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Nuke 'em till they glow, shoot 'em in the dark

The Littlest Boy - Twenty years after Hiroshima, elite American troops trained to stop a Soviet invasion -- with nuclear weapons strapped to their backs. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 3, 2014 - 39 comments

 

Is America ready for a white, male Secretary of State?

Erin Gloria Ryan asks: Is America ready for a white, male Secretary of State? She's not the only one satirically contemplating this question - John Norris over at Foreign Policy magazine has also wondered: Is America ready for a male Secretary of State? [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 13, 2012 - 46 comments

A Wanker Whipping Up Fear

In May of 2010, Michael D. Higgins (now President of Ireland) had an exchange on an Irish radio station with Tea Party supporter Michael Graham, about the state of politics in the United States. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 26, 2012 - 40 comments

You must've heard of a few

The Most Powerful Women You've Never Heard Of [more inside]
posted by vidur on Apr 22, 2012 - 41 comments

The people of India love you deeply!

"Certainly, Uncle Sam, disowned by Pakistanis, has found innumerable devoted nephews in India. Indian and Pakistani perceptions of America now wildly diverge: A 2005 Pew poll conducted in 16 countries found the United States in the highest regard among Indians (71 percent having a favorable opinion) and nearly the lowest among Pakistanis (23 percent)." Why do India and Pakistan see America in such opposite ways?
posted by vidur on Aug 17, 2011 - 45 comments

Iran and the West

While not being an outright example of a clash of civilizations in the Huntingtonian sense, elements of cultural misunderstanding and fears about the system-challenging tendencies of Iran do affect Western perceptions and influence Western behavior toward Iran. Furthermore, these kinds of reciprocal identity-based fears and projections of the other side’s presumed malevolent intentions tend to be mutually reinforcing. The risk is that they eventually become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Iran and the West - Regional Interests and Global Controversies [PDF]. [more inside]
posted by klue on May 23, 2011 - 4 comments

A Spreading Treason

A Spreading Treason The vagaries of U.S. involvement in the Middle East were surely brought home to First Lady Laura Bush on her recent trip to Israel, on a tour of Jerusalem's holiest sites. At the Wailing Wall, where she placed a note in the Western Wall – as is the custom – she faced surly throngs of protesters shouting "Free Pollard Now!" The Pollardites also showed up earlier that morning, as Mrs. Bush paid a visit to the home of Israeli President Moshe Katsav: "Pollard, the people are with you!" they chanted.
posted by mk1gti on May 25, 2005 - 23 comments

Extreme Makeover: America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism

For more than two centuries, nationalism in all its various forms—from the high-minded chauvinism of the British Empire to the virulent poison of Nazism—has been a familiar, and often negative, phenomenon. Emerging first in Europe, which it nearly destroyed and which has now apparently learned to control it, extreme nationalism still erupts from time to time in other parts of the world. The word "nationalism" never quite seemed to fit the United States, where continental vastness and enormous power have hitherto been tempered by an often-expressed distaste for empire and by the notion of world leadership by example. In the first years of the twenty-first century, however, in a dramatic departure from traditional policy, the spirit of unilateralism and militant nationalism began to dominate Washington's policies and attitudes toward the outside world.

Extreme Makeover - Brian Urquhart reviews America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism. And here is Gerald Rellick's take on the book. From Asia Source, a long and informative interview with Anatol Lievin. From the Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley's Conversations with History, A Conversation With Anatol Lieven. Also by Anatol Lieven, A Trap Of Their Own Making.
posted by y2karl on Feb 14, 2005 - 10 comments

Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories..."I know it’s a fallacy * That grown men never cry Baby, that’s a lie * We had our bed of roses But forgot that roses die * And thank you so much..."
posted by growabrain on Jan 28, 2005 - 10 comments

An Interview with Chalmers Johnson, Parts 1 & 2

If we were having this conversation in 1985, and I had said to you, “Four years from now the Soviet Union will collapse and in six years it will disappear,” you would have thought, “This is not a reliable observer.” But the U.S.S.R. is gone -- disappeared -- and we didn’t predict it. Russia today is a much smaller country than the former Soviet Union. The CIA had all the wrong data. We also made a mistake when we concluded that we had won the Cold War. We had almost nothing to do with what happened in the Soviet Union: there were internal issues and it certainly wasn’t Star Wars. We now know in detail how Gorbachev brought Sakharov out of exile in Gorky to address the Politburo on, “What would you do about a ballistic missile defense?” Sakharov said, “It’s easy to overwhelm it with missiles. I wouldn’t spend a ruble on it.” And they didn’t. But in mistakenly thinking that we won the Cold War, we strongly imply that we did something to cause that. Instead, the Soviet Union collapsed because of overstretch, a case of imperial overstretch.   An Empire of More Than 725 Military Bases
An interview with Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback and The Sorrows Of Empire (More Inside)
posted by y2karl on Dec 1, 2004 - 33 comments

Of course. Haven't we already done that?

Voice of a Superpower --Foreign Policy magazine puts together an interview with John & Jane Q. Public on us, the world, terror, and stuff--based on our responses to public-opinion polls from a wide variety of sources.
posted by amberglow on Jun 7, 2004 - 5 comments

In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq

In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq Bringing democracy to the area...Ladies: do we have some surprises in store for you. Is Iran to be the model? "The United States signaled its readiness to put up with an Islamic theocracy in future sovereign Iraq, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying the US administration "will have to accept" any government created as a result of free and fair elections there. ..."
posted by Postroad on May 16, 2004 - 25 comments

Think We Can (French) Kiss and Make Up?

Think We Can (French) Kiss and Make Up? Two years ago it was "I'll always love and support you". It only took a little while, though, before the arguments began. But there are always counselors to help you work on the relationship. There is even talk of reconciliation. And anyway, this love-hate relationship has been going on for almost three centuries.
posted by twsf on Sep 11, 2003 - 10 comments

Are you down with OSP. Yeah, you know me.

Team B (from Outer Space) Gordon Mitchell, author of Strategic Deception, has recently penned a paper that investigates the process by which decisions about the quality of American intelligence are made. He highlights the role of Team B, a group of far-right conservatives who routinely debated against Team A, usually consisting of mid-level intelligence analysts. These debates were a commonplace during the cold war, and through a series of enthymemetic narratives that altered the conditions of proof, Team B was able to successfully beat Team A (time and time again) and move foreign policy further and further to the right. The cold war ended, and Team B ended with it. But now Team B is back in the form of the OSP, and the same movements are happening, this time challenging and compromising moderate foreign policy, including the more moderate portions of the Bush Doctrine. Is this structural device possibly to blame for the Iraq intel snafu, rather than some overt desire to lie and deceive? Your thoughts?
posted by hank_14 on Aug 5, 2003 - 12 comments

USA! USA!

Unprecedented victories for Republican foreign policy. A new survey from Pew Global shows that in the past 2 years the Muslim world has been further alienated from the US, Europe wants to be more independent of the US, and the UN's reputation has been dramatically weakened. The Cliff notes. A wide variety of other interesting results are in the complete report.
posted by badstone on Jun 4, 2003 - 38 comments

Direct action

It seems that there is some disconnection between the foreign policies of the American administration and the beliefs of a significant part of the population. In many countries, direct action is seen as a normal response. Will that happen here? Or here?
posted by Nicolae Carpathia on Feb 2, 2003 - 18 comments

USA intelligence agencies revealed

USA intelligence agencies revealed Ok. But we get 5% of our oil from there. You decide.
posted by Postroad on Dec 17, 2002 - 23 comments

Pat Buchanan the voice of reason?

Pat Buchanan the voice of reason? in times of insane government decree's of "with us or against us" and "shoot first ask questions later." Its amusing that wackos like Buchanan's viewpoints start making sense. So what is the price of the american empire?
posted by vincentmeanie on Jun 5, 2002 - 36 comments

The Next World Order.

The Next World Order. A fascinating article suggesting that the new guiding principle of American foreign policy, originally formulated by Cheney and Wolfowitz during the first Bush administration, is the prevention of the rise of any other great power which could rival the U.S.
posted by homunculus on Mar 27, 2002 - 10 comments

Brand USA

Brand USA Naomi ('No Logo') Klein on Charlotte Beers' work to manage the US 'brand'. Sitting outside the US, a lot of what Klein says about external perception of the 'brand' (and of Beers' actions) seems quite believable to me, but I'd be interested in hearing an insider view.
Klein's assertion that "...America's problem is not with its brand-- which could scarcely be stronger--but with its product" seems relatively solid, and if it is, it seems that Ms Beers' mission is all-but-impossible, or at the very least misdirected.
That said, the thrust of Klein's argument is the assertion that the US's values are basically incompatible with the whole idea of branding, and I'd suggest that the same could be said of many countries. I suppose the point here is that this specific exercise is rooted in the US's positioning of itself in the world at this point in time.
[Via abraxas]
posted by jonpollard on Mar 18, 2002 - 4 comments

Chomsky on MSNBC talks about recent events! That would be news all by itself. I know that a lot of people on the right disagree with him, but who can argue with what he says here? Also from left field an incisive Q&A about Afghanistan history and the current situation by Tariq Ali.
posted by talos on Oct 8, 2001 - 25 comments

Take a deep breath, angry patriots

Take a deep breath, angry patriots... and read another piece in vein of Seamus Milne's Guardian article. Think, breathe, think. (This one's from your fellow English-speakers in New Zealand).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Sep 13, 2001 - 32 comments

why they hate us

why they hate us Attack on freedom? On liberty? How about retaliation against the biggest bully on the planet? It's our turn to learn how the other half lives. excuse this if it is a double post; I didn't find it in search and it's an important article thanks meg
posted by christina on Sep 13, 2001 - 84 comments

Well-written, well-informed article from the Indepent on the political background to all this.

Well-written, well-informed article from the Indepent on the political background to all this.
posted by Summer on Sep 13, 2001 - 16 comments

Sorry

Sorry that this will be offensive to many (seriously; if I didn't think this was important, I wouldn't post). It's an article linking American foreign policy to the terrible events yesterday.
posted by andrew cooke on Sep 12, 2001 - 45 comments

Pot criticises kettles for chromatic similitude.

Pot criticises kettles for chromatic similitude. Now, on the one hand, it's refreshing that the US State Department acknowledges the human rights abuses of allies such as Israel; but this annual catalogue of the world's foibles smacks just a little of sanctimonious short-sightedness. But I'm torn on this one: are such state-sponsored surveys a useful basis on which to judge the "ethical" basis of foreign policy, or are they propaganda exercises, designed to direct attention away from domestic failures and to paper over the hypocrisies of policy?
posted by holgate on Feb 26, 2001 - 2 comments

Powell wants to scrap most US sanctions

Powell wants to scrap most US sanctions (IHT via Robot Wisdom) Is this a good idea? We've talked before on here about the damage sanctions can do. But is it a good idea to dismantle them in such a wholesale way? The primary motivation seems to be economic.
posted by Sean Meade on Jan 23, 2001 - 17 comments

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