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Thread: American Values

  1. #1 American Values 
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    Science-minded people tend to be liberal (and I count myself among them). However, I've read some mild America-bashing in this forum and I wanted to respond.

    America has serious flaws to be sure. I would argue that the death of millions (well over 10 million by some estimates) of native american-indian's was the single worst chapter in human history (worse than the holocaust even). Their race has been nearly wiped out and colonial American's played a key role. Empire building and slavery also come to mind as flaws.

    However, in defense of America, I provide these points:

    - More than 150 nations failed to give voting rights to women before America (including Sweden, Switzerland, and France).

    - Obama has more power than any black person in world history and America was the vehicle. What European nation has elected a non-white person their leader? (there may be one but I can't think of any)

    - In America, you are allowed to stand near an in-progress funeral of a dead U.S. soldier and yell the most vile criticisms at: the dead soldier, his family, the U.S. government, and the most popular American religion. This is not allowed in most other nations (perhaps every other nation).

    - No other nation provides so many resources in foreign aid. Indeed, when major natural disasters happen (Indonesian tsunami, Japanese tsunami, and Haitian earthquake), America leads the way in helping.

    - If not for America, much of Europe may very well have been conquered by Nazi Germany and who knows how many more jews would have been killed.

    - Perhaps no other single nation has contributed more to modern science, and in the case of medicine, has contributed more to increasing the human life span.


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    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post
    - If not for America, much of Europe may very well have been conquered by Nazi Germany and who knows how many more jews would have been killed
    Perhaps I must have missed this bit of history, which bits of Europe exactly did America stop the Nazi's conquering?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post
    - If not for America, much of Europe may very well have been conquered by Nazi Germany and who knows how many more jews would have been killed
    Perhaps I must have missed this bit of history, which bits of Europe exactly did America stop the Nazi's conquering?
    To quote one of the great british historians of world war II, Sir John Keegan:

    "In the final enumeration of Hitler's mistakes...his decision to contest the power of the American economy may well come to stand first". Also "...it was American factories which made the weapons that beat Hitler". These quotes come from his book "The Second World War".

    Note that my statement used the word "may" and did not say that America's involvement definitely turned the tide. I suppose the counter-argument is that those parts of Europe conquered by the Nazi's would have been taken back by the allies without American help. Even if you accept this view, I think it is difficult to argue that it would have happened as soon as it did - thus saving many jewish lives. Nor should America be spared credit for being part of this noble effort.
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    America is extremely powerful. Economically, militarily, culturally. With that immense power comes the capacity to do great wonders and great evils. A nation is as flawed as its people and, thus, we have been a bastion of freedom and a liberator of the oppressed as well as a conqueror and destroyer. I don't think our nation is inherently good or bad, but I do believe that we have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate to the world that we are capable of great things, but we do not always live up to that potential.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; March 4th, 2013 at 04:33 PM.
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  6. #5  
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    As much as I love the US even with the numerous times I put my life on the line to protect American ideas I'm not crazy about distortions either.

    - In America, you are allowed to stand near an in-progress funeral of a dead U.S. soldier and yell the most vile criticisms at: the dead soldier, his family, the U.S. government, and the most popular American religion. This is not allowed in most other nations (perhaps every other nation).
    That is wrong. One cannot protest within 300 feet or within two hours of the funeral, nor block cemetery exists to the funeral. This has been federal law for at least a year and will probably eventually become a Supreme Court case.

    - No other nation provides so many resources in foreign aid. Indeed, when major natural disasters happen (Indonesian tsunami, Japanese tsunami, and Haitian earthquake), America leads the way in helping.
    Not really a fair comparison. On a per capita basis, or per gross income, which levels things somewhat, the US isn't even in the top dozen nations for government aid to other nations. We help a lot with capabilities such as medical ships though that much is true.

    America economic wealth did in large part win WWII--- it's difficult though to compare to the 20 million sacrificed by the USSR. Coincidentally American and British reluctant to open a ground front in Western Europe and put lives on the line cost millions of those Russian lives--something that created great strife with them and set stage for the long cold war and it's dozens of proxies of the late 20th century.

    Lastly while we might have been the first to allow women voting, the US has been leapfrogged by far more proportional representation of women in government leadership--we still haven't had a women president (European nation have had several prominent women prime-ministers), and even nations like Afghanistan have far more women % in their highest cabinets and legislative bodies than the US has in Congress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post
    - If not for America, much of Europe may very well have been conquered by Nazi Germany and who knows how many more jews would have been killed
    Perhaps I must have missed this bit of history, which bits of Europe exactly did America stop the Nazi's conquering?
    To quote one of the great british historians of world war II, Sir John Keegan:

    "In the final enumeration of Hitler's mistakes...his decision to contest the power of the American economy may well come to stand first". Also "...it was American factories which made the weapons that beat Hitler". These quotes come from his book "The Second World War".

    Note that my statement used the word "may" and did not say that America's involvement definitely turned the tide. I suppose the counter-argument is that those parts of Europe conquered by the Nazi's would have been taken back by the allies without American help. Even if you accept this view, I think it is difficult to argue that it would have happened as soon as it did - thus saving many jewish lives. Nor should America be spared credit for being part of this noble effort.
    I was probarbly just being a bit pernickety about the fact it took America a couple of years to enter the war and by then virually all of mainland Europe was either neutral or had already been conquered by the Nazi's who had set up death camps and already started mass executions, during which time American companies like Standard Oil were still supplying fuel for the Nazi war machine. But it is fair to say that America most certainly did help liberate most of Western Europe. The reality is that without the Russians, the British and the Americans the whole world could to this day be under a Nazi yoke, many historians have serious doubts as to how well America would have faired on it's own if the Nazi's had won the war in Europe. But by far and away it was the Russians that did the most to stop the Nazi's, far more than the combined forces of the British and Americans many times over, by the time of the D day landings Germany had already lost the war it was only ever a matter of time before the Russians could complete their total invasion.
    The issue of the threat posed by the Japanese was always a sidebar as they never really had the resources to ever pose a serious threat to the rest of the world and once the Nazi's fell they were also effectively done for, again only ever a matter of time.
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  8. #7  
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    Lastly while we might have been the first to allow women voting,
    I don't think so. Wyoming was the first American state to grant women's suffrage in 1869 - but South Australia had already done that in 1864. New Zealand was the first country generally acknowledged (but see Timeline of women's suffrage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) to grant suffrage in 1893.

    The USA didn't grant general suffrage for national elections until 1920.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    - In America, you are allowed to stand near an in-progress funeral of a dead U.S. soldier and yell the most vile criticisms at: the dead soldier, his family, the U.S. government, and the most popular American religion. This is not allowed in most other nations (perhaps every other nation).
    That is wrong. One cannot protest within 300 feet or within two hours of the funeral, nor block cemetery exists to the funeral. This has been federal law for at least a year and will probably eventually become a Supreme Court case.
    Before the restriction, it was allowed. The spirit of my point was to ask what other nation has valued freedom so much that they allowed it's dead soldier's families to be told to go to hell during the funeral? I bet none. I wasn't aware of the restriction until you informed me. Although I think it will likely be overturned by the Supreme Court.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    - No other nation provides so many resources in foreign aid. Indeed, when major natural disasters happen (Indonesian tsunami, Japanese tsunami, and Haitian earthquake), America leads the way in helping.
    Not really a fair comparison. On a per capita basis, or per gross income, which levels things somewhat, the US isn't even in the top dozen nations for government aid to other nations. We help a lot with capabilities such as medical ships though that much is true.
    To criticize the leading provider of foreign aid because it isn't #1 as a percentage seems to me a bit nit-picky. Vast American resources are spent helping people all over the world (and much more than medical ships). I would argue my statement was not a distortion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Lastly while we might have been the first to allow women voting, the US has been leapfrogged by far more proportional representation of women in government leadership--we still haven't had a women president (European nation have had several prominent women prime-ministers), and even nations like Afghanistan have far more women % in their highest cabinets and legislative bodies than the US has in Congress.
    My point was to demonstrate that America is one of the leaders in women's rights, not necessarily the best. While there certainly should be more women in power, much progress is being made (three out of nine Supreme Court justices are women). Also, regarding the Afghans, those seats are reserved (in other words required to be) for women as opposed to being, like an American congresswoman, elected genuinely democratically (although perhaps it is now me who is being nit-picky).

    I want to reiterate that there are many valid criticisms of America. However, I chose to point out positives in an attempt to bring balance.
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    Look at Russia. Now back to America. Look at England. Now back to America. Look at France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Australia, or India. All nations have their shames and prides, it's just America's are magnified by it's position on the world stage.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post

    - In America, you are allowed to stand near an in-progress funeral of a dead U.S. soldier and yell the most vile criticisms at: the dead soldier, his family, the U.S. government, and the most popular American religion.
    Not quite, and not always. When President Bill Clinton was visiting Chicago, a woman bystander who obviously slipped through the screening process, yelled as he passed by, "You S. O. B.!"

    She was charged with "Endangering the life of a President"!

    This is the bullshit part of the argument expressed in favor of the assumption that as Americans, freedom of speech is always there....... jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post
    - In America, you are allowed to stand near an in-progress funeral of a dead U.S. soldier and yell the most vile criticisms at: the dead soldier, his family, the U.S. government, and the most popular American religion.
    ...not always.
    What nation on Earth is it always?

    My point is that few nations have the freedoms enjoyed in America.
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    To criticize the leading provider of foreign aid because it isn't #1 as a percentage seems to me a bit nit-picky. Vast American resources are spent helping people all over the world
    Nonsense. America is the world's biggest economy and the third largest by population. The two larger population countries haven't been in much of a position to help even themselves until fairly recent times.

    If you look at other wealthy countries, the EU and Canada, Australia, Japan, the comparison is sometimes quite stark. USA contributes 10 times as much as Denmark - but it has 60 times the population. More than 10 times Australia's donations, but 14 times the population. 5 times the population of the UK, but less than 3 times the donations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_population List of governments by development aid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    These differences aren't overly significant in the greater scheme of things I suppose, until you claim to be more generous than those people. Then it matters that it's entirely untrue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    These differences aren't overly significant in the greater scheme of things I suppose, until you claim to be more generous than those people.
    Where did I claim that Americans are more generous than other people? As stated before, I am not making the claim that America is the greatest nation on Earth. It is the straining to find fault with America that I am arguing against.

    Even as a percentage, America still spends more than most nations (As a percentage, China gives less than 1/4 that of America for example).

    I would argue that it is not wildly unreasonable to suggest that the nation that gives more than twice the overall aid than any other nation deserves some credit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherGuy View Post
    Look at Russia. Now back to America. Look at England. Now back to America. Look at France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Australia, or India. All nations have their shames and prides, it's just America's are magnified by it's position on the world stage.
    This certainly seems fair, America is a great nation and currently the richest and most powerful, there is certainly nothing wrong with anybody being proud of this at all, just that perhaps it is a little easy to get carried away and assume that it is or has to be the best at everything. The truth is no country is perfect or ever will be, I bet there are plenty of Americans who would like to change aspects about their country just as there are plenty of Brits who would like to see changes in theirs or will be French that want changes to France. All nations are made up of ordinary people, just men and women like you or I that, some are intelligent others not so, they have their dreams and ideals, they have their fears and prejudices, they all have a sense of humour and they all want the best possible life for their children. Many of the values Americans hold dear are the very same values that hold meaning for the people's of other nations also. There are questions though sometimes about how our governments represent our values, do we always agree with the wars they carry out in our name, or the trade policies which leave farmers in third world countries end up barely managing to survive. What the last world war taught us all is that we all need to work together, but each and every country on Earth still acts in accordance with it's own interests. The real test for a nation is just how far it is willing to set aside those self interests in order to truely express the values and ideals of it's people on the world stage.
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    The real test for a nation is just how far it is willing to set aside those self interests in order to truly express the values and ideals of it's people on the world stage.
    I completely agree. And through that lens, for all America's greatness and power, we are shamingly behind in many areas with global impacts, such as global warming, unnecessary destructive wars and failure to develop robust standards to regulate international mega-cooperation from wholesale cultural and exploitation of 3rd world peoples.
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    The problem for the future will be that American culture is what created America. Each country is either limited by, or enabled by, its cultural values. Now if we continue to travel down the road of "multi-culturalism", our culture will change, including it will likely begin to gradually lose the traits that made it great by adopting other traits from cultures that have yet to produce any great nations.

    I think if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Because if you go to fix something that isn't broken, you stand a high chance to break it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherGuy View Post
    Look at Russia. Now back to America. Look at England. Now back to America. Look at France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Australia, or India. All nations have their shames and prides, it's just America's are magnified by it's position on the world stage.
    This certainly seems fair, America is a great nation and currently the richest and most powerful
    On a per-capita basis, we're not actually the richest.

    I wish people would stop saying that. It makes it sound like we really could be fixing world poverty when in fact we'd go broke long before we could even make a dent in it.


    The real test for a nation is just how far it is willing to set aside those self interests in order to truely express the values and ideals of it's people on the world stage.
    I hope that's not the real test, because those nations which actually do that tend to last only for a short time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The problem for the future will be that American culture is what created America. Each country is either limited by, or enabled by, its cultural values. Now if we continue to travel down the road of "multi-culturalism", our culture will change, including it will likely begin to gradually lose the traits that made it great by adopting other traits from cultures that have yet to produce any great nations.

    I think if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Because if you go to fix something that isn't broken, you stand a high chance to break it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherGuy View Post
    Look at Russia. Now back to America. Look at England. Now back to America. Look at France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Australia, or India. All nations have their shames and prides, it's just America's are magnified by it's position on the world stage.
    This certainly seems fair, America is a great nation and currently the richest and most powerful
    On a per-capita basis, we're not actually the richest.

    I wish people would stop saying that. It makes it sound like we really could be fixing world poverty when in fact we'd go broke long before we could even make a dent in it.
    Well, depending on which figures you go by, the worlds economy is approximately 71 trillion US $ of which the US accounts for about 15.5 trillion of that, so basically we can say over a fifth of the worlds money every year and less than 5% of it's population, Ok admitted this may not mean America is the richest country on a per capita basis but what it is does mean is they still have far more financial clout than any other nation on earth, also many miltary experts agree that you have to put the entire military resources of the rest of the planet together to equal that of the US. So really if America isn't capable of helping the worlds poorest then just who is? Nobody is saying or suggesting it should do it all on it's own, America has plenty of allies and support, but where America leads others follow, so it could lead the rest of the world in coming together to help the worlds poorest and even if they only gave 1% of their yearly wealth, which probarbly wouldn't leave them broke, as you've suggested, that would be around $155 billion would make a pretty good start.

    But for the sake of this debate lets not forget about some of the wealthy private individuals who are donating massive amounts of money into helping those in need around the world, perhaps the governments of America, Britain, China, France, Japan, ect.... can all take a leaf out of their book and start to do more than they are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    So really if America isn't capable of helping the worlds poorest then just who is?
    The problem is the failed assumption that there must be an answer to that question. Maybe the answer is "nobody".

    Just because someone is the "most able" doesn't mean they are actually able. Who is the most able to fly of all human being's on Earth? Who is the most able to bend spoons with their mind? Who is the most able to stop bullets with their hand?

    It's sometimes hard to accept that the world doesn't have a superhero. Maybe that's why some people convince themselves to believe in God/Allah/Rama.... etc.


    Nobody is saying or suggesting it should do it all on it's own, America has plenty of allies and support, but where America leads others follow, so it could lead the rest of the world in coming together to help the worlds poorest and even if they only gave 1% of their yearly wealth, which probarbly wouldn't leave them broke, as you've suggested, that would be around $155 billion would make a pretty good start.
    Well, they didn't exactly leap to our aid in the war on terror. What makes you think they'll follow us down an even more expensive path like a war on poverty?


    But for the sake of this debate lets not forget about some of the wealthy private individuals who are donating massive amounts of money into helping those in need around the world, perhaps the governments of America, Britain, China, France, Japan, ect.... can all take a leaf out of their book and start to do more than they are.
    You mean borrow more money?
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    Foriegn aid isn't annalogous to helping poor nations, or poor people, nor should it be.
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    I have been out of the United States enough to know that this is the only country in the world fit to live in.
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    Well that's one viewpoint that provides some evidence for the validity of an anti-US attitude.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Well that's one viewpoint that provides some evidence for the validity of an anti-US attitude.
    The thing that shocked me most about the American reaction to terrorist attacks was how disbelieving so many Americans were of the notion that other countries out there find us completely intolerable.
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    Oh I wouldn't say completely intolerable.

    That could be a fallout from the "isolation" that the US has.
    Here in Europe - OMG! Did I say that?, here in England, we're much closer to our neighbours and thus their viewpoint is more easily accessible.
    It's no surprise to most Brits as to how WE are regarded, especially on the continent.
    (One of my proudest moments was being mistaken for German the first time I was in Prague).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Colyer View Post
    I have been out of the United States enough to know that this is the only country in the world fit to live in.
    That seems a rather bold statement, I'd be fascinated to learn which other countries you visited and what has so turned you off from them, also just curious here but when you are saying United States does this mean the whole of it or is there perhaps some parts where you might prefer a different country to live, the reason I've asking this last question because there are certainly parts of America, San Francisco, LA, ect..., that many people would perhaps rather live than lots of other countries.
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    Fit to live in? Start with some English speaking countries - Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom. Why would any/all of these be 'unfit' to live in. Let's face it, if you want to live, the health system in every one of these countries is better than the USA - some of them heaps better.

    The Mediterranean countries? Depends on how you go with languages I suppose, but the south of France is pretty attractive. The European and Scandinavian countries? First consideration (for me anyway) would be climate, but Denmark, Germany, Sweden are all good propositions if you disregard that.

    South America? Argentina and Chile would be pretty comfortable for most people - don't know much about the others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Well that's one viewpoint that provides some evidence for the validity of an anti-US attitude.
    The thing that shocked me most about the American reaction to terrorist attacks was how disbelieving so many Americans were of the notion that other countries out there find us completely intolerable.
    Indeed. But most American's assume as a matter of course that they have a monopoly on good ideas. Usually education and travel help pull such foolish and ignorant notions to rest--but not always.
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    I like America somewhat, not very much though. I just hate the fact that they act as the Kings of Earth and put their hands on everyone's business.. America spends more billions on military than Russia, China, UK and France combined according to Wikipedia
    76993865824def4a4d61875fdfb45e42.png
    And the funny thing is that they come and invade other countries just to "free" them, while as an Iraqi I can assure you it was much better before America even Saddam was a horrible person.. America did much worse than him..
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Well that's one viewpoint that provides some evidence for the validity of an anti-US attitude.
    The thing that shocked me most about the American reaction to terrorist attacks was how disbelieving so many Americans were of the notion that other countries out there find us completely intolerable.
    Indeed. But most American's assume as a matter of course that they have a monopoly on good ideas. Usually education and travel help pull such foolish and ignorant notions to rest--but not always.
    I wonder what the statistics are on Americans and travel abroad. Give that we're separated from Asian and European nations by a couple oceans and a thousand dollar plane ticket, we don't really get to see some of these other amazing cultures or interact with them in a meaningful way. It's no wonder we feel so separate from them; we really are separate. As technology advances and allows people from other nations to come together virtually, I wonder if we'll see a bit more unity of thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hassnhadi View Post
    I like America somewhat, not very much though. I just hate the fact that they act as the Kings of Earth and put their hands on everyone's business.. America spends more billions on military than Russia, China, UK and France combined according to Wikipedia. And the funny thing is that they come and invade other countries just to "free" them, while as an Iraqi I can assure you it was much better before America even Saddam was a horrible person.. America did much worse than him..
    First, just keep in mind that American citizens are not truly represented by the actions of their officials. Our government has a tragic approval rating, especially right now with the sequester in effect. For instance, the White House is shut down to school children taking a tour of Washington due to budget cuts, but our congressperson's $174k salaries remain untouched.

    As for the consequences of Iraq, remember that the American people were lied to as well. We were fed false information and assumptions by an administration with an agenda. There are plenty of Americans who do not want to be at war in the middle east, who see no validity in the cause.

    If there is one nation that should not be generalized, it is America. We have such a remarkable mixture of cultures and ehtnicities that we cannot be understood simply as America. Our biggest problem politically (at least to me) is that such a small percentage of our population votes that we are not properly represented to the rest of the world.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Well that's one viewpoint that provides some evidence for the validity of an anti-US attitude.
    The thing that shocked me most about the American reaction to terrorist attacks was how disbelieving so many Americans were of the notion that other countries out there find us completely intolerable.
    Indeed. But most American's assume as a matter of course that they have a monopoly on good ideas. Usually education and travel help pull such foolish and ignorant notions to rest--but not always.
    I wonder what the statistics are on Americans and travel abroad. Give that we're separated from Asian and European nations by a couple oceans and a thousand dollar plane ticket, we don't really get to see some of these other amazing cultures or interact with them in a meaningful way. It's no wonder we feel so separate from them; we really are separate. As technology advances and allows people from other nations to come together virtually, I wonder if we'll see a bit more unity of thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hassnhadi View Post
    I like America somewhat, not very much though. I just hate the fact that they act as the Kings of Earth and put their hands on everyone's business.. America spends more billions on military than Russia, China, UK and France combined according to Wikipedia. And the funny thing is that they come and invade other countries just to "free" them, while as an Iraqi I can assure you it was much better before America even Saddam was a horrible person.. America did much worse than him..
    First, just keep in mind that American citizens are not truly represented by the actions of their officials. Our government has a tragic approval rating, especially right now with the sequester in effect. For instance, the White House is shut down to school children taking a tour of Washington due to budget cuts, but our congressperson's $174k salaries remain untouched.

    As for the consequences of Iraq, remember that the American people were lied to as well. We were fed false information and assumptions by an administration with an agenda. There are plenty of Americans who do not want to be at war in the middle east, who see no validity in the cause.

    If there is one nation that should not be generalized, it is America. We have such a remarkable mixture of cultures and ehtnicities that we cannot be understood simply as America. Our biggest problem politically (at least to me) is that such a small percentage of our population votes that we are not properly represented to the rest of the world.
    I don't have problem with Americans at all, it's just their government is the one I have a problem with.
    As for the consequences of Iraq, remember that the American people were lied to as well. We were fed false information and assumptions by an administration with an agenda. There are plenty of Americans who do not want to be at war in the middle east, who see no validity in the cause.
    Well, I don't think that the problem is that the Americans were lied to by their government.. The problem is that Americans didn't investigate themselves, and especially at something important such as America claiming Saddam to have nuclear weapons while they at least have 10 nuclear heads..
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    Yeah. I think a lot of Americans really wanted to believe the nuclear weapons story. Mostly I think it had to do with a feeling of humiliation at having fought the first Gulf War against Saddam and then having yielded to international political pressure and withdrawn before eliminating him. We Americans like to finish off our enemies.

    So now Saddam is dead and there's nobody to keep order in Iraq. Oil prices are higher because Saddam has stopped flooding the market with cheap oil (which he was doing in order to pay off his war debts from the Iran-Iraq war.) Americans are smiling to ourselves that we toppled a dictator, while we pay for our $4.00/gallon gasoline, and trying not to think about those unfortunate people in Iraq who had to die so we could smile to ourselves while we pay $4.00/gallon for our gasoline.
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    I wonder what the statistics are on Americans and travel abroad. Give that we're separated from Asian and European nations by a couple oceans and a thousand dollar plane ticket, we don't really get to see some of these other amazing cultures or interact with them in a meaningful way.
    As an Australian, I find this notion laughable. Americans can at least cross a couple of borders by train, bus or car, north to Canada, south to Mexico and regions further south. We have to fly everywhere - even to New Zealand and Bali right "next door". Can't find the stats, but Americans are much, much less likely to travel to other countries than Australians despite their greater opportunities.
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    I don't have problem with Americans at all, it's just their government is the one I have a problem with.
    There really isn't much difference--as it should be.
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    I don't like to stereotype but most Americans I have come across in the UK and other countries tend to adopt the same approach, nearly all of them are extremely polite, infact I'd go so far as to say I have yet to meet a rude American outside of America, but what they also seem to do is act as if they are less inteligent than they really are, even when they actually know all about something they will quite happily fane ingorance and let others explain things to them, this type of behaviour not only nulifies any preconseptions of arrogance but also tends to make them very popular abroad. I guess though it also makes it a little hard to really gage their true opinions because even if they really didn't like something many would probarbly be far to polite to say so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...I have yet to meet a rude American outside of America
    As an American who has great respect for the British people, this is something I'm glad to hear. A strain of jingoism is present among some Americans and I wonder how much harm they do to foreign opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...but what they also seem to do is act as if they are less inteligent than they really are
    I hate to say it, but I bet some of them aren't acting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    As an Australian, I find this notion laughable. Americans can at least cross a couple of borders by train, bus or car, north to Canada, south to Mexico and regions further south. We have to fly everywhere - even to New Zealand and Bali right "next door". Can't find the stats, but Americans are much, much less likely to travel to other countries than Australians despite their greater opportunities.
    Why would anyone who lives in Australia ever leave? Well, except for the giant, car-sized spiders. The problem with Australia is that it's so friggin hard to get TO not FROM. Seriously, I want to see that island of death you call home before I'm too old to fend off the dinosaurs that still live there.

    In all seriousness though, Canada and Mexico are fairly interesting places to visit (Mexico more so than Canada, they're just Americans without guns). Our relationship with our southern brothers is a weird one at best. We have them build all our cars, make most of our clothes, sell us their food, and let our teenagers pass out on their lawns on spring break...but the second Mexicans come across our border, they're the least-welcome people in the country.
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by markashley View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...I have yet to meet a rude American outside of America
    As an American who has great respect for the British people, this is something I'm glad to hear. A strain of jingoism is present among some Americans and I wonder how much harm they do to foreign opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...but what they also seem to do is act as if they are less inteligent than they really are
    I hate to say it, but I bet some of them aren't acting.
    Lol perhaps, but I prefer to think they are just really being polite and allowing others to enjoy the sense of being able to help them with or explain things to them.
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