American Imperialism


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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:19 pm

JRM wrote:Oh, nonsense, Marlow! Those are the textbook definition of "acts of war." Unless you believe each side must agree to the attack first? ("Hi, Poland? It's the A-H-man. I'm going to invade on, oh, Sept. 1st or so. Just wanted to give you a heads up, so you don't get the wrong idea about me being a 'terrorist.'").

Oh, nonsense, JRM. If I want to call PH an act of cowardly terrorism, guess what, I am WELL within my semantic rights to do so. Your mileage may vary, and obviously does, but semantics am my bidniss and I know my damn rights!!! :twisted:
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:35 pm

Conor Dary wrote:The battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945 had 12,000 American deaths and tens of thousands of casualties. The Japanese were not giving up. An invasion of Japan itself, would have probably had hundreds of thousands of US dead. My father was stationed in the South Pacific and everyone was quite scared of an actual invasion, and people were talking about a war that would go on until 1946 or later. Fortunately, the Bomb put a quick end to the war.


The Battle of Okinawa also killed 94,000 Japanes soldiers and close to 100,000 civilians. How many more Japanese civilians would have been killed by an invasion of the mainland? We don't know. But can we tell that would have been fewer than the victims of two atomic bombs?

catson52 wrote:There seems to be credible evidence that the Japanese surrendered so quickly, not only because of the two A bombs, but also the fact that Stalin declared war on Japan in that time frame. Within a few days/weeks Russia took over Sakhalin, and the Japanese were concerned what else they may have wanted/grabbed. I am reminded of the tired chestnut that D-Day saved Europe from Hitler. It certainly saved most of western Europe from Stalin.


Stalin would have had a far stronger position on the postwar settlement on Japan (and Korea) if atomic bombs had not been dropped. We never know what he actually would have got, but
could we say the atomic bombs might have saved South Korea and part of Northern Japan from Stalin?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:39 pm

Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:the word "terrorism" has become the most misused word in the English language


What is your definition?

Well, since you've asked:

Violence against innocent civilians for the purpose of intimidating, coercing or breaking the will of a government; or for the purpose of disrupting or influencing a democratic process in order to promote or oppose a political agenda.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:42 pm

jazzcyclist wrote: In 1945, Truman had several choices since Japan's Navy was at the bottom of the Pacific and it was no longer any sort of threat to the U.S. Truman may not have liked these choices, but that doesn't mean that they didn't exist and weren't presented to him.


Truman certainly would not have liked the idea of allowing USSR to have a stronger position on the postwar settlement of Japan (or Korea for that matter). He already knew that USSR would start attacking Japan three months after Germany's surrender (Aug. 9), and wanted to force Japan to surrender as soon as possible. And given how quickly USSR conquered the Kuril islands, it is not hard to imagine what they might have done to Hokkaido had the war continued even for a few extra months.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:48 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Violence against innocent civilians for the purpose of intimidating, coercing or breaking the will of a government; or for the purpose of disrupting or influencing a democratic process in order to promote or oppose a political agenda.

See? That very act of defining it in terms you agree with is the very problem with semantics. Here's the one I found on-line FIRST:

"the use of violence to achieve political aims"

I like it better because it doesn't try so hard to 'spin' the term, but I'd even quibble with the word 'political'. Although 'political' is another word we use to mean many different things, I don't think all terrorist aims are 'political' in the normal every day use of the word. They CAN be religious too, but then some people will argue that religion IS politics or vice versa! :roll:
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:52 pm

TN1965 wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:The battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945 had 12,000 American deaths and tens of thousands of casualties. The Japanese were not giving up. An invasion of Japan itself, would have probably had hundreds of thousands of US dead. My father was stationed in the South Pacific and everyone was quite scared of an actual invasion, and people were talking about a war that would go on until 1946 or later. Fortunately, the Bomb put a quick end to the war.


The Battle of Okinawa also killed 94,000 Japanes soldiers and close to 100,000 civilians. How many more Japanese civilians would have been killed by an invasion of the mainland? We don't know. But can we tell that would have been fewer than the victims of two atomic bombs?



People can give plenty of justifications for attacks against civilians, but none of the justifications have anything to do with the nature of the act itself. Does it matter if the act is performed for a good cause? No, because it will always be impossible to get a common definition for "good cause".
Last edited by jazzcyclist on Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:58 pm

TN1965 wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: In 1945, Truman had several choices since Japan's Navy was at the bottom of the Pacific and it was no longer any sort of threat to the U.S. Truman may not have liked these choices, but that doesn't mean that they didn't exist and weren't presented to him.


Truman certainly would not have liked the idea of allowing USSR to have a stronger position on the postwar settlement of Japan (or Korea for that matter). He already knew that USSR would start attacking Japan three months after Germany's surrender (Aug. 9), and wanted to force Japan to surrender as soon as possible. And given how quickly USSR conquered the Kuril islands, it is not hard to imagine what they might have done to Hokkaido had the war continued even for a few extra months.

I'm fully aware of how Russia may have played a role in Truman's decision-making, but this had nothing to do with the safety and well-being of the American people. Is strengthening our geopolitical position versus Russia a sufficient moral justification for nuking Japan?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:22 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:I'm fully aware of how Russia may have played a role in Truman's decision-making, but this had nothing to do with the safety and well-being of the American people. Is strengthening our geopolitical position versus Russia a sufficient moral justification for nuking Japan?


You'd better ask that question to people in Northern Japan, who might have been forced to live under a communist puppet regime for several decades. Or South Koreans, who might be still living in the Dear Leader's "Workers' Paradise."
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:23 pm

jazzcyclist wrote: Is strengthening our geopolitical position versus Russia a sufficient moral justification for nuking Japan?


I have met quite a few people that would give you an unqualified "yes".
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:33 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:People can give plenty of justifications for attacks against civilians, but none of the justifications have anything to do with the nature of the act itself. Does it matter if the act is performed for a good cause? No, because it will always be impossible to get a common definition for "good cause".


Well, this negates the idea of "justification" itself. No one would be able to possibly engage in any "illegal" act regardless of the circumstances.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:53 pm

Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: Is strengthening our geopolitical position versus Russia a sufficient moral justification for nuking Japan?


I have met quite a few people that would give you an unqualified "yes".

You've met Japanese who've said that they are glad we nuked them? Really? :?:
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:54 pm

TN1965 wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:I'm fully aware of how Russia may have played a role in Truman's decision-making, but this had nothing to do with the safety and well-being of the American people. Is strengthening our geopolitical position versus Russia a sufficient moral justification for nuking Japan?


You'd better ask that question to people in Northern Japan, who might have been forced to live under a communist puppet regime for several decades. Or South Koreans, who might be still living in the Dear Leader's "Workers' Paradise."

What about asking the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:01 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:What about asking the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?


We already know the answers to that. In fact, in about a month, many of them will appear on Japanese TV networks and tell their stories like they have done every August for the last 65 years.

And of course, people in Hokkaido would never tell anyone how glad they were to be spared of a communist rule, because saying that in public would be politically incorrect in the most extreme degree. So you will never know how they really feel.

About the Koreans... we already know the answer to that as well.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:05 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: Is strengthening our geopolitical position versus Russia a sufficient moral justification for nuking Japan?


I have met quite a few people that would give you an unqualified "yes".

You've met Japanese who've said that they are glad we nuked them? Really? :?:


Japanese :shock: ?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:55 pm

Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
Pego wrote:I have met quite a few people that would give you an unqualified "yes".

You've met Japanese who've said that they are glad we nuked them? Really? :?:


Japanese :shock: ?

Okay, now I get it. I misunderstood at first. You're talking about Americans saying "yes", not Japanese.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:04 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
Pego wrote:I have met quite a few people that would give you an unqualified "yes".

You've met Japanese who've said that they are glad we nuked them? Really? :?:


Japanese :shock: ?

Okay, now I get it. I misunderstood at first. You're talking about Americans saying "yes", not Japanese.


Yep. I bet you know a few of those, too :wink: .
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby lonewolf » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:55 pm

Ya know, all this sniping at history is worse than Monday morning quarterbacking. It is more like the Friday after quarterbacking.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:13 am

lonewolf wrote:Ya know, all this sniping at history is worse than Monday morning quarterbacking. It is more like the Friday after quarterbacking.

Ike wasn't a Monday morning quarterbacking when he warned us about the military industrial complex and opposed nuking Japan. Those were gametime decisions from arguably the greatest field general in American history.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby lonewolf » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:53 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
lonewolf wrote:Ya know, all this sniping at history is worse than Monday morning quarterbacking. It is more like the Friday after quarterbacking.

Ike wasn't a Monday morning quarterbacking when he warned us about the military industrial complex and opposed nuking Japan. Those were gametime decisions from arguably the greatest field general in American history.

Ok, but the game was over 65 years ago. We live with the results,not "what if?"
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby bad hammy » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:34 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Violence against innocent civilians for the purpose of intimidating, coercing or breaking the will of a government; or for the purpose of disrupting or influencing a democratic process in order to promote or oppose a political agenda.

See? That very act of defining it in terms you agree with is the very problem with semantics. Here's the one I found on-line FIRST:

"the use of violence to achieve political aims"

Oh, you mean war. Now I get it!
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby bman » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:18 pm

That terrorism definition debate is ridiculous, I normally like Marlow but either I'm missing something here or you are acting quite hypocritical. The very least one can do is apply the USA's own definition (of terrorism) to itself as well as its enemies. How it is defined is not the point, we need to stop people from being killed. We need to at least play by our own (professed) rules.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:30 pm

Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Okay, now I get it. I misunderstood at first. You're talking about Americans saying "yes", not Japanese.


Yep. I bet you know a few of those, too :wink: .


How about...

Fumio Kyuma (Defense Minister 2006-07): "I now have come to accept in my mind that in order to end the war, it could not be helped that an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and that countless numbers of people suffered great tragedy."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/07/ ... 3720070701

Hitoshi Motoshima (Mayor of Nagasaki City 1979-95): ""It was a matter of course for atomic bombs to have been dropped on Japan, which had launched a war of aggression. Japan does not have the right to criticize the atomic bomb."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitoshi_Motoshima

Emperor HIrohito: "It's very regrettable that nuclear bombs were dropped and I feel sorry for the citizens of Hiroshima but it couldn't be helped because that happened in wartime."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_ove ... d_Nagasaki
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby lonewolf » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:42 pm

jazzcyclist wrote: Personally, I think we had it coming on 9/11.

I missed this the first time through.
jazz, I long ago accepted that you and I seldom agree on anything and thats OK.
As Ricky Van Shelton sang, "..don't we all have the right to be wrong now and then?" But, this statement by an intelligent, educated, articulate American cannot be parsed away. Beyond that, I am speechless..
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:34 pm

bman wrote:That terrorism definition debate is ridiculous, I normally like Marlow but either I'm missing something here or you are acting quite hypocritical. The very least one can do is apply the USA's own definition (of terrorism) to itself as well as its enemies. How it is defined is not the point, we need to stop people from being killed. We need to at least play by our own (professed) rules.

I'm not on a side here; I'm just messengering (yeah, I made that up) the semantics of the situation. I thought I made it clear that I'm both horrified by what we did in Hiroshima and also completely agree that it was totally understandable in the context of a WORLD at war. I'm not sure I can take a side, so I certainly hope I'm NOT being hypocritical. :|
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:23 pm

lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: Personally, I think we had it coming on 9/11.

I missed this the first time through.
jazz, I long ago accepted that you and I seldom agree on anything and thats OK.
As Ricky Van Shelton sang, "..don't we all have the right to be wrong now and then?" But, this statement by an intelligent, educated, articulate American cannot be parsed away. Beyond that, I am speechless..

But I did parse it to make it more palatable to folks like you. How about "it was appropriate to hold the citizens of that nation-state responsible for the actions of their government"? Does that sound better?

By the way, what do Rush Limbaugh and Osana bin Laden have in common? They both believe(d) in terrorism.

Osama bin Laden, March 1997

We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal . . . As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and in other places.



Rush Limbaugh, July 31, 2006

Here's the thing. And I know some people disagree with me on this that the civilians and the citizens in these tyrannical regimes are irrelevant. But one of the ways -- how do you think a terrorist organization, which cannot compete with us or anybody else militarily, how else does it support itself, how else does it entrench itself? It does so by making the local population depend on its existence, making the civilian population depend on them. Until civilians -- frankly, I'm not sure how many of them are actually just innocent little civilians running around versus active Hezbo types, particularly the men, but until those civilians start paying a price for propping up these kinds of regimes, it's not going to end, folks. What do you mean, civilians start paying a price? I just ask you to consult history for the answer to that.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:24 pm

bman wrote:The very least one can do is apply the USA's own definition (of terrorism) to itself as well as its enemies. How it is defined is not the point, we need to stop people from being killed. We need to at least play by our own (professed) rules.

Amen bman! Amen! 8-)

By the way, whenever the U.N. has made any attempts to define terrorism and put it in writing, it has been western nations in general, and the U.S. in particular, who have objected to such efforts, because they were afraid of having their own hands tied by such rules. When asked if waterboarding was torture during the 2008 Presidential campaign, Rudy Guiliani answered, "It depends on who's doing it." That's the American nationalist attitude in a nutshell.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:36 pm

TN1965 wrote:Hitoshi Motoshima (Mayor of Nagasaki City 1979-95): ""It was a matter of course for atomic bombs to have been dropped on Japan, which had launched a war of aggression. Japan does not have the right to criticize the atomic bomb."

Of course they had it coming. The U.S. was the griever and Japan was the grievee, grievees have no right to tell they grievers how they can address their grievance.

TN1965 wrote:[Emperor HIrohito: "It's very regrettable that nuclear bombs were dropped and I feel sorry for the citizens of Hiroshima but it couldn't be helped because that happened in wartime."

All;s fair in love and war? Nothing new here.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby kuha » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:43 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:When asked if waterboarding was torture during the 2008 Presidential campaign, Rudy Guiliani answered, "It depends on who's doing it." That's the American nationalist attitude in a nutshell.


Total bullshit. Absolute, total, and outrageous bullshit. That was Rudy Guiliani's attitude--and the attitude of those who thought like him. It's an insult to a very large group of people to say that it was "the American nationalist attitude."

I'll repeat my comment on an earlier page. Your stirring of the pot here really isn't going anywhere. You're pretending to deal with deep ethical and philosophical issues, and you simply aren't. There MAY well be interesting and enlightening ways to deal with these matters, but you haven't discovered them.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby bman » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:24 pm

kuha wrote:Total bullshit. Absolute, total, and outrageous bullshit. That was Rudy Guiliani's attitude--and the attitude of those who thought like him. It's an insult to a very large group of people to say that it was "the American nationalist attitude."


Water boarding is not the point. Fact is that there are many more important issues where the "American Nationalist" (I don't care for the term but I'll use it here) viewpoint is in fact, implicitly or explicitly, if we are doing it is fine if they are doing it it is terrorism.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:35 pm

bman wrote:Water boarding is not the point. Fact is that there are many more important issues where the "American Nationalist" (I don't care for the term but I'll use it here) viewpoint is in fact, implicitly or explicitly, if we are doing it is fine if they are doing it it is terrorism.

I hate to break it to you, but the VAST majority of the world's population sees the rest of the world through a filter called nationalism, squarely centered on national self-interest. The USA has no monopoly on it.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:42 pm

kuha wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:When asked if waterboarding was torture during the 2008 Presidential campaign, Rudy Guiliani answered, "It depends on who's doing it." That's the American nationalist attitude in a nutshell.


Total bullshit. Absolute, total, and outrageous bullshit. That was Rudy Guiliani's attitude--and the attitude of those who thought like him. It's an insult to a very large group of people to say that it was "the American nationalist attitude."

You obviously didn't catch which definition of nationalist I'm using. I'm not talking about definition #1 which is a synonym for patriot. I'm talking about definition #2 which is a synonym for jingoist. This is the definition that George Orwell was using when he wrote his Notes on Nationalism which included ideas like this:

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage-torture, the use of hostages, forced labor, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians-which does not change its moral color when committed by ‘our’ side.… The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.... A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind.


Based on your post history, I definitely would not classify you as an "American Nationist", kuha.

kuha wrote:I'll repeat my comment on an earlier page. Your stirring of the pot here really isn't going anywhere. You're pretending to deal with deep ethical and philosophical issues, and you simply aren't. There MAY well be interesting and enlightening ways to deal with these matters, but you haven't discovered them.

Regardless of how you feel about me, I enjoy reading you posts and look forward to reading more of them in the future, KUHA. Thanks for keeping it civil. :)
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby bman » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:46 pm

Marlow wrote:I hate to break it to you, but the VAST majority of the world's population sees the rest of the world through a filter called nationalism, squarely centered on national self-interest. The USA has no monopoly on it.


Yes but many other nations tend to be better at expressing this self interest in less harmful ways.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Daisy » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:51 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Regardless of how you feel about me, I enjoy reading you posts and look forward to reading more of them in the future, KUHA. Thanks for keeping it civil. :)

For crying out loud jazz, here I am waiting for the knock out punch and this is the best you can do! We want blood! GH, I want my money back :twisted:
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby kuha » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:18 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Regardless of how you feel about me, I enjoy reading you posts and look forward to reading more of them in the future, KUHA. Thanks for keeping it civil. :)


I totally respect you and posted what I did because I know you are a very thoughtful and serious guy. I just happen to disagree with the angle you're taking on this issue.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:51 am

bman wrote:
Marlow wrote:I hate to break it to you, but the VAST majority of the world's population sees the rest of the world through a filter called nationalism, squarely centered on national self-interest. The USA has no monopoly on it.

Yes but many other nations tend to be better at expressing this self interest in less harmful ways.

Only because they don't have the 'power' to back up their self-interests. Their attitudes are identical.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:08 am

Marlow wrote:
bman wrote:
Marlow wrote:I hate to break it to you, but the VAST majority of the world's population sees the rest of the world through a filter called nationalism, squarely centered on national self-interest. The USA has no monopoly on it.

Yes but many other nations tend to be better at expressing this self interest in less harmful ways.

Only because they don't have the 'power' to back up their self-interests. Their attitudes are identical.

That is true. There's no nation in history that once it became a superpower, didn't eventually abuse its power and overextend itself. In that regard, the U.S. is very unexceptional. A truly exceptional nation would be a nation that didn't abuse this power IMO. Will China be any different once it passes us up?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:27 am

jazzcyclist wrote:That is true. There's no nation in history that once it became a superpower, didn't eventually abuse its power and overextend itself. In that regard, the U.S. is very unexceptional. A truly exceptional nation would be a nation that didn't abuse this power IMO. Will China be any different once it passes us up?

How many nations have done as we did in the first Gulf War, when we defeated a country and left the guy who instigated it in power? Not many. And it was a mistake.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:38 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:That is true. There's no nation in history that once it became a superpower, didn't eventually abuse its power and overextend itself. In that regard, the U.S. is very unexceptional. A truly exceptional nation would be a nation that didn't abuse this power IMO. Will China be any different once it passes us up?

How many nations have done as we did in the first Gulf War, when we defeated a country and left the guy who instigated it in power? Not many. And it was a mistake.

Well, we did have other allies to consider, but I don't think it was a mistake. The mistake was the second Iraq War. After Saddam had been neutered and was no longer a threat to anyone in the region, we should have done what the French wanted to do, which was go back to doing business with Iraq as usual instead of punishing the Iraqi people with s decade of sanctions. Just think of all the business opportunities that were lost during that period and all the blowback that was created by the suffering of the Iraqi people.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:03 am

kuha wrote:I totally respect you and posted what I did because I know you are a very thoughtful and serious guy. I just happen to disagree with the angle you're taking on this issue.

Maybe one day when you lose the red, white and blue tinted glasses, you'll come around.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby kuha » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:12 am

jazzcyclist wrote:the red, white and blue tinted glasses


Now, that's just funny. I honestly don't think I remotely qualify for that role.
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am
Location: 3rd row, on the finish line

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