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> Antiamericanism, causes, rational, debate
rediska
post Aug 14 2005, 06:48 AM
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This should probably be in a History Forum, but I can't post there yet. The thing is, I am currently engaged in a debate in another forum, ot the topic of AntiAmericanism. The name speaks for itself, a bunch of guys (russian speaking, presumably from the territory of the former USSR) are attempting to prove (and giving arguments for it) that Americans are, well, deficient.
Here is what they claim:
1) American education system is inferior, as proof they illustrated poor test results in middle and elementary schools.
2) Americans are NOT religious
3) American science consists 90% of imported brains, since American scientists are... rare and dificult to raise on the "rocky terrain of American education".
4) Americans are incapable of heroism. There they have a VERY high standard of what is to be considered heroism, examples being Japanese kamikadze pilots, Soviet soldiers, who purposely wrapped themselves in explosives and fell under Nazi tanks. However, a very risky mission with a strong demonstration of personal bravery would also be accepted.
5) Americans don't have a culture, they have only a substitute - their pop-culture, which promotes sex and consumerism.
6) American music consists only of rap and other such vulgarities. whistling.gif
7) In modern America, there are no good writers. laugh.gif
8) American judicial system and politcorrectness embarass the whole nation (this is where I am somewhat in consensus)
9) Americans have a hypocritical foreign policy of double standards and are sticking their noses, where they don't belong, forcing democracy on people who don't want it.(and I agree with this one, too)

I am not a real fan of America either, but I don't like it when people fling mud at an entire culture/nation. I think gifted and ethical individuals are spread pretty randomly, without too high a concentration of them in any one country, same as the unethical and intellectually retarded ones. But I'm being outspoken 4 to 1, so I need some help.
Please, don't comment on how dumb these people are, I already know that. I need examples to counter theirs. I provided some, but not enough. If I administration allows, I will post a link to that site later.
In the topic there is also a discussion about the causes of Antiamericanism taking place. You will be interested to know, that they admit a big part of it being jealousy. biggrin.gif
What do you think are the causes of Antiamericanism? Do you think it is rational, do you agree with it?
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CruisingRam
post Aug 14 2005, 08:45 AM
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What do you think are the causes of Antiamericanism? Do you think it is rational, do you agree with it?

Well, America is the big dog right now, king of the hill as it were, without peer as far as power goes- and, no matter where you look, a universal human trait is to knock the concieted down a "notch or two"-

I have a Russian wife and travel to Russia and Europe frequently- and, much of what they say is true- however- the bible says something about looking at the mote in others eyes while you have a beam in your own LOL

America has some serious flaws, which may tear it apart in the next generation if we don't examine ourselves and stop thumping our chest and crying "we are number one"- one reason champions lose to contenders is this very reason- they don't "stay hungry" and focused on the goal- this, to me, is what America has lost.

Russia, without a doubt, has a superior education system. I know, I will be taking my children there every year to make them competetive with Russian children.

but anti-Americanism lies really on us as a nation, plus what I said above about being the number one hound right now.

Where it lies upon us is our arrogance and self righteiousness and busi-bodyness.

It is, in fact, part of our culture. No one here minds thier own darn business LOL. It is a very unusual trait in much of the world, as a society. Probably hearkens back to our puritan days I suppose, we never seemed to outgrow our victorian roots LOL

All that being said- let he who is without sin cast the first stone! Russian has an incredibly corrupt system, and the entire culture may fall before our own does just from being overrun by foreign nationals- they can't even breed enough to protect thier own borders! -2% population growth in a country that size will be disaster.

We still had a pretty good rep prior to GW though- this is a fairly new phenomenon- there were always anti-american forces, but not nearly so bad as post-Clinton.

When travelling prior to GW- you could say "I am an American" with some pride, knowing it would garner you some respect just by that statement alone- now that is not true.

I think that is the other HUGE change in world perception. I can not think of an american leader past 1900 that has done more to hurt our world image than GW. Even worse, he stained our moral authority as well. This is what helped us prior to GW- mostly, folks respected us prior to GW due to the fact that MOSTLY we followed international law, and tried to hold ourselves to the standards we set for others. This is another huge perception change- now, America is seen as not only corrupt, but nastily imperialistic as well.

There have always been anti-american sentiment after WW2, but it really became nasty and prevelent within the last 6 years.

It is not those extremists that really bother me, I don't care what they think about America personally- but it does bother me that we radicalized former fence sitters as well.

So I will address your points as I see them:

) American education system is inferior, as proof they illustrated poor test results in middle and elementary schools.

Okay- got us on that one- we are really bad here, and it is not a system thing, but a cultural thing.
2) Americans are NOT religious

That one is just plain silly- in any place in America, churches still outnumber bars in most towns! We are every bit as religious as the Iranians or Taliban, and sometimes, more virulently so. I don't think of that as a strength at all, but a weakness. If we were not religious, I would be happier LOL

3) American science consists 90% of imported brains, since American scientists are... rare and dificult to raise on the "rocky terrain of American education".

Well, yes and no, look at nobel prize winners- the nobel prizes are not given out to americans because the commitiee likes america BTW LOL- some fields we are bad in , others we are fine. We have lost our "staying hungry" part of that equation though IMO- however, there is money in a good brain, and Americans like money, and the cream still rises to the top!

4) Americans are incapable of heroism. There they have a VERY high standard of what is to be considered heroism, examples being Japanese kamikadze pilots, Soviet soldiers, who purposely wrapped themselves in explosives and fell under Nazi tanks. However, a very risky mission with a strong demonstration of personal bravery would also be accepted.

That is just plain stupid- look at the medal of honor winners- difference is- we don't like giving our lives for our country, we like to make our enemy give THIER lives for thier country. We don't needlessly waste soldiers on the battlefield like russia did or the japanese- just because you fight smarter does not mean you are not brave! America didn't become a super power because we are not a nation of heroes! thumbsup.gif

5) Americans don't have a culture, they have only a substitute - their pop-culture, which promotes sex and consumerism.

got us on that one I am afraid- only a small portion of our art anymore is worth a darn, and that is usually from a fringe that conservative americans don't like LOL

6) American music consists only of rap and other such vulgarities.

Stupid again- why does Russia want all our music so badly then? hmmm.gif - we have a very, very dynamic music scene, and it is evolving every day practically- if there is any sterility and lack of growth right now it would be Europe and Russia-though Russia did get away from the vulgarity of the late 80s and early 90s and start using traditional songs set to more modern beats. Still, most of Russian music right now is re-mixed European techno, or copying American music forms- I watch it on TV every day via satellite, believe me, there is no music scene in the world more cutting edge, dymanic and creative than the American scene, none.

7) In modern America, there are no good writers.

Not true at all- there are just SO MANY writers that the good ones can get lost in the crowd of mediocrity. We are a victim of our own success here, with giant publishing houses and such.

8) American judicial system and politcorrectness embarass the whole nation (this is where I am somewhat in consensus)

True, the Ameican justice system is a model of hypocrisy and lack of justice for the western world, we need to address that as a nation.

9) Americans have a hypocritical foreign policy of double standards and are sticking their noses, where they don't belong, forcing democracy on people who don't want it.(and I agree with this one, too)

Or even worse, killing democratic goverments to install folks like pinochet etc. Guilty as charged and worse in this arena. Since WW2, we have had very few success stories in our foriegn policy.

Hope that helps.

And don't forget this little chestnut when talking to your Russian debate peers- if America is so bad, why do all thier women want to marry American men? LOL w00t.gif

This post has been edited by CruisingRam: Aug 14 2005, 08:46 AM
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rediska
post Aug 14 2005, 10:55 AM
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"the bible says something about looking at the mote in others eyes while you have a beam in your own" I agree completely.

"Russia, without a doubt, has a superior education system. I know, I will be taking my children there every year to make them competetive with Russian children." That's a myth, I am afraid. I went through that education system for a couple years. It has it advantages and its flaws, but any claim of superiority is unfounded. Idiots are common in both systems.

"That one is just plain silly- in any place in America, churches still outnumber bars in most towns! We are every bit as religious as the Iranians or Taliban, and sometimes, more virulently so." Their reply is something like this: "The stones can't have faith in God".

"Well, yes and no, look at nobel prize winners- the nobel prizes are not given out to americans because the commitiee likes america" I agree. However, they claim these noble prize winners are exceptions rather than the rule. I need examples, evidence, documents, somebody - please help.

"That is just plain stupid- look at the medal of honor winners" They claim the medals were given away too easily.
"- difference is- we don't like giving our lives for our country, we like to make our enemy give THIER lives for thier country." yeah, we brought that up, but they seem to think of it as a result of weakness.

"got us on that one I am afraid- only a small portion of our art anymore is worth a darn, and that is usually from a fringe that conservative americans don't like LOL" Perhaps. However, I haven't heard of any great talents born in Russia in the last decade.

"Stupid again- why does Russia want all our music so badly then?" Their reply: "It's a contagious disease". I am pretty sick of them and I really wanna win that argument. Help!

"And don't forget this little chestnut when talking to your Russian debate peers- if America is so bad, why do all thier women want to marry American men?" It must have something to do with the tan. wub.gif Joking, just joking.
thanks for ur help
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CruisingRam
post Aug 14 2005, 01:27 PM
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If that is the best they have "they give out medals too easily (you know, for dying and stuff while helping your fellow soldier) and see making the other person die for thier country as a "weakness"- I would cease the debate all together- because it is simply not a debate- it is something like the freepers or such- "You can't argue with a pig- you don't win the argument and it annoys the pig" LOL

BTW- America is the most overly religious western country in the world- that is not a strength IMO- heck, even Russia doesn't allow a version of Jerry Falwell on television LOL

Yes, idiots are common in both systems- but the Russian system does far more with far less than we do- especially in the primary education area- America does do very well in secondary education, but not in primary.
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VDemosthenes
post Aug 14 2005, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE(rediska @ Aug 14 2005, 02:48 AM)
What do you think are the causes of Antiamericanism? Do you think it is rational, do you agree with it?
*



I like to imagine it is all just pure jealousy. w00t.gif whistling.gif thumbsup.gif


America has presented itself of late to be playing hard ball with the rest of the global community, I am sure that many other nations feel threatened and even frightened by the United States.

We are known as "the Devil" in some nations, I think it is for reasons, many of which are beyond America's control, that have always been. America has a rather strong economy, may not seem like it to us- but to others, yes it does.

America has a well-organized health care system, child labor laws, woman's rights, no birth regulations, freedom of religion, free speech, a vast armed forces, a peaceful homeland (on the whole), a carefully thought out system of punishment fitting the crime. I am sure the root of antiamericanism is envy, we have everything some countries do not. Our freedom has drawn the mass-immigration of millions of people and the hatred of countless others.



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CruisingRam
post Aug 14 2005, 03:07 PM
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Actually- THAT may be the main reason for the rise of anti-americanism- this silly notion that somehow, they are "jealous" of us- the arrogance is very annoying in the very least.


I had a German friend explain it this way- we all go to work together, most of us a little older, except there is one large bully in late adolcence, that is strong, tough, not too bright, and has a gun and we all know it. He comes to work every day, telling how he is "number one"- and he definately has some strong suits. Some things he does very well, but he never addresses his problems, he seems like a guy that WANTS to do good, and demands everyone else be good, but can't quite seem to live up to his own standards, but doesn't acknowledge his failings, only the failings of others, okay, we can live with that. But he starts bullying the rest of the workplace, throwing tantrums, and then he starts beating up the other co-workers. Okay, one or two of them had it coming- but it wasn't really his place to do it- we, as his co-workers, should have the right to deal with it too. Somebody that doesn't even work there harms in some way- so, instead of going to the police and dealing with it in accordance to law- he attacks someone at work who vaguely might resemble the bad guy, that everybody hated anyway, but we really are starting to wander about the big guy- he had so much potential, a real arrogant jerk, but we still had some respect for him, but now he has gone off the deep end, and is very dangerous. many of us that were on his side are leeery of him now, and many of those that were just irritated by his behavior now actively dislike him, and those that were his enemy now are better able to make thier cases against him with folks that USED to be his friend. Eventually, every body is going to get together and do something about HIM- and the sad part, he takes no responsibility for his actions, and when someone says something to him about it- they are verbally abused, and he says they are "just jealous of my perfection"-

Ya, that makes some folks pretty much hate him at the end of the day- and 99% of that hatred of those that didn't really hate him before is purely his responsibility.

ya, eventually, pretty much everybody is "anti-the big guy"- sums it up pretty nice IMO.

Immigration isn't because we are so free- it is because we are so rich. And we aren't number one for immigration either- especially if you consider most of it comes from Mexico. 20 million muslim immigrants in Europe- not the US.

This post has been edited by CruisingRam: Aug 14 2005, 03:09 PM
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Renger
post Aug 14 2005, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE(rediska @ Aug 14 2005, 08:48 AM)
What do you think are the causes of Antiamericanism? Do you think it is rational, do you agree with it?
*




I think Antiamericanism is becoming a worldwide trend. Although in some parts of the world (i.e. the former USSR, China, the Middle East, South America) anti-american feelings have been there for a longer time, it is remarkable that nowadays also Europe has adopted a more critical attitude towards the U.S..

During the Cold War you were our only hope against the communistic threat. But after the fall of the former USSR the balance of power was lost. The U.S. remained the only superpower left and took on the role of a policing the world with support of the U.N. and Nato. During Clinton, some criticism rose about the U.S. position in the world, started in European countries, but in general everybody still had a positive attitude towards the U.S.. This has all changed from the moment George W. Bush, was dubiously elected as President. During his administration the U.S. popularity declined. People start to worry how far the U.S. is willing to go to reach her goals and consolidate her position in the world. It is obvious that the neo-conservatives are aiming for a dominant position of the U.S in the world, spreading U.S. hegomy. The attack on 9/11 abhorred everybody, but the resulting war in Iraq made everybody question the intergrity of the Bush administration.

But it is not only the war in the Middle East or the fact that the U.S. is trying to control all the major oil reserves in the world. Also the fact that legislation was made to prevent the Internatial Tribunal from inditing a U.S. soldier, the fact that U.S. is as of yet not willing to agree to the Kyoto protocol and the fact that the U.S. evades the agreements of the Geneva Convention by imprisoning suspecting Islamic jihadists in Guantanamo Bay, further contributed to a declined popularity.

People are worried that the U.S. is trying to dictate the whole world, adjusting the rules during the game, bullying other parts of the world. This new attitude, that was introduced by the Bush administration, did not help the U.S. It only widened the gap with the rest of the world.

Besides that I think a lot of people here in Europe have the feeling that America is completely at a loss. It is remarkable how easy Congress and the Senate are persuaded to spend billions and billions of dollars to warfare and are neglecting her own internal issues. All that money that has gone to the military could have been used to strenghten your social security for example or could have been used to fight poverty or improve education. These strange political choices didn't improve the view people have of the U.S.





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Erasmussimo
post Aug 14 2005, 03:38 PM
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QUOTE(rediska @ Aug 14 2005, 03:55 AM)
I am pretty sick of them and I really wanna win that argument. Help!

Right there is your mistake. You are attempting to combat bigotry with reason -- an impossible task. Reason only works with reasonable people -- but reasonable people are uncommon. Even here on AD, which selects for reasonable people, we have plenty of people who simply refuse to apply rationalism to their beliefs. Such is obviously the case with the gentlemen you are encountering. The very fact that they would draw the conclusion that Americans are deficient is itself proof of their irrationality; no reasonable person would paint any large group of people with so broad a brush. We have exactly the same thing going on here on AD, with one gentleman claiming that Muslims are deficient. The adducement of mountains of contrary evidence has not caused him to adjust his claims in the slightest.

So how do you respond? First, call it what it is: bigotry. Observe that sweeping generalizations such as theirs lie outside the pale of reasoned discourse. Readily acknowledge the many deficiencies of American civilization; note that its own deficiencies are, as a whole, neither better nor worse than the deficiencies of any other civilization. Remind them that American civilization also has some impressive acheivements: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; Thoreau, Hemingway, and Mark Twain; the first man on the moon, computers, and the Internet; Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

I think you should also acknowledge the justifications for resentment towards current American policy. The Bush Administration has been treating the whole world with contempt; its disregard for the international community, its trampling on international treaties, its defiance of international organizations are all understandable reasons for alarm and resentment on the part of global citizens. Point out that this behavior represents a major deviation from past American practice, and that, after the next elections, America will likely revert to its traditional cooperative and non-belligerant stance.
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turnea
post Aug 14 2005, 03:46 PM
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What do you think are the causes of Antiamericanism? Do you think it is rational, do you agree with it?
Despite the piling on that is bound to occur here on VDemosthenes, who as unfamiliar with are previous debates of the subject is likely blissfully unaware that he has uttered the magic word and will receive and energetic rebuttal, I back him up in a way here.

When he mentions jealousy he does have a point, sort of.

You will note there is an (ever so slight) difference between jealousy and envy.

VD never said Europe was envious, just jealous and I agree. ohmy.gif

To wit.

Envy is desiring to be like one's rival, and the impression I get in that Europe especially doesn't really have any desire the be like the US.

Jealousy is a vaguer notion, a bitterness because your rival has something you don't.

That is something I have seen time and time again in our debates.

The US economy grows at a clip almost unheard of in Europe.

Right now the French economy is actually stagnant i.e. no growth.

If that ever happened in America their would be mass panic among economists and we'd see a rash of suicides among stock brokers. laugh.gif

Europeans who have only vague notions of why this is, why America is so powerful, do what people always do, make things up. whistling.gif

I will say right now, that although much of US policy in objectionable (as is much European policy) most of the Anti-Americanism in the world is decidedly irrational.

I will now list the biggest problem, America has stopped being a nation, we are now a myth.

Europeans distrust of the American right has driven them (indeed much of the left worldwide) to invent some rather fanciful notions, case in point.
QUOTE(Reneger)
This has all changed from the moment George W. Bush, was dubiously elected as President. During his administration the U.S. popularity declined. People start to worry how far the U.S. is willing to go to reach her goals and consolidate her position in the world. It is obvious that the neo-conservatives are aiming for a dominant position of the U.S in the world, spreading U.S. hegomy.[...]But it is not only the war in the Middle East or the fact that the U.S. is trying to control all the major oil reserves in the world.[...]
People are worried that the U.S. is trying to dictate the whole world, adjusting the rules during the game, bullying other parts of the world. This new attitude, that was introduced by the Bush administration, did not help the U.S. It only widened the gap with the rest of the world.

On every count this is simply false... and yet I suspect in much of mainland Europe it's considered common knowledge.

1. Neo-conservatives are not a defined group at all, is was a buzzword term that, when examined, turns out to be almost entirely meaningless.

I'll post a link to the thread where I demonstrated that. Link

2. America did not invade Iraq to control its or the world oil. That's just silly and downright impractical.

3. The Bush administration did not introduce unilateralism. People have short memories. The Clinton administration made repeated attacks without UN approval, indeed it was his attack, over UN objection, that resulted in the withdrawal of UN inspectors in the first place.

The world knows very little about America and so a mythology has cropped up which is based only loosely on fact.

They need an explanation for why America is so powerful and why the American right is so popular.

It "must" be something underhanded they are doing, that's the essential though process.

This post has been edited by turnea: Aug 14 2005, 04:01 PM
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Erasmussimo
post Aug 14 2005, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 08:46 AM)
Europeans who have only vague notions of why this is, why America is so powerful, do what people always do, make things up. whistling.gif 

I will say right now, that although much of US policy in objectionable (as is much European policy) most of the Anti-Americanism in the world is decidedly irrational.

So your response to anti-Americanism is anti-Europeanism? If anti-Americanism is irrational, is not anti-Europeanism?

Two wrongs don't make a right. Let's not counter the intellectual sin of anti-Americanism with our own sin of anti-everybodyelseism.

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turnea
post Aug 14 2005, 05:05 PM
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QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ Aug 14 2005, 12:03 PM)
QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 08:46 AM)
Europeans who have only vague notions of why this is, why America is so powerful, do what people always do, make things up. whistling.gif 

I will say right now, that although much of US policy in objectionable (as is much European policy) most of the Anti-Americanism in the world is decidedly irrational.

So your response to anti-Americanism is anti-Europeanism? If anti-Americanism is irrational, is not anti-Europeanism?

Two wrongs don't make a right. Let's not counter the intellectual sin of anti-Americanism with our own sin of anti-everybodyelseism.
*


At what point in my post did I condone "Anti-Europeanism"?

I said they were uinformed about American policy, not evil. blink.gif

This post has been edited by turnea: Aug 14 2005, 05:06 PM
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Jaime
post Aug 14 2005, 05:11 PM
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Point of order:

We will allow this debate because the question is clear. However, in the future, do not frame your debate as a request to help you do research for outside projects. The members of ad.gif are here only for their debating pleasure and should not be used to do others' work.
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Renger
post Aug 14 2005, 06:21 PM
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Even if the term neo conservative is more like a buzzword, one cannot dismiss the political ideology behind it. In fact we do not have to analyse all the different approaches to neo-conservatism, we just have to analyse the foreign policies of the Bush administration. (If there is one group of persons who one can label neo-conservative it is the Bush aministration)


Wikipedia Encyclopedia summarize their foreign policy as follows:

QUOTE
In foreign policy neoconservatives have a tendency to view the world in 1939 terms, comparing adversaries as diverse as the Soviet Union, Osama bin Laden, and China to Nazi Germany, while American leaders such as Reagan and Bush stand in for Winston Churchill. There is also a tendency to accuse leftists, and others who oppose them as being appeasers and/or Anti-American. The fullest account of this is Donald and Frederick Kagan's While America Sleeps, the entirety of which is dedicated to these comparisons.

In addition, neoconservatives have a very strong belief in the ability to install democracy by conquest - comparisons with denazification in Germany and Japan starting in 1945 are often made.


It is this somewhat arrogant attitude that's the cause of the critical stance of Europe towards the U.S.. Europeans do not dislike the American people, they dislike the foreign policy and attitude of the Bush administration.

QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 05:46 PM)
America did not invade Iraq to control its or the world oil. That's just silly and downright impractical.


The strongest argument for going to war against Iraq was to secure stability in the Middle East region. But besides that, economic aspects also played an important role. As you all know the U.S. is spending immense amounts of money for the war in Iraq, money that could also have been spend on other things. Because war costs a lot there has to be some economic reward at the end. (Nobody goes to war if there is no profit to gain from it!)

As we all know the U.S. ranks the list as being the worlds largest oil consumer. (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/topworldtables3_4.html)
If a large and powerful country depends so much on oil, it is reasonable to assume that its government would do everything to secure their oil supply. (that's one of the reasons the U.S. has such close relations with Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil production country in the world). Access to the oilfields will always have been viewed as the grand benefit in the longer run for the war efforts in Iraq.

Knowing how important oil is for your country, it would indeed be "silly" if the U.S. didn't use this great opportunity to improve their access to the black gold.


QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 05:46 PM)
I will now list the biggest problem, America has stopped being a nation, we are now a myth.


Very interesting statement! thumbsup.gif I think you could be right if you state that America has become "bigger than life". This surely could cloud the views some people in Europe have about the U.S. On the other hand I also think there are a lot of Americans who began to believe in their own myth. George W. Bush is a perfect example of this.








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turnea
post Aug 14 2005, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE(Renger)
Even if the term neo conservative is more like a buzzword, one cannot dismiss the political ideology behind it.

One can and one does laugh.gif let's see why...

QUOTE(Renger)
In foreign policy neoconservatives have a tendency to view the world in 1939 terms, comparing adversaries as diverse as the Soviet Union, Osama bin Laden, and China to Nazi Germany, while American leaders such as Reagan and Bush stand in for Winston Churchill. There is also a tendency to accuse leftists, and others who oppose them as being appeasers and/or Anti-American. The fullest account of this is Donald and Frederick Kagan's While America Sleeps, the entirety of which is dedicated to these comparisons.

In addition, neoconservatives have a very strong belief in the ability to install democracy by conquest - comparisons with denazification in Germany and Japan starting in 1945 are often made.

A foreign policy cannot be defined by the language it is couched in.

What are the actual goals and methods? That is what defines a policy.

When we take a look there is nothing new or unique about neo-con beliefs. Installation of democracy is not a belief it is a fact, it did happen in Japan.

Advocation of similar action in the present is no more "arrogant" than it was back then.

Besides the so-called "neoconservative" have not called for widespread efforts to install democracy by conquest.

Even if the Bush administration has chosen to do so after conflicts started for another reason, one can hardly blame them. Setting up a stable government after an existing one falls is only reasonable.

What you have is less a policy and more a foregone conclusion.

If you read the rest of Wikipedia's article on neoconservatism this becomes clear. The term has no definition, it's meaningless.

QUOTE(Renger)
The strongest argument for going to war against Iraq was to secure stability in the Middle East region. But besides that, economic aspects also played an important role. As you all know the U.S. is spending immense amounts of money for the war in Iraq, money that could also have been spend on other things. Because war costs a lot there has to be some economic reward at the end. (Nobody goes to war if there is no profit to gain from it!)][...]If a large and powerful country depends so much on oil, it is reasonable to assume that its government would do everything to secure their oil supply. (that's one of the reasons the U.S. has such close relations with Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil production country in the world). Access to the oilfields will always have been viewed as the grand benefit in the longer run for the war efforts in Iraq.

Knowing how important oil is for your country, it would indeed be "silly" if the U.S. didn't use this great opportunity to improve their access to the black gold

That is simply an assumption, you list not one shred of evidence of it actually occurring.

The US has not "improved access" to Iraqi oil by maintaining troops in Iraq. Iraq's oil is state-owned and that state is an OPEC member and abides by its decisions.

This is exactly what i meant by mythology growing around the country. The "war for oil" theory is simply used to portray the US as the "malicious other" to Europe and other regions of the world which do not struggle for "global domination" like Bush and his "evil neocons".

Fairy Tales. rolleyes.gif
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post Aug 14 2005, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE(Renger @ Aug 14 2005, 08:21 PM)
It is this somewhat arrogant attitude that's the cause of the critical stance of Europe towards the U.S.. Europeans do not dislike the American people, they dislike the foreign policy and attitude of the Bush administration.
*



There have been some very interesting points made in this thread, I only want to point out that although the above statement is partly true, it is also true that especially after the election in 2004 a larger number of Europeans dislikes or at least is very very disappointed with a large group of people in the US, respectively the Bush-voters. That has to do with the foreign policy, but since the guy who is responsible for this suicide-like foreign policy has been reelected by an even greater number of people, this disgust has also spilled over to the voters.
Bush and his administration may be blamed for the Iraq war, but the majority of the American voters can be blamed for a continuation of this policy.
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post Aug 14 2005, 08:01 PM
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First off, turnea, I apologize for lumping you in with the Europe-bashers; this kind of talk is so common that I mistakenly assumed that you were part of it.

QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 11:38 AM)
If you read the rest of Wikipedia's article on neoconservatism this becomes clear. The term has no definition, it's meaningless.

I think that the word "neoconservatise" is better used as a label for a specific group of people. Certainly you cannot deny that the Bush administration has installed a number of like-minded people in positions of power. Some people call them chickenhawks, but I think that term rude. You could call them Bushites, Bushies, Imperialist Aggressors, or a wide variety of other terms. But I think that "neoconservative" is probably the best overall term, as it is not disparaging and does seems to differentiate this group from classical conservatives. You are welcome to object to the various representations as to what the term means, but I would rather use it as a label for a group of like-minded people.
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post Aug 14 2005, 09:56 PM
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The simple facts are this: since the appointment of the Bush administration the U.S. is steadily loosing her popularity in the whole world. This next link will give you all the figures.

(http://www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10002364.shtml)

So, what is the cause for this, somtimes radical, change? It has clearly something to do with the way the U.S. is handling international affairs at this moment.

67% of the Americans questioned agree with the statement that U.S. Foreign policy considers other country's interests. With exception of Indonesia, India and China, all other countries have a completely different perception and only a small part of those people questioned agreed with this statement

QUOTE
The magnitude of America's image problem is such that even popular U.S. policies have done little to repair it.


QUOTE
In none of the 16 countries surveyed, the US included, does a majority of the public think the war leading to Saddam Hussein's removal made the world safer


QUOTE
As in the past, the perception that the United States conducts a unilateral foreign policy is widely shared across the surveyed countries. Overwhelming percentages of people in Europe and the Middle East believe that the United States does not take their countries' interests into account when making foreign policy.


but also U.S. policy towards enviromental issues can be seen as one of the causes for the popularity drop.

QUOTE
America evokes even less confidence with respect to the global environment. Fewer than one-in-ten Western Europeans surveyed most trust the U.S. in this regard. But 59% of Americans say they most trust the U.S. to do the right thing in protecting the world's environment.


It is clear that the Europeans and other nations point to the Bush administration and his attitude towards international politics as being the reason why they have such a negative view of the U.S. You cannot dismiss so easily the opinion of so many people. Europe and Asia are civilised parts of the world with a long and often bloody history in international politics.



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turnea
post Aug 14 2005, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE(Eurasmussimo)
But I think that "neoconservative" is probably the best overall term, as it is not disparaging and does seems to differentiate this group from classical conservatives. You are welcome to object to the various representations as to what the term means, but I would rather use it as a label for a group of like-minded people.

As I argued in a previous thread which dealt with the subject in depth, the term is dispariging.

It is almost never used positively or even neatrully in any media source, Google it and you'll see exactly what I mean.

I mean calling people "reds" described a group of like-minded individuals too... whistling.gif

It's even worse in the foreign media, which plays to the mythological aspects even more than the domestic.

It is a media-friendly slur and it has contributed greatly to the decline of American popularity though another term would have been picked up to describe the same stories I suppose.

Three positive mentions of necons in the mainstream media, then I might be persuaded to reexamine my postion.

I am confident there will be no such challenge. shifty.gif

In any case nothing of the so called "neocon" postion is neo by a long shot. It's a rehash of the Cold War theory on the need for American dominance in international affairs.

The only difference is that now the dominance is a fact, not a goal. It's no coincidence these are old Reaganites.

No one called Eisenhower a neocon tongue.gif

QUOTE(Renger)
It is clear that the Europeans and other nations point to the Bush administration and his attitude towards international politics as being the reason why they have such a negative view of the U.S. You cannot dismiss so easily the opinion of so many people. Europe and Asia are civilised parts of the world with a long and often bloody history in international politics.

Bush's attitude towards international politcs isn't particularly new. I mentioned that Clinton attacked Iraq over UN objections as well.

Going back, several American presidents have taken "unilateral" military action. It is the rule, not the exception. Bush has been rather complementary of the UN and of many of our allies.

The man was under attack well before he became president, it has little to do with his actual policies.
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post Aug 14 2005, 11:41 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 03:39 PM)
As I argued in a previous thread which dealt with the subject in depth, the term is dispariging.

It is almost never used positively or even neatrully in any media source, Google it and you'll see exactly what I mean.

There is nothing intrinsically disparaging in the term. It's not as if one little boy will taunt another little boy with the chant "You're just a stupid neocon!" The fact that neocons come in for a lot of serious disparagement reflects who they really are, not the label. A great many people are unhappy with the policies that have been implemented by this group, and they express this displeasure about the group. However, there are others who do not hold neoconservatism in contempt and so the term is not disparaging in their eyes. It's rather like the use of the word "liberal". There are plenty of conservatives who'll dismiss a politician as "just another bleeding-heart liberal" with a roll of the eyes. For them, "liberal" is a term of disparagement. For other people, it is not. Let's not confuse the particular use of a term by a special interest group as definitive.

QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 03:39 PM)
It is a media-friendly slur and it has contributed greatly to the decline of American popularity though another term would have been picked up to describe the same stories I suppose.

I very much doubt that the term itself has contributed to the decline of American popularity around the world. I think that invading Iraq, torturing prisoners, confining people and Guantanamo, ignoring the UN, and refusing to sign the Kyoto protocols had more to do with it than the label. It's difficult for me to imagine a foreign newspaper with headlines screaming "BUSH IS A LOUSY STINKING NEOCONSERVATIVE!!!!!" and, buried somewhere on the sports page, a tiny story headlined "USA invades Iraq"

QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 14 2005, 03:39 PM)
In any case nothing of the so called "neocon" postion is neo by a long shot. It's a rehash of the Cold War theory on the need for American dominance in international affairs.

Whatever we call it, there is a political "something-ma-bob" that characterizes this group. We use the term "neoconservative", but if you'd prefer "chickenhawk", that's fine with me.
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post Aug 14 2005, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
There is nothing intrinsically disparaging in the term. It's not as if one little boy will taunt another little boy with the chant "You're just a stupid neocon!"

No, but politically interested adults will do just that, trust me I've heard it.

QUOTE(Eramussimo)
The fact that neocons come in for a lot of serious disparagement reflects who they really are, not the label. A great many people are unhappy with the policies that have been implemented by this group, and they express this displeasure about the group. However, there are others who do not hold neoconservatism in contempt and so the term is not disparaging in their eyes. It's rather like the use of the word "liberal". There are plenty of conservatives who'll dismiss a politician as "just another bleeding-heart liberal" with a roll of the eyes. For them, "liberal" is a term of disparagement. For other people, it is not.

This is not the same thing.

There are people for whom the term "militant" is not disparaging, but they are few an far between.

In practice the term is almost universally pejorative.

QUOTE(Eurasmussimo)
I very much doubt that the term itself has contributed to the decline of American popularity around the world. I think that invading Iraq, torturing prisoners, confining people and Guantanamo, ignoring the UN, and refusing to sign the Kyoto protocols had more to do with it than the label. It's difficult for me to imagine a foreign newspaper with headlines screaming "BUSH IS A LOUSY STINKING NEOCONSERVATIVE!!!!!" and, buried somewhere on the sports page, a tiny story headlined "USA invades Iraq"

The distrust of the US and Bush came way before the actual implementation of policies.

I've never said that there are not things in American policy that are disagreeable to some people. That is a given for any nation's policies.

This goes much farther. The examples you sight aren't referenced to call US policy misguided.

Much of the world believes the US to be evil, intentionally malicious. they have raised the spectre of imperialism where it does not apply.

The worry is not the debate, but the myth of "the Great Satan" which has taken hold well beyond the boundaries of the muslim world.

I know the word is just a front for the myth but it is an important characteristic. Such a term, without definition, is a perfect propaganda tool.

QUOTE(Eurasmussimo)
Whatever we call it, there is a political "something-ma-bob" that characterizes this group. We use the term "neoconservative", but if you'd prefer "chickenhawk", that's fine with me

Tsk tsk.

False dichotomy is a well known debate trick, these aren't the only options. Calling them Reaganites, or Wilsonians or nationalists, or interventionists, or any other of a thousand established terms to describe this old ideology is just fine.

Neocon is simply an insult.
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