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Old 07-14-2003, 10:09 AM   #1
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i am not an american

but i am curious to ask americans the following...why is it that the president must be supported at all costs? from where does that rationale come from? why, when the war began, did all questioning of the war need to cease?

to me this would appear to clash with much of what is fundamental to america.
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:33 AM   #2
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I wish I knew. I was under the impression that the whole point of fighting a war to free ourselves from a single-ruler monarchy and choosing a democracy meant that no man could ever again be king. It would seem that some would rather abdicate the responsibility to educate themselves and to hold public officials accountable.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:00 AM   #3
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Did you ever think that the majority of the population here was in favor of the war?

I do in fact remember many people voicing opinions against the war, and protests etc...

I really do not understand your post, who says we support the President at all costs?

I am not a supporter of this President, however, I am a supporter of this war.





I am not a Canadian.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:17 AM   #4
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i guess its a bit of a dated post since the war has officially ended. but when the conflict first began, and id argue since the events of september 11 really, a culture has been created where questioning of the president and his administration is somewhat taboo.

the only explanation i can think is september 11 is such a tragic day for america that it muted the democratic opposition to a large extent.

id say that day was a signal not to relax criticism, whether that criticism comes from other officials, the media or the public, but to enhance it. to ask more constructive questions. the term 'underlying issues' has become oft-used but im not certain to what extent it is understood.

news of almost decade long highs in unemployment has met very little criticism or questioning for the government that i have witnessed. accusations of previous knowledge regarding the incorrectness of documents which lent credence to the decision to send troops to war, when you look at them in context, havent really given rise to that much criticism.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:29 AM   #5
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well.. we from countries that are not america only know what is going on by the filtered info our media presents (the same as you only have a very narrow view of foreign affairs, since your media selcts too) and it generally seems that the overall majority of USA citicen tends to overly support the American President
As I said I at least guess have not the whole scoop on what is going on at your place but it appears that G.W. Bush also cuts money for education, supports oil drilling in the (ant?-)arctis and such (generally seems to give a shit about ecology), that is something I do not understand and I wonder how he is still in power and seemingly strong seated in his position.. especially since it is said that the majority was NOT for the war. Wouldn't there naturally be one hell of an outcry one some serious trouble for the people in charge?

I kinda like the irony that the whole Iraque thingy obviously becomes too expensive now (*dogh* who would have guessed that) and now we (e.g. Germany... my country) and others (incl. France who were angainst it in the 1st place) should pour out resources/ money and time to take care of it... it's not like we don't haev our own problems with serious economical recesson and high unemployment

btw.. that was no bashing whatsoever! and no for everyone to tell me they do/ don't do this and that
was just a statement from a "foreigners" point of view (my very personal though)
Maybe a bit too agressive or so ? If so, sorry... I love the USA (with many of its possibilities, ideas and way of life.. yet I allow myself to b critical) I experienced the best year of my life there and many of my very dear friends and their families live there (though they share my PoV)
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: i am not an american

Quote:
Originally posted by kobayashi
but i am curious to ask americans the following...why is it that the president must be supported at all costs? from where does that rationale come from? why, when the war began, did all questioning of the war need to cease?

to me this would appear to clash with much of what is fundamental to america.
The U.S. is largely a conservative nation, so President Bush has that going for him. Much of the blind allegiance to Bush is and was driven by the campaign of fear executed by the president and his advisors prior to the invasion of Iraq. Many people believed the president's lies and apparently found and still find comfort in the notion that U.S. intelligence agencies know where and who the terrorists are and that we're going to get them.

So, in short, there is a sense of nationalism in America that is built largely on a foundation of fear created by our president. Nationalism is a powerful force and it begets blind, unquestioning allegiance. Dissenters are unwelcome and, to varying degrees, marginalized.
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Old 07-14-2003, 12:05 PM   #7
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Please also understand how weakl the Democratic party is right now.

I have not heard a peep out of them in what seems to be forever because it is a well known fact Bush will be President until '08 like it or not.

It is very scary, especially for those of us who deplore him, however, we have to simply hope the war on terror eases and he returns to domestic issues.

Remember also the President is not our government, that is made up of hundreds of representatives, we just see and hear what the President does and says, and military action is always more interesting, and politically benefical than anything domestic.

It all sucks, but that is the way it is.
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Old 07-14-2003, 12:11 PM   #8
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pub is right, the U.S. is conservative. Any conservative president has that going for him. That being said Americans do disagree with the president. I protested the war in Iraq. There is alot of fear in the U.S. because of 9/11. There were two attacks during the '90's, including a 1993 bombing of the WTC. Aside from these attacks 9/11 was the first military attack on U.S. soil since the Civil War. We used to think that the ocean could protect us from attacks, but clearly that's no longer true. So we're more likely to "get behind the president" when there's some sort of crisis, alot of fear and anxiety going on. Of course the whole idea of terrorism is to scare the hell out of someone. So when we're anxious about more attacks and such we're more likely to want to follow the president. I can't really do this because I'm a liberal and disagree with this president's agenda. The conservatives really want to follow him, as a whole.
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:49 PM   #9
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Kobe, thanks for asking that, it's a question I had been wondering about for ages. Ouizy, you wouldn't believe the number of Americans who have said to me in discussions "GW is a jerk I hate him but I stand behind the President 100%"

and "we support our troops" (as if disagreeing with the President's decison = condemning the troops) "united we stand divided we fall" and even "How would you like it if a bomb fell on YOU in Canada!"



I will never get these rationales at all. I have always said that if our PM did something assenine I wouldn't stand behind him because that's the whole point of living in a free country. If he went to war with some country, I wouldn't put all my ideals on hold and stand behind something I didn't believe in for fear of being labeled "unpatriotic". And the whole idea of boycotting people/celebrities "hit 'em where it hurts" who don't agree with you seems to be all about forcing people to conform to one ideal...supposedly the opposite of what America is about.

Anyway, that was a good discussion topic!
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:00 PM   #10
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There are plenty of us who don't support Bush and what he's done. Alas, the minority's voice is usually drowned out by the crowd.
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:22 PM   #11
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st. paul - the more literate twin.

there's a lot of things i want to say in this thread.

1. sula, kobe, mrs. edge: respectfully, it was a different climate here in the states relative to whatever it was in different borders. the second we declared war, the united states was isolated from its friends and neighbors (rightfully so - we really were alone). so while i respect your speculations on what americans may or may not have been feeling or not feeling at that time, and it's nice to see your viewpoints, but just remember it was a lot different here than anywhere else.



Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge
and "we support our troops" (as if disagreeing with the President's decison = condemning the troops) "united we stand divided we fall" and even "How would you like it if a bomb fell on YOU in Canada!"

2. the quote above. that's a half incorrect conclusion. supporting the troops is something that both a hawk and a dove do. it's done out of respect for the men and women who serve and protect our country so selflessly. while there is a sentiment that disagreeing with the president is smashing all over the troops, most people support troops simply because of the aforementioned points. support of the troops doesn't mean you're pro-war. disagreement with the president doesn't mean youre anti-troops.


3.
Quote:
why is it that the president must be supported at all costs? from where does that rationale come from? why, when the war began, did all questioning of the war need to cease?
i don't know where you get the first question. i think it's pretty obvious that many of us here at interland don't like bush. maybe you can tell me where you're seeing it? as ouizy said, there was a lot of dissent when the war broke out but at the beginning it was so big it almost so big that people who were anti-war were drowning in the vastness of the problem.

i feel like we did still question the war, but it may be back to my 1st point in that your perspective is different on this than my own because we saw different sides of the conflict.

but kobe dear if you could explain where you got the conclusion that we think that the president must be supported by all costs, i'd really be interested to hear it.

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historical note: up until eisenhower, the president was never to be openly question. it was he who was the first to get caught in CIA covert ops in south america and had to explain it to americans (like they cared). but it did begin a general questioning of presidents. it wasn't really until that point that americans even THOUGHT of questioning what the president was doing. they TRUSTED the candidate and felt that the country would go in the right direction in his hands. when the bay of pigs invasion failed so greatly, more stories came out about how americans ought to be watching their president more closely, but after kennedy's death, the bay of pigs disaster was buried with him until pretty much now. the straw that broke the camels back was obviously watergate. such mass deception of the public by *collective gasp* the president (and his cabinet) opened the floodgate of being virtual gadflies on the president and his administration.

it was compounded by the introduction of the information age and has since compounded into two vast opposites of severe paranoia and allegiance to the president no matter what. but just as with any extremes, most people are in the center of it. while many americans do try to keep up with what's happening, one gets to the "shit, can they lie to me a LITTLE MORE please?" point and goes toward severe paranoia, then swings to just trusting the administration (which is pretty much apathy). now that we have so much information being flown at us in so many directions there are bigger lies with stronger consequences taking place. but with these bigger lies people start to push more over to apathy because it's so shocking once one sees the lies being told daily to us (coming out of the cave and going blind).

/history


i hope some of that is what you're looking for.
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:24 PM   #12
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I tell you what is BS in this thread is the assertion that people who support the President are "blind" or "uneducated". I know people on the left are upset that the majority of Americans supported the war and support George Bush, but that does not mean that should be making claims like that. A Bush supporter could make the same absurd charge about someone who is against Bush.
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I tell you what is BS in this thread is the assertion that people who support the President are "blind" or "uneducated". I know people on the left are upset that the majority of Americans supported the war and support George Bush, but that does not mean that should be making claims like that. A Bush supporter could make the same absurd charge about someone who is against Bush.

point taken sting. while i can see that i didn't clarify the extremes scale that well, i want you to know it wasn't purposeful.


i think that complete complaceny IS apathy, just going along with what the president says solely because he is the president is apathetic and stupid, you can't deny that.


going along with the president because you have reviewed his policies and agree with his platform is different from the above case. it clearly isn't complacency and isn't agreement with the president solely because he is the president, it's an active afiliation with the president/administration.


hope that clears it up.
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by najeena
There are plenty of us who don't support Bush and what he's done. Alas, the minority's voice is usually drowned out by the crowd.
I disagree, the complacent majority are usually drowned out by a strident minority.
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:46 PM   #15
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Re: st. paul - the more literate twin.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
but kobe dear if you could explain where you got the conclusion that we think that the president must be supported by all costs, i'd really be interested to hear it.

I'm not kobe, but I'd like to comment on this.

I cannot express to you the number of times I'd turn on CNN to a show like Talkback Live or Crossfire or something of the sort and have a guy in the audience or a political pundit say something to the tune of "We have to stand behind our president (in a time of war)." Last part may or may not be explicitly stated.

On the other hand, I have NEVER seen anybody on a Canadian news channel like the CBC say the same about our Prime Minister, nor have I read this in Canadian media. It simply isn't there. He's just a guy with a job who sometimes makes good decisions, sometimes bad, we criticize him and we praise him but there is none of that underlying idea that we have to support him at all costs.

I don't think all or even most Americans feel that they have to stand behind their leader, but there are enough of them who have vocally expressed this that the rest of us take a step back, look at it and wonder what it's all about.

I hope I sounded coherent.
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