Comments for en-gb 30 Fri 26 Dec 2014 18:43:03 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at dennisjunior1 it is nice, that the brits are defending the americans....~dennis junior~ Thu 25 Dec 2008 05:39:35 GMT+1 BillyWolfe 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. Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:12:53 GMT+1 hms_shannon 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?. Tue 19 Aug 2008 08:42:14 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. :-) Sat 16 Aug 2008 14:34:54 GMT+1 jacksforge 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 WRONGsimple really Tue 12 Aug 2008 22:10:25 GMT+1 jcputn5349 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"Strongly favoring retention of the existing order."Definition of "Liberal" according to"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? Mon 11 Aug 2008 15:42:38 GMT+1 FlacidCasual 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. Sun 10 Aug 2008 10:22:37 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Flacid CasualIn 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. Sat 09 Aug 2008 23:50:23 GMT+1 FlacidCasual 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"Strongly favoring retention of the existing order."Definition of "Liberal" according to"Favoring civil liberties and social progress." Sat 09 Aug 2008 21:32:02 GMT+1 PoorNUnknown "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 me, 'waterboarding' is torture and I'd never condone that. Mon 04 Aug 2008 22:01:30 GMT+1 RealFrigid 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. Mon 04 Aug 2008 18:28:51 GMT+1 RealFrigid 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. Mon 04 Aug 2008 17:41:38 GMT+1 jacksforge 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 Mon 04 Aug 2008 14:39:09 GMT+1 Snagletooth This post has been Removed Mon 04 Aug 2008 10:35:19 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII HomboldtBay#142Most 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. Sun 03 Aug 2008 22:35:55 GMT+1 HumboldtBay #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. Sun 03 Aug 2008 21:18:18 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart 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 Sun 03 Aug 2008 18:00:13 GMT+1 Junius509 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. Sun 03 Aug 2008 16:13:14 GMT+1 jcputn5349 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. Sun 03 Aug 2008 14:28:44 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. Sun 03 Aug 2008 11:02:57 GMT+1 jacksforge ggrrrliie he thinks he is the first nation. Sat 02 Aug 2008 21:10:50 GMT+1 jacksforge boring M erronious. we have heard all this from you before so how is this the first time.we wish. Sat 02 Aug 2008 21:02:51 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII usimportCorrect 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. Sat 02 Aug 2008 18:25:26 GMT+1 usimport 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. Sat 02 Aug 2008 15:26:47 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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? Sat 02 Aug 2008 15:03:03 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. Sat 02 Aug 2008 14:37:37 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. Sat 02 Aug 2008 14:33:50 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. Sat 02 Aug 2008 13:32:32 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII notlimahYou 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. Sat 02 Aug 2008 10:23:41 GMT+1 notlimah 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? Sat 02 Aug 2008 06:28:15 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #95Would 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: Google, enter:Avnery + Sharon + Iran + interview + plansOne can choose among many thousands of entries. Here is one, quoting Gush-Shalom: quotes from the interview Avnery had with Sharon over PLANS TO INVADE AND OCCUPY IRAN. Sat 02 Aug 2008 03:46:49 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII GrrrlieYou 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. Fri 01 Aug 2008 10:21:47 GMT+1 Grrrlie Latest way off MA2 comment:"GrrlieI'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. Fri 01 Aug 2008 05:13:48 GMT+1 Grrrlie MA2 - my point being YOUR education needs an upgrade via living history:check it out: you can take that chip off your shoulder long enough to learn something new, that is! ;) Fri 01 Aug 2008 03:33:56 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII GrrlieI'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. Fri 01 Aug 2008 02:52:49 GMT+1 Grrrlie 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. Fri 01 Aug 2008 02:37:37 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII ukwalesI 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. 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. Fri 01 Aug 2008 01:30:03 GMT+1 bbennettUSA This post has been Removed Thu 31 Jul 2008 15:05:06 GMT+1 hms_shannon 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!!! Thu 31 Jul 2008 14:52:49 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Tip Top, Lisa!;-) Thu 31 Jul 2008 13:08:46 GMT+1 tiptoplisamich 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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 12:16:27 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 11:22:09 GMT+1 Simon21 "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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 10:31:58 GMT+1 Simon21 "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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 10:17:54 GMT+1 Simon21 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.Complain about this comment Thu 31 Jul 2008 09:55:32 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII 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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 09:53:41 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart 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... Thu 31 Jul 2008 09:37:34 GMT+1 jacksforge 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 for living here and not thinking it's great, it is possible. Thu 31 Jul 2008 05:00:36 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Grrr lieSlogans 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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 03:39:52 GMT+1 Grrrlie 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. Thu 31 Jul 2008 03:09:44 GMT+1 jacksforge mike you are onto the virtual pudding here.oh look what i can say it must be true.believe it others wont. Thu 31 Jul 2008 01:58:57 GMT+1 jacksforge and 81 king canuck like you style , very diplomatic. Thu 31 Jul 2008 01:17:31 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #101Posts 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! Thu 31 Jul 2008 00:25:41 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart A testHow do you measure up?;-)ed Wed 30 Jul 2008 22:53:25 GMT+1 potatoman65 *50 (Oldnat)"There's no way of denting MA2's bigotry."On the contrary ;-) Wed 30 Jul 2008 22:34:57 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 22:31:42 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart 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 tasteDoug, "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 Wed 30 Jul 2008 22:31:18 GMT+1 Blorst 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 22:26:58 GMT+1 1britabroad 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 21:05:19 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #95Certain 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 (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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 20:54:39 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 20:32:46 GMT+1 MikeIL To #89The 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 19:31:30 GMT+1 DougTexan X_mingSerious, 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 HereAnd as to grand Designs, there is always more information than seen as readily available, and not easily or wanted to be found.The Leftist Sisterhoodtwo sides, one lineFreedom is rare Wed 30 Jul 2008 19:25:18 GMT+1 MagicKirin ref #90This poster keep posting revisionist history.Israel has shown tremendous restraint, Lebanon should be thanking Israel for not turning it's country into a crater Wed 30 Jul 2008 18:36:27 GMT+1 ArgyllJenny #61 Ed, #62 draftdodger, #69 threnodioYes, 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 18:10:50 GMT+1 oldnat #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! Wed 30 Jul 2008 17:51:03 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #89It 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 17:42:40 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #75, #88This 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 17:38:36 GMT+1 MikeIL 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 17:22:49 GMT+1 MagicKirin ref #75History 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! Wed 30 Jul 2008 17:08:51 GMT+1 gunsandreligion #79, oldnat, and #81, JohnnieCanuk,I appreciate both of your sentiments,but you both highlight the problems inherent in the appearance of theUS on the scene as the last superpower,namely the incompetence of ourpoliticians, and the relative isolationof the interior of our country.I, for one, and very grateful for ourneighbor to the north, and hope thatthey allow us to migrate there whenthings fall apart here. Even the mightiestof empires can fall apart very quicklywith foolish leadership. We have onlyto look at the Soviets as a modern example.The first order of business should bestabilization and extraction of US forcesfrom Iraq. The problem, as JohnnieCanukcan probably correlate, is that Americansdo not like to be shot at. They were soldon the somewhat whimsical notion thatwe were going to Iraq to "save" themfrom a dictator, and that our troops wouldbe pelted with flowers and little Americanflags upon arrival.Now, I'm not saying that Saddam wasnot a horrible dictator, but the ideathat somehow we can impose a western-style democracy on a tribal middle-easterncountry is a little daft. And the fact thatsomehow this notion was sold to theAmerican public just shows how ignorantmy countrymen are about the rest of theworld.Now, about the being shot at part.The reason why it is dangerous forAmerican servicepeople to be in theMiddle East in large numbers is thatthere are some very nasty people overthere who would like to blow them upwhile they are sleeping. And when thishappens, Americans do not react likemost other people. Americans don't deal with ambiguity well.Somehow, the notion that someone couldprofess to being our friend while simultaneously twisting a knife in ourback is apparently too complex a notionfor the American mind.This is why, imho, we are ill-suitedfor the role of world policeman. Whycan't we just clone a few hundred thousandbobbies? At least they know how toshake hands. Wed 30 Jul 2008 17:03:26 GMT+1 Simon21 "As for the "power" thing, you'll have torealize that the US is really just anaccidental superpower, which explainswhy we're so bad at it. If we just cut back our military andconcentrated our energies on thingsthat we're good at, such as inventingnew technologies, we could do wellby 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". Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:42:45 GMT+1 threnodio #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 :-) Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:32:32 GMT+1 Chicoan #35Ed 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:32:24 GMT+1 nobleFloridian 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:30:23 GMT+1 threnodio #77 - Gary_A_HillThat 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:24:38 GMT+1 JohnnieCanuk 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:18:28 GMT+1 DougTexan Hey, in France are the Micky Dee fries called freedom fries? peace, quiet Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:12:44 GMT+1 oldnat #76 gunsandreligionI 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:10:08 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 16:04:35 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:54:33 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Simon21, I think that Justin is referringto something else. Every society hasits strong and weak points, and we canall learn from each other.As for the "power" thing, you'll have torealize that the US is really just anaccidental superpower, which explainswhy we're so bad at it. If we just cut back our military andconcentrated our energies on thingsthat we're good at, such as inventingnew technologies, we could do wellby doing good, and clean up. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:52:48 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart 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 Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:52:32 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:49:35 GMT+1 Richard_Berry 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:46:54 GMT+1 Simon21 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:34:56 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart 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 Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:31:48 GMT+1 MagicKirin 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/ShalomedThere 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 govtYet the BBC put most of the blame on Israel instead of reporting the facts. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:24:13 GMT+1 threnodio 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:14:11 GMT+1 Kristopher 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 ... Wed 30 Jul 2008 15:03:30 GMT+1 draftdodger 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:47:14 GMT+1 jacksforge wow ed and craftydodger saw the problems with talking about zim. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:45:55 GMT+1 jacksforge 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:43:44 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Doug, Namaste!You're most welcome, and thanks for the material you used to demonstrate your new fluency.;-)ed Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:41:21 GMT+1 gunsandreligion On the subject of McDonald's, I have amodest proposal which may improve theirimage here (in the US). Let's find out how this guy dismantledone, and franchise the entire dismantlingbusiness. We could pack them up incrates and send them off to France orAsia, along with little Mickey Mouse dolls.This will ensure that they love us forever,and free up valuable real estate hereso that we can get some decent dinersput in. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:39:50 GMT+1 draftdodger 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:36:10 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart 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!Shanthied Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:36:05 GMT+1 DougTexan 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 youpeace, Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:35:55 GMT+1 gunsandreligion oldnat, I believe that some of yourblimps flew over here, against the prevailingwinds, following the old zeppelin route.Some of them, in fact, have made theirway into politics, and have achieved highoffice. I'm not sure where the Turkish bath islocated in the White House, but now I'msure that there is one. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:35:15 GMT+1 DougTexan 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. Wed 30 Jul 2008 14:18:30 GMT+1