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  1. #71
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am sure being Finnish is quite enjoyable. It's one of the other 25-30 countries which are decent places to live.
    I agree.
    The decent work of Bonaparte has lingered on quite a while.
    Let us carry on the good old Jacobine spirit.

  2. #72
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    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.
    You mean "we can't bomb the opponent into defeat, let's get out of here".

    Most people I know quote it as an example of brute force and ignorance not working. Similar to the Russian's vs Afghanistan, you're facing an opponent who knows full well that they are out gunned and out manned, they have absolutely no motivation to meet you on the battlefield and every motivation to start guerilla warfare which is a bugbear to the best military troops never mind a group of people lead by leaders who had blind faith in their superiority.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    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.
    I would call being resisted for that long by an opponent who at best had russian knock offs to arm themselves with a loss. No training, no real weaponry and yet they resisted the "might" of the US.. I'd be proud to be descended from such people.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    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.
    An artificial country with no real predators... hmmm I wonder why it's so inefficient with resources...
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    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.
    Each nation can claim something which makes them different. The land you inhabit is not really the nation and the nationality is an amalgamation of several others and in fairly recent history too. This is probably why there's so many desperate claims to culture.

    As for recovering, the US seems in a constant state of recovery. With so many poor and dishevelled areas it's quite surprising just how much time and money is spent on quite frivolous things. It's almost like as long as the football keeps running people can ignore all the people who don't have any walls to have plugs installed to plug in the TV they can't afford.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    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.
    Really? You really feel that defensive about it all? So denial, projection and avoidance once more then..

    Seriously though, it's the administration that most people think of when they say what they don't like about the US. Sure they expect every american to be a loud mouth and a braggart but the first couple soon cure that idea.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #73
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I meant the large-scale kidnapping, deportation, and murder of political dissidents. There is no comparison between the United States and the Soviet Union in that regard, although internment camps and rigged prosecutions of blacks and immigrants was pretty bad in the first half of the 20th Century.

    For the record, I am against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on freedom of association grounds.
    The McCarthy era, state-sponsored murder of Ethel Rosenberg (who was only caught up in the mess, unlike Julius), not to mention Sacco/Vanzetti and the Red Scare of the 1920s - the US had no problem getting rid of its undesirables. The adversarial system of justice just makes it easier for it to look legit.

    I'm sorry, there's no way this is a justifiable position. From a utilitarian position, without the CRA, the US explodes into massive violence hinted at by the end of the 60s. From a position of common decency, you'd rather we have millions still suffering from Jim Crow? You really think Southerners, quintessential conservatives that they are, would have just realized the error of their ways and changed it? I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like you to take a look at.

    Yes, there was. The United States was better and the Soviet Union was worse. The United States had political protest all the time and public figures criticizing the government in the broadcast media regularly. Either you're joking, or you're so blinded by ideology that you cannot recognize simple differences.
    No, I can look behind the veil a little better than you'll give me credit for. Tell me, did these protests actually debate the issues at hand, or did they debate the window-dressing? When they were about the actual issues, did the authorities in Birmingham and Chicago respect the protesters' right to peaceable association, or did they agitate the crowd to the point where they turned on firehoses and started cracking skulls?

    Even when Cronkite was decrying the Vietnam War, did he ever start directly going after the war profiteers who made sure we stayed there longer than we ever should have?

    If there's a difference in the US and USSR, it was just one of scale - and I'd stack that more up to cultural differences than the inherent superiority of one society over another.

    That is ridiculous. I can and will claim moral superiority to the Soviet Union. When you look at for WHAT people were incarcerated, you can see how awful things were there. It's one thing to say: "The United States did terrible things in the 20th Century." That is clearly true. It's another to say "The United States and the Soviet Union were morally/ethically equivalent." That is clearly false.
    With the clear exception of the Stalin era (which was one of the greatest tragedies of human history), I'll respectfully disagree. People over there were imprisoned for having the wrong opinions, people over here were imprisoned for having the wrong skin color. What's the difference? You can lie about your opinion. It makes our racial disparity much more damning, in my estimation.

  4. #74
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    You mean "we can't bomb the opponent into defeat, let's get out of here".

    Most people I know quote it as an example of brute force and ignorance not working. Similar to the Russian's vs Afghanistan, you're facing an opponent who knows full well that they are out gunned and out manned, they have absolutely no motivation to meet you on the battlefield and every motivation to start guerilla warfare which is a bugbear to the best military troops never mind a group of people lead by leaders who had blind faith in their superiority.
    The US was anything but brute force and ignorance during Vietnam. That's where we first started deploying our smart weaponry. The problem was that unlike WWII, where we won because we just kept Zerg rushing with Sherman tanks, we couldn't just invade with overwhelming force and occupy in SE Asia without risking nuclear war. The US had won every war in the last 150 years up to that point because it had the biggest fists not known as the Royal Navy in the world. When due to the geopolitical reality it had to tie one behind the back, well, you can't win when your entire strategy up to that point is to outproduce the enemy into submission.

    I would call being resisted for that long by an opponent who at best had russian knock offs to arm themselves with a loss. No training, no real weaponry and yet they resisted the "might" of the US.. I'd be proud to be descended from such people.
    No questioning the will of the Vietnamese people - they wanted imperialist aggressors, be it China, France or the United States out of their territory, and they secured exactly that. Even if it can't be called a loss for the US, it was a clear victory for the Vietnamese people (who didn't care about capitalism or communism, just that they would be guided by a Vietnamese philosophy, that of Ho Chi Minh).

    An artificial country with no real predators... hmmm I wonder why it's so inefficient with resources...
    Yup. Gluttonous because we can be.

    Each nation can claim something which makes them different. The land you inhabit is not really the nation and the nationality is an amalgamation of several others and in fairly recent history too. This is probably why there's so many desperate claims to culture.
    We're the first federated nation-state. Every other previous multinational state kept those nations separate. Like I said, we're a really weird country in the history of the world.

    As for recovering, the US seems in a constant state of recovery. With so many poor and dishevelled areas it's quite surprising just how much time and money is spent on quite frivolous things. It's almost like as long as the football keeps running people can ignore all the people who don't have any walls to have plugs installed to plug in the TV they can't afford.
    Panem et circenses. The UK has the same issue - who cares that the north is going to shit as long as Man U or Liverpool win the double once in a while.

    Really? You really feel that defensive about it all? So denial, projection and avoidance once more then..

    Seriously though, it's the administration that most people think of when they say what they don't like about the US. Sure they expect every american to be a loud mouth and a braggart but the first couple soon cure that idea.
    Just some friendly advice. Once again, if you had a sibling who was an asshole and I didn't know you, and the first thing I said to you was how much of an asshole he was, you'd have a problem with that, wouldn't you?

    It's not the content that's the issue, it's the context. At the same time, I think we in the US need to be cognizant that a lot of this disillusionment with the US stems from disappointment - we've spent years telling the world how great we are, and at a certain level, I think other people want to believe that, only so far as to believe it could possibly be true that shangri-la does exist on the other side of the world. When we prove that we're just as rotten as the rest of humanity, it sucks.

  5. #75
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The US was anything but brute force and ignorance during Vietnam. That's where we first started deploying our smart weaponry. The problem was that unlike WWII, where we won because we just kept Zerg rushing with Sherman tanks, we couldn't just invade with overwhelming force and occupy in SE Asia without risking nuclear war. The US had won every war in the last 150 years up to that point because it had the biggest fists not known as the Royal Navy in the world. When due to the geopolitical reality it had to tie one behind the back, well, you can't win when your entire strategy up to that point is to outproduce the enemy into submission.
    Hmm.. I don't call using gunships against infantry anything but a hammer blow no matter if they use a chaingun or hellfires. The point being is that the enemy refused to be stood up and counted (read shot). It's the driving force behind most special forces including many of the US special forces I believe. Weren't the rangers kind of born in Vietnam to try and meet the enemy on even terms?
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    No questioning the will of the Vietnamese people - they wanted imperialist aggressors, be it China, France or the United States out of their territory, and they secured exactly that. Even if it can't be called a loss for the US, it was a clear victory for the Vietnamese people (who didn't care about capitalism or communism, just that they would be guided by a Vietnamese philosophy, that of Ho Chi Minh).
    Yup. Fair dues to them. They wanted it one way and they stuck to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Yup. Gluttonous because we can be.
    And believe you have a right to do so... hence the whole "you're making too much in the way of emissions" vs "So? What can you do about it?".
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    We're the first federated nation-state. Every other previous multinational state kept those nations separate. Like I said, we're a really weird country in the history of the world.
    I have to wonder how many countries are quite like the US in that 90%+ of the population are immigrants. Not invaders who settled with the populace but people who settled by removing the current populace.

    I wonder if any of them weren't in part due to the British...
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Panem et circenses. The UK has the same issue - who cares that the north is going to shit as long as Man U or Liverpool win the double once in a while.
    It's something I point out to fans of democracy, show me a poor person in office.

    Mind you I very much doubt that our worst is on a comparable level. On average perhaps but the US does seem to be a country of extremes (and extremists in places!).
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Just some friendly advice. Once again, if you had a sibling who was an asshole and I didn't know you, and the first thing I said to you was how much of an asshole he was, you'd have a problem with that, wouldn't you?
    You haven't met my sister

    Realistically though have you never wondered why it seems that americans are so much more patriotic than other countries? Surely you don't believe that it's actually so much better?

    I mean try me, insult the UK. Go for broke. Unless I disagree with your point I'm not liable to get my knickers in a twist. Heck I'm probably more damning than most foreigners!
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It's not the content that's the issue, it's the context. At the same time, I think we in the US need to be cognizant that a lot of this disillusionment with the US stems from disappointment - we've spent years telling the world how great we are, and at a certain level, I think other people want to believe that, only so far as to believe it could possibly be true that shangri-la does exist on the other side of the world. When we prove that we're just as rotten as the rest of humanity, it sucks.
    Nope, we're just fed up of being told that the US is wonderful when it quite obviously isn't. The same with freedom, standing up for what's right... the whole "american way"... Basically the exterior view is like looking at an advertising board except an unregulated one where no one is actually saying they have to reveal that it'll give you cancer and that the 9 out of 10 people asked were all paid and brainwashed.

    That and the propaganda tends to be quite loud...
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #76
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The US was anything but brute force and ignorance during Vietnam. That's where we first started deploying our smart weaponry.
    This is ironic. Thinking that such weaponry consitutes a lack of ignorance is precisely the kind of ignorance that screwed us in Vietnam. We thought that in our technology and military industry we had magic wands that would wisk the Vietnamese away.

    I will say the USA was very ignorant. We do not consider the logistics of the situation before we went in. We severely underestimated the North Vietnamese guerilla tactics. We didn't realize how determined the Vietnamese were to have their land, and how uninterested they were in what we claimed to offer. We didn't check-out the lunies and idiots we installed in South Vietnam and thus did not consider the consequencs of putting them in. We believed the Chinese and Vietnamese were in a tight alliance when it actually turns out they hated each other. The whole domino effect was ignorant, in fact.

    Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap expect to lose a lot of people. They knew that there was no way America would deploy a number of troops comperable to the North Vietnamese population, and they were confidently that anyone in the country was effectively a soldier. Having a strong nationalistic streak, and practicing geurilla warfare, the two of them were right! We played exactly into the situation they wanted us too. It's sad how many people try to make a point of how many North Vietnamese were killed compared to our soldiers, as if that were really relevant to our objectives.

    Combined with our ignorance of the challenges, we also set ourselves impossible perameters. We were supposed to keep South Vietnam from being taken over or going communist, without conquering North Vietnam. That's ridiculous. That's just begging to lose in a war of attrition. Of course, it might have been a terrible idea to significantly invade North Vietnam. The Soviety and Chinese did threaten to take action. It would have been in the interested of both of them to do so, for different reasons, so I don't think they were bluffing. Even if no nukes were used (which is an if people don't want to test) the conventional war that would ensue would be hopeless for the USA. Trying to hold down a resistant North Vietnam while defending it from China and the USSR... oy.

    The USA lost Vietnam. It cost a lot of money, a lot of lives, it took a lot of time, and we failed to achieve any meaningful objectives. It was one of the worst blows to our international image and our own national conscience in our history. It was definitely a defeat.
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  7. #77
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post

    You haven't met my sister

    Realistically though have you never wondered why it seems that americans are so much more patriotic than other countries? Surely you don't believe that it's actually so much better?

    I mean try me, insult the UK. Go for broke. Unless I disagree with your point I'm not liable to get my knickers in a twist. Heck I'm probably more damning than most foreigners!
    No no no, you got it all mixed around. WE'RE allowed to damn it because we're in it. We're citizens. We're family. We have the right to. See? You're not, because you're not one of us. You've got to know the taste of it before you can complain about it. And then we can only do it because fuck it we love it anyway.

    Y'know. Family.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #78
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    No no no, you got it all mixed around. WE'RE allowed to damn it because we're in it. We're citizens. We're family. We have the right to. See? You're not, because you're not one of us. You've got to know the taste of it before you can complain about it. And then we can only do it because fuck it we love it anyway.

    Y'know. Family.
    That's what's the problem though, the level of attachment to something which is nothing more than a set of rules. Really are rules family?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #79
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    That's what's the problem though, the level of attachment to something which is nothing more than a set of rules. Really are rules family?
    No, the place is family. People are like that with regional things here, too.

    And I could never take a shot at the UK. We love you guys. You're the guys who forced the rest of the world to know English. How could we be against that?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  10. #80
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    No, the place is family. People are like that with regional things here, too.
    But it's not like it's your ancestral home or anything... you killed all those guys... well you and us and a few others...
    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    And I could never take a shot at the UK. We love you guys. You're the guys who forced the rest of the world to know English. How could we be against that?
    Yeah... when's that coming in again... you know, you guys learning english.. oh sorry, international english?

    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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