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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > The Middle East > War in Iraq

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War in Iraq Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and ongoing operations in the region.

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  #1  
Old 10 Sep 07, 10:37
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Do Americans feel as though the US is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t?

This is a rehash of an old question that leftie Uni lecturers (yep, I did say leftie!) in Australia used to pose to political science and modern history undergrads when I was attending back in the early to mid seventies.
American actions post 9/11, especially events in Iraq have bought it all back to prominence again
It would go something like this:
after a couple of terms (semesters as they are called in the US) subtly and sometimes openly spicing a political or history topic with an anti- American undertones, they would suddenly in term three turn the whole thing around and start defending US policy and actions.
Simple intellectual gymnastics really, but very effective when you’re teaching innocent 18-21 year olds. And to give them their due it was an honest attempt to show both sides to an issue.
They would usually conclude the topic with something along the lines of:
‘so ya see kiddies (all undergrads are kiddies and need to be reminded of this often) it’s never as simple as it looks:
Who’s the first nation to be condemned? The US of course!
Which nation ya gonna first call on for help? As above!
Is it any wonder then, that many quite reasonable Americans feel frustrated, angry, puzzled and indeed even bitter about the way they are perceived of and treated by many in the rest of the world. In short they feel the US will be damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t”
Seems to me little has changed in regard to the US in the last 35 years.
So what do people think? Is it just the way of the world and a natural human tendency to pull down number one or is it the fault of a particular administration and the way they do or don’t do things?
Certainly under Clinton classical anti- Americanism was waning and nothing he did made things worse in regard to this (not making things worse I might remind you, is the first and most important duty of any leader in any nation!).
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 I distinctly remember some commentators in Australia saying outright that the attacks would herald the end of any credible form of anti-Americanism (and yes, there was some credible aspects to anti-Americanism, it was not all fear and loathing for the sake of fear and loathing).
However, the honeymoon period for Bush lasted at best a few months and anti- Americanism surged (ouch there’s that ‘S’ word) as soon as he gave up trying to find Bin Laden and heeded the Neo-Con siren song of a crusade to………well you tell me what they were trying to do?
Be interested in what people think.
lodestar was called a man with no honour, no courage, no integrity and no honesty. To which he replied: "Hey, you forgot to add no moral compass!! How could you miss that one?"
keep reading the good read
lodestar
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  #2  
Old 10 Sep 07, 10:42
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good stuff! keep them thar posts comin'

Do Americans feel as though the US is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t?
YES!
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  #3  
Old 10 Sep 07, 10:43
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I think there is a bit of truth in the damned if you do , dammed if you dont point. America is very much admired for its democracy and certainly its wealth and power. But like any "rich friend" there is often a flipside. You know the old scenario; the rich guy whose got it all, the money , the women, the car, friends who always laugh at his jokes. However many people around are also very jealous and resentful of his success. Whether its a man or a country, human nature rules supreme.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 10:58
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Not to in any way lessen the article, but the have nots are always bitching about the haves.

The US is simply the most visible of the haves.

It's usually not presented as that simple, but, in the end, that's usually what it boils down to.

Most of the Muslim extremist rage is about the influence the US possesses, how the US can so easily use it, and the impact it has on the Muslim extremist's views of their own society/religion/culture.

There are of course other western slanted nations that can **** off the have not nations. but they are usually not the favourite.

Living in Canada, a definite HAVE nation, my problem(s) with the US simply don't have much substance, because it's really not important. I might comment of their gaffes, but I don't have trouble seeing their successes wither.

I think the primary problem the west has with too many of it's "imported" have nots, is we just tolerate it too much. I think we would have a lot more people a lot more happy to join our countries, if it was shown, show a lack of appreciation, and you're immediately returned to country of origin and plight/conditions/disadvantages.

They'd also have a lot harder time in their have not countries, if they were only being supported in their have not countries.

My main beef with the US, is usually the US doesn't look out for its own internal needs as much as it does for everyone else's. Don't expect anyone to be impressed with you, if your own house is need of repair.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 11:01
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You have made some fair points Aries.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 11:47
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And some that are so far off the wall they do not bear considering....
Quote:
I think the primary problem the west has with too many of it's "imported" have nots, is we just tolerate it too much. I think we would have a lot more people a lot more happy to join our countries, if it was shown, show a lack of appreciation, and you're immediately returned to country of origin and plight/conditions/disadvantages.
I don't appreciate the British Government. Well send me home and while your at it send home those 250 million White Anglo Saxons living in my country!!! Dumb as dumb can be if you ask me. Next we can do the cricket test.

"Head shakes in disbelief!!"
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Old 10 Sep 07, 12:27
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Originally Posted by verbaluzi View Post
And some that are so far off the wall they do not bear considering....

I don't appreciate the British Government. Well send me home and while your at it send home those 250 million White Anglo Saxons living in my country!!! Dumb as dumb can be if you ask me. Next we can do the cricket test.

"Head shakes in disbelief!!"
Just out of curiosity, what country are you referring to?
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Old 10 Sep 07, 15:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
This is a rehash of an old question that leftie Uni lecturers (yep, I did say leftie!) in Australia used to pose to political science and modern history undergrads when I was attending back in the early to mid seventies.
American actions post 9/11, especially events in Iraq have bought it all back to prominence again
It would go something like this:
after a couple of terms (semesters as they are called in the US) subtly and sometimes openly spicing a political or history topic with an anti- American undertones, they would suddenly in term three turn the whole thing around and start defending US policy and actions.
Simple intellectual gymnastics really, but very effective when you’re teaching innocent 18-21 year olds. And to give them their due it was an honest attempt to show both sides to an issue.
They would usually conclude the topic with something along the lines of:
‘so ya see kiddies (all undergrads are kiddies and need to be reminded of this often) it’s never as simple as it looks:
Who’s the first nation to be condemned? The US of course!
Which nation ya gonna first call on for help? As above!
Is it any wonder then, that many quite reasonable Americans feel frustrated, angry, puzzled and indeed even bitter about the way they are perceived of and treated by many in the rest of the world. In short they feel the US will be damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t”
Seems to me little has changed in regard to the US in the last 35 years.
So what do people think? Is it just the way of the world and a natural human tendency to pull down number one or is it the fault of a particular administration and the way they do or don’t do things?
Certainly under Clinton classical anti- Americanism was waning and nothing he did made things worse in regard to this (not making things worse I might remind you, is the first and most important duty of any leader in any nation!).
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 I distinctly remember some commentators in Australia saying outright that the attacks would herald the end of any credible form of anti-Americanism (and yes, there was some credible aspects to anti-Americanism, it was not all fear and loathing for the sake of fear and loathing).
However, the honeymoon period for Bush lasted at best a few months and anti- Americanism surged (ouch there’s that ‘S’ word) as soon as he gave up trying to find Bin Laden and heeded the Neo-Con siren song of a crusade to………well you tell me what they were trying to do?
Be interested in what people think.
lodestar was called a man with no honour, no courage, no integrity and no honesty. To which he replied: "Hey, you forgot to add no moral compass!! How could you miss that one?"
keep reading the good read
lodestar
The anti-Americanism of which you speak has been "just the way of the world and a natural human tendency to pull down number one" for over 60 years.

The post-9/11 "honeymoon" ended well before Operation Iraqi Freedom. It ended when the first US bombs started falling on the Taliban.

Thankfully the same left-wing snot-nosed academics who hawk the bash America first crap always manage to provide me with my best material...

From The Project on Defense Alternatives:
Quote:
The sympathy and support for the United States that surged worldwide in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks began to ebb as soon as US bombs began falling on Afghanistan. Supportive sentiments continued to recede through 2004, driven increasingly by the Iraq war and eventually settling at levels unseen since the early 1980s...LINK
What were the world’s issues in the early 1980s?

It appears that we begin to lose the world as soon as we start taking on the bad guys. I have to assume that the loss of "supportive sentiments" in the 1980s must have been due to the shift from President Carter's foreign policy which was losing the Cold War to President Reagan's foreign policy that won the Cold War.

The United States is the recipient of "good will" when we are attacked and the United States loses "good will" at each step of militarily responding to such attacks...

"The sympathy and support for the United States...began to ebb as soon as US bombs began falling on Afghanistan."

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that a large number of people in this world respond favorably to the United States being attacked and respond negatively if the United States retaliates.

Therefore, the only way that the United States can accumulate "good will" is to allow itself to be destroyed and not defend itself.

Again, back to the quote..."The sympathy and support for the United States that surged worldwide in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks began to ebb as soon as US bombs began falling on Afghanistan."

The consistent correlation is this: The world likes the USA when we appear weak and when we are being attacked. The world despises the USA when we appear strong and aggressively dealing with the bad guys.

Is the left-wing thought process so filled with non sequitors that bass-ackwards logic appears to be normal?

I'd just assume that the USA was hated and feared rather than liked and destroyed.

Last edited by The Doctor; 10 Sep 07 at 15:32..
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Old 10 Sep 07, 16:34
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Hating for being number 1 for the last 60 years. Im sure this happened to the Brits before that or the Spanish before us. I wouldnt worry about in terms of an ideal in itself. People will always be two faced to the guy at the top.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 16:47
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Originally Posted by The Doctor View Post
Therefore, the only way that the United States can accumulate "good will" is to allow itself to be destroyed and not defend itself.

The consistent correlation is this: The world likes the USA when we appear weak and when we are being attacked. The world despises the USA when we appear strong and aggressively dealing with the bad guys.

Is the left-wing thought process so filled with non sequitors that bass-ackwards logic appears to be normal?

I'd just assume that the USA was hated and feared rather than liked and destroyed.
That's a weird correlation.

The world did not "like" the US after it was bombed. It only sympathised with it and the innocent people that died then. And it understood you have to retaliate against Afghanistan.

But then you attacked Iraq. And just like the world did not necessarily "like" Iraq or Saddam, the world sympathised with the victim of the attack and tried to prevent the attack.

All I see is a pattern of rejecting war and aggression, one that goes back to WWII and way beyond. I don't think that's a leftist trait, it's a human one. Of course a lot of movements or parties try to tap into that trait and win politically, but that doesn't change the trait's profound humanity,
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Old 10 Sep 07, 17:10
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There is truth to some of that. The whole of Europe was more than willing to activate the NATO charter over an attack on a NATO member. The split from mainland Europe occurred over Iraq.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 18:58
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This is an very intersting topic of discussion and it brings up some good dialog. However, why don't we flip the question. As the worlds only superpower, should the U.S. even care what other nations think in regards to its own self defense? It seems that the U.S. more concerned with trying to please "the world" regardless of their own nations political agendas than putting the smacketh down on the enemy and defending the American people. Since the end of WWII the U.S. has had a lack of leadership in defending American interests at home and abroad. In my opinion, this is why the U.S. has not won a "real" victory in military action. Look at Korea (didn't want to tick off the Russians too much), Vietnam (didn't want to tick off the Russians too much), Beirut (lack of clear objectives), GW1 (didn't want to offend the Arab states), Somalia (lack of clear mission), Balkans (no clear objective), GWOT (started good, lack of clear mission).

Rome lasted a thousand years surrounded by hostile nation by serving its own intersts and yes very harshly. Without strength, the U.S. will fall under its own wieght alot sooner than that.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 19:11
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I think I know what you are trying to say but I cant really agree with that. I think America has pretty much done what it wants in terms of its own interests in the last 60 years but of course there were practicalities to consider. Truman didnt want a third world war to kick off in Korea nor johnson in vietnam so tried to keep it contained. Bearing in mind this was in the aftermath of a hugely destructive ww2; so a completely understandable poisition to have. Yes you are right in there no being no clear objectives in some of the conflicts you mention but that is/was not to do with keeping "foreigners " happy. The iraq invasion was pretty much an Ameican decision and definitely did not appease foreign public opinion, if anything it did the opposite to a certain degree.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 19:40
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I think I know what you are trying to say but I cant really agree with that. I think America has pretty much done what it wants in terms of its own interests in the last 60 years but of course there were practicalities to consider. Truman didnt want a third world war to kick off in Korea nor johnson in vietnam so tried to keep it contained. Bearing in mind this was in the aftermath of a hugely destructive ww2; so a completely understandable poisition to have. Yes you are right in there no being no clear objectives in some of the conflicts you mention but that is/was not to do with keeping "foreigners " happy. The iraq invasion was pretty much an Ameican decision and definitely did not appease foreign public opinion, if anything it did the opposite to a certain degree.
Korea & Vietnam agreed. The others thoughthe U.S. was most definately interested in what other nations thought, even OIF. That is why we didn't obliterate the Iraqi's. With that knowledge (including past performance) in mind other nations such as Iran and N. Korea saw a fundemental weakness in the U.S. and knew they could play in the school yard pretty much without any ramifications. This is inpart why there is an ongoing counter insurgency in Iraq right now. If Iran really thought the U.S. would put the smacketh down they would be alot more tame. Remember, right after we hit Iraq Lybia and Iran were quacking in their boots and would have done just about anything to keep us from putting some wup a** on them. The U.S.'s tepid response to the insurgency showed that the U.S. leadership was a bunch of wussies at heart.

In my opinion, the U.S. is a laughing stock to "the world" because they know the U.S. truely doesn't know how to act as a superpower should.
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Old 10 Sep 07, 19:40
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when was the last time the US "didn't" ????
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