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  1. #21
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Pushing democracy has been the core of our foreign policy since the start of the cold war. Unfortunately we still have the cold war mindset of "if we don't push democracy, the bad guys will push their political system and win the battle for the world."
    Yes and no. Certainly much of our public rhetoric was built on this concept of promoting democracy in a battle of good vs evil with the Communist bloc, yet in practice the mere containment of Communism was largely our goal. As long as a regime was anti-Communist and acceptable to American interests, we generally would support them even if they were authoritarian. Jeane Kirkpatrick was a famous proponent of this view in the 1980s.

  2. #22
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I agree that our meddling in the internal political affairs of other countries is big reason other countries have a problem with the US. I'm not convinced exporting democracy has been our primary reason for meddling.

    However, agreeing on the reason for what we've done is less important to me than changing future policy.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yes and no. Certainly much of our public rhetoric was built on this concept of promoting democracy in a battle of good vs evil with the Communist bloc, yet in practice the mere containment of Communism was largely our goal. As long as a regime was anti-Communist and acceptable to American interests, we generally would support them even if they were authoritarian. Jeane Kirkpatrick was a famous proponent of this view in the 1980s.
    Thanks for a more nuanced explanation of the point I was trying to make.

    We weren't selling containment to the public though, we were selling bringing democracy.

    What it really boils down to is an international power struggle occurring via proxy states.

    We've kept the rhetoric despite the fact that the US has lost it's counterweight in the USSR. Many will argue that China has filled the gap, but they are still a ways away as far as economic production is concerned (especially when considering the real estate bust likely to happen there in the next few years), and many decades away when it comes to military strength.

    I would argue that our foreign policy needs to reflect the fact that Terrorism poses nowhere near the threat to US interests that the USSR did, and to a slowly growing extent China does.

    It's time for Europe to fund their own security, on this I agree with out Pivot to Asia.

  4. #24
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    Indeed. This might interest you @DiscoBiscuit, sociologist Michael Mann talking about his book concerning American foreign policy:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Indeed. This might interest you @DiscoBiscuit, sociologist Michael Mann talking about his book concerning American foreign policy:
    Thanks a lot. I'll watch it after work.

  6. #26
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    Obama's Nat Sec appointee Susan Rice and UN ambassador appointee Samantha Power are both Liberal interventionists.

  7. #27
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yes and no. Certainly much of our public rhetoric was built on this concept of promoting democracy in a battle of good vs evil with the Communist bloc, yet in practice the mere containment of Communism was largely our goal. As long as a regime was anti-Communist and acceptable to American interests, we generally would support them even if they were authoritarian. Jeane Kirkpatrick was a famous proponent of this view in the 1980s.
    Exactly.

    If the real intention of the US Government was to promote democracy, it would have succeeded EVERYWHERE, just like it succeeded in post nazi Germany or post imperial Japan. It would have succeeded even in the middle east, without major issues. Muslim people are, on average, no different than us. They are normal, OK people, and they share the same hopes than us. They really hoped that the US would free them, they really did, but they were disappointed when they witnessed what their real intention was.
    Because unfortunately, it wasn't the real intention of Bush jr. It never was or else, the US would have declared war on Saudi Arabia instead. Just ask Dick Cheney what their real goal was when the US invaded Iraq. Everyting was fake or staged. It was a tragedy.

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  8. #28
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    It's because Marx told them to hate capitalism, pure and simple. And being the simple tools that Europeans are, they obeyed.
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  9. #29
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Here is an excerpt from an excellent article by Pat Buchanan at The American Conservative:



    I totally agree with this assessment. Our presumption that our political system is better for every other country regardless of cultural differences in other parts of the world is ridiculous.

    This is why I'm such a big fan of winding down most US bases across the globe and relying on more fluid naval power for force projection.

    Your thoughts?
    I am skeptical of conclusions made by an American claiming to know why non American's may not like American foreign policies without showing me credible foreign sourced evidence to support the claim. I do not disagree/agree with the points he is making. I disagree with the way he is framing the issue. "Hey guys, I know why they don't like us" I'd just rather hear it from they.

    If the issue were framed: An American Social Conservative's perspective on why non-Americans don't like us I'd be ok with that.

    The mal-framing of the subject is intentional in order to argue from his perceived strength, to preemptively take the "high ground" and to seize the initiative.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #30
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpankyMcFly View Post
    I am skeptical of conclusions made by an American claiming to know why non American's may not like American foreign policies without showing me credible foreign sourced evidence to support the claim. I do not disagree/agree with the points he is making. I disagree with the way he is framing the issue. "Hey guys, I know why they don't like us" I'd just rather hear it from they.

    If the issue were framed: An American Social Conservative's perspective on why non-Americans don't like us I'd be ok with that.

    The mal-framing of the subject is intentional in order to argue from his perceived strength, to preemptively take the "high ground" and to seize the initiative.
    Good point. Although I would never begrudge Americans doing a little soul searching on this matter.

    I think it would be a good idea for the US to reconsider how much it intervenes (or invades). However, I would just be concerned that that approach leads too far towards cultural relativism. There is a danger of the US turning their back on human rights abuses, because "that's just how they do things in that country". There are some things you have to take a stand on. In fact, there may be a moral imperative to intervene in certain situations, if you are capable of doing so (eg. possessing sufficient finances and military strength).

    Besides, how would this relate to a situation like Syria? The rebels are asking for help and the Syrian government is telling everyone to stay out of it.

    I do sympathise with the difficulty the US faces as the world's superpower because there's so much scrutiny and criticism from the international community. I'm sure that sometimes it must feel like, "we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't".
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