BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
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The Brits defending America

Justin Webb | 21:46 UK time, Tuesday, 29 July 2008

To TimothyR444 and others who are touchy about commentary on America's rough edges I say suck it up dude! (Only kidding... )

The real point as noticed here by one of America's most prominent one-man bloggers, is that the Brits are actually leading the way in pointing out to the world that American faults are generally over-reported and American strengths under-reported.

We are not "pro-American" in the sense of being cheerleaders for a nation and its people (at least Matt Frei and I are not) but nor are we blind to the simple incontrovertible fact that America is a stunningly successful place whose ability to prosper in almost every year since its inception must surely have some link to the energy and vitality of the people who come here and make it work and the system (brutal sometimes) that allows them to achieve their potential.

I agree fully with those who have written to point out that America is complex. But if you are not careful you can end up throwing up your hands (as a British academic once did) and saying everything anyone says about America is true! This won't do.

On a lighter note, this facebook rip-off strikes me as a rather desperate effort.

How to attack Obama is a tricky issue; Hillary never really found the right tone - this is not it either.

Perhaps it's the experience, stupid.

Comments

  • 1. At 10:07pm on 29 Jul 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    I think a lot of people throughout the world have a more pragmatic - and favorable - opinion of the USA than people think. Just because blogs are dominated by ideological fanatics does not mean everybody thinks alike. If America was as bad as some people think, why do so many foreigners keep coming to the USA?
    Like every other country on Earth, there are a lot of things we could do better, and we certainly make our share of mistakes, but overall our positives far outweigh our negatives.

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  • 2. At 10:21pm on 29 Jul 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    And what we know about McCain can be as unsavory as what we do not know about Obama. The same was true about Clinton. At least we have the hope that it will be better. That will be a change in itself.

    I once heard a National Public Radio piece by a Briton who was living in the US and ordered a pizza to be delivered. As they opened the box and realised to their amazement that it was still hot, she turned to those assembled and said something to the effect that 'We can never leave this place'.

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  • 3. At 10:25pm on 29 Jul 2008, HomoEconomicus wrote:

    I went to the States for the first time last Fall, attending a Conference in Washington DC. Walking round the Mall is an experience I will never forget. It transformed the myth and philosophy of America into a tangible spirit that I still feel about what has become my favourite city.

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  • 4. At 10:47pm on 29 Jul 2008, mary gravitt wrote:

    A lot of old Cold War Warriors just don't get what is so hot about Obama. What is so hot about Obama is the same thing that what was so hot about Jack Kennedy. He was not Eisenhower, and Obama is not McCain.

    The days of demanding that the "ememy" surender because "I say so", is over and McCain and his backers do not seem to get this.

    In the old days, WE had all the guns and the "enemy" who was/is usually dark in compleaxion and short in stature, had to live by his or her wits. Now they are using that wit to outfox US. We sanction them and they laugh at US. We refuse to talk and they keep working on their WMD: Weapons of Mass Defense, against a bully who will not talk to them.

    Not talking and threatening all the time is a form of Bitch Politics akin to Coventry. It takes a person of color to understand walking into a room greeting the person and not getting acknowledged as a human being.

    White people always see themselves and human beings, but Colored peoples have to earn that status. This is a bitch's game that when you have WMD, you no longer have to play.

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  • 5. At 11:05pm on 29 Jul 2008, ArgyllJenny wrote:

    #1 Dominick

    Please look beyond the "ideological fanatics".

    Just because they are memorable and post often, doesn't mean there are more of them. It may simply mean they have more time and fewer other fruitful things to occupy them.

    There are a goodly number of people posting favourable and /or thoughtful comments on these threads. Variety is the norm and keeps it interesting.

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  • 6. At 11:18pm on 29 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Saved! O Hallelujah, praise be to god, we in America are being defended by the British and rescued by them just in the nick of time. I can't imagine what would have become of us if they hadn't showed up just when they did. I guess that means they figure they've paid us back for the three world wars we won for them.

    I don't think those born ouside the United States will ever actually understand America more than superficially. I'm not being facetious. If Sir Chirstopher Meyers couldn't that's an indication that it may not be possible. Not only does it take a lot of reading and knowledge about America to understand it, it requires a perspective that those from other cultures cannot acquire because they will not give up their own even for the time necessary to see it as it actually is.

    What I like about seeing foriegners post about America's "rough edges" is that it gives me license to point out the craggy precipice they live on themselves.

    Timothy444, your delusion about other people is your own fault. That is irrational.
    You did not want to see them for what they are. You cannot change them.

    DominickVilla, I am sick and tired of hearing Americans apologize for the minor defects and mistakes our society makes when by comparison the rest of the world is a catastrophe.

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  • 7. At 11:30pm on 29 Jul 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "Touchy about commentary on America's rough edges..."

    A few days ago, you wrote that anti-Americanism is inevitable. Now you are saying America is "stunningly successful". Both at once?

    I am not looking for cheerleaders for Americans - just ordinary decency, respect and courtesy will do.

    "Suck it up, dude.....?"

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  • 8. At 11:31pm on 29 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    'I write this in my book which I must resist the temptation to plug!' (in your last thread, Justin) - good thinking! So this time just post a link to Andrew Keen's blog and let him plug it instead. Well let's be grateful for small mercies. Not a single mention of a handshake. Life after all does go on.

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  • 9. At 11:40pm on 29 Jul 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "He was not Eisenhower, and Obama is not McCain."

    The analogy doesn't work here. Both Eisennower and Kennedy were very popular, often with the same people. The cold war was necessary at the time because the only alternative was soviet domination.

    Americans are not quite the "bullies" you believe we are. That view of people is not constructive or helpful.

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  • 10. At 11:52pm on 29 Jul 2008, Agent 00Soul wrote:

    Comment #1 is correct - the average person is never represented in the blogosphere whether the topic is politics, culture or drill bits. Combine that with the fact the people who scream loudest and most often get heard and you have the answer for a what seems like a lot of America bashing as well as opposite volleys freedom fries. It's not that those sentiments don't exist, it's just that they are blown all out of proportion to reality via modern media opportunites.

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  • 11. At 00:46am on 30 Jul 2008, andfreedom wrote:

    You only have yourself to blame Justin (well not you; but the Media), a good story isn't a news story.

    Thoughout history we have viewed every great nation in a negative light, and it will continue.

    We focus on Jewish slavery rather than Egyptian pyramids and the irrigation of the Nile Delta.
    We focus on the persecution of Christians rather than the technological brilliance of the Roman Empire bringing culture and civilisation to Europe and North Africa.
    We focus on British greed and subjugation rather than them connecting and discovering more of the world than anyone else.
    We focus on American wars and horrid fast food (personal opinion not fact) rather than their kindness and generosity, be it Aids treatment in Africa or humanitaring missions in Eastern Europe.

    Every country has done something it shouldn't be proud of; and every country will continue to make mistakes, all we can do is remember the good and forgive the bad.

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  • 12. At 00:54am on 30 Jul 2008, tucsonmike wrote:

    I wanted to comment on posts 2.3, and 4. Candace, Isn't that a great thing about us?;-)
    Home Economicus, welcome to our country. I love Washington, visited worked there, it is a great city. Now, I live with the irony, geographically, I am closer to Mexico City than Washington.
    Marygray. Am I guessing correctly you are African-American? I would greet you when you came in the room. When I enter the room with an African American or African friend and the rest of the room did not greet them, I would be offended as well. I would just write them off as a bunch of individual jerks, and sadly jerks, like ice cream come in all flavors.

    As for McCain. He is my Senator and I think he is great there. My cousin (by marriage) and Senator McCain have been friends since they were "guests" in the Hanoi Hilton.
    I only decided to vote for McCain when I took a quiz on USAToday covering the issues. I am supporting McCain, but barely. To me, neither of them are right for the time. The media (in the case of Senator Obama especially) is partly to blame for this. My next door neighbor Governor, Bill Richardson would have been perfect. Obama got the press coverage. Oh well. We are getting who the media vets for us.
    There will not be change yet. Too few Americans are angry.

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  • 13. At 01:01am on 30 Jul 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    As an American who has lived in the middle east, in southern Africa and in the UK, as well as spending some time bouncing around Europe, I just want to assert that every sin ascribed to the U.S. and to Americans can easily be found in any country in the world.

    Greed, waste, bigotry, racism, arrogance and all the rest are human characteritics, expressed around the globe. That expression takes different form in different places, but that's mere packaging.

    Americans take justified criticism when we arrogantly deny we are guilty of the same sins as everyone else. Europeans, and others, take justified criticism when they forget that they are also imperfect.

    Having said that, Americans of a certain age -- boomers born between, say, 1945 and 1955 -- react with hostility to European attacks on America's violence, willingness to resort to force, etc., etc. Almost all of us in that category have or had a parent, a relative, or a friend who fought in Europe in World War II, and, maybe, died there. When we look at the carnage and death that emanated from Europe throughout the 20th century, we swallow hard when some of today's Europeans stake out the moral high ground. Do they not remember what the societies of their parents and grandparents did?

    (I know that the Europe of today is vastly different than the Europe of 1933. But, how many of us can argue that, if we lived in the world of 1933, we'd live by the ethics of 2008?

    Again, we are all the same, and we are all guilty of the same failures. We need to remember, though, that we fail in different circumstances and at different times


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  • 14. At 01:32am on 30 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "..nor are we blind to the simple incontrovertible fact that America is a stunningly successful place..."

    Just a few days, maybe actually mere hours since returning from the other side of the looking glass and this. What happend Mr. Webb, suddenly the grass wasn't so green on the other side as you remembered it after all? I posted a few days ago that one advantage of jet travel is that it allows you, even forces you to make comparisons between places that are distant in space but no longer distant in time. Breakfast at Heathrow and with the change in time, lunch in Washington DC.

    Now why would someone who is an employee of a notoriously anti-American newscaster, at least in the opinion of many Americans suddenly make a point of distancing himself from that view? I'm not exactly the trusting type, I look for motive. Well Mr. Webb, are you contemplating a change is jobs? A hoped for permanent assignment as a correspondent to the Washington DC scene? Maybe a second house or a retirement or vacation home in Florida?

    What happened, a trip home remind you of a lot of things you'd forgotten? Miss a few you'd come to take for granted?

    "...must surely have some link to the energy and vitality of the people who come here and make it work and the system (brutal sometimes) that allows them to achieve their potential."

    What makes you think that the people who come to American have any more energy or vitality than anyone else? Just because the rules of society here don't knock it out of them, steal the fruits of its efforts, show them that no matter how hard they try they will never get anywhere and so resign them to just try to get along and survive? Brutal? I'll tell you what is brutal. Societies that not only don't give people who fail a second chance but those which never even give people who haven't failed even one chance. Europe is brutal. What chance does someone of North African decent even with a PHD have in France to find a decent job? A Turk in Germany? Roma anywhere in Europe?

    For all of BBC's analysis, it has never figured out how or why people whose genetic and cultural provenances are no more extraordinary than others all over the world achieve so much more. Doesn't it bother you as a journalist that you and your colleagues in the foreign press are so preoccupied with "what" that you never try to figure out "how" let alone "why?"

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  • 15. At 01:33am on 30 Jul 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    marcus aurelius:

    "Timothy444, your delusion about other people is your own fault. That is irrational. "

    I am neither delusional nor irrational. I would ask you to please maintain a civil discourse. I disagree with you, but I will certainly not insult you. I ask the same from you. That is the only way for a blog like this to work.

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  • 16. At 01:49am on 30 Jul 2008, proles wrote:

    If you're not cheerleaders for America, then you're certainly doing a pretty good job of imitating one! In fact, America's faults - and crimes of state - are very much underreported and its attractions and alleged virtues very much over-reported. America dosen't even bother keeping track of all its untold victims around the world. As Gen. Tommy Franks once famously said, "we don't to body counts." And neither do most fawning foreign correspondents. At home, America has the greatest class disparities of any country in the industrialized world outside of the UK. Again, most toady foreign correspondents keep this secret as well as any American press ideolgue. What's really true, is what is not said about America by self-censoring corporate journalists - foreign and domestic, alike. Three cheers for the few who dare to break the silence!

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  • 17. At 01:52am on 30 Jul 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref #6

    People who feel confident about themselves, or their country, don't mind admitting mistakes. The only ones that never make a mistake are those that never do anything.

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  • 18. At 01:59am on 30 Jul 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #6 MA2

    "your delusion about other people"

    It's really important when you create a spoof, to avoid aspects of your own self to slip into your spoof character.

    Which hospitals serve Campden Town?

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  • 19. At 02:53am on 30 Jul 2008, Aqua wrote:

    Andrew Keen's blog reminded me of the 1980's when people rushed out to learn Japanese, thinking that Japan would overtake the U.S. Now, the media is using China as the newest rival. I don't see much use in doom and gloom, even if times are occasional tough. You don't solve issues effectively with pessimism or fear.

    I've spent time overseas following the backpacker routes and biking in a few countries. Most people are fine with Americans. Occasionally, I found myself talking with someone who found no good in America. I shrugged it off when I noticed they were rabid about it. I enjoy teasing people when they say Americans don't know geography. Yeah, plenty of them don't know geography, I would acknowledge. Then, I would ask this person, "So, where is Nebraska? Kansas?" Silence. Both sides need to learn about each other with tolerance.

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  • 20. At 02:56am on 30 Jul 2008, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    "We are not "pro-American" in the sense of being cheerleaders for a nation and its people (at least Matt Frei and I are not)"

    Well, that depends on how one defines "cheer leaders". If "cheer leader" is defined as singing the praises of America, then no you certainly are not, and nor should you be!! That would be bias and not the mark of a good journalist! However, if "cheer leader" is defined as one who sees positive atributes in America, then yes you certainly are, and it is nothing to be ashaimed of!!!

    I am thankful for those Brits who are defending us--it is above and beyond for them to do so, and they certainly haven't been asked by any Americans (I guess) to do so. My guess is they decided to do this entirely on their own, which makes their deeds all the more altruistic!! I just don't like the fact that Europeans in general (and most likely some British as well), seem to only be "pro-American", or see positiv atributes in America when America's leaders are more "European", or when Americans themselves are more "European!" As you said, Europeans want Americans to give up their guns and broken health care system. You obviously-from your entrys-must know at least some Europeans who hold this attitude of American leaders/Americans themselves. Do you know of any Americans who want Europeans/European leaders to give up certain aspects that make them unique in order for Americans to accept them? I'm not certainly suggesting that their aren't!!!! But I'm denouncing those on both sides of the Atlantic who do, because it is bigotry and small mindedness!! How boring would it be if we were all the same? And that's my point! I just dearly hope that we will learn to accept one another for who each other is!!!

    O and one more thing. I truely am glad that the guy who wrote that blog that you linked to has been so happy living here after having moved here from England, but they seemed to ddenigrate England, an that is just as bad as denigrating America or any other country!!! That is "anti-British" sentament! England is not "dark and dismle!" Or at least I doubt "all" aspects of it are!! Great that that guy sees positive things in the US, but surely he sees positive things in the UK as well?

    Lambasting any nationality and any country should be considered wrong in my opinion!!

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  • 21. At 03:00am on 30 Jul 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    #6 MA2 - speaking of Brits defending the USA:
    "I guess that means they figure they've paid us back for the three world wars we won for them. "

    Hmm...WWIII - are we there yet? Also, the USA has had an interesting pattern of joining up with its Allies long after those same Allies have already done a lot of the hard sloughing and suffered horrendous amounts of casualties. That the USA has preferred its Allies to handle the "point" position, and bring up the rear chronologically speaking, doesn't necessarily merit a "world hero" title.

    Time to get over the "Greatest Nation on Earth" fantasy - unless we are trying for something like being the "Greatest Show on Earth" - trying to be a circus instead of a country.

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  • 22. At 03:07am on 30 Jul 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    I'm always interested in foreigners' views
    of my own society, probably because it
    gives me an insight into my own culture.

    BTW, Justin, this link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,568532,00.html

    shows how to get an interview with
    "The Man."

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  • 23. At 03:16am on 30 Jul 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    #21 - TYPO:
    I meant "hard slogging" not "hard sloughing"!! :D

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  • 24. At 03:32am on 30 Jul 2008, kecsmar wrote:

    #13 JustC..

    "...Do they not remember what the societies of their parents and grandparents did?.."

    Oh yes, we do, there are many scares both geographical and emotional.

    But harping on about it maintains a status-quo...lets keep talking about the sacrifices...why?..what is done is done. Everyone understands what was done....so, we, (Europeans) prefer to look forward rather than keep looking back.

    Not mentioning it day to day does not mean what occurred is forgotten, to suggest as much to any european is rather insulting.

    My own mother, she ran away with tanks and an army shooting at her and her friends, many died. But "sticking" to the past and talking about it like a "badge of honour" achieves nothing....save for bitterness.

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  • 25. At 03:55am on 30 Jul 2008, RalphMa wrote:

    Every country has

    • Kind-hearted and innovative people
    • Governments that suck
    • Respectable achievements
    • Regrettable mistakes
    • Inflated views of themselves
    • Exaggerated biases about others

    America's secret is that we have an Enlightenment-inspired Constitution that guarantees equality, promotes freedom, limits government, and keeps our society secular. When we follow it, we do better than just about anybody. The reason America will probanly recover and lead again is that we have now learned, the hard way, what happens when you disregard that founding document.

    And BTW ditto to marygrav on the person-of-color thing. Present company excluded (the people on this blog are pretty educat), yes, we are usually invisible in this country. My advice is to work twice as hard as everyone else to get your way. It works. This is what Obama is having to do right now -- that accounts for some of the polling numbers you see -- and he will likely succeed because for him that's nothing new.


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  • 26. At 04:00am on 30 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Grrr lie

    I think you should put down your comic books and read a book of historical facts.

    In WWI, Europe was in a stalemate when the US entered. WWI was probably the dumbest war fought by the dumbest people for the dumbest reasons in the dumbest way ever. It was a machine that just kept sucking in an entire generation of young European men and turned them into corpses. Inexperienced as it was, the US entered and their new blood turned the tide. Unlike WWII, I do not see why the US should have entered that war. Maybe it was an ethnic thing where America was run by Anglo Saxons who felt some ties to Britain but there were no real American interests on either side that justifed America fighting there. This made Woodrow Wilson without doubt the worst President the US ever had, the first one to ignore Washington's warning about getting involved in Europe.

    It has been well documented that 80% of Americans opposed fighting WWII until Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt knew eventually he would have to fight the Nazis but he was powerless to enter the war until a precipitating event. By the time the US entered the war, Nazi Germany was in complete control of the mainland of Europe from the Atlantic to what is now the former Warsaw Pact nations and from the mediteranean through Norway. Britain was isolated and depended on American supplies to survive. Soviets lied but they never expected the non aggression treaty they signed with Hitler to be violated. As a result they were totally unprepared for Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the USSR. The Soviets would have had us beleive that they were great valliant fighters but the reality is that their function was to keep as many German troops tied down on the Eastern front as possible by supplying an endless round of cannon fodder for the Germans to keep shooting at. The Americans supplied them with material while the Russian winters took their toll. Even so, had Hitler listened to his Generals, he might have won in the east. The US attacked the Nazis in North Africa first joining Montgommery. They then advanced through Sicily again with Montgommery until they landed in mainland Europe in Italy. The US supplied the bulk of the material and manpower on the southern and western fronts. The entire allied war effort was funded by the US as all of the other allies were either broke like Britain, in German hands, or lacking the substantial industrial and fianancial resources needed.

    Had the US walked away from Europe after WWII, the USSR was ready, willing, and able to keep marching west to win WWIII also. At that point none of the western allies in Europe was in a position to put up any resistance to them. As it was, Greece and Austria were almost lost immediately. It took trillions of US dollars, hundreds of thousands of US troops, and 46 years for the US to defeat the USSR in WWIII. The European "allies", the junior partners in NATO were allowed to save face by providing what amounted to token forces while NATO gave legal cover for the US to remain in Europe. The fraud of NATO is that it was billed as a mutual defense pact. Where are the Europeans now defending America from the forces of Al Qaeda and the Taleban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that attacked the US on 9-11? Probably at cafes back home enjoying a drink or on a summer vacation enjoying a beach somewhere.

    By the end of WWII, Europe had turned from a museum into a cemetary. It's populations were devastated, broken. They were physically and emotionally exhausted and financially bankrupt. At that point they were in no position to do anything except accept American charity. But after a couple of generations now that things have returned to normal after great American effort and cost which they do not acknowledge, they are back on their high horses as arrogant as ever.

    Hey OLD Gnat.....Bzzzzzz, Bzzzzzz, .....zzzzzzzzz

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  • 27. At 04:11am on 30 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    kecsmar

    "so we (Europeans) prefer to look forward"

    So do I. And here is what I see for Europe. Right now the EU is scheming to work around the defeat of the Lisbon Treaty by enacting it as a series of laws peicemeal.

    France having realized it cannot control the EU is now cooking up a Mediteranean Union (MU) that it hopes it can control by being the biggest fish. This as part of its plan to stave off looming bankrupcy and financial collapse.

    All of Europe is worried about energy and with good reason. It depends to a large degree on a large hostile power for much of its oil and gas, it depends on Russia.

    Economically, China and India are stealing its jobs, its markets, its access to resources.

    It is clearly in a trade war with the US.

    It wants the US to sign a Kyoto like treaty with even greater reductions than Kyoto but it never even made a serious effort to comply with Kyoto. How will it trick the US into signing up to sacrifices if China and India won't?

    It has an aging indiginous population while migrants from many other countries whose culture are very different are invading in large numbers. The archbishop of Canteberry, Dr. Roway Williams said that adopting some of Sharia law in Britain is unavoidable.

    Should I go on? Maybe it's less depressing to talk about Europe's past after all. Ok which World War do you want to go back to first?

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  • 28. At 06:21am on 30 Jul 2008, tucsonmike wrote:

    I already posted this on my blog, but wanted to thank Justin for the opportunity to post on HIS blog. I did look @ the Facebook ripoff. Boy , was that sad.
    I enjoy reading The Economist and BBC News because it is another opinion. I may not agree with it, but I may also learn something.
    One of my new "bibles" is Mental Toughness, Baseball's Winning Edge. It carries lessons that are useful everywhere, not just baseball. (If I had known all this when I was younger, I might have been better at playing the game).
    John Cleese and his therapist, Dr. Robin Skynner wrote two books together. In the second one, Life and How to Survive It, they have a piece about the United States. Justin mentioned in this posting our strength as a people. I have faith the pioneer spirit will return to fix our problems.
    For Proles, this American admits our class disparities, (btw, I do not approve of that much disparity, but someone should be well compensated for inventions and building successful models. OK, I am considered upper level blue collar). With my ancestry, the opportunities I have had and who I married, I cannot live anywhere else (though I fear if I do retire, I may have to cross the border into Mexico for economic reasons).
    There really are things about the United States I would like to see changed. No country is perfect (though someone who be rather hard pressed to point out the benefits of Somalia or Afghanistan to me).
    If you want to yell at my leadership in Washington, be my guest. Except for voting for them, living out here, I forget they are there. (A former President of my Toastmasters club tells me I am really a Libertarian and should join that party). Just y'all don't mess with my patch of desert.
    BTW Proles. Who were you planning to arrest as American War Criminals?
    Oh and my new hero is Virginia Senator Jim Webb. Gotta hand it to those Scots-Irish.
    Thank you again, Justin. Over and out.

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  • 29. At 07:23am on 30 Jul 2008, 33rdpara wrote:

    There are many people in the UK that would have preferred to be part of the USA than Europe,
    Pity we cold not have voted on it. Only thing against would be the silly gun laws

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  • 30. At 07:54am on 30 Jul 2008, reformedspindoctor wrote:

    I have to disagree with your assertion that Matt Frei is not Pro-American. His job is based on being so. The jury is still out on you.

    I am neither pro or anti, but have to say that my negative feelings for the Bush/Blair cabal have changed how I feel about America. I never go there now, just in case I get shot for airing my views. Thankfully, airing anti-Blair feelings in the UK doesn't bring risk of life.

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  • 31. At 08:52am on 30 Jul 2008, lechic wrote:

    I'm not anti-America at all. It's such a big place, it's hard to generalise one way or the other. I'm anti a lot of things here in the UK and pro a lot of things in America. But it's a bit disappointing when a discussion about the US and Europe turns into arguing about the wars.... I mean, we have to look to the future and how the relationship is going to work from now on.

    No country is perfect, anyway. The presidential elections is just bringing out all the debates about the US, but we're all at fault in one way or another. Look at Scotland, where I'm from - plenty of drugs and bad health, but I wouldn't like that to define the nation, because there are lots more good points. Same with America, I feel.

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  • 32. At 09:33am on 30 Jul 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    Seems Senator Ted Stevens now needs defending
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080729/ap_on_go_co/stevens_indictment_13

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  • 33. At 10:12am on 30 Jul 2008, draftdodger wrote:

    "Where are the Europeans now defending America from the forces of Al Qaeda and the Taleban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that attacked the US on 9-11? Probably at cafes back home enjoying a drink or on a summer vacation enjoying a beach somewhere.

    By the end of WWII, Europe had turned from a museum into a cemetary. It's populations were devastated, broken. They were physically and emotionally exhausted and financially bankrupt. At that point they were in no position to do anything except accept American charity. But after a couple of generations now that things have returned to normal after great American effort and cost which they do not acknowledge, they are back on their high horses as arrogant as ever."

    ------------------------------------------------------
    MarcusAureliusII,

    It is hard for europeans to admit that the US pulled us back from the brink during both world wars (my hands are shaking as i type this). i think this has a lot to do with the air of misplaced superiority many seem to feel about being "the old country", but i dont think its fair to say we do not pay homage to the sacrific many Americans paid for european freedom. have you visited the war grave sites in france? these are meticulously maintained and when you speak to the people who work there they all have a real "lest we forget" attitude that i think most europeans feel. i also believe that because of American assistance during the world wars europeans feel indebted to the US (including younger generations of germans) and that if we didnt there would be NO european troops in iraq/afghanistan.

    as for europeans fighting al qaeda i am an infantry soldier who served in iraq and i am re-deploying to afghanistan next year.

    As afghanistan is a land locked country my beach time may be short but i must admit iraq did have a lot of cafes.

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  • 34. At 11:34am on 30 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    draftdodger;

    Europeans do not acknowledge the facts of the past. When they are forced to they trivialize their signifigance. They did not pay their fair share of the burden or anything like it during the cold war when they could afford it after they recovered. They are not paying their fair share in World War IV against militant Islam's war against Western civilization now. This war BTW although different in form is no less a world war in which our survival is at stake. When those irregulars who fight against us are captured, they don't want them kept incarcerated. Britain took every last day of the 50 years it was allowed to pay back a 2% loan it was given by America's taxpayers after WWII to rebuild it. The Soviets never paid one cent of the $900,000,000 they were loaned. It cost America trillions to fight WWIII. Yet Europeans have the gall to say we don't have an NHS. We could have had 100 NHSs for the money we wasted on defending and rebuilding them. But Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran are much closer to Europe than they are to America and when these wars go sour for lack of cooperation from them, who is going to get hit hardest? Why should anyone believe that the Europeans would enforce sanctions against Iran to prevent them from acquiring an atom bomb to attack Israel and America any more than they enforced them against Iraq? Europe is a fraud, a sham, thouroughly corrupt through and through. You could hardly have worse allies. They make better enemies than friends. At least that way you know where you stand with them. That's why Patton said he'd rather have a German division in front of him than a French division behind him.

    Yes I visited the American and Canadian grave sites in Talence France when I lived there. It was a strange thing. I often took the short cut to my apartment thought the cemetary. There were all the french graves and mausoleums in a field of cement on top of each other. The Canadian and American tombstones were in a well tended grassy field at one end spread out much as they are in American and Canadian cemetaries. Not many, just a few, maybe a couple of dozen. Those were people who died fighting to save the parents and grandparents of those who despise us now for among other things extending the same chance to Iraq that was given to them. Maybe the results didn't work out as well in Irq, maybe they couldn't. But we will never know what might have happend if they had only tried to help instead of thwarted and mocked our efforts.

    I'm tired of hearing that it's just a handful of Europeans who hate us. Do you apologists for European anti-Americanism think we didn't see the throngs of people out in the streets protesting our government, the polls which showed 80 to 90 percent of most western European populations against us? And what about the nut in France who smashed up a MacDonalds Restaurant as an American symbol cheered on by crowds? This has far more to do with hatred of American civilzation than it does with Iraq or GM foods, or global warming. The reason is plain and simple. Europeans are reminded every day that there is a far more powerful entity in the world than all of them put together and I am not talking about militarily. In the briefest of moments in time by historic measure it has and continues to succeed brilliantly where they have failed miserably and worst of all, it has done it by rejecting everything they value. I for one refuse to pretend that is not the reality, the crux of it all.

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  • 35. At 12:02pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jusin,

    "America is a stunningly successful place whose ability to prosper in almost every year since its inception must surely have some link to the energy and vitality of the people who come here and make it work and the system (brutal sometimes) that allows them to achieve their potential."
    I hate to interrupt the love-fest, but might this 'success' have something to do with the plantation of a technologically able (and relatively small) innoculum on the edge of a vast and relatively underpopulated resource? This is the essential environment for the "pioneer spirit", but, with today's additional 119,000 bellies to fill, perhaps the time for pioneering is passing?

    America's 'success' is measured in GDP, a measure of consumption, and it's certainly true that by such a measure America is STUNNINGLY successful. Europe is, however, doing her very best to imitate this success, and, in this respect, Britain leads the field.

    I have noted before that four fifths of the annual harvest of the Earth's resources is for the benefit of one fifth of the world's people. Can the Earth afford more of such 'success'?

    P.S. I would never pour such cold water on the success of the Founding Fathers. I am, at heart, and will always remain, a Virginian, and the philosophical child of Jefferson (and thus a grandchild of the Enlightenment).

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 36. At 12:52pm on 30 Jul 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    Justin:

    I think the British people for the most part are not Anti-American but the BBC World Service takes a negative or adversarial position against it.

    The radio commentators or analysists always taken the most negative view on a issue in regards to the U.S and Israel and seem far more sympathetic to the Palestinians. Lebanese and terrorists in general.

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  • 37. At 1:00pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Make that 219,000 - (370,000 born, 151,000 died)

    On the morning after the Tsunami, the Sun rose on a more overpopulated world than on the morning before....I was warned in Human Ecology studies to beware of "small big numbers", and, of course, the converse.

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    ed

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  • 38. At 1:04pm on 30 Jul 2008, Justianus wrote:

    re # 34:

    "And what about the nut in France who smashed up a MacDonalds Restaurant as an American symbol cheered on by crowds? This has far more to do with hatred of American civilzation (...)"

    Ahum. Given the fact that there are some 6,400 MacDonald restaurants in Europe, most of them doing quite well, this might not be the most forceful of arguments :)

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  • 39. At 1:20pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    34 & 38,

    My understanding is that Jose Bove arrived with spanners and a trailer and, with some help, proceeded to DISMANTLE the fast food establishment in question, load it up and transport it out of town...

    I regard it as a work of conceptual performance art.

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 40. At 1:20pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    #36 - MagicKirin

    With specific reference to Palestine and Israel, I do not think this is entirely surprising. There is a perception that the Jewish political lobby in Washington is hugely and disproportionately powerful and this in turn leads to an inbuilt pro-Israeli bias at the State Department which continues regardless of who is in office.

    There are certainly some in Europe who feel that this imbalance has to be adjusted. The same internal political pressures are not evident in Europe and there is an ability to be more even handed.

    This is not a criticism of the US per se but it is a reality which cannot be ignored.

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  • 41. At 1:25pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    #34 - MA2, #38 - Justianus

    MacDonald franchises gentlemen.

    It's not the Big Mac empire that is under attack, it is some guy's business.

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  • 42. At 1:31pm on 30 Jul 2008, draftdodger wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII,

    i feel you over estimate the importance of America in most non-American lives/thoughts. people all over the world protested against the iraq war as it is regarded by many people as being illegal, in many countries people were not protesting against america but against their governments who were attempting to involve them in the war (UK, Spain, Italy etc).

    i believe most europeans (and i dont think this is limited to europe) are anti-bush rather than anti-american and that this sentiment was shown when 200,000 germans (80-90% Anti-American?) turned out to see obama speak. i doubt they would have turned out for mccain as to many he represent a continuation of the bush era.

    many people in the UK are enthusiastic about the upcoming US elections as they perceive a coming change in american policy (bush policies that are unpopular overseas).

    as for someone smashing up a macdonalds, rioters are not exactly the most reasonable of people.

    are you anti-european?

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  • 43. At 1:34pm on 30 Jul 2008, tiptoplisamich wrote:

    Ironically (due to the timing of this blog entry) a man said to me 3 days ago, the difference between liberals and everyone else is that liberals are constantly telling everyone what is wrong with America. Liberals have a constant need to apologize for everything Americans say, do, think and create---indeed, some of them apologize for America's very existence. To the left in the US, all Americans should feel guilty and ashamed for any random day in the US when the sun shines.
    To make a point, liberals are negative, depressingly so.
    The US is not perfect, I know that. No country or single individual on this planet does everything correctly or makes amazingly perfect decisions. However, most of the time in the US it really is "morning in America". Each and every day people wake up to opportunity, something which is sadly taken for granted and not available to all in other countries.
    There may be some here who take Justin to task for either praising the US or refusing to point out every negative flaw (I guess, as stated above, it's all in the perspective).
    For me, thank you, Justin. As an American, I'm not going to apologize for existing; instead, as Americans always do, I'll try my best, work hard and not feel guilty that I'm happy to be a part of this county.

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  • 44. At 1:40pm on 30 Jul 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    Does America have an identity?

    If so, who defines it?

    Does it change?

    Do the NeoCons represent America? Are they a foreign intrusion? Are they simply an ally of the power elite?

    Values are an essential component of national identity and many of them change.

    The view from Europe is not hostile, it is simply one that is outside of the national discourse.

    For historical comparison, stay within America and start at, say, 1929.

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  • 45. At 1:45pm on 30 Jul 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref # 40 Thernodio

    And many her would say that Europe goes to far in the other direction. Not blaming the Lebanese for allowing Hezbollah use their nation as a missle launch pad and giving moral equivilency to Hamas (a terrrorist group) and Israel.

    But there seem to be more outrage at the BBC regarding Gitmo and Guantanamo than at terrorist attacks, beheadings and the ethnic clensing of Mugabe

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  • 46. At 1:51pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    As I said, I prefer "dismantled" to "smashed up"

    Wikipedia:

    "The event which brought Bové and the Confédération to the foreground, was the dismantling of a McDonald's franchise in Millau (Aveyron), in 1999.[2] Considered by his supporters to be non-violent, the act was designed to raise awareness about McDonalds use of hormone-treated beef. Bové was sentenced to three months imprisonment for his role in the incident and he was imprisoned for 44 days; he was finally released on August 1, 2002. His involvement in this incident garnered world attention to himself and his causes."


    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 47. At 1:54pm on 30 Jul 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    I agree with many posters that perceived
    anti-American sentiment is really anti-Bush
    sentiment.

    As far as McDonald's, anybody who
    has really spent any time in the US
    knows that they don't serve real American
    hamburgers. And, I won't even dwell
    on the sexual orientation of Ronald
    McDonald.

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  • 48. At 2:09pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    #45 - MagicKirin

    The answer to that one is simple. The likes of Mugabe and Bin Laden are considered thugs from whom you would expect nothing better. Guantanamo, on the other hand is viewed as an aberration in a free democracy.

    #46 - Ed Iglehart

    I must remember that one. Being beaten to a pulp is thuggery, being systematically dismembered is art. I like it, Ed.

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  • 49. At 2:16pm on 30 Jul 2008, potatoman65 wrote:

    Oldnat said regarding MA2's spoof: "It's really important when you create a spoof, to avoid (allowing) aspects of your own self to slip into your spoof character."

    Hey Oldnat, your critique of the spoofers spoofering are as fun to read as the spoof itself. Keep it up the two of you. You're giving me loads of belly laughs.

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  • 50. At 2:21pm on 30 Jul 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #49 potatoman65

    Fair point. There's no way of denting MA2's bigotry.

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  • 51. At 2:35pm on 30 Jul 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #13 (Kecsmar):

    I didn't mean to suggest that Europeans should forget their history. I know they have not. But, it simply galls Americans to be lectured by Europeans or anyone else about the virtues of democracy, peaceful cooperation, etc., etc. I'm sure European are equally irritated when Americans return the favor.

    This is not because Europeans owe Americans perpetual obeisance because we "won" two world wars. That's a canard and a lie. No single nation was responsible for victory in either war. Certainly, an Allied European victory in WWII would have been in doubt without the heroic contributions of the Soviet and British peoples.

    The truth is that too many Americans love to hate. Politicians build careers on that fact. Some of those haters actively look for alleged insults to America so they can have one more outlet for their hate. By defining "American" as somone of a particular genetic, cultural and linguistic background, these haters are, in fact, succumbing to the same poison that almost killed Europe. Those are the Americans that Europeans, and all other Americans, need to challenge.

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  • 52. At 2:50pm on 30 Jul 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    American Identity:

    "There are times when words seem empty and only actions seem great. Such a time has come, and in the Providence of God, America will once more have an opportunity to show the world that she was born to save mankind."


    President Woodrow Wilson
    Memorial Day May 30th, 1917

    pause

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  • 53. At 2:58pm on 30 Jul 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    8. At 2:09pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:
    #45 - MagicKirin

    The answer to that one is simple. The likes of Mugabe and Bin Laden are considered thugs from whom you would expect nothing better. Guantanamo, on the other hand is viewed as an aberration in a free democracy.

    well said .threnodio

    btw mcdonalds are reporting their biggest profits from france last year.it is taking hold.
    so maybe they love america right?

    GRllie and proles keep up the hard work.

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  • 54. At 3:06pm on 30 Jul 2008, ArgyllJenny wrote:

    #45 Magic

    Agree with threnodio's response, but there's no getting away from it that the UK's failure to do anything about Zimbabwe is a cause for great shame.

    At the time of the build-up towards the Iraq invasion, a lot of people in the UK were asking why go into Iraq when Zimbabwe had been ignored for so long.

    This continues.

    #46 Ed

    re previous thread: pleased you liked it here. Johnny Dumfries now goes by Johnny Bute.

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  • 55. At 3:07pm on 30 Jul 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #51 justcorbly

    "By defining 'American' as somone of a particular genetic, cultural and linguistic background'.

    We all have them, and what brings about change, and reduces their influence, is laughter.

    In the UK they are caricatured as "Colonel Blimps" (named after a character in the 1930's cartoon).

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

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  • 56. At 3:13pm on 30 Jul 2008, draftdodger wrote:

    i do like that MacDonalds has become the heart of the argument!

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  • 57. At 3:15pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I'll just note that Threnodio's analysis can be extended to why Israel's behaviour generates so much condemnation from some of us - We expect better from the Jews.

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

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  • 58. At 3:18pm on 30 Jul 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    To find or write the definition of The United States of America is to say the least, difficult and different depending on your view, as these two:

    "Fortunately, the time has long passed when people liked to regard the United States as some kind of melting pot, taking men and women from every part of the world and converting them into standardized, homogenized Americans. We are, I think, much more mature and wise today. Just as we welcome a world of diversity, so we glory in an America of diversity,an America all the richer for the many different and distinctive strands of which it is woven."


    Hubert H. Humphrey, U.S. Democratic politician, vice president. speech, Jan. 15, 1967, Chicago, Ill.
    HH was ahead of his time!

    "America, rather, the United States,seems to me to be the Jew among the nations. It is resourceful, adaptable, maligned, envied, feared, imposed upon. It is warm-hearted, overfriendly; quick-witted, lavish, colorful; given to extravagant speech and gestures; its people are travelers and wanderers by nature, moving, shifting, restless; swarming in Fords, in ocean liners; craving entertainment; volatile. The schnuckle among the nations of the world"


    Edna Ferber (1887?1968), U.S. writer. A Peculiar Treasure, ch. 1 (1939).

    Notice if you will, I picked quotes that speak of the people, not the government. And with that said, it is our form of Government that is by the people, for themselves.

    BTW Ed, thanks for the lesson in html.

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  • 59. At 3:35pm on 30 Jul 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    oldnat, I believe that some of your
    blimps flew over here, against the prevailing
    winds, following the old zeppelin route.

    Some of them, in fact, have made their
    way into politics, and have achieved high
    office.

    I'm not sure where the Turkish bath is
    located in the White House, but now I'm
    sure that there is one.

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  • 60. At 3:35pm on 30 Jul 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    This quote shows how different we are from the nineteenth century. Not only for the United States, but Europe as well. But I wonder, never having been to Europe, is some of this still true?

    "I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war."


    Thomas Jefferson (1743?1826), U.S. president. Letter, June 11, 1823, to President James Monroe.

    learn from you

    peace,

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  • 61. At 3:36pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jenny,

    With regard to Zimbabwe, the UK in particular is in a cleft stick, as whatever she does, it'll be seen as ex-colonial meddling. Even 'noises off' qualifies in the minds of many. Truth be told, this applies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and, of course, in spades in Palestine.

    But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
    On prospects drear!
    An' forward, tho' I canna see,
    I guess an' fear!

    Shanthi
    ed

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  • 62. At 3:36pm on 30 Jul 2008, draftdodger wrote:

    on zimbabwe i do feel that the UK is in a position where if it does not act the UK government is condemned but if it does act it plays into the hands of mugabe.

    like it or not the UK has a terrible colonial legacy in africa and in zimbabwe it is blamed for failing to back land reform policies it agreed to in 1980 by mugabe directly. because of this he says the country is now in the financial mess it finds itself in.

    mugabe might sound paranoid to us but do you think we help or hinder the opposition when we back the MDC?

    i worry that because of our history on the continent and in zimbabwe specifically any moves the UK government makes will be counter productive, we should concentrate our efforts through the UN and EU and if possible at a national level apply pressure on AU countries to take a tougher stance against mugabe.

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  • 63. At 3:39pm on 30 Jul 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    On the subject of McDonald's, I have a
    modest proposal which may improve their
    image here (in the US).

    Let's find out how this guy dismantled
    one, and franchise the entire dismantling
    business. We could pack them up in
    crates and send them off to France or
    Asia, along with little Mickey Mouse dolls.

    This will ensure that they love us forever,
    and free up valuable real estate here
    so that we can get some decent diners
    put in.


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  • 64. At 3:41pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Doug, Namaste!

    You're most welcome, and thanks for the material you used to demonstrate your new fluency.

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 65. At 3:43pm on 30 Jul 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    54
    the reason the UK did relatively little was put to me by one of the UK diplomats the other day.

    WE WERE THE COLONIAL POWER.
    ANYTHING THE UK SAYS WILL BE USED BY MUGABE TO PROMOTE HIS AGENDA.

    The UK would be better off staying well out of this , as an ex colonial power directly involved with Zim.

    It would have been nice if two years ago america and all got on board hasseling zim.
    (mugme) not leaving it to the UK. for as above that is what Mugabe wanted.

    just to see the other side.

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  • 66. At 3:45pm on 30 Jul 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    wow ed and craftydodger saw the problems with talking about zim.

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  • 67. At 3:47pm on 30 Jul 2008, draftdodger wrote:

    we dont have room for any more macdonalds.

    starbucks have bought up all the empty stores on earth.

    we're planning a counter strike with a global fish and chip shop chain.

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  • 68. At 4:03pm on 30 Jul 2008, Kristopher wrote:

    NoRashDecisions:

    Both Americans and Brits are still going to poke fun at the Fwench, no matter how wrong it might be.

    Although it is hard to fault them for dismantling a Micky-Dee. If it had been a proper diner serving correctly prepared burgers, fries, and shakes, I might have gotten miffed ...

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  • 69. At 4:14pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    To everyone who has posted about Zimbabwe, Britain is in the invidious position of being damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. Actually, the vociferous condemnation of Mugabe's regime coming out of the UK has been far from fainthearted but any thought of an ex-colonial power taking on the task of going back and cleaning up the mess is frankly absurd. Yes, the Wilson government did foul up UDI and the eventual hand over of 'legitimate' independence to Mugabe might be seen with hindsight a trifle naive but the idea that Britain was to blame for Mugabe's land reforms, his incompetence with the economy and his total abandonment of any pretense of civilised politics is equally absurd.

    On the more general question of Britain's colonial legacy, it is far from perfect but to judge it by the standards of Zimbabwe is not reasonable.

    The topic is supposed to be about European ambivalence towards the States and people have rightly pointed out that 'anti-Americanism' stems mostly from ignorance and prejudice. The arguement cuts both ways folks.

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  • 70. At 4:24pm on 30 Jul 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    Ed Iglehart wrote:
    I'll just note that Threnodio's analysis can be extended to why Israel's behaviour generates so much condemnation from some of us - We expect better from the Jews.

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

    There is the heart of it. What has Israel done that is so wrong other than defend itself.

    All the deaths in Lebanon in 2006 were the fault of Hezbollah and Lebanon's govt
    Yet the BBC put most of the blame on Israel instead of reporting the facts.

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  • 71. At 4:31pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Threnodio, Namaste,

    "any thought of an ex-colonial power taking on the task of going back and cleaning up the mess is frankly absurd.
    Actually I completely agree, but it's a pity we didn't apply the same test elsewhere...for example former colonial mandates sitting on huge petroleum reserves...

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 72. At 4:34pm on 30 Jul 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    that America is a stunningly successful place whose ability to prosper in almost every year since its inception must surely have some link to the energy and vitality of the people who come here and make it work and the system (brutal sometimes) that allows them to achieve their potential.

    Quite amazed at this outburst Justin Have you no experience of other countries in the world?

    And as for stunning success, what about westerm europe's recovery from devastating war to providing many of its citizens with the highest living standards in the world (Sweden actually the highest).

    Says something about Europe's citizens?

    Ditto the people of Japan, no resources, a collection of overcrowded islands replete with earthquakes, subject to nuclear attack, and yet it has become one of the world's largest industrial powers with the longest lifespan for its citizens - must be doing something right with its people's potential.

    No to mention Australia - 200 years without a war on its soil (Kooris a firm exception), wonderful lifestyle from a population originally derived from convicts.

    Or Canada, no war of independence or serious civil war (Riel rebellion), no madmen shooting up churches, no visceral politics or lynching and a standard of living envied by most of the world.

    Without wishing to be offensive your remarks come across as fairly silly.

    What you and others seem to find most attractive about the US is its undoubted power. But Orwell warned us about "power worship" ie lauding a country because it is stronger and can destroy others. People admired Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia for the same reason.

    The fact that stunningly succesful countries such as Australia cannot blow up Iran, does not mean it or Canada, Sweden, Japan etc have not let their people achieve their potential.

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  • 73. At 4:46pm on 30 Jul 2008, Richard_Berry wrote:

    The subject matter of these blog postings is starting to become a little repetitive. I almost feel like I don't need to buy Justin's new book now I've probably read most of it online.

    Many people are pro-American, many people are anti-American. Many more people couldn't care less. Personally I think the whole topic is pointless (sorry Justin). Anyone who even offers a generalised opinion on the worthiness or otherwise of an entire nation of people is not worth listening to.

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  • 74. At 4:49pm on 30 Jul 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I don't know where TimothyR444 gets his experience of AntiAmericanism. I meet people from Great Britain now and then, and have never experienced anything of the kind. However, I've only met those who choose to come to the US for some reason or other.

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  • 75. At 4:52pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Magic,

    " What has Israel done that is so wrong other than defend itself."
    Simply claim territory by violence, threat and annexation, similar in many ways to what happened to the Sudetenland almost seventy years ago, with the simple difference that the annexed lands were mainly populated by the same ethnicity as the annexor.....

    Actually, on consideration, Hitler had a much better claim than the Zionists...

    But two wrongs....

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 76. At 4:52pm on 30 Jul 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Simon21, I think that Justin is referring
    to something else. Every society has
    its strong and weak points, and we can
    all learn from each other.

    As for the "power" thing, you'll have to
    realize that the US is really just an
    accidental superpower, which explains
    why we're so bad at it.

    If we just cut back our military and
    concentrated our energies on things
    that we're good at, such as inventing
    new technologies, we could do well
    by doing good, and clean up.

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  • 77. At 4:54pm on 30 Jul 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    DominickVila (#1) hit the nail on the head. The blogosphere conveys a greatly distorted view of the people, generally, because of its dominance by ideologues.

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  • 78. At 5:04pm on 30 Jul 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    DominickVila (#1) asks "why do so many foreigners keep coming to the USA"? I am reminded of the remarks of a Sikh gentleman who was on the telly a while back who said he loved being in the United States. The reason was obvious. He belonged to a recognizable minority and was living in a place (California) where acceptance of diversity is the norm. Despite individual acts of intolerance which always make the newspapers, the US is a tolerant place where most people place their citizenship first, while preserving the practices and values of their various ethnic, racial, or religious groups. This is in stark contrast to many places in the world where people identify with their cultural group first, and the various groups are in constant conflict with one another.

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  • 79. At 5:10pm on 30 Jul 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #76 gunsandreligion

    I think you'll find that most Empires start off accidentally. It's only when their political leaders realise how powerful they are, that they start causing real problems in the world.

    But you have a long way to go before you are as bad (for the rest of the world) as the British Empire was in its day.

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  • 80. At 5:12pm on 30 Jul 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    Hey, in France are the Micky Dee fries called freedom fries?

    peace, quiet

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  • 81. At 5:18pm on 30 Jul 2008, JohnnieCanuk wrote:

    Hello all. I'm quite comfortable up here (if not a little hot at times) under the heavy quilt both our respective governments have created for us Canuks these last 40 years. Oh there are times when we feel the need to assert ourselves, to convince ourselves that ultimately our 'shared' destiny is not quite so shared. I also suspect this is true in Europe as well although perhaps to a lesser degree.
    As with all family squabbles there will be arguments and periodical pounding of the kitchen table with the biggest brother usually getting his way ( sometimes not for the better) after some compromise to sooth the ego of his smaller brothers and cousins.
    Often, much to the consternation of other nation/states in the west, Americans forget our vast and crucial contributions that contibuted to their rise to predominance. Ha ha, they still think Edison invented the lightbulb for petes sake. That's the pride,arrogance and willful ignorance of a society immensely pleased with itself. The pros and cons of nationalism. Affects us all to some degree of another.
    It must be noted that 'many' Americans are very critical of themselves, their role in the world and their expectations of others in assisting them to shape a better world. A relatively recent yet important development (contrary to some in the media) has been an effort to interact with less emphasis on 'their ideological perspective' which is hopeful for all in minimizing the likelyhood of a major conflict with other non-western states. Unfortunately that may be unaviodable given the point of development of civilizations in our quasi post industrial era. But thats another lengthy discussion for another day.
    Make no mistake, Americans look to America first and so it should be. Events since 911 in many areas both domestically and abroad are a reflection of national anxiety. As for the dangers of unilateralism...we 'cannot' let the Americans think they are in it by themselves! If folks think America is too militarized or extreme now, wait and see what happens if they believe themselves to have been abandoned by their cousins and brothers. I know of no group of people in this world more dangerous or fanatical than a group of redneck Americans who feel their way of life is threatened! This isn't a slam at them, that's a reality some folks in Europe (or the rest of the world) don't seem to grasp. Americans conduct themselves throughout the world (particalrly on the world's stage) with the cloak they've woven for themselves. I for one prefer this cloak to others worn by other powers (existing and rising). It would be a disaster of historic proportions if they felt the need to shed this cloak for the sake of self preservation. Canuks will admit (after a lengthy dialogue proclaiming our supossed moral superiority) we would not be enjoying the standard of living we currently enjoy if not for the elephant to the south of us. It also isn't difficult for many Canuks to have this perspective as our societies are so intertwined. I'm referring to the most binding of all things,blood. I believe we could no more foresake our American brothers than we could our UK bretheren.
    Given the dearth of available potential core states to represent Western civilization, it is perhaps best to stick with the one who brought you to the dance, warts and all.

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  • 82. At 5:24pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    #77 - Gary_A_Hill

    That may be true but the older media have a depressing habit of preaching to the converted. Do American Liberals sit glued to Fox News, do British Conservatives hang on every word of Socialist Worker? Of course not. They chose the journals and channels that are most likely to tell them what they want to hear.

    At least the blogosphere allows for exchanges of ideas. Yes, we get our fair share of bigots, ideologues and a fairly generous spattering of ill-informed dross but it does have the virtue of being interactive and, occasionally stimulating.

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  • 83. At 5:30pm on 30 Jul 2008, nobleFloridian wrote:

    To quote Justin: "The energy and vitality of the people who come here and make it work, and the system (brutal sometimes) that allows them to reach their potential".

    I found that, far from being brutal, the system allowed a newspaper proofreader from England to become a district sales manager in a business so far removed from his job in his homeland that is hard to fathom. I think all would agree that the chasm between newspapers and the ready-mix concrete and building materials businesses is rather wide.

    And all it took was a willingness to work hard (not watching the clock for quitting time), native commonsense, and complete loyalty to an employer.

    So include me in the list of grateful ex-pats who never for a moment regretted crossing the Atlantic to start a new life.

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  • 84. At 5:32pm on 30 Jul 2008, Chicoan wrote:

    #35

    Ed Iglehart writes that he is a philosophical child of Jefferson.

    It is interesting to me that the ideology of the Virginia Planters was born with the necessity to justify their rebellion against, primarily, the bankers in the UK who held their debt.

    In the mid-18th century most of Virginia had been planted with tobacco, the soil was ruined and growers could no longer harvest enough to make their payments to London. The rest is history.

    That said, I too am a fan of Mr. Jefferson.

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  • 85. At 5:32pm on 30 Jul 2008, threnodio wrote:

    #79 - oldnat

    "I think you'll find that most Empires start off accidentally.It's only when their political leaders realise how powerful they are, that they start causing real problems in the world."

    For once, I don't agree. I suspect that in a lot of cases, leaders realise how weak they are domestically and use foreign adventures as a diversion. Someone once wrote (I don't recall who - perhaps you do?) "There is nothing like a good war to deflect the public mood". Words to that effect anyway :-)

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  • 86. At 5:42pm on 30 Jul 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "As for the "power" thing, you'll have to
    realize that the US is really just an
    accidental superpower, which explains
    why we're so bad at it.

    If we just cut back our military and
    concentrated our energies on things
    that we're good at, such as inventing
    new technologies, we could do well
    by doing good, and clean up."


    No, the point is not that the US is bad or good as a superpower. Its government operates in the interest of its own people - it would be surprising if it did anything else.

    No the issue is the attitude taken by those outside the country who seem to often take a supine and slavish attitude. This is particularly the case in the UK where many seem to think that the country can somehow reflect in the US's glory by getting close to it.

    Many UK journos etc seem to be completely obssessed by the country to the extent of reporting practically every trivial incident which occurs there. Not to mention the lickspittle fawning over every third rate US celeb who chances to come to London.

    As I say I put this down to simple power worship, the way in which people tried to cast the USSR as an earthly paradise or earlier generations respected Hitler because he made Germany "strong".





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  • 87. At 6:03pm on 30 Jul 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #79, oldnat, and #81, JohnnieCanuk,
    I appreciate both of your sentiments,
    but you both highlight the problems
    inherent in the appearance of the
    US on the scene as the last superpower,
    namely the incompetence of our
    politicians, and the relative isolation
    of the interior of our country.

    I, for one, and very grateful for our
    neighbor to the north, and hope that
    they allow us to migrate there when
    things fall apart here. Even the mightiest
    of empires can fall apart very quickly
    with foolish leadership. We have only
    to look at the Soviets as a modern example.

    The first order of business should be
    stabilization and extraction of US forces
    from Iraq. The problem, as JohnnieCanuk
    can probably correlate, is that Americans
    do not like to be shot at. They were sold
    on the somewhat whimsical notion that
    we were going to Iraq to "save" them
    from a dictator, and that our troops would
    be pelted with flowers and little American
    flags upon arrival.

    Now, I'm not saying that Saddam was
    not a horrible dictator, but the idea
    that somehow we can impose a western-
    style democracy on a tribal middle-eastern
    country is a little daft. And the fact that
    somehow this notion was sold to the
    American public just shows how ignorant
    my countrymen are about the rest of the
    world.

    Now, about the being shot at part.
    The reason why it is dangerous for
    American servicepeople to be in the
    Middle East in large numbers is that
    there are some very nasty people over
    there who would like to blow them up
    while they are sleeping. And when this
    happens, Americans do not react like
    most other people.

    Americans don't deal with ambiguity well.
    Somehow, the notion that someone could
    profess to being our friend while
    simultaneously twisting a knife in our
    back is apparently too complex a notion
    for the American mind.

    This is why, imho, we are ill-suited
    for the role of world policeman. Why
    can't we just clone a few hundred thousand
    bobbies? At least they know how to
    shake hands.

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  • 88. At 6:08pm on 30 Jul 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #75

    History lesson, Israel was attacked in 48,67,73 and 06, in the fist 2 they gained lands by being victorious.

    The Nbaka is a joke!

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  • 89. At 6:22pm on 30 Jul 2008, MikeIL wrote:

    I have ye to encounter one non-US citizen, who after being in the US for a few months, long enough to become familiar her -- are not absolutely amazed, inspired and impressed with this nation. Truly is there any other place where an immigrant with no money, and not speaking the language, can become, not just a multi-millionaire, but the governor of a country's most populous region (Scharzenagger)? Is there any other country where usch truth has been the case for so long?

    And as for Obama, since he is my Senator, I only hope the rest of the US can come to think of him the way do here in Illinois -- an average Socilist Liberal machine politician with a lot of corrupt, shady friends who was elected US Seantor only after his friends in the media got an out-of-state family court judge to reveal some normally-sealed documents about his GOP opponents divorce compelling his opponent to resign -- That's the Chicago way!

    In his two years in the Senate, the man has accomplished quite frankly...nothing...but he does well in front of a teleprompter and with scripts and by voting for him will assuage guilty white liberals of some of their liberal guilt. Yes, I just want the rest of the US to come to know Obama the way those of us here in Illinois already do. If you like him, we got plenty more polticians like him -- Even some that have not been indicted yet.

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  • 90. At 6:38pm on 30 Jul 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    #75, #88

    This distasteful subject keeps being introduced by the poster of #88.

    "What Israel has done" is:
    1) to practice genocide and terrorism.
    2) to continue to practice ethnic cleansing to this day.
    3) to operate a relgio/ethnic state controlled by fundamentalist religious fanatics.
    4) to plan and attempt aggression against Lebanon and Iran (see Sharon's plans as reported to Uri Avnery).
    5) to plan and urge aggression against other states, as detailed in Tel Aviv University's Professor Tanya Reinhardt's
    "The Generals' Grand Design".

    The ideological claim:
    (1) to take over the World (the Gush Emunim).
    (2) to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates (an interpretation of "Biblical boundaries").
    (3) to include parts of Iraq, Iran, and all of Saudi Arabia (by some of the more ambitious).

    The general claim of "self defense" in response to "existential threats" will continue to expand as the range of missiles increases.

    The only reasonable solution that I see is for moderates to take over the government of Israel.

    The influence that AIPAC etc. exerts over American politics, as detailed in the Mersheimer and Walt report, has very unfortunate consequences for America and for the World.

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  • 91. At 6:42pm on 30 Jul 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    #89

    It is true that many regard the USA as a land of opportunity, compared to where they come from.

    ________________

    If any of the aspersions of the character of Obama had any truth, the Republicans would have trumpeted them in all the media, instead of using lone bloggers.

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  • 92. At 6:51pm on 30 Jul 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #89 MikeIL

    "I just want the rest of the US to come to know Obama the way those of us here in Illinois already do"

    I presume the "us" in your post refers to you and your Republican friends, and not the entire population of the state.

    This post was as unhelpful as some of mine!

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  • 93. At 7:10pm on 30 Jul 2008, ArgyllJenny wrote:

    #61 Ed, #62 draftdodger, #69 threnodio

    Yes, OK, heard it many times. Think I'd rather be damned for doing something than for doing nothing but it ain't a-gonna happen.

    Keep in mind we've been simmering this one for decades, not just the last few years.

    Will shut up about it as it's a bit o/t anyway.

    Thanks for your courtesy anyway.

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  • 94. At 7:36pm on 30 Jul 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #90

    This poster keep posting revisionist history.

    Israel has shown tremendous restraint, Lebanon should be thanking Israel for not turning it's country into a crater

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  • 95. At 8:25pm on 30 Jul 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    X_ming

    Serious, you information is based on Uri Avnery, thats like saying Hitler was right.

    "Writing on the Counterpunch neo-Stalinist pro-jihad web site, the Hamas' favorite Israeli journalist Uri Avnery announces that he has identified an "Israeli fascist". It is none other than poor Esterina Tartman!

    The fact that he chooses to make this scoop on Counterpunch speaks volumes. Counterpunch is little more than a front for al-Qaeda. It regularly calls openly for Israel's destruction and insists Israel has no right to exist. Its editor, Alexander Cockroach er I mean Cockburn, is a notorious Stalinist anti-Semite who claims the Jews spread anthrax in the US and that Israel was really behind the 911 attacks on the US."


    Reality Check Here

    And as to grand Designs, there is always more information than seen as readily available, and not easily or wanted to be found.
    The Leftist Sisterhood

    two sides, one line

    Freedom is rare

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  • 96. At 8:31pm on 30 Jul 2008, MikeIL wrote:

    To #89

    The GOP in Illinois was/is too corrupt, weak and ineffective to have countered Obama when he ran for the Senate. Don't just assume that because a man has been elected to the US Senate that he has been vetted -- especially one from Illinois where more than 30 people in the last ten years from both parties have been convicted and imprisoned for official corruption. The city of Chicago, with its multi-decade one-party rule is the seat of this corruption. It's Obama's home.

    Facts are Facts I'm afraid. Just because people ignore them does not mean they will go away.

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  • 97. At 9:32pm on 30 Jul 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Corruption is not unique to Chicago. Several US Presidents and Senators could be accused of having had shady dealings (and one just recently has been!). Americans don't necessarily want a squeaky-clean president; they want a strong president. Carter was squeaky-clean, but was perceived as weak. That is why he was not reelected.

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  • 98. At 9:54pm on 30 Jul 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    #95

    Certain very ignorant assertions were made concerning a very respected journalist, Uri Avnery.

    He has been publishing for more than fifty years, and NO ONE has ever, to my knowledge, questioned his integrity.

    He was a Revisionist Zionist, he was a machine-gunner in the army that drove the Palestinians from their homes and he and his fellows did receive orders to kill any that tried to return.

    He was still a journalist, but the censorship forced then him to publish the facts in the guise of a fiction book.

    He was a member of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset.

    He was so well known and respected a journalist that Sharon and other politicians have always confided in him.

    The Arabs trust him also. He has kept the confidences of both sides when ethics so required.

    He has long had a website for his for gush-shalom.org (Voice of Peace) organization in Tel Aviv.

    under zope-gush-shalom, one can access and search his articles for some fifty years.

    Counterpunch quoted one of his articles and it was cited, because it takes a slightly higher level of intelligence to find the
    English language version of zope-gush shalom.

    That someone could take such a flimsy pretext to assassinate his character calls into question any assertions that poster #95 makes.


    I shall post some URLs for Uri Avnery, and I hope that serious individuals, who seek truth, may note and save them.


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  • 99. At 10:05pm on 30 Jul 2008, 1britabroad wrote:

    I can't stand the kind of biggotry that disrespects the dead of two world wars...
    People like Adolf Hitler were, and are, world problems - not European ones.

    To suggest that the USA "Won two world wars for us" disgusts me considering the suffering endured by whole continents of peoples while US industry profiteered.

    The fact is, Britain alone held off the inevitable for two years until US public opinion on the war could be "managed". Meanwhile, US firms made a fortune on armaments sold to the UK. A debt, I might add, that was only fully paid off 2 years ago.

    Face it USA - sort out your foreign policy and start teaching REAL history.

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  • 100. At 11:26pm on 30 Jul 2008, Blorst wrote:

    from #43

    "To make a point, liberals are negative, depressingly so."

    I think that the definition needs to be broader:

    Liberals are anything that a non-liberal tells you they are.

    Or, maybe this conventional wisdom:

    A liberal believes the opposite of what a conservative does. For example, if a conservative says that he thinks that America is doing something right, then a liberal therefore believes that America is doing everything wrong. If a conservative says he wants to keep America safe, that must mean that a liberal wants America to be attacked. If a conservative loves America- well, 20+ years of of the word "Liberal" in public discourse (oddly enough, rarely by people who would label themselves as "liberal") has told us the answer to that one.

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  • 101. At 11:31pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Magic,

    "History lesson, Israel was attacked in 48,67,73 and 06, in the fist 2 they gained lands by being victorious."
    History lesson: FACT: In the 1948 war, NO Arab army even entered any part of the proposed "Jeewish State", and NO Arab army entered ANY part of Palestine before Israeli UDI.

    FACT: By the time of UDI, Israel had already driven half a million native Palestinians from their homes and villages, and had destroyed said villages under Plan Dalet.

    FACT: In 1967, Israel struck first, destroying thr Egyptian Air force on the ground.

    FACT: In 1973, FOR THE FIRST TIME, Arab forces struck first, in an attempt to reclaim territory from which Israel refused to withdraw, IN DEFIANCE of UN Resolutions.

    I could go on
    "The Nbaka is a joke!"
    You're a joke in poor taste

    Doug,
    "Writing on the Counterpunch neo-Stalinist pro-jihad web site, the Hamas' favorite Israeli journalist Uri Avnery..."

    You can't be serious! Your "reality check" is incredible (in every sense)

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 102. At 11:31pm on 30 Jul 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    1britabroad (#99), I can't figure out who you are quoting, because you didn't reference the post and I can't find it. As justcorbly (#51) remarks, that's a canard. It is a sweeping generalization to assert that Americans as a class don't know world history, although some individuals certainly don't.

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  • 103. At 11:34pm on 30 Jul 2008, potatoman65 wrote:

    *50 (Oldnat)

    "There's no way of denting MA2's bigotry."

    On the contrary ;-)

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  • 104. At 11:53pm on 30 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    A test

    How do you measure up?
    ;-)
    ed

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  • 105. At 01:25am on 31 Jul 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    #101

    Posts an interesting URL as:

    I could go on

    (see connect above)

    Motive and intent are well-described in 45 quick slides! A fast history lesson in ideology!


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  • 106. At 02:17am on 31 Jul 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    and 81 king canuck like you style ,
    very diplomatic.

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  • 107. At 02:58am on 31 Jul 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    mike you are onto the virtual pudding here.

    oh look what i can say it must be true.
    believe it others wont.

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  • 108. At 04:09am on 31 Jul 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    MA2 and other USA apologists:

    The only real Americans I know here in the USA are NATIVE AMERICANS - who are still at the bottom of the 'heap' comparatively, here - all mainstream casino-riches fantasies to the contrary.

    Everybody else is a relatively recent immigrant. If you want a perfect example of terrorism all you have to do is educate yourself about what the colonists and those who followed did to the real 'Americans' - the First Nations.

    So, all this worldwide "nation-building" is simply more grotesque and horrendous invasion and genocide, with the same old theocratic excuses and rationalizations.

    USA Manifest Destiny is certainly global, but it's also rotten to the core absolutely everywhere. Time for "We the People" to become ALL the people. McDonald's burgers are not sustainable - and neither is neo-con crapitalism.

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  • 109. At 04:39am on 31 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Grrr lie

    Slogans and platitudes, is that all you can spout? We all know what happened to the Native Americans, it's no secret. And the torture at Abu Gharib came to light in a relatively short time....compared to the French torture of the Algerian prisoners which took 50 years to come to light. And what really happened in those prisons in Northern Ireland during "the troubles?" BTW, Europeans played major a role in the slaughter of Native Americans before the American Revolutionaries kicked them out and took over the job. But that was all right, the Europeans had hundreds of millons of other victims to murder in their global empires, they were hardly short of crimes to commit to keep themselves occupied, that is when they weren't busy killing each other.

    Everybody is a relatively recent immigrant. Angles and Saxons are relatively recent immigrants to Britain...compared to the Druids...and the cockroaches who were there well ahead of them.

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  • 110. At 06:00am on 31 Jul 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    grllie. again. drawing peopels attention to the little remembered people of america. the ones that did not immigrate.

    funny how even the most anti european posters all seem to have come from there.(genetically that is) .
    after all it is not like they traveled far enough to find out.


    as for living here and not thinking it's great, it is possible.

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  • 111. At 10:37am on 31 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I haven't seen a cockroach since I left New York for Scotland, and we must have brought plenty with us, but their renowned toughness doesn't seem to work here...

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  • 112. At 10:53am on 31 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I wouldn't expect to see cockroaches running around Scotland. They've probably all been eaten by rats. Or found their way into haggis.

    jacksforge, I no more came from Europe than you came from America. The only difference is that when I decided after visitng I didn't like it, I left. You never did that. Or maybe your real anger is that you like it better than where you came from and are loathe to admit it.

    Stay in Oregon. Texas is not the place for you....Not nearly enough fog. I hear that in Texas, they shoot first and ask question later.

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  • 113. At 10:55am on 31 Jul 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    Slogans and platitudes, is that all you can spout? We all know what happened to the Native Americans."!


    Is that true? A lot is known but by no means all. From studies it is clear that numerous massacres etc simply went unreported

    , it's no secret. And the torture at Abu Gharib came to light in a relatively short time....compared to the French torture of the Algerian prisoners which took 50 years to come to light."

    But there are a lot of other atrocities whihc haven't come to light. Anyone who seriously beleives Abu Graihb is the only incident of this sort is hopelessly naive. What about the tortures that weren't photogaphed?

    "And what really happened in those prisons in Northern Ireland during "the troubles?" ."

    Probably less then went on in the interrogation cells in Vietnam or the atrocities carried out in the villages to secure body counts for the politicians and pro-war lobby back home.

    " But that was all right, the Europeans had hundreds of millons of other victims to murder in their global empires, they were hardly short of crimes to commit to keep themselves occupied, that is when they weren't busy killing each other."

    And the US followed their example pretty much to the letter. How many died during the numerous invasions of Haiti, etc?

    "and the cockroaches who were there well ahead of them."

    But were however not as bad as the VD which apparently flourished in the Americas long before the Spanish got there.

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  • 114. At 11:17am on 31 Jul 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "I wouldn't expect to see cockroaches running around Scotland. They've probably all been eaten by rats. Or found their way into haggis."

    I thought Europe's rats went to New York, wasn't there a documentary on this?

    jacksforge, I no more came from Europe than you came from America. The only difference is that when I decided after visitng I didn't like it, I left."

    Perhaps your negative attitidue to the inhabitants and your failure to undertand there is no country called Europe made for an unpleasant visit? It must certainly have made for a confusing one.

    Whatever that should not preclude reading books and learning about the continent. That way one would come to know that there have not been 4 World wars. The lifespan in many European countries exceeds that of the US., some have never had a war of any kind for over 300 years etc.

    One might also learn the the "Druids" appear to have been priests, they were not an ethnic group.



    Stay in Oregon. Texas is not the place for you....Not nearly enough fog. I hear that in Texas, they shoot first and ask question later.

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  • 115. At 11:31am on 31 Jul 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "Writing on the Counterpunch neo-Stalinist pro-jihad web site, the Hamas' favorite Israeli journalist Uri Avnery announces that he has identified an "Israeli fascist". It is none other than poor Esterina Tartman!

    Here we see first hand the problem with much US public discourse which comes down to simple smearing and nothing else.

    Possibly it desends from the original settlers who used the terms papist, witch then much later anarchist then commie etc. The terms have little actual meaning (as those used to apply to black people), but simply reflect visceral hatred and threat.

    To call any site "pro-jihad" and "neo-stalisinist" however reveals a deep stew of corrupt thinking. How can a "stalinist" website be religously fundamentalist?

    Far more then that however it insults, belittles and shows contempt for the many victims (over 20 million according to some) of Stalin and his demented cronies.

    Many of the victims in the mass graves were religious people - so to compare the two belief systems is blasphemous, in the wider sense of the word.

    Cerrtainly there are extremists everywhere, many with big intentions but to compare their operations with the wholesale and sustained slaughter of Stalin and Adolf is as Clive James once wrote, beyond any sense of a joke.

    It is like the term Islamo-fascism. It would be good for people who use such terms to get to live under a true fascist regime - they might be less casual mocking the suffering of others.


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  • 116. At 12:22pm on 31 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Simon21

    "I thought Europe's rats went to New York, wasn't there a documentary on this?"

    Many did. They came through Ellis Island which is now a national shrine. Those that didn't, other Europeans tried to exterminate. Slavs, Jews, Gypsies, and other "untermenchen." Hitler even called the Jews vermin. But he was not alone. The persecution of those the elites of European countries thought inferior had been going on in one way or another for thousands of years. Those of us in America whose ancestors can be traced back to Europe are the decendants of those rats. When we are done, there isn't going to be a Europe. Not in the sense you know it now. WWII and WWIII were the wrong way to get rid of it. Letting Western Europe lose either of them would have left Europe an even greater danger to the rest of humanity than it had been before. WWI was the last best chance to get rid of it. But the EU seems like another good chance to neutralize it and it looks like it is doing a fine job of it already.

    Personally, I would have imposed a trade embargo on Old Europe after the vote in the UN as a punishment but the weak dollar seems to be having exactly the same effect. America's huge investments in China and soon India also look like effective tools.

    BTW, if you don't want to eat GM crops or meat tainted with hormones and antibiotics as so many Europeans claim, don't come to America. We make no distinction, its the foods we all eat every day and there is no avoiding it. You cannot bring your own food supply with you.

    I don't think you understand my experience in Europe at all. My visit to Europe was not unpleasant. It was an education in many ways. In one way, it was a study in a civilization that is both irrational and a complete fraud. It is time Americans stopped trying to prop it up and let it fall of its own dead weight. Pulling all of our military bases and military personnel out of Western Europe would be a good start. Let's see how much social safety net Europe can afford when it has to pay for its own defense.

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  • 117. At 1:16pm on 31 Jul 2008, tiptoplisamich wrote:

    Good grief! The bottom tier of these comments seems to have digressed into a verbal poker game (or pissing match, whichever you like).

    Yeah, well I'll call your Abu Gharib and up the stakes to one French prison....
    Oh, yeah?! Well...well, I'll call your French prison and throw in the whole IRA thing!
    Now you've gone to far!!!---I'll bet the whole kit and kaboodle of Gitmo--Ha! Take that!
    Not so fast...I've got three cockroaches and a dead rat up my sleeve.
    Too little, too late (says the winner with an evil snicker)---I've got a crazy looking clown with confused sexual orientation.

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  • 118. At 2:08pm on 31 Jul 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Tip Top, Lisa!

    ;-)

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  • 119. At 3:52pm on 31 Jul 2008, hms_shannon wrote:

    Dear Marcus Aurelius 11,
    I have read your imputs with interest.
    What goes around,comes around.
    When the thirteen colonies of America were expanding westward,toward the proclaimation line,the french, with their Indian allies,carried out the most awful attacks on the vulnerable settlers.
    Once the redcoats applied american militia tactics after Braddocks downfall,the attacks became less, but these actions helped spark the seven year war with France.
    An actual world war was fought by the British,from Canada to India and all the oceans of the world.
    The outcome was Victory, but with Massive UK debt.
    When asked to help pay some of these costs,with selective taxes,we got kicked out.
    Now thats ungrateful!!!

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  • 120. At 4:05pm on 31 Jul 2008, bbennettUSA wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 02:30am on 01 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukwales
    I wish you would read history with as much interest as you read my postings. First of all, it is government's duty to protect its citizens in times of war. The UK had indian allies as well and was every bit as brutal towards them and to other colonists as the French. As I recall in our history textes, we call that war by the way, the French and Indian War.

    The American colonists weren't asked to pay their fair share of taxes, they were told they were being taxed without any representation in Parliament. They were told how much and what would be taxed and it didn't matter that those taxes were oppressive. This was part of the rebellion.

    The mistake the American colonists made in the early to mid eighteenth century was that they were under the misapprehension that they were British subjects equal to any other British subjects in their rights. The truth was that they were treated as chattle, slaves, things rather than human beings. Not only was King George III a brutal tyrant to them but Palriament was completely indifferent to their plight and deaf to their petitions. The colonists finally recognized that there was nothing they could do to be treated like British subjects they thought they were and by 1775 they'd had enough. I'm not going to reprint the Declaration of Independence again but I strongly suggest you read it as it sets out to the world a large number of grievances the colonists had against Britain.

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

    On July 4, 1776 they said in effect that the colonists were no longer British subjects, no longer Europeans, no longer subject to any of Europe's or Britains laws or rules. It is one of the three pillars of American civilizaton yet how many Europeans who think they know something about America have ever read this short document?

    The message that it carries is something Britain and Europe still don't seem to understand, haven't absorbed, don't believe. I don't know if they do not want to believe it or if there is something wrong with the translation from our language into theirs. As a sovereign power, Europe has no control over the United States. In its bellicosity, it has lost whatever influence it might have had and in its belligerence, it has lost most of what frienship it enjoyed from Americans. Its reprehensible attitude trying to bludgeon America into submission only makes matters worse for them.

    When I hear people like Nicolas Sarkozy or Dominique de Villepin say "we can learn from America, America can learn from us" I wish I could tell them then and there to their faces that Europe has nothing to teach America except what not to do. The only value losers have to winners as instructors is to set an example to avoid following.

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  • 122. At 03:37am on 01 Aug 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    I guess it's no surprise that "history" for MA2 sound exactly like what our history teachers read off to us in school here. It's a matter of public record that for decades the public schools [meaning, non-elite tax-paid schools for most kids here] in the USA got a "two-fer" when they hired gym coaches - those guys got to teach the history classes!

    I'll never forget one of those teachers: he'd come into class, take attendance, point to the reading assignment on the black board, open up his newspaper to the sports pages, and that was that. For the rest of the hour we had to write out answers to the questions at the end of the chapter and turn those in on his desk on our way out to our next class.

    MA2: I DID READ HISTORY - I went to the downtown public library and brought home stacks of history books - international and national. Plus I grew up in a family with friends and acquaintances from many races and from other countries, and learned their history in their own words. LIVING HISTORY.

    You talk like Native American people are now extinct - but I'd say it's your own connection to living history that's dead and gone.

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  • 123. At 03:52am on 01 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Grrlie

    I'm sorry you had an inferior education. And I'm sorry that you took home all the wrong books from the library. And I'm sorry that you have to invent nonsense like "living history" to dismiss the events of the real history of the world. But then again, you live in the nation that lost the American Revolutionary War. It may have been the beginning of the end of the British empire even though it took two centuries. In most nations, they don't teach their students the awful truth about their own history. Take Japan for example. They have no idea why everyone else in Southeast Asia still hates them. But don't ascribe your deprived educational upbringing to mine as well. That would be a mistake. I'm quite certain that the standards of the New York City public school system at the time I attended them were the equal or better of any public or private schools anywhere including Europe.

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  • 124. At 04:33am on 01 Aug 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    MA2 - my point being YOUR education needs an upgrade via living history:

    check it out:
    http://www.nativewiki.org/Main_Page

    if you can take that chip off your shoulder long enough to learn something new, that is! ;)

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  • 125. At 06:13am on 01 Aug 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    Latest way off MA2 comment:

    "Grrlie

    I'm sorry you had an inferior education. And I'm sorry that you took home all the wrong books from the library. And I'm sorry that you have to invent nonsense like "living history" to dismiss the events of the real history of the world. But then again, you live in the nation that lost the American Revolutionary War."

    HUH?!!! Where do you think I live, anyway?! I live in Minnesota, USA!

    Man oh man are you off base - again.

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  • 126. At 11:21am on 01 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Grrrlie

    You sound more like you are fom Manchester or Miinsk than Minnesota. I'll bet you are a liberal. You've been taken in by Eurosocialist claptrap. Wake up, it's a lie. A grrrrr lie.

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  • 127. At 04:46am on 02 Aug 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    #95

    Would those interested please save these URLs?

    Repetition becomes tiresome:

    This article is very interesting. It not only reports Sharon's plans before he invaded Lebanon, but also covers some of how the Israeli generals hoped to change the map of the Middle East:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1149931512

    To Google, enter:

    Avnery + Sharon + Iran + interview + plans

    One can choose among many thousands of entries. Here is one, quoting Gush-Shalom:

    http://contreinfo.info/article.php3?id_article=2139

    That quotes from the interview Avnery had with Sharon over PLANS TO INVADE AND OCCUPY IRAN.

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  • 128. At 07:28am on 02 Aug 2008, notlimah wrote:

    From MA2 "In most nations, they don't teach their students the awful truth about their own history." Point well proved, sir. Now can we move on?

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  • 129. At 11:23am on 02 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    notlimah

    You sound familiar. "Now can we move on?" Move on to where? Barack Obama says he's for change. Change to what? So what is the point you wanted to move on to, you are obviously bored with the discussion so far.

    Xie_Ming, if you ever posted on BBC without some anti-semitic remark you and others think you can screen by calling it anti-Zionism, I think I might go into cardiac arrest from the shock of it. How fortunate for you that bBC gives anti-semitism a free platform to orate from while it often suppresses postings to the contrary. I can only conclude that it tacitly agrees with them.

    In Sir Chirstopher Meyer's interview with Owen Bennet-Jones on "The Interview" he said that the nation America has the closest relationship with by far is Israel. Forced to choose between the UK and Israel, I think the US would choose to dump the UK. I think it would make the same choice if it came to dumping Canada. And it looks like Barack Obama is very much in line with that thinking as well going strictly based on what he has said. Does that bother you? It pleases me...and probably about 250 million other Americans. Isn't it Interesting that the once strongly anti-Semitic far right in America has done a 180 degree U-turn and now largely embraces Israel as the path to the ultimate return of Christ in his second coming. So much so that they are ready to fight a nuclear war to defend it.

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  • 130. At 2:32pm on 02 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Apparantly the moderators don't like me pointing out by naming specific individuals that BBC gives a free platform for antisemitism which it evidently agrees with so long as it is thinly veiled as "anti-Zionism" while suppressing any sharp rebuttal to it. BBC's policies are well known to those who have watched them and made critical judgements.

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  • 131. At 3:33pm on 02 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    We will test BBC censorship by citing two taboos it has not allowed in the past. For the first time on The Editor's blog, these subjects have not been deleted. I'll try them one at a time and we will see if BBC is any more liberal about freedom of speech than the government of China.

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  • 132. At 3:37pm on 02 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The Balen Report is an internal report BBC was forced to prepare to review the fairness of its reporting especially in regards to the Middle East. Many observers of BBC have long felt that its reports were strongly biased against Israel. BBC has staunchly fought public disclosure of the contents of this report at every possible turn using every resource at its disposal including large sums of license fee collected money for legal costs. Many believe that the reason it tries to repress the Balen Report is that it is a scathing indictment of its anti Israeli bias.

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  • 133. At 4:03pm on 02 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    In March 2007, a BBC correspondent Alan Johnston who was on assignment in Gaza disappeared from public view. He was the last foreign news correspondent in Gaza of any Western media, the others having left because they or their employers felt it was too dangerous. But Johnston stayed. It was said he had believed he might be kidnapped. This occurred when Palestine was not a particularly prominent story in the headline news of the world. BBC's initial reaction was that he had been kidnapped by what they characterized as "a terrorist group." This is the first and only time I ever saw BBC use this word without ascribing it to someone else such as in the phrase "President Bush's so called war on terror." This initially raised some red flags for me. For instance, why was he still there when not only was it known to be dangerous but this story had been told so many ways and so many times that it really wasn't newsworthy anymore. I asked BBC by e-mail and was told effectively to shut up, they didn't want to talk about it while his life might be in danger. There were BBC petitions for his release and his own father called him "a friend to the Palestinian People." Now how can anyone expect objectivity from someone reporting on their friends? This only re-inforced my belief that BBC's reporting on the Middle East would be more accurately characterized as propaganda than news or even fair bi-lines.

    During Johnston's 4 months of disappearance from public view, 15 British Royal Marines were captured in Iraqi waters in broad daylight by Iran's government. Several days later they were put on Iranian television (illegally according to those worthless international laws) to make public confessions that they had violated Iran's territory. Even after just a few days, military personnel who were prepared to fight and die in combat, who were together, and where held by a known government looked very frightened. When shown on American television, I think on CNN, experts explained how involuntary contraction of muscles in their faces demonstrated that they were being forced to lie and that they were under tremendous psychological stress. They were let go after about two weeks in captivity. About 4 months after his disappearance, Alan Johnston reappeared in public. Within a few hours, he appeared on television. The only signs of anything wrong with him was that he looked tired. By his own account he was told initially that he would not be harmed, that he was treated well and given the food he asked for and a radio to keep his morale up, and that only at one point was he told that whether or not he was to die was being decided. But he said he felt his life was under threat all that time he was supposedly being held. This made me wonder how his whereabouts could not be known in what is the most densely populated place on earth and where he was supposedly a friend of the people. I also wondered how he could not show even the slightest evidence of strain after 4 months in captivity by "a terrorist group" that the Royal Marines showed after just a few days of captivity by a government. The next day he appeared in Scotland home with his family far more relaxed like someone who was recovering from a long tiring holiday abroad. How could I believe one word of any of it.

    Perhaps the British should focus on defending America. It would certainly seem a hopeless task to defend Britain or the BBC. Then again, how can you defend what you don't understand?

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  • 134. At 4:26pm on 02 Aug 2008, usimport wrote:

    As a Brit happily living permanently in USA I am shocked by the state of US politics. While in UK I took an interest in politics there but in over 50 years of political awareness I do not remember the level of childishness now being displayed by the McCain campaign. As a new resident here, I sincerely hope that the American people make the correct ultimate choice for President. They must, surely, realise that their choice will be the 'leader of the free world' and, as such, needs to be seen to be intelligent, diplomatic, sincere and competent. Sorry, I forgot that they voted in George W. Bush twice, maybe there is no hope after all.

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  • 135. At 7:25pm on 02 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    usimport

    Correct choice? Correct in whose opinion? If the election is not stolen, it will be the decision of the majority of the voters in the electoral college. That is all that counts here. By definition that is always the correct choice. You are excused for your ignorance being new here but understand, this place has its own set of rules which are entirely different from the rules where you came from. Whatever you read about it or saw about it on your TV back where you used to live is probably not accurate. If you find America's politics shocking, you are in for many more rude awakenings. The more you learn about America first hand the more unsure you may become that you are actually happy here. One thing is for certain though, even if you decide that you don't like it after all, you will not change it. You will either learn to accept it for what it is or make yourself unhappy all the time you are here.

    As election campaigns go, this one has been disappointingly dull so far. I certainly hope it livens up before electon day. We really haven't had anything like the kind of warring we are usually treated to. But it is still early yet. Perhaps after the conventions we'll see the real heavy guns come out, the missiles fly, the explosions on both sides, and the carnage a first rate political campaign for President of the United States merits.

    As for being the leader of the free world, that no longer has any meaning since the cold war ended and the communist empire fell apart. The idea was probably an illusion anyway. He will be president of ONLY the United States. Those who got a free pass in the past will be in for a disappointment if they think the US will continue to make major one sided concessions to keep the world from falling into the hands of the USSR. From my point of view, all of Europe is old Europe. Old and crumbling fast.

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  • 136. At 10:02pm on 02 Aug 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    boring M erronious. we have heard all this from you before so how is this the first time.
    we wish.

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  • 137. At 10:10pm on 02 Aug 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    ggrrrliie he thinks he is the first nation.

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  • 138. At 12:02pm on 03 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    jf, it clearly hasn't sunk in. You know the old story about training a mule. First you hit him in the head with a two by four. That's to get his attention. Now perhaps you will listen. If not, I'll just have to do it again.

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  • 139. At 3:28pm on 03 Aug 2008, jcputn5349 wrote:

    In response to a comment, 29. At 07:23am on 30 Jul 2008, 33rdpara wrote: "There are many people in the UK that would have preferred to be part of the USA than Europe,
    Pity we cold not have voted on it. Only thing against would be the silly gun laws"

    My response: You mean, silly laws that abridge the 2nd Amendment? or the 2nd Amendment is silly?

    Even wiki got this one right:
    "The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the pre-existing individual right to possess and carry weapons (i.e. "keep and bear arms") in case of confrontation.[1]"--from wikipedia. [Note: Pre-existing means God-given, prior to the existence of any government, and therefore, out of the realm of government to either grant or take away.]
    It's no secret that the 2nd Amendment is one of the reasons we are still free and why our socialist enemies promote gun control. (The target for control is really non-criminal gun-owners since criminals don't obey rules.) Bottom line: You can't take over a country whose citizens are armed. Not going to happen...

    I'm heartbroken that you didn't get to vote on remaining a free sovereign nation and am supportive of the Irish against the EU.

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  • 140. At 5:13pm on 03 Aug 2008, Junius509 wrote:

    Obama's platform is antithetical to nearly every fundamental principle of the American Revolution. He is a collectivist, a statist, and a demagogue with no concern for individual liberty -- the rights of life, liberty, and property.

    He is presenting more of the same, except this time in a more undiluted form. Reminiscent of Julius Caesar, he promises gifts to the people and all they have to do to gain them is surrender up their liberty! He promises free universal healthcare. But who's actual rights will be trampled on to provide this? The doctor's and the patient's.

    If I have the right to healthcare then I have the right to the products of another man's labor, not because I earned it, but because I "need". There is no discussion of the people who actually produce these products that we supposedly have a right to. What can be more definitively yours then what you produced with your own hands and your own mind? Surely nothing, yet that is what he wants to take, and in exchange we will get a deprecate socialized system.

    What we need is not more socialization, but more liberty. What we need is more competition, not government monopoly.

    America is so productive because of this, dear I say, capitalist spirit, not because of government regulation and hand outs expropriated from those still willing to produce.



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  • 141. At 7:00pm on 03 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Junius,

    "America is so productive because of this, dear I say, capitalist spirit,"
    America is far more consumptive than productive - check the growing debt and "balance of trade"

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 142. At 10:18pm on 03 Aug 2008, HumboldtBay wrote:


    #116 MarcusAureliusII:
    BTW, if you don't want to eat GM crops or meat tainted with hormones and antibiotics as so many Europeans claim, don't come to America. We make no distinction, its the foods we all eat every day and there is no avoiding it.

    I wasn't going to add to the puffery and propaganda that this once-interesting blog has devolved into, but I couldn't let this pass. Almost anywhere in the US now you can get organic, locally-sourced produce, meat and dairy at farmers' markets and organic markets. I currently get about 90% of my produce and dairy, 75% of my meat, and maybe 50% of my grain and baked goods from local and/or organic sources, either from one of the four excellent organic/whole foods markets in the area, from a truly excellent farmers market, from one of the two Community-Supported Agriculture farms that I subscribe to, or from my own garden.

    If it's really true that, as you say, you can't avoid eating GM proiduce and engineered meats, you must be either living in a singularly deprived part of the country, or ignorant of the options for obtaining healthy, sustainable, locally-sourced food that are available to you.

    #108 Grrrlie et al.:

    The use of the term "native American" to refer to American Indian people is a sure sign that the writer knows little or nothing about the subject of Indain life, culture and politics in the USA today. My wife and numerous in-laws, all full blooded Indian people and enrolled tribal members living on their ancestral lands, join a wide range of Indain political and cultural leaders in the US from Russell Means to Sherman Alexie in flatly rejecting the term as being essentially meaningless, and, as the creation of white academics and used almost exclusively by white people, fundamentally more racist that "Indian", the latter at least having some tradition behind it.



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  • 143. At 11:35pm on 03 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    HomboldtBay#142

    Most tourists don't go shopping in organic food markets to buy food they can prepare themselves, they eat in restaurants. You can find some kind of health food restaurants in some places if you know where to look for them. Most tourists are just happy if they can find their way back to their hotel at night. An utterly useless and impractical suggestion, your brain is probably starved for animal protien...go tend your alfalfa sprouts.

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  • 144. At 11:35am on 04 Aug 2008, Snagletooth wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 145. At 3:39pm on 04 Aug 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    humbolt , here in eugene we have a thriving farmers market where 90% of produce is organic.

    the ignorant will remain so,
    no helping them.

    Andjusius, the rights of workers not to be exploited has not been taken up by those that want to make all the money. and they are the ones making the rules in this liberal society.

    unregulated they would have chains on us if they could.
    well maybe not as the "yes" men pointed out

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  • 146. At 6:41pm on 04 Aug 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    HomoEconomicus,

    The new world is a wonderful place to explore, and almost every major city/region has something different to offer! DC is a must, and some of my other favorite places are New York, Anchorage, Chicago, and San Diego.

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  • 147. At 7:28pm on 04 Aug 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    Justin,

    My impression of the US is that of a giant that changes it's head every 4 or 8 years. Lately, that giant's head has been Bush, and America's image abroad is one of an inarticulate oaf that has been tromping across the carpet with muddy boots. When you are a giant, some awkwardness is unavoidable. A more conscientious and articulate head may have left a better impression, but can they get the needed jobs done?

    The US GDP is 1/6 of the worlds GDP. The US military is unrivaled, although a Johnny come lately to the asymmetric warfare game, they seem to be getting it now. The US is an intellectual, scientific and cultural power house. The people in the US are resilient to adversity and even in the worst of times they muddle through. All is not roses, but they are doing well.

    As for the next head for this giant, McCain or Obama, it will not make the giant any smaller, or less great. It will change the impression that this giant makes as it does those things that some other nations in the world cannot or will not do. I believe the Americans will elect the person who they believe will get the job done, and being conscientious of the EU's feelings, or being an articulate figure head are less of a concern.

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  • 148. At 11:01pm on 04 Aug 2008, PoorNUnknown wrote:

    "nor are we blind to the simple incontrovertible fact that America is a stunningly successful place whose ability to prosper in almost every year since its inception must surely have some link to the energy and vitality of the people who come here and make it work and the system (brutal sometimes) that allows them to achieve their potential."

    Sounds a bit like cheerleading to me!

    Maybe someone should 'waterboard' you until you change your mind? Only kidding, of course...to me, 'waterboarding' is torture and I'd never condone that.

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  • 149. At 10:32pm on 09 Aug 2008, FlacidCasual wrote:

    MA2 as a Eurosocialist Liberal I am happy to see you contributing at a forum hosted by the foremost Eurosocialist liberal media organisation - the BBC.

    To be honest I always find it a little bit bizarre how some people think the tag "Liberal" should be an insult. In the English language the word liberal actually has far more positive associations than conservative.

    Definition of "Conservative" according to dictionary.com:

    "Strongly favoring retention of the existing order."

    Definition of "Liberal" according to dictionary.com:

    "Favoring civil liberties and social progress."

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  • 150. At 00:50am on 10 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Flacid Casual

    In the United States, the term liberal in the context of American political views means large government bureaucracies, high taxes, social re-engineering to achieve a redistribution of wealth. All are an anathema to the American social ethic. It is antithetical to the quintessential view of life in America going back to its earliest roots. America is a nation which was built on self reliance, individual initiative, and a reward of materal value including money for success in those endeavors. It eschews government interference in the private lives of people. It was only during the great depression of the 1930s that American society made its first concessions to the plight of impovrished people through government action. To understand more you will have to take it upon yourself to read a lot of American history. I'm not teaching a course here. Take my word for it, liberalism is a highly discredited philosophy in much of contemporary American culture. Unlike Europeans, Americans look to government as a last resort to solve their problems and want as little of it and as little to do with it as possible. Even the term "government job" has derogatory connotations.

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  • 151. At 11:22am on 10 Aug 2008, FlacidCasual wrote:

    MA2, I am aware of the USA's history of Libertarianism, so I don't need to take your word for it. One of the main grounds for your war of independence was not wanting to pay taxes to George III so that he could build his army to fight the French and expand the British Empire. However, since Roosevelt introduced the "New Deal" you have been stuck with a large government providing some form of social security and socialized medicine. Six conservative Presidents have had little impact on this (although Regan did his best to bankrupt it). So unless John McCain is going to go all out to kill off Medicare and Social Security I guess you're stuck with a big government.

    The reason for my post and what really annoys me about the Rush Limbaugh types who go on and on using the word "liberal" (or "Liberal" I guess) as if it could only ever be negative, is that history doesn't back this negative view up. Many of the great steps made in your country's history have been made by Liberals at the opposition of Conservatives: slavery abolition, civil rights, social security for the elderly. Are you really trying to claim that the USA would be a better place had none of that happened?

    Give that word a break. Also please understand that not all Europeans are lazy scroungers waiting for their next dole payment. It's a complicated world and we can do without narrow-minded people tarring populations with their own prejudice.

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  • 152. At 4:42pm on 11 Aug 2008, jcputn5349 wrote:

    149. At 10:32pm on 09 Aug 2008, FlacidCasual wrote:
    MA2 as a Eurosocialist Liberal I am happy to see you contributing at a forum hosted by the foremost Eurosocialist liberal media organisation - the BBC.

    To be honest I always find it a little bit bizarre how some people think the tag "Liberal" should be an insult. In the English language the word liberal actually has far more positive associations than conservative.

    Definition of "Conservative" according to dictionary.com:

    "Strongly favoring retention of the existing order."

    Definition of "Liberal" according to dictionary.com:

    "Favoring civil liberties and social progress."
    --------------------------------------
    "Liberal" changed meaning in the early 20th century. Conservatives today are classic Liberals, preserving the Republic, Bill of Rights, and Constitution, whereas, modern Liberals are totalitarian, arguing that the Constitution is unconstitutional--the opposite of civil liberties and social progress. For an example of a modern interpretation of Liberal, look to the Black Republicans. They have a website where they publish a saying: 'The Democratic Party is the party of four S's--slavery, secession, segregation, socialism.' (For those who don't know it, the Democratic Party fought a war to keep their slaves, and fought against Civil Rights and the repeal of Jim Crow laws in the south. The Republicans won on each issue. See historical party platforms.) Everybody knows Liberals aka Socialists control the Democratic Party. Curiously, the Democratic Party instituted and maintains abortion in the USA, and the majority of babies who are aborted are minorities. That, to me, is the opposite of "social progress." Where have you been for a hundred years?

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  • 153. At 11:10pm on 12 Aug 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    what marcus is saying is the liberals consistantly try to stop people in this great and equal country from being overworked like slaves who have to pay their own bills.(lack of holiday pay and long hours)
    other nations provide all sorts for the working people in measures to stop employers taking the micky.
    they also try to make the work place safer and restrict people dumping their oil in the storm drains. all that sort of liberal tosh will ruin this country.(usa)

    we want to be able to keep polluting ,starting wars to get rid of excess arsenal saved up by not having enough wars.

    they may even be stupid enough to bring someone to the white house that can read.

    READERS IN THE WHITE HOUSE>THATS WRONG

    simple really

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  • 154. At 3:34pm on 16 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The only reason I can think of that someone would live in a place he hates so much is....that the place he came from threw him out. They just couldn't stand him either. :-)

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  • 155. At 09:42am on 19 Aug 2008, hms_shannon wrote:

    Dear sam,

    With your knowlledge of the york town surrender,only if you are willing;

    Q1 With all lands granted inderpendance,over time, did the war need to be fought?.

    Q2 with most of the oppresive laws revoked by pro americans in power,what was the real reason for that war?.

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  • 156. At 2:12pm on 20 Aug 2008, BillyWolfe wrote:

    MA2- "America is a nation which was built on self reliance, individual initiative, and a reward of materal value including money for success in those endeavors. "

    Unless you were an African-American, a Native American, or a Woman. America celebrated its break from the 'old' world, distanced itself from autocracy and monarchy, and then allowed slaves to serve 'masters' in Southern plantations, and drove native americans out of their homeland. All sounds a bit Imperialistic to me. Or hypocritical.

    As another poster mentioned, how can the achievements of 'liberals' (civil rights, abolition/anti-slavery, and even social care to an extent) be ignored, or said to be not what the US was founded upon, when they were exactly what the US was supposed to be founded upon, if you read the first line of the Declaration of Independence. Then again its all down to interpretation, "All WHITE MEN (not women, or African-American, or Native American) are created equal."

    Britain's social system only took off in the latter part of the nineteenth century, (Poor Laws etc...) the health service and welfare system only came through desperation after the war. No one, certainly not the government, was the slightest bit interested in helping the 'less able' for hundreds of years before this.

    America is a new country by historical standards, it's inaccurate to compare its relatively small history and political/social system with the actions of a country or collection of nations (be that Britain or Europe) whose history stretches back much further. It's wrong to tarnish Britain and Europe as a country of social scroungers, who rely on the government, when for the vast majority of its history (and way before the US existed), it had no such system.

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  • 157. At 05:39am on 25 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    it is nice, that the brits are defending the americans....

    ~dennis junior~

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