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Old 08-11-2006, 04:20 PM   #196
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4

I've lived most of my life overseas, and I've travelled a lot before, during and since the events of 9/11. I was actually out of the U.S. during 9/11 and also during the run-up and start of the war in Iraq. What my non-scientific observations have shown me is that an amazing opportunity to bring the world together and use the almost unanimous support that was shown to the U.S. after 9/11 was squandered with almost breaktaking arrogance. Complete strangers came up to me post 9/11 to express their sympathy for America. Since the fiasco that is the war in Iraq, I've sensed more and more hostility and frustration from those outside the U.S. I've had more people than I can remember ask me why our President invaded a country that had done nothing to the U.S. There is a distinct feeling that America believes it is above the law and answerable to no one. People wonder who we will unilaterally decide to attack next. In fact, during the elections in 2004 I was told by one of my African colleagues "You MUST vote in this election! The results will affect all of us in the world, but we do not have a voice. You have to represent us. Please vote!"
Wow. Absolutely! We have done nothing but fuel the fire since 9/11. Has anyone sat back and really wondered about what exactly it is the terrorists/al qaeda wants? Not trying to justify them or give into their demands but... what is it about America's foreign policy or the American Government that they hate, that they think (for some reason) would be fixed if they take out civilians in the thousands.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:45 PM   #197
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4


Perhaps you're trying to deliberately misunderstand me, but in case not, I'll explain. Nowhere did I say that terrorism didn't exist before GWB, nor that he is solely responsible for its existence. What I did say was that his actions since in office have done nothing to help the situation and instead aggravated the grievances that generally motivate terrorists to action.

I've lived most of my life overseas, and I've travelled a lot before, during and since the events of 9/11. I was actually out of the U.S. during 9/11 and also during the run-up and start of the war in Iraq. What my non-scientific observations have shown me is that an amazing opportunity to bring the world together and use the almost unanimous support that was shown to the U.S. after 9/11 was squandered with almost breaktaking arrogance. Complete strangers came up to me post 9/11 to express their sympathy for America. Since the fiasco that is the war in Iraq, I've sensed more and more hostility and frustration from those outside the U.S. I've had more people than I can remember ask me why our President invaded a country that had done nothing to the U.S. There is a distinct feeling that America believes it is above the law and answerable to no one. People wonder who we will unilaterally decide to attack next. In fact, during the elections in 2004 I was told by one of my African colleagues "You MUST vote in this election! The results will affect all of us in the world, but we do not have a voice. You have to represent us. Please vote!"

Obviously those are just my personal experiences and don't necessarily mean anything to you, but they have definitely had a great deal in shaping my views of what is going on in the wider world.
No, actually I agree with you to a great extent about Iraq. Thanks for your honest post. And when I went to Germany in 2004 I definitely kept a lower profile than before.
That being said, if people want to blame the United States or hate George Bush, they will find a reason to. If not Iraq than our support of Israel, if not Israel than Gulf War I. If not that, than it's our military, our culture, our energy consumption, our football, our overzealous bathing habits, you name it.

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Old 08-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #198
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No, actually I agree with you to a great extent about Iraq. Thanks for your honest post. And when I went to Germany in 2004 I definitely kept a lower profile than before.
That being said, if people want to blame the United States or hate George Bush, they will find a reason to. If not Iraq than our support of Israel, if not Israel than Gulf War I. If not that, than it's our military, our culture, our energy consumption, our football, our overzealous bathing habits, you name it.

Fair enough. No hard feelings. I think we all want to be proud of our countries, and we all want to be safe. These are human needs and not unique to us as Americans. Most people in the world want to live safe, normal lives. The better that we can figure out a way for all of us to do that...the happier we all will be.

However, to be totally honest, our football does kinda suck...
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #199
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Originally posted by INDY500


No, actually I agree with you to a great extent about Iraq. Thanks for your honest post. And when I went to Germany in 2004 I definitely kept a lower profile than before.
That being said, if people want to blame the United States or hate George Bush, they will find a reason to. If not Iraq than our support of Israel, if not Israel than Gulf War I. If not that, than it's our military, our culture, our energy consumption, our football, our overzealous bathing habits, you name it.

Yes, if someone wants to hate or blame the US they will, but you have to acknowledge that there is such a thing as legitimate criticism. Many people are critical towards US policies and that has nothing to do with assigning blame for the evils of the world or simple blind hate. As sulawesigirl4 described above, a lot has to do with the perception that the US government acts as though it is above the law and above reproach. That many also see US foreign policy as supremely self-serving, particularly with respect to oil, doesn’t help.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:58 PM   #200
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However, to be totally honest, our football does kinda suck...
Yes, it really, really does
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:13 PM   #201
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Originally posted by Zootlesque


Wow. Absolutely! We have done nothing but fuel the fire since 9/11. Has anyone sat back and really wondered about what exactly it is the terrorists/al qaeda wants? Not trying to justify them or give into their demands but... what is it about America's foreign policy or the American Government that they hate, that they think (for some reason) would be fixed if they take out civilians in the thousands.
But during the Clinton administration, when we supposedly had great foreign policy, terrorists tried to take down the WTC in '93 and now we see they plotted to take down 10-12 planes in '94 in the same manner they tried to currently.

While I'm not going to absolve Bush of any blame for this mess, is there really anything the US could do to prevent the terrorists from wanting to attack us?
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:21 PM   #202
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perhaps it is more a question of how strong the motivation

it's Friday and I got a date tonight
I have a certain amount of motivation

now, give me a different person on my date tonight
and my motivation may be much stronger

and I might even be driven to complete my evil scheme
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:24 PM   #203
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Originally posted by Chizip


But during the Clinton administration, when we supposedly had great foreign policy, terrorists tried to take down the WTC in '93 and now we see they plotted to take down 10-12 planes in '94 in the same manner they tried to currently.

While I'm not going to absolve Bush of any blame for this mess, is there really anything the US could do to prevent the terrorists from wanting to attack us?
Excellent point.

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Old 08-11-2006, 05:26 PM   #204
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Originally posted by Chizip


But during the Clinton administration, when we supposedly had great foreign policy, terrorists tried to take down the WTC in '93 and now we see they plotted to take down 10-12 planes in '94 in the same manner they tried to currently.

While I'm not going to absolve Bush of any blame for this mess, is there really anything the US could do to prevent the terrorists from wanting to attack us?
From my perspective there are numerous elements of US foreign policy that remain constant, e.g. using foreign policy to advance American companies, using bully-like tactics to prevent smaller nations from opposing US policies, or disavowing responsibility for e.g. environmental effects of local US bases.

And since many people feel these effects much more closely and accutely, they're the ones that leave a permanent impression.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:34 PM   #205
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Originally posted by silja


From my perspective there are numerous elements of US foreign policy that remain constant, e.g. using foreign policy to advance American companies, using bully-like tactics to prevent smaller nations from opposing US policies, or disavowing responsibility for e.g. environmental effects of local US bases.


not that i disagree with you, but a question: do you think that any other country, if it had the same wealth and power of the US, would act any differently than the US does?

i guess i'm asking, does the US engender resentment because it is a superpower, or is it the nature of any superpower that engenders resentment?
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:40 PM   #206
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not that i disagree with you, but a question: do you think that any other country, if it had the same wealth and power of the US, would act any differently than the US does?

i guess i'm asking, does the US engender resentment because it is a superpower, or is it the nature of any superpower that engenders resentment?
The cold war suggests that it is in the nature of a superpower to view itself as above the rules of common nations but that is not really the central issue. The US is the only remaining superpower and has a duty to act respectfully and responsibly. I don’t see that happening.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:57 PM   #207
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Originally posted by Irvine511




not that i disagree with you, but a question: do you think that any other country, if it had the same wealth and power of the US, would act any differently than the US does?

i guess i'm asking, does the US engender resentment because it is a superpower, or is it the nature of any superpower that engenders resentment?
Any superpower would have the potential to engender resentment simply because it does in fact possess more power than any other country. However, whether or not that potential is realized is contingent on the intentions, actions, and attitutude of each specific superpower. And in this case, the U.S. has engendered resentment by continually sticking its nose where it doesn't belong, see it cause more bad than good more often than not, and failing to learn anything from those situtaitons. Vietnam. Cosovo. Iraq. Etc. Our government, way before GWB AND during GWB, has a history of interfering in things that are none of their business, and that engenders resentment.

But to answer your question, I would say it's a little of both.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:08 PM   #208
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The cold war suggests that it is in the nature of a superpower to view itself as above the rules of common nations but that is not really the central issue. The US is the only remaining superpower and has a duty to act respectfully and responsibly. I don’t see that happening.


are there other ways in which the US does act respectfully and responsibly?

as superpowers in the history of the world go, can you think of any that are better?
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:19 PM   #209
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are there other ways in which the US does act respectfully and responsibly?

as superpowers in the history of the world go, can you think of any that are better?
What do you mean by 'other ways'? Outside foreign policy or outside the examples I gave above?

As superpowers in the history of the world goes we don't really have that much of a precedent. If we go back past Cold War politics we are essentially in the colonial era where the world and the rules (written and otherwise) governing interactions of nations were very different - to the point of making a comparison to our time unrealistic.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:25 PM   #210
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The two biggest political topics of 2006
1) How to stop people that hate everything we stand for from killing us.
2) How to stop masses of people from illegally crossing our borders, often at great personal peril, to work here and become citizens.

I'm getting mixed messages.
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