Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 75

Thread: The Decline in America's Reputation: Why?

  1. #41
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Oh, boy, another windmill...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Just two details:

    Article 2.4 of U.N. Charter defines international law...
    I again ask you who is the enforcement agency for that 'law?'
    Nobody should attempt to tell me that the present German government is Bush-friendly. It's not.
    Agreed.
    - "Europeans are pussies" (which is an embarrassing misunderstanding of facts. The mere idea that the Europeans wouldn't have been powerful enough in the past years is a joke. Several European countries could have crushed Yugoslavia on their own.)
    True -- but they did not due to lack of political will. Then got annoyed at the US for having the will.
    - some ignorance about realities, using interpretations which are solely accepted in the U.S. and irrelevant in 95% of the world.
    Perhaps on the part of some, for myself and many others it's not ignorance but a total lack of concern for what the rest of the world thinks. The world has broadly been anti-American for many years, certainly all my lifetime and I first went overseas in 1947 and have spent over 12 years in one part of the world or another. The feeling is not as intense now as it was at the heighth of Viet Nam. Now we're just disliked, then there was almost hatred in some place. That stuff comes and goes.
    That's quite disappointing, but it's also typical for military-related U.S.-dominated environments.
    May annoy you but it seems like a quite logical reaction considering the environment, I'm unsure what else you would expect.
    It's quite easily possible to discuss such matters much more fruitful in other arenas, even with Americans.
    Fruitful in that you get more agreement with your opinions elsewhere?
    This topic is really one that doesn't need much discussion. Most people easily agree. Just centre/right Americans have problems to understand it, as it collides with their fancy understanding of the USA.
    I'll give you my favorite quote from Ms. Christy Blatchford, a Canadian newspaper Columnist; "...most Americans don't give a rat's ass what the rest of the world thinks."

    And no, Marc, I will not quote McQuaig to him...

  2. #42
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default From BBC...seemed germaine

    to the discussion. Full story is here, but this quoted snippet was an interesting summation/comparison. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but Frei makes some interesting points and observations.
    The world needs to come down to reality and experience the cold turkey of American electoral politics.

    Despite the lofty dreams ringing in campaign ears this remains the 50-50 nation.

    American elections tend to be decided by a whisker-thin majority in the swing county of one swing state.

    Obama may be a global citizen but to voters in West Virginia or parts of Ohio that sounds as pretentious as a double decaf Venti latte.

    But before the German politician who wrote that Obama was a cross between John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King gets too sniffy about those hillbillies in America, just remember this:

    Germany has a minority of four million Turks, but has elected only a handful of ethnic Turks to the Bundestag.

    An ethnic Pakistani Prime Minister taking up residence at Number 10 Downing Street is even less likely than England winning the World Cup.

    In Beijing, the overt racism shown to African students brought over under the bygone days of international Communism is truly shocking.

    Even if America is not ready to elect a black president, the rest of the world has no right to point the finger.

    And there is always the possibility that Obama failed not because he was black, not because he was too global, but simply because his vision of America's future did not add up.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  3. #43
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    The US has never really been economically isolationist...at least not in the sense that I think you mean, Marc. Trade has always been an issue, except possibly for some traditionally isolationist parts of New England (and even there seaborne commerce was a big part of their historical background and profitability).
    You're quite right; I used the wrong term - isolationist when the proper one would be protectionist (i.e. erecting trade / tariff barriers on incoming goods while trying to undermine them in other countries). I'm thinking of the stance in the 1820's and again in the 1870's-90's, mainly in manufactured goods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    But we have certainly been militarily and politically isolationist...and like Sam I'm starting to see a fair chance that we will return to such policies. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing the majority of our overseas bases closed down...and it would be interesting to see how long the quiet lasted before others started shouting for US "help" (mostly funds and the like) to deal with some of the world's problem spots.
    Hmmm. Well, I wouldn't be surprised to see a fair number of your overseas bases closed either, but I think you will see new ones opening up. My gut guess would be that there will still be quite a few US troops on foreign soil, regardless of any political isolationist tendencies. As for groups shouting for help, it would probably start before any draw down . OTOH, you might also want t think about what various US multi-national corporations would do in response to such a draw down (maybe I should invest in Blackwater stock!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    There's also a segment, I think, that likes the idea of having the US "handy"...in other words sitting quietly on the sidelines yet willing to come when called (with money and/or military force if needed) to deal with things that others don't want to deal with directly. The fact that from time to time we don't want to play in that role makes them nervous. The roots of much of this are quite deep, and there's enough of it to go around.
    I'm honestly not sure if it's that or not .
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  4. #44
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Wink Probably a good thing, Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I'll give you my favorite quote from Ms. Christy Blatchford, a Canadian newspaper Columnist; "...most Americans don't give a rat's ass what the rest of the world thinks."

    And no, Marc, I will not quote McQuaig to him...
    .........
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  5. #45
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    806

    Default Marc,

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Isolationism is all well and good, and you're right, it's an old US tradition, but I suspect that if you were to try it in practice, your economic situation would make today look like paradise. You might be able to do a form of social isolationism, but certainly not economic isolationism. Sorry JW, but you're stuck with interacting with the rest of the world whether or not you like it .
    I was agreeing with Sam's prediction, not advocating. The point I was getting at is that I think we'd make the attempt. Having done so, when it didn't work out, we'd lurch way to far in the other direction.

    Just to add to the confusion.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  6. #46
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    I was agreeing with Sam's prediction, not advocating. The point I was getting at is that I think we'd make the attempt. Having done so, when it didn't work out, we'd lurch way to far in the other direction.

    Just to add to the confusion.
    LOLOL - okay, got it and I think that's exactly what would happen .
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  7. #47
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I tend to agree with most of the posts in this thread, pro and con.

    To include Fuchs' (but not snapperhead who has contributed nothing other than pseudointellectual bon mots). Though I have to admit most of you take the issue more seriously than do I. We have been on the nasty list for most of the world for most of our existence. Rarely, we are if not loved, either accepted or respected -- but mostly we're slammed. I've seen so much of it here and there I don't pay much attention to it. It goes in cycles. That's why I think this is sort of important:

    Originally Posted by Steve Blair:
    There's also a segment, I think, that likes the idea of having the US "handy"...in other words sitting quietly on the sidelines yet willing to come when called (with money and/or military force if needed) to deal with things that others don't want to deal with directly. The fact that from time to time we don't want to play in that role makes them nervous. The roots of much of this are quite deep, and there's enough of it to go around.
    To which Marc responded:
    I'm honestly not sure if it's that or not .
    I submit that Steve is correct.

    At the ripe old age of 14, I was in China (B.M. - Before Mao) and a British Officer pointed to a "Yankee go home" graffiti on a wall. I told him I was from Kentucky, so that didn't apply to me and he was totally uncomprehending. That was the beginning of a revelation. Very few people in the rest of the world can understand the US (many in the US don't understand it...), Canadians probably come closer than anyone but even they think we're beyond tacky and really rather weird (both truths). Surprisingly, I think Asians understand us a little better than do Europeans. So too do South Americans, many of whom harbor some earned resentment toward us -- but they all still want to come here. We totally baffle most Europeans I've met..

    Given the fact that we contributed to the defeat of Germany in two wars, Japan in one; we effectively forced the British and French out of the Colonial business and messed up Suez for them and have managed to annoy most nations in the world at one time or another in pursuit of US interests and you have plenty of reasons for us to be on many a nasty list. Add to that a really ignorant and pathetic media face to the world which tends to emphasize our clownish side coupled with the fact that we're big and over prone to try to throw our weight around when it is to our benefit and ignore those issues that are note seen as beneficial (always with an eye to domestic politics) and we're seen an inconsistent and somewhat hypocritical pain in the tail too many. That is unlikely to change.

    So are we.

    In the immortal words of J Wolfsberger:
    ...I think we'd make the attempt. Having done so, when it didn't work out, we'd lurch way to far in the other direction.

    Just to add to the confusion.
    Yep...

  8. #48
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    175

    Default good summary

    That is a pretty good one paragraph summary of it. Well put.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Given the fact that we contributed to the defeat of Germany in two wars, Japan in one; we effectively forced the British and French out of the Colonial business and messed up Suez for them and have managed to annoy most nations in the world at one time or another in pursuit of US interests and you have plenty of reasons for us to be on many a nasty list. Add to that a really ignorant and pathetic media face to the world which tends to emphasize our clownish side coupled with the fact that we're big and over prone to try to throw our weight around when it is to our benefit and ignore those issues that are note seen as beneficial (always with an eye to domestic politics) and we're seen an inconsistent and somewhat hypocritical pain in the tail too many. That is unlikely to change.

    So are we.

  9. #49
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    ... Nobody should attempt to tell me that the present German government is Bush-friendly. It's not.
    It consists of Schröder's SPD and Merkel's CDU. Merkel is chancellor now, but unable to do much or anything against the will of the SPD.
    Merkel is playing nice, but does nothing that helps Bush. In fact, she's waiting for a Bush successor and merely avoids useless conflicts in the meantime.
    She was a decisive obstacle to getting Georgia into NATO.
    And yes, a better U.S. government might have succeeded in convincing us to let Georgia into NATO.
    Please don't pretend for a second former Minister Schröder, as a German diplomat, has done battle with President Bush by precluding Georgia's nomination to NATO (for the sake of Germany). He's been in bed with Putin for years... Remember the '3 fat pigs' I mentioned ?

    One being Gazprom (or for the German government - Nordstream). In spite of overall opposition from every country between Russia and Germany, Schröder and his cronies (and invested interests) are groping around over a pipeline and Russian gas, without mere regard for the former German and Soviet States and their concerns.

    Let's get the story straight while we're accusing the USG of foul play abroad.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  10. #50
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default

    As a non-military person, I'd like to take a whack at some of the items on your list. Like all other nations around the globe we have made many mistakes. I think repairing/ rebuilding our relationships will be difficult for many reasons, but one of the biggest may be because of how differently we "think". To put it simply: You like to talk, we like to act. Your focus is the "communal whole", our focus is the "independent individual". Neither one is completely right or wrong- just different. Onto your list:

    1. Refusing cooperation in international treaties: Are you referring to cooperation with already signed treaties or the signing of new treaties? If it is the former, please provide more specific detail. If it signing new treaties, I'd like to know why we should feel compelled to sign a treaty that may not be in our best interest. Doesn't every country involved have that basic right? One example: For years the European community has bashed America for not signing the Kyoto Treaty. We refused to sign until the issue of India and China were addressed. Considering that both of them are going to be the biggest players on the field that should be a common sense no brainer.

    2. Kidnap of free individuals- I assume this refers to individuals picked up on e battle fields of Iraq and Afghanistan? Those individuals made a free choice to join one side of the war. All choices come with consequences. Should these individuals have no consequence for their choices? What exactly should those consequences be?

    3. Which of course leads to the "violating captured rights......"
    I don't know if placing and holding prisoners at Gitmo was right or wrong. I don't like it and I don't think it was the best choice, but I also don't have a better solution to offer up. How about the European community- you have been quite extensive in your criticism, how about offering up some solutions? And as a caveat-as long as our military is in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan, they cannot be set free.

    4. Torture: Yep- a small group of Americans is certainly guilty of this. And thanks for noticing and appreciating that we are working hard to sort this out and find solutions. Since this is such an important issue for the international community I do have a few suggestions. Perhaps it would be more beneficial for the world if energy was devoted to updating the Geneva Conventions to match the realities of the modern world. And even better, once they have been updated, may I suggest that they be presented to and ratification be required of ALL members of the United Nations?

    5. Disrespect of the UN- Mea culpa, Mea culpa, Mea culpa.
    It would be much easier if you were to list the successes of the UN, as their failures are too numerous to post. Let's instead focus on the fact that almost any issue brought before the UN Security Council will be stalemated by China and Russia. The "idea" of the UN is a worthy one. Nations should gather and talk and attempt to reach agreements. However, talking and creating agreements is only effective if there is in fact a successful outcome. I'm encouraged by reports of changes in Iran, and would like to believe that the existing sanctions will work BEFORE Iran obtains nuclear weapons. I would also like to believe in the tooth fairy.

    There have been recent reports about the need for a new UN building. The old building is full of asbestos. Apparently safely removing the old and building a new will cost the American public billions of taxpayer dollars. I know very few Americans who have any respect or trust for the UN. If you really want Americans to respect the UN- send money.

    I think Americans have been up front about the fact that we have made mistakes. Most of our attention is focused on fixing some of the problems, so I'm not sure what else you expect of us.

    You are entitled to have and to voice your opinions (a freedom greatly under appreciated in the West). I have no desire or need to access any of the sites you mention. I would, however, like to know if any Americans on them tell Europeans how to vote in their elections?

  11. #51
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,222

    Default Back to the start

    Quote Originally Posted by franksforum View Post
    Executive Summary:

    In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack there was world-wide sympathy and support for the United States. This was best summed up in the headline in the French newspaper Le Monde—Nous sommes tous Americains. (“We are all Americans now.”)

    Since then, polls conducted by the U.S. Government and respected private firms have revealed a precipitous decline in favorability toward the United States and its foreign policy. The generally positive ratings from the 1950’s to 2000 moved to generally negative after 2002.
    Many of the comments do not explain why the 9/11 sympathy evaporated, but list all sorts of causes and arguments. Yes, the sympathy for the USA was never really that evident with "the man on the street" in many countries and I exclude a string of democratic countries (not just Western Europe and the usual suspects e.g. Japan).

    In those democracies, like the UK, "the man in the street" knew he and she were the target for the terrorists. Not our governments behind their defences, who rarely use public transport and wander the streets.

    The declaration of a GWOT I suspect started doubts, no-one views a potentially never ending war with relish. When military might is easily visible, a power largely unknown and understood to the viewer - the costs simply appear too much.

    Imagery and image just disappeared. Instead "shock & awe" in Afghanistan, then Iraq and frankly stupid tactical or were they strategic decisions, e.g. a kidnap attempt in Italy comes to mind.

    America in my opinion, aided by countless visits, wants to be loved or admired. For many reasons most Americans look inwards first and cannot understand why others do not love them.

    Have to think what is needed to change this, answers make take time!

    Anyway that's my point of view.

    davidbfpo

  12. #52
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default apology and questions

    I had finished writing my post and was interrupted before I could send it. I should have read updated posts before I posted. I apologize for interrupting the new direction of this thread.

    I continue to learn much from you guys and I must say I agree with most of you.

    Once a week I usually spend a day reading articles as well as comments concerning politics and foreign affairs in MSM sites and on various blogs. I view it as my personal poll. I have been stunned by the amount of passionate and heated comments by non Americans to this particular election. I am afraid I have never focused on a foreign election with such passion. Be that as it may, my point is merely how the internet and global communications will effect the choices America makes.

    Forgive me if I am historically inaccurate, but wasn't it true that FDR wanted America engaged in WWII well before Pearl Harbor but did not have the political will of the people until after Pearl Harbor? Americans were fatigued from WWI and had big issues to confront at home.

    So today, Americans seem to be fatigued from the Iraq War and focused on issues at home. Now add to this all of the anti-American articles, comments and videos from around the world that are now at our fingertips. Will this make us less likely to engage or reengage if we have withdrawn? I fear that if we disengage too much, we will have to experience another Pearl Harbor or 9-11 before the "return lurch" occurs.

  13. #53
    Council Member Sargent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I fear that if we disengage too much, we will have to experience another Pearl Harbor or 9-11 before the "return lurch" occurs.
    1. Your comment assumes that American intervention would have changed the trajectory of Japanese or German policies. However, these policies were driven by their own domestic circumstances that were a response to the post WWI international regime, which the US was involved in creating. By the time these two countries became bellicose it is unlikely that an American show of force would have changed their policies.

    2. Your comment further ignores the fact that the US was in fact engaged in the events unfolding in Europe and Asia. Perhaps not so much as they would be after 1941, but American policy had certainly chosen sides and was acting accordingly. With particular respect to the Japanese, the attack upon Pearl Harbor was in response to the policies chosen by the US that amounted, for them, to serious economic warfare -- specifically, the policies regarding oil and steel.

    3. The Pearl Harbor attack was based upon the mistaken assumption that the US lacked the will to fight in response.* I doubt anyone would make a similar mistake any time soon.

    And to preempt the inevitable question, no, I don't think that Al Qaeda believed the attack would make US pack up and leave the Middle East. In fact, if I were forced to guess at what they wanted to happen, I would say they wanted the US to lash out, because eventually this would cause the sympathetic tide to turn against the US. They knew full well the terms of American operational doctrine -- collateral damage would become a problem. They further could probably have deduced that the US would have a hard time adapting to insurgent warfare, with a fair amount of pain to civilians occuring during the lag time -- it would have required that they read one or two books on the Vietnam War.

    Regards,
    Jill



    *A lesson we ought to have considered prior to OIF: don't go to war based on the best case scenario of your initiating actions. And don't forget the corrollary: no plan survives first contact with the enemy. There's also my favorite, which hasn't quite made it to aphorism: in the modern era, the side that initiates military action hasn't fared well. ("Don't cross the line of departure first," would be its pithy iteration.)
    Last edited by Sargent; 06-13-2008 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Spelling error

  14. #54
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Some thoughts for your consideration.

    Agree with your first two paragraphs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sargent View Post
    ...
    3. The Pearl Harbor attack was based upon the mistaken assumption that the US lacked the will to fight in response.* I doubt anyone would make a similar mistake any time soon.
    That may be correct but I would suggest that based on history we not bet the farm on it.
    And to preempt the inevitable question, no, I don't think that Al Qaeda believed the attack would make US pack up and leave the Middle East. In fact, if I were forced to guess at what they wanted to happen, I would say they wanted the US to lash out, because eventually this would cause the sympathetic tide to turn against the US.
    Agree -- but think they expected the target to be solely Afghanistan and they were prepared for that. They also thought, I believe, that an attack by us in Afghanistan would offer all the advantages you cite plus the added advantage of not disrupting the ME as the 'Stan is not in or of the ME. Our attack in Iraq caught them off balance (they recovered rapidly, they're far more agile than big bureaucratic behemoth us) but not as far off balance as it might have had not Bush delayed (IMO at Blair's request) to go back to the UN.
    They knew full well the terms of American operational doctrine -- collateral damage would become a problem. They further could probably have deduced that the US would have a hard time adapting to insurgent warfare, with a fair amount of pain to civilians occurring during the lag time -- it would have required that they read one or two books on the Vietnam War.
    Possibly. I suspect they realized that our ability to go heavy in Afghanistan was limited and therefor trounceable. Note that in Iraq, they (AQ et.al.) had almost as much trouble and took almost as much time getting militarily organized as we did. Saddams loyalists and the local crimianl gangs were better prepapred but were not a part of "them" (AQ et.al.). The different approach than they expected also took a toll on them in Afghanistan and I suggest that it took them longer to get organized there than it took us. As I said, they are more agile and flexible than us; therefor I think their slowness in adaptation in both theaters is a sign of some weakness. Saddam's folks just got worn down and were running low on money.
    A lesson we ought to have considered prior to OIF: don't go to war based on the best case scenario of your initiating actions. And don't forget the corrollary: no plan survives first contact with the enemy.
    We draw far different conclusions from the same data. One should not go to war based on any preconception of what may occur; such a decision should be based solely on a need to go to war. We did have a need -- induced by the failure of four prior Presidents to properly respond to 22 years of provocations from the ME (NOT Afghanistan, the ME, a critical distinction) -- and we went. The hopes of some politicians are broadly and certainly militarily irrelevant IMO.

    The old saw that no plan survives first contact with the enemy is incorrect. It should be "Only a good plan will survive the first contact." Because that is true; the other is not.
    There's also my favorite, which hasn't quite made it to aphorism: in the modern era, the side that initiates military action hasn't fared well. ("Don't cross the line of departure first," would be its pithy iteration.)
    Given the fact that the initiating North got a draw out of Korea; the other initiating North effectively got a default win out of Viet Nam and that we got nominal wins after initiating the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Panama incursions, I'm not sure that's correct. I'd also posit a point and then ask a question re: Afghanistan and Iraq. Point; We haven't had the proverbial cake walk but it seems we're some distance from not faring well in either place.

    The question; In both current cases, who crossed the LD first?

  15. #55
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Oh, mildly off thread but could someone

    check this (LINK) and remind me again why the UN deserves respect...

  16. #56
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    check this (LINK) and remind me again why the UN deserves respect...
    They're still POed at the US because we cut off the bribes from Saddam.

    If the UN Human Rights Council had an ounce of integrity, it would recommend disbanding itself because of its threat to human rights.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  17. #57
    Council Member Sargent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    178

    Default

    Ken White wrote: Possibly. I suspect they realized that our ability to go heavy in Afghanistan was limited and therefor trounceable. Note that in Iraq, they (AQ et.al.) had almost as much trouble and took almost as much time getting militarily organized as we did. Saddams loyalists and the local crimianl gangs were better prepapred but were not a part of "them" (AQ et.al.). The different approach than they expected also took a toll on them in Afghanistan and I suggest that it took them longer to get organized there than it took us. As I said, they are more agile and flexible than us; therefor I think their slowness in adaptation in both theaters is a sign of some weakness. Saddam's folks just got worn down and were running low on money.
    If you want to hear my most cynical side, I would say that they were blindsided by Iraq because they could not possibly imagine the US would lob them such a gimme. I've never prayed so much in my life as I did between October 2002 and March 2003 that we would not go into Iraq. I firmly believed that it would not work out so well as we hoped it would. I remember being mocked in April, May, and even June of that year, because it seemed to be going so splendidly. But I am firm believer that Humpty Dumpty originated as a true story, a bit of military history taught to children as a nursery rhyme, and I just knew that once broken, Iraq would pose nearly insurmountable problems in its reconstruction. And these would be especially difficult problems unlike those posed by Germany and Japan, because we would not have the mandate to do as we wished as the victorious can over the bad guy aggressors. But if you really look closely at the post-war history of those two countries, at the end of the day we gave them most of what they needed and had clumsily sought in war.

    I wish I had been wrong. But unfortunately I don't think I was. And I do not fear to say that the Iraq intervention was the worst mistake of American foreign policy.

    There, I've bared the depths of my historian's soul.

    Regards,
    Jill

  18. #58
    Council Member Sargent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    178

    Default

    Ken White wrote: check this (LINK) and remind me again why the UN deserves respect...
    Because it's a noble idea. Furthermore, it's a noble idea that we promulgated. If it has gone awry, then we should treat it as one might his child who has lost his way.

    Furthermore, even if the UN has lost its way, even if we don't think that it serves the purposes for which it was established, even if it does not serve our needs, even if it is beyond the redemption we think necessary, what we ought to recognize that the weak and many states of this globe find it valuable, and if only for that we ought to respect and support it.

    Regards,
    Jill

  19. #59
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Newport News, VA
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sargent View Post
    Because it's a noble idea. Furthermore, it's a noble idea that we promulgated. If it has gone awry, then we should treat it as one might his child who has lost his way.
    How would that work, exactly? I am not sure if that is a helpful way of thinking of the problem.
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.

  20. #60
    Council Member Sargent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    178

    Default

    Stevely wrote: How would that work, exactly? I am not sure if that is a helpful way of thinking of the problem.
    It's a philosophical answer to Ken's question. If you have a child, and that child goes off the rails, do you stop loving that child? You may realize and acknowledge the errors, but you don't stop loving the child, you don't renounce him, you don't abandon him. The UN was our idea, we brought it into this world, we believed it in it, and we worked very hard to get the other states of the world to believe in it as well. It would be petty to forsake it because it hasn't become exactly what we want. If we believe it has gone wrong, then we must work to reform it. But again, even if we can't, go back and read my second paragraph - for the pragmatic reason that the small and weak states of the world believe in it it is valuable.

    Regards,
    Jill

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •