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  1. #51
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    To be honest that sulk and is totally disrespectful to the innocent US people sent to fight these wars for an administration fault.....


    I don't agree with the current war, but I wouldn't disrespect those people who are fighting it, its our Governements issue...
    What Americans learn from Vietnam: It was a very bad war. It was very bad for all involved. It was so bad we lowered the voting age to 18 (the age when people got drafted) and stopped drafting people. Also napalm and landmines are not toys.

    The end.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #52
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    Ah don't mistake it as a personal view or even one I've read about, but from the external world, any country invading another that doesn't has a direct quarel is indulging in power abuse. It can be seen as such.....

    I was dipitcing the opposite view of how it is probably reported in the US in order to show how it may be seen. Any country invading another country when there is not direct hostilities is abusing its power and enforcing their own values onto people.
    You obviously have no clue how it is seen in the US if you think you're reporting some view point that you believe is alien to most Americans.

    That said, I don't beleive personally the US had good motives for Vietnam.
    That's easy to say in hindsight. The Domino theory had a major influence on US foreign policy at the time.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #53
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    You obviously have no clue how it is seen in the US if you think you're reporting some view point that you believe is alien to most Americans.


    That's easy to say in hindsight. The Domino theory had a major influence on US foreign policy at the time.
    I'm not American nor attended American school - so very much outside looking in and dealt with people on the receiving end of the administration. And my issue with vietnam has nothing to do with the result and everything to do with what I said about countries invading others without direct cause (its a general view not about the US)

  4. #54
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    And my issue with vietnam has nothing to do with the result and everything to do with what I said about countries invading others without direct cause (its a general view not about the US)
    Let me paraphrase an earlier question; do you think we had "direct cause" to invade the Korean Peninsula? I personally think containing communism (and aiding others who were doing the same) during the Cold War constituted very "good" cause, though the implementation of this goal was often faulty or unwise. By the way, the willful violation by the Iraqi regime (which was despised by approximately three-quarters of the oppressed population) of the terms of surrender after the first Gulf War IS "direct cause"-the invasion was unwise and has had counter-productive short-to-medium term repercussions, but was not inherently wrong on a moral level. No, I'm not saying we invaded for humanitarian purposes, merely that morality and perceived national interest were not in inherent opposition.

  5. #55
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    I don't agree with the current war, but I wouldn't disrespect those people who are fighting it, its our Governements issue...
    A war can't be fought without willing soldiers.

    A government can't attack another unless they have people willing to fire the guns.

    The excuse that "well if I don't do it, someone else will" is just that: an excuse.

    This's a large part of why I would never make a good soldier. I refuse orders that I disagree with; if yeu want me to kill someone that I don't think deserves to die, then I'm more likely to gun down the person making the order so that they can't argue the matter further, because if yeu say "No", they CAN try to just do it themselves, and then hold yeu responsible anyway. It's better to simply remove them once they've shown no remorse.

    I don't think I'd get that far ahead though. I doubt I could get through training without being courtmarshalled multiple times for excessively strong opinions

    I dunno, I just can't accept that if yeu pulled the trigger, that yeu can't be held responsible. If yeu know it's wrong, don't do it. Otherwise the Nuremberg trials were a total waste of a precedent.

    Perhaps my opinion on that isn't shared by many, and many think it's always good to be 'defending yeur country!'... except... the most recent war wasn't in defense. It was an attack. Against an enemy that wasn't really a threat. That's not defense, that's attack, and those who did the attack knew better and did it anyway.

    Those who went in after to try to fix the damage done, I can't hold anything against, since there's not much that could be done at that point... once the damage is done, best yeu can do is try to pick up the pieces.

    But in the end, I still stand by the fact that yeu can't have a war unless yeu have people willing to pull the trigger and kill each other. War is just legalized murder, and really no better than any other reason for murder.

    Want more land? STEAL IT! At gun point! Yeu're nothing more than a common theif >.< Except yeu did it on a really grand scale.

    Want more resources? Kill for them!

    Want to proove yeur moral superiourity? Kill anyone who doesn't agree with yeu!

    But to do this, yeu have to have people who are willing to do that, and agree with it.

    Note that there have been studies done which've shown that less than 50% of soldiers will actually fire at a human target, many won't even fire a shot, and those that do, will rarely be willing to point it at a humanoid target.

    The only ones who will do otherwise, are the ones who either see immediate threat to themselves (self defense), or those who are fanatical. The former is alright, though they should know better than to agree to be placed into a situation like that in the first place. The second make for effecient soldiers, but are generally the same ones who commit war crimes.

    I dunno, I just don't like the idea, war should be a last ditch resort, and yeu should never fire the first shot. If something's wrong, don't go along with it. Soldier or not, yeu have a duty to more than one man, or one nation; those who can't see beyond the leader or the country they lead, are no better than the nazi's were, or the crusades were, or any of a number of other horrible wars. Yeu just flat out can't have a war without people who will fight that war.

    That being said, obviously not everyone is equally guilty, but everyone who participates has at least partial guilt. The engineer who ensures the guns, the bombs, the missiles and the tanks are working, is still responsible in part for when those weapons are misused. Giving someone who shouldn't have a gun a weapon, even if yeu didn't pull the trigger yeurself, still implicates yeu.

    There are those that I can't hold a grudge against, for they have done no harm, but I equally can't just say "well it's their job" and leave it at that. If an assassin killed the president today, I'm relatively sure the "well it's just their job, they're just following orders" crap will suddenly disappear.

  6. #56
    Senior Member Gewitter27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    "Our students have to learn about American exceptionalism and how unique our country is... that needs to be stressed more"


    America needs to do stress this more?! Educators need to "take out the negatives"?! This woman is advocating ignorance, blind pride and brainwashing.

    Isn't it better that kids learn about how great America is despite its faults? Isn't it better that kids learn to ask questions of their government and its institutions and to demand more from them? Isn't it better that kids grow up hoping to improve their country, to change their country for the better?

    Are there really people like this woman out there?


    You are joking, right?
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  7. #57
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Lots of stuff to work with here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    As one espionage historian put it, there was never a time when obtaining top secret information about the US government was easier. The KGB(well actually NKVD at this time) had a field day.
    Everyone in the world who gave a damn knew exactly what everyone else in the world knew. That's the dirty secret of espionage - there are no secrets, precisely because there are always way too many holes. The trick is to play the game of convincing the other side that you don't know what you actually do know, since it's much easier to engage diplomatically by alluding to supposedly top-secret information, but never actually revealing what you know.

    It's a giant confidence game really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    As an Englishman we are delighted to listen to you. However America is a successful bourgeois revolution. They do not want continuous revolution. And they certainly do not want to overturned by a proletarian revolution.

    They have won their treacherous revolution against lawful authority and built the most successful mercantile empire the world has ever seen.

    But most of all their success is seen as proof that God has smiled on their bourgeois revolution.

    And who can gainsay the Deity - after all, it is in God we trust.
    The colonists were invoking their rights as Englishmen by petitioning the Crown for redress against the actions of his Parliament. As there was no response other than increased threat of violence, they interpreted this as the Crown violating its obligations to all Englishmen, and consequently both neglecting its duty of sovereign protection of rights and usurping tyrannical power.

    It might have been at the base a bunch of landed gentry getting pissed that they weren't afforded the same rights as metropolitan nobles, but the logic is actually pretty sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    LOL. I could go into tirades about how over confidant america is and how indicative of it's problems this jingoistic woman is but there's a more important issue in my opinion.

    History means nothing if it's not providing context. Sure it's nice to store all of that information (regardless of accuracy) but it really serves no purpose unless it all links together. By trying to rewrite history this is advocating shifting the understanding of the origins of pretty much everything and I'm not sure why some seem to think this is something new. How long has it been taught that the Vietnam war was either won or was a respectful draw? To most military minded people I know that's a ludicrous claim to say the least.
    The problem with Vietnam is that it's really hard to explain why we lost there - it wasn't because we were outfought or didn't try hard enough, it was because the reality of the Nuclear Age meant that the US couldn't win the way it always had, by overwhelming the enemy with its nearly endless productive capacity.

    It wasn't a decisive victory or loss - it was a major setback in foreign policy goals. That's a level of nuance that's difficult for most without an IR background to understand.

    It's not more isolation and feeling special that america and americans need, more like they need challenging. To be given the space to actually be free, to make sure that the dumb and dangerous are tackled without resort to knee jerk, blanket "solutions" which usually end up creating as many problems as they solve. Take gun ownership... that's just silly in 99% of the cases...
    I'm not quite sure what this means. I'd advise to remember that the US is a really, really weird country in the history of the world - an entire continent's worth of people who all speak the same language with complete mutual intelligibility, with economic ties unseen on that scale since Ancient Rome.

    America is not special, it's not revolutionary and it's most certainly not free. No where with that kind of intrusive presence where everyone with a badge suddenly tries to look like Arnie when he's in that "I'll be back face" even if they're just a librarian. It's just another buch of ESTJs who think that because they're thinking works in their paradigm it's the best thing since sliced bread. The isolationist attitude simply allows most people to remain comfortably blind.
    The US certainly is special - what other country spans from ocean to ocean with only friendly neighbors on two sides? What other country can feed itself entirely without any need for trade? These are the two major reasons the US can even think about being isolationist, and two factors that in part only Russia shared in the last century; this is why Tocqueville foresaw them being the two major powers that they were as far back as the 1820s. ESTJs didn't make the US what it became; we're called a "grand experiment" for a reason. Let's not forget that we're still recovering from the biggest rearrangement of the structure of American society in a century in the Civil Rights Movement. It's not surprising that constancy is sought in the face of that sort of social upheaval.

    Oh and if you're thinking I'm overly harsh and hate americans... one big reason that I dislike this attitude is that firstly when I was young I thought america was the bee's knees (boy was that a let down) and secondly I know several very intelligent americans. They're the one's who I both respect and find awkward as I keep hitting a wall of trained reflexes where there's all these supposed toos and "well that's what you do" responses. As a country of people who support "alternative" music in all varieties, oh boy do you need to wake up a bit.

    Mind you, ignorance is bliss and I shouldn't really expect people to question when the answers are so easily available....
    Just remember - at some level, our nation is our tribe. That's simply human evolution. When a foreigner starts to criticize our country, it's akin to someone taking shots at a family member. Even the most open-minded and self-critical American will raise their hackles when that starts to happen. It's better just to let that alone, since you're really not going to get anywhere with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Judaism and Jews have been persecuted in the West because they were accused of being Deicides.

    And Judaism and Jews have been persecuted in the Middle East because they are Dhimmis who refused to convert to Islam.
    Due to their unique status in the Western medieval system, Jews were afforded a particularly powerful position for a minority when not suffering under pogroms. This created disdain within the regular population, who given the religious context, were seen as the sign of "injustice" in the world. When the local political leader needed to score points with the mob, they were an easy scapegoat.

    It's the exact same in the Middle East - local thugs playing politics to maintain their political status. Religion almost never has to do with it on the highest levels; even the Thirty Years' War was more about Rome's power over Germany than it was Protestantism vs. Catholicism.

  8. #58
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    A war can't be fought without willing soldiers.

    A government can't attack another unless they have people willing to fire the guns.

    The excuse that "well if I don't do it, someone else will" is just that: an excuse.

    This's a large part of why I would never make a good soldier. I refuse orders that I disagree with; if yeu want me to kill someone that I don't think deserves to die, then I'm more likely to gun down the person making the order so that they can't argue the matter further, because if yeu say "No", they CAN try to just do it themselves, and then hold yeu responsible anyway. It's better to simply remove them once they've shown no remorse.
    You don't shoot them, the CO throws you into jail or shoots you. No room for higher logic there.

    I don't think I'd get that far ahead though. I doubt I could get through training without being courtmarshalled multiple times for excessively strong opinions

    I dunno, I just can't accept that if yeu pulled the trigger, that yeu can't be held responsible. If yeu know it's wrong, don't do it. Otherwise the Nuremberg trials were a total waste of a precedent.
    Nuremberg was a special case for many reasons, particularly in that it was a means of showing the world how bad it was what the Nazis did. In a conscript army, you don't have the choice of whether or not to pull that trigger - the state's decided that you're going to. War's a nasty business. At that point, higher ideals don't matter. All that matters is that you make it home to your loved ones, and that you make sure the men fighting with you get to do the same.

    Perhaps my opinion on that isn't shared by many, and many think it's always good to be 'defending yeur country!'... except... the most recent war wasn't in defense. It was an attack. Against an enemy that wasn't really a threat. That's not defense, that's attack, and those who did the attack knew better and did it anyway.
    Iraq was idiotic. I wish I could say that we could make sure that it will never happen again. However, that's assuming that we can somehow convince powerful men that fucking with millions isn't the most fun thing imaginable. Unfortunately, that's not happening anytime soon.

    Those who went in after to try to fix the damage done, I can't hold anything against, since there's not much that could be done at that point... once the damage is done, best yeu can do is try to pick up the pieces.

    But in the end, I still stand by the fact that yeu can't have a war unless yeu have people willing to pull the trigger and kill each other. War is just legalized murder, and really no better than any other reason for murder.
    You're right. That's the way it's been for thousands of years. If there's some way to fix it, let's start throwing other ideas out there. Until then, we've got to accept the world for how it is. Life isn't fair.

    Want more land? STEAL IT! At gun point! Yeu're nothing more than a common theif >.< Except yeu did it on a really grand scale.

    Want more resources? Kill for them!

    Want to proove yeur moral superiourity? Kill anyone who doesn't agree with yeu!
    Yep, it's called the propagation of similar genes/memes. Written right into our genetic codes. I wish there were a way to get around this.

    But to do this, yeu have to have people who are willing to do that, and agree with it.
    Or just point a gun at them and tell them to go out there or die anyway. At least you have a shot on the battlefield of surviving.
    Note that there have been studies done which've shown that less than 50% of soldiers will actually fire at a human target, many won't even fire a shot, and those that do, will rarely be willing to point it at a humanoid target.

    The only ones who will do otherwise, are the ones who either see immediate threat to themselves (self defense), or those who are fanatical. The former is alright, though they should know better than to agree to be placed into a situation like that in the first place. The second make for effecient soldiers, but are generally the same ones who commit war crimes.
    Let's not forget clinical sociopaths, who I've seen statistical analyses indicating may be responsible for up to 70% of enemy casualties in a given war. They are also heavily overrepresented in the awarding of high-level medals and decoration. It's been proposed that this is the genetic basis for sociopathy. Having a few of them in a given population increases the chance for group propagation in the face of a conflict.

    I dunno, I just don't like the idea, war should be a last ditch resort, and yeu should never fire the first shot. If something's wrong, don't go along with it. Soldier or not, yeu have a duty to more than one man, or one nation; those who can't see beyond the leader or the country they lead, are no better than the nazi's were, or the crusades were, or any of a number of other horrible wars. Yeu just flat out can't have a war without people who will fight that war.
    More wars have been fought by completely unwilling armies than the opposite. Remember, the idea of national supremacy is a very new one. Napoleon was the innovator of that concept. The previous ones were because some feudal war showed up and told you that you were going to take this pike and this shield and run at those men, or we will burn your hut and kill your family.

    That being said, obviously not everyone is equally guilty, but everyone who participates has at least partial guilt. The engineer who ensures the guns, the bombs, the missiles and the tanks are working, is still responsible in part for when those weapons are misused. Giving someone who shouldn't have a gun a weapon, even if yeu didn't pull the trigger yeurself, still implicates yeu.
    There are very few weapons that weren't adapted from peaceful uses (an innovation of the industrial age). Even the soldiers and engineers who are maintaining the nuclear arsenals of the world could arguably be preventing another World War through the maintenance of unacceptable consequences to such action. Always at least two sides to a situation.

    There are those that I can't hold a grudge against, for they have done no harm, but I equally can't just say "well it's their job" and leave it at that. If an assassin killed the president today, I'm relatively sure the "well it's just their job, they're just following orders" crap will suddenly disappear.
    No, most these morons would just say he was doing his patriotic duty (at least in private).

  9. #59
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, back at the Batcave....

    Public schools are, and have always been, indoctrination schools. Every society "brainwashes" their younger members with stories and fabrications and partial truths to make them "good citizens". This is normal.

    HOWEVER. As children get older they need the truth. It's okay to tell kids that there's a fat guy in a red suit who flies around the Earth and gives presents to all of the kids in christian nations, but eventually you have to tell them the truth.

    Every horrible thing the federal government or the people of the US have done in the past can not be taught in only 12 years, but they should learn about as much of it as possible. There's absolutely no reason to lie to middle school/high school kids about historical truths.

    On the other hand, the good things the US has done should also be taught......for example, tell kids the details of the Whiskey Rebellion in the same lesson as the Revolutionary War, tell them about how horrible Sept. 11 was and, in the same lesson, on the same day, tell them about how certain former Administrations lent financial aid to the same terrorists who planned it.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  10. #60
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    I'd just rather they teach the Gilded Age and Industrialization in an entire semester, not just four weeks. It is only the most important period in United States history. Instead, we just skip the periods between wars. That's the worst part of it all. More time is spent in the Wild West than discussing what happened in the Eastern cities.

    You want to know the most pathetic thing? I bet it's less than 1% the number of Americans who know that May Day was started to commemorate the Haymarket catastrophe in Chicago.

    Unfortunately, the true understanding of Native American policy can't really come in primary/secondary education. It's too hard to tell kids that age that there are no more Indians around outside of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona because we effectively killed all of them. That Hitler derived much of his inspiration from our adventures in the West.

    Any great wealth came at the expense of an enormous atrocity, and the United States is no different.

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