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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Happening Now > Politics Central

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Politics Central An archive of discussions of a political nature that took place here.

View Poll Results: The United States of America is:
An evill force for greed and bigotry. 13 9.77%
A nation whose wealth should be redistributed to the third world. 1 0.75%
A well intentioned, but clumsy and unsophisticated giant. 65 48.87%
The only hope the world has for the preservation and expansion of worldwide prosperity and freedom. 54 40.60%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #616  
Old 18 Apr 12, 19:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Well, this is exactly the root of the problem!

An average American is easily able to see that the situation in his country is different from the media picture - just by walking out of his house.

However he has practically no chance whatsoever to see if Russia is different from what the media shows him. Therefore, for the lack of other veritable sources, he comes to believe it. I'm not even speaking of old stereotypes and those who come to the Russia with "hate goggles" (very rarely - tourists, quite often - journalists)
All things considered, most of us don't trust our media enough to draw conclusions from them.

But I really don't see anti russian propaganda in any of our media either, all things considered. Last movie I saw about Russia was K19 and while it wasn't forgiving of the trappings of sommunist governments, the protagonists were portrayed as 3 dimensional people and not Stalinist robots. There were more movies about Russia in the '80s then recently and while those were schlocky, we all know they were schlocky.

And Russians don't fly Hueys Rambo producers!

And as for the news outlets, my preferred channel FoxNews, which is definitely a pro patria news network, has been very critical of Putin. But I've never heard a commentator come on and say Russians are evil. The talking heads don't like Putin but no one says all of Russia is crazy.

Speaking for the many of us don't like Barak Obama, let me convey our understanding that crazy leaders don't mean crazy people and what we say about Putin shouldn't be translated as a widely held belief about Russians. We do seperate the two.

And our criticism doesn't cover everything you do either. Many Americans are skeptical of your country's military actions in Georgia but understand your military actions in Chechnya. There were tears shed this side of the Atlantic for what happened in Beslan.
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  #617  
Old 18 Apr 12, 19:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Well, this is exactly the root of the problem!

An average American is easily able to see that the situation in his country is different from the media picture - just by walking out of his house.
You, my friend, seriously overestimate the observational capabilities of the average American, not to mention his capacity to assimilate the data so collected and use it to form considered opinions, informed conclusions, and sound courses of action. The average American can walk outside his front door, have a gold brick land on his foot, and then turn around and hire a lawyer to sue the guy who threw it -- paying the lawyer with said gold brick.

Don't you Russians know nothing 'bout 'Mericuns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
However he has practically no chance whatsoever to see if Russia is different from what the media shows him. Therefore, for the lack of other veritable sources, he comes to believe it. I'm not even speaking of old stereotypes and those who come to the Russia with "hate goggles" (very rarely - tourists, quite often - journalists)
And based upon the above, what makes you think that even if the average American enjoyed meaningful contact with Russians in Russia that he'd come away with any better informed views? Americans are ignorant about their own people in their own country, fer cryin' out loud. They know even less as the mileage increases is all.

You're pissing into the wind, мой друг. Why do you bother?

As for the journalists, learn this: if it bleeds, it leads. Writing articles about average Russians who are so very, very similar to their American counterparts isn't going to sell too many newspapers. Now, a juicy piece about blood-thirsty Russians drinking their vodka directly from the veins of passed-out bums -- that will sell papers. So that's what they write. But bear in mind that journalists are not human beings. They're a species apart. Does not the same apply in Russia?
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  #618  
Old 18 Apr 12, 19:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet View Post
Agreed.

OTOH, this works both directions. I doubt the average Russian has any more realistic a view of America than the average American does of Russia.
Well, that's all rather complex. In the late 1980s - early 1990s there was a very rose-tinted view of the US. Then when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Soviet Bloc was dismantled, Russia expected Nato would follow the same fate, however it not only survived but started expanding. Then Russia expected to be integrated into the West immediately as this was what most people thought they would get after toppling Communism. When nothing like this happened it was an even more bitter disappointment. After Serbia in 1999 disappointment changed with hate and distrust. I'd say the level of anti-Americanism is still very high, however I wouldn't say the state media takes part in it. After all, people watch Hollywood movies and sitcoms and American stuff is everywhere. It's partly because of the global anti-American trend, partly because of the defeat in the Cold War - not ideological as very few people care if Communism is good or not, but the geopolitical aspect of it.

Having said that, if you look at the Russian TV and papers, the tone of covering events in the US in the news is generally rather neutral except for a few blatantly biased shows and publications. The government does make rather propagandistic anti-US TV programmes sometimes, but in terms of their overall effect and prominence they are more like "black stains on grey surface". I think that is still different from the mandatory KGB-Putin-beggars and babushkas in the streets-wretched suffering country picture you get from most Western articles. The recent BBC show about Putin and the Russian life&politics since 2000 was surprisingly truthful and well-made, but I still can't be sure it's not a flash in the pan.
  #619  
Old 18 Apr 12, 20:08
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Jeez, Slick, all you're doing is reinforcing ShAA's view that Muricans believe everything they are told to believe - which is pure unadulterated Bullshit, and you know it. 7 of 10 Muricans don't believe anything they hear & only half they see in the media of any form, but they'll be the 1st in line to sarcastically (in their best 'matter of fact' manner) tell anybody that thinks they do whatever they wanna hear just to give them the piss back that they see in the BS judgment to begin with. Just because the 3 in 10 that do believe it all hook line & sinker live in New Yok, Bean Town, Turbo City, Lost Angels & DC don't make his , or your sarcastic observation true. A vast majority in America & Russia don't pay a minutes notice to the media at all, they got much better things to do. like 'having a life'.

Sorry, ShAA, but your misconception is as mistaken as the few in America that believe everything they're told by the media, not to mention the most sematical of 'academia'. Which is a manifold minority. Every time you speak as though it is or ever has been a fact - when it isn't, nor ever has been - ya just turn the many that would take you more seriously off & throw them into BS mode or completely on to the next discussion.

Marc knows better (even though he'll never admit it) & you should - it's very little different with Russian perceptions, as Americans.

Just Sayin, My Friend.

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Last edited by Admiral; 18 Apr 12 at 20:13..
  #620  
Old 18 Apr 12, 20:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
I just was wondering why many Americans claim to have higher moral ground and better moral values than anybody else on Earth. I used to read plenty of times about "stupid euros who don't understand the meaning of freedom and who are socialist to the bones". So I wonder why this idea that American ideals are the biggest ones and the only of being correct.


I don't recall making that statement, directly or indirectly.

The US has made many mistakes. I am willing to admit it isn't perfect and did so in my first post. My original point was simply to address the false argument that the use of nukes was somehow uniquely barbaric and an escalation in the war.

In case you think I am US centric, I will freely admit that the the russians suffered staggering losses in WW2 and without those losses, the Nazis might have prevailed. It is unlikely that any Western nation could have suffered such casualties and continued the war.

Please note that rather than refute any of the points I made in my "at least we didn't" post, you continued to try and attack the US. Why is it Europeans seem to think that they a superior perspective on all matters?
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  #621  
Old 18 Apr 12, 20:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Well, that's all rather complex. In the late 1980s - early 1990s there was a very rose-tinted view of the US. Then when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Soviet Bloc was dismantled, Russia expected Nato would follow the same fate, however it not only survived but started expanding. Then Russia expected to be integrated into the West immediately as this was what most people thought they would get after toppling Communism. When nothing like this happened it was an even more bitter disappointment. After Serbia in 1999 disappointment changed with hate and distrust. I'd say the level of anti-Americanism is still very high, however I wouldn't say the state media takes part in it. After all, people watch Hollywood movies and sitcoms and American stuff is everywhere. It's partly because of the global anti-American trend, partly because of the defeat in the Cold War - not ideological as very few people care if Communism is good or not, but the geopolitical aspect of it.

Having said that, if you look at the Russian TV and papers, the tone of covering events in the US in the news is generally rather neutral except for a few blatantly biased shows and publications. The government does make rather propagandistic anti-US TV programmes sometimes, but in terms of their overall effect and prominence they are more like "black stains on grey surface". I think that is still different from the mandatory KGB-Putin-beggars and babushkas in the streets-wretched suffering country picture you get from most Western articles. The recent BBC show about Putin and the Russian life&politics since 2000 was surprisingly truthful and well-made, but I still can't be sure it's not a flash in the pan.



Do Russians feel that NATO is a military threat?
I can see your point about disappointment that NATO didn't dissolve, but that probably has less to do with a desire to threaten Russia and more to do with the fact that all government creeated organizations are immortal.
NATO's primary goal is preserving the bureaucracy, not threatening Russia. (Just my opinion)
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  #622  
Old 18 Apr 12, 21:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
All things considered, most of us don't trust our media enough to draw conclusions from them.

But I really don't see anti russian propaganda in any of our media either, all things considered. Last movie I saw about Russia was K19 and while it wasn't forgiving of the trappings of sommunist governments, the protagonists were portrayed as 3 dimensional people and not Stalinist robots. There were more movies about Russia in the '80s then recently and while those were schlocky, we all know they were schlocky.

And Russians don't fly Hueys Rambo producers!

And as for the news outlets, my preferred channel FoxNews, which is definitely a pro patria news network, has been very critical of Putin. But I've never heard a commentator come on and say Russians are evil. The talking heads don't like Putin but no one says all of Russia is crazy.

Speaking for the many of us don't like Barak Obama, let me convey our understanding that crazy leaders don't mean crazy people and what we say about Putin shouldn't be translated as a widely held belief about Russians. We do seperate the two.

And our criticism doesn't cover everything you do either. Many Americans are skeptical of your country's military actions in Georgia but understand your military actions in Chechnya. There were tears shed this side of the Atlantic for what happened in Beslan.


Absolutely agree on Georgia, Chechnya and Beslan.

But don't ever try to tell me that Rambo didn't singlehandedly defeat the entire Soviet army in Afghanistan, or capture a helicopter with his bare hands as it flew past.
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  #623  
Old 18 Apr 12, 21:51
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I hold the view, that regardless of its many abuses, the US is one of the most benign hegemons in world history. The US, for better or worse, does use its military to maintain the existing international political and economic order. This also necessarily involves free trade and resolving all sorts of resource conflicts that would normally arise between nations.

If the US loses its military hegemony after three decades (which may well happen if America loses the economic productivity required to sustain it), what replaces it?

There are really only three possible answers.

1. The first is that a rising China will takes over but I don’t think the world is ready or desires to have Chinese values and political principles to drive the world order.

2. The second is that some unwieldy council like NATO+Russians might handle it . But a global NATO, unlike one American military +coalition, will be prone to incessant bickering and muddling, not unlike what we see in Europe today.

3. World goes back to a balance of power or even quasi-anarchic system, which is exceedingly dangerous in an age of biological and small nuclear weapons.

None of the three probable options sound attractive.

America has committed its share of abuses and failures since WW2 but the alternatives just seem much worse.
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  #624  
Old 19 Apr 12, 02:13
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I agree with Cult Icon, despite all the illegal wars and terrible drone campaigns etc. we all benefit from the world system the U.S helps to maintain. The benefits outweigh the missteps and failures and the alternative in a world without a benign American hegemony is far worse.
  #625  
Old 19 Apr 12, 02:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtanionNZ View Post
I agree with Cult Icon, despite all the illegal wars and terrible drone campaigns etc. we all benefit from the world system the U.S helps to maintain. The benefits outweigh the missteps and failures and the alternative in a world without a benign American hegemony is far worse.
Yup. It's not like my Imperial Overlords interfere in my life overly much. Sure my TV is full of crappy sitcoms, my kids are brainwashed into saying McDonalds when I ask them what they want to eat, and a predator drone killed my next door neighbour, but I can think of worse ways to be.
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  #626  
Old 19 Apr 12, 05:08
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Quote:
I don't recall making that statement, directly or indirectly.

The US has made many mistakes. I am willing to admit it isn't perfect and did so in my first post. My original point was simply to address the false argument that the use of nukes was somehow uniquely barbaric and an escalation in the war.

In case you think I am US centric, I will freely admit that the the russians suffered staggering losses in WW2 and without those losses, the Nazis might have prevailed. It is unlikely that any Western nation could have suffered such casualties and continued the war.

Please note that rather than refute any of the points I made in my "at least we didn't" post, you continued to try and attack the US. Why is it Europeans seem to think that they a superior perspective on all matters?
I didn't refute your points because ShAA did it first and because the thread isn't really about Russia. I was talking about the things like this :

Quote:
Probably as close to it as has ever existed in government anywhere in human history, but that didn't make them perfect, omniscient, or saints. Just better men than 99.9999% of political leaders anywhere and any time. The US Constitution is an ideal: Individual freedom, minimal national government, and economic opportunity. That Americans have often failed to live up to that ideal doesn't render it irrelevant or foolhardy.
I can remember more similar posts in the same fashion or the posts claiming that Europeans are all socialists and idiots. Honnestly I cannot remember Europeans claiming that we have ideal constitution or best political leaders in history.
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  #627  
Old 19 Apr 12, 09:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtanionNZ View Post
I agree with Cult Icon, despite all the illegal wars and terrible drone campaigns etc. we all benefit from the world system the U.S helps to maintain. The benefits outweigh the missteps and failures and the alternative in a world without a benign American hegemony is far worse.

I suspect that China's version of hegemony might not be quite as benign.
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  #628  
Old 19 Apr 12, 10:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
The British were happy to deal with the Nazis, feeding them other countries to placate it. Poland was happy to deal with the Nazis, chipping off a piece of Czechoslovakia. However, when the SU did the same, it's an evil baddie. Follow rule #1: Whatever Russia/SU does, is bad by definition. What's good for the goose, isn't good for the gander, of course.



Stalin had quite a dramatic breakup with Tito and Khrustchev broke up with Mao. It's not an ideal world we're living and not everything always goes your way.



Sometimes I wonder how the British and American understanding of the war would change if they didn't live on their safe islands but shared an overland border with Germany.



No, you're dead wrong. You didn't even bother checking out what actually happened.



I think you've rather proved the point I've made for trebuchet.

A couple of points.
Tito was never completely a Soviet client state and neither was China.
The eastern block nations that had their efforts at independence bloodily crushed by soviet tanks were client states. The "Iron curtain" was not built to keep westerners from trying to emigrate into the Eastern block nations and no one ever risked their lives trying to escape into the soviet block, or was killed for trying.

So Russia was justified in invading free nations to protect themselves from the nation that they had signed a nonagression pact with? Was Finland about to launch an assault on Soviet territory? Even if we accept that the goal was to protect against german invasion, how does that goal justify continued occupation of the baltic nations after germany was subdued and occupied?

The Soviet invasion of Poland removed a buffer state that protected them from German invasion. If they were so concerned about an attack from Germany, why would they remove a buffer state that provided protection?
The Baltic nations didn't provide a buffer and they weren't a threat, yet they were invaded. Soviet "safety" was not improved by attacking neighboring free nations that were no military threat.

I haven't defended poland of the UK. so mentioning them seems to be an effort to change the subject. I haven't really even defended the US, other than to suggest that maybe it isn't evil.

However, the Soviet invasions of nations that were not a threat and never could be a threat are pretty difficult to justify, at least logically.
I am aware of what the Russians claim the georgians were up to and I agree that the Georgians behaved rather stupidly. That still leaves the question of why Russia felt it necessary to keep Georgian lands after defeating their tiny army.
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  #629  
Old 19 Apr 12, 12:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
Jeez, Slick, all you're doing is reinforcing ShAA's view that Muricans believe everything they are told to believe - which is pure unadulterated Bullshit, and you know it.
Firstly, I know nothing of the sort. 'Mericuns are a painfully gullible people, at least a fair percentage of them: consider our voting habits exhibit 1. In the words of the immortal Paddy Chayefsky:

Quote:
But, man, you're never going to get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell. We'll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, or that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker's house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he's going to win. We'll tell you any sh*t you want to hear. We deal in *illusions*, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds... We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even *think* like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! *WE* are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I'm speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF...
We haven't turned 'em off yet, have we?

Secondly, your choice of language would have you fined alongside George Carlin if you were ever broadcast, you know that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
7 of 10 Muricans don't believe anything they hear & only half they see in the media of any form
Someone started a Dick Clark tribute thread, fer cryin' out loud. The guy was a friggin DJ, not a messiah! Last night the local news made his death their lead story, and covered it for a solid 1:20 -- or four times longer than the normal story! "Oh, thank you Dick Clark, for introducing me to music I wouldn't have heard otherwise. " "Maybe if you didn't view African-Americans as lepers you would have gone to their clubs and heard it for yourself, you lame sonofabitch! You didn't need Dick Clark to introduce you to R&B: you just needed to exhibit a modicum of human curiosity -- and maybe a pair of testicles."

Need I produce any other examples of commercial success predicated on good advertising alone?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
but they'll be the 1st in line to sarcastically (in their best 'matter of fact' manner) tell anybody that thinks they do whatever they wanna hear just to give them the piss back that they see in the BS judgment to begin with. Just because the 3 in 10 that do believe it all hook line & sinker live in New Yok, Bean Town, Turbo City, Lost Angels & DC don't make his , or your sarcastic observation true. A vast majority in America & Russia don't pay a minutes notice to the media at all, they got much better things to do. like 'having a life'.
Advertisers go out of their way to pitch to children in the belief that buying habits and other preferences formed in childhood will last a lifetime. No doubt you recall Saturday morning cartoons and all of their commercials. Well, civics classes, "Confraternity of Christian Doctrine" (Roman Catholic CCD) and the Red Pioneers are/were all designed to accomplish the same end: to set children's preferences in stone so that they'd be reliable for business, political and religious leaders for years to come. Some have succeeded better than others, and others have succeeded because they lacked any meaningful competition, and still have have succeeded because the teachers were more adamant and/or closer (ie parents) but honestly, we're all subject to the teachings of our youth, to one degree or another. How else can you explain why some are "Chevy men" while others are "Ford men," when honestly there's little to distinguish the two mechanically?

And don't get me started on the imaginary Republican/Democrat divide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
Sorry, ShAA, but your misconception is as mistaken as the few in America that believe everything they're told by the media, not to mention the most sematical of 'academia'. Which is a manifold minority. Every time you speak as though it is or ever has been a fact - when it isn't, nor ever has been - ya just turn the many that would take you more seriously off & throw them into BS mode or completely on to the next discussion.
And there's a whole slew of Russians who ain't no better. A real comedic bunch are the Russians leaving the US because they can't find their «духовность», dukhovnost, their spriritual life, in this land they feel is devoid of soul. They're merely parroting the teaching of communism and Orthodoxy alike, and using it to mask their failures, financial or personal. "I'm not a loser; it's just that America is soulless." So some of them go back to Russia, and they're losers there, too.

One need not be Russian, however, in order to rationalize and externalize one's failures. What do you think the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about?

Sasha: you want to tell your countrymen something about America? Tell 'em that they're losers -- just like Russians, and often for the same exact reasons, too.

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Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
Marc knows better (even though he'll never admit it) & you should - it's very little different with Russian perceptions, as Americans.
Oh, I know. I know all too well.

And so should you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
Just Sayin, My Friend.
Now I'll be glad to down a couple of cold ones with you, any time.

__________________
I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

Last edited by slick_miester; 19 Apr 12 at 14:06..
  #630  
Old 19 Apr 12, 17:49
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Overall good natured, but clumsy and unsophisticated. Most of its government isn't responsible enough to handle the resources given to it, and the ones that are are too responsible, becoming imperalistic, corrupt, and greedy. Those that voice good intentions either handle their actions wrong or are bought out by the greedier members.
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