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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

 

[Week 1] ~TCL's Reply to M.Z. Williamson

No, I don't think it matters what Eurowussies think of us. Do THEY consider the needs of Americans when they vote?

Probably more than Americans care about their vote. Do you think the majority of Americans even pay attention when another country votes? But you can bet the rest of the civilized world is watching and waiting for the outcome of our elections. It's a difference in worldview that is most likely due to educational standards, or lack thereof. And, unless you meant it in jest, calling them Eurowussies is tantamount to Tucker Carlson's comment about dogsledding Canadians, and it just further exemplifies my original point.

Near as I can tell, the vocal Euros want to take everything fundamentally American away from the US and make it more like Europe... Conversely, to be fair, I don't want us wasting time or money trying to Americanize Europe.

I think that everyone wants to disrupt our way of living. It's the price you have to pay for being a powerful nation. Envy breeds contempt. It's the same type of mentality that we show towards celebrities. Some people are in awe of them, and simultaneously hate them, for no reason other than they are successful and rich. That's one of the reasons that, as a country, we are disliked. America is at the top, we know it, and we proudly flaunt it. That tends to piss people off. Those people develop a deep-seated resentment towards us, but since we're the World Superpower, and attacking us would be crazy, they bide their time. Simmer in their juices. Let the hate fester. If you say "You're with us or against us" enough times, then you'll start to get a nice sized "against us" list.

If you think the press is only reporting the GOOD side of the war, you're smoking crack. I know first hand a LOT more about what's going on over there than anyone on this list.

How so? I mean, how specifically are you more in-tune to what's going on than anyone else? I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but that is a hefty claim to make, so I'm curious.

The mainstream press is whoring for ratings by taking everything they can in as anti-American a fashion as possible. Minor issues with local Iraqis and minor morale problems are being blown up as "We're losing the war!"

If they actually reported what was happening in an unbiased fashion, 90% of Americans would support what we're doing. (Yes, I'm aware the original reasons for the invasion no longer apply. That happens in war. There are, however, sufficient reasons to still be there. See Roosevelt's WWII attack on North African countries who were not involved with Germany...yet.)


Actually, I believe that if the American press acted more like the International press, and stopped tossing out softball questions or crying foul when a soldier asks a hard-hitting, and intelligent question (which was NOT planted by reporter Edward Pitts, by the way), then more people would be against what we are doing. War is hell, and Americans need to know that. We need to SEE what is happening in order to be able to fully understand it. A 15 second montage of wounded soldiers, burnt-out vehicles and shaky video of insurgents with RPG's doesn't really give people an accurate picture of what's going on. We're not even allowed to see dead soldiers' coffins being taken off the plane. Heaven forbid that someone complain to the FCC that they were offended by the sight of a flag-draped casket, or that a broadcast firefight upset them.

Putting aside the original reasons given to us for being in Iraq, I agree that pulling our soldiers out now would make a bad situation worse. Whether we like it or not, we're committed, so we might as well do our best to rectify the situation instead of throwing in the towel. Civil unrest is bad, but civil war is worse.

I do agree on the partisanship being a problem. People I thought of as friends were acting positively pogromish after the election. "Everyone who voted for Bush is an illiterate, nigger-whuppin', Christofascist, inbred, bucktoothed, redneck moron." Right. I meet none of those criteria, nor do any of my friends. Most of us voted for Bush.

The same way that everyone who voted for Kerry is a "pussy, un-american, God-hating hippy-loving Communist?" Stones were thrown from both sides. I don't fit any of these criteria (well, maybe a bit of the God-hate applies), but people love to stick you with those labels, and to use it to their advantage whenever possible. To quote a recent Get Fuzzy, just because you keep saying something is true, doesn't make it true. However, it makes the stupid people believe it's true.

And I fear that if that attitude persists, the Dems have given up any hope of winning 2008 already. Now, does ANYONE rational want a ONE party system? I don't. One of the things I like most about this area is the candidate forums at the library. Very few Dems ever win around here, but people DO attend, DO ask questions and DO listen to the answers. And the candidates are thanked earnestly for participating.

To be honest, I think that if the Democrats are serious about putting up Hillary in '08, then the're just fighting a lost cause. And I don't think anyone in their right mind would want a single party system. I also don't think that a 2 party system is much to brag about. That's just giving you the usual "lesser of 2 evils" ultimatum.

If I had to add a minor threat to the list (because I don't see it changing), is the "I'd love to vote for a third party but I don't want to throw my vote away." I hope those people will be the ones who stay home. Endorsing a candidate you don't support IS "Throwing your vote away."

I'll agree with you on this one. No vote is better than a careless vote.

Comments:
[quote]Probably more than Americans care about their vote. Do you think the majority of Americans even pay attention when another country votes? But you can bet the rest of the civilized world is watching and waiting for the outcome of our elections.[/quote]

And that says so much by itself, doesn't it? I keep threatening to write a commentary about it, from the POV of "Don't treat me like your ruler unless you want me to act that way."

But, while they pay attention to it, it's still a case of demanding WE do something for them at our expense. They aren't actually concerned with doing anything to help us, and the overall response since Sept 11 has been that we somehow deserved it. Would they say the same if it had been a target in France? Did they say the same after the attack in Russia?

As to my grasp on the war, I'm still Reserve, have been over there a few years back and have numerous close friends and associates there at present. Either I or my wife may be there later this year. Pretty much every case I've seen of soldiers getting charged with a crime, they were doing exactly the right thing. (Abu Ghraib was flat WRONG and so was the unit that mutinied over fuel. These things happen. Sadly, now EVERYONE is under a microscope because of it.) And I'm all in favor of more COMPLETE coverage. Show the incoming fire before we return it. British press did the same thing with the IRA in the 1970s--showed a teenager being shot by a soldier, for example. Didn't show the molotov he hurled a few seconds before.

Yes, there are rabid right wingers, too. But the LEFT first claims to be about tolerance and respect, THEN certain elements who are some of the loudest about that act like frothing fascist bigots. That's worse than the Klan. The Klan ADMITS their bias.

Personally, I'd like to have far less involvement in world affairs than we do. That's impossible because we ARE the biggest market there is, and because most of it started in a big way right after WWII when the Aden Protectorate broke up and Standard Oil went for the Gulf. It was official State Dept policy to let them, as they could be used for leverage over the region, if necessary by jiggling their license to conduct business (And it doesn't get much more fascist than that). So we're stuck with it.

Ah, yes... the two party system. Do you prefer throat slicing or decapitation? You COULD vote for "not get killed today," but that would be throwing your vote away...
 
But, while they pay attention to it [elections], it's still a case of demanding WE do something for them at our expense. They aren't actually concerned with doing anything to help us, and the overall response since Sept 11 has been that we somehow deserved it. Would they say the same if it had been a target in France? Did they say the same after the attack in Russia?The immediate response after 9/11 was overwhelming support from nations everywhere. I recall seeing memorials set up in nearly every European country, as well as many others. England had a momorial service. Canada had over 100,000 people attend their memorial service. Germany saw 200,000 people march in support of the US. The French newspaper Le Monde, which is highly critical of the United States Government, ran a front-page headline reading "Nous Sommes Tous Américains" (We Are All Americans). Other places that had memorials include Moscow, Israel, Tokyo, Kolkata, India; Australia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Lebanon, Lebanon, Jordan, Belarus, Manila, Mexico and even PAKISTAN. Protesters in India burned Osama bin Laden in effigy. That's quite a bit of international support. I don't believe that the animosity and the "they deserved it" mentality occured until a few months after the attacks when we declared war on something as vague as a noun.

As to my grasp on the war, I'm still Reserve, have been over there a few years back and have numerous close friends and associates there at present. Either I or my wife may be there later this year. Pretty much every case I've seen of soldiers getting charged with a crime, they were doing exactly the right thing. (Abu Ghraib was flat WRONG and so was the unit that mutinied over fuel. These things happen. Sadly, now EVERYONE is under a microscope because of it.) And I'm all in favor of more COMPLETE coverage. Show the incoming fire before we return it. British press did the same thing with the IRA in the 1970s--showed a teenager being shot by a soldier, for example. Didn't show the molotov he hurled a few seconds before.I do believe that we spend too much time lambasting our troops for certain events. The US soldier shooting an armed Iraqi in the Mosque, for instance. Pardon me for sounding callous, but SO WHAT? He's a soldier in a freaking war zone! I would imagine that anyone in a similar situation would have done the same thing. Like you said, it's too bad that everyone is just trying to do their job is now scrutinized now because of a few bad eggs. If there was complete coverage of the event, then things could have been placed into context for the people who only saw the footage of that soldier raising his rifle and shooting the Iraqi.

Yes, there are rabid right wingers, too. But the LEFT first claims to be about tolerance and respect, THEN certain elements who are some of the loudest about that act like frothing fascist bigots. That's worse than the Klan. The Klan ADMITS their bias.Yes, it is true that the left can be hypocritical at times. And the right can be flat-out dishonest sometimes. The left has done quite a few things that I don't agree with. But judging a group of people based on the actions of a few nutjobs is not the answer. I'm not fond of George Bush, but I don't assume that every righty is nothing more than his Bible-thumping, abortion-hating clone. I hated Strom Thurmand, but I didn't base my opinions of the GOP on his racist comments and actions. I judge people on a case-by-case basis. The problem is that people see one rabid lefty, and assume that EVERYONE on the left is just like that person. And that is exactly what the Klan does. Why hate black people as individuals when it's easier to hate them as a group? It just seems like a rather close-minded position to take.

Ah, yes... the two party system. Do you prefer throat slicing or decapitation? You COULD vote for "not get killed today," but that would be throwing your vote away...I never claimed that a dictatorship would be better, although GWB might feel differently ("just so long as I'm the dictator"). But there are more than just 2 choices out there. It's too bad that people insist on voting for a party, instead of an individual. Guilt-tripping people into voting for you by saying "A third party vote is a wasted vote", or "If you voted for Nader, you stole a vote from Gore" is both infantile and underhanded. There is more than just Red vs. Blue. Blind faith for a group is seen in places like Jonestown, Waco, Texas and The Solar Temple in the French Alps. It usually ends unplesantly.
 
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