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10 Great Things about America
July 3, 2003 11:50 AM   Subscribe

In the spirit of July 4th, the National Review made a list of ten great things to love about the United States.
posted by Beholder (124 comments total)

 
Yippee for the National Review's screed, something all patriotic Americans can get behind. What a troll.
posted by Zurishaddai at 11:55 AM on July 3, 2003


I, a Canadian, tuned out at the seventh sentence:

Even on the right, traditionally the home of patriotism...
posted by Marquis at 11:59 AM on July 3, 2003


Ah'm just all done busted up in'a tears over heah' I do say, G'bless it all.
posted by xmutex at 12:00 PM on July 3, 2003


In America the destiny of the young is not given to them but created by them.

Thank God. I was beginning to think that President guy hadn't earned his position through hard work and intellect.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:01 PM on July 3, 2003


Dinesh D'Souza is really starting to sound like a broken rec- ... broken rec- ... broken rec- ...
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:04 PM on July 3, 2003


They've got some competition.
I don't endorse all those points, but it's a good way to while away some time.
posted by tr33hggr at 12:07 PM on July 3, 2003


The reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all.

Yes. The American government would never threaten someone with death if they didn't comply with the law. That would be terribly coercive.



AAAAARGH
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:08 PM on July 3, 2003


What a troll.

The post isn't a troll. It's simply a list of things that one legal immigrant admires about the US.
posted by Beholder at 12:08 PM on July 3, 2003


Oh Oh

Double Post.

In all my years of being here, that's the first time I have done that.
posted by drezdn at 12:12 PM on July 3, 2003


I don't endorse all those points,

I hope not. that list is absolute shit. they put "Islam is a peaceful religion" as a reason to hate america?
posted by GeekAnimator at 12:16 PM on July 3, 2003


Beholder, why do you bait America so much?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:24 PM on July 3, 2003


Well I did a search and nothing came up. It's frustrating to double post and I make every attempt to avoid it, but I don't read every fpp here and rely on the search engine as a safe guard. Yet blaming the search engine is stupid.

While I did a search for "10 great things to love", and got nothing, I also should have also done a search for National Review and the writer's name. I'll try multiple searches next time, instead of just one.

Again, sorry for the double post.
posted by Beholder at 12:26 PM on July 3, 2003


"America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history."

Snarf..

"America, the freest nation on earth, is also the most virtuous nation on earth."

Giggle...

- Mr. D'Souza was senior domestic policy analyst at the White House during the Reagan administration from 1987 to 1988.

- His earlier books include the New York Times bestseller "Illiberal Education" (1991) and "The End of Racism" (1995), "Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader" (1997), and The Virtue of Prosperity: Finding Values in an Age of Techno Affluence (Free Press, 2000).

- "D'Souza argues that university policies designed to foster enlightened harmony are in fact promoting ignorance, intolerance and racism. Indeed, he notes that in the struggle for the soul of the American university, the rhetorical excesses and coercive tactics of the Politically Correct have done much to drive reflective liberals into the ranks of a conservative opposition. "

- " He argues that the American obsession with race is fueled by a civil rights establishment that has a vested interest in perpetuating black dependency, and he concludes that the generation that marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. may be too committed to the paradigm of racial struggle to see the possibility of progress. "


And I should care about this guy's top ten list... why?
posted by Perigee at 12:30 PM on July 3, 2003


Beholder: But are you?
posted by xmutex at 12:31 PM on July 3, 2003


The Onion must have gone though a redesign....

Oh, wait.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:34 PM on July 3, 2003


Dinesh is right. The USA is either loved or enviously slandered for its qualities, since its shortcomings are common to all great countries in the history of the world. Name one single mistake made by the USA which hasn't been made by other countries as well. Name one country where complete outsiders have a greater chance to succeed. Name any other country at all that has fought so many times against all forms of oppression and totalitarianism.

People from all walks of life throughout the world benefit daily from the US actions and policies, particularly when it comes to defend values like the Rule of Law, democracy and capitalism. Those values aren't always flawless, but at any rate have proven to be vastly superior to all other forms of human social interaction.

Americans, pay no attention to the resentful vocal minorities that insist on blaming the USA for everything that's wrong in the world. The USA is not perfect but it's still a great, dynamic, country whose existence should be rejoiced.
posted by 111 at 12:37 PM on July 3, 2003


Everybody Limbaugh! How low - can ya go? How low - can ya go?

IN PRAISE OF AMERICAN EMPIRE
BY DINESH D’SOUZA
printed in The Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2002

TWO CHEERS FOR COLONIALISM
BY DINESH D’SOUZA
printed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2002
posted by Perigee at 12:38 PM on July 3, 2003


What's amazing to me is that I link to an article written by someone who loves his country and actually has a few nice things to say about the US, and for that several people here go out of their way to either attack the writer or to attack me for posting the article.

Metafilter really has become some weird US hating cult, which is a pity, because it was once so much more.
posted by Beholder at 12:43 PM on July 3, 2003


We deride because we love America, and wish it was really living up to its promise, beholder.

This guy is not an objective commentator, by any stretch of the imagination. It's not enough to spout platitudes, while actively working to end many of the things that help make America a better place (see perigee's posts).
posted by amberglow at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2003


I noticed the National Review nor Dinesh were on the list of 10 best things. Whew! That's a relief!

Wait! Wait! They forgot to mention Bill Clinton's penis!!
posted by nofundy at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2003


What's amazing to Me is that anyone who doesn't agree with your politics hates America. But that's the way it is, right? "You're either with us... or with the terrorists?"

Hey, I could dig up some spiffy quotes by Mussolini or Pinochet - they loved their countries too. A shame all those Italy-hating and Chile-hating bastards took 'em down, ain't it?
posted by Perigee at 12:50 PM on July 3, 2003


Oh Perigree, shut up.
posted by xmutex at 12:53 PM on July 3, 2003


What's amazing to me is that I link to an article written by someone who loves his country

I am an American who loves his country, and I find it hard to recognize a sentiment worthy of the name "love" in this man's asinine, divisive, sneeringly superior dictates about what I oughta think American values are, and how evilly seditious anyone is who tries to add their voice to D'Souza's one-note chorus of faux, smug, narrowly politicized "patriotism."

Well, those people singing out with their many voices and visions of this country's potential for good = what democracy, and American values, really are. The US hating cult here is Beholder and D'Souza, for sneering at them.
posted by Zurishaddai at 12:54 PM on July 3, 2003


(Love America, love your fellow citizens for pursuing their differing opinions whole-hog.)
posted by Zurishaddai at 12:55 PM on July 3, 2003


Now THAT's concise and intelligent political commentary! Keep at it, xmutex - they'll elect you senator yet! Your intellect humbles us poor whining liberals.

Fleabite.
posted by Perigee at 12:55 PM on July 3, 2003


"Some cultures, such as that of ancient Greece and medieval Islam, even held that it is better to acquire things through plunder than through trade or contract labor. But the American founders altered this moral hierarchy."

Oh? This is certainly true of ancient Greece (don't know about medieval Islam), but my understanding is that this shift of thinking had already been underway in Europe since the rise of the merchant class during the Renaissance.

I think patriotism can be positive, but quickly tends towards ugliness. Exceptionalism being an example.
posted by cobra libre at 12:56 PM on July 3, 2003


Warning: very long post follows.


Submitted for consideration:

SOUTH DAKOTA 1890 (-?) Troops 300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.
ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops Landed twice during election strife.
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.
WASHINGTON DC 1932 Troops Army stops WWI vet bonus protest.
WORLD WAR II 1941-45 Naval, troops, bombing, nuclear Hawaii bombed, fought Japan, Italy and Germay for 3 years; first nuclear war.
DETROIT 1943 Troops Army put down Black rebellion.
IRAN 1946 Nuclear threat Soviet troops told to leave north.
YUGOSLAVIA 1946 Nuclear threat, naval Response to shoot-down of US plane.
URUGUAY 1947 Nuclear threat Bombers deployed as show of strength.
GREECE 1947-49 Command operation U.S. directs extreme-right in civil war.
GERMANY 1948 Nuclear Threat Atomic-capable bombers guard Berlin Airlift.
CHINA 1948-49 Troops/Marines evacuate Americans before Communist victory.
PHILIPPINES 1948-54 Command operation CIA directs war against Huk Rebellion.
PUERTO RICO 1950 Command operation Independence rebellion crushed in Ponce.
KOREA 1951-53 (-?) Troops, naval, bombing , nuclear threats U.S./So. Korea fights China/No. Korea to stalemate; A-bomb threat in 1950, and against China in 1953. Still have bases.
IRAN 1953 Command Operation CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah.
VIETNAM 1954 Nuclear threat French offered bombs to use against seige.
GUATEMALA 1954 Command operation, bombing, nuclear threat CIA directs exile invasion after new gov't nationalized U.S. company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua.
EGYPT 1956 Nuclear threat, troops Soviets told to keep out of Suez crisis; Marines evacuate foreigners.
LEBANON l958 Troops, naval Marine occupation against rebels.
IRAQ 1958 Nuclear threat Iraq warned against invading Kuwait.
CHINA l958 Nuclear threat China told not to move on Taiwan isles.
PANAMA 1958 Troops Flag protests erupt into confrontation.
VIETNAM l960-75 Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; one million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in l968 and l969.
LAOS 1962 Command operation Military buildup during guerrilla war.
CUBA l961 Command operation CIA-directed exile invasion fails.
GERMANY l961 Nuclear threat Alert during Berlin Wall crisis.
CUBA l962 Nuclear threat, naval Blockade during missile crisis; near-war with Soviet Union.
PANAMA l964 Troops Panamanians shot for urging canal's return.
INDONESIA l965 Command operation Million killed in CIA-assisted army coup.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1965-66 Troops, bombing Marines land during election campaign.
GUATEMALA l966-67 Command operation Green Berets intervene against rebels.
DETROIT l967 Troops Army battles Blacks, 43 killed.
UNITED STATES l968 Troops After King is shot; over 21,000 soldiers in cities.
CAMBODIA l969-75 Bombing, troops, naval Up to 2 million killed in decade of bombing, starvation, and political chaos.
OMAN l970 Command operation U.S. directs Iranian marine invasion.
LAOS l971-73 Command operation, bombing U.S. directs South Vietnamese invasion; "carpet-bombs" countryside.
SOUTH DAKOTA l973 Command operation Army directs Wounded Knee siege of Lakotas.
MIDEAST 1973 Nuclear threat World-wide alert during Mideast War.
CHILE 1973 Command operation CIA-backed coup ousts elected marxist president.
CAMBODIA l975 Troops, bombing Gas captured ship, 28 die in copter crash.
ANGOLA l976-92 Command operation CIA assists South African-backed rebels.
IRAN l980 Troops, nuclear threat, aborted bombing Raid to rescue Embassy hostages; 8 troops die in copter-plane crash. Soviets warned not to get involved in revolution.
LIBYA l981 Naval jets Two Libyan jets shot down in maneuvers.
EL SALVADOR l981-92 Command operation, troops Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war, soldiers briefly involved in hostage clash.
NICARAGUA l981-90 Command operation, naval CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants harbor mines against revolution.
LEBANON l982-84 Naval, bombing, troops Marines expel PLO and back Phalangists, Navy bombs and shells Muslim positions.
GRENADA l983-84 Troops, bombing Invasion four years after revolution.
HONDURAS l983-89 Troops Maneuvers help build bases near borders.
IRAN l984 Jets Two Iranian jets shot down over Persian Gulf.
LIBYA l986 Bombing, naval Air strikes to topple nationalist gov't.

BOLIVIA 1986 Troops Army assists raids on cocaine region.
IRAN l987-88 Naval, bombing US intervenes on side of Iraq in war.
LIBYA 1989 Naval jets Two Libyan jets shot down.
VIRGIN ISLANDS 1989 Troops St. Croix Black unrest after storm.
PHILIPPINES 1989 Jets Air cover provided for government against coup.
PANAMA 1989 (-?) Troops, bombing Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, 2000+ killed.
LIBERIA 1990 Troops Foreigners evacuated during civil war.
SAUDI ARABIA 1990-91 Troops, jets Iraq countered after invading Kuwait. 540,000 troops also stationed in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Israel.
IRAQ 1990-? Bombing, troops, naval Blockade of Iraqi and Jordanian ports, air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion of Iraq and Kuwait; no-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south, large-scale destruction of Iraqi military.
KUWAIT 1991 Naval, bombing, troops Kuwait royal family returned to throne.
LOS ANGELES 1992 Troops Army, Marines deployed against anti-police uprising.
SOMALIA 1992-94 Troops, naval, bombing U.S.-led United Nations occupation during civil war; raids against one Mogadishu faction.
YUGOSLAVIA 1992-94 Naval NATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
BOSNIA 1993-? Jets, bombing No-fly zone patrolled in civil war; downed jets, bombed Serbs.
HAITI 1994-? Troops, naval Blockade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup.
ZAIRE (CONGO) 1996-97 Troops Marines at Rwandan Hutu refugee camps, in area where Congo revolution begins.
LIBERIA 1997 Troops Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
ALBANIA 1997 Troops Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
SUDAN 1998 Missiles Attack on pharmaceutical plant alleged to be "terrorist" nerve gas plant.
AFGHANISTAN 1998 Missiles Attack on former CIA training camps used by Islamic fundamentalist groups alleged to have attacked embassies.
IRAQ 1998-? Bombing, Missiles Four days of intensive air strikes after weapons inspectors allege Iraqi obstructions.
YUGOSLAVIA 1999 Bombing, Missiles Heavy NATO air strikes after Serbia declines to withdraw from Kosovo. NATO occupation of Kosovo.
YEMEN 2000 Naval USS Cole bombed.
MACEDONIA 2001 Troops NATO forces deployed to move and disarm Albanian rebels.
UNITED STATES 2001 Jets, naval Reaction to hijacker attacks on New York, DC
AFGHANISTAN 2001-? Troops, bombing, missiles Massive U.S. mobilization to overthrow Taliban, hunt Al Qaeda fighters, install Karzai regime. Forces also engaged in neighboring Pakistan.
YEMEN 2002 Missiles Predator drone missile attack on Al Qaeda, including a US citizen.
PHILIPPINES 2002 Troops, naval Training mission for Philippine military fighting Muslim Abu Sayyaf rebels evolves into US combat missions in Sulu Archipelago next to Mindanao.
COLOMBIA 2003-? Troops US special forces sent to rebel zone to back up Colombian military protecting oil pipeline.
IRAQ 2003-? Troops, naval, bombing, missiles Second Gulf War launched for "regime change" in Baghdad. US, joined by UK and Australia, attacks from Kuwait, other Gulf states, and European and US bases.

Justify ALL of this, then get back to me. Sorry if it's sorta f&m-ish, but this is all on the books, AFAIK. Oh, and Happy 4th of July!
posted by trondant at 12:59 PM on July 3, 2003


Oh Perigree, shut up.

Hahahahahahahaha..... .r
posted by Slimemonster at 1:01 PM on July 3, 2003


trondant - you forgot the 1968 Democractic Convention in Chicago, and Kent State.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:01 PM on July 3, 2003


Why do "the books" hate America so much?

Good job, trondant. Couldn't have done better myself.

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:02 PM on July 3, 2003


WORLD WAR II 1941-45 Naval, troops, bombing, nuclear Hawaii bombed, fought Japan, Italy and Germay for 3 years; first nuclear war.

trondant: I don't know about the other ones, but I don't think that this one needs much justifying...
posted by adrianhon at 1:08 PM on July 3, 2003


If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed. And who can dispute some of their particulars? This country did have a history of slavery and racism continues to exist. There is much in our culture that is vulgar and decadent. But the critics are wrong about America, because they are missing the big picture. In their indignation over the sins of America, they ignore what is unique and good about American civilization.

No. No, we don't. We just don't try to fix the unique and good parts.

"We" being the critics. I'm often very critical of problems I see in america and occasionally even very vocal about it. But if I'm fully aware of America's status as a pretty fantastic country with a lot of flaws. And I think that even some of the critics who are far more vocal and critical than I am feel the same way.

Take Uncle Noam for example. I'm not quite with him calling us a Rogue Terrorist state (unless he's overstating his case for effect). But even with his statement, he still chooses to refer to the US as the greatest country in the world (you have to scroll down a ways, to the part where Bill Bennett invokes the "if it sucks so bad why don't you just leave" argument).

This is what the folks I like to call "Conservative Critics" don't get about the folks they call "liberals" (ie, anyone left of them): liberal criticism is no more treason or anti-american than their criticism of those left of them.
posted by weston at 1:12 PM on July 3, 2003


I forget the name of the poster of that laundry list of bad things America did but if I pick one I am very familiar with the first thingt I note: he has the date wrong (Korean war) and, 2nd, S. Korea was INVADED by the north, not the other way around. So, then, I would suggest the list probably contains many more errors of fact.
More to the point, though, why not list on the other hand those things American did that was "acceptable," such as WWI, WWII, democracy now in Japan, S. Korea, German etc because of the U.S.--and fall of Russia etc--or does he miss Russian.
In sum: why is it that more people want to come to America than to any other nation on earth and fewer people want to leave to move elsewhere? Must have something that is ok, no?
posted by Postroad at 1:14 PM on July 3, 2003


What's amazing to Me is that anyone who doesn't agree with your politics hates America. But that's the way it is, right? "You're either with us... or with the terrorists?"

Libs like to throw this one around, but you know what, some of you really do support policies that help Islamic terrorism, and that's the sad truth.

I am an American who loves his country, and I find it hard to recognize a sentiment worthy of the name "love" in this man's asinine, divisive, sneeringly superior dictates about what I oughta think American values are, and how evilly seditious anyone is who tries to add their voice to D'Souza's one-note chorus of faux, smug, narrowly politicized "patriotism."

Just accept the fact that he likes the US in ways that you do not, and get over it.

Oh and trondant, if that's all you see about America then you really have lost any sense of perspective. To look at a countries history and only focus on the negative is the first sign of a zealot, just as the opposite is true.
posted by Beholder at 1:18 PM on July 3, 2003


1917- USA enters WWI
1941- USA enters WWII
1945-1989- USA wages Cold War against Communism
posted by 111 at 1:24 PM on July 3, 2003


So: Beholder & Postroad are on the right, and then everyone else who responded to this thread is on the left. And they dare to claim Metafilter isn't evenly balanced on the political spectrum!
posted by jonson at 1:29 PM on July 3, 2003


And I should care about this guy's top ten list... why?

Because it's interesting to see how far out of touch with reality one can get, and still be taken seriously by some people.

To be fair, it does make a lot more sense if you just substitute "any/all other/most countries" with "India."

(and no, I do not "hate" America.)
posted by sfenders at 1:32 PM on July 3, 2003


Libs like to throw this one around, but you know what, some of you really do support policies that help Islamic terrorism, and that's the sad truth.

Details, please, Ms. Coulter.

America is the greatest country that is and possibly ever was, OK? The question is, is that good enough? Is it OK that this nation did indeed engage in the activities exhaustively listed by trondant because other countries did worse?

Beholder, would you say that the things trondant has listed are somehow irrelevant to the discussion of what America is and how it got to be that way?

The religious right is most guilty of this, somehow trying to claim that America's record is blemish-free, that the fact that we have been mostly a virtuous nation somehow means we have been an entirely virtuous nation, that because we usually like to try and do the right thing means we always do the right thing and have never done the wrong thing, ever.

There really, really is a difference between patriotism and nationalism.
posted by kgasmart at 1:32 PM on July 3, 2003


It's possible, Beholder - I'll even give you this one: a right-winger is the least likely citizen in the country to ever, Ever be a traitor, turncoat, spy for a foreign power. God bless 'em all - they really DO care about the country, fervently. And I really do respect that.

No doubt the left-side is far more likely to garner the disaffected, the radical reformists, and certainly if I were looking for turncoats or traitors, I'd put first look into that camp.

But, in saying that, you have to admit that if we disagree with your political stances, that does not make all of us evil Boris Badinovs and Dr. Evils. The very worst you can say of lefties, generally, is that they disagree with the right. Most of us - a good 99.9% - care as passionately as you do about the good ol' US of A, and we fight for our vision as staunchly, fervently and sometimes even as irrationally as you guys.

That's not a bad thing at all.
posted by Perigee at 1:33 PM on July 3, 2003


Justify ALL of this, then get back to me.
Shit happens. Back to you.
posted by joaquim at 1:33 PM on July 3, 2003


sorry, joaquim, but "justify" and "snark" are not synonyms. Keep trying.
posted by soyjoy at 1:38 PM on July 3, 2003


...actually has a few nice things to say about the US...

Beholder: what you can't get through that thick skull of yours is that celebrating any humanitarian effort, positive influence or cultural achievment on behalf of the US simply isn't fashionable. Don't you realize it's like eating veal chops at a hip San Francisco vegetarian joint? It simply isn't done. Foregoing irony for a moment and noting the positive apects of one's country is so totally bourgeois, man. Remember: it is never "dope" to like where you live, unless you weren't born there.

Now go litter your blog with one of these ultra-kool upside-down American flags, toss around the words Cabal and Imperialism a few times in the presence of hot chicks, sew a Che Guevara patch to your messenger bag, laugh smugly at the latest "Get Your War On" while sipping chai, make dopey comparisons between Bush & Hitler, construct awesome oversized puppets in your parents' garage bearing likeness to Bush & Blair, make out with your grrrlfriend to Radiohead, convince yourself MetaFilter is not an inverted Free Republic, shake, stir, wash, rinse, repeat.

~barf~
posted by dhoyt at 1:47 PM on July 3, 2003


Wait. Being a lefty gets you laid? Man, if only I'd known...
posted by kgasmart at 1:52 PM on July 3, 2003


Man, you really haven't been paying attention, have you? :)
posted by dhoyt at 1:55 PM on July 3, 2003


This guy is not an objective commentator, by any stretch of the imagination.

Um... of course he's not being objective - he's saying I'm a citizen and I love my country and here's some reasons why.

But because he says that he should be criticized for it? Mefi really is a bitter hateful place.
posted by alethe at 1:59 PM on July 3, 2003


"CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies. "

WTF???
Single lines do not describe the complexities of past events well.
posted by Akuinnen at 2:11 PM on July 3, 2003


What you do like in the USA or silence might have been better than bitter comments as dhoyt said; ~barf~.
Did you see what I had for lunch in that barf, it was authentic Mexican food made here in the USA.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:15 PM on July 3, 2003


All right 111, I'll take stab at it.

SOUTH DAKOTA - Lakota had WMDs. Threatened our freedoms.
ARGENTINA - WMDs, freedom
CHILE - ditto
HAITI - troops needed vacation
IDAHO - silver miner's known to possess WMDs. possibly still hidden in the mines.
HAWAII - another vacation
CHICAGO - hey, back in the pre-union days, workers died.
I would chalk the rest up to foreign nations threatening our freedoms and way of life. Possibly with WMDs. Maybe even connections to Al-Qaeda. Get with it people. We've been fighting Al-Qaeda (as you can see) for well over a century, and they keep coming back! We cannot rest until they're all dead.

/snark
posted by graventy at 2:16 PM on July 3, 2003


But because he says that he should be criticized for it? Mefi really is a bitter hateful place.

But because we say that we should be criticized for it?

Freedom of speech works both ways, alethe. Don't insult and criticize us for criticizing someone else's words. Words are what we deal with here.
posted by amberglow at 2:16 PM on July 3, 2003


Libs like to throw this one around, but you know what, some of you really do support policies that help Islamic terrorism, and that's the sad truth.

I didn't expect you to actually substantiate that. So is the Bush family--with their personal relationships with the House of Saud--now part of the left? Because the last time I checked, a lot more of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia than were from UC Berkely. But don't that get in the way of your little self-masturbatory McCarthout.

If you weren't so desperately, pathetically wrong about what you think the US' core values are and have been, then you would actually be right about many of us hating it: your America, with its monolith, its jingoism, and its dead civil society, truly would be worth hating. Fortunately, you're full of shit, so we can go on trying to improve this country that many of our ancestors worked so hard to build.

Are you so purposefully ignorrant and illogical with your children? If so, I would love to meet the fat, spoiled little fucks that can never be wrong.

[my sincere apologies if any of you actually have children. i don't care if they're fat or whatever, but i hope that you can acknowledge their shortcomings, so that their personal growth is not forced by your vitirolic, platitude-addicted cohorts to stagnate like they would have our nation's do]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:21 PM on July 3, 2003


Only in America could Pierre Omidyar, whose parents are Iranian and who grew up in Paris, have started a company like eBay

Really? Only?

I've got no problem with people saying how proud they are of their country, just accept the fact that others will point out it's faults (doesn't mean we don't also see it's good points).

And if you're looking at GDP growth rates and population below the poverty line then the CIA might point out there's some other countries out there.

What amberglow said.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:22 PM on July 3, 2003


I had myself a good laugh when I read D'Souza's little list in the SF Chronicle. My first guess was that they were running another "ain't it cute that a kid wrote an editorial" column. Then I saw the Hoover Institute in the by-line and I knew that I was just being fed more childish right-wing propoganda. Orange juice flew across the breakfast table when I read about our compassionate foreign policy, the silly little anecdote that suggests social equality, and so on and so forth. I like most things about this country, but I can't help but laugh at D'Souza and how ignorant he sounds. He sounds like someone who bought the company line and failed to pay attention to the real story. Or else really wanted lots of other people to buy the company line. Why does this stuff get printed?
posted by cholstro at 2:24 PM on July 3, 2003


alethe there's nothing wrong with saying why you love your country, but saying your country is the only place where these good things exist, or that you do these things better than any other nation is going to get people riled up. it's simply not truthful to say that americans live longer, fuller lives than anyone else, or to say they have the highest standard of living than anyone else, or to boast more ethnicities/religions/languages living in peace together (toronto outdoes nyc in this area and has done so for decades) - for example. other countries are ahead of or equal to the usa on these and other things on this one man's top 10 list.

sure a lot of folks may bash america for this or that but by that same token many americans can't stand it when others are as good as they are at this or that. isn't it a good thing that more than one nation offers the best of everything...?
posted by t r a c y at 2:25 PM on July 3, 2003


oh and happy (early) 4th of july - i hope this new american year is a safe, happy, prosperous one for each and every one of you.
posted by t r a c y at 2:30 PM on July 3, 2003


graventy, please show me 1) a country, tribe, civilization or what have you whose historical record is without any blemish whatsoever (check out some facts here regarding the 20th century) , 2) a country that's done more for the world than the USA as far as espousing democratic values go and 3) a country that has saved the world three times (and counting), reconstructed an entire continent (old Europe) and keeps financing virtually all of the world's multilateral institutions.
posted by 111 at 2:37 PM on July 3, 2003


1917- USA enters WWI
1941- USA enters WWII


1914 - WWI begins
1939 - WWII begins

After a century of tardiness, though, at least Bush is now making sure the US gets in early on wars. By starting them.
posted by riviera at 2:44 PM on July 3, 2003


Kind of a silly list, although I agree with the central underpinning of his argument: America provides opportunity. But the way he presents it is at times protesting too much, at times ridiculous, and at times deliberate trolling.

One particularly egregious area was when he tries to assert that other cultures and countries hate tradesmanship and hard work. Apparently he's never visited Europe, Asia, the Middle East or any other place where craftsmen have been passing down their skills from generation to generation, proud of their work and occupying an esteemd place in society.

Furthermore when he says Some cultures, such as that of ancient Greece and medieval Islam, even held that it is better to acquire things through plunder than through trade or contract labor.

I had to just laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. I think D'Souza doth protest too much if he needs to create horrifically false comparisons to justify the idea that people respect workers in America.
posted by cell divide at 2:44 PM on July 3, 2003


Its funny, I can think of so many policies D'Souza supports that move us toward the eradication of almost all of the items on his wonderful top ten list.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 2:46 PM on July 3, 2003


111, how is it we've saved the world three times?

World War II is one of those three, I'm sure. Though maybe what we need is a bit of a reality check. Yeah, we kicked those nasty nips around. But then, some 80 percent of German casualties weren't on the western front - they were on the eastern front. And you've got to wonder, if the Soviets didn't happen to be involved that little scrap, whether the U.S. and Great Britain would have been quite as successful in "saving the world."

So in one of the three instances, it's kind of grandiose to annoint ourselves in this manner, don't you think?

But how about the other two times?
posted by kgasmart at 2:54 PM on July 3, 2003


I have to say, having read the article again and really paying attention, it is pretty hilarious. I realize the discussion is really more about the general idea of what America really is, but I couldn't help but laugh at some of the silly examples he uses to justify his points. He even manages to include the old chestnut that civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson are better off in America than Ethiopia. Good one, Dinesh!

A funny companion article would be to write 10 things that are great about America (that would really piss of D'Souza). Things like: Susan Sarandon is a multi-millionaire and makes more money in a year that D'Souza will in his lifetime, or illegal immigration is incredibly easy, or that America's racist groups are the strongest, best funded, and largest in the world, or that Americans have the freedom to waste more food in a single day than most countries can consume all year! You get the picture, it would be funny. Anyway, good post despite people in the thread calling each other supporters of Islamic Terror!
posted by cell divide at 2:56 PM on July 3, 2003


America's racist groups are the strongest, best funded, and largest in the world

Source?
posted by dhoyt at 3:00 PM on July 3, 2003


Save it, dhoyt. I'm still waiting for proof that libs "really do support policies that help Islamic terrorism, and that's the sad truth." We've entered the land where strongly held opinions don't have to be bolstered by facts.
posted by kgasmart at 3:04 PM on July 3, 2003


trondant, please discuss the shortcomings of other world powers in comparable detail. Compare and contrast.

In particular, the last superpower other than the US, the USSR, killed quite a few people during the collectivization of the Ukraine, and quite a few more in the Gulags. Enough people to make the worst American mayhem look downright benign.

If we're comparing attitudes toward conquered nations, compare East and West Germany in 1988, before the wall fell. Ask the Germans themselves how the behavior of the two superpowers compared.

Sure, the US has flaws. Lots of them. I've written about many of them, here and elsewhere. (And am delighted to live in a place where I can do so without getting my door kicked in.) But if you're putting together a list of truly evil regimes, the US doesn't even make the top ten.
posted by kewms at 3:06 PM on July 3, 2003


Freedom of speech works both ways, alethe.

I would never have guessed that a Mefite would say this...

But, no I'm not saying you can't criticize him, I'm saying that almost everything I see on Mefi is a criticism of the U.S. I was hoping that in a post about what makes America great at least more than a couple of people might be able to come up with some example of it's greatness (esp. with the 4th coming up). I was hoping for a bit too much...
posted by alethe at 3:07 PM on July 3, 2003


Sorry, 111, should've aimed that little piece of sarcasm and trondant. misread the byline, or something.

Seriously though, America has made a lot of mistakes in the past two centuries. I'm not going to compare it to other countries, because that's pointless. I just wish we'd take a look at ourselves and realize that we aren't perfect.

Financing all the world's multilateral institutions? Hmm...when was the last time we actually paid the UN?
posted by graventy at 3:10 PM on July 3, 2003


I don't care if it's a "truely evil" regime, kewms - it's my country, and it's simply not acceptable to brush it off as OK that we're "evil light" "Just one calorie - not evil enough."

Americans - hopefully - have a zero-tolerance policy towards evil that starts right here at home. There's something really weird about hearing US policy being defended as a lighter shade of nasty. That's not the way it was s'possed to be...
posted by Perigee at 3:12 PM on July 3, 2003


the fact that we're all here saying whatever we want IS an example of its greatness, alethe.
posted by amberglow at 3:12 PM on July 3, 2003


America: Love It but Don't Leave It
posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on July 3, 2003


HAWAII - another vacation
Maybe now, but pre FidalCastro-Cuba it was an army & naval base off the beaten path.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:15 PM on July 3, 2003


Dhoyt, the Republican party raised over $200m last year and claims millions of supporters....

JOKE!!! Don't flip out. I was just riffing, but if you look at the world of racialist groups, you'll find strong ones in America, Britain, France, Canada, and Germany. Most other countries don't have a big mixture of races and thus don't have groups that could accurately be descibed as 'racist'. Of these countries, America offers the most freedom for racist groups to raise money, organize, and put out literature and related items. You can't even compare the size and strength of American racist groups with other countries; this is not because America is a more racist country, it's just a bigger, richer, and more free country, plus it has many races living together which seems to freak some people out and cause them to join weird groups.

Look, my bottom line is that there is no doubt that America is a great country which provides more freedom and opportunity than just about anywhere else on earth. Anyone who doubts that is either misinformed, or bitter. But at the same time, I can't suffer fools who take greatness as an excuse to fuck up. There is no excuse for fucking up, you need to recognize a mistake when you see one and try to fix it-- something America has done very well, look at the civil rights era for an example. Of course, I would note that many of the people who were against the civil rights era were exactly the kind of people who were writing these kinds of lists in the 1950's... and America was a great place in the 1950's, but it wasn't good enough, and it still isn't good enough. If you truly love your country, you want it to be the best it could possibly be, not the best in comparison to a bunch of losers.
posted by cell divide at 3:16 PM on July 3, 2003


One for alethe - without sarcasm, and perhaps the one thing all of us can agree with...
posted by Perigee at 3:16 PM on July 3, 2003


Why does it have to be so binary as that? I am a St. Louis Cardinal's fan, and enjoy talking baseball. That said, if a urine-soaked guy in a bear costume stands up on the subway and starts screaming about Albert Pujols, I am not going to join in.

THe "left" and "right" are not teams. Citizenship is not a game, and one can like a given entity while still wanting to improve upon it. In fact, it would be downright gross to see things either way. Even those of you in this thread who claim this sort rational authority over us terrorist-sympathizing commufaggots are displaying such a vivid and contrived us/them dynamic.

You resond to valid criticism of American policy by stating that the good must outweigh the bad--as if such historical calculus is even possible. I'd be willing to concede that you are right, if not for the implication that in doing so I must stop the criticism. How, exactly, does one with that approach ever get around to actually learning from history?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:16 PM on July 3, 2003


Sorry yourself, soyjoy, but I was serious, albeit brief. There are a myriad of causes that led to the US military involvement in the events on that list. Addressing each one individually would have been as egregious a waste of space and time as, say, cutting and pasting the entire list when there are over a hundred links to it on Google.

Beyond that, how would justifying those military actions prove or disprove the fact that someone finds ten things they like about the US? Trondant pasted that list (with no attributions, but that's another issue) and commanded that someone justify the items on it. What point is Trondant contesting? That the US is imperfect? Pancakes? Keep trying.
posted by joaquim at 3:39 PM on July 3, 2003


the fact that we're all here saying whatever we want IS an example of its greatness, alethe.

amberglow:
Freedom is not saying whatever you want... What's great about this country is that you can say almost anything you want without interference and without punishment. But, not recognizing that greatness is shameful, and abusing it is even more so. Just because you can say that this country isn't all it should be doesn't mean that's all you should say all the time. And though you say you do know of this greatness, I only wish I could believe you.


without sarcasm, and perhaps the one thing all of us can agree with

Thank you Perigee.
posted by alethe at 3:40 PM on July 3, 2003


"...a right-winger is the least likely citizen in the country to ever, Ever be a traitor, turncoat, spy for a foreign power."

Whoops!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:41 PM on July 3, 2003


Personally I prefer Hungary.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:44 PM on July 3, 2003


If you weren't so desperately, pathetically wrong about what you think the US' core values are and have been, then you would actually be right about many of us hating it: your America, with its monolith, its jingoism, and its dead civil society, truly would be worth hating. Fortunately, you're full of shit, so we can go on trying to improve this country that many of our ancestors worked so hard to build.

You might want to check your blood pressure, because ranting like that sure isn't good for the heart.

Whenever you get angry like this you can always remind yourself that Saddam Hussein is still alive.

That happy thought should calm you down.
posted by Beholder at 3:47 PM on July 3, 2003


a right-winger is the least likely citizen in the country to ever, Ever be a traitor, turncoat, spy for a foreign power.

*cough*
posted by homunculus at 3:48 PM on July 3, 2003


kgasmart, both World Wars as well as the Cold War would have been lost to undemocratic tyranny (Germany in WWI; the Axis or Stalinist Russia in WWII and of course USSR/China communism in the Cold War); during these conflicts, there was no question about the US central role.
graventy, no prob. The UN debt must be seen within context, and shouldn't make us forget USA $$$ on the IMF, World Bank, environmental conventions and bilateral official development assistance.
posted by 111 at 3:49 PM on July 3, 2003


Perigree: Cheezy MIDI aside, I enjoyed the link for some of the verses I was unfamiliar with. Undimmed by human tears is not at all true about the USA, but the ideal of the "patriot dream" and all success being nobleness... I'm all about that.

alethe: remember, criticism != hate. I would wager that every poster here that has criticised the US did so because they thought they'd spotted an instance where the US failed to live up to its potential, not because they think it's awful all around. I would wager that their passion for pointing this out is fanned by the complacent flag waving that they often see passing for patriotism. It's one thing to say this country is great. It is. It's another thing to say in everything that matters, it's made the best choices out of any country in the world. It hasn't. It's one thing to celebrate it's strenghts. It's another thing to look away from its blemishes.

Ignatius: I love your summary about how the "left" and "right" aren't teams. If you look at the horrible near-perpetual conflicts going on throughtout the world, you realize that they're ultimately fueled by a demonization of another group. Fabulous comment all around.
posted by weston at 3:54 PM on July 3, 2003


this place is in desperate need of a few more soapboxes
posted by poopy at 4:03 PM on July 3, 2003


I would wager that their passion for pointing this out is fanned by the complacent flag waving that they often see passing for patriotism.

I guess I would wager that those who "wave the flag" don't do so complacently... that's the assumption or wager I don't see here much.

displaying such a vivid and contrived us/them dynamic

It's not an us/them for me -- It's an us, which is why it disturbs me so much to see how hateful people can be about their own country.
posted by alethe at 4:07 PM on July 3, 2003


adrianhon: correct, but I did stipulate all, not any. FWIW, I agree about WWII; it would have been immoral to stand aside.

postroad: If you could be bothered to scroll up, you'd know who posted it.

why is it that more people want to come to America than to any other nation on earth and fewer people want to leave to move elsewhere?

Because there's no war going on here since 1865? Because you won't shit yourself to death drinking the water here? People like living where they probably won't be shot dead on their way to the market, don't you think?

beholder:
Oh and trondant, if that's all you see about America then you really have lost any sense of perspective. To look at a countries history and only focus on the negative is the first sign of a zealot, just as the opposite is true.


This one is interesting. You seem to cede that the list tallies up negatives in US history rather than triumphs, or even neutral facts. Could it be that focusing on the negative is a way of improving the country I love, or is that too complicated for you? And no, I see much more in America than that. But we need to correct ourselves before we can claim to be an example to others. That should be clear to anyone who picks up a newspaper regularly.

dhoyt:
Just go home, already.

alethe:
of course he's not being objective - he's saying I'm a citizen and I love my country and here's some reasons why.

Congratulations. Until now, I despaired of describing FOX News to others. You have shown me the way.

Akuinnen:
"You are either with us or against us." I agree; simplistic one-liners just don't cut it when it comes to that.

thomcatspike:
What you do like in the USA or silence might have been better than bitter comments as dhoyt said; ~barf~.

I'm going to reluctantly take a stab at this. What I like in the USA is the right to make a post like I did before and not worry about unlike-minded asshats showing up and dragging me away in the middle of the night. So ~barf~ all over yourself if you like, but don't point that thing my way, ok?

kewms:
This is about us and no one else. In this discussion, I don't give a fuck what Uncle Joe did. What I want to hear is discussion about what Uncle Sam has done. If you want to talk about the very real horrors of Stalinsim, start a new thread.

joaquim:
Here is your attribution. Yes, it was a cut`n`paste job. Yes, it added more to the discussion than your flip one-liner. And your follow-up.

"What point is Trondant contesting? That the US is imperfect? Pancakes? Keep trying."
On the Fourth of July, above all other days, we need to keep our failures and shortcomings squarely in mind; more especially, the lives of the Americans lost while learning those hard lessons.

We are a nation of human beings; ergo we will make mistakes. That is understandable. The unforgivable comes in when we refuse to learn from the mistakes we paid for in blood.

We have made mistakes. We have paid for them in blood. If we do not learn from our mistakes we have wasted the lives and souls of those who fell. Put down your god-damned pom-poms long enough to think about that for a second, will you?
posted by trondant at 4:31 PM on July 3, 2003


Great post.

We have a lot for which to be be thankful on this breezy fourth of July.

See you soon, friends.
posted by hama7 at 4:31 PM on July 3, 2003


Great post.

Eh; it was better when Miguel posted it last Thursday. And even then, it was just a link to an op-ed piece...
posted by mr_roboto at 4:42 PM on July 3, 2003


Trondant: your other comments in this thread suggest that you're only interested in talking about the evil Uncle Sam has done, while dismissing the good. That's sort of like saying that Martin Luther King Jr. was an evil person because he cheated on his wife. Nations are at least as complex and multi-faceted as people.

Perigee: Yes, I agree. But one can criticize the bad while embracing the good.
posted by kewms at 4:42 PM on July 3, 2003


**and of course USSR/China communism in the Cold War

Hey 111, don't forget Independence Day. The U.S. President saved the world!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:43 PM on July 3, 2003


Did I write "last Thursday"? I meant "this Monday", of course.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:57 PM on July 3, 2003


I've pointed out the inaccuracies of the D'Souza piece elsewhere. Suffice it to say that there nothing more unpatriotic in any country than the hymns that rabid fascists sing to their country.
Let me, instead, as a non-american, present a list of the 10 great things about America from my personal perspective in no particular order:

1. The Wobblies
2. Rock and Roll
3. The NSF
4. The Black Panther party
5. Hunter Thompson
6. Google
7. Noam Chomsky
8. The Space program
9. The film-noir
10. The first amendment

oh and:

11. MeFi
posted by talos at 4:59 PM on July 3, 2003


You know what the best part is? If this post gets deleted as either a duplicate or OpEdFilter like it deserves to be, MeFi will still come off looking like a lefty sanctuary where 'patriotic' views are silenced. Nevermind that this particular view is idiotic and takes attention away from what really is great about the United States of America.

If you want to express your love for your country on MeFi please just try and do a little better. Same goes for if you love puppies or Springtime.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:06 PM on July 3, 2003


kevwms, please don't put words in my mouth. My (2) comments in this thread consisted of posting a list of US military interventions, then responding to several people. MLK's marriage has absolutely nothing to do with it.
posted by trondant at 5:14 PM on July 3, 2003


alethe:

it disturbs me so much to see how hateful people can be about their own country.

Again, what makes you think that criticism == hate?

As I pointed out above, mentioning Noam Chomsky, one of the US's harshest critics, he still loves the place. He just thinks that if he calls attention to some of our bad habits, we can improve.

I guess I would wager that those who "wave the flag" don't do so complacently... that's the assumption or wager I don't see here much.

Perhaps if there were more vocal patriots who seemed able to state "This is *one* of the greatest nations the world has ever seen" but yet were willing to acknowledge its problems and bad habits... much of the patriotism that I encounter seems to be of the "School Spirit" variety. What people like me worry about is that the majority of americans will simply continue to repeat phrases about our (in many cases true) greatness... blithely celebrating our rights while not worrying about government agents who say things like you don't have any legal rights, or similarly touting our society's upward mobility while remaining unaware that we could lose it.

Tomorrow I'll go to a parade and celebrate the country and be grateful for many of the things it is. I'll be grateful that it's not as crime ridden and corrupt as Mexico (which I've had poor experiences in) or Brazil (which I've had wonderful experiences in). I'll be grateful most its modern abuses of power are not much like those of the regimes we condemn. But I'll be afraid that most of my fellow parade-goers will be unaware of the two problems I've pointed out and a host of others, because that's been my experience before. But without that awareness, nothing is going to get better.
posted by weston at 5:28 PM on July 3, 2003


12. Jazz
13. Mark Twain
14. Baseball
15. Kentucky Bourbon
16. Bluegrass
17. Black Pride
18. John Dewey
19. Bob Dylan
20. The Simpsons
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:32 PM on July 3, 2003


i agree Space Coyote, that the post could've linked to something more neutral and non-partison, but let's not fool ourselves: mefi really is a lefty sanitarium (how many bush-bashing liberal posts do we have to endure in any given week?) where conservative views aren't necessarily 'silenced', they're just stoned into oblivion. dhoyt said it best really.

the majority always wins. of course this isn't a surprise on mefi, as it shouldn't be in any other community that tries to embrace a more democratic idea. i guess there's no sense in trying to fight it, but it is good for a laugh or two.
posted by poopy at 5:41 PM on July 3, 2003


"coerced virtues are not virtues at all."

IS legislation of virtue also coercion?
posted by MrLint at 5:43 PM on July 3, 2003


Yes. It's just the statement that coerced virtues are not virtues is clearly nonsense. Doing good when others encourage you to do it doesn't mean you're not doing good.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:10 PM on July 3, 2003


But, no I'm not saying you can't criticize him, I'm saying that almost everything I see on Mefi is a criticism of the U.S. I was hoping that in a post about what makes America great at least more than a couple of people might be able to come up with some example of it's greatness (esp. with the 4th coming up). I was hoping for a bit too much...

Well, I think this is rather missing the point. The reason that I consider myself a bit on the left edge of the spectrum of politics is because I think the core of what makes America great is the basic ideal on which America was founded, not the ideal of the divine right of kings to rule, not the ideal of a common faith, not the ideal of a mass of people who speak the same language and look the same, but a state founded on the principle that all human beings have basic rights, and it is the duty of the state to secure those rights rather than grant them:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

These rights were so important, so critical and so valued by our founding fathers, that even in the face of a population still bitterly divided by war, even in the face of tentative national security, sequeezed between three economic and military superpowers, even with home-grown armed insurrections such as the Whiskey Rebellion and states that considered fragmenting the newly formed union over issues of land and slavery, they still ratified the bill of rights. If the Bill of Rights was so important that it needed to be created in spite of far greater threats than al Queda and Iraq, then should in not be the guiding ideal of our government now?

A second major guiding ideal is the notion of a limited executive. When Washington attempted to sit in on Congress one day, he was not so politely asked to leave. The president is the ultimate servant of the people, not its ruler. Presidents ignore this at their own peril.

The fundamental radical American promises of fundamental equality, rights, and consent of the governed are the stelar constilations that I use to judge the course of our country. When our government turns its back on these "self evident" guiding principles, then how can any American patriot remain silent?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:48 PM on July 3, 2003


Yes, it added more to the discussion than your flip one-liner. And your follow-up.

"My post is better than your post"? How trenchant, trondant.

If we do not learn from our mistakes we have wasted the lives and souls of those who fell. Put down your god-damned pom-poms long enough to think about that for a second, will you?

Interesting tactic. Post an interminable list of US military actions for some aimless purpose, challenge the community to justify the list (what facet of the list?), try to pass the work off as your own until you are called on it, then spin it as an invocation to remember the sacrifices of the people who fell in those same military actions, followed by an oblique insinuation that I'm some brainless cheerleader. Are you sure you aren't channeling Ari Fleischer?
posted by joaquim at 8:09 PM on July 3, 2003


Someone remind me to write a script that will do this for me from now on:

Tocqueville describes the beneficial effects of democracy and the American constitution with considerable enthusiasm, praising the inherent freedom of the way of life, the regularity of mores (rather than the equality of status), supremacy of a moral (rather than political) organisation of society. He describes with equal lucidity the extermination of the Indians and the condition of the Negroes without ever bringing these two realities together. As if good and evil had developed separately. Is it possible that one can, while keenly feeling both these aspects pass over the relation between them? Certainly it is, and the same paradox faces us today: we shall never resolve the enigma of the relation between the negative foundations of greatness and that greatness itself. America is powerful and original; America is violent and abominable. We should not seek to deny either of these aspects, nor to reconcile them. - Jean Baudrillard, America
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 8:20 PM on July 3, 2003


"America the Beautiful" is okay so long as it's the Ray Charles version. And only the First Amendment? Why not the whole Constitution?

21) Controversial, random, crazily bastardized holidays
22) "The Star Spangled Banner"
23) Rhythm & Blues
24) The Statue of Liberty
25) The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

There's some other stuff, but it can wait. For all I know this thread's headed for deletion anyway.
posted by tyro urge at 8:53 PM on July 3, 2003


hey i was just thinking just like metafilter opens up new membership periodically, so too the US should open up statehood :D we've been at 50 for awhile; 101 states!
posted by kliuless at 8:57 PM on July 3, 2003


What? C'mon, Iggy, you put the Simpsons at 20? Higher, man, higher!

Why do you hate America so much?</small?
posted by graventy at 9:06 PM on July 3, 2003


crunchburger list

10. cable tv
9. underpants
8. low priced Fender guitars and basses
7. dodge ball
6. chicken fajitas
5.Sen. Robert Byrd - used to be a KKK guy but is now cool
4.People who don't like Quentin Tarantino
3. Chess tournaments
2. Gay people who think they are better than latex sheet fetishists
1. clavdivs
posted by crunchburger at 9:21 PM on July 3, 2003


Whenever you get angry like this you can always remind yourself that Saddam Hussein is still alive. That happy thought should calm you down.
Has the Saddam Corollary to Godwin's Law passed the required number of state legislatures yet?
posted by wendell at 10:57 PM on July 3, 2003


I don't think that mefi is a "lefty haven" by any means. I see more well-reasoned conservative posts here than most places. The problem is, a lot of you just bitch about the number of contrary opinions you're seeing here. If you want to see more right-side stuff, post more of that, and less about how you poor conservatives are so put upon. Complain less, froth at the mouth less, knee-jerk less, and just have a civil, reasonable conversation. Is that so hard? Bitch less, talk more. Seems simple.

I'll say it again, for the skimmers - if you're just going to whine, shut the hell up.

ps. America r0x0rz!!!!!111 USA! USA!
posted by majcher at 12:32 AM on July 4, 2003


Nyognyognyognyog....
posted by y2karl at 1:24 AM on July 4, 2003


it disturbs me so much to see how hateful people can be about their own country

What if you genuinely think your country (any country) is rubbish. What if it is? In England the notion that this country is crap is quite common. No one seems to mind people saying it.
posted by Summer at 2:16 AM on July 4, 2003


Summer-
But would that have gone over as well a couple hundred years ago, at the height of the empire? Americans have yet to be collectively humbled. 9/11 just sort of brought out the jingoism, instead of causing reflection on the tenuousness of everyone's position in the world.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:45 AM on July 4, 2003


What majcher said. I'd love to know if there's a rational conservative case that can lend honor to some of the things that are done in our name, but since all we hear from the right is blind jingoism or sub-Coulter-like slander and demonization of their largely invented straw man left, I can only conclude there isn't one, or that they haven't the brains to make it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:40 AM on July 4, 2003


It caused both, Ignatius, and thus the tension and argument on the subject.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:41 AM on July 4, 2003


I checked your userpage for email, but found nothing. If you had any sense, you would've taken this to MeTa. You didn't, so we'll do this here. Go ahead and break the bottle on the table now; you're going to need it.

Post an interminable list of US military actions for some aimless purpose
"aimless purpose" is an oxymoron. Either I had a reason, or I did not. Which is it? Aimless or purposeful? Ever ask yourself why that list is so interminable? So bloody and hopeless?

challenge the community to justify the list (what facet of the list?),
What part of "ALL" do you not understand? Do you know what a rhetorical question is?

try to pass the work off as your own until you are called on it,
If you knew your history, you would've recognized that list right off the bat. No one who takes US history seriously is going to mistake that for any original work of mine. The fact that you didn't recognize it says more about you than me.

In fact, I'll give you the opening lines of a few trondant originals I've been working on; hope you like them:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." © trondant 2003

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
© trondant 2003

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
© trondant 2003

I really like this one; I'm very proud of it:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
© trondant 2003

If anyone other than yourself seriously believes I passed that list off as original work, I'd like to hear about it.

then spin it as an invocation to remember the sacrifices of the people who fell in those same military actions

Oh yeah. God forbid I have a father who served and an uncle who fought in Korea. God forbid I have a grandfather who was in an artillery unit when they were horse-drawn. God forbid I went to school with a guy who went to Gulf I whose mom mailed him grain alcohol in a Scope bottle so he could sell it to his buddies at $50 a shot. Above all, God forbid that I care even a whit what happens to my fellow man, and that I say so on the anniversary of the day we won our freedom.

followed by an oblique insinuation that I'm some brainless cheerleader.

Insinuations are oblique by nature. I never called you a cheerleader.



Are you sure you aren't channeling Ari Fleischer?

I feel like I have a full head of hair, so yeah, I'm sure I'm not. Maybe you're channeling Ron Ziegler instead? He did leave us recently, so it would make sense. And that bottle I told you to break? You can shove it up your ass right now.

© trondant 2003
posted by trondant at 11:05 AM on July 4, 2003


This still here? Fine.

Obligatory Frederick Douglass link. As history shows, problems are best dealt with by facing them honestly, not downplaying or ignoring them.

To balance that out, here's Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which can basically be boiled down to "deeds > words." How an individual interprets the collective deeds of the United States can be pretty subjective...

While I'm hovering around the Civil War era, I'll just link to William Tecumseh Sherman here since I've always thought he typified the conflicted "American" personality somehow. Not sure I can verbalize why, exactly: just strikes the right combination of flaws, cynicism, hope and resolve I guess. I like Malcolm X for similar reasons. Oh, and Robert Goddard because it amuses me that a weird scientist who tinkered with rockets in his aunt's backyard ended up changing the world so radically.

What was my point? I forget. "The United States is a land of contrasts" or some similar seventh grade book report-level sentiment. Celebrate your country's history, fine, but let's not gloss over the people who may have had to struggle, suffer and sacrifice to be here just to make ourselves seem better than we might really be.
posted by tyro urge at 11:51 AM on July 4, 2003


What Ignatius said.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:20 PM on July 4, 2003


America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history.

America....is also the most virtuous nation on earth.
----------------------------
Describing the scene during combat Richardson admitted shooting injured soldiers and leaving them to die.

He said: "S***, I didn't help any of them. I wouldn't help the f******. There were some you let die. And there were some you double-tapped."

Making a shooting sign with his hand he went on: "Once you'd reached the objective, and once you'd shot them and you're moving through, anything there, you shoot again. You didn't want any prisoners of war. You hate them so bad while you're fighting, and you're so terrified, you can't really convey the feeling, but you don't want them to live."

And despite there being no link between Iraq and the September 11 attacks Richardson admitted that it gave him his motivation to fight Iraqis.

"There's a picture of the World Trade Centre hanging up by my bed and I keep one in my flak jacket. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at that. I think, 'They hit us at home and, now, it's our turn.' I don't want to say payback but, you know, it's pretty much payback."

One of the soldiers interviewed by the Evening Standard, Specialist Anthony Castillo, of the 3/15th US Infantry, said: "When there were civilians there, we did the mission that had to be done. When they were there, they were at the wrong spot, so they were considered enemy."
-----------------------
Americans were outraged when 3,000 people were killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Now, between Afghanistan and Iraq, our vengeance has killed way more than that. We rightly demanded that the world care about our innocent dead. Now we wrongly ignore the people we killed. We not only bombed innocent people, we bombed our own innocence.
---------------------
BAGHDAD – Evidence is mounting to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during the recent war, according to researchers involved in independent surveys of the country.

None of the local and foreign researchers were willing to speak for the record, however, until their tallies are complete.

Such a range would make the Iraq war the deadliest campaign for noncombatants that US forces have fought since Vietnam.
------------------------------
BBC news reporter John Simpson has hit out against the "trigger-happy" behaviour of US troops in Iraq and claimed he saved an old Iraqi man from being shot by gung-ho marines.
-----------------------
A small blue van was moving towards the convoy. Three not-very-accurate warning shots were fired. The shots were supposed to make the van stop. The van kept on driving, made a U-turn, took shelter and then returned slowly. The Marines opened fire. All hell broke loose. They were firing all over the place. You could hear 'Stop firing' being shouted. The silence that set in was overwhelming. Two men and a woman had just been riddled with bullets. So this was the enemy, the threat.

A second vehicle drove up. The same scenario was repeated. Its passengers were killed on the spot. A grandfather was walking slowly with a cane on the sidewalk. They killed him too (SEE PHOTO IN LE MONDE). As with the old man, the Marines fired on a SUV driving along the river bank that was getting too close to them. Riddled with bullets, the vehicle rolled over. Two women and a child got out, miraculously still alive. They sought refuge in the wreckage. A few seconds later, it flew into bits as a tank lobbed a terse shot into it.

Marines are conditioned to reach their target at any cost, by staying alive and facing any type of enemy. They abusively make use of disproportionate firepower. These hardened troops, followed by tons of equipment, supported by extraordinary artillery power, protected by fighter jets and cutting-edge helicopters, were shooting on local inhabitants who understood absolutely nothing of what was going on.

With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane.

Distraught soldiers were saying: 'I ain't prepared for this, I didn't come here to shoot civilians.' The colonel countered that the Iraqis were using inhabitants to kill marines, that 'soldiers were being disguised as civilians, and that ambulances were perpetrating terrorist attacks.'

I drove away a girl who had had her humerus pierced by a bullet. Enrico was holding her in his arms. In the rear, the girl's father was protecting his young son, wounded in the torso and losing consciousness. The man spoke in gestures to the doctor at the back of the lines, pleading: "I don't understand, I was walking and holding my children's hands. Why didn't you shoot in the air? Or at least shoot me?"
-----------------------------------
With cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells, families being shot at checkpoints and nervous soldiers firing into crowds of unarmed protesters, this war is being prosecuted in such a way that civilian lives are not being protected. And especially for a country that champions democracy and the rule of law, that's a war crime.
--------------------------
....15 members of a family killed yesterday when their utility truck was blown apart by a rocket from an Apache helicopter near Hilla, south of Baghdad, added to the toll of civilian to die at the hands of coalition forces, while a hospital director in Hilla said 33 civilians had been killed in bombing raids yesterday.

The family hit by the rocket was fleeing fighting between Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition in Nasiriyah, 350km south of Baghdad, when the US helicopter fired on the jeep in Haidariya at 6pm (0100 AEST), the sole survivor said.

Razek al-Kazem al-Khafaj showed an AFP photographer the coffins he said held the bodies of his wife, his six children, his father, mother and three brothers and their wives.

"Which one of them should I cry on?" Khafaj said, before throwing sand in his face "so I don't have to see" the remains of his 15 relatives before him.
----------------------------
As these documents illustrate, the United States knew sanctions had the capacity to devastate the water treatment system of Iraq. It knew what the consequences would be: increased outbreaks of disease and high rates of child mortality. And it was more concerned about the public relations nightmare for Washington than the actual nightmare that the sanctions created for innocent Iraqis.

The Geneva Convention is absolutely clear. In a 1979 protocol relating to the "protection of victims of international armed conflicts," Article 54, it states: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive."

But that is precisely what the U.S. government did, with malice aforethought. It "destroyed, removed, or rendered useless" Iraq's "drinking water installations and supplies." The sanctions, imposed for a decade largely at the insistence of the United States, constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention. They amount to a systematic effort to, in the DIA's own words, "fully degrade" Iraq's water sources.
-----------------------
To gain a more accurate picture of sanctions-related mortality in Iraq, we commissioned public health specialist Richard Garfield of Columbia University to conduct an independent study. Garfield was a member of the initial Harvard Study Group that investigated the impact of sanctions in Iraq in 1991, and he had published studies on the health impact of sanctions against Cuba and Nicaragua. We asked Garfield to evaluate the studies that have been conducted on Iraq to date and to take a fresh look at possible new methodologies for determining sanctions-related mortality, especially for children under five years of age. The present study is the result of Garfield's effort.

We believe it breaks new ground in examining the humanitarian impact of sanctions and provides as reliable a scientific basis for estimating the mortality impacts of the sanctions in Iraq as can possibly be obtained at this time and under these circumstances. We are grateful to Garfield for the enormous amount of energy and research he brought to this study, and we also owe a debt to the numerous colleagues in the public health field who provided critical commentary to Richard on earlier drafts of the work. We hope that his report will make a significant contribution to a more informed assessment of the Iraq sanctions. We believe that Garfield's study and innovative methodology may have wider significance in offering new approaches to the necessary task of assessing the humanitarian impact of United Nations sanctions.

The estimates offered by Garfield of 106,000 to 227,000 deaths of Iraqi children under five since the imposition of sanctions are significantly lower than the claims presented by the most vocal critics of sanctions in Iraq. But even the more conservative estimates in Garfield's study are horrifying. In particular we ourselves, who have been publicly skeptical of larger estimates, especially those used by the activist community,10 find no solace or academic satisfaction in these gruesome numbers. Garfield confirms that hundreds of thousands of innocent children in Iraq have died prematurely and unnecessarily during this sanctions crisis. This is an appalling humanitarian tragedy.
--------------------
During its air war in Afghanistan, the United States dropped nearly a quarter-million cluster bomblets that killed or injured scores of civilians, especially children, both during and after strikes, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
--------------------------------------
"It's like eating an artichoke," one colonel had said of combat.... 'Once you start, you can't stop.' One of the destroyed vehicles was a bus, which had been hit by a rocket. The precise number of its occupants who were injured or killed is not known, but they incl"It's like eating an artichoke," one colonel had said of combat.... 'Once you start, you can't stop.' One of the destroyed vehicles was a bus, which had been hit by a rocket. The precise number of its occupants who were injured or killed is not known, but they included civilians and children. One of the first Americans at the scene was Lieutenant Charles W. Gameros, Jr., a Scout platoon leader, who called in a Medevac team for the victims. At the time, he was "frustrated" by what he saw as needless deaths, Gameros recalled in an interview. 'Now I look at it sadly,' he said. Unresisting Iraqis had been slain all morning, but the deaths of the children troubled many soldiers."
----------------------------
US forces deny firing at Mosul crowd as witnesses recount
MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) Apr 15, 2003


At the US Central Command's war headquarters in Qatar, Navy Commander Charles Owens said: "We're investigating, all we can say now is that we did not shoot into a crowd [in Mosul]."

Last Update: Thursday, April 17, 2003. 7:44am (AEST)
US admits to Mosul killings

Coalition commanders have admitted American troops shot and killed a number of Iraqis during a protest in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

US forces had earlier denied responsibility for the killings.
---------------------
U.S. forces in Baghdad might now be searching high and low for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but in the past Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years, according to former U.S. intelligence diplomats and intelligence officials.
---------------------------
The U.S. and U.K. went to war against Iraq because of the Middle East country's oil reserves, an adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair said.

Sir Jonathan Porritt, head of the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises Blair's government on ecological issues, said the prospect of winning access to Iraqi oil was ``a very large factor'' in the allies' decision to attack Iraq in March.

-----------------------

A ten minute Google search sample shames this thread's self-congratulatory swill about American force, foreign poilicy, and "virtue".
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:43 PM on July 4, 2003


Yeah, out of our 227 years as a nation, the last few are the only ones that count.
posted by kindall at 1:39 PM on July 4, 2003


Puppies are the best pets ever because cats are stupid.

But cats aren't that bad.

Why do you hate puppies? What are you doing bringing your puppy-hating ways over here? Denying the perfection of puppies makes you a bad person.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:26 PM on July 4, 2003


I friend once wisely said to me, "a cynic is a disappointed romantic." I think it's not unlike the complaints of us folks to the left (and many of the complaints of those on the right, I suppose) - we're not traitorous, we're simply disappointed and frustrated patriots.

The best things about this country - like the constitution, for example - are born of dissatifaction with the status quo. It's the constant focus on what's wrong and the striving to make changes that makes this country great. It's those who wish to quell this dissent by labeling the oppostion as traitors who are the unpatriotic
posted by echolalia67 at 3:30 PM on July 4, 2003


A ten minute goggle search sample shames this thread's self-congratulatory swill about American force, foreign policy, and "virtue".

Ha, I can just see you hunkered over your pc, diligently digging up anything that makes the US look bad, all the while ignoring any positive contributions America has made to the world.

It must truly gall you that so many Americans proudly celebrated their countries existence today, when clearly flag burning instead of flag waving should have been the order of the day.

In your eyes anyone who doesn't hate America 24/7 is a flag waving nationalistic thug, but guess what there is a happy medium, and if you can't even celebrate the great virtues and gifts of this nation on it's national holiday, then you truly are unhinged with hatred and zealotry.

Couldn't you have found something better to do on the fourth than digging up dirt on your own country, especially when much of that dirt is probably questionable information at best.
posted by Beholder at 11:11 PM on July 4, 2003


Memo to Beholder: One can love one's country without being blind to its faults. Please assume these people feel this way, since this is how they say they feel. If they really did hate America I'm sure they'd have no problem saying so. Accept the fact that other people don't share your willingness to ignore the bad things in this world and please don't make assumptions about all those who simply disagree with you.

And for the record you really could have picked a much less political link if your intention was to express love of country on Independence day, and not just stir the beehive. That's rather shameful in itself.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:43 PM on July 4, 2003


Space Coyote :

Right on. I love that Beholder uses the term "middle ground" when telling uis that we are hateful and blind, despite reasoned insistence to the contrary by those being accused. If I hated America, I would say it. Just to prove that point, I will state other zealous and unpopular opinions that I do hold:
1. I like Newsfilter.
2. I think religion is stupid.
3. I worship Lenin and drink the blood of hard-working noeMcCarthyites who only want to tell the truth.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:30 AM on July 5, 2003


Accept the fact that other people don't share your willingness to ignore the bad things in this world and please don't make assumptions about all those who simply disagree with you.

I was specifically talking about F+M's last post. You might have noticed that I quoted him.

Also nice sidestep.

This thread wasn't about people ignoring the bad things in the world. It was about people who focus exclusively on any negative they can find about America, while ignoring the great and wonderful things she has given the world, including the gift of freedom, which came at a tremendous cost in American lives.

I never said America was perfect, and neither did the writer of the article. He just doesn't think we're one tenth as bad as many US bashers make us out to be, and I agree.

Here's to 227 more years of a free and independent sovereign nation.
posted by Beholder at 2:39 AM on July 5, 2003


beholder: Cute, but the person who posts a political flamebait thread on the 4th of July is being disingenuous, or totally ignorant of how extreme the writing of Mr. D'Souza is. You got what you wanted when everyone reacted in the most obvious way, and now you're putting on your little show of righteous patriotism. Congratulations, you've trolled and stirred up negative feelings on a holiday when you should be encouraging those same patriotic feelings you claim to have.

For the record, America is great, but not perfect. And its current government sucks. Don't confuse the two.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:40 AM on July 5, 2003


Congratulations, you've trolled and stirred up negative feelings on a holiday when you should be encouraging those same patriotic feelings you claim to have.

So posting an article where a legal immigrant praises America is now considered a troll?

Only on metafilter I guess, which says more about you than me.
posted by Beholder at 12:15 PM on July 5, 2003


"So posting an article where a legal immigrant praises America is now considered a troll?" - No, but I would call an article which claims that a "bad" country should be "destroyed" a work of an idiot.

There are some great things about the US, some things it can teach the world......sure. I fully agree. Now, can the US listen and learn a little too? Or will it just stomp around and make a mess?
posted by troutfishing at 12:25 AM on July 6, 2003


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