WHAT TO THINK ABOUT THE UNITED STATES. - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-15-2002, 08:22 PM   #1
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 06:38 PM
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT THE UNITED STATES.

Do you ever find yourself reading the latest headlines and wondering what to think about America's latest actions in the war on terror?

Well, I have a three-step solution that couldn't be any easier:


I. Read the following list, matching the current headlines with the sample headline it most closely matches. Repeat the response everywhere, on the forum and elsewhere.

U.S. TO BOMB ROGUE STATE FOR HARBORING TERRORISTS
Bombs kill innocent lives! Besides, killing from a distance is cowardly.

U.S. TO SEND SPECIAL FORCES TO TARGET ROGUE STATE'S LEADERS
Special forces are as evil as the terrorists themselves. Besides, killing from close range is brutal and terrible.

U.S. TO USE LARGE GROUND FORCES TO DEFEAT ROGUE STATE
This is another Vietnam. Will America never learn? Besides, there are plenty of pro-democracy forces that can topple the government; let the people of that country sort themselves out.

U.S. TO LET PRO-DEMOCRACY FORCES TOPPLE ROGUE STATE
The cowards are letting someone else fight their war for them - and those forces aren't even equipped to fight a proper war!

U.S. TO ARM PRO-DEMOCRACY FORCES
In fifteen years, those same forces will be fighting us with our own weapons. Will America never learn?

U.S. SUFFERS MINOR CASUALTIES IN SKERMISH
Another Vietnam! See!

U.S. WINS DECISIVELY AGAINST ROGUE STATE
Bullies! Now that country is in ruins!

U.S. TO SEND AID, REBUILD DEFEATED ROGUE STATE
Imperialists! They just want to enslave the locals with their Big Macs and TV shows!

U.S. TO REFUSE AID TO AVOID LABEL OF 'IMPERIALISM'
Isolationists! They don't care about anybody but themselves!

U.S. NAMES IRAQ AS 'NEXT TARGET'
But Iraq hasn't done anything to provoke anyone! Besides, the Iraqi's are starving because of U.S. sanctions.

U.S. NAMES NEXT TARGET: 'NOT IRAQ'
But Saddam Hussein is a madman, and the Iraqi's are starving. The elder Bush should have finished the job he started a decade ago.

U.S. LISTENS TO CRITICS, PULLS OUT OF WAR
Well, that war accomplished nothing more than boosting Bush's poll numbers.


II. Embelish your statement with any of the following observations:

"G.W. Bush didn't really win the election."

"The U.S. government is run by Evil Corporations."

"Israel is just as evil as the terrorists responsible for 9/11."

"America got what it deserved."


III. Be aware that knee-jerk, ultra-conservative conspiracy theorists will respond, and you should rebut accordingly. Remind the misguided right-wingers that you're not "attacking America". You're merely exercising your right to criticize the government and the middle-class sheep dumb enough to agree with its actions.


This should be more than enough to help you craft an excellent argument against the wickedness of American Imperialism.

If you ever doubt what to say, just keep in mind the following universal truth of human existance:

The United States of America is greedy, lazy, cowardly, and evil. All the actions of its government is wrong, just in different ways.

And we should never, ever judge other countries and cultures.


[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 01-15-2002).]
__________________

__________________
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 02:06 AM   #2
Refugee
 
Foxxern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 1,284
Local Time: 05:38 PM
I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that anyone who is in any way critical of the US government is in fact an unreasonable extremist? Just because I occasionally question the decisions made by my country's leaders doesn't mean I think "America got what it deserved" or "The United States of America is greedy, lazy, cowardly, and evil". If you're trying to convince me to always go along with the leaders of this nation, you've missed the entire point of democracy.

But then again, maybe I'm not seeing your point. If that's true, please correct me.

------------------
Change is the only constant
__________________

__________________
Foxxern is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 06:15 AM   #3
War Child
 
CannibalisticArtist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: West Coast babyeee
Posts: 511
Local Time: 03:38 PM
i think he's just fed up with the catchy headlines and how people get carried away believing them right away.
__________________
CannibalisticArtist is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 09:01 AM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,572
Local Time: 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Foxxern:
I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that anyone who is in any way critical of the US government is in fact an unreasonable extremist? Just because I occasionally question the decisions made by my country's leaders doesn't mean I think "America got what it deserved" or "The United States of America is greedy, lazy, cowardly, and evil". If you're trying to convince me to always go along with the leaders of this nation, you've missed the entire point of democracy.

But then again, maybe I'm not seeing your point. If that's true, please correct me.

Right, but the negation of the statement "always agreeing with the leaders of the USA" is not "never agreeing with the leaders of the USA."
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 09:49 AM   #5
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer:
Right, but the negation of the statement "always agreeing with the leaders of the USA" is not "never agreeing with the leaders of the USA."
EXACTLY.

There is nothing wrong, per se, with disagreeing with an individual policy of the United States. But there are those who appear to disagree with EVERY policy, who put the U.S. in a Catch-22 that it CANNOT win. When they criticize everything, they come very close to looking like people who hate America, despite their protests to the contrary.
__________________
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 09:55 AM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
DrTeeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Q continuum
Posts: 4,770
Local Time: 12:38 AM
Keeping in mind you could turn it around just as easy like this;

Quote:
Not originally posted by Achtung Bubba but slightly altered by DrTeeth:
There is nothing wrong, per se, with agreeing with an individual policy of the United States. But there are those who appear to agree with EVERY policy, who put the U.S. in a Catch-22 (?)that it CANNOT lose.
the bottom-line would be: Fundamentalists suck?

__________________
DrTeeth is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 10:11 AM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,572
Local Time: 06:38 PM
Uh, sure. (Though you probably shouldn't use the label "fundamentalist" here. Maybe "ultra-nationalist" or something like that.)
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 01:08 PM   #8
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 06:38 PM
Yes, Dr. Teeth, one could say the same thing about agreeing absolutely with the policies and actions of the federal government.

So?

That doesn't seem nearly as important in this forum because, frankly, I don't know of that many forum members agreeing with every action of the U.S. government.

I'll use myself as a quick example. In general, I believe the government taxes its people far too much - and the tax code ("punitive" or "progressive", depending on your point of view) is a disincentive to generate more wealth. I believe that the government tries to regulate far too much, thus stifling the dynamic power of the free market. And I believe the government goes to far in attempting to regulate morality with things like the silly V-chip.

And in terms of U.S. military history, I thought the conclusion of World War I was woefully mishandled (leading directly to the Great Depression and WWII). We should have entered World War II earlier. Korea and Vietnam were botched by politicians, starting with the firing of MacArthur. And we should have not gone the fast and easy way and help set up friendly regimes; in retrospect, we should have taken the time to help build true democracies - even if that would have been considered "imperialism."

..and I have already expressed many of these attitudes on the forum.

There have been, I think, quite a few acts in the current war that can easily be praised by all, most noticeably:

* the dropping of Afghan aid *in addition* to the bombs,

* the freeing of an obviously oppressed country, as told through the shavings and celebrations, and

* the establishment of a Afghan provisional government that won't be nearly as tyrranical.

These things are worthy of praise from even those who seem hell-bent on pointing the faults of U.S. foreign policy.

And yet... where is the praise?
__________________
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 01:13 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 06:38 PM
A very histrionic passage. Did you write it yourself or did you copy it from someone you admire? Just curious.

The bottom line comes down to the fact that we have trouble trusting our politicians. It isn't necessarily that we are being blatantly being "lied" to, but the fact that we are often fed carefully crafted lawyer jargon. So, for instance, look at the tax cuts Bush promised in his election. Implicitly, people believed that everyone was going to receive $300 or $600 (individual or couple, respectively). But, in the carefully crafted jargon, it really meant those with lots of taxes get this back. So, in reality, is isn't "lying" many of us are worried about. It is the worry that we are falling for yet another lawyer trick.

Of course, when we are dealing with wars, we open a whole new Pandora's Box. The government has, historically, felt the need to openly lie to the public for "national security" reasons. The public also knows this, and that is why many are skeptical about what the government feeds to us, since U.S. journalists have been banned from reporting from the war zone since after the Vietnam War, and that, obviously, was because the government doesn't like bad press. Regardless of the reasoning, it surely doesn't help to foster trust within your nation, now does it?

DrTeeth & speedracer: Yes, I would agree that "fundamentalist" would not be an appropriate phrase. "Nationalist" would be better.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 01:32 PM   #10
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
I'll use myself as a quick example. In general, I believe the government taxes its people far too much - and the tax code ("punitive" or "progressive", depending on your point of view) is a disincentive to generate more wealth. I believe that the government tries to regulate far too much, thus stifling the dynamic power of the free market. And I believe the government goes to far in attempting to regulate morality with things like the silly V-chip.
I agree that the government taxes individuals too much, but you are on the wrong ideology if you believe that. During the 1970s, corporations paid 70% of taxes, while individuals paid 30%. During the Reagan Administration, it swapped: corporations paid 30% of taxes, while individuals paid 70%. Bush is contributing to making this ratio worse, particularly since he wishes to eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT), and, the implicit reality is that *someone* is going to have to pick up the tab, since someone has to pay for the war and all the corporate bailouts, amongst the price of just maintaining a government. That *someone* is individuals.

Secondly, regulation is necessary to prevent unethical and unstable business practice. The regulation of utilities, for instance, was necessary to prevent these utilities from using their monopolistic tendencies to limit output, drive up prices, and prevent parent companies from sucking money out of the utilities. And what happened when California deregulated electric companies? The same thing. What happened when cable companies were deregulated? Poor service and dramatically higher prices. Since America has some severe competition problems, regulation is necessary. Plus, the reality is that business will only do the bare minimum it has to, so without environmental regulation, for instance, we'd have pollution like you'd never imagine. If it weren't for government regulation of automobile efficiency, we'd likely still be driving the 7 mpg gas guzzlers with leaded gasoline.

And I agree with the silliness of the V-chip, but it was conservatives who pushed for it. Once again, you're on the wrong ideology if you believe that.

Quote:
And in terms of U.S. military history, I thought the conclusion of World War I was woefully mishandled (leading directly to the Great Depression and WWII). We should have entered World War II earlier. Korea and Vietnam were botched by politicians, starting with the firing of MacArthur. And we should have not gone the fast and easy way and help set up friendly regimes; in retrospect, we should have taken the time to help build true democracies - even if that would have been considered "imperialism."
MacArthur deserved firing. If it were up to him, for instance, we would have plunged into a nuclear war regarding Korea. Hindsight is definitely 20-20, but I think Truman handled it well considering the circumstances, and he definitely set a precedent that extends up to today that we should never use nuclear weapons unless another side uses it first.

And, once again, I agree that we should not have set up "friendly regimes," but, once again, you are on the wrong ideology. Nixon set up his corrupt governments, most notably Chile, and Reagan completed it, setting up corrupt governments everywhere from Granada to Honduras. Nations were arbitarily labelled "communist" if they had any leftist leaning, and he simply installed tyrannical dictators in their places. The Republican concern is not about installing democracy, but installing "U.S.-friendly governments," which, implicitly, means "U.S.-business friendly governments."

Quote:
There have been, I think, quite a few acts in the current war that can easily be praised by all, most noticeably:

* the dropping of Afghan aid *in addition* to the bombs,

* the freeing of an obviously oppressed country, as told through the shavings and celebrations, and

* the establishment of a Afghan provisional government that won't be nearly as tyrranical.

These things are worthy of praise from even those who seem hell-bent on pointing the faults of U.S. foreign policy.

And yet... where is the praise?
I am still waiting out on Afghanistan. It is not done yet, so I am reserving judgment on the campaign, until the military operatives have been completed. So far, so good. "So far."

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 01-16-2002).]
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 02:10 PM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
U2Bama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Gulf Coast State of Mine
Posts: 3,405
Local Time: 05:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
but you are on the wrong ideology if you believe that.
Melon:

I have usually admired your intellect and debating skills, but I roll my eyes when I see you say stuff like this. You tend to group/categorize/stereotype people into convenient little boxes and allow little, if any, room for dissent from the views aligned with those boxes.

There is much more to politics, religion, society, etc. than "liberal" and "conservative." There are populist views, moderate views, agri-business views, industrial views, the list is infinite.

Just because a "conservative" agrees with you on one or more issues, doesn't mean that he/she is in the "wrong ideology" in general. I could say that you are in the "wrong ideology" for your pro-life views on abortion.

It seems that you have found some points of agreement with Achtung Bubba for once, but instead of crediting him for it, you wish to tell him that it indicates that his general beliefs/opinions are wrong. I think if he posted a thread saying "Bono is the lead singer of U2," you would pick a debate on it.

And NONE of this is a criticism, just an observation. I usually enjoy the debates between the two of you (except when they get too ugly), and I hope y'all keep them coming.

~U2Alabama

P.S. And Achtung Bubba, congratulations on beating us in basketball the other night.


[This message has been edited by U2Bama (edited 01-16-2002).]
__________________
U2Bama is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 02:13 PM   #12
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 06:38 PM
A brief reply, Melon:

I wrote it myself, thank you very much. I do not plaguerize.

I don't believe the issue is whether we're being lied to. Most of the threads that I'm responding to seemed to take the news story (or op-ed) as factually true - and then proceeded to decry the U.S. for killing civilians, using other countries' armies, etc.

I don't want to argue your points from your second reply any further than I have to, because A) arguing with you goes nowhere and B) that wasn't my point anyway.

My point was that there are very few people on this forum (if any) who agree with every action of the U.S. government while there ARE those who criticize EVERY aspect of U.S. foreign policy.

Here are my only real rebuttals to your points are these:

* You can't tax corporations and not harm individuals. Corporations get their revenue (and thus pay their taxes) through the prices they charge consumers, and the individual consumers essentially pay corporate taxes through higher prices. Thus the somehow-magical ratio of coporate-to-personal taxes is irrelevant.

(In fact, corporate taxes may hurt the poor more than income taxes, in which you can lower rates for the very poor. Let's say we raise the taxes on McDonald's, Inc. They decide to pay for those taxes by raising the price of Big Mac's. Since everyone pays the same amount for a Big Mac, a poor man will pay just as much as a rich man - or he'll pay more if you look at the cost as a percentage of income.)


* The ratio is bogus on another level: it doesn't speak on how much is actually going to the government, either in terms of billions of dollars, or as a percentage of the GNP. Either way, conservatives generally believe that the nation is taxed entirely too much, regardless of whether Reagan (and the Democratic Congress; don't deny their importance in this) was able to accomplish.

* While I don't know whether liberalism is the same way (I suspect it is not), conservatism is not monolithic. Even if most conservatives agree that there's too much violence and sex on television, some thought the medium should be legislated (via the V-chip), some didn't. Most are for the free markets domestically; some are for global free trade, a few are isolationists. And many conservatives believe the setting up of Third World dictatorships was wrong, though most believe that the U.S. should have acted one way or another. Disagreeing on the details doesn't make me less a conservative, or somehow "on the wrong ideology".

Finally, I've noticed that, amusingly, when I say something that matches mainstream conservatism, I'm accused of parroting Rush Limbaugh; when I say something that doesn't match, I'm apparently "on the wrong ideology".

Another Catch-22 perhaps?
__________________
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 02:16 PM   #13
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:
P.S. And Achtung Bubba, congratulations on beating us in basketball the other night.
Thanks.

I was there, actually, on the last night before going back to grad school. The game was well worth it.

And a friend taught me a cheer that, given the officiating that night, would work from the perspectives of both teams and their fans:

We've got a rope, we've got a tree.
All we need is a referee.


__________________
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 02:21 PM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
U2Bama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Gulf Coast State of Mine
Posts: 3,405
Local Time: 05:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
And a friend taught me a cheer that, given the officiating that night, would work from the perspectives of both teams and their fans:

We've got a rope, we've got a tree.
All we need is a referee.

SEC officiating, in basketball AND football, has reached an all-time low; that was evident on both ends of the court Saturday night.

At least Al Ford retired during the Fiesta Bowl.

~U2Alabama
__________________
U2Bama is offline  
Old 01-16-2002, 02:56 PM   #15
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
sulawesigirl4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7,416
Local Time: 06:38 PM
I'm going to have to go with Bama on this one, melon. Putting people in neat little ideological boxes hardly fits with the free-thinking, liberal-minded persona that you seem to try to cultivate here. I'm sure you don't appreciate it when people try to tell you what opinions you can and cannot have...so it seems a bit odd to me that you would stoop to that level.
__________________

__________________
sulawesigirl4 is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com