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Salman says "miscalculations"
August 29, 2002 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Salman says "miscalculations" Is the US so unpopular.Are they willing and able to do anything about it ??
posted by johnny7 (56 comments total)

 
I hereby award the understatement of the year award to my all time favorite author, Salman Rushdie, for this little gem:
The British author Salman Rushdie said in The Washington Post on Wednesday that the conference should recognise that the Bush Administration had made a series of foreign policy miscalculations in the past year.
posted by Grod at 12:37 PM on August 29, 2002


And when the Muslim world declared a fatwah on Rushdie, he spent his time in the safety of both the U.S. and Great Britain, not in France, nor in Russia, nor in Saudia Arabia.

Of courwse Bush is messing up. But why not have those nations that bitch about us stop taking so much aid from us? That will teach us a lesson!
posted by Postroad at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2002


The Rushdie piece in question.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:48 PM on August 29, 2002


And when the Muslim world declared a fatwah on Rushdie, he spent his time in the safety of both the U.S. and Great Britain

Then he has to shut the fuck up and kiss American and British ass forever and ever right, like a good Middle Age servant?
He's not bombing anybody, he's just expressing -- very, very, VERY politely -- his opinion (he's not alone, man, I have news for you)
posted by matteo at 12:50 PM on August 29, 2002


Rushdie was already in Britain when the fatwah was declared, wasn't he? Also, according to another bio, he moved to the U.S. because he fell in love with an actress here.
posted by raysmj at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2002


Well, at least the State Department is asking the question. I imagine this is the last we'll hear of it, but it's a tiny little something.
posted by frykitty at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2002


I saw this awhile back, surprised this is not a double post. Anyway the current administration wants to be more liked by foreign lands, the USA and it's culture by other countries. So they are trying to start a campaign to show the world our true ways. Best way to be viewed just live. Let the talking speak for itself, what am I say if they lie about you ignore it, their problem. And if you feel no gratification, don't boast let others share your worth, IMHO. As an American I feel this is more of a push of our ways on foreign countries. The fun of a foreign land is the foreign customs and thoughts. Please, Mr Prez I want to enjoy foreign countries and their foreign ways, not mine that's why I go. Same reason I scoff at McDonalds outside of the US, unless they sell alcohol.
PS, I have met more than one foreigner who has expressed best kept secret is when you come to the USA and actually view it.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:58 PM on August 29, 2002


I think the Rushdie piece is very balanced. It makes legitmate criticism of American policy overseas (even if you believe the US has acted absolutely correctedly in every instance sited by Rushdie, you have to admit he at least phrases his criticism well) while also pointing out the conflicting actions of those who criticize America. Not a bad opEd.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:01 PM on August 29, 2002


Given that Rushdie (now a resident of Manhattan) excoriated the British left in the aftermath of the Sept 11th attacks, and talked of the 'petulant' Western anti-Americanism in February, this is just another step in his growing frustration with the Bush administration's squandering of international sympathy. I'm sure that friends in London will be saying, 'about time too'.

Reading Rushdie's article, I'm actually pissed off by the way he leads by quoting this silly season piece as representative of 'Anti-Americanism', since it's related not to global politics but to the stupid trading of stereotypes started by Leah McLaren's piece on 'cold British men', then sustained by selective quoting of Heather Graham and Gwyneth Paltrow. Shane Watson (a woman, I should say) even says as much: 'I use "American" here not as a term of national identification, but as an adjective describing a breed which may or may not occupy their shores.'
posted by riviera at 1:05 PM on August 29, 2002


A unilateral attack on Iraq would radicalise the Arab world and could bring about an Islamic jihad

"Radicalise" the "Arab world"? Ignoring my confusion about what the 'Arab world' actually is (I don't buy monolithic groupthink assumptions about people based on their race or place of origin), I don't really see how it could be any more 'radicalised' than it already is. Haven't many of the past actions of 'the Arab world' been pre-radicalised? Like, for instance, calling for the murder of Mr. Rushdie for his criticism of Islamic mythos? Pretty radical. And isn't there already a 'jihad' going on? Wasn't 'jihad' (whatever the fuck that means) declared long ago by the leaders of this 'Arab world'?

There are simple answers to why the US is unpopular: Aside from the legitimate concerns of a minority of people who take the time and effort to understand the unique complexities of each situation, and then make an intelligent, cogent criticism of whatever US policy, most people that 'dislike' the US do so because they're told to, by print, television, internet, word of mouth. It's a meme. Most people, including the ones who 'dislike' the US, haven't any ideas of their own. Most people don't really think about things. Being social animals, they just follow the herd hoping for a patch of grass to graze and perhaps a mate. Someone at the Mosque, or someone in a cafe in Berlin, or someone at the Guardian tells them that the US is bad, evil, stupid, whatever, and they shrug and say "Sounds good!" Then they carry the meme to the next person. This is how prejudice is propagated, this is what brings people to buy Creed CDs, this is what makes people read "The Bridges Of Madison County". Sometimes this viral propagation has good consequences as well as bad or dumb ones, so I guess we'll have to live with both. But the few who have intelligent, cogent criticisms, and who can have those criticisms without 'hating' the US, or blindly naysaying anything that happens in the US, are lost in the chorus of "Jihad!"

Another reason people dislike the US is jealousy, but we won't get into that.

I have to add that I consider Rushdie to be one of the thinking people, not one of the naysayers, and welcome his criticism.
posted by evanizer at 1:21 PM on August 29, 2002


thomcatspike
Thanks for your arrogance.It speaks volumes.
posted by johnny7 at 1:26 PM on August 29, 2002


I think the United States of America is disliked is because of its name. I mean, its really silly. States aren't really states anymore. The name just sounds like some organization or something because America is the name of the whole two continents. Its like making a country called the Unified Republics of Asia or something. Okay, I'm done being pointless.

Anyway, yes, the United States has made some rather large decisions on the foreign front without bucking up responsibility. And, yes, people are going to generally dislike a nation who has a lot of power and uses it. That's never going to change. Its nice to care what other people think of us, but just don't care too much.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:31 PM on August 29, 2002


Speaking of those double standards, Shouldn't We Care About Democracy In Pakistan?
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on August 29, 2002


evanizer,

Someone at the diner, or someone in a cafe in Chicago, or someone at Fox News tells them that the Europe (Islam, Welfare, FDR, International Treaties) is bad, evil, stupid, whatever, and they shrug and say "Sounds good!" Then they carry the meme to the next person.

Right?

It's amazing the disdain you show for those fucking billions of sheep who inhabit the world propagating bad memes

Another reason people dislike the US is jealousy, but we won't get into that.

No, please do. Try to enlighten a few sheeps, for the sake of humanity. I'm -- baaaaaaaa, baaaaaaa -- listening.
posted by matteo at 1:34 PM on August 29, 2002


Ignoring my confusion about what the 'Arab world' actually is (I don't buy monolithic groupthink assumptions about people based on their race or place of origin), I don't really see how it could be any more 'radicalized' than it already is.

Fundamentalist theocracies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey (I know those last two aren't Arab).... All with virulently anti-American policies. No more access to middle-eastern oil. All out war on Israel, resulting in probable nuclear conflagration (joined by Pakistan, should American actions lead to an popular Islamicist ouster of Musharef's forces of moderation). It could get much, much worse, evanizer.

The point is, we're talking about a region filled with unstable governments, most of which are tenuous "allies" of the U.S., and nearly all of which are threatened by popular antigovernment fundamentalist movements. If the balance is tipped, everything goes to hell in a handbasket. And popular opinion against the U.S., further fueled by an invasion of Iraq, could be sufficient to tip the balance.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:36 PM on August 29, 2002


johnny7: thomcatspike. Thanks for your arrogance.It speaks volumes.

I find myself getting pretty good at thomcatspeak, and I think you probably misunderstood his post (although you can hardly be blamed for that). I don't think he was expressing pro-US arrogance. In fact, I think he's saying that every country has a culture that is unique and worth preserving.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:37 PM on August 29, 2002


Ok. The Bush administration is messing up. but compared to whom? What about the possibility that the biggest kid on the block will always be perceived as messing up, not because of misjudgment, but because the biggest's messes are always the biggest. And how about the possibility that there's a lot more consultation behind the scenes than it looks? Of course neither I nor you know this, and it might be untrue, but it would be nice to read something more nuanced on Mefi than "Bush is a Dick"; and "the US is arrogant." Gee, even though the US may not have been perfect in the cold war, I'm glad Mayor Chirac or the other political pigmies you find around the world weren't. How about if everyone grow up a little and stop getting their jollies out of bashing easy targets.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:41 PM on August 29, 2002


Arab: Of or concerning Arabia or the Arabs
Muslim: A believer in or adherent of Islam

Arab != Muslim
Muslim != Arab
posted by blue_beetle at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2002


mr roboto,

Turkey a Fundamentalist theocracy?

Paris,
you probably mean "military pigmies" (i would not go so far as to call the Bush cabinet "political giants", you know?)
But politics is war (against darker-skinned people), right?
posted by matteo at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2002


Fundamentalist theocracies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey

I don't think Turkey is a fundamentalist theocracy. . .

Anyway, why is it that everyone blames the U.S. govn't for McDonalds in France?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:45 PM on August 29, 2002


Wasn't 'jihad' (whatever the fuck that means) declared long ago by the leaders of this 'Arab world'?

Jihad, simply put, means righteous struggle, both inward and outward. In the recent past there have been various Muslim clerics declaring jihad on this and that, but what Rushdie is referring to is a cause that would unite the otherwise fractuous Islamic world, which is exactly what bin Laden was hoping for.

most people that 'dislike' the US do so because they're told to, by print, television, internet, word of mouth.

Would this also be true of people who like the U.S.? just wondering.
posted by Ty Webb at 1:47 PM on August 29, 2002


I don't think Turkey is a fundamentalist theocracy. . .

I was responding to evanizer's query regarding how things could get worse; how the "Arab world" could become more "radicalized". None of those countries are fundamentalist theocracies. They all, however, contain popular fundamentalist movements which threaten the current pro-American governments and which are fueled by anti-American sentiments.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2002


1) Mr. Roboto, Turkey is not "Fundamentalist theocracy." In fact, it is one of the most secular of majority Muslim nations. If it is quasi democratic it is because its military repeatedly steps in to PREVENT the country from adopting a overtly Islamic government.

2) Evanizer, I agree with you to some extent on these issues. I find that most of the vehement critics of US policy that I know are often unaware and unable to intelligently discuss policy, and simply except negative statements about America. Than again, many Americans accept blanket statements about foreign lands (or our own governments operations) without much thought either....
posted by pjgulliver at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2002


whoops....guess everyone else had already addressed point one...damn my getting interupted while writing a post!
posted by pjgulliver at 1:52 PM on August 29, 2002


I don't think Turkey is a fundamentalist theocracy. . .

To everyone who hasn't bothered reading (three on last preview) mr_roboto was talking about how the Middle East could become more radicalised, when someone said I don't really see how it could be any more 'radicalized' than it already is. As he proved, by suggesting that Turkey could embrace theocracy, it's very possible.
posted by riviera at 1:53 PM on August 29, 2002


Richard Boucher answers questions on the conference, downplaying its significance as part of a series. The attendees are not paid, other than meals and lodging; and the proceedings are not public ("frank discussions" and all that). They do this sort of thing all the time in other contexts without nearly so much attention (and wild speculation about motives and outcomes), because clearly it's good for the wonks inside Foggy Bottom to get input from the wonks outside once in a while.

I don't think the US really is as unpopular as some would have it -- and that includes Americans who get a kick out of us going our own way just to be ornery. But certainly we've entered a new period of diverging interests, where our goals don't even necessarily coincide well with our closest friends and allies in Europe. Some of this is very short-term and it's well to keep in mind will be quickly forgotten. Some is more substantial and long-term. We're just not going to be multilateral for its own sake; we did that for most of the last decade and we still got ourselves attacked, so forgive us, world, if we're a little unsold on the benefits. We're not going to be freaking out at every alarmist prediction regarding our behavior, either: as Evan notes, if the threat is a radicalized Arab world, hell: we're already there. We don't have much to lose on this scoresheet.

Part of this conference may indeed be seeking to figure out "why we're disliked", but that's framing the question from overseas. We really want to know what it is about ourselves we're failing to explain, or sell.
posted by dhartung at 1:54 PM on August 29, 2002


Thank you so very much, riviera; I'm glad someone understood. I was beginning to doubt my powers of erudite conversation.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:58 PM on August 29, 2002


Would this also be true of people who like the U.S.? just wondering.

Yes. It's true regardless of the subject. As I said, there are good consequences and bad consequences to acceptance of dogma. I try to give individuals agency, and individual viewpoints merit when deserved, but we're not talking about individuals, we're talking about abstractions, the 'Arab' world, Europeans, the 'left'. Sadly, when you consider people as giant, fairly homogenous lumps, you need to expect the worst.

But politics is war (against darker-skinned people), right?

You prove my point. What is the basis of this assertion that 'politics is war (against darker-skinned people)'? In fact, most of the conflicts the United States has been involved in have been against "lighter-skinned people". You are spreading a baseless, knee-jerk meme. This kind of thing waters down the people who have justifiable and rational criticism of war against Hussein.
posted by evanizer at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2002


In fact, most of the conflicts the United States has been involved in have been against "lighter-skinned people".

I don't think there's much to the claim 'politics is war (against darker-skinned people)' either, but the above statement just plays the same stupid game. It's also inaccurate.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:13 PM on August 29, 2002


The situation in Palestine is a true injustice that is recognized by pretty much the entire world (including a large percentage of Israelis) but is completely unreflected by US foreign policy. There is no other American policy that is as unjust, unfair, and inequal. Such a clear, black-and-white injustice (America does not just support Israel's breaches of UN resolutions and International Law, it finances them to a tune unheard of in the history of bilateral relations) will always be a major block to making more friends and less enemies in the world.

Moderating US policy there would not instantly solve things, but it will remove a tremendous burden on US policymaking in other parts of the world. People who would hate the United States anyway for many of the reasons outlined by Evanizer and others would not have legitimate fodder for their cannons and would be increasingly marginalized by those who see the truth in commentary on the US's unjust policy wrt Palestine and Israel. It is entirely possible for the US to have a Pro-Israel, world-leadership-role position and still allow for the fundamental injustice of occupation, land-confiscation, and 2 people, 1 master, to be tossed out like the garbage it is.
posted by cell divide at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2002


Part of this conference may indeed be seeking to figure out "why we're disliked", but that's framing the question from overseas. We really want to know what it is about ourselves we're failing to explain, or sell.

Framing the question in the way you suggest implies that the conduct of the American government has been beyond reproach and is unpopular only because it is misunderstood. It is intellectually dishonest to limit an investigation in this way, and it will adversely affect the validity of its results.
posted by cardboard at 2:16 PM on August 29, 2002


blue_beetle:
Arab: Of or concerning Arabia or the Arabs
Muslim: A believer in or adherent of Islam

Arab != Muslim
Muslim != Arab


Uh, no. Most Turks are Muslim. So are most Iranians/Persians, Malaysians, Indonesians, et cetera, et cetera. None of the above are Arabs. The definitions at top are correct...the inferences immediately below them are not.
posted by Vidiot at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2002


The dangers of jargon! "!=" is programmer-speak for "not equal", Vidiot.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2002


Lord Chancellor: Anyway, why is it that everyone blames the U.S. govn't for McDonalds in France?

Thank you, LC! The US goverment doesn't have anything to do with the capitalistic exports. One may not like EuroDisney, Hollywood, or Mickey D's, but all the government did was allow the stuff to leave the country, and all your (a hypothetical "yours") government did was permit it to come in. (Pesky things like embargos, tariffs, etc. aside.)

BTW, have Bush & Co. actually done anything?? No, they just rattled the sabers by "floating" the idea of unilateral US action. And they received global feedback. And...we'll see what actually happens.

As some have pointed out/alluded to, some of the same countries that criticize or hate the US (culture or government) are oh-so-willing to accept US taxpayer-funded financial aid. Cell Divide, while I generally agree with you on the Palestine-Israel situation, just remember that the US gives lots of money to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Israel-enemies, too (some of which violate other UN resolutions -- I'm thinking specifically of human rights).

Jealousy, Great-Satan-hatred, cultural resentment or snobbery, whatever... I'm on the verge of wanting to take my ball and go home!
posted by PennyPrune at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2002


salman is spot on - if a little understated.

if that fool bush bothered to open his eyes for a couple of seconds, he would see that the rest of the world (UK included - the people, if not the polititians) are getting increasingly fed up of he and his governments dictatorial policies...
posted by tunde at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2002


my business teacher said a logo change means trouble. soft drinks being the 1# example.

But politics is war (against darker-skinned people), right?
golly, how said that?

if this is true we must bomb china (no, we have business there)
bomb north korea (no, they might hurt stavs, and we have business there)
bomb cambodia (done that...sorry, cheap shot )
bomb libya (no, to ...unmerciful)
bomb indonesia, pakistan, and the sudan (no, alot a business.) war is the result of politics, primarily, it's failures. If politics where war. I'd have a broadsword and braids. (shhh)
someone told me the us is 'hated' because we have not been invaded since the gallant mexican army of the 1800's.
of course, in the 1860's, we invaded ourselves. attack and invasion are day and night in the starkest terms of warfare. when attacked, invade, when invaded, attack. it is rather horrifyingly simple.
carrying a weapon in someone elses country is the most difficult position a nation can be faced with....politically.
war is what happens when you remove the....politically.
posted by clavdivs at 2:34 PM on August 29, 2002


if that fool bush bothered to open his eyes for a couple of seconds, he would see that the rest of the world (UK included - the people, if not the polititians) are getting increasingly fed up of he and his governments dictatorial policies...

My point just keeps getting proven over and over. "The People", "dictatorial", "fool bush"... knee-jerk meme-ry at its finest.

No, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt: What are the fine citizens of the UK fed up about? What are the 'dictatorial policies' of "fool bush" (sounds like a British pudding)?
posted by evanizer at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2002


The dangers of jargon! "!=" is programmer-speak for "not equal", Vidiot

Oop! I don't know programmer-speak...just thought the bangs were there for emphasis. Serves me right for getting all self-righteous. hehe. Learn something new every day...
posted by Vidiot at 2:41 PM on August 29, 2002


What are the 'dictatorial policies' of "fool bush" (sounds like a British pudding)?

From a brief scan of an interesting document, a couple of parallels come to mind:

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance...
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury"

There are a few more debatable ones, but these are pretty solidly established. So, give him a bit more time, and he might rack up the whole set. Or are those complaints knee-jerk memes, too?
posted by riviera at 2:51 PM on August 29, 2002


How is creating more offices a dictorial policy?

Hey! Officers are people too.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:53 PM on August 29, 2002


Keep in mind, riviera, that the Executive branch (Presidency) can't interfere with the Judicial branch, here, so don't blame Bush (Jeez, I sound like a Bush-ite apologist today! I'm really not--really! Ask anyone!)

I'd have to check this, but the American right to a speedy trial or a jury of one's peers is only for citizens (foreign miscreants are usually just deported to their countries of origin). In this case, "prisoner of war" sounds like a good label (what, they were Girl Scouts selling cookies door-to-door?), so we'll just need to abide by the Geneva Convention.

As for the US citizen-enemy-combatants, let's just call them "traitors" and line them up in front of a firing squad, and be done with it. (being just semi-facetious here)

And it's just a filthy rumor that prunes are used in a fool bush recipe!
posted by PennyPrune at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2002


LordChancellor and PennyPrune - here's another take on the idea of McDonald's being part of the USA's hegemonic aggression:
"The hidden hand of the Market will never work without a hidden fist - McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell-Douglas ... "- Thomas Friedman, NYT Magazine, 1999

While I'm pulling up quotes, here's a couple more which have some relationship to this discussion.

"I dread the inevitable acceleration of American world domination which will be the result of it all...Europe will no longer be Europe." -- Aldous Huxley, 1917

"It would be easy for us, if we do not learn to understand the world and appreciate the rights, privileges and duties of all other countries and peoples, to represent in our power the same danger to the world that Fascism did." -- Ernest Hemingway
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 3:38 PM on August 29, 2002


I disagree with Mr. Friedman on that quote then.

So, no nation should seek hegemony then?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:12 PM on August 29, 2002


evanizer, you appear to completely misunderstand the position of much of the rest of the world. Indeed, your attitude is symptomatic of the entire problem. You suggest that American foreign policy is just fine, and that we dislike America for no good reason other than we're conditioned to do so. I'm sorry, but that's exactly the arrogance which started this antipathy in the first place.

America has apparently decided there are only two places in the world, America and the rest. The Rest of the World can go to hell if it suits America's interests. No wonder the Rest of the World feels peeved. I blame Bush and Republican isolationists. America was not perceived like this when Clinton was President.
posted by salmacis at 6:06 AM on August 30, 2002


mr. carpathia. i love quotes and yours seem kinda snappy. first off, the Huxley carries little weight, Huxley was...a smart guy but always a step a head- behind. well, he was drugged out before psych drugs were hip and he died the same day as JFK was killed.

"I dread the inevitable acceleration of American world domination which will be the result of it all...Europe will no longer be Europe"

saying that in 1917 is like standing in Berlin in 1945 and proclaim there will be great calamity from the russians.
and papa had a way to make a boat of money by saying the obvious. (lots of 'the' and ''and' and 'then' in his stuff)

The hidden hand of the Market - McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell-Douglas Friedman huh, what an obvious man he is. How many mcdonalds have been robbed, burglarized (rubble-rubble), blown up, burned down, riots in front off, riots inside of...since, oh say 1980. I can tell you it is more times then Mcdonnel-Douglas been attacked. Oh, friedboy was referring to flourishing, well maybe its true then, but i don't see us treating these mcdonalds bashing like an attack upon our interests. when the micky D's in Pakistan gets torched do we bomb Pakistan? no. But McDonnel-Douglas gets bombed and one would see warlike burgers coming down upon the enemy.
"will never work without a hidden fist" so if we have no M-D, no micky d. Friedman confuses a major civilian/defense contractor with a restaurant one can build in a few days. My point is is that friedman seems to get paid a lot of money to say the obvious and make it sound complex.
posted by clavdivs at 8:58 AM on August 30, 2002


But politics is war (against darker-skinned people), right?

You prove my point. What is the basis of this assertion that 'politics is war (against darker-skinned people)'? In fact, most of the conflicts the United States has been involved in have been against "lighter-skinned people". You are spreading a baseless, knee-jerk meme.

This list of US military interventions is the assertion, man.
Baseless? Yeah...

(ps of course in recent years the only exception is Clinton who actually bombed the fuck out of white people. The rest, as you can read in this probably incomplete list -- is mostly darker-skinned people)

Long list I know, but it's not my fault.
posted by matteo at 9:08 AM on August 30, 2002


What are you talking about? Our nation starts wars for political reasons, and every so often, a survival/defensive reason. Where does race come into this at all? We didn't attack Afghanistan because of color, if the IRA exploded our towers and Ireland decided not to hand over the mastermind, do you think the same wouldn't come over there? (I'm not arguing on the validity of 9-11 counterstrikes, only making a point about the targets)

As said, where does race come into this at all? You do realize that the armed forces desegregated? That all races hold public positions?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:21 AM on August 30, 2002


You do realize that the armed forces desegregated?

Yup. Actually Truman desegregated them way before LBJ forced the South to do the same and abolish apartheid in schools and restaurants

Back on topic: Evanizer said it wasn't true, I gave you a list: the US wages wars mostly against darker skinned people. Maybe there's nothing wrong per se, who knows, it's silly to deny it tho.

Let's follow your argument: the IRA tears down the WTC, Blair (Ulster is Britain, man, anyway for the sake of the argument let's include Ahern too) gives Washingto the finger, so they attack the UK and Ireland to destroy IRA infrastructure (and possibly catch... who, McGuinness? Adams)?
I think that the footage of Brits and Irish collateral damage (i.e. white people murdered by stray bombs) would make the war on UK and Ireland much more unpopular than the war against swarthy, hairy people who speak a strange language and live in huts
posted by matteo at 9:44 AM on August 30, 2002


Nah, I still think the U.S. would be rather aggressive no matter where it came from. We have declared war against nations of all colors.

Perhaps you are right on the facts but I still don't believe the two are correlated. I mean, what do you even mean by dark skinned? Are we talking about those of African/Australian Aboriginal descent? Oriental? American Indian? Latino? Arab? non-scandinavian? I mean, there's a lot of people in the world, and not a lot are 'white'. Chances are that we will get into wars with people who ideologically disagree with us/attack us/they have something we want/are not on good terms with. I'm not saying that we have had good reasons for our wars, only stating that most of them this century have not been racially motivated.

The U.S. isn't a white nation, when we declare war on another nation, it isn't whites against non-whites, its the United States vs. Afghanistan govn't.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2002


Your link proves nothing, matteo, and my assertion still stands. That page you linked is hilarious, equating troop deployments to Agrentina and West Virginia in the 19th century to World War I (which is listed quite nonchalantly as "WORLD WAR I 19l7-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany ") Oh, yeah, the "Great War" was just a little fight against Germany, but what the US was REALLY blood-thirsty about was that 2 week intervention in 1920 against Guatemalan unionists. After all, they're darker-skinned and perhaps hairy, and we just can't resist fighting them. Who knows? Maybe Hitler was actually "darker-skinned" than FDR? Maybe the reason we fought that little skirmish against George III and his troops in the 18th century was because they were secretly "darker-skinned" (I mean, where did that Hanover line come from, anyway?). The Civil War? Just Mr. Lincoln's attempt to put down those Southern Rebels due to their friendship with all those "darker-skinned" people. And all the other battles, skirmishes, and wars that the United States have ever been involved in, aside from all the myriad, complicated causes and reasons for them, were at their core battles against excessive melanin.

Come on. I certainly won't say that all of the United States' military actions have been noble, or that none of them had racial motivations, but your simple-minded, myopic assumption that we go around fighting wars with "darker-skinned" people just for the heck of it is ridiculous. "Darker-skinned" people are no more noble than "lighter-skinned" people, and just as capable of perpetrating acts of war and hideous crimes that require military intervention. You seem to be the one obsessed with skin color.
posted by evanizer at 10:32 AM on August 30, 2002


Thanks for your arrogance. It speaks volumes.

Off Topic BUT:

I think those who resort to calling others arrogant may have some thinking to do about the nature of arrogance.

I believe the accusation cancels itself out (scoring no one any real points) within the context of an argument between two opposing sides.
posted by ruggles at 11:10 AM on August 30, 2002


equating troop deployments to Agrentina and West Virginia in the 19th century to World War I

evan, come on, you're obviuosly a very smart man, it is a LIST for chrissakes, there's small and big interventions all put together. a shitload of them, a lot, uh?

your simple-minded, myopic assumption that we go around fighting wars with "darker-skinned" people just for the heck of it is ridiculous

you know, you can insult me until you're blue in the face and put words in my mouth, but I've never said you guys do it for the heck of it. You always do it for a reason, often for money and power (the Central and South America policy is a jewel in this department). Often the civilians who get murdered are non-White. There's no insult, straw man or warmongering, right-wing argument that can change this fact.
I'm not obsessed with color: you're the one who's uneasy with the not so faint whiff of racism that comes from many US policy decisions, not only in the past sadly.
posted by matteo at 12:47 PM on August 30, 2002


Ruggles
The arrogance was implied in the assumption this was a
"double"
Pedantry shits me too!!
posted by johnny7 at 1:14 PM on August 30, 2002


Johnny7
Thanks for the clarification...and the new entry in my vocabulary: "Pedantic"

I like it :)
posted by ruggles at 1:46 PM on August 30, 2002


Johnny 7, I take it you agreed with me, as I did at first think this. I did like your use of words.

because America is the name of the whole two continents

Lord Chancellor, If America is two continents and there are 5. So lets see Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe that makes, 12345,6 whoops. See being an American is also being a Canadian, Mexican, Brazilian, Colombian... so watch it, as there are many many types of Americans.
I said, " American" in Europe which was met with dumb stares when asked, "where were you born Thom?" See saying I'm from the States that are United in America, was my correct origin, not the continent I reside. And also more dumb stares after saying American then I asked, "do you speak English", a word that can describe a country origin. Yes, we are misunderstood, not fun but sharing is the fun when asked in a discussion not proclaiming about one's self. ;)
posted by thomcatspike at 4:24 PM on August 30, 2002


So lets see Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe that makes, 12345,6

Hey, whaitaminute! What about Antarctica?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:40 PM on August 30, 2002


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