vague. Yes they helped Sadaam when he fought a much bigger evil (Iran). They worked with Noriega when they were after a new lease of the Panama canal. Osama was always a small player when the Soviets were fighting the Afganis, (as far as we could tell). The first two made perfect sense to ally at the times they did. There is not always an easy way to tell how some leaders will turn out. What is the alternative to not work with anyone that is an adversary of our enemies?? Powers will typically seek out the rogue elements of a country in which they want to fight. Didn't we do that successfully with the Resistance groups of Nazi Europe? Was that wrong too??? I believe if you were Prez you would do the EXACT same thing.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is another twist! I mean another twain:
Why Canadians fear America.
 
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1408
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mapraputa Is: Did Iraq ever attack the US? Yes, they fired anti-aircraft missiles at our planes patrolling according to the 1st Gulf War armistice, and Saddam tried to arrange an assassination of Bush Sr. Before that, Saddam attacked allies of ours, and has all along threatened to attack other allies.
In (Hungary 1956, Czech 1968) the Soviets responded to a rebellion, they did not simply invaded a country out of a blue. The invasion of Czechoslovakia was to undo peaceful democratic change permitted by the existing communist government ("socialism with a human face" they called it). The rebellion in 1956 Hungary was not against the Soviets, but against the Hungarians' own government. But in your concern for the Soviet quest for security, I assume you have equal sympathy for Israel's occupation of the West Bank, no?
The Soviets had an ideology that predicted continual "progress" towards communistic way of development, naturally. Not by means of military invasion, mind you. Marx wrote that progress towards socialism was the sole moral measure. And the Soviets did indeed sponsor guerilla and terrorist movements world-wide, not for any need for security but solely to expedite the fulfilment of this prediction. Most of the guerilla movements would have had no chance without help from existing communist governments. Given this fact, one could argue that the overthrow of communist governments by the U.S. was not merely benevolent, but also defensive.
I believe that most of the hatred of the U.S. in Europe today is promoted by socialists who have always resented past American attempts to stop the "inevitable transition to world socialism."
what was the reason for the USA to send troops to Russia when Rusians overthrew their government in 1917? Did Russian air force attack Washington or did they plan to? Leftist radical immigrants from Russia had already done quite a bit of terrorism in America before 1917. It was pretty obvious from reading Marx that the new government would be evil.
When discussing current American policy, people who defend the behavior of communists or who object to the struggle against communism have no credibility with me. Given America's political heritage, anyone who believes in Marxism is _bound_ to hate us, and I cannot think of anything stupider than taking advice from one's enemies.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Frank: But in your concern for the Soviet quest for security, I assume you have equal sympathy for Israel's occupation of the West Bank, no?
No. You must be kidding. Why would I have equal sympathy for a murderous regime which kills Palestinian kids? This would mean judging other by the same rules we judge ourselves, and this would be very un-American and just plain stupid. How can we be the best nation on the Earth if we will obey the same rules we lay out for the rest of the world? Think about it, you, supporter of Israel's murderous regime, you.
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
No. You must be kidding. Why would I have equal sympathy for a murderous regime which kills Palestinian kids? This would mean judging other by the same rules we judge ourselves, and this would be very un-American and just plain stupid. How can we be the best nation on the Earth if we will obey the same rules we lay out for the rest of the world? Think about it, you, supporter of Israel's murderous regime, you.


Not even remotely the same. Let's see...
Stalin: planned and carried out plans for mass murder and genocide. Innocents directly targeted and killed.
Israel: fighting everyday for its survival surrounded by neighbors who have sworn to its destruction. In the process of defending itself, some innocents have been mistakenly killed.
Killing != murder. Murder requires intent and malice of forethought.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Killing != murder. Murder requires intent and malice of forethought.
By the way, it took me a while to figure out the difference. In Russian, I believe, there is only one word for both "killing" and "murder" (let's see if Matola can disprove it ). I mean, if you really want to stress the difference, you probably can, but normally these two ideas aren't discriminated. It is said that a language provides a "primitive model of world", and I am not sure which model (Russian or English) I like more.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So if someone tries to kill you and you kill them that is the same as walking up to a stranger and shooting them in the back of the head? Russians have no way to differentiate between the two?
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
All I can offer is my own personal ideolect of Russian. As far as I can understand, yes, it's the same. Dead body is the same, and you are a murderer/killer regardless of what your intentions/circumstances were.
 
whippersnapper
Posts: 1843
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
MI: In Russian, I believe, there is only one word for both "killing" and "murder" (let's see if Matola can disprove it).
I'll take "Russian verbs of death for $200," Alex.
As far as I know, Map's correct on this -- Russian doesn't actively differentiate "kill" and "murder" like English does with two separate words. The entire range of causing life to cease can be covered by the common verb ubit'. There does exist the verb umertvit', which I think can only be "kill" -- but I don't have a feel for this word at all. I believe it's quite rarely used; I know for certain I have never heard or read it in the wild, only in some examples.
(Some words that can translate as kill when used figuratively: koverkat', gubit'.)
Russian does differentiate under what circumstances you die though: umeret' if life simply ceases pretty much on its own or unaided and pogibnut' if it's a result of some catastrophe.
MI: I mean, if you really want to stress the difference, you probably can, but normally these two ideas aren't discriminated.
I'm with Map on this part: if you really have reason to stress the difference I'm sure you can.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I checked the dictionary of Russian synonyms and I did not find any analog of kill/murder dichotomy. There are words that specify how one was killed (to suffocate, etc.) or slang expressions, but nothing parallel to the English distinction.
I said I am not sure which verbal model I like better, because I think this "primitive Russian" expresses very well averse to the very idea of taking somebody's life. Normally, if you killed somebody, you would think about yourself in the same terms you apply to what English calls murderer, which is GOOD, I think. No more comments, it's either clear, or it is not.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Dunn: I am always open for people to poke holes through my arguments, as long as they can do it with sensible, logically rhetoric.
I've never said how much I appreciate this attitude, and now it's about time! To balance all my anti-American posts! This is probably what I love in Western people most -- that they are not preoccupied with the one single idea. In the fUSSR you could spend your whole life and never learn anything new, because there were no reasons to. Made people dumb, or, rather, provided justification for natural human desire to be dumb.
 
She's out of the country right now, toppling an unauthorized dictatorship. Please leave a message with this tiny ad:
Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
https://products.aspose.com/total/java
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!