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is the War on Terror a War on Islam?

 
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Map: you don't get it do you? I am done here. I'll make this last post to try and drive home the point - I am done here. You did it. You shut me up for good.
I am not going to reply to your issues. You are the primary reason I am quitting any of the "heavy" MD discussions, because you have complained non-stop about how I execute childish attacks, yet at the same time you use phrases like, "You really need to do something with your reading skills". This seems to me to be the pot calling the kettle black.
And Map please, as this is my last post on the topic and indeed on any topic that might even be a little bit serious, rather than argue with it, you might instead try to actually read it and see if it has any truth to it at all. Take a moment to see if maybe you're being a bit hypocritical, especially considering how personally demeaning your remarks can be.
Hey, maybe it's just me, but in any case, your complaints have done their job.
I am done here.
Once again, I apologize to anybody whose feelings have been hurt along the way. I really, really did try to have an honest dialogue. I never once hid my position, I never once waffled on a statement, and I believe I treated everybody with the same respect I got from them.
Buh-bye!

Joe
 
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JP: I am fiercely, unabashedly proud to be an American, and I don't really give a damn what the Gallup polls say about sentiment in the rest of the world.
MI: That's not a very healthy position, but that's only my opinion.
What isn't a healthy position, Map? To be fiercly and unabashedly proud to be an American? Or to not give a damn what the Gallup polls say about world sentiment? I'm assuming you mean the latter. Why is this not a healthy position? I've asked you a similar question earilier in this thread and you declined to answer.
[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
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Similar question, I assume you are talking about this question?
".. what ever gave you the idea that Americans were even remotely concerned in European opinion polls? And for that matter, why on earth should we be?"
I did answered:
"Do you mean that European opinions will not change our decisions, or that we aren't even interested in what they are? It's easier to me to accept the former reading (with some reservation) but the latter sounds horribly arrogant."
Why not a healthy position...
I think, I already said it somewhere in this forum, but maybe not. According to my observations, we all have beautified vision of our countries. When other people simply say what they see, we read it is an insult. Kinda like "my Mom is the best woman in the world". I wouldn't like anybody insulting my mother, but if somebody said that she isn't the best woman in the world -- this is not an insult, this is truth.
You do not have to agree with each and every Gallup poll, and these people can have their own misconceptions also, but to say "I do not care a damn" -- these are too strong words. It's like to say "I know I am Great! and I do not care what other think" - yeah, sure.
 
Mapraputa Is
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Map: you don't get it do you?
Joe, you did it many times before: said that you are done and then continued, so I wasn't sure how serious you are *this* time.
Another reason, you thrown unsupported accusations again and I hate it. That you did it in your "last" post doesn't make it any better.
 
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I wish Granpa Morris was here to calm down things! :roll:
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
You do not have to agree with each and every Gallup poll, and these people can have their own misconceptions also, but to say "I do not care a damn" -- these are too strong words. It's like to say "I know I am Great! and I do not care what other think" - yeah, sure.


Here are a few links for you to give some background on how the conclusion may easily be reached that their opinion polls are irrelevant to how we proceed with our interests, a coupld of them are blogs.
http://www.robertprather.us/archives/003277.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/002504.php
Here's one that actually warns against ignoring them, but not in the same manner as you:
http://entropy.brni-jhu.org/europe3.html

Anti-Americanism is not just the mad ravings of Euroleftists bemoaning their lost influence. It is an ideology to itself, complete with its own myths. The main effect of all the facile America-bashing in Europe is to convince Americans that a significant proportion of Europeans, like their Muslim counterparts in Pakistan, Indonesia, and elsewhere, have very little of substance to say. But ignoring them would be a mistake. America-bashing has to be taken seriously these days -- we have seen how not responding to seemingly small incidents, like the earlier attacks of Muslim terrorists, can lead to larger and larger acts of violence, ending in warfare.
After fighting Communism for 45 years, America has a distinctly colder and harsher view of international affairs than our former allies in Western Europe -- a view that is shared by those in Eastern Europe, who had direct experience living with Communism. The American view of history, from Kellogg-Briand to North Korea and Iraq, is that in the long run, strategies of accommodation and appeasement inevitably fail. On the other hand, a strategy of accommodation and appeasement of dictators, terrorists and NGOs is a natural fit to a Europe still unsure about its own unity and continually growing militarily and philosophically weaker with the spread of Green philosophy and New Age pacifism. So perhaps it was inevitable that when the Cold War pressures that maintained the American-European alliance disappeared, and eco-socialism took the place of Communism, the two sides would inexorably drift apart. Just as the Soviet Union fragmented after the Cold War into a number of mutually hostile countries, so too, apparently, is the West.

 
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Jason: What isn't a healthy position, Map? To be fiercly and unabashedly proud to be an American?
Map already answered that, but I'd like to extend it. I consider patriotism a point of view, but not neccessarily a virtue. Unconditional love for one's country is a dangerous thing. Who is a better citizen, -- the one who erects the monuments to celebrate the establishment, or the one who burns the flag to protest his government policies? I am willing to adopt both positions: if my government starts to do something ungodly, I will burn all the flags until none are left, and if the government acts with quality, I will bring the flowers to its monument. And that would be healthy.
 
Jason Menard
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An aside... Map, if you have HBO, you might find this documentary worth watching.
 
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Jason: What isn't a healthy position, Map? To be fiercly and unabashedly proud to be an American?
Map already answered that, but I'd like to extend it. I consider patriotism a point of view, but not neccessarily a virtue. Unconditional love for one's country is a dangerous thing. Who is a better citizen, -- the one who erects the monuments to celebrate the establishment, or the one who burns the flag to protest his government policies? I am willing to adopt both positions: if my government starts to do something ungodly, I will burn all the flags until none are left, and if the government acts with quality, I will bring the flowers to its monument. And that would be healthy.


I would protest in other ways but never would I burn the flag. And I will never condone another American doing so. The flag to me is a symbol of all those who gave their lives and time making this country. To burn the flag to me isn't a protest against current perceived/actual wrongs but a slap to all those before.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
I would protest in other ways but never would I burn the flag. And I will never condone another American doing so. The flag to me is a symbol of all those who gave their lives and time making this country. To burn the flag to me isn't a protest against current perceived/actual wrongs but a slap to all those before.


Exactly.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Exactly.


To most Americans, the flag is not a symbol of whatever the current administration is, nor is it a representation of specific governmental policies. For those who love the US, it is the symbol of all the positive ideals and historical events that are uniquely American.
The Iowa Jima flag raising photo and an understanding of the thousands of gallons of blood spilled on a tiny 6 sq mile island, would be a good place to start to begin to understand why most Americans people feel flag burning is wrong at a visceral level.
My blood burned when Miami immigrants burned the US flag and waved the flag of communist Cuba during the Elian Gonzalez riots and protests. ...
 
Mapraputa Is
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Jason: What isn't a healthy position, Map? To be fiercly and unabashedly proud to be an American?
I am not sure what it means.
1. "proud to be an American" -- there is no one's accomplishment in being born in this country, so it's like to say "I am proud to be born on Friday". One could be proud of what he/she have achieved because of opportunities that America gives, or one could be proud of what America as a country did. In the first case "gratitude" would be a better word, in the second again, not sure what a person's accomplishments are besides the luck of being born in this country. Some explanations would be appreciated...
2. "fiercly and unabashedly proud" (fiercely? To make sure I understand which word was used) -- this suggest certain bias to me. I can be wrong, of course... This country had extermination of local population and slavery in its history, how does it agree with "fiercly and unabashedly proud"? Surely, the country made a great progress since then, and there were lots of good things in the US history, no need to attack me on this I am just curious how "fiercly and unabashedly" proud account for less than great things.
[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Jason: What isn't a healthy position, Map? To be fiercly and unabashedly proud to be an American?
I am not sure what it means.
1. "proud to be an American" -- there is no one's accomplishment in being born in this country, so it's like to say "I am proud to be born on Friday". ...


One can be legitmately proud to be associated with a country and its associated ideals. The association is completely voluntary. Unlike being "born on Friday", it is something that can be changed if you disagree with it. Unlike some countries, it is a relatively easy process to leave the US, obtain another citizenship, and renounce your US citizenship if you are not proud of being an American. The statement of pride is a legitimate statment ands shows an alignment on some level with American ideals and/or its people.


2. "fiercly and unabashedly proud" (fiercely? To make sure I understand which word was used) -- this suggest certain bias to me. I can be wrong, of course... This country had extermination of local population and slavery in its history, how does it agree with "fiercly and unabashedly proud"?


Not every event or period in US history has lived up its ideals, such as the equality of all men. To achieve the degree of success that America has, enormous efforts and sacrficies were made. I am proud of those efforts that were made to live up its ideals. I am proud of those who sacrificed their lives so that there could be progress. I am proud, therefore to be an American.
In fact, why be so hard on the US, most countries do have problems completely realizing all of its ideals, do they not? Cannot anyone be proud of any achievement? Does the fact that an ideal was not completey achieved or took some time to do so, prevent legitimate pride? Slavery was never unamiously accepted as an insitution and most Americans did not desire extermination of Native Americans nor was it a law or official policy to exterminate them. None of this is a part of American ideals.
Being proud of being American means being proud of America's ideals and proud of the history of the progress made towards them and the achievement of some success in realizing them at enormous cost.
[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Jason: Here are a few links for you to give some background on how the conclusion may easily be reached that their opinion polls are irrelevant to how we proceed with our interests, a coupld of them are blogs.
So their opinion is that Europeans hate America because it's too powerful. "The immediate focus might be U.S. policy toward Iraq, but the larger emerging theme is an abiding sense of fear and loathing of American power, policies and motives." I guess I am concerned with dismissing of European (or just non-American) opinion for the same reason. You know expression "any power corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Separation of branches is here for reason, right? I am afraid that America's unbalanced power on International arena is beginning of the end. The end of the American Ideal. Already the USA attacked a country first, already majority of US citizens look down at people in European countries -- culturally closest to them! These are dangerous signs.
 
Jason Menard
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Already the USA attacked a country first
Yes, poor innocent Iraq, sitting their minding their own business, not bothering a soul, and some big bullies come up and attack them. If only the US, UK, and some others had the altruistic sensibilities of some more enlightened countries, poor Saddam would still be murdering his people.
already majority of US citizens look down at people in European countries
You're kidding, right? Do you think the reverse holds true? That the majority of Western European citizens look down on people in the US? Anti-Europeanism in the US isn't even 1/1000th of the level of Western European anti-Americanism. It is somewhat natural though that after a time, even some small amount of the never-ending vitriol which has been directed at us for so long gets returned.
However the truth remains that most Americans love Europe. Our relatives have gone there and fought and died there in two world wars. During the Cold Ware era, we gave our resources and manpower in mutual defense of Europe, many being quite prepared to die to protect it. Many Americans trace their lineage directly to Europe, are not that far removed from relatives who came to this country from Europe (my great-grandparents came over from Europe), and have great pride in their European ancestry.
Really everyone should be thankful that we pay little attention to those opinion polls. How do you think the US public would react if they were made constanyly aware of these opinion polls and if US media force fed us an anti-European diet similar to the steady anti-American diet that Europeans are fed?
 
Jason Menard
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So their opinion is that Europeans hate America because it's too powerful. "The immediate focus might be U.S. policy toward Iraq, but the larger emerging theme is an abiding sense of fear and loathing of American power, policies and motives."
One of the blogs put it a little differently.

The sources of today's anti-Americanism are not obscure. They are (1) balance of power politics and (2) ideology. If I recall correctly, conventional international relations theory holds that when one nation becomes extremely powerful, other nations will form alliances to curb that power. Thus, France, in building an alliance designed to thwart U.S. goals, is doing pretty much what one would expect. Moreover, at the ideological level, Europe has largely embraced the democratic socialist model, while the U.S. more or less clings to capitalism. The U.S. also resists other cornerstones of European sophistication, such as pacifism and anti-semitism.
The Europeans hold out one, and only one, solution to reducing the serious tensions that arise from balance of power politics and ideology. That solution is "multilaterism." Through multilateralism, U.S. power can be checked without the overt belligerence of the counter-weight alliance model. And through multilateralism, the U.S. can be brought into line with European ideology through various treaties, protocols, and international institutions that limit U.S. autonomy in dealing with issues such as the environment, trade, human rights, labor relations, the use of military force, and war crimes.
Tom Friedman is correct that President Bush's unwillingness to embrace the multilateral solution is the major source of anti-Americanism today. But framing the matter this way takes all of the fun out it for Friedman. He is seeking assign to President Bush a measure of blame for the breakdown in relations with France and its cohorts. It is clear, however, that Bush could have avoided the breakdown only by ceding to other countries substantial control over U.S. policy, including U.S. policy regarding national security.


One of the other links goes more in depth on this use of multilateralism as a means to elevate their own position.

However, Western Europe's antagonism toward its former protector is more than just a fad like Japan's, and not solely a product of ignorance, New Age extremism, and leftist arrogance, but is also a deliberate strategy among mainstream Europeans whose goal is to reassert power using not military force, but diplomacy. They view this as a morally superior and more convenient approach, which replaces the unpleasantness and expense of military action with treaties and the rule of law. This induces them to harangue America because the leaders of this movement know their continent cannot succeed in becoming a moralistic superpower without American acquiescence, and because haranguing is pretty much the only tool that a moralistic superpower has at its disposal.
To many Americans, the strategy signifies instead a return to the pre-WWII mentality exemplified by Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. In this view, European hostility therefore arises from a sense of irritation that America is antagonistic to this way of thinking, and is a way of pressuring America to surrender to it.


It goes on to analyse our conflict regarding the ICC as well, but I suppose that could make a subject for its own thread.
 
Mapraputa Is
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Herb first!
Herb: One can be legitmately proud to be associated with a country and its associated ideals. The association is completely voluntary. Unlike being "born on Friday", it is something that can be changed if you disagree with it. Unlike some countries, it is a relatively easy process to leave the US, obtain another citizenship, and renounce your US citizenship if you are not proud of being an American. The statement of pride is a legitimate statment ands shows an alignment on some level with American ideals and/or its people.
Ok. So "proud to be American" means that somebody is proud to participate in American life (history, experiment, mission...) as such participation is voluntarily.
In fact, why be so hard on the US, most countries do have problems completely realizing all of its ideals, do they not? Cannot anyone be proud of any achievement?
Sure. It's just that I hear (or see) "proud to be an American" expression often enough, but I do not recall ever seeing "proud to be a Canadian" or "Proud to be an Australian" -- this could be, of course, because I live in neither Canada nor Australia, and in this forum most people are from the US, so I do not really know, maybe they are also proud.
Ok, to add some fuel to our lukewarm discussion, here are some quotes:

Over the centuries, moral philosophers have wrestled with the fact that patriotism is always a kind of bias, a disposition to favor one's own nation beyond what the objective facts would warrant. As Max Eastman wrote in 1906, "If one were loyal to one's nation only because it was good and true . . . one would not be loyal to any nation, but to truth and goodness. The idea of patriotism would have no place either in our dictionaries or our lives.
...the idea, as the 18th-century English radical William Godwin put it, that there's a "magic in the pronoun 'my.'
Link


what do you say?
 
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You're kidding, right? Do you think the reverse holds true? That the majority of Western European citizens look down on people in the US? Anti-Europeanism in the US isn't even 1/1000th of the level of Western European anti-Americanism.
How did you measure? Unrelated question, we have quite a few of fellow moderators from Europe on this board, did you ever had any problem with them?
For the rest of your quotes, hey, I read them. Did not know what to say, because they are well... American's perceptions of European anti-Americanism. Hope you will forgive me for another (tangentially related) quote:

I take it that the nineteenth-century German playwright Friedrich Hebbel was making a similar point when he uttered his great dictum (one that every playwright ought to have engraved over his desk): “In a good play everyone is right.” I assume he means by this not that the audience is invited to approve of everyone’s actions, but that everyone should be allowed the freedom and eloquence to make the most convincing case that he can for himself.
Link


Why don't we try to get Europeans explain their feelings toward the US? Can we start a dialog in this forum?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Herb first!

Ok. So "proud to be American" means that somebody is proud to participate in American life (history, experiment, mission...) as such participation is voluntarily.


I would put more emphasis on American ideals. 'Participating in American life' could also be interpretated as encompassing banal activities that do not inspire patriotism. Americans, much more than the majority of other nations, pride themselves on the ideals of their nation and this is actually the ultimate source of their pride even if the ideals are not completely realized.



Sure. It's just that I hear (or see) "proud to be an American" expression often enough, but I do not recall ever seeing "proud to be a Canadian" or "Proud to be an Australian" -- this could be, of course, because I live in neither Canada nor Australia, and in this forum most people are from the US, so I do not really know, maybe they are also proud.



Where I live people seem proud of being from other countries and display their flags and have bumper stickers speaking of their love of Puerto Rico and other South American countries, etc. Come visit Miami.


Ok, to add some fuel to our lukewarm discussion, here are some quotes:
....

what do you say?


Americans are somewhat different, at least in degree, than citizens of many other countries. We see our country as "the Land of the Free" in an almost mythical/mystical way, although there is some factual basis for it. We are not the only free country, but we like to see ourselves as mythically holding the torch of liberty for the rest of the world. We like to imagine ourselves as the country with the most liberty. So, you see, its our ideals, of liberty, etc, and that are the central point of our patriotism.
This is actually quite a healthy thing if you support those ideals and want to see them flourish. Furthermore, our traditions of debate , free speech, and hearing different points of view act to modify some of the bias that often accompany patriotism.
Many other nations, appeal not to ideals, but to their people as the ultimate source of pride. This can be an ethnic/racial based pride or worse... Or they could appeal to history alone, bring up their glorious past, blame their current state on past actions of their current neighbors, then seek to even the score... All of these could relate to pride or patriotism unrelated to ideals different in some degree at least to patriotism based on ideals.
 
Mapraputa Is
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I should say that I am not clear on this "patriotism" thing myself. There are certain suspicions that I need to resolve...
Herb: Americans are somewhat different, at least in degree, than citizens of many other countries. We see our country as "the Land of the Free" in an almost mythical/mystical way, although there is some factual basis for it. We are not the only free country, but we like to see ourselves as mythically holding the torch of liberty for the rest of the world.
Was the torch holder voted for, or is it kinda self-appointed? It also seems that the rest of the world recently becomes more anti-American, does it create problems to "holding the torch of liberty for the rest of the world"? If so, how are they resolved?
We like to imagine ourselves as the country with the most liberty. So, you see, its our ideals, of liberty, etc, and that are the central point of our patriotism.
So you are saying that the nature of patriotism is partly mythological? Another question: if there is/will be a country with more liberty (whatever it means), would it be a good idea for American patriots to move there, or would they work harder to bring America to this level?
I am asking because there seems to be an alternative way of living, when people relatively freely move from one country to another, becoming multicultural and this way of living have certain appeal to me. I knew a Mexican family, their father is a math. professor and they lived in Mexico, Singapore, Spain, and now in the US. So which way is better, or none is better and perhaps some people are psychologically more inclined to stay in their home country and become more patriotic, and some by their nature are less patriotic and prefer to move around?
 
Jason Menard
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How did you measure?
With a really big measuring cup. Actually it's a figure of speech, since of course such a thing cannot be measured. However having resided in both places, I can make an approximation based on my own experiences.
Unrelated question, we have quite a few of fellow moderators from Europe on this board, did you ever had any problem with them?
When I was in the military overseas, we were advised to avoid talking about politics or religion with the locals. It rarely leads to anything positive. I take the same approach on the Ranch with some of the moderators (outside of this forum of course). I realize this doesn't directly answer your question.
For the rest of your quotes, hey, I read them. Did not know what to say, because they are well... American's perceptions of European anti-Americanism.
So does that make them mistaken?
You avoided one of my questions though. You made the following unsupported statement:
MI: already majority of US citizens look down at people in European countries
I'm not sure where you got this from, or for that matter what you meant by "look down" in this context. However since you made this statement we can safely assume that you believe it is true, which we can accept for the sake of argument for the time being. So since you hold this belief, I tried to find out whether or not you felt the converse held, but you declined to reply. Specifically, I asked:
JM: Do you think the reverse holds true? That the majority of Western European citizens look down on people in the US?
Well? Do ya?
 
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You may need to consult with the European Union for a "European" view.
I am surprised that Britain is allowed to join with such subversive influences like "Humpty Dumpty".
shocked
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Do you think the reverse holds true? That the majority of Western European citizens look down on people in the US?
Hmmmm, deafening silence...! Don't all talk at once will you!
Its too complicated to explain without writing a bloody essay
Yes, I'd say that generally, on the surface, W. Europeans do look down on Americans and not just because of the policies of successive US administrations.
I think its pretty harmless most of the time, even funny. It works both ways. There are so many different stereotypes of the typical American (too many to list) that different ones can be used at different times to make some (usually banal) point about why we (Europeans) are better. Why so many stereotypes? Hah! I blame Southpark, The Simpsons and Bill Hicks, ie. I blame the US Plus of course the UK's media often (no, NOT always) portray the average American as brainwashed by their media into unquestioning loyalty to the church/capitalism/America whatever, as superficial, and as a nation so used to covering over the cracks that it believes there are no cracks. This is what sticks in the mind. Europeans appear more cynical, whereas Americans appear not to be. That's the crux I believe.
Anyway, any country that sincerely and most vocally proclaims itself the best in the world is bound to get lots of stick
However, (here we go) I'd say that generally most W. Europeans do not look down on Americans, not really, really. How can I say they do and don't? Because people are complicated Its just easier to proclaim "typical Americans" than it is to think too hard about a given situation. The irony is we suck up US technology and culture as fast as its made available to us, as we do our own media's take on the US ("Bloody Romans, what did they ever do for us?").
Europeans and Americans are much more alike than different (yes, even the French), and its only in times like these (war times) that these minor irritations explode to the surface and turn really nasty. Of course we can't ignore the differences in government ideologies, they obviously form the basis of alot of the criticism on both sides. The simple fact is we extrapolate the policies of the US administration - which as we know most Europeans are against for a whole load of reasons - onto a fictional American personality and come to simple conclusions about Americans in general. The US media does the same about the EU. That's life, we all do it.
That's the world according to Richard this afternoon. Ask me tomorrow and I'll give you a different answer.
 
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The irony is we suck up US technology


Hmmm! Wasn't NetBeans originally a East European idea ? The US threw some cash it's way and now we have Eclipse.
regards
 
HS Thomas
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Oh I forgot to add : Well said, Richard.
regards
 
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To me, there seem several reasons why there are differences of opinion between Europe and the US:
1) As said above, countries always move against the global super power. When Britain was the most powerful nation in the world, it faced similar opposition and fear/anger directed against it. It was probably the same for the French, Russians, Hapsburgs and even Romans. In the end of the day, people dont like the idea of being influenced, and at worse dominated by foreigners. People also hate the idea of someone standing up and saying "We're better then you. We are the best."
2) Europe has a particularly nasty history. The present state of affairs in Europe is probably the most peaceful period in a long time. The only other time in European history in which there was as long a period of peace as this was before WWI. In that time period, Europeans believed that the idea of super powers and alliances leaning against each other would stop any war - they were horribly wrong. The same mistakes where made in the cold war on a larger scale, but luckily we survived all of that without WWIII. The thing is that Europeans now have an aversion to the tactic of using force to promote peace. Europe is looking for a new way - diplomacy, treaties, discussion. The trouble is that this does not fit well with the American way of thinking. To an American, Europeans are "bleeding-heart" liberals who refuse to stand up for themselves and confront an enemy. To them Europeans shy away from conflict, and leave it to their big sister to clean up. To the Europeans, America seems like teenage thug - using their recently acquired strength to force into submission anyone who apposes them, without any thoughts of the consequences.
The truth is that neither of these views are entirely accurate, but one big problem is that the media and politicians on both sides encourage these views for their own good.
3) To Europeans, America seems to say "Capitalism is all-good. Anyone who says otherwise is evil and wrong". McCarthyism was probably one of the most terrible and long remembered examples of this. It seems, from the European point of view, that Americans view socialism as nasty, wrong and stupid, and as many European countries have socialist tendencies, this comes over as an insult upon them. Maybe it is because America had to defend capitalism from communism for so long that it has become almost a social sin to declare anything wrong with capitalism.
To Americans, they see a continent that they saved from communism begin to talk about socialism again. Do they see this as a betrayal? I don't know.
At the end of the day, Europe and the US share very similar cultures. No matter how much we may squabble and bicker, when it comes down to it , the two are very similar, and would undoubtedly help each other if one was seriously threatened. It doesn't matter what the median and politicians say, put an average European in a room with an average American, and the chances are that they'd get one. At least, I hope so
 
HS Thomas
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Europe and the US share very similar cultures.


If there's one thing that Europeans can learn from the US is that it is a bigger melting pot and has been much longer in recent centuries.
Learn as in not adopt as is. Recent US history has much to teach - the bad and the good. Colonial history is pretty much dead and forgotten by the young who benefited from the Colonial (the young who are now in their mid 40s-60s). A large proportion of the highly educated youth of today (both old colonial overseas and European ) are generally pretty much anti-US type of policies and prefer to work if not emigrate to the East. This has not helped Europe any - a culture that has largely neglected it's youth. We are going to find a lot of new Univesity graduates opting out till they find their feet most likely abroad.In the 80's they made for te US ; Now they are more likely to go East.
Americans fare better here as they have simpler/stronger family values
that draw their young back. Europeans tend to kick their young out to the state ASAP. (It's those heavy taxes to maintain the state).You could also infer that the European youth are more outward looking. By European I mean West European. East European youth is an unknown entity to us. I suspect an unknown entity to many.

regards
[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Paul Stevens
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The irony is we suck up US technology and culture as fast as its made available to us, as we do our own media's take on the US ("Bloody Romans, what did they ever do for us?").


No we know the truth. Answer.
 
HS Thomas
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Richard Hawkes: ("Bloody Romans, what did they ever do for us?").


Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons threw tons of bricks at the invading Romans and the Romans with their penchant for organisation and numbers thought "Much better to do the Polonaise on" and built roads.
The Anglo-Saxons must have had innovative ways to get across their many ffjords but being tribalistic they had to be able to rapidly dismantle after themselves.The Romans ,given their penchant, built bridges.
Big Guess! But has anyone heard of Roman roads (straight) in other regions that they've been ?
There are some who think that the key to European Unity lies in Rome.
What comes around goes around. (except bricks).
regards
[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons threw tons of bricks at the invading Romans and the Romans with their penchant for organisation and numbers thought "Much better to do the Polonaise on" and built roads.
The Anglo-Saxons must have had innovative ways to get across their many ffjords but being tribalistic they had to be able to rapidly dismantle after themselves.The Romans ,given their penchant, built bridges.
Big Guess! But has anyone heard of Roman roads (straight) in other regions that they've been ?
There are some who think that the key to European Unity lies in Rome.
What comes around goes around. (except bricks).
regards


Not a Monty Python fan are you.
:roll:
 
HS Thomas
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Er, yes. But I think I may have to debunk that along with Humpty Dumpty and all the kings men. I now look to Edinburgh for sartorial comment. I may even drag a sleeping bag to the Glastonbury Festival. Not if they are still doing the aged hippy thing. Anyway some field. Unless I can find some ruined young 'un to fight our war. And I'd vote for a politician who does that too. Given the current state of affairs it's more likely to be the Tories which is funny after all the asset stripping family-value preaching done by them in previous life.
Monty Python is due to reopen in Broadway some time in 2005.
We give away our culturally dead. Have been doing that for centuries.
But the point is, we need US as much as you need us. Extrapolate that to about every part of the world given future economic predictions. The young understand that. The not so young bring experience.No one mentions British future economic predictions and that's worrying!Hope someone's holding on those assets in whatever shape or form.

regards
 
HS Thomas
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And I also believe there is not one truly original idea which isn't a combination of several older ones. Plagiarise and then Presentation is key.
If the US is trying to turn itself into an Imperial power it will fail.
Britain had the sense to reverse their position in some respects.But at the end of the day it depends on what the economy is doing in each part of the globe. Pick a tyrant and you'll find bad economic policies made him/her into a tyrant. Robert Mugabe for instance was seen as a rational man when he came into power but struggling against ever burdening World Bank policies turned him into what he is - he turned on his own people, white and black. I could cite several examples.
As Tim Holloway said offshore the economists ! Give us back Monty Python in a new form and we'll play our parlour games and try and find what's new.
There's some new economics in that suggestion. Monty Python injected with melting pot humour. If you really want to understand Britain watch our soaps - mini operas with no muzik. Excruciating unless you grow up with it - but that's Britain today, and it's progressive.....
regards
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I should say that I am not clear on this "patriotism" thing myself.


Clarity will not be easy to come by on this topic since patriotism also often has an emotional component. No doubt it means different things to different people, as well different things to the same people in different contexts...



There are certain suspicions that I need to resolve...


Let me know when I have confirmed your deepest, darkest suspicions on American Patriotism. I'll try my best...



Herb: Americans are somewhat different, at least in degree, than citizens of many other countries. We see our country as "the Land of the Free" in an almost mythical/mystical way, although there is some factual basis for it. We are not the only free country, but we like to see ourselves as mythically holding the torch of liberty for the rest of the world.
Map : Was the torch holder voted for, or is it kinda self-appointed?
It also seems that the rest of the world recently becomes more anti-American, does it create problems to "holding the torch of liberty for the rest of the world"? If so, how are they resolved?


The "torch" phrase is simply a metaphor to explain a feeling of patriotism that can occurr in specific contexts. In many cases, history, circumstances, and/or necessity has thrust this role upon the US. During the Cold War, there was only one country capable of stemming the dark tide of communist oppression and expansionism. In World War II, it was only the US who caused the liberation of Pacific nations from Japanese brutality and mass murder. It was also the US that decisively lead the free world against the Nazis as well. In those cases the torch was thrust upon us.
In other cases, our success, in our original revolution, in our society, or in our economic prosperity, has inspired other nations for hundreds of years. Or it has simply inspired the tremendous amount of immigration that began over a hundred years ago and continues today (Cuban refugees found yesterday in South Florida).
In other cases the light from the torch has pointed out the relative shortcomings of other societies and inspired envy, resentment, and hatred.
In other cases, the US, being the crowning flower of the past 2,000+ years of Western civilization, is simply hated because its western values are anti-thetical to those of other civilizations.


Herb :We like to imagine ourselves as the country with the most liberty. So, you see, its our ideals, of liberty, etc, and that are the central point of our patriotism.
Map : So you are saying that the nature of patriotism is partly mythological?


Patriotism can have a mythic quality in some cases in some people. Remember my emphasis on ideals in prior posts - an ideal is the perfect embodiment of some value or principle, and as such it is unlikely to ever be achieved. American Patriotism is often fueled by a love and pride of the American ideals, and to focus on the non-achievement of the ideals could weaken or kill it in some people. Therefore to inspire greater patriotism there may be a selective focus on positive facts - hence a mythic like influence. And patriotism mythically inspired by ideals can lend an emotive force to even greater realization of those ideals.


Another question: if there is/will be a country with more liberty (whatever it means), would it be a good idea for American patriots to move there, or would they work harder to bring America to this level?


Liberty is the lack of coercion by other humans.
An American patriot is someone who wants America to achieve its ideal of liberty...


I am asking because there seems to be an alternative way of living, when people relatively freely move from one country to another, becoming multicultural and this way of living have certain appeal to me. I knew a Mexican family, their father is a math. professor and they lived in Mexico, Singapore, Spain, and now in the US. So which way is better, or none is better and perhaps some people are psychologically more inclined to stay in their home country and become more patriotic, and some by their nature are less patriotic and prefer to move around?


The US is the immigration target of nearly every culture on the planet. One can achieve multi-culturalness within the US. For example, I live in Miami where well over 50% of the people were not born in the US. But perhaps you meant multi-cultural in a political sense having different legal system and governmental structure???
The US legal system, and to a lesser extent its political system, owe a great deal to the English. Canada, Great Britain, and Australia, also have had an enviable historical record of stability, prosperity, and liberty. Amidst all the rampant, unthinking, blithering praising of diversity and multi-culturism occurring today , it would behoove thoughtful people to consider they successes of the US, Canada, Austrsalia, and Great Britain and find the common denominators...
[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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So does that make them mistaken?
Well, no. It's hard to explain... When I was Russian, I knew my opinion is Right. Not that I did not listen to other opinions -- I did -- for entertainment. To mock them, to ridicule them in the circle of my friends who I knew shared my opinion... Safe, comfortable, cozy fun.
To actually *let* a person speak for him/herself, and to be able to understand... This is something I do not meet too often.
You avoided one of my questions though. You made the following unsupported statement:
MI: already majority of US citizens look down at people in European countries

I was trying to postpone my response. This unsupported statement should have been never made. It was a product of my raw, unfiltered thinking. Basically, I was pissed off by Joe's "especially since MY poll says the Iraqi people think the people in YOUR polls are idiots" statement with his later claim that the majority of Americans think like him. So my "already majority of US citizens look down at people in European countries" was made in a pissed, sarcastic mode, and I do not really think so. I did not want to explain all this for not to revive what is hopefully a dead conflict.
I agree that this statement is unsupported, and I am not sure at all if it is true.
Specifically, I asked:
JM: Do you think the reverse holds true? That the majority of Western European citizens look down on people in the US?

Look, unlike you, I never lived in Europe, so I have no personal experience to speak from. All I can do is to listen to various sources, each contradicting another. :roll:
This article confirms your observations:
Not all of us Americans are evil
 
HS Thomas
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herb slocomb : In World War II, it was only the US who caused the liberation of Pacific nations from Japanese brutality and mass murder. It was also the US that decisively lead the free world against the Nazis as well. In those cases the torch was thrust upon us.


Only after the British/Europeans first broke the enemies defenses on the ground first, in both cases. If I remember correctly from reading the few history books.
There are some survivors still trying to claim compensation from the Japanese government for the horrors done in many prisoner of war camps in the Far East. I seem to recall reading that those camps were filled with British soldiers. But in the light of Pearl Harbour it's difficult to justify compensation for these cases.
Opinion is currently divided on the role of the Americans in those Wars.
Winston Churchill's role comes under a lot of criticism, lately, by people trying to learn from history. He had to resign after Gallipoli (WWI) in which a lot of Australians were killed.
History in Quotations by MJ Cohen and John Major (Britain's ex-Prime Minister) uses chronoligically sequenced quotations to bring to life some 5,000 years of world history - from the building of the ziggurats to the toppling of Sadaam Hussein.
9000 quotations arranged in thematic chapters.
from The Tigris and the Euphrates.. c 3200 - c 500 BC
The Barbarian West 341 - 751 AD (interesting quotes )
Rome: The Republic 753-31 BC
Rome : The Empire 31 BC - AD 300
1000 years of Muslim India c 700 - 1757 AD
Islamic Spain 711 - 1498 AD
The Ottoman Empire 1300 - 1760
The Birth of Industrial Society in Britain 1776 - 1851
Democracy in America 1791-1861
The American Civil War 1861-1865
Reform in Britain 1776-1865
America and the World 1783 -1914
Revolution and Counter Revolution in Europe 1815-48
Ant-Semitism and Zionism 1835-1914
War and Peace 1853-1914
United States since 1945
Democracy in America 1865-1917
Democracy in Britain 1865-1917
Right and Left in Europe 1850-1914
World War I 1914-18
The Russian Revolution 1914 -1924
Stalinism and Maoism 1924-40
Fascism and National Socialism 1919-39
America Boom and Bust 1919-39
Midde East Vortex 1948-2003
Globalisation
I've ommitted a lot more chapters above in the interests of brevity.
chapter World War I - 1914-1918 has the themes
===============================================
1914: First Blood
1915: Stalemate and Sideshow
1916: Attrition
Songs of War
1917: In the Balance
1918: Fight to the Finish
To quote a few events/quotes:
1:
The Zimmerman telegram from the German foreign ministry to German ambassador was decoded and shown to the US - 1917.
An attempt will be made to keep the US neutral.In the event that this will not succeed we shall offer Mexico an alliance.
The effect in Washington was explosive. The US had been severle at odds since the Mexican revolution of 1910.
2:
"It must be peace without victory...Only a peace between equals can last..I am proposing as it were, that the nations with one acord adopt the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of the world: that no nation should seek to extend it's polity over any other nation or people but that every nation should be left free to determine it's own policy,it's own way of development, unhindered , unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great and powerful."
President Woodrow Wilson address to the Senate 22 Jan 1917;
The Papers of Woodrow Wilson vol 40 p539
3:
"The Allies must not be beaten. It would mean the triumph of Autocracy over Democracy; the shattering of all our moral standards and a real though it may seem remote peril to our independence and our institutions."
US Secretary of State Robert Lansing, strongly Anglophile.
The basic reason for US entry into the war, to secure a victory over Germany that Bitain , France and Russia were no longer capable of achieving.
4:
"Once lead this people into war, and they'll forget that there ever was such a thing as tolerance. To fight you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of our national life infecting Congress, the courts, the policeman on the beat, the man on the street....If there is any alternative, for God's sake, let's take it.
Wilson again , 1917.
Woodrow Wilson on the Progressive Era , Chapter 10 by Arthur Link
5:
"Our object is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and action as will henceforth ensure the observance of those principles... The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted amongst upon the tested foundations of political liberty .. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilisation itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things we shall always carried nearest to our hearts."
Wilson ,again, message to Congress calling for a declaration of war on Germany. The Papers of Woodrow Wilson Vol 41 (1983) pp 526-7
6:
America has at one bound become a world power.
David Lloyd George 6 April 1917; Milstead (1996) p23.
7:
The Americans came to pick up dead men's caps.
Popular British saying, passed on to John Major by his grandmother who son was killed in March 1918
8:
The whole perspective is changed today by the revolution in Russia and the intervention of America. The scale of values is transformed for the democracies are unloosed.
American commentator Walter Lippmann late April 1917
Ronald Steel Walter Lippmann and the American Century (1980) p113.
9:
"Please God, let there be victory before the Americans arrive."
General Sir Douglas Haig, diary entry 1917.
To find out why Haig said that , refer to previous chapters in the book.
Publishers : Orion Publishing Group
emailto: info@orionbooks.co.uk
Distributed by: LittleHampton Book Services Ltd.
Tel:01903 828 503
As I have said before lots of older Britains have done or plan on emigrating to US/Canada.
Younger ones are keeping their options open, they are hoping for a different future. Ummm! Please bail us out even if it's only to pick up dead men's caps.
regards
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Joe Pluta
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Basically, I was pissed off by Joe's "especially since MY poll says the Iraqi people think the people in YOUR polls are idiots" statement with his later claim that the majority of Americans think like him. So my "already majority of US citizens look down at people in European countries" was made in a pissed, sarcastic mode, and I do not really think so. I did not want to explain all this for not to revive what is hopefully a dead conflict.

Uh huh, blame it on me.
Map, you really have to stop dragging me into this. I said my statement during the afternoon of the 26th. Your response was during the night of the 27th, nearly a day and a half later (a long time to be pissed over one statement!), and now here you are still blaming me three days later.
C'mon, I got out of this conversation primarily because of YOU, so I would appreciate it if you would please stop using my name.
Joe
 
Mapraputa Is
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Map, you really have to stop dragging me into this.
Habibi! I tried!
C'mon, I got out of this conversation primarily because of YOU
Really??? You attacked me at will, and when I (once) fought back you run away like a 5-years old girl, and now *this* is my fault???
Joe, nobody will attack you for what you have to say, as long as you do not attack other!
so I would appreciate it if you would please stop using my name.
Like if I volunteered. In fact, I still feel guilty about your withdrawal, because I never wanted to shut down anybody, lest of all you (not that I believe any of my posts could really shut down anybody).
So how about this: you start a thread in MD and I never respond to it because I know you don't want my response? Will it work?
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
HS Thomas
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Oops! I forgot the Irish question. It seems to have been conveniently left off the book History In Quotations. Or has been subsumed. The issue warrants a chapter of it's own. John Major
Humpty Dumpty and the Despotism of Fact:
A Critique of Stephen Howe's Ireland and Empire
The Irish question
The Irish make no secret where their likes/dislikes lie.
The Americans coud teach us something here since lots of Irish emigrated to America. Not sure either whether the potato famines were blamed on the English. Could be?
That's a religious war between Protestant and Catholic.
Or a clash of ideologies hidden under a cloak?
I really don't know. I've worked with several and don't even know whether they are Protestant or Catholic.
Did they hate the English ? Were they discriminated aginst ?
Possibly in the early days of the Irish "threat".
Since then, talent is appreciated wherever it is found - English,Irish,Protestant, Catholic, Welsh.
An offshoot has been that the Welsh,Irish and Scots have applied themselves to higher education much better than the English have in recent years, generally speaking..

all this IMHO.
regards
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Only after the British/Europeans first broke the enemies defenses on the ground first, in both cases. If I remember correctly from reading the few history books.


In WWII, where is this place that the British/Europeans broke the German defenses to the extent that it decisively altered the course of the war? I do not believe such a place existed. In the East, Stalingrad would have been a candidate had I not clarified my statement that it was the US that lead the "free world", which would exclude the Soviets. And I will grant you that the air Battle of Britain was decisive in stopping in Hitler. And I agree with these favorite quotes of mine :

"...Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour."

Hats off to Churchill's oratorical skills and a bow to those pilots who saved the West.
Yet, stopping Hitler's offensive is one thing, and subduing him through your offensive is quite another. All other things being equal, a large numerical superiority is usually needed to launch a successful offensive to offset the inherent advantages of defenders. Some analysts have said that at least a 2-1 attacker-defender ratio is needed for the attacker to succeed. But actually an even larger ratio was needed to subdue the Nazis due to their generally better technology (especially tanks) and training.
The decisive point was the securing of the beachheads in France. This would have been impossible without the US.
Stalingrad was decisive in some ways; leading to the succesfull Russian offensive from the East, BUT had Britain fell, Germany would have had basically a one front war, and could have shifted nearly all of its Western forces to the Eastern front. At the very least, this would have gained Germany time to perfect its jet fighters, its radar, and even the atomic bomb. Britain was the key in stopping Hitler; "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."; but the US was key in defeating Hitler.


There are some survivors still trying to claim compensation from the Japanese government for the horrors done in many prisoner of war camps in the Far East. I seem to recall reading that those camps were filled with British soldiers. But in the light of Pearl Harbour it's difficult to justify compensation for these cases.


I wasn't able to make the connection here with no compensation due to Pearl Harbor...


Opinion is currently divided on the role of the Americans in those Wars.


There is no dispute regarding the US liberating the Pacific region from the Japanese brutal occupation and mass murder. There is no dispute regarding the US role in liberating Europe in WWII. In WWI, the US entry into the war sealed the fate of the German side. In fact, they tried to launch an offensive (which proved a diaster) before the US forces could arrive en masse. So although the French/Brits may claim they won the war before the US arrived, the Germans were weakned by the offensive they were forced into by the US entry into the War. The US entry tipped the scales even before it had committed a fraction of its available forces into Europe.


HS :
3:
"The Allies must not be beaten. It would mean the triumph of Autocracy over Democracy; the shattering of all our moral standards and a real though it may seem remote peril to our independence and our institutions."
US Secretary of State Robert Lansing, strongly Anglophile.
The basic reason for US entry into the war, to secure a victory over Germany that Bitain , France and Russia were no longer capable of achieving.


[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Joe Pluta
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I (once) fought back you run away like a 5-years old girl,

This speaks for itself. I should have known better than to try to be civil.
Joe
 
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