Wednesday, February 10, 2016

America the Excellent

Below is an interesting exchange from here. MinnPost Rubio's Comments
"All politicians have talking points they repeat. Just think of Sanders’ “1 percent” or Clinton’s emphasizing that she is a woman.  
America is exceptional – the only country in the world that is free, powerful, and wealthy so there is nothing arrogant about pointing this out; self-congratulatory – maybe, but we all like feeling good about ourselves and if we deserve it, there is nothing wrong with this. As for unselfishness – sometimes America behaves like that (Yugoslavia, Libya) but that is exactly what it should not do. On the other hand, in most cases when it tries to defend its own interests, in this case doing the same as all other countries are doing, it does help (unless those countries screw it up) and that is what America can do, again, the only country in the world. Chile is better off now than it would have been with Allende; Iran was better off with the Shah until Carter let Khameini come home, and Iraq would have been much better off if Iraqis used a chance given to them, just like Germany and Japan did.

So when Obama tried to make America like the rest of the world, chaos ensured with more terrorism, more dead people, more violence, etc. Without a strong power for good, everyone fights for the power and nothing good comes out of that. And of course, Rubio’s going against Obama is exactly the same what Clinton is doing mentioning evil Republicans every other sentence." Ilya

"It seems many commenters here believe the USA has used it's political and military force for evil. This is something I just don't understand since we have not conquered anyone in a very long time.

It seems to me that the USA has mostly only intervened where people needed help AND where our national security/interests were at stake. It seems these folks would rather do nothing, which reminds me of 2 great quotes.

"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing"

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"  G2A
""This is something I just don't understand since we have not conquered anyone in a very long time."

Well, we did fail to conquer Iraq; but not for lack of trying. What else do you call a unilateral invasion of another country? A bunch of Saudi's fly planes into our buildings; but, the Saudi's are our petro buddies so let's find some other Arab we all can hate and we will invade their country.

The single biggest lesson lost on GWB and now on many of the GOP candidates is:

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"

Making the sand glow, banning all Muslims (or just the card carrying ones?), making Paul Wolfowitz an advisor on anything begs:

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"" Edward

"Unilateral?  Please remember that though the ruling Dictator did not invite us in, the Kurdish and Shiite majorities did. Also, we came in when asked, we spent a lot of money trying to help them stabilize their country and left when asked. I don't think that counts as conquering by any definition.

Also, please remember the starting point. The allies were required to maintain "No Fly Zones" to protect the citizens of Iraq from their Dictator. There were only 3 choices, all bad:
- Walk away and let Saddam take vengeance.
- Maintain "No Fly Zone" indefinitely.
- Topple Saddam and give the citizens of Iraq a chance at self rule.

Too bad the Iraqi citizens didn't better advantage of the chance we gave them...

Not sure what this meant? "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

Since everything before this moment is not able to be changed. (ie sunk costs)

What would you have the USA do regarding ISIS, Syria, Iraq, etc starting this moment based on what you have learned from the past?

Remember: Everything in the past is off limits, since it can not be changed..."G2A

22 comments:

John said...

""Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" A direct quote from the very quotable GWB.

The invasion of Iraq is the single, biggest foreign policy blunder the US has made in the last 100 years. It reflected a complete and utter lack of insight into the facts and a burning desire to do something, anything after 911. That you two are still trying to rationalize it as the prudent (a GHWB favorite term) option leaves me with:

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

If we refuse to learn from history when history conflicts with ideology things like President Trump will fall out of the other end." Edward
____

"So tell me what you learned.

What would you have the USA do regarding ISIS, Syria, Iraq, etc starting this moment based on what you have learned from the past? The options are pretty much the same as GWB had 14 years ago:

- Walk away and let the Middle East fight like they have for many millenia
- Continue the status quo and hope for improvement
- Escalate for better or worse

At least with our fracking industry in place we will not be hurting as bad if the Middle Eastern wars disrupt the flow of oil. Unlike 14 years ago when fracking was really starting." G2A

Laurie said...

my quick google research:

How Many Governments Has the US Overthrown?

of course anything posted by antiwar.com will be dismissed out of hand, even if it is based on a well researched, well reviewed book.

John said...

Laurie,
The bigger question is were they Evil Dictatorships that supported crime and did not take care of their people?

Or were they Caring Elected Governments that were loved by the majority of their citizens?

I am guessing the prior. Thoughts?

Laurie said...

I think if you took the time to learn a complete history of the USA and went about it with an open mind you would not be 100% proud to be an American. I personally have been persuaded of this by some of the history that I have read over the years.

I have no energy to try to educate you, so you will have to do your own research if you are interested. I did take time to learn that this book - Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq - is available from hennepin county library if you want to become more knowledgeable about this.

John said...

Since the USA is made of humans, it has faltered many times in the past. Yet it is still the greatest success story of a country that I know of.

A country that is extremely wealthy and powerful that in modern times:
- has not worked to conquer additional territory
- has fought to save and free people from other countries
- has invested trillions of dollars in foreign aid

I will never understand why some people are obsessed with focusing on the few moles when the rest of the face is beautiful?

Laurie said...

I prefer to see the country as it is rather than using my rosecolored glasses.

John said...

As I see it we are 97% excellent and 3% stupid.

That seems pretty EXCELLENT to me.

Laurie said...

To my eyes our leadership in the world looks 85% positive and 15% negative. I really do not have a strong background in history, so this is a very tentative assessment. When I posed this question to my family my mother mentioned that dropping a couple of a bombs on Japan was sort of a large negative.

Laurie said...

from the America is not always excellent file:

"Most infamously, Kissinger masterminded a Nixon-era plan to carpet-bomb Cambodia. Nominally, the bombing — which indiscriminately hit targets in civilian-populated areas — was supposed to destroy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong bases. In reality, it was designed to improve America's strategic position before a negotiated withdrawal.

American bombs killed between 150,000 and 500,000 people in Cambodia. That created a swell of public support for Pol Pot and his communist Khmer Rouge rebels, who exploited popular anger at the bombings to seize control of the government in 1975. The Khmer Rouge then slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Cambodians and starved even more, ultimately killing at least a million people, about one-seventh of the country's population."

John said...

Regarding bombs on Japan, versus letting the war drag out and risking more American lives... That one seems like a no brainer...

John said...

I don't know much about Vietnam, Cambodia, etc... As I said, it is your choice if want to focus on the thousands of incredible things or the tens of terrible things.

Just like with life in general.

Laurie said...

I would never describe dropping a nuclear bomb as a no brainer.

John said...

Maybe if you were one of the people being tortured or killed under Japanese occupation you would understand better.

Laurie said...

I don't think I'd want more than 200,000 innocent people / children killed to save my life.

John said...

Wiki Japan War Crimes

John said...

How about for yourself and 1 MILLION of your friends and neighbors?
WWII Japan Statistics

John said...

If you want a seemingly factual review of the bombings in Cambodia. This seems pretty good.

Now I have to wonder if you truly think some of our Politicians were happily bombing places where civilians congregated because they were evil and enjoyed it? Or if you understand that they were begrudgingly bombing locations where the enemy was encamped, and that unfortunately some civilians lived in the area.

John said...

Here is an interesting spin. How much better off would the people of Vietnam be if the US and its allies have won?

Wiki Vietnam
Wiki Korea

Quora Vietnam vs S Korea
Numbeo Vietnam vs S Korea

Laurie said...

I think continuing this tread is pointless as no one is going to change their opinion about whether the USA is always a force for good in the world. Funny how this is one more area with a major liberal / conservative divide.

John said...

I find it odd because in this case the Liberals seem to think more USA government intervention and control is bad.

Whereas typically Liberals seems to encourage more USA government intervention and control in our personal lives.

If the USA government should be trusted to "do right" by it's citizens, why do Liberals think it can not be trusted to "do right" by the poor and needy in other countries?

Laurie said...

To me dropping bombs and overthrowing governments are not examples of doing right by the poor and needy in other countries.

John said...

By the way, I have no doubt that the USA has made hundreds of mistakes and killed innocent civilians by taking action in the world.

I just believe that the USA has done far more good than harm by getting involved in foreign affairs and taking action.

If you question this, look at all of the free countries of Europe, Japan, China, South Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Balkans, etc. If the Americans had stayed home like your group recommends it would be a very different world full of Dictators and Oligarchies.