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Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 09:09 AM
I caught a bit of Sean Hannity on Fox News yesterday. He says Europe loves Obama because they are America-hating socialists. In former times I would have put that in quotes, because without quotes, the natural tendency would be to disbelieve that he actually said it.

My wife was stuck in traffic yesterday, listening to AM radio for half an hour or so for the traffic reports. She says the airwaves are full of right-wing vitriol against . . . Europe.

Today, Dutch says the Europeans want to pick America's next leader.

I had no idea we faced so dire a threat. When did it arise?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-25-2008, 09:22 AM
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged.

"Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."


"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."


"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 09:26 AM
Yeah, but dude, what happens when you go around thinking everyone outside your country is ipso facto your enemy?

botebum
07-25-2008, 09:36 AM
It's common knowledge that Europe is against us. England hates us because of the Revolution. Germany hates us because we beat them in two world wars. France hates us because ... well French people are just rude. Spain hates us because we don't allow bullfighting. Switzerland hates us because we have the Leatherman and they still just have that silly knife with the toothpick. Need I go on? No, I didn't think so.

Doug

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-25-2008, 09:42 AM
"The citizen of Oceania is not allowed to know anything of the tenets of the other two philosphies, but he is taught to execrate them as barbarous outrages upon morality and common sense. Actually, the three philosophies are barely distinguishable…"

"The Hate rose to its climax. The voice of Goldstein had become an actual sheep's bleat, and for an instant the face changed into that of a sheep. Then the sheep-face melted into the figure of a Eurasian soldier who seemed to be advancing, huge and terrible, his sub-machine-gun roaring, and seeming to spring out of the surface of the screen, so that some of the people in the front row actually flinched backward in their seats. But in the same moment, drawing a deep sigh of relief from everybody, the hostile figure melted into the face of Big Brother, black-haired, black-mustachio'd, full of power and mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled up the screen. Nobody heard what Big Brother was saying. It was merely a few words of encouragement, the sort of words that are uttered in the din of battle, not distinguishable individually but restoring confidence by the fact of being spoken. Then the face of Big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

But the face of Big Brother seemed to persist for several seconds on the screen, as though the impact that it had on everyone's eyeballs was too vivid to wear off immediately. The little sandy-haired woman had flung herself forward over the back of the chair in front of her. With a tremulous murmur that sounded like 'My Saviour!' she extended her arms towards the screen. Then she buried her face in her hands. It was apparent that she was uttering a prayer. At this moment the entire group of people broke into a deep, slow, rhythmic chant of 'B-B! .... B-B! .... B-B!'—over and over again, very slowly, with a long pause between the first 'B' and the second—a heavy mumurous sound, somehow curiously savage, in the background of one which seemed to hear the stamps of naked feet and the throbbing of tom-toms. For perhaps as much as thirty seconds they kept it up. It was a refrain that was often heard in moments of overwhelming emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still more it was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise"

LeeG
07-25-2008, 09:59 AM
"you're either with us or against us"..combine that with the expectation that people in the rest of the world are just like us, they just dress and talk differently, and it encourages a sense of betrayal when they don't cooperate with our script.

Gotta blame someone, democrats, environmentalists, Germans, French, you name it

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-25-2008, 10:04 AM
The cultivation of the siege mentality; the prerogative of the football coach throughout the ages.

Jim Ledger
07-25-2008, 10:13 AM
It's common knowledge that Europe is against us. England hates us because of the Revolution.

Doug

I think feelings on that score might be beginning to subside.

TimH
07-25-2008, 10:14 AM
It's common knowledge that Europe is against us. England hates us because of the Revolution. Germany hates us because we beat them in two world wars. France hates us because ... well French people are just rude. Spain hates us because we don't allow bullfighting. Switzerland hates us because we have the Leatherman and they still just have that silly knife with the toothpick. Need I go on? No, I didn't think so.

Doug

They hate us, but they are all looking for us to "lead" them.. :D

its kind of like how a teenager hates their parents :D:D


only because we are smarter, richer and more powerful than them.

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 10:27 AM
Listen, when we go to bat for The Folk, we don't need no fancy-pants Goering telling us how. I'm told he was a European.

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 10:32 AM
I think feelings on that score might be beginning to subside.

An English guy told me England would re-take the colonies. He also told me Boddington's was good stuff but we drank like six apiece and I didn't see the big deal. We laughed a lot but he's gonna laugh out of the other side of his face because in one more year, if they haven't done it, he owes me a beer.

High C
07-25-2008, 10:41 AM
Europe is not America's enemy, but Europe occasionally behaves as if the US were Europe's enemy.

The reason is the conflict of left/right ideology, nothing more. When Europe perceives a US that has shifted leftward, the predictable love fest ensues (yesterday at Tiergarten, for example) . When the US shifts right, the fangs come out. It's an old pattern, quite predictable.

High C
07-25-2008, 10:43 AM
...we are smarter, richer and more powerful than them.

...smarter than they......or not. :p

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-25-2008, 10:45 AM
...smarter than they......or not. :p

You be careful with that intelligent conservatism there, boy, or they'll go thinking you're one of those left-liberal elitists! :p

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 10:49 AM
Europe is not America's enemy, but Europe occasionally behaves as if the US were Europe's enemy.

The reason is the conflict of left/right ideology, nothing more. When Europe perceives a US that has shifted leftward, the predictable love fest ensues (yesterday at Tiergarten, for example) . When the US shifts right, the fangs come out. It's an old pattern, quite predictable.

Man, I can't get this straight. Is it left-wing Europe, or all Europe?

botebum
07-25-2008, 10:51 AM
...smarter than they......or not. :pIt would appear that some of them think they got a corner on the market in talkin' right too.:D

Doug

George Roberts
07-25-2008, 10:53 AM
Looking at the way political campaigns are run ---

Everyone who disagrees is the enemy.

High C is very perceptive.

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 10:53 AM
a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise

I guess that's why they just say "Europe." Two syllables, makes the rhythm flow.



* like "jaguar"

LeeG
07-25-2008, 10:55 AM
Europe is not America's enemy, but Europe occasionally behaves as if the US were Europe's enemy.

The reason is the conflict of left/right ideology, nothing more. When Europe perceives a US that has shifted leftward, the predictable love fest ensues (yesterday at Tiergarten, for example) . When the US shifts right, the fangs come out. It's an old pattern, quite predictable.


so they're with us when we're liberal and against us when we're conservative, makes all the sense in the world

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-25-2008, 10:55 AM
.....

I had no idea we faced so dire a threat. When did it arise?

You should see how the English popular press sees this - Europe is to be opposed by all means possible - on all causes.
See Telegraph, Mail and all Murdoch papers.

LeeG
07-25-2008, 10:56 AM
Man, I can't get this straight. Is it left-wing Europe, or all Europe?


and what about Luxembourg?

High C
07-25-2008, 10:58 AM
It would appear that some of them think they got a corner on the market in talkin' right too.:D

Doug

Hey, I can go either way. I was raised in Shallotte, ya know. ;)

botebum
07-25-2008, 10:58 AM
Europe should just worry about their part of the world and let us take care of the rest of it.(Was that out loud?)

Doug

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-25-2008, 10:59 AM
You should see how the English popular press sees this - Europe is to be opposed by all means possible - on all causes.
See Telegraph, Mail and all Murdoch papers.

And the owner of Faux News, and 175 American newspapers, all of whose editors miraculously agreed with the invasion of Iraq, is...?

botebum
07-25-2008, 11:02 AM
Hey, I can go either way. I was raised in Shallotte, ya know.
Sorry to hear that:D
Seriously though, Shallotte is a bugeoning community. We've got Macdonalds, BK, Wendy's, Bojangle's and they are building a new KFC cus the old one got condemned.

Doug

High C
07-25-2008, 11:03 AM
Sorry to hear that:D
...We've got Macdonalds, BK, Wendy's, Bojangle's and they are building a new KFC.....

Sorry to hear that. :D

Gary E
07-25-2008, 11:07 AM
It's common knowledge that Europe is against us. England hates us because of the Revolution. Germany hates us because we beat them in two world wars. France hates us because ... well French people are just rude. Spain hates us because we don't allow bullfighting. Switzerland hates us because we have the Leatherman and they still just have that silly knife with the toothpick. Need I go on? No, I didn't think so.

Doug

and we're still over there proctecting their ungratefull asses...
I say leave.. let them deal with the rest of the world on their own..

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 03:25 PM
and what about Luxembourg?

They keep it small on purpose so only the elite can afford the housing, or even find it on a map.

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 03:28 PM
Europe is not America's enemy, but Europe occasionally behaves as if the US were Europe's enemy.

When post-Eisenhower Republicans are President, n'est-ce pas?

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 03:33 PM
You should see how the English popular press sees this - Europe is to be opposed by all means possible - on all causes.
See Telegraph, Mail and all Murdoch papers.

You have full-blooded Americans there too, eh?

C. Ross
07-25-2008, 03:35 PM
And the owner of Faux News, and 175 American newspapers, all of whose editors miraculously agreed with the invasion of Iraq, is...?

Gad! It's that damn AUSTRALIAN Murdoch's fault!!

Europe and America can join in the next great crusade of conquering Oz.

Osborne Russell
07-25-2008, 03:36 PM
and we're still over there proctecting their ungratefull asses...
I say leave.. let them deal with the rest of the world on their own..

Funny, that's very similar to what Sean Hannity said yesterday on Fox Network. He gave an interesting statistic: America has only 5% of the world's population but bears 65% of the cost of keeping the world safe and free.

botebum
07-25-2008, 03:40 PM
Funny, that's very similar to what Sean Hannity said yesterday on Fox Network. He gave an interesting statistic: America has only 5% of the world's population but bears 65% of the cost of keeping the world safe and free.
He said that without choking? Where is safe and where is free?

Doug

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-25-2008, 03:44 PM
You have full-blooded Americans there too, eh?

Aye, and a pedigree mtisse.

Dave Gray
07-25-2008, 03:56 PM
Yeah, but dude, what happens when you go around thinking everyone outside your country is ipso facto your enemy?

It's called xenophobia.

Captain Blight
07-25-2008, 07:57 PM
and we're still over there proctecting their ungratefull asses...
I say leave.. let them deal with the rest of the world on their own..Protecting them from whom, exactly? Zee Chermans?

I say, lets get the US out of EVERYWHERE and let other countries tend to their own knitting for about ten years.

Gary, has it ever occurred to you that you represent exactly the reason I don't like many Republicans? The reason why most Left-leaning people don't care much for the Republican side of things? You're xenophobic, politically ignorant, your knowlege of economics is abysmal, you're racist, homophobic, patriarchal, Dominionist, and your spelling is atrocious.

You should disconnect from the Internet and never vote or post again. Seriously.

Oh wait. You don't "Givacrap." I forgot.

botebum
07-25-2008, 08:05 PM
Wow Blight, careful there, someone could lose an eye. ;)

Doug

rbgarr
07-25-2008, 08:09 PM
Political Science

by Randy Newman

No one likes us-I don't know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around, even our old friends put us down
Let's drop the big one and see what happens
We give them money-but are they grateful?
No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
They don't respect us-so let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

We'll save Australia
Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo
We'll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin', too

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now
Let's drop the big one now

Gary E
07-25-2008, 08:13 PM
Protecting them from whom, exactly? Zee Chermans?

I say, lets get the US out of EVERYWHERE and let other countries tend to their own knitting for about ten years.

Gary, has it ever occurred to you that you represent exactly the reason I don't like many Republicans? The reason why most Left-leaning people don't care much for the Republican side of things? You're xenophobic, politically ignorant, your knowlege of economics is abysmal, you're racist, homophobic, patriarchal, Dominionist, and your spelling is atrocious.

You should disconnect from the Internet and never vote or post again. Seriously.

Oh wait. You don't "Givacrap." I forgot.

I dont fell like ansewering you since you seem to have all the answers... how'd you get so stupid? a Blight get hold of your brain? maybe your asso buddy brakO will make everything hunky dorry for you

botebum
07-25-2008, 08:19 PM
I dont fell like ansewering you ...Then don't answer him. How hard would that have been? DUH!

Doug

ahp
07-25-2008, 08:24 PM
I received a letter today from the Republican National Committee, wondering why I had not renewed my membership. They don't want those liberal left wing Democrats to take over this great nation. I don't recall being a member. I think I will let them keep wondering. I need the money for gas.

pila
07-25-2008, 08:44 PM
Hannity was just spouting off because he's pissed that Obama was well received in Europe. He can make a weather report into a political rhubarb.

ingo
07-25-2008, 09:21 PM
We don't hate America. We love your next president, for example.

Gary Bergman
07-26-2008, 06:50 AM
I think the direct answer is somewhere in the mid to late 1700's......

WX
07-26-2008, 07:16 AM
Germany hates us because we beat them in two world wars.
Botebum, in the First World War you only showed up in the last 11 months of a 4 year war and in the Second you were just late.
And the US didn't win it the Russians did, the Western Allies would not have gotten off the beach on D-Day if they had had to face all the Eastern Divisions as well. The best you could say about it is that it was a joint effort.
The US's biggest problem is it thinks it knows what is best for the planet and it doesn't.

paladin
07-26-2008, 08:30 AM
WE won the war...we got histreee books that say so........
I haven't researched the body count losses per country....but without looking I'll bet that Russia lost the most.......the rest of the allies supplied the warm bodies but American industrialization provided the hardware and a lotta Brits supplied Technology......the war was won by US.....meaning all involved...it was a group effort and should be remembered as a group effort.
Irina's great aunt was a WWII sniper, a couple of great uncles were U-boat commanders, several other relatives were U boat crew....and those damn boats were small.....

jbelow
07-26-2008, 09:50 AM
Sean should have kept his mouth shut . I like the idea of a pacifist neosocialist Europe. They have a history of violence and barbarism that is unsurpassed.
The Isamic world needs to take note. Piss on the queen of England or scratch a Germans BMW and you will see the true definition of violence.

botebum
07-26-2008, 09:58 AM
Botebum, in the First World War you only showed up in the last 11 months of a 4 year war and in the Second you were just late.
And the US didn't win it the Russians did, the Western Allies would not have gotten off the beach on D-Day if they had had to face all the Eastern Divisions as well. The best you could say about it is that it was a joint effort.
The US's biggest problem is it thinks it knows what is best for the planet and it doesn't.
I thought it was obvious that the entire post was tongue in cheek. Guess not:rolleyes:

Doug

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-26-2008, 10:35 AM
My Accomplishments as President
By
George W. Bush

I attacked and took over two countries.
I spent the U.S. surplus and bankrupted the US Treasury.
I shattered the record for the biggest annual deficit in history (not easy!).
I set an economic record for the most personal bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
I set all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
In my first year in office I set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history (tough to beat my dad's, but I did).
After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, I presided over the worst security failure in US history.
In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their jobs.
I cut unemployment benefits for more out-of-work Americans than any other president in US history.
I set the all-time record for most real estate foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I set the record for the fewest press conferences of any president, since the advent of TV.
I cut health care benefits for war veterans.
I set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.
I dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.
Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history. (The poorest multimillionaire, Condoleeza Rice, had a Chevron oil tanker named after her for a while.)
I am the first president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously struggle against bankruptcy.
I am the first president in US history to order a US attack AND military occupation of a sovereign nation.
I have created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States, called the "Bureau of Homeland Security
I set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any other president in US history (Ronnie was tough to beat, but I did it!!).
I refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
I am the all-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
I took the world's sympathy for the US after 9/11, and in less than a year made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
I am the first US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.

Dave Gray
07-26-2008, 12:46 PM
•I am the first president in US history to order a US attack AND military occupation of a sovereign nation.

Andrew, this is not quite accurate. One of the first instances of this was the Spanish-American war, spurred on by 'yellow' journalism. That is how we got Puerto Rico. I have to admit we didn't occupy Spain. Not a good idea, even Napoleon couldn't do it.

Otherwise, play on!

pila
07-26-2008, 03:26 PM
I would agree that the WW2 win was certainly a joint effort. No one country could put out that much effort. All involved did their job, with millions of lives lost. Sean Hannity seems to be the loudest mouth on the Fox news division of the Republican party.:)

Neat list Andrew!!

Hwyl
07-26-2008, 03:53 PM
I sent a picture of me and Bush 41,(he lives near me) actually here it is.


To my relatives and friends in the U.K., my mild mannered cousin, Gwynfor, who I grew up with, vilified me for associating with 41, and I got similar negative reactions from others.

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee119/foreguy/AAAHwyl1.jpg

I tend to think of him as an O.K. guy, my very pedestrian and easy going family tend to think of him as the criminal father of a war criminal.

bamamick
07-26-2008, 04:23 PM
Mr. Bush was imminently qualified for the job that he was elected to do, moreso than any other man to have served as president in my lifetime. His son was probably elected the first go round because Bill Clinton's shenanigans put a hurtin' on Al Gore's run at the White House, and because he was Mr. Bush's son, and also because there were so many of us (myself included) who were tied to the Republican party and didn't see any need for change personally.

The relationship between Europe and the US is a rather odd one at the moment. Where I live we have become a labor source for European companies who are taking advantage of the exchange rates to invest heavily in the North American market. It's been a huge boon for our local economy and where you might have heard people grousing twenty years ago about a foreign presence in the area, you wouldn't hear a peep about it today. Many of us have traveled and worked in Germany, France, and the UK because of the companies that we work for, and there have been a lot of folks from the other side of the Atlantic who have worked here.

'Europe' is by no means my enemy. Indeed, I look at them with a lot more feeling of friendship than I ever have before, but the issue of defense is a strange one I admit. Why exactly do we need bases in every country in western Europe, and why do we feel the need to expand into eastern Europe? Who are we protecting, and from whom? If we are going to spend this kind of money on the defense of people perfectly capable of spending money in their own defense, why shouldn't those countries be paying a subsidy for that service? Mercenary? Maybe, but at least it makes more sense than a national debt reaching into the trillions of dollars, and probably a lot more likely to result in someone taking care of their own borders at some point.

The 'American Century' is over. It is time to figure out how we are going to fit into to this newest century, what our role is going to be. The American people can not bear the burden of being some sort of world wide police force any more, and the countries with the money to participate are going to have to pitch in or we will have to rethink this whole thing. The United States did not win WWII. The Allies won it, with the largest contribution coming from the Soviet Union. What the US did do was to secure the freedom of western Europe and Japan so that they could flourish and thrive in the post-war era. The terminology may rankle, but the child(or children) has outgrown the parent. It's past time to let them do their own thing. It's time to get out of their way and chart our own course, imo.

Naive, I know, but I am a naive sort of guy.

Mickey Lake

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-26-2008, 05:31 PM
I am the first president in US history to order a US attack AND military occupation of a sovereign nation.

Andrew, this is not quite accurate. One of the first instances of this was the Spanish-American war, spurred on by 'yellow' journalism. That is how we got Puerto Rico. I have to admit we didn't occupy Spain. Not a good idea, even Napoleon couldn't do it.

Otherwise, play on!

Splitting hairs, Dave - Cuba, Peuto Rico and the Philippines were all colonies of Spain.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-26-2008, 05:50 PM
Regan and Grenada?

paladin
07-26-2008, 06:10 PM
Grenada.......friggin' a$$holes in heliochopters machine gunning boats in the yacht harbor.......

C. Ross
07-26-2008, 09:09 PM
Mickey, that is one fine post.

Osborne Russell
07-26-2008, 09:13 PM
It's called xenophobia.

Zat sum kinda forn word? English not good nuff for ye?

Osborne Russell
07-26-2008, 09:42 PM
The 'American Century' is over.

Ah, but the New American Century is just beginning. New, and improved. World class. Etc.




http://newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

. . . From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.

. . .

Keeping the American peace requires the U.S. military to undertake a broad array of missions today and rise to very different challenges tomorrow, but there can be no retreat from these missions without compromising American leadership and the benevolent order it secures. This is the choice we face. It is not a choice between preeminence today and preeminence tomorrow. Global leadership is not something exercised at our leisure, when the mood strikes us or when our core national security interests are directly threatened; then it is already too late. Rather, it is a choice whether or not to maintain American military preeminence, to secure American geopolitical leadership,
and to preserve the American peace.

(emphasis added)



Boy, you're going to carry that weight, a long time.

bamamick
07-27-2008, 12:34 AM
That's a very interesting use of the word 'peace'.

Mickey Lake

WX
07-27-2008, 01:08 AM
My apologies Doug, it's a bit of a sore point with me and I tend to jump in boots and all sometimes.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2008, 01:21 AM
Those who know no history are condemned to repeat it:

Bases:

. . . From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.


"Pericles sent out one thousand settlers to the Khersonese, five hundred to Naxos, 250 to Andros, one thousand to Thrace to make their homes with the Bisaltai ... and, by setting up garrisons among the allies, to implant a fear of rebellion."
(Plutarch, Pericles XI)

Allies:

Keeping the American peace requires the U.S. military to undertake a broad array of missions today and rise to very different challenges tomorrow, but there can be no retreat from these missions without compromising American leadership and the benevolent order it secures. This is the choice we face. It is not a choice between preeminence today and preeminence tomorrow. Global leadership is not something exercised at our leisure, when the mood strikes us or when our core national security interests are directly threatened; then it is already too late. Rather, it is a choice whether or not to maintain American military preeminence, to secure American geopolitical leadership,
and to preserve the American peace.



"After the Athenians had gained their empire, they treated their allies rather dictatorially, except for Chios, Lesbos and Samos. These they regarded as guardians of the empire, allowing them to keep their own constitution and rule over any subjects they happened to have."
(Aristotle - Consitution of Athens, XXIV)

As the Athenian envoys said to the Peloponessians:

"We have done nothing surprising, nothing contrary to human nature, if we accepted leadership when it was offered and are now unwilling to give it up."
(Thucydides I.76)

"So far as the favour of the gods is concerned, we think we have as much right to that as you ... it is a general and necessary law of nature to govern wherever one can ... we know that you or anybody else with the same power as ours would be acting in precisely the same way."
(Thucydides V.105)

and Pericles summed it up to his fellow-Athenians like this:

"Your empire is now a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go."
(Thucydides II.63)

PeterSibley
07-27-2008, 03:20 AM
Mr. Bush was imminently qualified for the job that he was elected to do, moreso than any other man to have served as president in my lifetime. His son was probably elected the first go round because Bill Clinton's shenanigans put a hurtin' on Al Gore's run at the White House, and because he was Mr. Bush's son, and also because there were so many of us (myself included) who were tied to the Republican party and didn't see any need for change personally.

The relationship between Europe and the US is a rather odd one at the moment. Where I live we have become a labor source for European companies who are taking advantage of the exchange rates to invest heavily in the North American market. It's been a huge boon for our local economy and where you might have heard people grousing twenty years ago about a foreign presence in the area, you wouldn't hear a peep about it today. Many of us have traveled and worked in Germany, France, and the UK because of the companies that we work for, and there have been a lot of folks from the other side of the Atlantic who have worked here.

'Europe' is by no means my enemy. Indeed, I look at them with a lot more feeling of friendship than I ever have before, but the issue of defense is a strange one I admit. Why exactly do we need bases in every country in western Europe, and why do we feel the need to expand into eastern Europe? Who are we protecting, and from whom? If we are going to spend this kind of money on the defense of people perfectly capable of spending money in their own defense, why shouldn't those countries be paying a subsidy for that service? Mercenary? Maybe, but at least it makes more sense than a national debt reaching into the trillions of dollars, and probably a lot more likely to result in someone taking care of their own borders at some point.

The 'American Century' is over. It is time to figure out how we are going to fit into to this newest century, what our role is going to be. The American people can not bear the burden of being some sort of world wide police force any more, and the countries with the money to participate are going to have to pitch in or we will have to rethink this whole thing. The United States did not win WWII. The Allies won it, with the largest contribution coming from the Soviet Union. What the US did do was to secure the freedom of western Europe and Japan so that they could flourish and thrive in the post-war era. The terminology may rankle, but the child(or children) has outgrown the parent. It's past time to let them do their own thing. It's time to get out of their way and chart our own course, imo.

Naive, I know, but I am a naive sort of guy.

Mickey Lake
Thanks Mickey ...that was good to read .:)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2008, 06:48 AM
In reply to Mick's excellent posting, I think that the impact of "9/11" was to convince the Executive that the danger from international terrorism was not one that could be defended against at a nation's borders; the fight had to be taken to the enemy's bases.

So as you see I am actually defending the Bush administration's actions.

Where I think they went wrong was in departing from the line taken by the first President Bush, who was very careful to build a very broad coalition and to work within it.

It became rather clear, rather quickly, that the administration was going to act unilaterally, no matter what.

Blair got caught on this one, when, attempting to persuade Bush and Cheney to obtain a fresh UN mandate for their attack on Iraq, he per-positioned British forces alongside US forces in Kuwait. When Bush went ahead regardless of the French veto, Blair was hung out to dry.

Again, I am not using the benefit of hindsight and I am giving GW Bush the benefit of the doubt and assuming that he sincerely believed in the danger posed by the Baath regime in Iraq.

What I am driving at is that the GW Bush administration's repeated preference for hard power, used unilaterally, has been a ghastly mistake; it would have been infinitely better to rely on the tremendous prestige of the USA after the Kuwait War and to build and maintain a network of formal and informal alliances.

Allies who are allies by conviction, as opposed to the cheque book variety, cost much less than maintaining carrier battle groups and foreign bases. Some bases and carrier groups would still be needed, but not as many as the unilateralist policy requires.

After all, most people actually like the USA; the power of US soft diplomacy is huge.

As it is, we see China, a hard line power at bottom, using soft diplomacy to great effect whilst the USA lost most of its standing.

I doubt if this is permament; an Obama administration could repair the damage in a few months, and with any reasonable luck it should get the chance to do so.

But it does need doing!

bamamick
07-27-2008, 12:50 PM
I think that you illustrated things quite well in your post above, Andrew. Once power has been acquired, by whatever means, it seems that it is human nature to resist the lessening of that power, by whatever means. Very simply, a lot of what the American government has done over the last 60 years has been done because the people in charge were afraid that if we didn't do it someone else would. While the US has been gearing up for a war that hasn't happened, the rest of the world has been gearing up for the peace that did.

jmo

Mickey Lake

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2008, 04:47 PM
Spot on, Mick.

Captain Blight
07-27-2008, 04:56 PM
Spot on, Mick.exactly so. It means a lot more coming from someone who voted for the man and then realized and publicly admitted that might have been a mistake. That takes real courage.

skuthorp
07-27-2008, 05:10 PM
Osborne Russell; "An English guy told me England would re-take the colonies."

What? Typical pom with too much McCaffreys under his belt. Apart from Aus with it's quarries (note BHP and RIO Tinto's price hike for iron ore) the rest are basket cases. The Brit's can't even manage themselves. Maybe the Foruumites can form a co-op and put in a bid for them?

Osborne Russell
07-27-2008, 05:49 PM
Once power has been acquired, by whatever means, it seems that it is human nature to resist the lessening of that power, by whatever means.

Would you deny the President the tools he needs to keep America safe?

Osborne Russell
07-27-2008, 05:51 PM
"Your empire is now a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go."
(Thucydides II.63)

I have trouble keeping forners straight, but if this is the bunch I'm thinking of, they thought it would be a swell idea, in the middle of a war with Sparta, to invade Sicily; and they lost their ass.

Osborne Russell
07-27-2008, 05:53 PM
Apart from Aus with it's quarries (note BHP and RIO Tinto's price hike for iron ore) the rest are basket cases.

Rest of what?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2008, 05:58 PM
I have trouble keeping forners straight, but if this is the bunch I'm thinking of, they thought it would be a swell idea, in the middle of a war with Sparta, to invade Sicily; and they lost their ass.

That's the bunch. A few years before, they had led a coalition that saved civilisation from a fearsome totalitarian dictatorship; over the next few decades they forgot the "led a coalition" bit...

paladin
07-27-2008, 06:28 PM
why don't we just reinvade the Philippines, there's oil near Bagiuo, dunno how much, just gotta stay away from the pesky volcanoes. Eventually we need to take over Indonesia......and then we can run cheeeep tooorist flights to Vietnam,

skuthorp
07-27-2008, 06:30 PM
Rest of the old British Empire, (well maybe thats an exaggeration, India looks OK in the long run. Was meant to be quip.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2008, 06:30 PM
But those volcanoes are great for geothermal energy - and if all else fails we can blame them for global warming!

Osborne Russell
07-27-2008, 07:04 PM
Rest of the old British Empire, (well maybe thats an exaggeration, India looks OK in the long run. Was meant to be quip.

And how about those "Fighting Lawyers of Pakistan"

Osborne Russell
07-27-2008, 07:21 PM
That's the bunch. A few years before, they had led a coalition that saved civilisation from a fearsome totalitarian dictatorship; over the next few decades they forgot the "led a coalition" bit...

Yep, thems the ones. To paraphrase John Adams henceforth, my efforts on behalf of the Democratic Party shall be confined to praying for it.


Thus moral degeneration of every type took hold throughout Hellas due to factional strife, and simplicity of character with which a concern for honor is intimately connected became an object of mockery and disappeared. People were ranged against one another in opposite ideological camps, with the result that distrust and suspicion became rampant.

For there was no means that could hope to bring an end to the strife no speech that could be trusted as reliable, no oath that evoked any dread should it be broken. Everyone, when they had the upper hand, reckoned that there was no hope of any security by means of promises or oaths, and so concentrated on taking precautions not to suffer any injury rather than daring to trust anyone.

And, for the most part, those of more limited intelligence were the ones to survive: in their fear regarding their own deficiencies and their opponents' cleverness, lest they might be defeated in debate (e.g. in a political trial) or be forestalled in laying some plot by their opponents' cunning, they turned to action right away with a boldness born of desperation. Their opponents, overconfident in their assurance that they could anticipate the plots of their less intelligent antagonists, and feeling that they could attain their ends by cunning rather than by force, tended to be caught off guard and so perished.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book 3.82-83:
Civil War in Corcyra
John Porter, translator


http://www.geocities.com/wallacejohnus/kerryforfrance-final-lower.jpg


http://growabrain.typepad.com/growabrain/Morans.jpg

http://www.troubling.info/wp/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/alberto_gonzalez_32.jpg

martin schulz
07-28-2008, 05:40 AM
Where I think they went wrong was in departing from the line taken by the first President Bush, who was very careful to build a very broad coalition and to work within it.

And who was wise enough to talk to Iran before sending troops to Kuwait, a little diplomatic niceness, called for when waging war in the neighbourhood - a feat G.W. Bush thought to be unnecessary...