Combat Anti-Americanism?


Should it be a goal of the U.S. to reduce that hostility and, if so, what's the best way to do it?

Posted by Amar C. Bakshi on August 29, 2006 11:48 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (220)

pAUL cOOPER, yELLOW sPRINGS, oHIO, usa :

While the administration speaks easily of needing years to "win" over terrorism, it is reluctant to use years to approach causes by diplomacy. Fear may work to sustain acceptance of a war footing in American, it only stimulates hostility abroad among friends and foes alike.

pAUL cOOPER, yELLOW sPRINGS, oHIO, usa :

While the administration speaks easily of needing years to "win" over terrorism, it is reluctant to use years to approach causes by diplomacy. Fear may work to sustain acceptance of a war footing in American, it only stimulates hostility abroad among friends and foes alike.

Salman Shoaib, Karachi, Pakistan :

One of the most critical mistakes of US Foreign Policy is this question. I live in a majority Muslim country which is run by Muslim leaders who back US policies in the region and the world but I can safely say that almost 95% of the populace believes US is the biggest threat to international peace and harboring a specific enmity against Muslims to make its Israeli friendly policies. They don't see US as a enemy but US leaders as a biased supporter of Israel (who in their opinion is their biggest foe). In addition, by attacking a sovereign state of Iraq on a wrong premise of WMDs and now admitting that Saddam had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, it has lost its position as a mediator in any conflict. Now the only reason to attack Iraq seems to be protecting Israel and getting a hold of oil reserves and none of these two go well with ordinary muslims around the world. Afghanistan is suffering on a daily basis, with drugs infiltrating the whole country as well as neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan. During Taliban there was a tight leash on drugs spreading. Lebanon has also been a good case in view where muslims saw US again supporting Israel and ensuring their interests at the cost of innocent lives both in Israel and Lebanon.
Going back, I believe all these hostilities should be stopped to make US appear as a viable partner in any peace deal. If one party (e.g. Palestinians) believe that US is blindly backing Israel, there is a remote possibility of any mediator role. First step that would ultimately assist US towards ending hostilities in these countries would be to show its fair dissidence towards Israel. There has to be one area where US should stand up and say that Israel is wrong. It is one of the main tools for religious organizations to recruit new blood when they refer to innocent brothers and sisters being massacred in Palestine and US vetoing all resolutions condemning these actions at a forum like UN General Assembly and Security Council. In addition, US should take responsibility and apologize for thousands and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives of people in Afghanistan and specially Iraq. US and western world can mourn for a couple of thousand people who died in WTC on 9/11 but what about hundreds of thousands who have been wrongly killed by US and Allied Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon. If Iraq was a case in point for an attack, why can't the US attack North Korea which has openly defied all UN and US pressure and resolutions. People in muslim world think it is a double standard as North Korea is not a muslim country. These are some of the points that should be considered to ease up the rhetoric in muslim world against USA.

Susan, Philadelphia, USA :

The US can be more sensitive, but so much of anti-Americanism is irrational that there is little America can do. I am especially disturbed the the confluence of anti-Americanism and antisemitism. It permeates much of the world now and no, and end to the occupation will not end it.

In the minds of far too many Muslims and Arabs, America is controlled by Jews, the Mossad caused 9/11, the Holocaust never happened and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fact. It's not just limited to Arabs and Muslims. The BBC host of World Update cannot mention American Jews without a reference to "the powerful Jewish lobby." The Guardian and the Independent are filled with exaggeration of American Jewish power and influence.

I am an American, a Jew, and a Zionist. This makes me a trifecta of evil. Arab and Muslim leaders have to stop using Jews as scapegoats for whatever is wrong in the Middle East.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. :

Posted at September 2, 2006 11:10 PM
jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

The Monroe Doctrine started out as an innocuous (although not magnanimous, but very selfish) principle. There have been so many amendments and corollary to that Doctrine. As daniel, Arlington, VA states, one has to really not only read "between the lines," but also understand the evolution of the Doctrine to suit the current "parochial" political goals. Furthermore, the Monroe Doctrine has spawned the likes of Manifest Destiny, which obvious is still being followed; American Exceptionalism (this goes to show our moral superiority, resulting in our "perceived" "holier than thou" attitude and many feel that it parallels European Imperialism); etc. This is where my term "expediency" (i. e., we seek to solve problem with only the short-term benefits, without due consideration of long-term, adverse consequences, in view) comes in.

By the way, thank you for pointing me to the link to Karen Hughes' "The Mission of Public Diplomacy" on the U. S. State Department's website. I agree with almost all of what Ms. Hughes has enunciated.

Hmmm...., I wonder where she is these days?! I especially liked the 4E's - Engagement, Exchanges, Education and Empowerment. Perhaps, we should ask the Washington Post to let her write an Op-Ed piece.

Posted at September 3, 2006 09:37 AM
daniel, Arlington VA, USA

As much as I hate saying this, I agree with you on Iran 100%. I say let Iran enrich whatever it wants to do. Why are we (the U. S.) letting Pakistan and Abdul Qadeer Khan (Founder of the Pakistani Nuclear Research, AKA the Father of the Islamic Bomb) off the hook, despite the fact they spread nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea? Personally, I very strongly believe that we should be concerned significantly more about the biological and chemical weapons as weapons of mass destruction than nuclear weapons, because the the technologies are already out and these two are very, very difficult to detect. Imagine someone's engineering a mutation of a virus that is extremely resistant to drugs and spreading it through a carrier (birds, humans, food, etc.). We will not even know about these pathogens until it is too late. Also, these two technolgies are already widespread and easily attainable (if not already attained) by nation-states and rogue groups.

Posted at September 3, 2006 03:19 PM
Nancy K, NYS, USA

To Srikanth Raghunathan, Wash. DC

A few years ago, NYC recruited math teachers from Austria. Program that replicate that might be a good way to start also.

You are absolutely correct. Please see Karen Hughes' 4E's (http://www.state.gov/r/us/2005/49967.htm), thanks to jvd70, Amsterdam, NL.

General:

I really liked the idea of exchanging our views, although many of them disagreed and were different from mine. Most of the posters were rational and sensible. Alas, like all good things, this has to end, too! Perhaps, we can continue our discussion on a different board? Let me know of your thoughts. Thanks!

Remember, America, despite all of its faults, faux pas, and flaws, is still the best country on earth - there is no doubt in my mind. Can we improve it and make it better? Absolutely, but it takes the strength and unity provided by the diversity of her peoples.

Candaneste :

In Israel contracts for 690— SIX HUNDRED AND NINTY— new houses in the West Bank are being let. Pure theft of land. That must be the
policy Bush okayed when Olmert was in DC, the "withdrawal" that wasn't from Gaza for something on the west bank. Now, friends and countrymen, that's how to have hatred compound on America. Not to mention the obscene injustice of it.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

What gets me most about the whole Iranian nuclear "crisis" is that there's no proof that they're making any weapons!!!!

I mean, lets face it- nuclear weapons are scary. While I don't believe that the United States or a group of nations in the UN has a right to dictate another state's arsenal (unless of course everybody agreed to a ban), I can certainly sympathize with people who do, because they are terrifying weapons. But even for people who DO think we can dictate who can and can't have nuclear weapons, the fact of the matter is, there's no proof they're making any!!

Five years ago, maybe I'd be a little more skeptical... but right now the same people are saying there's no evidence they're working on nukes that said Saddam wasn't working on nukes, and the same people who say that they ARE working on nukes are the ones who said that Saddam was!!! And you all remember how that turned out. Who do you really think the world should believe this time?

One thing I would say is that Iran has not conformed to international standards of transparency in its nuclear industry, and I will say that is a concern for me. I'd be patient with them, because I know it probably seems like a threatening formality for them, given the US's rhetoric, but eventually we need inspectors, and disclosure, and cooperation with the IAEA. It would be unfair to the Iranians that have to live next to those enrichment facilities and reactors not to impress upon Ahmadinejad how important it is to be more transparent about that work. But barring that condition, they should go full steam ahead.

Cayambe, Philo, CA-USA :

Daniel of Arlington

"The effect of pre-emption is that it also creates reciprocating fears, but it has the effect of ENCOURAGING military confrontation.
thats not a doctrine that any military should operate from."

Puuurrrrfect....wish I had thought of putting it that way.

Now, somebody posed a practical example where maybe we would pre-empt after all (this thread has gotten to big for my measely dial up connection). I will recognize that when it comes to conventional combat there is a case to be made for pre-emption. But not nuclear, ever, for the reason Daniel expressed so succinctly.

My thought Daniel is Yes, let them enrich uranium. If anyone says that amounts to appeasement, I want to know where we get the authority to prohibit another state from enriching uranium. How did we ever get ourselves into this rediculous position anyway?

Nancy K, NYS, USA :

To Srikanth Raghunathan, Wash. DC
Thanks for the kind words. Any program, like the Peace Corps, would be a very good start. Perhaps we also should acknowledge that the US could use a few volunteers from other countries to teach us a few things. A few years ago, NYC recruited math teachers from Austria. Program that replicate that might be a good way to start also.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

OK, I know this is old news, but I want to stir the pot a little. Here's a suggestion for how to reduce anti-Americanism (in some parts of the world at least).

- Let Iran enrich uranium.

thoughts?

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to: jvd70
RE:
"Good point, Srikanth; even though democratic nations can act in self interest I think the Monroe doctrine was formulated more as an anticolonialist (and partially anti Spanish) doctrine than as a colonial policy;"
———
well... I mean, its nice to quote the text of the doctrine, but you have to read between the lines as well.

Was it anti-colonialist in the sense that it was against the 17th century version of colonialism? Absolutely.

But it ushered in a new kind of colonialism or imperialism that we are still practicing today... especially in the middle east, as Srikanth Raghunathan points out. Its more of a "spheres of influence", economic domination sort of imperialism, rather than the direct colonial control practiced by Britain and Spain back then.

Plus, its important to note that just because the Monroe Doctrine introduced a NEW kind of colonialism, that doesn't mean the US didn't ALSO continue to practice the old colonialism of the 17th century. We continued to conquer the western united states, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, etc. (again as Srikanth Raghunathan points out) in the old-fashioned colonial style.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

To: jvd70, Amsterdam, NL | Permalink
RE:
Daniel, the historical development of capitalism and democracy is not a roadmap for other countries to follow, a country like Kenia does not need to move through stages of industrialization, protectionism and then gradual liberalization to arrive at becoming a liberal democracy. It cannot compete industrially even if it were to enforce vast tariff barriers, it simply can't keep the Nokias and Toyotas out.
———-
Yes, I believe that was the point of my post... that there is not one solution to the problem of industrialization. However, there is one path that has NEVER worked to industrialize a country, to my knowledge, and that is immediate democratization and immediate liberalization of markets. I'd be very curious if there is a single successful instance of this (I'm probably wrong- there's probably one or two... but the point is, even if there's not one path, there are several basic patterns that we see pop up over and over again).
RE:
Globalization is a thoroughly new paradigm that doesn't fit most of the previous modes of socioeconomic thinking. It does rely very heavily on liberalism because Nokia will deliver you a new phone under warranty most liberally even if you live in Iran.
—-
well put, and heartily granted.

RE:
I believe that at this time in history, under peaceful circumstances (which we've by and large enjoyed since the fall of the Soviet Union) societies will naturally evolve towards liberal, capitalist democracies because people want to own items like cellphones, cars and land.
——————-
How do you figure that we've by and large enjoyed peaceful circumstances in the time since the fall of the Soviet Union? I may be way off base, but my understanding is that its been a violent decade and a half (perhaps a brief calm in the early nineties). Again, as I said before, I think the world probably will evolve towards liberal capitalist democracies. But I'm not sure they'll all be identical, I'm not sure it will be quick, and I'm not sure they'll last (although I applaud their arrival)

RE:
I think that has become evident in a great many nations (including China) where civil (ownership) rights and democracy have been strengthening. Since the cold war, ideological reasons behind inhibiting the growth of a middle class no longer can be effectively (forcefully) maintained. Once middle classes gain a critical mass they create demand for services and institutions common to democracies (eg institutions defining and regulating ownership rights). Totalitarian government at that point can only try to use a nationalist or religious ideology to stop the growth of the middle classes and to keep the wealth from spreading.
——————
hmmmm.... I started this paragraph agreeing with you, but now I'm not so sure. Inequality has been growing since the late seventies in the US, and I believe in most western democracies as well. I'm also not sure its always in the interest of totalitarian governments to stop the growth of the middle class... Saddam Hussein's Iraq I think is a good example. I hadn't traveled there, but I understand there was a (comparatively) robust middle class there. I guess I just don't see why its a necessity- why would totalitarians not want a middle class any more than communists or democrats?
RE:
In totalitarian nations where elites control strategic natural resources (oil), the elites are now so buoyed by high oil prices that they can perpetuate their ideological myths with the force of public spending (Russia, Iran, Venezuela). In some other nations (Syria, North Korea), fear is force enough.
——————-
I don't know- some nations use oil wealth wisely, some don't. I don't think we can put them all in the same grouping. FYI- The Economist had a great article last week on state owned oil companies.
RE:
Perhaps from your perspective I am 'waxing poetic' applies,I am both a progressive and a conservative. The science of economic theory relies on the science of politics to fill in gaps on why South Korea (for example) did not become a democracy until recently. Economics could not quantify the effective influence of North Korea, China and the Soviet Union on for example the South Korean trade unions and in how the cold war was reflected in labour relations in South Korea.
———-
hmmmm.... by saying that I'm studying economists, did I seem to slight other social sciences or suggest that economics could stand on its own? I'm not sure how it came out that way... everything above is agreed to.

RE:
Daniel, think outside the box a little. Ask yourself why you felt the need to tell me about your academic credentials when that is not germane to the chat we are having as free and equal citizens of western democracies?
—————————-
haha. Well, you seemed to think you had firm command of the operation of free market economies. I knew I was going to respond with some stuff that most people outside of the discipline find to be unusual or wrong, so I guess I felt that I had to have some credentials behind me. Plus, I thought I was thinking outside the box!!! All I was trying to say was that when it comes to economies, one size doesn't fit all. I sang the praises of liberalization and democracy! I pointed out that industrial policy and protection are good too and are still relevant for today (I'm not convinced that SOME of these policies aren't relevant for Kenya). Not sure how much more out of the box or open minded I could be... I basically said that some of these solutions work some of the time in some places, and sometimes they don't.

What you should really be criticizing me for is not committing to one answer.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

To: Cayambe, Philo CA
RE:
Daniel, we probably would not disagree in our personal opinions, or even in the formation of a ìnational opinionî. But this is largely a product of our common culture. What I balk at is the notion that one culture has authority to supplant another.
—————-
I agree 100% with this... still not sure where we diverge...

also RE:
Actually I donít want to define acceptable and unacceptable pre-emption. That is the problem, it is essentially indefinable and therefore, off with its head. Before you can respond, you have to take a hit. Then, and only then, can you take the gloves off. I donít care much for rules that require assessment and judgment when facts will do.
———
of course, and that was the point of my thought experiment. There is no acceptable pre-emption. Its like a perverse version of the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Mutually assured destruction depended on reciprocated fears, and the result was that no one launched nuclear missles. The effect of pre-emption is that it also creates reciprocating fears, but it has the effect of ENCOURAGING military confrontation.
thats not a doctrine that any military should operate from.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to: Zoltan
RE:
"this strangely contradicts you saying that USA is diverse. A "nation" is rather compact and uniform, a community of nations is diverse, but how can a nation be both a nation and yet very diverse ?"
——————-
And this quote demonstrates that you may not know america as well as you think. Very few americans would describe our country as, or even want it to be "compact and uniform". Most nations may not be diverse, but ours is, and we like it that way. With the exception of a few xenophobes, we take pride in the term "melting pot", and "nation of immigrants". Lyndon Johnson said that the US "is not a nation, but a nation of nations." It's been a long hard road to make it work- our struggles for universal civil rights in the past have proved that... but the very fact that we've struggled for it shows that for America, a diverse population is desired, and that diverse people can still achieve some degree of unity.

daniel, Arlington, VA USA :

to Felixe:
RE:
"Daniel, there's one of you on every chat room. In fact you've undoubtedly used different names on most of them. A big- deal- know it- all who "educates" everyone on everything, pretending to be neutral. Shall you return to your pro Israel think tank tonight and think you've put it over on all us unwashed? And perhaps ask your leader if anti-semitism has "disappeared and become unhip in the last 61 years", or whether it it is rampant and growing, perhaps at it's apex in the world now. Never so much as upon the Israeli rampage in Lebanon just now. Your type would be interesting if it weren't so omnipresent. And so obvious.
————————
Now I'm very confused.... have you even been reading my posts? I've been criticizing Israel's activities the ENTIRE TIME. Excuse me for pointing out some anti-semitism when I see it. I think Israel has much more blood on their hands than the Palestinians or the Lebanese... but I'm still not going to tolerate racism. Plus, this is the first time I've posted on a blog in years. Although your detailed description of the blog know-it-all certainly sounds like you have some personal experience with it.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

The appearance, not the historical evidence, is against the US.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. wrote:

You may want to consider the "Monroe Doctrine." It is alive and well, although under a different name with modifications to suit our expediency. Does the same not apply to the Middle-Eastern nations? You may also want to consider the acquisition of Hawaii, annexation of Texas, Puerto Rico, Panama (and later relinquishment). History is replete with such examples. You are absolutely correct that we should NOT revisit history for the sake of rewriting it, but to learn what NOT to do. Let us look forward and see what can be done for the betterment of everyone's.

Good point, Srikanth; even though democratic nations can act in self interest I think the Monroe doctrine was formulated more as an anticolonialist (and partially anti Spanish) doctrine than as a colonial policy; "... the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power." Teddy Roosevelt strengthened it in response to European bombardment of Venezuelan ports. Considering the belligerence of European nations at the time, roughly a decade before world war 1, it's again hard to claim it was for imperial purposes, explicitly the policy was anti-imperialist.

So much depends on how you look at things, if the actions and lobby of companies like United Fruit strongly paint ones perception of US foreign policy then imperialism seems unmistakable but commercial imperialism can be the policy of a multinational company and of a fraction of society without being advocated or endorsed by the majority. Even the most absolute dictatorships cannot control the actions of all members of society, in fact absolute dictatorships seem to make corruption by highly placed bureaucrats only more prevalent, and then it can be difficult for any company, US multinational or otherwise, not to exploit such relationships. At the very least the US has stronger moral guidelines and trade boycots with nations that flaunt human rights than most European nations.

It's terribly easy to see an imperialist, dominating intent behind the actions of the 'only superpower'. To poster Shiloh the mere semantics of being 'only superpower' makes imperialsm all but guaranteed which says more about the machiavellian nature of his thought process than anything about the validity of it.

The appearance, not the historical evidence, is against the US. What can be done really to repair the damage? A greater attempt to get the message out is required, I remember the Bush administration sending out Karen Hughes who at this time is undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, she spelled out her views at her confirmation hearing http://www.state.gov/r/us/2005/49967.htm and perhaps she should do an op ed for the post.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Nancy Kirk, NYC, NY:

Your points are well-said and well-taken. Especially,
"We also should strengthen the governmental and private institutions and groups that promote non-partisan examples of our culture: libraries, cultural exchange programs, student exchanges and the like. Attention to these worked very well in the past and should work now. We're a good people. Let others know."

It is funny that just the other day I was thinking about Peace Corps-type program. Would that not be a good start?

Felixe :

CHAD, ET AL....
As much as it galls me...and it DOES, please let me refer you to an Israeli newspaper article...Haaretz, August 15th, article by Daniel Levy. The straight stuff. The real story on the war in Iraq... and
how we are being bullied and fooled into an Iranian conflagration. The skinny on all of it. It amazed me, not the facts which I know to be true, but because of where and how it appeared.Be interested to hear what you all think...

SB, Dallas,TX USA :

Re DM - Albany...
***but we have to understand that our support of Israel is based on Genesis 12:3.***

>>Not quite. It started as a massive attack of the guilts mainly from Europe. On the other hand the nations in the UN were pretty sure that Israel couldn't survive for long anyhow so it made for a nice mea culpa - and then Israel went and survived. We also support it because America loves the underdog.>>

>>I don't think there is any truly equitable solution for the Middle East as it stands now. Both sides have had genuine wrongs done to them. On one hand the Palestinians did have their land unjustly taken from them (remember the right to private property - the Pursuit of Happiness). On the other hand most of the currently living Israelis have their properties by secondary or tertiary or even longer chains of formal ownership since it was originally taken>>

If you look at the Christian zionists, it is the Genesis 12:3 promise that they fear. "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you". This is a favorite line for TV preachers as a reason to support Israel (as well as preach a false gospel of "this is how you get God to bless you" - the "prosperity gospel"). If money wasn't driving so many, you surely wouldn't see the likes of Benny Hinn et al living in luxury when Christ said he didn't have a place to rest His head. Greed and fear are two things we learn - it's got nothing to do with instinct.

As for the "underdog", you are correct - we naturally like rooting for the runt of the litter, and why? I don't know - maybe it's David and Golliath syndrome.

In terms of the Jews having been wronged - you are correct and won't get any argument from me. The problem with this is that it's not allowing the Jewish race to move on when all you do is hold onto tragedy. You have to let go in order to heal, and too many refuse. I think this refusal to let go has spawned the "anti-semitic" cry that's overused. I'm not saying there aren't cases of hate out there, but this is being played like the race card used to be, and that's degrading to both sides.

Lastly, in regards to the bullies? Well, give that this administration sees a bully behind every tree, around every corner and under every rock...it sure throws a lot of expensive punches. You can't handle everyone that simply, but it's a start - and this administration's problem is it doesn't want to stop throwing punches. It's acting like a cheap, drunken honky tonk crowd on "fifty cent beer" night. A lot can be solved if they would just sober up instead of the morning after going back for a taste of the "dog that bit 'em" the night before.

Otherwise, I noticed you didn't have much negativity on my post, so I must be flying fairly close to the target. LOL :)

Nancy Kirk, New York City, US :

The United States government should not let its foreign policy be guided by of the policy's popularity either abroad or at home.

But the actions of our government, our businesses, our large-scale philanthropy and, perhaps most important, our arbiters and merchants of culture should be guided by the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. As each sector acts in its best interests, it should consider the effect of those activities on U.S. prestige, power and, maneuverability. There would be no better criteria for all of us to follow than those in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution: establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. These principles translate well into a global environment. But they present the same problems we struggled with during the years that we developed as a nation.

One question for businesses which export inferior products to other nations ought to be: is the profit realized actually worth the damage done to the general Welfare of the recipients? Does it affect the reputation of the business and the country? Recently, Andrew Young's comment about inferior products sold to African-Americans by the owners of small grocery stores cost Young his job. The statements he made, while astonishingly undiplomatic for a public spokesman, had small grains of truth in them. Was the profit worth the hostility created?

The government might do well to ask if the votes garnered domestically by exporting our views on population control, for instance, are worth the hostility generated among the leaders of countries which do not share those views? Does the withholding of funds for birth control education, or even education for women insure the Tranquility, or stability, of the countries affected?

Does philanthropy, international aid and US aid promote the general Welfare? This is a very difficult line to judge, but for the sake of the goodwill we can generate, it's crucial to be thoughtful and deliberate in our choices.

The tastemakers and merchants of American culture bear heavy responsibility in this area and they can't be told often enough that money isn't everything. They must begin to understand that the American First Amendment can cause millions of people to develop hostile opinions about us and be susceptible to their political leaders' need to use us as an external threat.

We also should strengthen the governmental and private institutions and groups that promote non-partisan examples of our culture: libraries, cultural exchange programs, student exchanges and the like. Attention to these worked very well in the past and should work now. We're a good people. Let others know.

realist with eyes and ears :

Re: Post at September 2, 2006 02:44 AM
ª Chris Ford, Chevy Chase, USA |

Hello Chris,

So the problem is the liberal jews from the left and the neocons and
zionist from the right in the US. I guess your solution is simple as your problem is.
Since all talented big liers build up their big lie from pieces of truth and from pieces of pseudo-truth, no wonder you do the same.

Your personal big lie is — in my humble opinion— in the putting forward the idea that most muslims (due to the teachings of their koran, perpetual jihad mood) and europeans (due to their nationalism, racism, envy, snobism of universal scale, superiority complex on ethnic and continental level) would have no reason for and expression of hostility toward a jewless America — while a person of your intellect must know from history and pure reading of contemporary events that it's ain't so.

Alex Rihm, Portland OR :

If the United States does what it can to quell anti-Americanism then it would be violating all of the rights it sets out for its own people. If Bush's desire is to bring"freedom" to so many countries, he is essentially saying that he wants to have freedom (including freedom of expression, press, etc) then he has no right to try and quell anti-Americanism.

ahmad, amman, jordan :

The west should stop the 'Cold hollocaust' it has launched upon the palestinains since 1948, I urge western people to visit the west bank and see for themselves how the jewish fascists who you call settlers treat the palestinains in palestine, see the only aparthied democracy in the middle east at work. I went to Hebron/west bank a year ago, a settler kid came up to me while I was walking and he spit at me, I wanted to hold the kid by his hand take him to his parents to tell them about his manners, if you think I could do that, think again, becasue the second I lay a hand on him, Israeli terror forces would have shot me to death.
imagine living among paestinains wher settler kids slap you around in the streets, take over you neigbours' home because 'God gave them the right to', through trash at them, all this and the palestinains cant do anything, if they try to fight back the west calls them terrorists. That is how you drive them to be suicide bombers.
peace is the fruit of justice, make israel go back to 1967 borders.
Stop the ethnic cleansing of palestinains if you dare or are you worried about being labled anti-semites.

InChicago, Chicago, USA :

It's strange ... but getting people to stop hating you isn't a secret. Not only that, it's not that hard once you recognize - and this is the key - that what you're doing and saying is creating the problem. It could be that the Bush Administration hasn't recognized that what its attitude, and what it's doing and saying doesn't make the rest of the world very happy. (In much of the Islam world, the response is more visceral.) It's also likely the Bush Administration doesn't care. They've always been more interested in making their political base happy than the rest of the world. It's sad, but true. Mr. Bush never left the country before he became President. He's fundamentally, incurably incurious and uninterested in anything outside the United States. I could go on, but most of you understand this guy and the people he surrounds himself with.

So, more to the question, assuming Bush actually wanted to make amends and stop doing and saying things that engender hatred in others, he would:
1) Publically, acknowledge the situation and promise to change things.
2) Demand and receive the resignations of everyone in his administration who has been involved in foreign policy. I mean everyone: Rice, Cheney (yes Cheney), Rumsfeld, every member and advisor to the White House, etc.
3) The vacated posts would be filled with people with real experience in international relations and those who have a track record for building good relationships with other countries. Doesn't matter what party they're from.
4) Set a new course, actually talk to governments the Bush doesn't like. Engage them. Ask for support from your friend. Don't dictate. Drop the absolutist speech.

I think this would be achievable. But not likely ... about as likely as getting 450,000 troops to stablize Iraq. And that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

InChicago, Chicago, USA :

It's strange ... but getting people to stop hating you isn't a secret. Not only that, it's not that hard once you recognize - and this is the key - that what you're doing and saying is creating the problem. It could be that the Bush Administration hasn't recognized that what its attitude, and what it's doing and saying doesn't make the rest of the world very happy. (In much of the Islam world, the response is more visceral.) It's also likely the Bush Administration doesn't care. They've always been more interested in making their political base happy than the rest of the world. It's sad, but true. Mr. Bush never left the country before he became President. He's fundamentally, incurably incurious and uninterested in anything outside the United States. I could go on, but most of you understand this guy and the people he surrounds himself with.

So, more to the question, assuming Bush actually wanted to make amends and stop doing and saying things that engender hatred in others, he would:
1) Publically, acknowledge the situation and promise to change things.
2) Demand and receive the resignations of everyone in his administration who has been involved in foreign policy. I mean everyone: Rice, Cheney (yes Cheney), Rumsfeld, every member and advisor to the White House, etc.
3) The vacated posts would be filled with people with real experience in international relations and those who have a track record for building good relationships with other countries. Doesn't matter what party they're from.
4) Set a new course, actually talk to governments the Bush doesn't like. Engage them. Ask for support from your friend. Don't dictate. Drop the absolutist speech.

I think this would be achievable. But not likely ... about as likely as getting 450,000 troops to stablize Iraq. And that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

11x, Los Angeles CA, USA :

One way to stop anti-Americanism is to eliminate the bullying rah-rah flag-waving macho-jock idiocy that has come to signify America over the last 6 years. Another way would be to stop dabbling with the fates of other nations. Yet another way would be to remember that charity begins at home, and to stop sending our wealth and our jobs across the globe. Some folks claim that CNN is an ambassador of fear-mongering, but others can plainly see that FoxNews Channel has become the ambassador of paranoid ideation with its constant "alerts". All of the American cable news channels don't bring the viewer enough actual news, opting instead for the sound of bickering voices shouting to be heard over one another, often deliberately pairing know-nothing pundits of the left and right in order to provoke, much in the manner of a bloodless cockfight. Some visible proof of what have so far been many empty claims from our Supreme-Court-appointed administration couldn't hurt. A shift from the push to Armageddon towards one of desiring peace on earth would help. A nation as powerful as this one doesn't have to fear appearing weak in its desire for world peace. War is over, if you want it. Ceasing to label religions other than Christian ones as "fascists" might go a long way towards the creation of a more acceptable image of the USA. And self-labeled Christians might try acting like Christians for once, instead of selfish, End-Times lunatics. Letting the world see that America can actually hold an honest presidential election would be impressive, too.

Michael Hogue, Vancouver, B.C., Canada :

One way to improve the image of the U.S. would be to curb the international, irrational CNN fear mongering. The inane, stupid things I've seen and heard on that international network do more harm than good to the cultural vector presented as the USA.

what would cure the :

Anti American sentiments?

if we arrested and prosecuted the Executive Branch and Complicit Congress......

for foisting PNAC upon the electorate, as a hidden agendae

and actually worked for resolution, rather than making a couple of people,

not all of them Americans, but all of them riche/elitists

the kind that when you go to third world countries, you see living in compounds surrounded by peasants....just getting by.......

why would Americans want to return to _that_ way of life, or force it on others?

.

geez what a load of crap... :

Brian Torri, Arlington Heights, IL, USA sayz:
"
I look upon anti-Americanism as a fact of life for generations to come.
"

Hello Brian, you write better than most of your fellowe NeoConArtistes......

but the shallowness of your thought processes are the same tepid dirty water.

America doesn't represent Americans right now,

it represents, a small, grayish-yellow, portion of Americans

it represents the AntiChrist driven "christians," those that preach hatred and power over as a way of maintaining their hold on America

what the world sees as "America in action," is the Executive Branch and Complicit Congress...a very few people,
that the world sees as American attitudes in Iraq are the result of foisting the PNAC agendae on Americans as_if it were the correct response, and somehow.........just because it's not working, that the whole world is incorrect in their response to it.......

the key players have all known each other for decades, and are family and not really representative of America, nor do they want to be

you might as well be a Limbaugh, a Chris Ford, or some other low level diatriber, making up garbage about why we must "support das furher" because they the unbelievers are "das weaklings!" und must be eliminated!.

well I suggest to you, that you're the weakling, weak mind, weak morals and weak resolve. European movies are disturbing to many Americans because they don't usually have the patent _good_guys_ and _bad_guys_ and "cars blowing up," isn't the main plot line.......

to simple people with comic book mentalities, it always boils down to one thing....."WHO DO I NEED TO KILL,"

why do we need to kill anyone? how is that relevant?

the first step in dealing with a world situation is not to choose a side and eliminate the enemy........what childish none sense.

working through something in a fashion that actually delivers a solution, rather than using the Military Industrial Complex Mindset that, or should I say kneejerk mentality has

every world situation defined as a "war," whether we know it or not

or

"when all you have is a screwdriver, then all the solutions seem like a screw........"

the world would move into alternative patterns, but since the current regime was moving to federalize as a way of stopping intervention by it's own people....rewriting law, making a monkey head of a world government..."the decider," ook ook ook

and little deciders out beating the bushes getting out that "terrorist," party line......

the Executive Branch and Complicit Congress are using _this_ simplistic reasoning to manipulate the situation...

and quite frankly dean, you're helping them.

.

brandon, Manila, Philippines :

As neither the American military, nor their leaders have any desire to stay in Iraq, perhaps another lesson in democracy for all parties involved in this conflict is about due. It has been several months or more since Iraqi people have been asked their opinions at the ballot box. So now is as good a time as earlier that Iraq should be brought to the polls again.

America and its allies should once again assist in the process of putting democracy first. Even in the face of insecurity. It took the founding fathers of The USA many years to get the process right; so a few more exercises at the ballot box, lessons on civil democracy are worth the effort.

The Iraqi government, Sadr, the UN, the American government, the American people, let them all do their part; let world opinion be heard standing behind democracy; let's hear the people of Iraq again ............... "We the people of Iraq want to speak, in this referendum... "We the people ask ... the Americans to a) stay and defend Iraqi freedom, b)....hang it up.

Keep the language plain and simple.

People in free societies vote. And the easisest way for the American to exit this conflict is to be told by the people they are supposedly fighting for. Iraq needs to step up to the plate and speak.

By all means vote the Americans out, send them home, send them packing with a lesson in democracy.

Kristina Reaume, Nevada City, CA :

Until US foreign policy reflects respect for other people and governments, it will be rejected by the rest of the world, now that the avarice and greed behind it have been revealed by the policies of George W. Bush. The most basic tenet of democracy is self-rule, that means the governed choose their government. Remember? That means even if we don't like their choices, we have an obligation to respcet them. Thus far, we have adopted the attitude that we know what is best for everyone and that means forcing "democracy" on an unwilling people or forcing our version of democracy onto them despite their having made a different choice than what we want. The fact that we are willing to kill innocent civilians to bring democracy to people proves to them that it isn't a good thing. When will the US understand that better business is not the driving force behind everyone? Some of us value human life, good food grown on farms where people are allowed to raise their families in peace and a dream of a future in which those precious things are protected and respected? This is certainly not something anyone in the world would associate with US policy, domestic or foreign. Kristina

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Millersville, MD:

I like and agree with your comments. (I am sure that you have heard the expression "Ugly American." That is what we are in the eyes of international people.) Zoltan's comments reinforce that this "holier than thou" attitude is certainly not uniquely our problem. What a great analogy between "old money" and our attitudes!

Millersville, Maryland :

To Daniel: Yup, we agree. I was lamenting about Zoltan's first thought which was stop thinking we're superior. This was a valid point. Our nation does act like it thinks it is superior and/or better then anywhere else on the planet. Pride in one's country is one thing, but constantly telling the world we're better then everyone else is really bad for foreign policy and American image overseas. Had Zoltan stopped after his original thought I would have been impressed, but he didn't. He then fell into the same trap many in this country have fallen into: telling others how to live their lives by how to act and think. Anyway, I was thinking Zoltan not only wrote like an American he reasoned like one? Zoltan are you really a New Yorker?

The United States emerged from WWII in an unnatural position of power the world has never seen before. While Britian, France, Russia, China, Japan, Italy etc., etc., had been decimated by the war the United States was barely scratched. Not only did we come out of WWII with only minor fatalies in relationship to the countries listed above but our infrasturcture was also intact. Our manufacturing capabilities were actually considerably greater by the end of the war. Let us not forget we were the only country who could make and deliver nuclear weapons. Militarily, we were invincible by the end of WWII. I only bring this up because that was only 61 years ago America became the modern days first superpower.

I ask the Zoltan's what they expect from the ,"new powerful?" Much like new money vs. old money power has many of the same characteristics. New money is usually arrogant, conspicuous and garish. Old money is more reserved, thoughtful and handled with taste. America simply hasn't learned how to handle it's power with grace. We're still arrogant, conspicuous and garish with our power. Hence, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. All 3 conflicts have 2 things in common. First, not one of these countries posed a security risk to the United States. Second, not one of these conflicts have been fought on US soil. For the last 61 years it has always been America sending troops around the globe with very little thought as to why or what the consequences would be. This isn't a judicious use of power.

When America learns to use her power and resources with prudence and grace we will be respected.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Cayambe, Philo CA:
First, I must say that it is really nice to have a rational perspective from a rational person. (Some of the posters here resort to ad hominem atatcks and vilifation of dissenters defeating the puprose of a "discussion.")

You are correct that what is currently happening to Palestinians at the hands of hard-line Israelis is only just a prelude to what is in the offing. (I stand corrected for misapplying the term "holocuast," at this stage. However, what I meant was that "holocaust-like" treatment would be the lasts steps in the progression of the events in the Middle-East.)

I completely agree with your statement: "I?ve yet to persuade myself that our civilizations are somehow intrinsically better, or vice versa. There is no reason why one should impose upon the other; when in Rome, do as the Romans do works for me."

"mike, Glendale, Arizona

Americans need to realize that 15 years from now,there will be a new superpower. it is the C word.
China, India and russia are the only countries that benefit from the NeoCons policy of fighting muslims.
I have a clear vision for the future which many americans lack, in 2020 we will be saying God bless china, so I recommend that we dont act as bullys becasue one day, after 15 years, we will pay for what we are doing."

This is exactly what I have been saying; we must reprioritze our goals and act on them, immediately. I would not be entirely suprised, if we (the U. S.) were to become a second-world, or even third-world country, by 2050, or 2060. There are many posts on my blog (http://nanomat.blogspot.com)

"daniel, Arlington VA, USA

China has a lot going for it, but nobody seriously believes that its current growth rate is sustainable.

In five years, when fuel is oppresively expensive and no alternatives have been implemented (especially in China and the US), see how China is doing then. It has a lot of potential, but it doesn't currently have the institutions or the staying power to guarantee a superpower role. Japan provides a good example of where China is headed- China will definitely be a more prominent player fifteen from now, but its not going to maintain the growth we're seeing today. At some point, the party is going to end there.

My biggest concern is Russia. They have massive energy deposits that will help them weather the storm of higher fuel prices until alternative fuels become readily available. Putin is finally putting a stop to the free-for-all looting of Russian society by rogue businessmen- this will be important for future growth.

The only chance the US has is to get off their oil addiction, pour investment into alternative fuel, and reinvigorate our industrial base. We can do this by diverting money away from our military and away from our pseudo-colonial adventures abroad."

Daniel, China is investing quite a bit on alternative energy sources (solar, wind, hydro, and tidal). This does not even include the nuclear power plants that are being commissioned! I agree with you that China needs to slow down its rate of growth to more manageable levels. However, China and India have massive middle-class poplulations, which could potentially dampen the ill-effects of rapid growth. Furthermore, those two cultures emphasize education, above all (at least, for now).

Chris Ford, Chevy Chase, USA

You are denigrating an entire class of people by attributing all of our (the U. S.) political problems to the Jewish population. Yes, they, in general, are much better off than most average middle-class popluation. Perhaps, it is time for the rest of us to learn from the "Jewish" people how to be successful?! I have many Jewish and Mulsim friends who are "best of buddies."

I agree with you on this statement (please see my previous posts): "We need to really get into educating the best American kids in culture and language skills we will need in future interactions in Asia, the Muslim world, and India. We need strategic communications and linguistic skills on the level we had with rivals, allies, and foes during WWII and the Cold War."

yknot.,usa :


Mr. Bakshi.

Will you and your associates analyze and formulate a
condensed review and conclusions after reviewing all comments to your question under this post global discussion?

Brian Torri, Arlington Heights, IL, USA :

Maybe if we roll over and drop dead. Europeans seem to have lost any faith whatsoever in their ability to see rightly and then act rightly as a result of savaging themselves in two wars, the second of which really involved the whole world. WWI involved only Europe and the Mediterranean, as I recall. It was in WWI, though, that they managed to blow up 1 million men in just two battles in one year, at the Somme and Verdun. They are nearly wholly spineless and feckless as proven in their inability to fully staff the UN Resolution authorizing the newest peacekeeping force to southern Lebanon. They can be counted on to get irritated by us because we still at least believe in ourselves and our ability to act, however misguided. They will offer little if any constructive criticism because they are so superior to us, we are too stupid to understand, let alone take their advise. Never mind that the U.S. is ages better than they are in integrating Muslims into general society, which is totally pathetic when you consider the sort of cultural cold-war going on here over their Muslim status. Europe is beyond what is essential in today's geopolitical climate, a good grasp of religion and an innate sense of the innate worthiness of any individual to have a democratic government responsive to their needs. MENA may be a largely tribal region, due to the many empires that have ruled over it. Nevertheless, much can be had from engaging those fires into a productive furnace of popular expression.

Which brings me to my next point: Much of the MENA region has got to get over themselves. Basically, their everpresent, a priori condition of humiliation, which is so pervasive and all-powerful that it always seems to be felt above and beyond any other consideration, like having a future or treating the religious minorities in the MENA region, especially Christians, like something other than garbage. Keep in mind, these are **native** Christians, most of whom predate Islam because Christianity predates Islam; they are as native as native gets, but given the abhorrent conflation of nationalism and national identity with being Muslim, they are a priori not truly citizens of the nations they live in and whose existence their community predates. In the end, the hostility in MENA to the U.S. has only something to do with the even-handedness we need in our foreign policy in the region; it has much more to do with their ominpresent feeling of humiliation, of which Israel is only a more prominent factor, not a determinative one. Golda Meir said it best when she said that Israel would not roll over and drop dead so that a beautiful eulogy may be said of it. Neither should the other MENA countries bear such a demand. They should take it upon themselves to shed their humiliation, as we in the West are powerless to do anything at all about it.

Basically, the anti-Americansim in Europe is fashionable due to their overwhelming sense of arrogant superiority to us, not to mention their condescending point of view of the MENA region. Anti-Americanism in MENA is largely due to their humiliation at being left so far behind due to an ancient arrogance of superiority to the West, appropriate at the time, but which led to the inward focus of the Ottoman Empire, starting with the naval loss at Lepanto/Navpaktos and accelerating through the defeat at Vienna. Now, in an irony of history, they feel we in America and Europe look down on them and disregard all of their ambitions. We do not, but we can never prove it.

I look upon anti-Americanism as a fact of life for generations to come. We are an easy whipping boy, fashionable to blame and whose money alone is sought. We are almost a fetish of freedom and unrestrained power (and sexuality, for that matter) to a world which seems only too happy to blame us for just about everything. Wonder what happens when we tire of it. Does anyone at all care a whit about that possibility? I can almost see a day in which the American public gets fed up with trying to win anyone's approval and withdraws from virtually all global institutions, relying instead on a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements to get things done. Hope the Swiss like the U.N., because it'll get shipped back to them in short order, becoming what it already seems to be acting like again, the League of Nations II. Hope you're happy with that.

Rick Geiger, Rochester, USA :

The statement that US policies have caused an increase in Muslim anti-Americanism is not only wrong, but it shows why the pro-authoritarian newspapers like the Washington Post are part of the problem. The logical extension from the basis of your question is that Muslims would be less anti-American if we went back to the policies of Clinton, and Bush 41, that supported authoritarian dictatorships in Muslim countries. The foolishness of that speaks for itself. Now, it could be the the Islamic facsists are more anti-American than they were before President Bush decided to stand up to them, but I do not even think that is true. In fact, it is common knowledge that what is respected more than anything else in the Middle East and in other Muslim countries is clear resolve and unwillingness to back down. This is exactly what President Bush has shown. The folks that are more anti-American are the leaders in the authoritarian Muslim governments and Islamic fascist organizations because they know that no longer will the US administrations just roll over and let them abuse and mistreat their populations while simultaneously being respected. The Islamic fascists are now being confronted and they are squealing like a stuck pig. Good, they should get used to it because they are only going to get more unless they change their ways, start treating their own people like human beings, not human bombs, and either unconditionally surrender their means of making war or they are killed. More and more Muslims, when allowed to speak outside of the control of Islamic facsists or authoritarian regimes, are increaing their affinity to the United Staes and values that respect individuals rights and capabilities. And the US mainstream media that loves totalitarians and authoritarians should get used to the fact that they will not be able to intimidate US adminstrations into supporting dictatorships and Islamic fascists. The jig is up. Human beings are born with the right to be free and no longer will US policy support the subordination of those G_d given rights.

Sadik Hanna ,Astros, Greece :

As a Christian Palestinian raised in the best Quaker traditions of non-violence I deplore all violence including the much touted war on terror. A war which I find hard to understand its scope or its borders.
While it is true that hatred of the policies of the U S and the West is the real cause of terrorism. It is wrong to suggest that fanatism and fundamentalism are behind this hatred.
I am neither a fanatic nor a fundamentalist but I can hardly claim to harbour positive feelings towards the U S and other western governments policies in the Middle East. This attitude was learned in the English and American schools and universities which I attended. I have learned how the Arabs joined forces with the west to liberate the Middle East from the Ottomans with the subsequent betrayal and colonisation. Later this degenerated into pseudo independence with imposed indigenous dictators. Add to this the creation and continuous support of Israel. And now Iraq and the Lebanon is the latest tutorial in HATE 101
A spectre is haunting the Arab and the Moslem world, it has but one name RAGE. An Arab or a Moslem need not learn this in a Pakistani Madrassa he can learn it by reading a few courses in Middle Eastern history At Oxford...

Sadik Hanna
Astros Greece

daniel :

To Bob on Paris Hilton. No! She must not go! Say yes also to Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Charlize Theron. Send Lindsay Lohan to Iraq to the insurgents in exchange for peace—also send Britney Spears and that blond woman, what the hell's her name? Ah yes, Jessica Simpson. Send Tom Cruise to Iraq as well, such a pretty face but a totally superficial man. Iraq might toughen him up some—make him more profound. But I doubt it....Actually keep Britney Spears and send that goofball who is her husband to Iraq—send him anywhere actually. But keep Paris Hilton, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Charlize Theron.

Bob, Charlottesville VA :

The televised banishment of Paris Hilton might be a good start.

Cayambe, Philo, CA-USA :

To: Chris Ford, Chevy Chase, USA

Hello Chris. It is good to see you're still hanging around. As it has so often happened, I'm pretty much in agreement with 1-4. But, we have two immediate problems on our hands:
1. How do we get our butts out of Iraq minimizing post-departure slaughter and leaving it Al Quaeda unfriendly?
2. What do we do about Iran?

Best Regards.......

Berry :

A few dumb ideas for reducing anti-americanism:

- make sure The Weather Channel shows Mexico and Canada painted in some color other than grey, so american viewers may realize those zones belong to the same Planet Earth as the U.S.;

- whenever you guys organize a world championship of any sport, please invite teams from other countries;

- move Labor Day to May 1st, so those workers who died at a Chicago factory may finally be honored in the U.S. as they are in the rest of the world;

- legalize the use of the metric system; if dumb people around the world can use it, why can't you?

Chris Ford, Chevy Chase, USA :

Before listing the obvious causes of anti-Americanism - it is important to address that a seditious liberal Jewish enemy within America provides the rest of the world with ample fodder to go after us. It is a two-sided coin. Half the Jews are zionists that make our major liability overseas, support of Israel, politically impossible for Congress to fight through Jewish lobying clout. The other half of Jews, the classic Leftist-liberals that have always hated America, slime the country at any opportunity and give the Muslims more ammo with which to hate us - most of THAT stuff being unfair distortions.

The Jewish Sulzberger Family of the NYTimes, Nadine Stroesser's Jewish-funded and largely run by Jews ACLU, Kenneth Roth's Human Rights Watch. Morris Dees Southern poverty Law Center, NOW,Code Pink, National Lawyer's Guild, NARAL, Center of Constitutional Rights, People for the American Way, George Soros many agitprop organizations, all the post-communist party fronts that still survive, the Chomskyites. Many are motivated by a core loathing of America, others are just opportunists and manipulators that hate Bush with all their hearts just as their Daddies hated Nixon - and see sliming America as a useful method to "get Bush". And could care less about America, since patriotism and loyalty are missing as prt of their transnational sentiments. The Sulzbergers are the worst, allowing the NYTimes to be made into an attack vehicle against all things Bush, and most things American - driving the international press to follow believing what is said about America by an American leading newspaper must be true.

All Jewish run and funded or where liberal Jews have a disproportionate role - All dedicated to regular attacks on America as a horrible, racist, sexist, evil, homophobic, bigoted, too-white genocidal Oppressor State that kills any who are not rich Republicans. Along witb Jewish Hollywood organs and other media they control or heavily influence, from movies to TV shows dispensing anti-Americanism, hawking sleaze and purience as American virtues — no group has worked harder to damage America's image and reputation abroad over the last 40 years. Not even the Soviets or radical Islamists.

No group had worked harder over the years to damn America as an evil country - as the liberal Democrats have done. And Jews are the main financial backers, a disproportionate number of the main apparachniks and enabling lawyers, and a disproportionate number of elected liberals with strong America-bashing tendencies.

***************************
Before you even start on who hates America abroad over what issues, you have look at who those enemies within are. A case can be made that crony capitalist's policies made here on free trade and globalization have badly hurt feelings towards America overseas. Blacks in America by their unending blame of dysfunctionalism in their communities on American whites, Hispanics, Asians...Amoral multinationals...make a case that makes Muslims believe that we would oppress them like blacks claim they still are being "oppressed"....But I believe a case can be made that no group - by a long shot - approaches the corrosive sedition and sabotage of the American image in the eyes of Muslims more than the liberal Jew. While we all have free speech, it is not unconstitutional to take steps to hopefully diminish a harmful group with too much influence.
****************************
Overseas, we shouldn't be too concerned about the seething, raging, frothing at the mouth angry Muslims after they get all fired up at a Religion of Peace sermon session. They don't just hate America. They hate Indians, Jews, happily kill Swiss tourists when no Brits are handy, and kill fellow Muslims if not infidels are around. LOng before they got really pissed at Americans, they were slaughtering millions of other people in just the last 100 years, from Morocco to East Timor, in 80 different countries. Getting Muslims to "like us" is like asking the Chinese to like the Japs..It-just-won't-happen.

But they can respect us again, and the opinions of the rest of the world do matter. And we did screw up badly in several areas:

1. We were right on missile defense. 11 countries have now made inquiries on future use of our systems as ballistic missile technology proliferates. We were right on Kyoto, it was a badly flawed treaty for exempting the nations that emit half the carbon and who are supposed to emit far more by 2030 and account for 80%. But we were wrong to be so arrogant and dismissive in either case - and we should say so, as well as committ to working with the global community on Kyoto II.

2. We have wrongly been pinned by the world and by our own seditious enemy within for all the blame from what Transnational elites in over 30 countries have done to set up the free trade, globalization, and crony capitalist systems that have ravaged so many countries so far. This is something that we need to say goes far beyond America in it's pluses and minuses.

3. We did, under the neocons, go far too aggressively into delusional talk of empire and a series of unilateral wars, which everyone quickly figured out meant against the Muslim nations around Israel. I believe events in Iraq have ended the idea of America turning Iraq or any other nation into mini-Americas in "cakewalk" cheap and easy wars.

4. We have rotten outreach and communications other than what the liberal Jews represent America as being - to the rest of the world. We need to really get into educating the best American kids in culture and language skills we will need in future interactions in Asia, the Muslim world, and India. We need strategic communications and linguistic skills on the level we had with rivals, allies, and foes during WWII and the Cold War.

DM, New Albany, US :


To those who claim that the US only defends when it is against Islam, I ask you to look at Kosovo and Bosnia

To those who say the US has always been some sterling character in the human rights arena, while that may have been our PR role, the reality is that we have sided with many governments with horrible human rights records if it served another of our interests. Nor has the US had the greatest of human rights records at home. If I remember the statistics properly, we have the second highest percentage of our population jailed for one offense or another (usually due to the bogus "war" on drugs) in the world. We've also gone through plenty of internal racist periods in addition to what most people think of as just against blacks. At one point employers would rather hire a black than an Irishman. Don't even think about what was done to the American Indians when the Europeans started overrunning their land and culture. The Japanese internments of WWII. The Chinese also suffered extensive legal bigotry in the mid to late 1800s and well into the 1900s.

On the issue of human rights, the rights listed in the Declaration of independence (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (the phrase back then for private property)) were neither granted by any group of people nor dependant on any group outside of our own borders to defend. They are inherent in the nature of humanity in order to live as humans (i.e. an intelligent, rational, educatable species, whether or not anyone actually acts in accordance with those potentiality in any given situation). The people of any other nation have the same basic human rights as we do, but we do NOT have the authority, legally or morally, to act as a government for those who do not live within the jurisdiction of our government in the defense of those rights.

Even more unfortunately, the actions of our government in pursuing its war on terror continue to eat away ever faster at those rights it was instituted to defend for its own people.

PS: Zoltan -

***Well, the word is that "A good Indian is a dead Indian" but it might be only cheap western movies. Anyway, that's the way many people see it. And your affirmation doesn't fit very well with south-america, where a lot of local Indians are part of the population: were they so much more robust ?***

The quote is from one particular President - Andrew Jackson and a sorrier bit of humanity rarely walks the Earth. As to the integration of the other races in South America, that is basically a matter of the difference between the way the Spanish and Portuguese colonized. The English commonly brought whole families while the Spanish and Portuguese were generally men who came over alone for several years at a time. Needless to say, the only female companionship they had available was from the indigent population, essentially having two "real" families. European diseases decimated the South Americans too, but those who survived were at least not penned away and reviled quite the way they were in the north.

PS: SB, Dallas,TX USA -
***As my mother used to say, "it takes two to fight", and if you stop bothering them, they won't bother you.***

If only this were true. It only takes one to throw the first punch and some people you can't make happy no matter what. They're generally called bullies and countries can act like bullies as well as individuals.

***but we have to understand that our support of Israel is based on Genesis 12:3.***

Not quite. It started as a massive attack of the guilts mainly from Europe. On the other hand the nations in the UN were pretty sure that Israel couldn't survive for long anyhow so it made for a nice mea culpa - and then Israel went and survived. We also support it because America loves the underdog.

I don't think there is any truly equitable solution for the Middle East as it stands now. Both sides have had genuine wrongs done to them. On one hand the Palestinians did have their land unjustly taken from them (remember the right to private property - the Pursuit of Happiness). On the other hand most of the currently living Israelis have their properties by secondary or tertiary or even longer chains of formal ownership since it was originally taken

Let me ask a question - If someone robbed a bank and the residuals of that theft helped the thief's great grandchildren to buy a car, should that money be taken from them and somehow try to find a way to proportionally distribute it between everyone that was ever harmed on some way by the original crime. At what point does the original source become moot? How far back do you go? I doubt if there's a single human being on the face of the Earth who does not have ancestors that were enslaved or otherwise ripped off as well as having ancestors who owned slaves or did the stealing.

PS: Cayambe, Philo, CA-USA

***To attack another, when you have not actually been attacked, is in no way acceptable self-defense, least of all by the United States.***

While I don't think we were justified in Iraq, or in many other "police actions," if you see the other guy moving all his troops and artillery up to your border and can hear the pre-invasion rhetoric to the others' troops you would probably be justified in attacking before they actually start to roll.

daniel :

To JVD in Amsterdam or Daniel in Arlington or anyone with the knowledge to make an assessment of the following:

Considering the problem of the U.S. being not only a democracy but increasingly heterogeneous I want to know if the methods and forces to deal with this heterogeneity must inevitably come to resemble the methods and forces by which homogeneous and warfaring nations conquer other nations and spread themselves out over a variety of peoples. I ask this question based on roughly analogizing from Einstein where he essentially postulated an equivalence between accelerating toward the speed of light and the effects of powerful gravitational fields. I essentially ask if there is something of a mathematical equivalence whereby a homogeneous nation spreading itself out in war is identical to a nation which takes in various peoples—identical because of the limit to human ingenuity in integrating disparate elements. Reasoning further we can ask if a nation which takes in disparate elements follows something of the pattern outlined by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekher in the sense that if the diverse elements overwhelm the capacity to integrate them we have a collapse, but collapse can be prevented by increasingly inventive methods of integration. But as a general rule we can state that a nation taking in diverse elements comes to resemble a homogeneous nation which spreads itself out in conquering mode whether it wants to or not because of the current understanding of forces of integration. The nation taking in diverse elements might want to be pacifistic with all the will in the world and yet to integrate the disparate forces it must come to resemble a nation warfaring—in conquering mode—because current understanding of integrative forces is so limited. I hope I have been clear here and not so repetitive. Thank you very much.

Internationalization or globalization :

can be managed quite easily.........

it's called "paying attention,"

you can't put the toy back in the box? watch me.

1. stop outsourcing.

2. erect barriers for companies that act like American companies but don't actually employ Americans, until the finished product is delivered into the United States.

3. reexamine NAFTA.

4. require all companies that make goods outside the United States pay import duties.

I could go on for awhile, but saying that Globalization is here to stay, and there's nothing we can do to protect our citizens is good for a certain group of people, the International Wealthy, but not necessarily true........

It's like terrorism, it's something that the disinformationists hope you will believe if they say it often enough........

which is why Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Rice, et al continually linked 9/11 with the Iraqi people, though they had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT......

and are still trying to.....

it's called propaganda, lies, branding, misleading, bait and switch....

I forgot, I popularized that expression too...........

you know, bait "family values," switch "hate," or homophobia/jingoism/demagoguery

rascism disguised as popery, or gawd using control over the weak-minded...........

.

daniel :

JVD70 Amsterdam, your reasoning is often solid and fair-minded no matter what anyone else thinks, including the Daniel from Arlington. People like you, Srikanth, Mike B, the Atheist from Boston and the wild unknown guy who really cuts loose keep this place really diverse and crazy. There are other good posters as well. I really like reading all the different viewpoints. No doubt everyone is hating I lumped everyone together when everyone is so different! But really JVD, keep up the good work.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Daniel, you wrote:

"capitalism is usually founded on the basis of protective industrial policies and strong state intervention. Market liberalization is one stage in the process of capitalist industrialization, but decades of studies suggest that its probably a LATER stage in the process."

Daniel, the historical development of capitalism and democracy is not a roadmap for other countries to follow, a country like Kenia does not need to move through stages of industrialization, protectionism and then gradual liberalization to arrive at becoming a liberal democracy. It cannot compete industrially even if it were to enforce vast tariff barriers, it simply can't keep the Nokias and Toyotas out. There is no linear process, people at this very moment in time want to own land and a cellphone and a car and when the land is taken and the cellphone is defective and the car breaks down they want and expect a fair process of review to take care of their feeling of being violated. People in developing middle classes will not be prepared for their nation to follow a path of historical necessity first, they want a new cellphone today.

Globalization is a thoroughly new paradigm that doesn't fit most of the previous modes of socioeconomic thinking. It does rely very heavily on liberalism because Nokia will deliver you a new phone under warranty most liberally even if you live in Iran. The same goes when Iranians buy a car, their rights as consumers are respected but their rights as citizens to the same freedoms when it comes to their personal ideological choices are not respected.

You wrote: "liberal democracy and capitalism don't always go hand in hand"

I believe that at this time in history, under peaceful circumstances (which we've by and large enjoyed since the fall of the Soviet Union) societies will naturally evolve towards liberal, capitalist democracies because people want to own items like cellphones, cars and land. I think that has become evident in a great many nations (including China) where civil (ownership) rights and democracy have been strengthening. Since the cold war, ideological reasons behind inhibiting the growth of a middle class no longer can be effectively (forcefully) maintained. Once middle classes gain a critical mass they create demand for services and institutions common to democracies (eg institutions defining and regulating ownership rights). Totalitarian government at that point can only try to use a nationalist or religious ideology to stop the growth of the middle classes and to keep the wealth from spreading. In totalitarian nations where elites control strategic natural resources (oil), the elites are now so buoyed by high oil prices that they can perpetuate their ideological myths with the force of public spending (Russia, Iran, Venezuela). In some other nations (Syria, North Korea), fear is force enough.

Perhaps from your perspective I am 'waxing poetic' applies,I am both a progressive and a conservative. The science of economic theory relies on the science of politics to fill in gaps on why South Korea (for example) did not become a democracy until recently. Economics could not quantify the effective influence of North Korea, China and the Soviet Union on for example the South Korean trade unions and in how the cold war was reflected in labour relations in South Korea.

Daniel, think outside the box a little. Ask yourself why you felt the need to tell me about your academic credentials when that is not germane to the chat we are having as free and equal citizens of western democracies? I can tell that you are informed enough from your argumentation and command of your native language.

it's real simple, :

we weren't attacked by Iraq.

that _was_ the fabrication, the linking.

80% of our foot soldiers or more were sure of it when inteviewed....

what's in Iraq?

Second (2ND) LARGEST OIL RESERVES IN THE WORLD.

the United States is occupying another country on false pretenses........a fraud perpatrated bythe Executive Branch and Complicit Congress........

war powers, when it's an imperialistic occupation, a PNAC pre emptive strike.........

without disclosure, usinga fabricated story.....

I don't say _complicit_ congress, because it's catchy........

I say that because the actions of a segragated monied class, taking actions for themselves in spite of what the citizenship needs......

is in no way, shape or form, what the United States Constitution provides for..........

war powers? Howz about BS powers..........and you're under the spell of said BS

snap out of it,

wake the eff up!

come on you can do it!!!!

USA US A USA...........truth libery and justice for allllllllllllllll!!!!

not just the fricking fat boyz..............

Cayambe, Philo, CA-USA :

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA wrote:
ìI beg to differ with you on the Israeli treatment of Palestinians; we have to be mindful that Hitler and Nazi Party also started by just mistreating the Jews and boycotting their products and services in the early 1920's.î

Iíll reassert my objection based on your original words, i.e. ìHaving said that, what is happening to Palestinians is no different from holocaust that Hitler unleashed on Jewish population.î

The holocaust, like Islamo-fascist, racist, Islamoid, macaca, Commie, yellow-belly, is an emotionally charged word. The second-class racist treatment of the Jews by the Nazi regime early in their reign is not what people are referring to when the use the term ìholocaustî. That the second class treatment of the Palestinians by todayís Jews will be followed by a holocaust in the future, equivalent to the holocaust unleashed on the Jews, unleashed on the Palestinians, is your conjecture. It is not happening now and what is happening now, bad as I think it is, is NOT a holocaust.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL wrote:
ìThe anti US sentiments in South America go back decades if not centuries, they've not been strengthened recentlyî

You will have to make do with decades. As for ìrecentlyî, my memory goes back before 1954 when we established our relationship with General Samoza, which brought anti-American crowds protesting in the streets of Guayaquil, where I then lived. Its been mostly downhill from there except for the brief illusionary period when Kennedy was President and Jackie outpolled even Eva Peron.

Actually Chavez won because the have nots finally outvoted the haves. He has been real lucky too. Oil prices surged so he has plenty of money to channel into social programs with some left over to fund international outreach. The alternative to Chavez is the wealthy bunch, so its really a choice between a populist redistributor and the rich gittín richer. What is a voter to do?

You wrote:
ìAnd, Israel is not expansionist, if it was it would now be in possession of at least the Sinai, Gaza and Southern Lebanon.î

The fact that it does not possess certain lands does not preclude it from possessing others. It has implacably colonized selected areas of both the West Bank and Gaza over the years. with every intention of keeping these areas. It changed its mind on Gaza and is in the process of narrowing its hunger for West Bank areas to those it thinks it can defend and hold and which donít add new Arab inhabitants to Israel. A land grab of any sort is ìexpansionistî.

You wrote:
ìA host of more or less coherent justifications for the war existed (Chemical WMD, terrorist (e.g. Hamas) support, Kurdish/Shia oppression, attempt on Bush Sr's life, democratization of the ME, security of energy reserves and friendly regimes).î

To be quite candid, I am terribly dismayed to find so many of my countrymen willing to accept such a hodge podge of reasoning as adequate to start a war with another nation. Not a single one of the items you listed was adequate cause to for the United States to begin a war with Iraq in 2003. I say that because, if, at the time of the attempt on Bush Srís life we chose to invade and attack Iraq in response, I could have justified that as self-defense. But in 2003, some 10 years later? Donít be silly. The only justification for war is self-defense, either individual or collective. To attack another, when you have not actually been attacked, is in no way acceptable self-defense, least of all by the United States.

The only purpose for maintaining the military force we do should be to destroy, quickly, implacably, and efficiently anyone who dares attack us. Not who is capable of attack, or threatens attack, or might threaten attack, but only who does attack. Bush Srís response to Sadaam 1991 enterprise was entirely appropriate. Our response to Bin Ladenís attack was entirely appropriate, but lacking in persistence and intensity. We had no decent reason to attack Iraq whatsoever.

I shall leave Darfur for another day when we take up the worldís will to see no evil, say no evil, and hear no evil. Ruwanda, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bosnia, Ö.. Germany.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA

Daniel, we probably would not disagree in our personal opinions, or even in the formation of a ìnational opinionî. But this is largely a product of our common culture. What I balk at is the notion that one culture has authority to supplant another.

In the 50ís missionaries came to our neck of the woods (Las Amazonas) to bring the Word of God to the natives, the indigenous natives. Once and a while, quite rarely actually, one of these well meaning Christianís would return, somewhat shrunken, a trophy for sale, dangling from someoneís belt. These folk have been happily living in harmony with nature without us of thousands of years. Iíve yet to persuade myself that our civilizations are somehow intrinsically better, or vice versa. There is no reason why one should impose upon the other; when in Rome, do as the Romans do works for me.

Actually I donít want to define acceptable and unacceptable pre-emption. That is the problem, it is essentially indefinable and therefore, off with its head. Before you can respond, you have to take a hit. Then, and only then, can you take the gloves off. I donít care much for rules that require assessment and judgment when facts will do.

Sarah | Permalink

Why thank you Sarah, for the kind words.
Now. What is it you donít agree with and what would you propose in its stead? :o)

SB, Dallas,TX USA :

For all the people running the show and jet setting to all these places, they show an unbelievable amount of ignorance and arrogance. If you want to bolster the way America is seen by the rest of the world, it's not difficult.

1. Stop the onslaught of the 3,000+ PR firms that are paid by this administration to whip the American public up into convulsive frenzies in order to trick us into wars. If a war is "just" and a "righteous cause", then no PR firm is needed; when 3,000+ are required, it's a deafening, screaming neon pink flashing sign it's NOT a "just" or "righteous cause". This reminds me of why you don't try and teach a pig how to sing - because it annoys it.

2. The rhetoric spouted by such hateful people like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter has gone BEYOND poor taste, and these are the mouthpieces of this administration? It shows our inelegant, racist, "ugly American" side when we let these people talk! I'm all for freedom of speech, but what I don't understand is why this hate speech is exempt from laws, but anything that sounds "religious" or falls into crossing the gay agenda line is. The latest "islamofacist" buzzword just oozes as the brain child of Karl Rove. This administration will say anything - including telling us it's dark when it's one o'clock in the afternoon.

3. Consider leaving the rest of the world alone! This administration thinks it needs to be the world's policeman, but it doesn't. If it would just remember to stay within its own borders, we wouldn't have a quarter of the trouble we now do, and we'd be a lot richer and could afford to deal with our own social problems. As my mother used to say, "it takes two to fight", and if you stop bothering them, they won't bother you. This concept eludes the political elite.

4. Cut ties with Israel. I am a republican and Christian, but we have to understand that our support of Israel is based on Genesis 12:3. I personally feel the Christian Coalition has deliberately perverted this to bring every believer under the subjugation of this PAC group. Christianity has been hijacked by the fringe who are trying desperately to re-interpret scripture to mean what it wants so as to justify its stances. Christian zionism has gone wild under the likes of Rev. John Hagee, and it's time to put a stop to this. If you can't slow down or shut up those who are marching to a corrupt tune, then the last thing we can do is cut Israel loose. I wouldn't mind at all since they're quite corrupt; their own newspapers are constantly full of their scandals. Let's stop pretending Israel comes to any table with clean hands.

5. Stop sending Condi Rice in to lie to the dignitaries of the foreign governments she's visiting. It's embarassing, to say the least! She was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert and was talking about giving a piano recital while Lebanon was burning - but she carefully selecting somber musical pieces. We can get her together with Nero. As another blogger commented, "why wasn't she doing her job?" How much did Joe Q. Taxpayer shell out for that trip and her piano recital, I wonder.

6. GET OUT OF IRAQ! This is just a disaster that has no end either in troop deaths, wasted money, dead civilians, and a government that doesn't want to stand up because Uncle Sammy's too busy holding it up. It's incredible what damage we have done, and our arrogance knows no bounds when the rest of the world hears Bush saying he won't pull out during his administration. The rest of the world hears, "they can't admit it when they're wrong and make a mistake".

7. Put some teeth into prosecuting OUR war criminals! We've got what amounts to hired militias running around and committing crimes, but the mainstream media refuses to cover much of these stories, but soliders are posting their videos online, showing the way they blow off steam! These guys need to be given a pass on the military court system and be tried in Iraqi civilian courts since that's where the crimes are being perpetrated. All we, and the rest of the world see, are two bit thugs getting off or light sentences that are woefully not fitting of their offenses.

8. Prosecute the fraudsters! When the rest of the world sees the likes of Custer Battles, Blackwater, and Halliburton getting away with untold millions of US taxpayer dollars being wasted, you'll NEVER convince other governments to "chip in" for reconstruction! What happened to "transparency and accountability"? It doesn't apply when you've got ties to VP Cheney and your nose buried in his crack. I think the fraud prosecutions should go one step further - those who awarded the contracts should be held equally liable. When there's fraud, get our money back and you'll be able to "shore up" the social security mess for a little while. Halliburton's quit from a couple of contracts, fired from others, fed expired food and contaminated water to our troops, and yet last year they received a $70m BONUS?! Who thought up that?! In the private sector, you screw up, you get fired....in the Dick Cheney defense contracting world, you get a bonus that makes even a thieving corporate head pushed out with an obscene "leave quietly" package, envious!

9. Stop trying to sell us another war we cannot win! Everyone knows we don't have the stomach, much less the intelligence to do this. Recruiters are having such a hard time convincing new enlistments to come on board that they've resorted to calling up inactives. What does that say? No one wants a piece of this disaster - we want out, we don't want to get into a NEW conflict! The neo-cons have been seriously trying to sell Iran since 2002 and informally since 1998 under the guise of the "Project for a new American Century" think tank. We don't NEED a "new American century", the neo-cons need to stop their bald face lying and "nation building" - we're turning into an empire, and "King Dubya" is the studdering, incoherent talking head. Talk about putting your best foot forward (too bad it's not in his mouth).

10. IMPEACH the entire Bush Administration! This is by far the MOST corrupt group I have ever seen! They are selling the US sovereignty up the river with an expanded NAFTA and the "North American Union", with the proposed currency of the "Amero" under the Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America (www.spp.gov), who has been meeting secretly for two years, refusing to make public any of their work products. If you're going to erase the borders between Canada and Mexico, then why was Halliburton given a $385m contract to build "detention facilities" in this country? If you're doing away with the borders to get past the immigration problems, then question is, what are these "detention facilities" for? Why is the United Nations overseeing our national parks, and in some cases, had to remove THEIR NAME from the signs? Why is our infrastructure being sold at an alarming rate to foreign interests? Money talks, BS walks, and this administration has ZERO credibility when foreigners see these transactions taking place, but very few Americans are aware.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

MikeB:

I am sorry to have misunderstood you. However, Zoltan's observations on problems that plague Native-American reservations are indeed correct. Given that, why are we not initiating a "war on poverty"?

Zoltan:

The only reasone why I asked you where you were from was to address your comments properly (to the best of abilities). Since you are from Hungary, I apologize for citing examples of past French "misdeeds." The point that I was trying to make was that we could not rewrite history, but we certainly could use it to our (everyone's) advantage. (By the way, I suppose that we can speak of atrocities committed by Attila the Hun against the Goths, but I will not!)

Hey, your English is as good as anyone else's; furthermore, you (Europeans) know more languages than we, Americans, typically do.

Lastly, someone else's problem will be ours, and vice versa, if we do not address it sufficiently quickly.

I like repeating this (my Mantra):
History teaches not WHAT to do, but what NOT to do!

MikeB :

Srikanth Raghunathan - Please tell me, am I so bad at humour that everyone seems to miss it? I post something off the wall and people answer as if I were serious and either insane or making some sage point. It's days like this I wish I did drink!

Zoltan, in Paris, from Hungary :

from Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA: "Zoltan: Are you from Paris, or Hungary?"

Forgive my poor english: I'm from Hungary and live momentarily in Paris.

"Let me try to address your comments.
- leave the rest of the world alone during that time
Fine with me.

- respect and pay the United Nations Organisation (UNO)
I agree with this wholeheartedly."

cool

"- after that may-be we will listen to something you're saying
You guys are as arrogant and ignorant as we are. What can I say?"

I'm alone in saying that. Don't blame others.

from MikeB: "Zoltan in Paris, you place me in the difficult place of being able to answer you. I *AM* a Native American [...] The "genocide" was the introduction of ordinary diseases for which my people had no immunity"

I'm happy to read your entry. I've been in the USA several times, and visited an "Indian reserve" and saw the desastrous effects of the politics toward Indians. It looked like the USA (exactly what entity I don't know) poured some - little - money to keep them calm and keep the bad concious away. Just a 1ct feeling. It was during a local rodeo and some indians came to us asking to buy alcohol for them because they didn't have the right because they were only a bunch of needy primitives. We were ashamed.

Well, the word is that "A good Indian is a dead Indian" but it might be only cheap western movies. Anyway, that's the way many people see it. And your affirmation doesn't fit very well with south-america, where a lot of local Indians are part of the population: were they so much more robust ?

If Indians are proud to be part of the modern USA they should stand up for it and say that straight. It would sure help wash away some misinterpretation from us.

cheers

MikeB :

Zoltan in Paris, you place me in the difficult place of being able to answer you. I *AM* a Native American - Blackfoot (officially) but with some Shoshone, too. The U.S. government owes me and every other American Indian...nothing. Where did you ever read about genocide in connection with American Indian's (which *is*, by the way, the term WE use...."Native American" was invented by left wing twits attempting to co-opt us into being on "their" side)? Well, it's fiction. The "genocide" was the introduction of ordinary diseases for which my people had no immunity - flu, measles, various poxes, alcoholism. The "help" we have received has resulted in gambling casino's that enrich a few and bankrupt everyone else, ruining families and lives. No thank you! Black American families were the most stable in the U.S., right up until all of those "assistance" programs. Now, they (and American Indian's, too) face rampant incidences of divorce, unwed mothers, broken families, and lawlessness. Most of this is directly attributable to the ìhelpî of well intentioned liberals or the depravations of businessmen. You face precisely the same problems. As for the UN ñ that inglorious old ladies gossip club has never done anything. The elite used to send their excess younger children off to die gloriously in some foreign war where we were at least rid of them. Now, the UN has become the full employment agency for these idiot bastard children of the elite of every country. As to your other points, why ought we apologize for not continuing to invade Japan and be responsible for the deaths of more than a million American troops AND an estimated 10 million Japanese defenders? Please remember, Japan started that war by a surprise attack on the U.S. and continued it by using American captives in experiments, as slave labor, and killing in cold blood the rest. Finally, we spent the equivalent of those hundreds of millions of dollars in Europe after World War II. It was called the Marshall Plan. Look what it got us ñ France!

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Zoltan:

Are you from Paris, or Hungary?

Let me try to address your comments.

- apologise for the genocide of the native americans ("Indians")
I would very much like to do that. (It takes a big man to admit one's mistakes!) By the way, the French were als in on the slaughter of Native Amreicans. Come on, the whole world needs to apologize to each other. You seem to have conveniently forgotten the history. How about French's apologizing to the Russian for the invasion by Napolean Bonaparte. How about the French apologizing to Libyans, Tunisians, Vietnamese, et al? If we do this, there is simply no end. (I am using French only as an example; there are numerous other - English, Dutch, Spanish, Portugese; the list goes on like the Energizer Bunny.) The better approach is NOT to do those things, going forward.

- apologise for the slavery of the blacks
See above!

- launch a huge (think 100 billions $) of program to compensate both
See above!

- apologise for Nagasaki/Horoshima
See above!

- leave the rest of the world alone during that time
Fine with me.

- respect and pay the United Nations Organisation (UNO)
I agree with this wholeheartedly.

- after that may-be we will listen to something you're saying
You guys are as arrogant and ignorant as we are. What can I say?

History teaches not WHAT to do, but what NOT to do!

Zoltan, in Paris, from Hungary :

from daniel, Arlington VA, USA : "We need to get to a point where we realize that if Hezbollah is a terrorist aggressor- so are the United States and Israel."

Sorry I didn't read that before. looks like someone can like Bruce Willis and still have sensible opinions. I'll have to upgrade my rankings.

from Srikanth raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA : "Like it, or not, America is, despite all its flaws and faux pas, still one of the greatest countries with lots of freedom."

Duh ! that's propaganda. Or a tourist leaflet. May I remind that the question is "do you want the USA to be liked and if yes what to do about it ?"

First of all: resolve your own problems at home ! Let's make a list as I (from here, whatever that's worth for you) see:
- apologise for the genocide of the native americans ("Indians")
- apologise for the slavery of the blacks
- launch a huge (think 100 billions $) of program to compensate both
- apologise for Nagasaki/Horoshima
- leave the rest of the world alone during that time
- respect and pay the United Nations Organisation (UNO)
- after that may-be we will listen to something you're saying

I remark that most of the posts here come from the USA. If you're really interrested in "what to do to be liked by the rest of the world" you should listen, even if it's uncomfortable, to what people outside the USA have to say. And if you don't like the people from "outside USA" that write here try to attract more of "us". But keep in mind that beeing unfreindly to "non USA" will be of little help in that. You don't realise but it's some effort to write to people in other cultures and languages.

cheers

MikeB :

Srikanth Raghunathan - Sorry, that we me, MikeB. I am embarrased to admit I forgot to sign my post. P.S. Mr. Hamilton's remarks were right on the mark. And, as for William in Montreal, you have it correct also, but Canada (the whole sorry world!) also suffers from the disease of self righteousness. I periodically read some comments made by a Canadian politician that sounds exactl like the sort of garbage spwed ut by some Amercian politician. Don't get me wrong, I love Canada and I love the Canadian people, it's just that your "leaders" are no better than our "leaders".

Srikanth Raghunathan. Washington, D. C., USA :

Unknown:

Posted at September 1, 2006 05:35 PM
? | Permalink

Srikanth raghunathan - You have to admit, though, it is one heck of a lot of fun to toss insults around and make outrageous suggestions rather than propose solutions. I certainly forgive Zoltan for his insults. I enjoy mine! The problem with everything we say here is that there is more common sense and humanity expressed with our more serious solutions than you will ever see in the world's capitols. The movers and shakers wont listen to us (and, honestly, they don't listen to each other either) and neither will the Post editorial staff. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that the world's problems stem from poverty. The "elite" in every society have always placated the poor with someone else to hate or blame. Was it Bob ylan who wrote of poor Southern whites and their relationship with poor blacks "...you're better than them, you were born with white skin..."? That was successfully used, still is used, to redirect the blame for their plight from the elite, who caused the problem, to a fellow victim. So the Bush's and the Bin Laudin's and the Saudi Royals and the British upper crust and the whole truck load of the world's movers and shakers will simply continue to use people like paewns in their international games and wars. We're road kill! So, no one is going to pay attenion to anything we do or say, unless we drop to "their" level and commit some senseless and worthless act of violence, and I am simply not willing to trade places with them and stoop to that level. So...let's sit back, thnk of outrageous and silly things to post and get on with it for the entertainment

I hope not! Let me refer you to one column by John Hamilton in The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/31/AR2006083101438.html (This was also mentioned by BW.)

We shall overcome (LBJ)!

William, Motreal, Canada:

You are absolutely correct. I just hope that we (Americans) can change it. I envy even our "North American" neighbors, who are much more open-minded (mostly) than we are!

BW:

You forgot one epithet - Ugly American; it still holds trues in many international people's view.

BW, Oslo, Norway :

Yes - the loathing that we Americans who live abroad experience these days is a far cry from the respect our fathers and grandfathers enjoyed as the liberators of Europe. It's bad for business.

Start by listening to the wisdom from the Days of Glory (before the Viet Nam debacle):

Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Beware the Military-Industrial Complex" (Halliburton, Carlyle Group, Lockheed-Martin).

George Washington: Avoid Entangling Alliances (Israel,Kazahkstan).

Thomas Jefferson: "Congress shall make no law establishing religion or
prohibiting the exercise thereof". Jefferson would be appalled that the U.S. is now officially guaranteeing the existence of a state which gives special status to persons of one faith (Judaism). And only the arms merchants and military purchasing agents could overlook the irony of supporting an Islamic regime that is committed to destroying that same theocracy.

And finally, Teddy Roosevelt: SPEAK SOFTLY.... Don't bray like a jackass ("Bring 'em On").

Check out John Hamilton in today's Post:"Scold War Buildup". We have become a nation of hypocrites. Somebody ought to tell the Congress that they have brought death and destruction on a sovereign country. Humility and repentance is in order.

Anonymous :

Srikanth raghunathan - You have to admit, though, it is one heck of a lot of fun to toss insults around and make outrageous suggestions rather than propose solutions. I certainly forgive Zoltan for his insults. I enjoy mine! The problem with everything we say here is that there is more common sense and humanity expressed with our more serious solutions than you will ever see in the world's capitols. The movers and shakers wont listen to us (and, honestly, they don't listen to each other either) and neither will the Post editorial staff. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that the world's problems stem from poverty. The "elite" in every society have always placated the poor with someone else to hate or blame. Was it Bob ylan who wrote of poor Southern whites and their relationship with poor blacks "...you're better than them, you were born with white skin..."? That was successfully used, still is used, to redirect the blame for their plight from the elite, who caused the problem, to a fellow victim. So the Bush's and the Bin Laudin's and the Saudi Royals and the British upper crust and the whole truck load of the world's movers and shakers will simply continue to use people like paewns in their international games and wars. We're road kill! So, no one is going to pay attenion to anything we do or say, unless we drop to "their" level and commit some senseless and worthless act of violence, and I am simply not willing to trade places with them and stoop to that level. So...let's sit back, thnk of outrageous and silly things to post and get on with it for the entertainment of the editors here.

William, Montreal, Canada :

I grew up admiring America but have come to despise your country. Bush's decision to thumb his nose at the world and invade Iraq despite all the warnings of what would ensue, his contempt for international law (Kyoto, the International Criminal Court), the war crimes his government has sanctioned and encouraged (Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Lebanon, Iraq), his warmongering, his disrespect for other peoples, faiths and nations of the world — and the fact that you re-elected him — have led me to the conclusion that the United States is not a country worthy of anyone's admiration any more. No, the U.S. has become the world's pre-eminent outlaw nation. The U.S.-supremacist rhetoric out of Washington makes Ahmadinejad and his ilk look like moderates. Is it any wonder that so much of the world - even here in mild-mannered Canada - believes the U.S. is today by far the greatest threat to world peace?
Go ahead and keep thumbing your collective nose at the world and at the opinions of the rest of humanity. But don't be surprised when you face ever more hatred, more wars, more attacks on your citizens, and far, far less sympathy than people once felt toward America.
The U.S. is no longer a beacon for humanity. It has become the world's ugly bully — despised, reviled, and rightly so.

Srikanth raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Zoltan:

I agree with many of your comments, but trashing America and its citizens, as a whole, shows ignorance on your part. Like it, or not, America is, despite all its flaws and faux pas, still one of the greatest countries with lots of freedom. (Second Amendment - Bill of Rights) Our right to bear arms is one of them.) However, it appears that we are fast losing these "freedoms," due to hysteria, paranoia, and the like. You are correct that we (Americans) need to travel more and explore civilizations beyond our own. In that respeact, my hats off the Europeans. It serves us well to remember what Benjamin Franklin said: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty, nor safety."

Also, you may want to tone down your personal and ad hominem attacks and give us your constructive opinions and criticism. This goes for you, too, Felixe.

Felixe :

Daniel, there's one of you on every chat room. In fact you've undoubtedly used different names on most of them. A big- deal- know it- all who "educates" everyone on everything, pretending to be neutral. Shall you return to your pro Israel think tank tonight and think you've put it over on all us unwashed? And perhaps ask your leader if anti-semitism has "disappeared and become unhip in the last 61 years", or whether it it is rampant and growing, perhaps at it's apex in the world now. Never so much as upon the Israeli rampage in Lebanon just now. Your type would be interesting if it weren't so omnipresent. And so obvious.

Zoltan, in Paris, from Hungary :

from Millersville, Maryland: "SO, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE OK FOR ZOLTAN TO TELL US WHAT TO DO AND NOT TO DO, BUT IT'S NOT OK FOR US TO TELL OTHER COUNTRIES THE SAME?"

whouaaaahhh, me alone compared to 250 000 000 americans ? what an honor ! Seriously, if you prefer to hear "you're great guys, pity you have this fella' W" don't post on the Internet.

from daniel, Arlington VA, USA : "Second- don't give people like Zoltan and Felixe, who posted above, any more reason to think that we as a nation are idiots."

this strangely contradicts you saying that USA is diverse. A "nation" is rather compact and uniform, a community of nations is diverse, but how can a nation be both a nation and yet very diverse ? And I never said you were idiots, just ignorants. But if you don't like the point about the languages, you're not likely to understand. Even if it's not your "fault". It's never too late to learn.

When I read your answers, I'm even more convinced that the real problem is that you don't know how the rest of the world "out there" is and you don't want to know. And yet you tell everybody how and what to do, and are surprised that people don't like that.

And yes, I overly simplify and even caricaturise, but this is due to the length of the posts and my limited english. My apologies.

MikeB :

Srikanth Raghunathan - I truely hope you are wrong in your prediction of Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. Leaving hyperboly behind, we all need to remember that these just people trying to feed and house their families. Most of what we call "Palestinians" were the underclass of their own countries. They moved to territories adjacent to Israel because that is where the jobs were - low paying and sometimes demeaning as those jobs were. Those people are not all that much different than the Mexican underclass that risks everything for a similar job here. It's obscene the way we treat human beings in this world...and utterly insane because the crop thus planted will surely grow up to hate us and try to harm us. I honestly don't know or much care if a "Palestinian Homeland" is created and I don't think the vast majority of those people care either, they just want a chance to provide for their families. The world OWES them that chance.

Artur, McLean, VA :

Reducing that hostility against our country - so visible and still rising not only in Moslem countries - MUST be a prime goal of our government. How to do it? Reshape certain trends in our foreign policy and diplomacy. And first of all - get rid of the Jewish/Israeli lobby in our government and start taking a truly good care of OUR NATIONAL interests. In general, that should be the beginning of a more complex campaign and results would certainly surprised even "our" semi-kosher president GWB.

Claude :

Michael Johnson of Armstrong Canada (above) happens on a very good point. We call Syria enemy, pawn of Iran, axis of evil, etc etc etc...but send our prisoners there to be tortured. More of the dysfunctional idiocy of oiur present leaders and policies.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Mark, Baltimore, USA:

I would like to repost my comments (as regards your comments on Western Ideals") that I posetd in response to this:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/2006/08/23/dicker_with_iran_1/comments.html (You may wish to read this, also.)

"Lastly, I have seen many comments' referring to "Western Ideals" - Exactly what are they, and why are they unique to the West? Does it include supporting one faction, over the other? Is it ostensibly promoting democracy in parts of the world, which we do not have a rapprochement; supporting autocracies (Pakistan, etc.)/oligarchies (Israel, etc.)/monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.) for the sake of expediency?"

If we start to nitpick, then the Greeks, Romans, Cathaginians, Mongols, and Crusaders were atrocious, too! Shall we ostracize those peoples , also?

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

Mark... first, you put Baltimore to shame. I live in the DC area, but that's where my family's originally from.

Second- don't give people like Zoltan and Felixe, who posted above, any more reason to think that we as a nation are idiots.

Mark, Baltimore, USA :

We should stop caring about the Muslin world at all. Eliminate all support for any country that does not have at least a minimum appreciation for western values. The Muslim cultures in this world are backward by definition locked in a fedualistic mind set that their religion will not let them escape from. We should buy from them what we need but give them nothing. We should as soon as possible remove the western world need for muslim oil and let these societies get back to killing each other which they will surely do
without outside interference.
The opinion someone has of you that you have no interest in at all matters little.

Michael Johnston Armstrong Canada :

Get rid of Bush and his gang and elect some one like Pesident Clinton and world opinion will slowly change.It will take awhile to get rid of the disgust and fear most of the world has of the U.S. but it can happen if they elect a president who has the interest of the American people and not his family and friends.After Sept 11 the world reached out to lend a hand and had their hand bit.In Canada we opened our homes to thousands of Americans who had their flights diverted to Canada,in return Bush placed Illegal duties on Canadian products,is attempting to close our border to U.S.tourists and sends our citizens to Sryia to be tortured.These three items are just a drop in the bucket of actions taken by Bush that help spread the distrust and even hatred of the U.S.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to Millersville, Maryland:

I think I'm missing where you and I disagree. I've said that what's going on today (ie, bush administration et al.) are just an extension of what's been happening for the last fifty years. And I've made the point that the only reason why anyone is emphasizing bush is that the question specifically asked why anti-americanism has increased in the LAST THREE years. Whatever the indirect causes may be (ie- American culture and history)- the direct cause is clearly the Bush administration and its policies (plus a disgustingly docile Congress and opposition party).

I'm not saying a lot of America doesn't have the faults that Zoltan points out. but the point is, we're not one big monolithic society. Zoltan oversimplifies, and that's all I'm saying. I'm especially bothered by his critique our mono-lingualism and things like that. That is almost purely a function of factors out of our control. We are that way for the same reason that most Australians, Chinese, and Russians east of the Urals are mono-lingual. It says very little about our character or values.

So... I think we're in agreement, but maybe I'm wrong.

You know what the recent posts have reminded me of? That Simpsons episode where they have to rent out their house to German backpackers to pay for Bart's fat-camp. Remember that one guy that just lists things that are wrong with America? Its like that. The issue isn't that he's pointing out our shortcomings. EVERYBODY in America sees examples of the things he points out. But he does it in a way that:

1. Seems to suggest that America is a uniquely flawed society
2. That Americans are not aware of these flaws
3. That all Americans share the same flaws

I don't buy into any of those three points, and that's really what I had a problem with in Zoltan's post.

Millersville, Maryland :

Daniel, as much as it pains me to say this Zoltan has point. The foreign policy of the United States has been a reflection of our society. It goes back way before the dreaded GW and thugs came into power. Zoltan could make a very serious case GW and gang are just a natural extension of the way America looks at itself and the world. Sobering thought, isn't it?

However, had Zoltan stopped at making this point I would have had more respect for the argument. Unfortunately, Zoltan turns around and lumps all Americans together and then has the audacity to tell us why he/she thinks we're arrogant and stupid.

ISN'T THAT THE SAME THING ZOLTAN IS POINTING OUT WE DO? SO, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE OK FOR ZOLTAN TO TELL US WHAT TO DO AND NOT TO DO, BUT IT'S NOT OK FOR US TO TELL OTHER COUNTRIES THE SAME?

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. :

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

You may want to consider the "Monroe Doctrine." It is alive and well, although under a different name with modifications to suit our expediency. Does the same not apply to the Middle-Eastern nations? You may also want to consider the acquisition of Hawaii, annexation of Texas, Puerto Rico, Panama (and later relinquishment). History is replete with such examples. You are absolutely correct that we should NOT revisit history for the sake of rewriting it, but to learn what NOT to do. Let us look forward and see what can be done for the betterment of everyone's.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to Srikanth Raghunathan:
RE:
"Is the Israeli treatment of Palestinians any different from the mistreatment and boycott and second-class citizenship of Jews in the Nazi era? It is only just the beginning, and it will lead to mass extinction of an entire pouplation, if it goes unchecked."

curtiz :

to let the ME fester for fifty years.
to let the refugees rot in camps and prisons for fifty years.
and, you want to turn the situation around.
well, clean up the mess first.

Juan, Acapulco, Mixico :

Esto es una prueba

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

MikeB:
Thanks for pointing out the inaccuracies in my understanding as regards Budhism. I stand corrected! As for American businessses clamoring to do business with such regimes, it is not entirely surprising. We all know that money comes before everything else, or as they say, money is not everything, but the "only" thing. That is why I feel that by improving the economic situation in the "trouble spots," we can reduce the population's proclivity toward extremism.

To do that, though, we need to approach these issues just like we would do in business negotiations - no emotion, just the facts. Unfortunately, ideologies (both religious and philosophical) interfere in the process and ruin everything, for which we have worked so hard.

Cayambe, Philo, CA:

I beg to differ with you on the Israeli treatment of Palestinians; we have to be mindful that Hitler and Nazi Party also started by just mistreating the Jews and boycotting their products and services in the early 1920's. After Hitler became the Chancellor, he started sending the Jews to Concentration Camps to use their labor as "slave" labor. Only after the Final Solution was formulated and enacted, did the Nazis start killing off the Jews and other minorities.

Is the Israeli treatment of Palestinians any different from the mistreatment and boycott and second-class citizenship of Jews in the Nazi era? It is only just the beginning, and it will lead to mass extinction of an entire pouplation, if it goes unchecked.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

China has a lot going for it, but nobody seriously believes that its current growth rate is sustainable.

In five years, when fuel is oppresively expensive and no alternatives have been implemented (especially in China and the US), see how China is doing then. It has a lot of potential, but it doesn't currently have the institutions or the staying power to guarantee a superpower role. Japan provides a good example of where China is headed- China will definitely be a more prominent player fifteen from now, but its not going to maintain the growth we're seeing today. At some point, the party is going to end there.

My biggest concern is Russia. They have massive energy deposits that will help them weather the storm of higher fuel prices until alternative fuels become readily available. Putin is finally putting a stop to the free-for-all looting of Russian society by rogue businessmen- this will be important for future growth.

The only chance the US has is to get off their oil addiction, pour investment into alternative fuel, and reinvigorate our industrial base. We can do this by diverting money away from our military and away from our pseudo-colonial adventures abroad.

Michaele, Chandler, US :

Of course we should work to reduce anti-American hostilities because we are participating in a global economy that results in our importing oil, exporting goods and protecting our borders. The currect foreign policy of screaming menacing threats at governments with whom we disagree is counterproductive. Those nations named on the "axis-of evil", groups labeled "islamic fascists" and critics of the policies called "defeatists" precludes informed debate. We keep telling the world that we know what is best for every nation,every culture and every world citizen.

To begin the end the hostilities we have to examine our own house first. If every nation on earth had a government and culture like ours,poverty would continue to rise. Only the very rich would have access to health care, all jobs would be outsourced to the country with the lowest wages and least environmental regulation. Every nation would create huge debts. America is a military power but not the best example of how democracy benefits every citizen.

The first step is to respect the rights of those who do not want to live like us. The second step is to admit that America has nearly 300 years of "experimenting" with democracy and we did not start out on the right foot. We started out with slavery, denying women the right to vote and the denial of equal rights to minorities. Our values evolved over time. We need to let other nations evolve and that won't happen at the point of a gun.

mike, Glendale, Arizona :

Americans need to realize that 15 years from now,there will be a new superpower. it is the C word.
China, India and russia are the only countries that benefit from the NeoCons policy of fighting muslims.
I have a clear vision for the future which many americans lack, in 2020 we will be saying God bless china, so I recommend that we dont act as bullys becasue one day, after 15 years, we will pay for what we are doing.

ahmad, amman, jordan :

The west should stop the 'Cold hollocaust' it has launched upon the palestinains since 1948, I urge western people to visit the west bank and see for themselves how the jewish fascists who you call settlers treat the palestinains in palestine, see the only aparthied democracy in the middle east at work. I went to Hebron/west bank a year ago, a settler kid came up to me while I was walking and he spit at me, I wanted to hold the kid by his hand take him to his parents to tell them about his manners, if you think I could do that, think again, becasue the second I lay a hand on him, Israeli terror forces would have shot me to death.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to Felixe:
Wow dude. At first I thought you were just a run of the mill critic of America. Now I wonder....

I mean, granted, I think that Israel has brutalized the Palestinians and the Lebanese, and I hold the US responsible for aiding them in doing it...

but do I detect some anti-semitism in your most recent post? now we see who's really got the superiority complex.

take some advice- There's still a LOT about Israel worth criticizing, but anti-semitism went out of style about 61 years ago. Its just not hip anymore. You should probably drop it.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to Zoltan:
First, I agree with most of what you say there. I mentioned bush specifically in my response to you, but if you read the 130 other posts, you'll see that we've been talking about the events of the past fifty years. The only reason why everyone comes back to Bush is because the original question was why anti-Americanism has increased so signficantly in the past three years. The increase in anti-Americanism in the past three years, I maintain, is the direct result of the policies of the Bush administration.

One of my biggest problems with your post is that it made such stereotypical statements about the American people at large.

You claim that we always refer back to our role in the Cold War and WWII. That's not true.

You make a point about the prevalence of guns in our culture- that misses the point (ie- the point being our bloated military budget).

You criticize the fact that we don't know many languages and attribute it to the fact that we don't look beyond our own borders. That's insulting and unfair. There are good reasons why our knowledge of languages is so bad- we don't have the linguistic diversity that Europe has. If we had that kind of linguistic diversity, I guarantee you we would know more languages. The entire western hemisphere essentially speaks four languages- English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. English and Spanish clearly dominate. Now think about the language diversity in the Eastern Hemisphere. What do you think is going to happen? Who do you think is going to know more languages. It is unfair to be so critical of everyday American citizens for something that's really just a result of geography. don't interpret it as not caring about the rest of the world.

Lots of Americans critique junk food, our climate policy (or lack thereof), our patent laws, our pharmaceutical industry, genetically modified foods, and a host of other non-Bush failures. But when you pretend that we aren't aware of these things... that somehow we just don't care as individual Americans, you're making some very insulting assumptions about our intelligence and our compassion.

I'm just criticizing what seems to be a very stereotypical view of Americans. I'm sure you know a lot about the diversity of opinion in Hungary... well I know something about the diversity of opinion in America. We are on par with everyone else in the world in our intelligence and compassion. We're doing as well as anyone would in our situation. You don't really have a right to criticize us for being born in a country that has the problems it does (and believe me, other countries have other problems that they've been born into, and that we really can't blame them for).

But despite all those problems, some of us still like to ask for God's blessing, still enjoy living here, and still enjoy Bruce Willis movies. Those aren't bad things and they aren't sign of superiority- don't read so much into it.

Felixe :

The US will regain it's respect, and self respect (and return to it's valuable place in the civilized world) when it does what our friends and adversaries all over the planet have implored us to do for two decades. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, the last best chance was stymied when George HW Bush and SecState were so rudely interrupted— via a frantic campaign to stop them— by the cabal which we all know too well. Newly elected Bill and Hillary took heed: their cabinet, for example, was at first 100% Jewish, except Justice, which was to have been but for two nanny problems. In effect:
1. stuff the savage warmongering Israelis back behind the l967 and preferably behind the l943 borders by and disabuse them of "greater Israel" by
2. withdrawing our slavish economic and armaments support, stop the use of American blood and treasure for the world domination plan via constant war, and
3. govern America for Americans

Zoltan, in Paris, from Hungary :

to daniel: you seem to imply that Bush is responsible to the "hostility" against the US (this is the question !) but my point is that the hostility is anterior to that. And that the 130 other responses exactly miss that point. I guess we have to agree that we disagree on that one.

I can call Kyoto, hormone feed beef, genetically modifyied crop, software patents, Junk-food, Pinochet, and a lot more into the debate to prove that "Bush policies" is not that determinant in the hostility towards the USA, and actually only is in line with what happens since along time.

The turning point beeing 1989 and the end of the cold war.

Before, the USA was the good guy because the evil was so evil. But since the evil disappeared (and beeing hungarian I know very well the subject) the USA (the famous militaro-industrial complex) is looking for new evils to extort more money from american citicens to continue building expensive military equippment, for wich they need new targets to test and use. When Clinton had his problems with Monica he bombed Iraq too, remember ? Now, the army even makes console games to brain-wash kids into fighting "terrorists". I know it's Bush too, but do you understand what light that sheds on the USA seeing from outside ? Don't limit yourself to "Israel/Palestine" or "Iraq". The problem is broader, but you'd have to travel outside North-America to see that.

As for the language, since the question is "hostility towards the US" you have to look OUTSIDE the US, or there is no point in asking the question. And if you want to look outside, well, you'd better learn "outside" language. If you ask people outside the US what they think of the US and you only speak english you'll have a very biased answer. And spanish will do: go to south america.

I liked "Cars" and "Shrek". "Armageddon" is one of the dumbest movies I have aver seen. Again, we should agree to disagree.

cheers

Felixe :

Actually, I go with Zoltan well over Daniel. Only because I'm so sick of the Daniels of the blogs (world) and their self supposed superiority. It is related closely to the hatred of America, pure and simple. Well, not pure.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

OK Zoltan, give it a rest.

If you read the other 130 posts on the board, you'll see that most of the posters DO have very reasonable critiques of the way the Bush administration has handled the war. They are critical of present policy, and they aren't blind to what's going on. And most posters that support Bush are at least well-reasoned and respectful in their arguments. They don't fall back on "we saved Europe, so you can't question us."

-Your generalizations are as bad as the vocal minority who consider all muslims dangerous.

-India is not the greatest democracy in the world- its riddled with inequality, corruption, ethnocentrism, and nuclear ambition (ie, it's lead by fallable human beings and just as wayward as any other advanced democracy you may come across).

-My understanding is that North Korea has the most guns per capita, although I could very well be wrong about that. Regardless, I admit we're up there, but guns in private hands aren't really a threat to anyone. The threat is our military budget which accounts for 50% of global military expenditures.

-God Bless America. There- I said it. Was that so bad? God bless Paris, Hungary, and whereever else you might find yourself as well.

-Freedom is just a word- its an abstraction. I've had some of the most critical posts on this board, but I still wouldn't live anywhere else.

-America was founded on a deep-seated distrust of government. Have we lost that virtue? somewhat. but I guarantee you that most Americans don't trust their government. I agree with your next statement "don't believe what you see on TV". That's where America REALLY falls short.

-Bruce Willis is a fine actor. "Armageddon" is one of my personal favorites. Sorry he offends your sophisticated sensibilities. A lot of Americans just like to relax in front of an entertaining flick, and there's nothing you're going to do to change that.

- "Amelie" was a piece of crap. Bruce Willis at his worst would beat Audrey Tautou any day.

-On reducing our driving- agreed. I think a lot of people here would agree with you on that.

-If you spend 48 hours driving west across Europe, you'll come across lots of different languages. If you drive for 48 hours across the US, you generally won't, except for lots of Spanish in certain parts. Its the same reason why most Chinese or Australians only know one language. If you had our geography, you'd probably have our language skills too. And besides all that- lots of us are learning other languages. Often the second language we learn is Spanish. Just because we don't speak French or Hungarian doesn't meaning we aren't learning something other than English.

-On the Nazi's and terrorism, 1984, and the Cold War, I completely agree with you. Again, I think most posters on this board probably would too.

Zoltan, in Paris, from Hungary :

"Should it be a goal of the U.S. to reduce that hostility ?"

Well, do you like to be hated and treated as idiots ? If no, then you should try to reduce that hostility. If yes, or if you don't care, then don't bother with it and continue bullying the rest of the world.

"and, if so, what's the best way to do it?"

Stop thinking you're superior. Concrete steps:
- stop thinking that the USA is the greatest democracy. India is, and some could argue that the USA is no democracy
- stop saying "God bless America"
- stop thinking you're living in a free country. Travel around the world and you'll understand what I mean.
- stop beleiving what any governement says
- stop beleiving what you see on TV
- realise that you're the only place on earth where everybody has a gun (except places in war of course) and stop making filmposters showing Bruce Willice with a gun: it's annoying
- stop saying that you saved Europe from Hitler (right or wrong, just stop)
- try to figure out what would be your life if you had to reduce your use of a car by a factor of 10
- realise that you DID win the cold war, and therefore don't need all the military spending anymore
- realise that you ONLY won the cold war, and that history is not over with that
- realise that the Nazis called the French resistence to the occupation in 1944 "terrorists" and decide if you want to be in that same leage
- learn at least one other language as english
- read "1984" again

Andy_uk :

Does America care what the rest of the world thinks? - Really? You have all the wealth, weapons and no viable conmpetitor to keep you "honest". Your politicians and corporations influence every government decision in every country except Iran, Cuba, North Korea and any others where you have no influence or interest. You take the largest share per capita of natural deposits (which you consume)the world produces so why should you even care about what everybody else feels.

How many people have died directly or indirectly because of American Foreign policy? How many people have died because of American Agricultural Policy, or suffered through Trade, or Finance, or Environmental or any other field of governance where US action or attitude results in detrimental outcomes to local populations? (Being from the UK, of course the same questions should be levelled at the British Empire's history before it's demise . . . )

I am not a hater of Americans. I had a fantastic trip to New York in 1995 and would love to return, because of the people, the music, the culture and all the fine things that the American people have contributed to the world. Where else would we be if not for the US interventions of World War I & II, or the invention of the Internet - the list goes on and on . . .

What I believe is the fundamental cause of the US's current world fallout is the detached decision-making of the ruling political/financial classes. If the US is the world power and world policeman, and all the other "world" attributes claimed or awarded, then surely it's responsibility is also of the same magnitude. Trade agreements that take into account the world, carbon emissions that reflect it's world usage, tolerance that reflects the world's makeup, not the US's. Maybe when the US steps up to the "World" plate and delivers for all mankind in a universal fair and balanced (no irony intended), all this will simply seem like a bad dream.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

also to: jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

Also, you really don't have to wax poetic on the virtues of capitalism or liberal democracy. I'm a graduate student in a well-regarded economics program, and a researcher at a prominent economic policy think tank. I know very well that democracy and capitalism are probably the two best things that have ever happened to the human species. But any economist will tell you that liberal democracy and capitalism don't always go hand in hand (although on some occasions they have). If you examine the processes of economic development in south east asia, japan, south korea, the US, and all of Western Europe, you'll find that capitalism is usually founded on the basis of protective industrial policies and strong state intervention. Market liberalization is one stage in the process of capitalist industrialization, but decades of studies suggest that its probably a LATER stage in the process. You're rewriting history if you think the US got where it is today because of one happy, linear march of freedom and liberty. Social scientists recognize that history is messier than that. Its not a fairy tale with a moral to the story, and complex processes are always at work.

So I acknowledge that democracy and the market are probably the best hope for the Middle East (to get this back to the initial theme here)... but I don't think we can expect either democracy or the market:
1. to emerge immediately
2. to emerge in the way that OUR democracy and markets emerged
3. to emerge just because the Bush administration says they should emerge
4. to emerge by force or against the popular will
5. or, to stay that way once they emerge (after all, if economic development is a process, there's no reason why we shouldn't expect our social institutions to evolve beyond democracy and capitalism).

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to: jvd70, Amsterdam, NL
RE (and the rest of your post):
"To call US foreign policy from 1945 to this day imperialist is not factual, it would be to rewrite history and ignore that liberal democracies won the battle against fascism and communism. The terms globalist and hegemonist do apply but the intent has been to make the world more free (conductive to the liberal democratic economy). In Iraq, if imperalism had been a motive, there would now not be a government in place that had such an unhealthy Iranian bias."

If I remember correctly, I did NOT say that US foreign policy from 1945 to this day was imperialist. I said that in the last several years it has begun to develop into imperialism, and I only said that the "rough sketches of Imperialist America" began under President Johnson (ie- the expansion of the president's war powers, etc.). I too, appreciate President Reagan for the most part, but my admiration for him can't prevent me from pointing out that he also funded Osama bin Laden and the muhajadeen, Saddam Hussein, etc. That doesn't mean he's responsible for those crooks, but we should have had a more far-sighted foreign policy establishment in place in the 1980's to prevent that kind of policy. I believe I used the words "set the stage" for what began to unfold in the late nineties. I've never accused any of these leaders of being imperial, and I don't think I would call Bush an imperialist... but they are certainly slipping down that slope. As citizens, we need to be vigilant against these trends.

Curt, Gainesville, Va :

We need to be clear about our objectives. Do we want the world to like us, hate us, or respect us? Our policies need to follow from the answer to that question. We are a rich country and therefore we can expect that others are going to have a certain resentment toward us because they are not so fortunate. I don't think this necessarily leads to the conclusion that they will hate us but it probably precludes a wide-spread love among less fortunate countries. On the other hand, respect may be possible if our policies are perceived as being even handed and based on truth. The doctrine of preemption obviously creates tension among those nations that have been identified as evil. It seems apparent from recent actions in Iraq, Iran and North Korea that intimidation does not work. So how do we gain respect? Some policies that might help.

1. Admit it when we make a mistake. We invaded Iraq because of flimsy case that they had WMD which proved to be false. Now our justification has morphed into a war against terrorism which was not present until we provided the impetus for a strong terrorist movement to form out of the Iraqi citizens. It is time to tell Iraq that we got rid of the devil for you now you have to defend yourself. I saw the same conditions when I served in Vietnam when the locals were not nearly as commited to the war as we were. Stop the occupation. And don't assume that the military's assessment of the situation is correct. There is a bias against perceiving reality in the military where careers and power are based on winning even if victory has to be redefined.

2. Quit manufacturing intelligence to support preconceived policy goals of world domination. I read that we have very little intelligence about Iran yet we are making noises about possible military action. We refuse to talk to Iran. If we have any notion of defusing potential conflicts we need to try to engage our adversaries in dialogue.

3. Get rid of the arrogance that dominates our foriegn policy. It is true that our form of government and our economic system has worked well for most Americans. It is also true that other countries have succeeded with other systems. Bush's contention that the solution to world peace is to impose our system around the world is bogus. On the contrary his approach will (has?) lead to war, waste of our human and natural resources, and the loss of our standing in the world community.

4. Tell the truth. Bush and his team continually shade and withhold information from the American public. When the media tells us the truth the administration tries intimidation and threatens prosecution. I believe the American citizens will support the right policies if they are told the truth. Unfortunately this is not the case. Telling the truth will enhance our standing in the world and gain us a level of respect that we currently lack.

AM, Vienna, VA :

To repeat:

Liked? That is secondary, lower even than feared.

The preference is for RESPECTED, then feared. We'll be respected when we articulate our interests, and give berth to dissenting views. Not everyone who disagrees is an enemy. Essentially, drop the 'with us or against us' nonsense and mentality. Also drop the shoot first then think mentality.

As for Muslims in particular, the key is a solution to the Palestinian problem. This administration has made us completely and unconditionally subservient to Israel. A fair solution to the Palestinian problem is necessary, and will go very far to restoring respect in us.

By the way, that consists of:
1. A viable, to the Palestinians, state in the West Bank & Gaza;
2. Release of all the prisoners;
3. Return of all the land captured in 1967;
4. Compensation to the Palestinians for the land given away by the UN in 1948.

PS: This has been agreed to already by the Palestinians & the Arab League.

Anonymous :

Also to Cayambe, Philo CA:
RE:
"If this logic were really acceptable, then Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba would all be justified in attacking the United States immediately. They wouldn't be justified by any fundamentalist code or socialist ideology- they would be justified by the EXACT SAME line of reasoning promoted by the Bush administration.

You cannot justify pre-emption without an imminent threat. That we did so in Iraq was a huge mistake and a terrible precedent. I suppose now we shall have to re-write our history of WWII to recognize the lack of perfidy by the Japanese when they took out Pearl Harbor."

Imminent threat? What do you call the coup we institgated against Chavez recently? And certainly IRAN is facing an imminent threat today. I'm not commenting on whether these threats are justified, or even whether they're true- but if pre-emption is dependent on an enemy's will and ability to fight, and the reasonable probability of an imminent threat, I think anyone would admit that these countries face at least a reasonable probability of imminent threat. Frame the question this way- What do you think is more likely: that Iran will initiate and attack against the US in the next year or that the US will instigate an attack against Iran in the next year. Is Venezuela more likely to send undercover agents into Washington, or is the US more likely to send undercover agents into Caracas?
The whole point of my critique of pre-emptive strategies is that they are inherently volatile. Iran has GOOD reason to be afraid today- he has good reason to expect something imminent (much better reason than we had in 2003). I just hope he doesn't accept the doctrine of pre-emption as whole-heartedly as the Bush administration has- thats all I'm saying.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

To Cayambe, Philo CA:
RE:
daniel, Arlington VA, USA wrote:
ìTake equality of women for example. Clearly there's a difference of opinion on this. On some issues- ie, honor killings, denied civil rights- we should NOT give in. If there's disagreement, so be it.î

I could use some clarification of the circumstances under which you conceive we would or would not be ìgiving inî. Rights, civil or otherwise, are created by an agreement among a people and are meaningful only to the extent that these same people enforce them. Within the jurisdiction of the USA women are equal. In Saudi Arabia (among many other nations), they are not. We may certainly be of the opinion that they should be, but that doesnít make it so for Saudi women in a Saudi jurisdiction."

Well of course. If you read more of my quotes, I think you'll find you and I are in complete agreement. I'm not saying we should legislate these civil rights for them (hell- I've always said we should never have changed the old government forcefully). But as a nation, I think we have a right to have position on what we perceive to be the violation of human rights. Just because we broadcast our views on things like women's rights doesn't mean we deny them the right to self determination. Its a fine line, but in the end I think we absolutely agree with each other with respect to what our actual policy recommendations would be.

Sarah :

To: Cayambe, Philo,
I thought your post was the most cogent, intelligent and well-written of any I have seen on our foreign policy. I do not agree with everything you say but it is a pleasure to read such a rational and sensible series of aruments. Thank you.

Mark Lee Krangle, Croton-on-Hudson, USA :

The countless victims of U.S. policy, not just U.S. rhetoric and threats, over the decades and even centuries may have created a culture of anti-Americanism in our contemporary interconnected mass media world. I advise White Papers for all America's well-known and secret crimes and congressional authorization to undertake Truth/Contrition/Reparations. Twenty billion dollars over the next generation to pay for Mossadegh's Iran, Arbenz's Guatemala, Allende's Chile, nations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East, and so on may save the U.S. trillions, its reputation and many lives. See my "A New Millennium Revolution" for more at www.geocities.com/millenniumrevolution

realist with eyes and ears :

Hello TJ, Somereset,US (Posted at September 1, 2006 01:22 AM),

And do you really think that it would be better for the US (and the world) if domestic American politics would not appease "blatant"ly, "one-sided"ly "those with a pro-Israeli slant" (your words) but rather appease those who vote non-jewish or no-israeli (see?! no anti-semitic labeling) like yourself who believe that the US support in Lebanon was merely for "spreading fire with cluster bombs" —" instead of urging a cease fire"?

Anonymous :

Amar Bakshi posed the following questionsÖÖÖ
Should it be a goal of the U.S. to reduce that hostility and, if so, what's the best way to do it?
Of course the U.S. should have reducing hostility as a goal; but not at the cost of our national interest. Fortunately, these rarely compete.

Now as to howÖÖ..
A couple of posters have mentioned our founding fathers, those remarkable men who formed this country and were the Shepherdís of our Constitution. As I recall, ìThey would be spinning in their gravesî and ìThey would be dismayedî at our current foreign policy. I agree wholeheartedly. We have abandoned some of the principles upon which our own foundation rests. The principle that a people has an inalienable right to create its own system of government, of governance, that power is sourced in the people who cede what they choose to the government (limited government), that they may replace the governing system should they find it does not serve them well, that no one other than the people has a say in their governance.
We should return to these principles and they should be reflected in our foreign policy. It is not for us to decide that the peoples of the Middle East shall have democratic governments. Each of these people is free to choose any form they like, be it a dictatorship, socialism, monarchy, democracy, theocracy, a mixture or whatever. The form they choose is not itself a valid cause for us to make war on them. We have no authority to change any government but our own just because we disapprove of or dislike that government. Certainly we might wish to set an example of democracy so compelling that other peoples, other nations, will wish to settle for no less. Alas, wandering so far from our own founding principles hardly does that.
We should stop demonizing other people and organizations. It corrupts the debates and dialogue with others and ourselves. To label Hezbollah and Hamas simply as ìterroristsî in our ìWar on Terrorî is to misunderstand them entirely. In both cases they derive their power within their own population not from terror, but from providing real social services to their population in sharp contrast to the corruption of their governments. Hamas did not win the election because they are terrorists. They won the election because they are more competent at delivering services than Fatah was.
Even understanding that both organizations have used the tactic of terror, i.e. an attack on civilians to further a political purpose, this tactic has only been directed at Israel. Neither organization actually threatens us. It is entirely appropriate to condemn their use of this tactic against Israel. It is entirely appropriate for Israel to defend itself against such attacks. But when the Palestinians freely elect Hamas to govern them in a fair democratic process it is stupid and insulting of the populace not to talk and engage with them. We were within our rights to withdraw our aid to the Palestinian authority, so too the Europeans. Still, we perhaps missed an opportunity to simply reduce it by the amount siphoned off in corruption by Fatah. As it is we have simply left them to swing deeper and deeper into poverty and despair, punishing the civilian population for not voting our way and being seen as doing that. Not so?
Lest anyone think my heart bleeds too much, I might also point out the hypocrisy visible across the Muslim world. The withdrawal of aid and tax revenue siphoned off by Israel has taken the PA income from 150 to 20 million a month. Might we not expect the Muslim countries to step in and fill this gap, to support Hamas in the face of Western condemnation? Too big of a burden I suppose. Lets seeÖ..Saudiís pump some 8 million barrels a day, 240 million a month. Hamas could probably do just fine with another 80 million a month, that would come to 33 cents a barrel when the barrel price has doubled to 70 dollars plus or minus over the last few years. Yup, that would be a hell of a burden to them wouldnít it?
One of our posters pointed out that this was and is a land dispute between two peoples who were intermixed on the same land going back many centuries. The fact is this particular land is of no strategic importance to us and the existence of Israel is of no strategic importance to us. We have no treaty obligation to come to their defense or they to ours. As a practical matter our political alliance with Israel is far more of a strategic liability to us than a strategic asset and that is the truth. What binds us to Israel, in spite of this, is a misplaced sense of moral obligation and our internal politics. Our policy should be to back off and let them try to settle their own land dispute in their own way without taking sides.
The ìWar on Terrorî an absurd phrase. No one goes to war against a tactic. We go to war against specific people and/or organizations of people, to include nations. In the present case we are at war with Al Qaeda for the best of reasons, self-defense as a consequence of its attack on us on Sept. 11, 2001. To that end we destroyed the Taliban government of Afghanistan for supporting and harboring Bin Laden and his organization. We have every reason to hunt him down wherever he might be with apologies due to no one. We have not done such a good job of that.
It is entirely ridiculous to compare ìthe terrorist threatî with Naziís, Fascists, Communists and the like, all of which had a basis in an existing nation-state. Magnifying the threat in apocalyptic terms, ideological terms, does nothing to help our defenses against it. This nation is threatened with attack by the Al Qaeda organization for reasons they have clearly outlined, to include our military presence in their Holy land and other Arab lands, our support of the Zionist regime in Israel, our intrusions into their culture, our support of their despots, etc., etc. It is not their hatred of our freedom or other words placed into their mouths by our politicians. It is not fascism, communism, or other isms. What they want is for Muslim people to live under Islamic governments under Islamic law with the Holy Quran being interpreted their particular way.
Al Qaeda, broadly defined to include the subgroups it networks with, is unique these days in having a worldwide reach and a willingness to attack any nation. We last saw this kind of phenomenon with the Palestinian attacks on ships, airplanes, the Olympics, etc. We are and should be at war with Al Qaeda. Given the scope of its attacks, on us, on several European countries, on Jordan, on Saudi Arabia, in Tunisia, Kenya, Pakistan, etc., etc. we have been joined by most of the world in this war. There is no need to make this war bigger than it actually is. The need is to win the war we actually have and this is most dependent on the competence and efforts of our intelligence services.
We had absolutely no just cause to invade Iraq. They were no threat to us, they did not attack us, and they did not harbor anyone involved with 9/11. The UN did not authorize the attack. Having done the unthinkable, we are obligated to do as little further damage as possible. We have provided them with a 3-year well-intentioned window of opportunity to form a democratic government. We have proven to be poor administrators and occupiers. It is time for us to go, leaving this government to sink or swim. It may sink into civil war or the Sunni and the Shia may work out what they must work out. We need to withdraw in a manner that protects the Kurdish and Jordanian interests, tries to limit any chaos to the Baghdad region, and prevents Syria or Iran from moving in. If and when there is an outcome we should humbly accept it. Whatever shape it takes will properly reflect the Iraqi people. There is a lesson in this, the same lesson we learned in Viet Nam. Democracy is not something that can be imposed or sustained by an external force of arms.
We have created a ìfailed stateî where none existed. We can only hope that the brutal societal norms of the Iraqis will in good time be turned on all foreigners to include the visitors from Al Qaida.
We are not the worldís policemen. We have not the authority and are not equipped to play the role. Consider our ground forces. They are designed to close with and destroy opposing military forces in short order. In combination with our air forces there is scarcely any force in the world that can compete. They are not designed to occupy territory or suppress insurgencies or keep the peace. Superpower or not, we have limits, and our policies should respect those limits.
We have no grounds to attack Iran. If Iran were to have nuclear weapons, which they do not, they would still not be a threat to us, not imminent or otherwise. They have not the wherewithal to deliver these to our soil. Israel is another matter. Europe is another matter. Russia is another matter, as is Pakistan and so on. So why is it that we insist on being the biggest baddest hardnose about Iran on the planet? If Russia is willing to entertain the possibility of Iran slipping a nuke to the Chechen rebels, why should we be so fearful? If not, why not let them lead the enforcement parade? Does anyone actually believe that nuclear weapons in Iranian hands are inherently more dangerous than nuclear weapons in Pakistanís hands, or North Korean hands?
The NPT is probably a walking dead man. It is not our nationís job to enforce it. That job belongs to the UN Security Council. If and when the Council can muster the will to use force to enforce it, we may then negotiate the force structure required to do the job.
North Korea, having withdrawn from the NPT, is beyond it. The parties most threatened by the RNK are Japan and South Korea. Should Japan go nuclear in response, that then threatens China. We are not actually threatened, unless we should attack North Korea. The question is, if Japan, South Korea, and China are willing to live with a nuclear RNK, then why should we care? If not, then the question is what pressures they are willing to apply themselves and what pressures do they want applied by us. Why is it that we are leading this parade? Hubris perhaps?
One poster suggested that we should return to the old adage ìwalk softly and carry a big stickî. There is no doubt we have a big stick, itís the walking softly part we seem to have lost touch with.
How about Latin AmericaÖÖÖÖ
Seriously, why should we be in a snit over the President of Venezuela? He was democratically elected. He won the recall election. Similarly with Bolivia. All over South America they have generally come to the conclusion that the particular economic and social models espoused by the United States do not work well for the broad population in South America. One democracy after another is turning towards and experimenting with variant models. For this we should be upset? For this we should cheer and cooperate. We should stop demonizing Cuba. Actually there are lessons to be learned from Cuba. Their health care system and educational system are the envy of South America, and for good reason. If we can do business with the communists in China, why is it we canít do business with the communists in Cuba? Is Cuba somehow a greater threat to us than China?
Democracy, of slightly different flavors, has become reasonably well ingrained in Latin America. A heavy hand, and the resentment that comes with it, is entirely unnecessary.
We should recognize that democracy and Islam are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The largest Muslim nation is Indonesia, which has ever so slowly migrated from being a Dutch colony to a dictatorship to a still tenuous democracy. Malaysia has gone from being a British colony then through an insurgency and finally to a thriving democracy with a high tech industry. Both have dominantly Islamic populations. It takes time, years and years of time. Apart from walking softly, we should also perhaps get back in touch with patience.

Cayambe, Philo, CA-USA :

Amar Bakshi posed the following questions
Should it be a goal of the U.S. to reduce that hostility and, if so, what's the best way to do it?
Of course the U.S. should have reducing hostility as a goal; but not at the cost of our national interest. Fortunately, these rarely compete.

Now as to how¬Ö¬Ö..
A couple of posters have mentioned our founding fathers, those remarkable men who formed this country and were the Shepherd’s of our Constitution. As I recall, “They would be spinning in their graves” and “They would be dismayed” at our current foreign policy. I agree wholeheartedly. We have abandoned some of the principles upon which our own foundation rests. The principle that a people has an inalienable right to create its own system of government, of governance, that power is sourced in the people who cede what they choose to the government (limited government), that they may replace the governing system should they find it does not serve them well, that no one other than the people has a say in their governance.
We should return to these principles and they should be reflected in our foreign policy. It is not for us to decide that the peoples of the Middle East shall have democratic governments. Each of these people is free to choose any form they like, be it a dictatorship, socialism, monarchy, democracy, theocracy, a mixture or whatever. The form they choose is not itself a valid cause for us to make war on them. We have no authority to change any government but our own just because we disapprove of or dislike that government. Certainly we might wish to set an example of democracy so compelling that other peoples, other nations, will wish to settle for no less. Alas, wandering so far from our own founding principles hardly does that.
We should stop demonizing other people and organizations. It corrupts the debates and dialogue with others and ourselves. To label Hezbollah and Hamas simply as “terrorists” in our “War on Terror” is to misunderstand them entirely. In both cases they derive their power within their own population not from terror, but from providing real social services to their population in sharp contrast to the corruption of their governments. Hamas did not win the election because they are terrorists. They won the election because they are more competent at delivering services than Fatah was.
Even understanding that both organizations have used the tactic of terror, i.e. an attack on civilians to further a political purpose, this tactic has only been directed at Israel. Neither organization actually threatens us. It is entirely appropriate to condemn their use of this tactic against Israel. It is entirely appropriate for Israel to defend itself against such attacks. But when the Palestinians freely elect Hamas to govern them in a fair democratic process it is stupid and insulting of the populace not to talk and engage with them. We were within our rights to withdraw our aid to the Palestinian authority, so too the Europeans. Still, we perhaps missed an opportunity to simply reduce it by the amount siphoned off in corruption by Fatah. As it is we have simply left them to swing deeper and deeper into poverty and despair, punishing the civilian population for not voting our way and being seen as doing that. Not so?
Lest anyone think my heart bleeds too much, I might also point out the hypocrisy visible across the Muslim world. The withdrawal of aid and tax revenue siphoned off by Israel has taken the PA income from 150 to 20 million a month. Might we not expect the Muslim countries to step in and fill this gap, to support Hamas in the face of Western condemnation? Too big of a burden I suppose. Lets see…..Saudi’s pump some 8 million barrels a day, 240 million a month. Hamas could probably do just fine with another 80 million a month, that would come to 33 cents a barrel when the barrel price has doubled to 70 dollars plus or minus over the last few years. Yup, that would be a hell of a burden to them wouldn’t it?
One of our posters pointed out that this was and is a land dispute between two peoples who were intermixed on the same land going back many centuries. The fact is this particular land is of no strategic importance to us and the existence of Israel is of no strategic importance to us. We have no treaty obligation to come to their defense or they to ours. As a practical matter our political alliance with Israel is far more of a strategic liability to us than a strategic asset and that is the truth. What binds us to Israel, in spite of this, is a misplaced sense of moral obligation and our internal politics. Our policy should be to back off and let them try to settle their own land dispute in their own way without taking sides.
The “War on Terror” an absurd phrase. No one goes to war against a tactic. We go to war against specific people and/or organizations of people, to include nations. In the present case we are at war with Al Qaeda for the best of reasons, self-defense as a consequence of its attack on us on Sept. 11, 2001. To that end we destroyed the Taliban government of Afghanistan for supporting and harboring Bin Laden and his organization. We have every reason to hunt him down wherever he might be with apologies due to no one. We have not done such a good job of that.
It is entirely ridiculous to compare “the terrorist threat” with Nazi’s, Fascists, Communists and the like, all of which had a basis in an existing nation-state. Magnifying the threat in apocalyptic terms, ideological terms, does nothing to help our defenses against it. This nation is threatened with attack by the Al Qaeda organization for reasons they have clearly outlined, to include our military presence in their Holy land and other Arab lands, our support of the Zionist regime in Israel, our intrusions into their culture, our support of their despots, etc., etc. It is not their hatred of our freedom or other words placed into their mouths by our politicians. It is not fascism, communism, or other isms. What they want is for Muslim people to live under Islamic governments under Islamic law with the Holy Quran being interpreted their particular way.
Al Qaeda, broadly defined to include the subgroups it networks with, is unique these days in having a worldwide reach and a willingness to attack any nation. We last saw this kind of phenomenon with the Palestinian attacks on ships, airplanes, the Olympics, etc. We are and should be at war with Al Qaeda. Given the scope of its attacks, on us, on several European countries, on Jordan, on Saudi Arabia, in Tunisia, Kenya, Pakistan, etc., etc. we have been joined by most of the world in this war. There is no need to make this war bigger than it actually is. The need is to win the war we actually have and this is most dependent on the competence and efforts of our intelligence services.
We had absolutely no just cause to invade Iraq. They were no threat to us, they did not attack us, and they did not harbor anyone involved with 9/11. The UN did not authorize the attack. Having done the unthinkable, we are obligated to do as little further damage as possible. We have provided them with a 3-year well-intentioned window of opportunity to form a democratic government. We have proven to be poor administrators and occupiers. It is time for us to go, leaving this government to sink or swim. It may sink into civil war or the Sunni and the Shia may work out what they must work out. We need to withdraw in a manner that protects the Kurdish and Jordanian interests, tries to limit any chaos to the Baghdad region, and prevents Syria or Iran from moving in. If and when there is an outcome we should humbly accept it. Whatever shape it takes will properly reflect the Iraqi people. There is a lesson in this, the same lesson we learned in Viet Nam. Democracy is not something that can be imposed or sustained by an external force of arms.
We have created a “failed state” where none existed. We can only hope that the brutal societal norms of the Iraqis will in good time be turned on all foreigners to include the visitors from Al Qaida.
We are not the world’s policemen. We have not the authority and are not equipped to play the role. Consider our ground forces. They are designed to close with and destroy opposing military forces in short order. In combination with our air forces there is scarcely any force in the world that can compete. They are not designed to occupy territory or suppress insurgencies or keep the peace. Superpower or not, we have limits, and our policies should respect those limits.
We have no grounds to attack Iran. If Iran were to have nuclear weapons, which they do not, they would still not be a threat to us, not imminent or otherwise. They have not the wherewithal to deliver these to our soil. Israel is another matter. Europe is another matter. Russia is another matter, as is Pakistan and so on. So why is it that we insist on being the biggest baddest hardnose about Iran on the planet? If Russia is willing to entertain the possibility of Iran slipping a nuke to the Chechen rebels, why should we be so fearful? If not, why not let them lead the enforcement parade? Does anyone actually believe that nuclear weapons in Iranian hands are inherently more dangerous than nuclear weapons in Pakistan’s hands, or North Korean hands?
The NPT is probably a walking dead man. It is not our nation’s job to enforce it. That job belongs to the UN Security Council. If and when the Council can muster the will to use force to enforce it, we may then negotiate the force structure required to do the job.
North Korea, having withdrawn from the NPT, is beyond it. The parties most threatened by the RNK are Japan and South Korea. Should Japan go nuclear in response, that then threatens China. We are not actually threatened, unless we should attack North Korea. The question is, if Japan, South Korea, and China are willing to live with a nuclear RNK, then why should we care? If not, then the question is what pressures they are willing to apply themselves and what pressures do they want applied by us. Why is it that we are leading this parade? Hubris perhaps?
One poster suggested that we should return to the old adage “walk softly and carry a big stick”. There is no doubt we have a big stick, it’s the walking softly part we seem to have lost touch with.
How about Latin America¬Ö¬Ö¬Ö¬Ö
Seriously, why should we be in a snit over the President of Venezuela? He was democratically elected. He won the recall election. Similarly with Bolivia. All over South America they have generally come to the conclusion that the particular economic and social models espoused by the United States do not work well for the broad population in South America. One democracy after another is turning towards and experimenting with variant models. For this we should be upset? For this we should cheer and cooperate. We should stop demonizing Cuba. Actually there are lessons to be learned from Cuba. Their health care system and educational system are the envy of South America, and for good reason. If we can do business with the communists in China, why is it we can’t do business with the communists in Cuba? Is Cuba somehow a greater threat to us than China?
Democracy, of slightly different flavors, has become reasonably well ingrained in Latin America. A heavy hand, and the resentment that comes with it, is entirely unnecessary.
We should recognize that democracy and Islam are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The largest Muslim nation is Indonesia, which has ever so slowly migrated from being a Dutch colony to a dictatorship to a still tenuous democracy. Malaysia has gone from being a British colony then through an insurgency and finally to a thriving democracy with a high tech industry. Both have dominantly Islamic populations. It takes time, years and years of time. Apart from walking softly, we should also perhaps get back in touch with patience.

Cayambe Philo,CA-USA :

Amar Bakshi posed the following questionsÖÖÖ
Should it be a goal of the U.S. to reduce that hostility and, if so, what's the best way to do it?

Of course the U.S. should have reducing hostility as a goal; but not at the cost of our national interest. Fortunately, these rarely compete.

Now as to howÖÖ..
A couple of posters have mentioned our founding fathers, those remarkable men who formed this country and were the Shepherdís of our Constitution. As I recall, ìThey would be spinning in their gravesî and ìThey would be dismayedî at our current foreign policy. I agree wholeheartedly. We have abandoned some of the principles upon which our own foundation rests. The principle that a people has an inalienable right to create its own system of government, of governance, that power is sourced in the people who cede what they choose to the government (limited government), that they may replace the governing system should they find it does not serve them well, that no one other than the people has a say in their governance.
We should return to these principles and they should be reflected in our foreign policy. It is not for us to decide that the peoples of the Middle East shall have democratic governments. Each of these people is free to choose any form they like, be it a dictatorship, socialism, monarchy, democracy, theocracy, a mixture or whatever. The form they choose is not itself a valid cause for us to make war on them. We have no authority to change any government but our own just because we disapprove of or dislike that government. Certainly we might wish to set an example of democracy so compelling that other peoples, other nations, will wish to settle for no less. Alas, wandering so far from our own founding principles hardly does that.
We should stop demonizing other people and organizations. It corrupts the debates and dialogue with others and ourselves. To label Hezbollah and Hamas simply as ìterroristsî in our ìWar on Terrorî is to misunderstand them entirely. In both cases they derive their power within their own population not from terror, but from providing real social services to their population in sharp contrast to the corruption of their governments. Hamas did not win the election because they are terrorists. They won the election because they are more competent at delivering services than Fatah was.
Even understanding that both organizations have used the tactic of terror, i.e. an attack on civilians to further a political purpose, this tactic has only been directed at Israel. Neither organization actually threatens us. It is entirely appropriate to condemn their use of this tactic against Israel. It is entirely appropriate for Israel to defend itself against such attacks. But when the Palestinians freely elect Hamas to govern them in a fair democratic process it is stupid and insulting of the populace not to talk and engage with them. We were within our rights to withdraw our aid to the Palestinian authority, so too the Europeans. Still, we perhaps missed an opportunity to simply reduce it by the amount siphoned off in corruption by Fatah. As it is we have simply left them to swing deeper and deeper into poverty and despair, punishing the civilian population for not voting our way and being seen as doing that. Not so?
Lest anyone think my heart bleeds too much, I might also point out the hypocrisy visible across the Muslim world. The withdrawal of aid and tax revenue siphoned off by Israel has taken the PA income from 150 to 20 million a month. Might we not expect the Muslim countries to step in and fill this gap, to support Hamas in the face of Western condemnation? Too big of a burden I suppose. Lets seeÖ..Saudiís pump some 8 million barrels a day, 240 million a month. Hamas could probably do just fine with another 80 million a month, that would come to 33 cents a barrel when the barrel price has doubled to 70 dollars plus or minus over the last few years. Yup, that would be a hell of a burden to them wouldnít it?
One of our posters pointed out that this was and is a land dispute between two peoples who were intermixed on the same land going back many centuries. The fact is this particular land is of no strategic importance to us and the existence of Israel is of no strategic importance to us. We have no treaty obligation to come to their defense or they to ours. As a practical matter our political alliance with Israel is far more of a strategic liability to us than a strategic asset and that is the truth. What binds us to Israel, in spite of this, is a misplaced sense of moral obligation and our internal politics. Our policy should be to back off and let them try to settle their own land dispute in their own way without taking sides.
The ìWar on Terrorî an absurd phrase. No one goes to war against a tactic. We go to war against specific people and/or organizations of people, to include nations. In the present case we are at war with Al Qaeda for the best of reasons, self-defense as a consequence of its attack on us on Sept. 11, 2001. To that end we destroyed the Taliban government of Afghanistan for supporting and harboring Bin Laden and his organization. We have every reason to hunt him down wherever he might be with apologies due to no one. We have not done such a good job of that.
It is entirely ridiculous to compare ìthe terrorist threatî with Naziís, Fascists, Communists and the like, all of which had a basis in an existing nation-state. Magnifying the threat in apocalyptic terms, ideological terms, does nothing to help our defenses against it. This nation is threatened with attack by the Al Qaeda organization for reasons they have clearly outlined, to include our military presence in their Holy land and other Arab lands, our support of the Zionist regime in Israel, our intrusions into their culture, our support of their despots, etc., etc. It is not their hatred of our freedom or other words placed into their mouths by our politicians. It is not fascism, communism, or other isms. What they want is for Muslim people to live under Islamic governments under Islamic law with the Holy Quran being interpreted their particular way.
Al Qaeda, broadly defined to include the subgroups it networks with, is unique these days in having a worldwide reach and a willingness to attack any nation. We last saw this kind of phenomenon with the Palestinian attacks on ships, airplanes, the Olympics, etc. We are and should be at war with Al Qaeda. Given the scope of its attacks, on us, on several European countries, on Jordan, on Saudi Arabia, in Tunisia, Kenya, Pakistan, etc., etc. we have been joined by most of the world in this war. There is no need to make this war bigger than it actually is. The need is to win the war we actually have and this is most dependent on the competence and efforts of our intelligence services.
We had absolutely no just cause to invade Iraq. They were no threat to us, they did not attack us, and they did not harbor anyone involved with 9/11. The UN did not authorize the attack. Having done the unthinkable, we are obligated to do as little further damage as possible. We have provided them with a 3-year well-intentioned window of opportunity to form a democratic government. We have proven to be poor administrators and occupiers. It is time for us to go, leaving this government to sink or swim. It may sink into civil war or the Sunni and the Shia may work out what they must work out. We need to withdraw in a manner that protects the Kurdish and Jordanian interests, tries to limit any chaos to the Baghdad region, and prevents Syria or Iran from moving in. If and when there is an outcome we should humbly accept it. Whatever shape it takes will properly reflect the Iraqi people. There is a lesson in this, the same lesson we learned in Viet Nam. Democracy is not something that can be imposed or sustained by an external force of arms.
We have created a ìfailed stateî where none existed. We can only hope that the brutal societal norms of the Iraqis will in good time be turned on all foreigners to include the visitors from Al Qaida.
We are not the worldís policemen. We have not the authority and are not equipped to play the role. Consider our ground forces. They are designed to close with and destroy opposing military forces in short order. In combination with our air forces there is scarcely any force in the world that can compete. They are not designed to occupy territory or suppress insurgencies or keep the peace. Superpower or not, we have limits, and our policies should respect those limits.
We have no grounds to attack Iran. If Iran were to have nuclear weapons, which they do not, they would still not be a threat to us, not imminent or otherwise. They have not the wherewithal to deliver these to our soil. Israel is another matter. Europe is another matter. Russia is another matter, as is Pakistan and so on. So why is it that we insist on being the biggest baddest hardnose about Iran on the planet? If Russia is willing to entertain the possibility of Iran slipping a nuke to the Chechen rebels, why should we be so fearful? If not, why not let them lead the enforcement parade? Does anyone actually believe that nuclear weapons in Iranian hands are inherently more dangerous than nuclear weapons in Pakistanís hands, or North Korean hands?
The NPT is probably a walking dead man. It is not our nationís job to enforce it. That job belongs to the UN Security Council. If and when the Council can muster the will to use force to enforce it, we may then negotiate the force structure required to do the job.
North Korea, having withdrawn from the NPT, is beyond it. The parties most threatened by the RNK are Japan and South Korea. Should Japan go nuclear in response, that then threatens China. We are not actually threatened, unless we should attack North Korea. The question is, if Japan, South Korea, and China are willing to live with a nuclear RNK, then why should we care? If not, then the question is what pressures they are willing to apply themselves and what pressures do they want applied by us. Why is it that we are leading this parade? Hubris perhaps?
One poster suggested that we should return to the old adage ìwalk softly and carry a big stickî. There is no doubt we have a big stick, itís the walking softly part we seem to have lost touch with.
How about Latin AmericaÖÖÖÖ
Seriously, why should we be in a snit over the President of Venezuela? He was democratically elected. He won the recall election. Similarly with Bolivia. All over South America they have generally come to the conclusion that the particular economic and social models espoused by the United States do not work well for the broad population in South America. One democracy after another is turning towards and experimenting with variant models. For this we should be upset? For this we should cheer and cooperate. We should stop demonizing Cuba. Actually there are lessons to be learned from Cuba. Their health care system and educational system are the envy of South America, and for good reason. If we can do business with the communists in China, why is it we canít do business with the communists in Cuba? Is Cuba somehow a greater threat to us than China?
Democracy, of slightly different flavors, has become reasonably well ingrained in Latin America. A heavy hand, and the resentment that comes with it, is entirely unnecessary.
We should recognize that democracy and Islam are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The largest Muslim nation is Indonesia, which has ever so slowly migrated from being a Dutch colony to a dictatorship to a still tenuous democracy. Malaysia has gone from being a British colony then through an insurgency and finally to a thriving democracy with a high tech industry. Both have dominantly Islamic populations. It takes time, years and years of time. Apart from walking softly, we should also perhaps get back in touch with patience.

shiloh, FL, USA :

To JVD: "We hold these truths to be self-evident;" from the Roman Empire to the naval supremacy of Britain, superpowers of their time are imperialistic. The US is no exception. The Cheney/Rumsfeld (Bolton/Wolfowitz) agenda is spelled out in the "Project for a New American Century" (September 2000), q.v. and this Bush presidency is the vehicle for that ideological agenda.

from Ambrose Beirce "The Devils' Dictionary" :

FELON, n. A person of greater enterprise than discretion, who in embracing an opportunity has formed an unfortunate attachment.

may Rumsfeld, Cheney, all the bushes, and DealAide, join the Cunning Ham........and complicit congress members in being identified with this word, with one caveat......

"convicted" should appear in front of the word felon, the back half is already true.

thanks so much, thanks so much

TJ, Somereset,US :

The best way to REDUCE terrorim (One can't stop it anymore than one can stop crime by a criminal) is indeed change the very policies which give rise to anger and hatred.

And the #1 POLICY that is DESPISED my people of the region universally is the blatant, one-sided, domestic American politics of appeasement of those with a pro-Israeli slant.

The US was loved in the region before Israel was created, precisely because it was viewed as an anti-colonial power unlike it British and French counterparts.

But ever since Truman chose to recognize Israel because of fear of repurcussions from the Jewish voters and subsequent increasing influence and pressure of Zionist lobby groups to direct American policy in the region in Israel's favor at the expense of native Palestinians; it has become clear why they 'hate us.'

Just look at the Bush administration role in the Israeli war on Lebanon and how supportive the US was in spreading fire with cluster bombs instead of urging a cease fire.

TJ, Somereset,US :

The best way to REDUCE terrorim (One can't stop it anymore than one can stop crime by a criminal) is indeed change the very policies which give rise to anger and hatred.

And the #1 POLICY that is DESPISED my people of the region universally is the blatant, one-sided, domestic American politics of appeasement of those with a pro-Israeli slant.

The US was loved in the region before Israel was created, precisely because it was viewed as an anti-colonial power unlike it British and French counterparts.

But ever since Truman chose to recognize Israel because of fear of repurcussions from the Jewish voters and subsequent increasing influence and pressure of Zionist lobby groups to direct American policy in the region in Israel's favor at the expense of native Palestinians; it has become clear why they 'hate us.'

Just look at the Bush administration role in the Israeli war on Lebanon and how supportive the US was in spreading fire with cluster bombs instead of urging a cease fire.

clarity :

requires no position.........

buddhists call it "being empty,"

rationalists call it "being in the now,"

rumi calls it "being with the friend,"

Tibetan Buddhist call it "clear light, illumination,"

what does that mean?

it means that you do not distort reality with your interactions with it.........

nor do you seek to control anothers perceptions.

a martial artist can see intent as easily as other people here a voice..........

word choice, favoring one way of expressing over another is to a person such as myself a story that others feel

but may be more valid than the one being spun, in a debate with me, there would be no winner

as I don't seek to persuade, only to expose

the truth

clear light, means that reality exists unadulterated by one who has the ability to hold themselves in an aware state

rather than working from the abstract, the model

any beginning philosopher, knows the map is not the territory.

do you?

.

ps. dear one :

you know,

it's all in the intent............

the phrase Islamo Fat cyst, when used to educate as to a specific incident of fascism located in a particular individual

rather than pointing at a horde of people who may or may not be this way or that way, but to the uneducated "seem to be,"

like the olde usage of negrah, or caste derived terminologies, a perjorative applied to a class of people

I'm a little different than most people, I can see the truth

I'm not into working with _your_ framing. I'm just interested in teaching people what it is that disinformationists are doing and how they are doing it.............

I like exposing lies, and showing people how to see them

sort of like, "teach a man to fish" rather than tell them a fish story........

get it?

.

you do understand empircism dontcha? :

how about gazing at this, and giving me your opinion?

it sorta jives with the first part of Michael Moores' Movie "Farenheit 911," when he talked about the Taliban visting Crawford yes?

begin what I'd like you to look at dear boy,

I received this in October of 2004, and I wondered at the validity of it...it's about Afghanistan and GITMO

Begin INCLUSION:

From Karl W. B. SchwarzPresident, Chief Executive Officer
Patmos Nanotechnologies, LLC

10-13-2004

By Email, By Facsimile to White House

Mr. President,

I am a Conservative Christian Republican that has no intentions of
voting for you in this year's election and many other Conservative
Republicans are following me.

America demands the TRUTH and not after the elections; this nation demands the truth from you RIGHT NOW! This letter and an identical email will be going out to hundreds of thousands by me, millions by others. The
following content was sent to the White House by facsimile earlier today from Ground Zero in New York City.

1. I demand as an American citizen that you lift the "gag order" on Sibel D. Edmonds and let Americans know what foreign names and what AMERICAN NAMES she uncovered in her FBI translations that were involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and the financing of 9-11.Her facts and your "official story" lies do not add up. Americans demand the truth on that matter before the election.

2. I demand to know what energy companies were in that Cheney Energy Task Force meeting and what discussions there were as to the steps that would be taken to remove the Taliban and Bridas Corporation as the last remaining obstacle to the United States controlling the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. I met that company in 1999 and have known since then about the Bridas v Unocal, $15 billion interference of contract lawsuit in US District Court, Southern District of Texas. I also know about the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on September 9, 2003 that upheld the Bridas $500 million arbitration settlement and the March 22, 2004 denial of Writ of Certiorari at the United States Supreme Court, Case 03-1018, Turkmenneft v Bridas.

3. I demand to know how many prisoners are being held at GITMO and other places that are either BRIDAS EMPLOYEES or are persons that know all about Bridas Corporation and what your administration did to get control of that Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

4. I demand to know how many board meetings Condoleezza Rice and Thomas Kean sat in on at Chevron and Amerada Hess where it was discussed how they were going to deal with making the billions in "Big Oil"
investments into a land locked Caspian Basin and how to get rid of the Taliban and Bridas so they could turn those investments into cash flow. How many times did Big Oil ask for military force to complete a commercial transaction
they could not get under their control, and on what exact date did you agree to provide such military force - prior to 9-11? Isn't it true Mr. Bush that the Cheney Energy Task Force discussed that attack on Afghanistan and removal of the Taliban / Bridas obstacle once and for all - and did so well in advance of 9-11?
5. I demand to know why you appointed 10 persons to the 9-11 Commission, 8 of which are directly benefiting by the Taliban / Bridas "contract" obstacle being removed - breached with military force, and the big Caspian Oil deals that are now coming to market. No, America does not 'thank you' for that nor do we hold such despicable conduct up high.

6. I demand to know what US Oil Company stepped up as the sponsor of that OPIC and Asia Development Bank funded Trans-Afghanistan pipeline and what US company is constructing that pipeline right now, and what US firms are supplying the key components and their relationship to your administration.

7. I demand that you identify the company and persons who were going around Bridas to be "natural gas suppliers" to the US owned natural gas electrical generation plants in Pakistan (Dynegy - Illinova /Tenaska, El Paso (2 OPIC financed transactions) and others.

8. I demand to know why you have not been truthful with the American public that your GWOT and military policy are protecting the Caspian Basin Oil and Gas deals for many of your Bush Pioneers, some $9.6 trillion in oil and about $3 trillion in natural gas, now mostly in the hands of your elite wealthy contributors and some elite Liberals to keep this all quiet.

9. I demand to know what role the post-bankruptcy ENRON (Prisma Energy International, Cayman Islands) is playing in the Caspian Basin area, the same Enron that uses the law firm of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw [Richard Ben Veniste, 9-11 Commission] that established the offshore SPE's for assets that were never under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

10. I demand to know why you appointed Richard Ben Veniste to the 9-11 Commission when it was his law firm that was stalling Bridas Corporation at the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals in the matter of Bridas Corporation v.Turkmenneft and his law firm is directly involved in Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and your administration.

11. I demand to know the exact date of the order that had our military practicing in early 2001 the invasion of Afghanistan to take out the Taliban and Bridas Corporation and make that pipeline under control of US interests, many of your Bush Pioneers, and the exact date that our military started practicing and preparing for that invasion.

12. I demand to know who Remington Holdings Ltd is, and Western Acquisitions, Inc, both Baker & Botts clients and the lucky recipients of OPIC financing to acquire oil and gas deposits in Pakistan.

Who are the parties involved in those entities by name and benefited from such governmental magnanimity? Is this transaction a payoff? Since American taxpayers are footing the bill, we have the right to know - right now.

13. I demand to know why you could not find 10 people to sit on the 9-11 Commission that are not directly benefiting from the actions you have taken and the lives you have cost or otherwise ruined. Why would you select people not motivated to find the truth for that would impact "their bottomline"?

14. I demand a full disclosure from your administration as to the Citibank / IFTRIC / OPIC / Export-Import Bank financing of American /Israeli based deals in Islamic nations on behalf of your major campaign contributors. "IFTRIC and Citibank have an agreement allowing Citibank to finance approved IFTRIC-backed transactions. Citibank Israel CEO Nandan Mar said: 'The Citibank branch, and the Structured Trade Finance Group, view IFTRIC's program as a basic product for the bank's domestic activities.' " I see distinct differences between "terrorism" and "outrage"
(Shurtan II) at your policies.

15. I demand to know why you wanted an entire new division of the CIA for Argentina. As an American citizen I take umbrage to your belligerence towards a nation that is not an enemy of the United States by any stretch of the imagination, except possibly yours. It is abundantly clear that your intentions were solely to intimidate Argentina and
Argentinabased Bridas Corporation into silence and that is NOT AMERICA. That has every appearance of the United States acting as the terrorist and a state sponsor of terrorism. Yes, you are wrapped in a flag but I clearly see that it is not the one you purport it to be.

16. I demand to know why your administration has never disclosedthat DynPort Vaccine, LLC, owned by DynCorp and now owned by Computer Sciences Corporation, a Bush Pioneer, is a possible source for where the weaponized Ames Strain of anthrax came from that was used against this nation. How did your administration manage to miss one of your campaigncontributors and a company doing large volumes of business with your administration and even being known euphemistically (DynCorp) as The Mercenary Company? Who put that Contract on America?

17. I demand to know how you can claim a pretense of being a Christian while sponsoring and condoning the torture of prisoners, including sodomizing children, at Abu Ghraib prison.

18. I demand to know how your administration can send firms overseas as "representatives of this nation" that were convicted of running a flesh trade in little girls in Bosnia, specifically one DynCorp. Convicted in Texas and the United Kingdom according to reports I have seen and apparently detested in Afghanistan. You do recall that DynCorp is the company providing security to protect your puppet Karzai in Afghanistan and your other puppet Zalmay Khalilzad is deterring anyone from running for President in that bogus "free" democracy?

19. I demand to know why your administration keeps running the name and photos of Adnan G. El Shukrijumah as the"dirty bomb boogeyman" and on March 25, 2003 the FBI knew exactly where to find him and did not go after him.
That telephone call was made from my telephone by a Canadian friend that was in Little Rock on that date, Mr. Bush, so do not pretend "national security" with me.
I am "first person" on this matter and all of America deserves to know the extent that your administration has been and is lying to us all - and someone that is not Al Qaeda is probably "dropping a suspect name" as they set up a dirty bomb attack. Sure have pushed up the oil and gas prices with your strategy though, guess we can consider that another "Mission Accomplished".

20. I demand to know why your administration keeps referring to Adnan G. El Shukrijumah as a "Saudi" when the FBI knows full well he is not Saudi. His family is from Guyana in South America and they have lived in Florida since 1986 without incident. His grandparents were from Yemen, moved long ago to South America and his mother is from Trinidad & Tobago.

21. I demand to know why you alerted India, Pakistan and "Axis of Evil" member Iran of your intentions to attack the Taliban / Bridas well before 9-11, and not notify the citizens of this nation. That matter was reported on June 26, 2001 in India newspapers.
22. I demand to know the exact date that the first meeting, first page of the Patriot Act was started by your administration.
23. I demand to know why it is you, your backers, certain Democrats that apparently "hate our freedoms" more than these purported GWOT Islamic fundamentalists, hence the Patriot Act that treats all Americans with the same degree of contempt and disdain you treat all non-wealthy Americans.

24. I demand to know why Homeland Security is protecting this government and not protecting this nation.

25. I demand to know why any dissent or objections to your Orwellian, imperialistic, pro-corporate agenda is referred to the Homeland Security Counter-Terrorism Division.

26. I demand to know why you defile everything you touch and try to twist it into something that is pro-Bush Backers and anti-American citizens and then try to alter our rights as Americans via Patriot Act measures
that are designed to force America into submission and does nothing to protect this nation, only this government.

27. I demand to know why your administration is planning a "pro-Bush Pioneers pharmaceutical program" derived from TMAP (Texas Medical Algorithm Project) and PENNMAP (Tom Ridge, Pennsylvania) to have Americans tested under guidelines prepared by your Bush Pioneers and force psychotropic drugs on Americans.

28. I demand to know why your administration keeps injecting our troops with an anthrax vaccine known to be deadly and harmful to the health of our soldiers and now apparently wish to inject that into all Americans under Project BioShield and martial law. Is that why you have no concern whatsoever for the 3 million jobs lost, for between your TMAP lunacy and Project BioShield lunacy, well over 3 million Americans could perish if the same statistical rates hit the general population as has hit our military? Can you explain away Holocaust with "brilliant strategy policy" driven by unmitigated greed?

29. I demand to know why Li Ka-shing was denied Global Crossing on national security grounds (very public) yet allow him in the back door in Savi Technology (not disclosed), the RFID technology company that is purportedly protecting our ports from insertion of a nuclear bomb into this nation via "ocean going containers". How many doors are left wide open by your administration in this GWOT Fable?

30. I demand to know why you search the world for mythical terrorists and cannot find robber barons and financial terrorist right under your nose. That many of them are Bush Pioneers and even backers of the Democratic Party, and have plundered the investors, workers and citizens of this nation, is very apparent to Americans and not very pro-family on your part.

Christians do not lie, Mr. Bush, for that is an affront to God. A Christian would not willfully mislead this nation, nor send our troops into Harm's Way for a lie while your wealthy contributors take over a $9.6 trillion oil, $3.0 trillion natural gas deal and already maneuvering for Africa. You are proving to the world that you are terrified of the truth and have impeded every investigation into the truth.

Your actions prove that you are not an upstanding Christian, nor are you a Conservative Republican worthy of that designation.

Your position as President does not make you unaccountable to the citizens of this nation, nor does it entitle you to act as a tyrant, an emperor, or serving only those Americans that dole out money for your political ambitions and agendas. I see no "stewardship" in your conduct whatsoever.

You have "Mission Accomplished" three times - the removal of Taliban / Bridas to control that pipeline, radically escalated the price of oil and gas for some of your major backers, and the death and maiming of many due
to your lies. Your "Iraq Strategery" makes perfect sense to me, since all of you needed a diversion away from Afghanistan, the Caspian Basin and what you did to Bridas Corporation to get control of that $9.6 trillion in oil, $3
trillion in natural gas.

Go back home and wrap yourself in the flag of Texas and the shame you alone are responsible for creating. Your resume is your doing and yours alone.
If you were running against me this year, you would not have the guts to stay on the stage in a debate with me.

Shame on all of you, both sides of the aisle that have lied to America and gotten so many killed and maimed for a lie, and no, I am not an antiwar person. Just adamantly opposed to what you stand for, for that is lower than Clinton on his worst day.

Sincerely,

Karl W. B. Schwarz
President, Chief Executive Officer
Patmos Nanotechnologies, LLC
END TRANSMISSION:

just curious.
Wondering if you could shed some light shed on the subject...the validity of itÖ

you know complicit congress and all, murder for oil, that kind of thing, thanks.

oh, how interesting... :

valid "conservative view," is that different from an empirical cognitive process......

it seems like your conservative filter implies that you put some "opinion" on it?

yes?

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Anonymous one, you are always most eloquent in your surprisingly convincing rebuttals of people's arguments. I'm only getting paid in units of satisfaction that a valid conservative view is being communicated.

dear amsterdammer.... :

Islamo FatCysts are what are growingin your head...

knock of the garbage......

thousands of people have died, because the United States Executive Branch, and a couplea Internationals, Saudi/UAE, want to control the oil market....

ala the Hunt Brothers, who controled the silver market in the early 70's..........silver went from 5 to $54 a troy ounce within a few months.....

there is no connection between 9/11 and the Iraqi people, therefore, the United States _has_ invaded a country that has done nothing to the United States........

and in doing so has incited a CIVIL WAR.........

dearest jvd70, Amsterdam, NL....

how much yah gettin paid? thanks so much for helping the world to support an Idi Amin like tyrant....

hope you get one soon in your Neighborhood, maybe Kim Il Jong will start seeing your hair stylist?

get a job.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

TO: shiloh,

You are engaging in a semantic process that I can't agree with; you say 'because the us is the only superpower it is imperial' and then you call that evidence. Being a superpower does not imply being imperial, it just is a statement about the reach of a nation's power, not the use it is being put to. My entire argument was based around the idea that the use the US puts its power to is not imperial and I would invite you to invalidate the argument. You are also implying that there is consensus on what the "Cheney/Rumsfeld agenda" is without spelling it out, that doesn't provide any proof. Even the neoconservatives seek to found liberal democracies allover the world, wouldn't that be anathema to any imperial ambition?

TO: Abdi Goud Musa,

1) "previous American adminstrations sided with whomever in whereever one's human rights were violated."

No, the reality of the cold war gave rise to exceptions to that statement such as Vietnam, Indonesia, some other SE Asian countries, Chile, Nicaragua and some other South American countries, South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, most of the Middle East, most of Africa. In the cold war respect for human rights was secondary to denying communism a foothold and few questioned these priorities. Only after the fall of the Soviet Union did human rights gain center stage and the Bush administration has not been silent on the subject even when other nations were (Russia, China, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, North Korea, etc) That's not to say the Bush adminisration has a stellar record on human rights but it's much better than for example that of the Johnson administration.

2) "no matter where one came from one's individual rights were protected in the United States as well as overseas."

Not when one was Japanese during the 2nd world war or of African or Native American descent well into the 1960s. "Now thousands and thousands of Arabs and Muslims are in American jails without due process and legal representation." Could you quote sources to substantiate that? Guantanamo houses roughly 450.

3) "... U.S. is ilserved by using hard power i.e. military might."

It worked against the Nazis, Japanese, Saddam's Iraq both times, in Korea and in many other instances including against the English in the US war of Independence, Military might even helped bring down the Soviet Union.

You seem to be trying to paint a pretty picture of the US having an idealized (but historically inaccurate) past only to demonize the current US administration in contrast. Also as for Israel you will find them to have been a most willing partner for peace each time there was a prospect for peace, the implication that Israel is targeting civilians intentionally homes from a biased reading of history.

TO: Cayambe,

The anti US sentiments in South America go back decades if not centuries, they've not been strengthened recently. The exception being Mr. Chavez who does so out of populism and out of some ill defined antiglobalist solidarity with the 'oppressed' (unless they're Cuban dissidents or Tibetans). Anti US sentiments are strengthening in the Arab world mostly because of government propaganda, which is strongly antisemitic and which insists on demonizing US intentions in the Middle East and in the war on terror. Nothing would please radical Islamists more than having more people believe the war on terror is a war on Islam. It seems the state owned Arab media feel no reason to temper the flames.

Israel is a thriving democracy, it is acting in self defense. And, Israel is not expansionist, if it was it would now be in posession of at least the Sinai, Gaza and Southern Lebanon. The point in bombing Lebanon was to stop the terror against Israeli civilians. Imagine a Mexican terror group bombing San Jose, CA telling the Latinos who live there to evacuate, apologising when Latinos are killed but not when "Americans" are killed. Israel faces such a racist and terrorist enemy in Hezbollah who has demonstrably sought to kill only Jews. By firing missiles from villages, Hezbollah seems to have intended for Israeli retaliation to cause Lebanese civilians to die. I can't blame Israel for trying to save its own people, and we can blame Hezbollah for the ruthless manner in which it has exposed the people it claims to want to help to the Israeli counterstrike. This was not a victory for Hezbollah, it gained them recognition from fellow antisemitic racists who would have considered anything a victory, it gained them fear from the non-Shia Lebanese population and thus undermined their legitimacy and the prospects for democracy in Lebanon. I don't see how Hezbollah can ever play this card again.

I mostly agree with your analysis of Iraq except for that Saddam posed no threat to the US. He demonstrated what stupidity he was capable of when invading Kuwait, a thing he must have known he would never get away with. A host of more or less coherent justifications for the war existed (Chemical WMD, terrorist (e.g. Hamas) support, Kurdish/Shia oppression, attempt on Bush Sr's life, democratization of the ME, security of energy reserves and friendly regimes). With Secretary Rumsfeld's naieve understanding of tactical realities in dismissing the advice of pentagon post war plans (requiring at least 450.000 troops) it all seemed feasible. Still, the Americans have no policy of genocide, repression or long term occupation in Iraq and the voices that shout the loudest against it fall silent when Sudan's policies in Darfur are discussed.

All,

Despite Orwellian fears, we can use the term Islamofascism with semantic blessing.

Let's grab a dictionary. Fascism is: "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism."

Islam is: "A monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God."

So Islamofascism is a "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism that accepts the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God."

It seems to apply to at least one nation and to the aspirations of Al Quaeda.

In this debate it often is necessary to be careful of what is being said but we should not seek to censor ourselves out of a fear that the opposition has no access to a dictionary. Fascism is a very loaded term and so it should be used only when it is accurate. And in this case, it simply is.

Rabiti :

If we realize that as people from a country
with just 300 hundred years of history colored by slavery and genocide that we have nothing to teach to third world regions with over 2000 years of rich history and cuture and mind our own business and thus set our country right, then we do not have to worry about any nation doing harm to us!

Cayambe, Philo, CA-USA :

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. wrote:
“I posted these comments on the other question in WP: "Is Iran just trying to buy time? Should the UN negotiate………..”

First, my complements on your piece. It is very impressive. I agree with a lot of it.

You pose the right basic question in your second paragraph. The obvious answer is that we, or any other nation, have no particular authority to dictate what other sovereign nations may or may not do within their sovereign bounds, beyond treaty commitments to which they and we have freely committed ourselves. The NPT currently provides us no cause for war. Iran is entitled to process their own uranium to provide fuel for their reactors. If and when they reach the point where they have the capacity and technology to process it further into weapons grade material and they elect to do that, we then have a real beef under the NPT. By that time they will no doubt pull a North Korea and withdraw from the NPT treaty putting us back to the position of not having a cause for war.

You are correct. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. In reality it was out of the bottle with the very first nation to have one¬Ö.us. What the world needs to do now is focus on making the offensive use of nuclear weapons a dead certain suicidal act, recognizing that such weapons really do serve a valid defensive purpose. witness Israel, India, Pakistan, and, in time, Iran.

You wrote: “Having said that, what is happening to Palestinians is no different from holocaust that Hitler unleashed on Jewish population.”

With this I must take exception. No doubt the wrath of the Jewish Lobby will descend upon thee. Israel is not herding the Palestinians into ovens or lining them up next to ditches before shooting them, at least not as a government policy. Basically they are just trying to squeeze them off of as much good land as possible so Israel can have it. They are not above being somewhat brutal in the manner of squeezing either.

I don’t agree with you about “empowering” the UN to “negotiate and act”. It is too many levels away from a worldwide electorate and it might free the Secretary General from the clutches of the dysfunctional Security Council. That could be dangerous.

I have to basic quarrel with the path you outline for dealing with Iran. However, we should clearly understand that we have a very weak hand to play and they have the strong one. Unfortunately, the punitive action you mention excludes force, as there is simply no basis for it from us, the UN, or anyone else. What we are left with is whether the Iranians are willing to sell their right to enrich fuel and at what cost. Of course this won’t be the last such negotiation, as a number of other countries will then line up to sell off their right to make fuel as well. As I said, I believe the nuclear genie is out of the bottle and the only real question left is his rate of expansion. As one panelist put it, “Get used to it!”

James, Laurel, United States

James, I fully support your #1 and its reasoning. But I would stop there and skip #2-3.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA wrote:
“Take equality of women for example. Clearly there's a difference of opinion on this. On some issues- ie, honor killings, denied civil rights- we should NOT give in. If there's disagreement, so be it.”

I could use some clarification of the circumstances under which you conceive we would or would not be “giving in”. Rights, civil or otherwise, are created by an agreement among a people and are meaningful only to the extent that these same people enforce them. Within the jurisdiction of the USA women are equal. In Saudi Arabia (among many other nations), they are not. We may certainly be of the opinion that they should be, but that doesn’t make it so for Saudi women in a Saudi jurisdiction.

I bring it up because this is a dangerous path. At one point in the formation of Iraqs laws we found the rights of Iraqi women becoming an element of our domestic US political debate. In giving them the opportunity to form a democracy are we to dictate what their civil rights must be? Is this “freedom”, or is this “freedom to do what we think best for thee”? How different is this from the difference in attitude between Europe and the USA regarding the death penalty? Are we to war over such things?

‘The world is growing in anti-Americanism because we are violently imposing our will on the rest of the world such that even our own Founding Fathers would be ASHAMED of our conduct.”

Precisely right, it is contrary to our most basic principles, the right of a people to determine and create their own government, and overthrow it should it not serve them.

Millersville, Maryland wrote:
1. Withdraw all of troops out of the Middle East.
2. Articulate and implement a Neutrality Doctrine to all Middle Eastern countries.
3. Stop giving Israel arms and military supplies.
4. Treat the leaders and people of all Middle East countries with respect. (the same way we want to be treated)

Pretty good start.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA wrote:
If this logic were really acceptable, then Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba would all be justified in attacking the United States immediately. They wouldn't be justified by any fundamentalist code or socialist ideology- they would be justified by the EXACT SAME line of reasoning promoted by the Bush administration.

You cannot justify pre-emption without an imminent threat. That we did so in Iraq was a huge mistake and a terrible precedent. I suppose now we shall have to re-write our history of WWII to recognize the lack of perfidy by the Japanese when they took out Pearl Harbor.

vd70, Amsterdam, NL

You write very well but I would take issue with a few things.
1. The current anti-american sentiment is broadly spread across many many countries and the focus of it, the cause of it, is hardly restricted to Iran, Syria, and North Korea. South America has long been upset by our heavy hand in Columbia, Peru, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Bolivia, Cuba, etc. Pakistan didn’t particularly like our sanctions on them. The Saudis didn’t like our military presence in their country. Muslims in general took issue with our clear support of Israel in all circumstances. And so on.
2. I would not deny that Israel is a thriving democracy, the only one in the Middle East as Iraq is clearly not thriving. However, nowhere is it written that a thriving democracy cannot also be aggressive, ambitious, and expansionist at the same time. A fellow by the name of Begin made no secret of his goal of taking Judea and Samaria into Israel once again, i.e. the occupied west bank. And so on.
3. No doubt the incursion by a Hezbollah unit justified Israel to take actions in self-defense. The actual actions it took went well beyond what was necessary and, in retrospect, advisable. It is not at all apparent that the massive bombing campaign throughout all of Lebanon degraded Hezbollah’s offensive capability in the least, and their defense in the South never broke despite a large counter-invasion by Israel. In the game of expectations, Hezbollah got an impressive victory.
4. We had no cause to invade Iraq. Had all of the intelligence been true, we still had no cause to invade Iraq. Iraq was at no time an imminent threat to the USA, not even with nuclear weapons in hand. They had not the means to deliver them to targets in the USA. And they had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 nor were they harboring any of those who did. But, in a breakdown of our national norms, we did invade Iraq. We have spent three years and 2500 lives providing them the opportunity to build a democratic government, It will probably fail. We need to leave in a manner that does not endanger Jordan or the Kurds and let the Shia and Sunni’s work out what they need to work out between them. We can’t do that for them and as long as we are around they won’t do it themselves.

Casey - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - USA :

A worldwide popular America? Never! Most of the comments about this subject come from those not around that long to remember "The Ugly American," or pre World WarII, when USA arrogance, and lack of prudence, were criticisms all the vogue. The same ugly insults by bloggers on this site aimed at the USA, in particular the Bush Adminstration, were heard back then from outside America, and will continue into tomorrow. Europeans led the clatter, forgetting themselves their centuries of warfare and brutal empires.As with the bloggers of today every move made for the world's betterment by Americans was met with derision, really hateful stuff. It all came then from around the world so if you want to get an eyeful of what was said then, check out Huffingtonpost.com.............all contributions by "experts," of today, of course.

Stephen W. Lewis, Salt Lake City, UT USA :

America's goals re hostility and a directive for the future?

Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice were on display in Salt Lake City yesterday and today, at political fund raisers and at the American Legion convention. Privately they met with families who had lost sons in Iraq and Afganistan. There, words of care and comfort were offered.

At the public lecturn Rice was mostly moderate, Rumsfeld bellicose, and Bush stern in his warning to Iran. The shrill, strident voice of Rumsfeld and Bush's talk of Islamic fascism left one with the impression that both are firmly engaged and connected to the growing global hostility frenzy.

A quest for global harmony and acceptance of diversity is the laudatory theme many Americans wish to embrace. But as their lips moved, Bush, Rumsfeld and even Senator Hatch, strongly signaled an intent to continue the ubiquitous battle at whatever cost. In numerous presentations they repeated themes of war, enemy, danger, THREAT and fear. Contrary voices - in their presence - were mostly stilled.

Salt Lake yesterday, featured one of it's historially largest protest gatherings and marches the city has ever seen. But Bush and his followers never saw nor sensed that spirit and public will. Rallies for Bush, for veterans, for military combatants and for and against Israel were also held. Bush and Iraq bashers likewise had little appetite for the Bush side shows, but there was a sense that most privately cared for the health and vitality of soldiers.

Frustration and hostility emerged in Salt Lake City yesterday. Speakers lambasted each other and the media, and generally lobbed verbal grenades at will. Crowds gathered, chanted, and mocked the other side. Posters galore, many humuorous and some obscene. A milatry parade/funerals and a caustic carnival of Bush supporters and detractors all vividly on display, most of the day.

What political leaders aspire to global harmony and do their private geo-political deeds rhyme with diminished hostility? Yesterday's raoucous ramblings left me in doubt.

Seems with the present players, the hostility will continue to boil and the moral sense to diminish the skirmish have little guide. And the cries to moderate or quiet, are they never felt or heard?

The raucous rumble of the "war on terror" trumpets loud and the path, the mantra, "On with our mission, the threat, democracy unfold." Bush, Rumsfeld and Utah's Senator Hatch lead the charge.

Grace or more calamity, round the next corner for us Americans?

And that best way - reduction of hostility?
Raise politicians with bigger hearts and ears and find a public possessed with powerful moderating prayers?

Abdi Goud Musa, Connecticut, USA :

yes, the U.S. has to reduce that hostility and have to go back to what made the United States of America's democrazy the envy of the whole world : Respect for human rights, respect for individual rights, and what an American Harvard professor called" Soft Power."
First, what made United States of America popular and the center of admiration of all mankind from all the corners of the world is the respect for human rights. Whether it was was in the former Soviet Union, China, or South Africa American people and the previous American adminstrations sided with whomever in whereever one's human rights were violated.
Second, no matter where one came from one's individual rights were protected in the United States as well as overseas.Guilt by association and group punishment was illegal here before Septemper 11, 2001. Now thousands and thousands of Arabs and Muslims are in American jails without due process and legal representation.
Third, though I do not remember his name( may be MR. Nye), I heard many times on TV and on Radio professor at Harvard who wrote a book in which he addresses about "Hard and Soft power". He argues that U.S. is ilserved by using hard power i.e. military might.
U.S. have to go back to using soft power. Tough I am US citizen and have lived in the United States of America since 1980, I am product of that soft power. I was taught by the Peace Corps in Amoud Intermediate Boarding School,Borama, in Somalia, now Somaliland.
My father and his group were helped by USAID by building dams for thier farms.
In addition, to all these, United States of America have to value the muslim and Arab lives as it values the lives of its citizens and that of Israalis.
It is unaccetabple in any book by shipping to Israel the cluster bombs that Israeli airplanes were and are dropping in civilian pupolated villages, towns and citizen in Palestine and Lebenonsince 1948.
In conclusion, as Nelson Mandela said in his address to the joint of Congress when he first came to United States of America, after his release from the twenty seven years of solitary confinement," Millions and millions of people from all colors, religoins, and races befriended the founding fathers of the United States of America through literature." The United States of America have to go back by making friends through ideas and literature not through ruining countries and killing thousands and thousands of civilians.

Abdi Goud Musa, Connecticut, USA :

yes, the U.S. has to reduce that hostility and have to go back to what made the United States of America's democrazy the envy of the whole world : Respect for human rights, respect for individual rights, and what an American Harvard professor called" Soft Power."
First, what made United States of America popular and the center of admiration of all mankind from all the corners of the world is the respect for human rights. Whether it was was in the former Soviet Union, China, or South Africa American people and the previous American adminstrations sided with whomever in whereever one's human rights were violated.
Second, no matter where one came from one's individual rights were protected in the United States as well as overseas.Guilt by association and group punishment was illegal here before Septemper 11, 2001. Now thousands and thousands of Arabs and Muslims are in American jails without due process and legal representation.
Third, though I do not remember his name( may be MR. Nye), I heard many times on TV and on Radio professor at Harvard who wrote a book in which he addresses about "Hard and Soft power". He argues that U.S. is ilserved by using hard power i.e. military might.
U.S. have to go back to using soft power. Tough I am US citizen and have lived in the United States of America since 1980, I am product of that soft power. I was taught by the Peace Corps in Amoud Intermediate Boarding School,Borama, in Somalia, now Somaliland.
My father and his group were helped by USAID by building dams for thier farms.
In addition, to all these, United States of America have to value the muslim and Arab lives as it values the lives of its citizens and that of Israalis.
It is unaccetabple in any book by shipping to Israel the cluster bombs that Israeli airplanes were and are dropping in civilian pupolated villages, towns and citizen in Palestine and Lebenonsince 1948.
In conclusion, as Nelson Mandela said in his address to the joint of Congress when he first came to United States of America, after his release from the twenty seven years of solitary confinement," Millions and millions of people from all colors, religoins, and races befriended the founding fathers of the United States of America through literature." The United States of America have to go back by making friends through ideas and literature not through ruining countries and killing thousands and thousands of civilians.

shiloh, FL, USA :

To jvd: In the generic, imperialism denotes dominance. As the world's only superpower the United States is imperial. That is evidence enough of American Imperialism, but the Cheney/Rumsfeld agenda is proof positive.

Tom Wonacott, Meridian, Idaho :

Regarding >:

Much of the hostility will die down toward the US if Israel returns to the 1967 borders? This seems highly unlikely to me.

1. Iran, Syria and Hezbollah do not recognize Israel's right to exist. The President of Iran has stated his preference for wiping Israel out, and when asked by Mike Wallace, at least moved to Europe.

Israel recently moved from Gaza and withdrew from Lebanon, and as a result, were attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah from the areas they withdrew from.

The use of terrorism to influence foreign policy will not stop in the future if this method is used successfully today. It is a world-wide epidemic that is clearly getting worse. Most of it is tied to radical Islam.

realist with eyes and ears :


Hey US,

The situation is much better. The guarantee above (in the prev. post) comes from mohamad ali, phoenix, usa (Post at August 31, 2006 05:53 PM).

realist with eyes and ears :

Hey US,

"The biggest thing the US can do is to be FAIR.
...The US only implements UN resolutions by force when they are against muslim/arab nations.
Give the palestinains their rights, make israel go back to 1967 borders and I promise you much of the hostility to US postions will
die down." And for that you have the guarantee of ... a nameless poster (at August 31, 2006 06:09 PM). So what's the problem GlobUS?

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Calling the US "Imperialist" is rewriting history.

Daniel you wrote: "... even before Reagan, the rough sketches of what Imperial America would look like began to develop under Johnson in South-East Asia. Times have changed since the Marshall Plan. That was a high point for our society, but we cannot continue to justify the imperialism of today with our past good deeds. I think that would insult the memory of that generation."

During the cold war the US doctrine of containment (of communism and the Soviet Union) far prevailed over any imperialist motive, the intent has always been to preserve democracy or barring that to preserve a free market. The US has, to my knowledge, never exclusively monopolized market access and never laid down an imperialist doctrine. Quite the contrary, with the fall of the Berlin wall a great many nations turned to liberal democracy. The US, especially under Reagan, has been actively involved in creating this freedom despite the influx of vast numbers of well educated low wage laborers into the world economy. Very recently, President Bush visited India and seeks to assist it in developing nuclear energy to power its growing economy for the very same reason.

As the middle classes in nations such as China, India and Brazil become larger and wealthier, its people will vote with their wallet. They will demand product, service and environmental safety standards, ownership and investment securities, the rule of law, government accountability. In short they will demand services that only a liberal democracy can truly provide. Liberal democracy and capitalism go hand in hand, as long as the world market remains relatively undisturbed China will over the course of the next few decades have to become democratic.

To call US foreign policy from 1945 to this day imperialist is not factual, it would be to rewrite history and ignore that liberal democracies won the battle against fascism and communism. The terms globalist and hegemonist do apply but the intent has been to make the world more free (conductive to the liberal democratic economy). In Iraq, if imperalism had been a motive, there would now not be a government in place that had such an unhealthy Iranian bias.

The hatred and distrust of the US is largely irrational. Many people simply delight in making President Bush appear like a fool. Some seem to prefer a nuclear armed Iran from some kind of masochist pleasure to see the Bush administration humiliated. The stakes are far too high though, the target of Iran is not Bush, it is not the US, it is the globalist liberal democratic capitalism that stands in the way of the Iranian's conceited claims. The world economy that our jobs depend upon requires the hegemony and intended operation of US-supported institutions, we can't afford to have Iran with a nuclear capability that can shut down more than 50% of the world's oil supply.

There are no solid arguments behind the idea that the US is an imperial nation, the evidence is overwhelmingly against it.

Anonymous :

The biggest thing the US can do is to be FAIR.
If the US wants to be respected and accepted as a superpower, it
should implement UN resolutions 242, 338, 194.
The US only implements UN resolutions by force when they are against muslim/arab nations.
Give the palestinains their rights, make israel go back to 1967 borders and I promise you much of the hostility to US postions will
die down.

shiloh, FL, USA :

The current American agenda was formulated in 1992 when then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and present Secretary Rumsfeld, with the assistance of Bolton, Wolfowitz, et. al. drafted what later became known as the Project for the New American Century. It laid dormant until Bush was elected and 9-11 created an opportunity to put it into practice. Ideologues Cheney and Rumsfeld have determined they were correct in formulating this new American agenda and seem hell-bent on realizing their 1992 goals, which, at best, are imperialistic in the contemporary sense. The American image abroad has been shaped by this agenda. The malignant neglect of the middle east and Israel before 9-11 and the handling of the Israel:Hezbolla, Lebanon, Hamas, Palestine crisis are outgrowths of that agenda. The virulent rhetoric is a by-product. When Americans repudiate the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice agenda at the ballot box the remedy for anti-americanism will begin.

mohamad ali, phoenix, usa :

The biggest thing america can do is to be FAIR.
If the US wants to be respected and accepted as a superpower, it
should implement UN resolutions 242, 338, 194.
The US only implements UN resolutions by force when they are against muslim/arab nations.
Give the palestinains their rights, make israel go back to 1967 borders and I promise you much of the hostility to US postions will
die down.

MikeB :

daniel, Arlington VA, USA - That suggestion was hyperboly, by the way. To be sure, there are a lot of fanatics associated with Islamic, but there are some pretty moral and decent people, too. I truely believe, if we simply got out of the Middle East, the killing and warfare would continue and build up....until the decent people got fed up with it all and introduced some sanity. By setting ourselves up as God's gift to the Arab world, we are only suceeding in making everyone over there angry at US! People will only tolerate violence and injustice for so long and, then will act to eliminate it, making their world one in which they can raise their families in peace. This may take generations to happen, but I do not think it is something we or the European's can impose.

DARAVOE :

May I point out that GERMANY was a democracy before and all during the WWII? And often hear that "ISRAEL is the only democracy" in the Middle East. Only proves democracies can be barbaric, land grabbing, inhumane, war criminals...etc., doesn't it.

Paul, Toronto, Canada :

Well, the Israelis entered the British embassy because the guy had a gun! Later determined to be a plastic replica . . .

I would like the echo the comments from my fellow Canadians. You'll hear a lot of knee-jerk anti-American comments from Canadians, but I don't think there are many of us who actually HATE Americans. Mostly, when people talk like that up here, they mean that they dislike the U.S. government and policy.

I was just in NYC last weekend and I loved it. I really enjoy visiting America and I can't say I've had much in the way of bad experiences with the sterotypical "ugly American." I've enjoyed every visit I've made to the U.S., including Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC and Salt Lake City.

There are things about the States that make us shake our heads (the gun laws for one, the horrible response to Hurricane Katrina) but I think most Canadians, if pressed to think about it, would concede that they don't really HATE Americans.

A big chunk of the rest of the world HATES America, though, and would probably gleefully kill as many of you as possible. Turning that around is a long-term battle for hearts and minds.

Cayambe, Philo, CA :

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. wrote:
ìI posted these comments on the other question in WP: "Is Iran just trying to buy time? Should the UN negotiateÖÖÖ..î

First, my complements on your piece. It is very impressive. I agree with a lot of it.

You pose the right basic question in your second paragraph. The obvious answer is that we, or any other nation, have no particular authority to dictate what other sovereign nations may or may not do within their sovereign bounds, beyond treaty commitments to which they and we have freely committed ourselves. The NPT currently provides us no cause for war. Iran is entitled to process their own uranium to provide fuel for their reactors. If and when they reach the point where they have the capacity and technology to process it further into weapons grade material and they elect to do that, we then have a real beef under the NPT. By that time they will no doubt pull a North Korea and withdraw from the NPT treaty putting us back to the position of not having a cause for war.

You are correct. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. In reality it was out of the bottle with the very first nation to have oneÖ.us. What the world needs to do now is focus on making the offensive use of nuclear weapons a dead certain suicidal act, recognizing that such weapons really do serve a valid defensive purpose. witness Israel, India, Pakistan, and, in time, Iran.

You wrote: ìHaving said that, what is happening to Palestinians is no different from holocaust that Hitler unleashed on Jewish population.î

With this I must take exception. No doubt the wrath of the Jewish Lobby will descend upon thee. Israel is not herding the Palestinians into ovens or lining them up next to ditches before shooting them, at least not as a government policy. Basically they are just trying to squeeze them off of as much good land as possible so Israel can have it. They are not above being somewhat brutal in the manner of squeezing either.

I donít agree with you about ìempoweringî the UN to ìnegotiate and actî. It is too many levels away from a worldwide electorate and it might free the Secretary General from the clutches of the dysfunctional Security Council. That could be dangerous.

I have to basic quarrel with the path you outline for dealing with Iran. However, we should clearly understand that we have a very weak hand to play and they have the strong one. Unfortunately, the punitive action you mention excludes force, as there is simply no basis for it from us, the UN, or anyone else. What we are left with is whether the Iranians are willing to sell their right to enrich fuel and at what cost. Of course this wonít be the last such negotiation, as a number of other countries will then line up to sell off their right to make fuel as well. As I said, I believe the nuclear genie is out of the bottle and the only real question left is his rate of expansion. As one panelist put it, ìGet used to it!î

James, Laurel, United States

James, I fully support your #1 and its reasoning. But I would stop there and skip #2-3.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA wrote:
ìTake equality of women for example. Clearly there's a difference of opinion on this. On some issues- ie, honor killings, denied civil rights- we should NOT give in. If there's disagreement, so be it.î

I could use some clarification of the circumstances under which you conceive we would or would not be ìgiving inî. Rights, civil or otherwise, are created by an agreement among a people and are meaningful only to the extent that these same people enforce them. Within the jurisdiction of the USA women are equal. In Saudi Arabia (among many other nations), they are not. We may certainly be of the opinion that they should be, but that doesnít make it so for Saudi women in a Saudi jurisdiction.

I bring it up because this is a dangerous path. At one point in the formation of Iraqs laws we found the rights of Iraqi women becoming an element of our domestic US political debate. In giving them the opportunity to form a democracy are we to dictate what their civil rights must be? Is this ìfreedomî, or is this ìfreedom to do what we think best for theeî? How different is this from the difference in attitude between Europe and the USA regarding the death penalty? Are we to war over such things?

ëThe world is growing in anti-Americanism because we are violently imposing our will on the rest of the world such that even our own Founding Fathers would be ASHAMED of our conduct.î

Precisely right, it is contrary to our most basic principles, the right of a people to determine and create their own government, and overthrow it should it not serve them.

Millersville, Maryland wrote:
1. Withdraw all of troops out of the Middle East.
2. Articulate and implement a Neutrality Doctrine to all Middle Eastern countries.
3. Stop giving Israel arms and military supplies.
4. Treat the leaders and people of all Middle East countries with respect. (the same way we want to be treated)

Pretty good start.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA wrote:
If this logic were really acceptable, then Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba would all be justified in attacking the United States immediately. They wouldn't be justified by any fundamentalist code or socialist ideology- they would be justified by the EXACT SAME line of reasoning promoted by the Bush administration.

You cannot justify pre-emption without an imminent threat. That we did so in Iraq was a huge mistake and a terrible precedent. I suppose now we shall have to re-write our history of WWII to recognize the lack of perfidy by the Japanese when they took out Pearl Harbor.

vd70, Amsterdam, NL

You write very well but I would take issue with a few things.
1. The current anti-american sentiment is broadly spread across many many countries and the focus of it, the cause of it, is hardly restricted to Iran, Syria, and North Korea. South America has long been upset by our heavy hand in Columbia, Peru, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Bolivia, Cuba, etc. Pakistan didnít particularly like our sanctions on them. The Saudis didnít like our military presence in their country. Muslims in general took issue with our clear support of Israel in all circumstances. And so on.
2. I would not deny that Israel is a thriving democracy, the only one in the Middle East as Iraq is clearly not thriving. However, nowhere is it written that a thriving democracy cannot also be aggressive, ambitious, and expansionist at the same time. A fellow by the name of Begin made no secret of his goal of taking Judea and Samaria into Israel once again, i.e. the occupied west bank. And so on.
3. No doubt the incursion by a Hezbollah unit justified Israel to take actions in self-defense. The actual actions it took went well beyond what was necessary and, in retrospect, advisable. It is not at all apparent that the massive bombing campaign throughout all of Lebanon degraded Hezbollahís offensive capability in the least, and their defense in the South never broke despite a large counter-invasion by Israel. In the game of expectations, Hezbollah got an impressive victory.
4. We had no cause to invade Iraq. Had all of the intelligence been true, we still had no cause to invade Iraq. Iraq was at no time an imminent threat to the USA, not even with nuclear weapons in hand. They had not the means to deliver them to targets in the USA. And they had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 nor were they harboring any of those who did. But, in a breakdown of our national norms, we did invade Iraq. We have spent three years and 2500 lives providing them the opportunity to build a democratic government, Alas enthusiasm for democracy there seems on the wane. We need to leave in a manner that does not endanger Jordan or the Kurds and let the Shia and Sunniís work out what they need to work out between them. We canít do that for them and as long as we are around they wonít do it themselves.

Getting there :

ISRAELI POLICE this afternoon "stormed" the British Embassy and grabged some guy who was asking for aslym. More proof that Israel is uncivilized. They really don't think any rules or laws apply to them do they. Why they are hated worldwide. Don't expect Bush to reply to that...he's speaking today...foaming at the mouth, literally, because Iran didn't bow to him. And he knows he'll be stymied in getting any real sanctions from the CIVILIZED world. He's screaming himself into a fury, heaped on by the Israel FIRST American jews, neocons, and Israelis right wing.
A poster above says that Israel is a fact of life and will continue.
I doubt that, more and more. The question is whether the US will, or at least with any respect in the world.

daniel :

The more I think about the impression the U.S. is having on the rest of the world the more I believe our rhetoric problem cannot be solved without a ruthless examination of the right and left in America. What concerns me the most is that the U.S. is not only a democracy but the oldest one in existence—and the one which has made the greatest effort to be a melting pot (in other words a construction out of heterogeneous elements). How is it with these stone-cold facts we have brought so much hostility upon us? I think much of the problem has to do with the feasibility of what all too many of us are not aware is perhaps the greatest social experiment ever. We are trying to integrate a multitude of various peoples into some sort of construction all nations will admire and emulate. What an immense task! It calls for next to unbelievable social artistry. But reality seems to be rearing its head. It seems we are really not as creative as we need to be in integrating all the different peoples and this causes tension within and without. We really need to study how much the U.S. military out of all proportion is a consequence of the peculiar project of the U.S. in trying to incorporate so many heterogeneous elements. Our business practices need to be seen in this light as well. Most disturbing is that at the right and left extremes of society we seem to have complete unreality. The right wing wants to go back to brutal laissez faire business-wise not to mention impose something of a Christian and tyrannical state, and the left seems to believe we can just integrate all the heterogeneous elements only if we reduce military spending drastically and move to "social generosities", etc. All across society in general we are having problems with integration and the U.S. is running up against more and more nations worldwide than ever before. I seriously doubt we can make a positive impression on the rest of the world without a serious effort to be honest about our capacities and methods of integrating various peoples. Furthermore even if we do succeed to a high degree in being a synthesis of the world and in fact the model for it to follow, we are sure not to be what much of the world wants. But we can be much of what the world wants provided we have the capacity at integration. The key is powers of integration. Right now the right wants to integrate (if it can be called that) at a quite low level (obvious organizations and practices which too often exclude). But the left is completely divorced from reality and simply believes throwing money at everyone and everything will solve the problem (the left's socialist leanings). We need to be utterly realistic about how we can go about integrating the many immigrants which come to our shores. It calls for artistry as much as science. So far I believe we are failing—or rather it is now being brought to our attention as never before and about to call forth a total examination of ourselves. I do not believe we will ever be able to correctly judge the rest of the world or even ourselves without a progressive sense of integration (and by progressive I do not mean necessarily what the left would like that word to mean in my sentence). As an example of questioning our society, let me ask if we can expect a society which tries to integrate overwhelmingly heterogenous elements to resemble a homogeneous society which is warlike and attempting to spread out far beyond its borders. Can we speak of a direct proportionality here, a type of physical law of civilization whereby we can mathematically state that the increase of heterogeneous elements within society and the methods to integrate them is directly proportional to the type of forces (not to mention methods) which enable a homogeneous society to expand and conquer other nations? I do not presume that this law exists, I only mention it by way of creative thinking and trying to shift the conversation of our nation to what we are now engaged in: trying to integrate so many peoples and yet...angering so many nations around us.

Ken McGee Louisburg, NC USA :

For over two hundred years we led by example. Might that be a good place to start again? The rest of the world is not as stupid as we would like to think. Under the current circumstanaces they can say to us "what you are shouts so loudly, we cannot hear whawt you say." Another multli-mlillion PR contract from the State Department is not going to do it. A change in the leadaership of this country would be a beginning——and the world, no doubt, knows it.

DM, New Albany, US :

The goal of the US should not be to increase or reduce any particular emotion towards it, but it most assuredly should be known for its honesty, integrity and consistency, several characteristics that have been sorely missed for quite a while now.

I find it ironic that the same people are decrying the religious blindness of the Islamic sects are at the same time trying to move the US towards a more official Christian belief system, whether that is actually in line with our Constitution and history and science or not.

I find it disheartening that our president has so little knowledge of history and foreign diplomacy that he picks the worst possible adjective for his efforts in the Middle East - a Crusade.

I find it very threatening that all a person or group has to do is call something a "war" against anything (and I include such things as the "war" on drugs, poverty and terror among others) to automatically assume executive prerogatives and powers without any reference to whether or under what conditions they could justifiably be taken.

Americanism has become almost as much a religion in and of itself as any other formal belief system. Belief systems are, by definition, irrational, not based on truth but on maintaining faith even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

It is a fact of human nature that any time there is a position of power over others a certain class of personality will be drawn to it. The truism may be that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but even more common is that power attracts the corrupt and corruptible - those who want to wield power. That is as true here as anywhere else around the world.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to MikeB-
real nice. muslim extremists are definitely some of the most dangerous people in the world right now- and you're right, if we do what you suggest they WON'T be the most dangerous people in the world anymore...

we would be...
(except honestly, we probably already are the most dangerous people in the world. I think muslim extremists are a distant second)

MikeB :

yknot.,usa - I more certain way of bring peace to not just the Middle East, but to the entire world, would be to (1) bomb Medina and Mecca to rubble, (2) sew the wreckage therafter left with salt, and (3) cut bak ont eh number of missiles we have by fairing all of them at every mosque on the planet. Destroy Islam and you deprive the some of the worst garbage in human history a refuge from whence to execute their psychotic rage. A plus to all of this is that you deprive the left of their new mascot and deprive the right of their favorite puppet used to frighten votes from the fat soap opera soccer mom crowd and bedwetters known as NASCAR dads.

yknot.,usa :


Two simple steps could start the move towards an educated and non arrogant foreign policy in the ME at least.

a] Provide lebanon with anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down Israeli aircraft that violates Lebanon's air space.

b] Deduct from the billions given Israel every year some 500 million to 750 million US dollars to give to Lebanon so that they can clean up the "cluster bombs" left behind by the Israelis.

Those two actions may be the start of a fair and rational US foreign policy that may have an effect on antiamericanism.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

plus, "ugh", I've never voted for president before. I was just barely too young for the 2000 election (although I supported Bush in that election), and didn't vote for any presidential candidate in the 2004 election, because both of them pursued policies I could not agree with (namely, the war in Iraq). I voted for candidates for other offices in 2004- I just abstained from the presidential race. I've voted in all the mid-term and local elections since I turned 18 in early 2001.

So when you say "the guy you voted for didn't win" I'm curious how you determine who "we" voted for. After all... we've primarily been talking about Iraq and Israel, and in the last presedential election, both candidates had similar positions on both these issues. Don't read anti-administration posts and assuming they're coming from Democrats.

The Democrats, with some exceptions, are just as rotten.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to ugh:
think highly of ourselves? What are you refering to exactly? I'll admit that some of my earlier posts were intentionally worded to get a rise out of people... but I stand behind the substance of all of it.

Or are you refering to what I said about doing a better job at being president? My point was that a lot of the problems we're dealing with now are the result of (1.) the invasion of Iraq, and (2.) the fiscally irresponsible budget decisions of the administration. If you take those two decisions out of the equation, almost any scenario you could come up with would put us in a better place right now.

And I don't think that's too outrageous either. Many prominent politicians, even in the Bush administration itself, advocated one or both of those steps. I'm not claiming any omniscience or special ability on my own part. I have no chip on my shoulder. The steps I outlined are highly regarded by a lot of people. I'm not saying that would solve all our problems by any means, but I think doing those two things would take care of a lot of our problems. If you read the rest of my posts, you'd realize that I'm arguing that these issues are anything BUT simple. They are nuanced, and that's why we need to keep talking about them. I like talking about them. I don't look at it as "whining", as you seem to put it.

Is that really thinking so highly of myself? Is that a chip on my shoulder? I don't see how.

Ugh :

Wow daniel....we certainly think highly of ourselves don't we? You make everything sound so simple. As I said before, get your chip off your shoulder.

you don't even have in your entire body :

the ability, the original thought to be able to write _anything_ compelling....

because, given your position, you have to lie

the light from the moon, can't outshine the sun, except in darkness

deception is a shade of truthiness and will always contain less light

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to Ugh:

Even if I had voted for someone other than Bush, that doesn't mean I have to stay quiet after the election. I don't know about you, but I think a heated exchange of ideas is democracy at its best. Bush has claimed unprecedented power, and even if you think that power is justified, you should have no problem with it being scrutinized. The investigation may turn up nothing, but given what we've seen in the last several years, I hardly see how a few probing questions qualifies as "whining". Eternal vigiliance is the price of liberty- we need to keep an eye on these things.

I could have done a MUCH better job as president. I'd have to do two simple things and I guarantee you, no matter what else happens, I would come out with a better record than Bush does now:

1. I never would have invaded Iraq
2. I would have supported a much more moderate tax cut, and more moderate growth in the military's budget

Those two steps could have been enacted by either a Republican or a Democrat, without betraying their political base. There is nothing extreme or extraordinary about either of those steps, and I promise you, regardless of who was elected in 2000 (Nader included), if they had taken those two steps, we would be in a FAR better situation than we are now.

Wallace, Alpharetta, USA :

Its difficult for me to understand why we still debate the issue of Islamic terrorism. Its real and it continues to exert its influence.

Have we forgotten the horror of 9/11? The bombings in Madrid, London, Beirut, India, Bali? The attack against the U.S.S. Cole? The repeated denial of the holocaust by Iran's President? His insistence that Israel will be "wiped from the face" of the planet? Lebanon....where Hezbollah proceeded with an unprovoked attack after kidnapping 3 Israeli soldiers? Lobbing rockets into innocent civilians? Beheadings? (watch an uncensored video to see how truly evil and muderous these people are). As well as the constant suicide
bombings that take place on a daily basis. All of these took the lives of INNOCENT people. ALLIN THE NAME OF ISLAM.

The Middle East has always been territory marked by instability and war. Unfortunately, Islam has been hi-jacked by radicals that have twisted this religion into a hateful and insane vehicle for attacking the West. When will the Islamic clerics stand up and
say "enough"! The corruption of the Koran by these radicals far exceeds anything that Western "Infidels" have done.

Israel was created by the United Nations and has a right to exist in peace. They have lived up to their commitments ONLY to be attacked and then vilified by the press and our "allies" in Europe. I can't help but ask the question....should America have simply waited for Hitler to come to the negotiating table after he had decimated Europe? We had the same idiotic "dialougue" about not interferring.
If we hadn't....German would be a much more popular language.

Why is it that America is always the "Great Satan" but the world runs to us to help the minute that there is a catastrophe? Why not go to France and ask for help? They ask, because they know that America will respond with generosity and compassion. China? How much
political abuse takes place in China with NOTHING being said or done by the world? North Korea....looks like the U.S. is alone in that one too.

Once the Iranians have developed their nuclear arsenal and actually used it to obliterate another country...how fast will you all run to the U.S. to beg for help against the mean little man running Iran?

Grow up. This is not a popularity contest. These are playing stakes so that your children will be able to have a reasonable chance to grow up without worrying about dictators that are hell bent on killing them. The world isn't going to strum a guitar and start singing "Kumbaya" anytime soon. The sooner you get over this fact the quicker that you will realize that America is doing what it needs to do.

at least I have :

an original thought, or an accurate perception, your posting is like dirty toilet tissue reused....

can you tell the difference?

original thought, insight

v.s.

stale neo conartiste's trite, unintelligent/labeling/jingoism/rascism/gawd using/deceit/misleading/appeal to emotion

you're just an untasty morsal of diatribe, a turgidness of unmoved bowel

oh, bush is simple, but :

you're simpler,

stating "your truth," the one you get paid to propagate as_if it applies...

hey little being of darkness, wanna dance, I like steppin g onstupid ants...

Ugh :

People....GET OVER IT! The guy you voted for did not win. Stop whining. I honestly doubt any of the people on this forum could do a better job. You guys remind me of those sports fans that yell out plays at the coaches during games as if they knew what they were talking about. Geez.....

the use of the words :

"terrorism," "islamo fatcysts" is to deceive and mislead,

disinformationists "by definition,"

have intent to decieve and persuade, not to inform....that is the _position_ of two or three of the posers here, and

that is the Executive Branch and Complicit Congresses _position_,

to treat the American People/Citizens like mushrooms

keep them in the dark and feed them BS.

homophobia/gawdusing/demagogues/jingoists/rascists/

deceivers, ask Jesse Helms former head of the Foreign Relations Comitee in Congress, who when losing the vote in his home state inthe Carolinas would start talkin 'bout Negrahs........and win

good friend of Bush and Tom DealAide, you know Cheney hosted a defense fund fundraiser for Tom Delay, personally at the Westin in the Galleria of Houston last fall....google it...

the Vice President supports crooks, and even has business deals with him in Washington........Halliburton/George H.W. Bush google that

PostGlobal Top Commentator: Antony Loewenstein :

Melbourne, Australia - A recent poll taken in Australia underlined the growing racial divide in the country. 75% of respondents believed that the "war on terror" was being lost while many feared a terrorist attack would occur on home soil within the next 12 months. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=340&objectid=10398488) Although 52% believed most Muslims living in Australia were moderate, 21% worried they were extremists and 27% simply did not know.

The fear of radical Islam, grossly exaggerated by many Western mainstream commentators, has created a dangerous tendency to demonize all Muslims as potential terrorists. (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20287421-601,00.html) It's no wonder societal paranoia is the result.

Washington's foreign policy is integral to the rise of anti-U.S. sentiment around the Muslim and wider world. Images streaming out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Western-friendly dictatorships such as Jordan and Egypt prove that the supposed

"democratisation" agenda implemented by George W. Bush is in fact unfriendly to true democratic principles. If there were free and open elections across the Arab world, Islamist, anti-U.S. and anti-Israel parties would likely dominate. (http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1584968.htm)

The Bush administration, along with its Western partners such as Tony Blair's Britain and John Howard's Australia, insists that "terrorists" hate the West for its alleged freedoms. The opposite is in fact true.

Robert Pape, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, argues that much of the violence directed at the West is not a result of Islamic fundamentalism but a product of secular and strategic goals. (http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/the-terrorism-theory-bush-refuses-to-hear/2006/08/25/1156012739242.html)

Pape recently told the Sydney Morning Herald that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was the perfect way to increase suicide bombing.

"Since the invasion of Iraq," he said, "suicide terrorism, both by al-Qaeda and in Iraq itself, has just been surging. We now have a pretty good idea of the cocktail to create suicide terrorism, and it's not a madrassa [Islamic religious school], it's the presence of foreign combat forces."

As the world's most powerful nation, the U.S. has a duty to take responsibility for its actions. Rhetoric emanating from the White House is angering Muslims around the world, including in the U.S.. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4785065.stm) The now-endemic use of the word

"Islamo-fascism" may elicit strong emotions, but security expert Daniel Benjamin of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the BBC that the term is meaningless and is effective simply for propaganda purposes. Both U.S. actions and language seem to be deliberately alienating moderate Muslims, men and women who are desperately needed to address extremists within Islam.

The troubles are also closer to home. A recently released Gallup/USA Today poll found many Americans were highly prejudiced against Muslims and their religion. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-09-muslim-american-cover_x.htm) It is not simply enough to continually defend U.S. policies to a sceptical world without asking why they are increasingly treated with contempt within the wider world and the U.S. itself. The U.S. needs more than a public relations makeover.

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian-based journalist, author and blogger who writes on international relations and the Middle East and publishes in numerous media outlets in Australia and overseas. His website is: http://antonyloewenstein.com/

the :

use of the word

islamo fascist or terrorist is a device

to dehumanize and polarize,

it's effective with simple primitive types like sheepherders and short people with a lot of moles on their faces that speak in tongues whilst fingering their midsections

like snakeboy in boston and the un realist who like pretending to be a man

"appeal to emotion," is fallicious reasoning and a rhetorical tool

that is by definition false.

islamo fatcysts and terrorist word whippers are disinformationists "by definition,"

they have intent to decieve and persuade, not to inform.

that is the Executive Branch and Complicit Congresses _position_

to treat the American People/Citizens like mushrooms

keep them in the dark and feed them BS.

ORPEA :

Why donÔøΩt we ask the question in a different way? Terrorist activities by Muslim radicals for the last 10 to 15 years have made US government change its policies towards Muslim/Arab countries. Some Muslim/Arab leaders are providing tactical support to radical elements which in turn increase violence and worsen the relation between America and Arab/Muslim countries.
Should it be a goal of Arab/Muslim countries to eliminate terrorism and if so, what is the best way to do it?

No matter what, terrorism has to be dealt with iron fist. America showed enough resilience and patience to the terrorist activities before 9/11 incident. But the radical elements took it as weakness of America and took the freedom given to them by American people to attack the innocent Americans on American soil. At that time Americans did not go around and killed the Muslims within the country. Rather they chosen a right path and empowered democratically elected president to bring justice. American president has an obligation to respect the feelings of American people. After all America is a true democratic country. That is what exactly US government did or has been doing since 9/11 attacks. One should evaluate their own actions first before criticizing the reactions of others.

Mr. M.J Akbar of India suggests that ÔøΩU.S. Must Withdraw from Iraq, Install a Muslim ForceÔøΩ

America did not occupy Iraq to withdraw from it. Iraq is ruled by democratically elected Iraqi government. Iraqi force is already in place but may not be strong enough to control the civil order. After Saddam removal, America is trying to establish a true democratic and secular government in Iraq. The fact is that the radical elements around the world do not want to see this happen. They are even killing innocent Iraqis by taking an immoral path (suicide bombing). If American forces are not there then the country will be in the hands of foreign radical elements. This is the worst thing that America can do to Iraq.
So, what is the solution? The answer stays with Iraqis and Arab/Muslim world. Here is my solution.
1. Iraqis: Stand up united against foreign radical elements that are killing your innocent brothers and sisters.
2. Iraqi Government: Request all Arab/Muslim leaders to condemn killings of innocent Iraqis. Request all Arab/Muslim leaders not to support foreign radicals on Iraqi soil.
3. American Government: Support Iraqi government until peace is established. Tell Iraqis that American soldiers are there to protect the country from foreign radical elements. Tell Iraqis that American soldiers will not be on Iraqi soil once Iraqi forces able to defend their country from foreign radical elements.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

To, my unsigned respondent,
re:
"Regarding israel, hizbulla you can be objective and right if you start counting history from a date more convenient for your predetermined views than the date of UN (or LN ?!) vote for the creation of israel in 1948.
Your "objective rationalist" ' "American Exceptionalism" bulls**t '
seems to me pretty subjective since "American Exceptionalism" appears to be nothing more than a fitting description of the present international state of affairs —probably resulting from an exceptional Constitution reflecting a well thought-through compromise of and applied to an exceptionally diverse group
of people and faiths."

realist with eyes and ears :

to:ps., at August 31, 2006 12:48 AM.

You don't like hearing "Islamo Fascim". Fine, we infidels are nice people also.
How about Jihadist Fascism? It's more accurate and must be much less offending than Islamo Fascism since the word "jihad" doesn't even appear in your all-know Koran and its clearly a later dated political term for exploiting the Koran writings. But, that's it, no more compromise.

Atheist, Boston, USA :

Shelby Steele, a renowned scholar of international events, correctly asserts, "Islamic extremism is the most explicit and dangerous expression of human bigotry since the Nazi era."

Read the rest of his thoughtful comments at the following Web link.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008852

His thoughtful comments are in the form of an essay published on Sunday, August 27, in the "Wall Street Journal".

Atheist, Boston, USA :

To deeply understand the nature of Islam, read the web page at the following web link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rahman_(convert)

Abdul Rahman is the Afghani who converted from Islam to Christianity. In response, the overwhelming majority of Afghani Muslims wanted to kill Rahman for his "crime". Liberal Muslims, convervative Muslims, etc. wanted to punish Rahman by killing him. The Western nations of peoples intervened aggressively to successfully save the life of Rahman: he eventually fled to safety in Italy, a Western nation. No Islamic nation — not Pakistan, not Turkey, not Iran, etc. — condemned the Afghani Muslims for their barbarism, and no Islamic nation bothered to help, in a substantial way, Rahman. Without the West, Rahman would have been killed by the Muslims.

Now, read the web page at the following web link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Allied_Force

The Western nations of peoples intervened agressively to help the Muslims in Kosovo. The armed forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization aggressively fought the Serbian military and the Serbian government. The Serbs are predominantly non-Muslim and were killing the Kosovars.

Note how Westerners gave help to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Note how the Muslims did not give a damn about the non-Muslim.

You tell me what is the difference between a Muslim and a Westerner.

If you can see the differnce, join me in condemning Islam.

Atheist, Boston, USA :

Good morning, Asia. In a few hours, good morning, Europe.

To understand the nature of Islam, read the web page at the following web link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rahman_(convert)

Abdul Rahman is the Afghani who converted from Islam to Christianity. In response, the overwhelming majority of Afghani Muslims wanted to kill Rahman for his "crime". Liberal Muslims, convervative Muslims, etc. wanted to punish Rahman by killing him.

Which nations of people demanded that Rahman be freed from prison? The nations are Western nations.

If the Westerners did not exist, Abdul Rahman would have been murdered by the Muslims. No Islamic nation — not Pakistan, not Saudi Arabia, not Iran, etc. — condemned the Afghani Muslims for trying to kill Rahman.

I encourage you folks to doubt what I am saying. Challenge my words by identifying one Islamic nation that condemned the Afghani Muslims for their barbarism. After you have verified that my claim is true, join me in condemning Islam.

What eventually happened to Rahman? He fled to safey in a Western nation: Italy.

The TURKS, The PERSIANS, The MALAYSIANS, The EGYPTIANS, The PAKISTANIS :

Calling all these diverse peoples "Muslims" was an old racist/colonialist homogenization of the "other." Haitng the "other" as one undecipherable entity was always very easy.

We differentiate between Germans and Italians, between the English and the Russians, the Spanish and the Swedish - and yet, they are all Christians of certain denominations.

I am Persian. A Turkish friend is a Turk first to me, then a Moslem. An Egyptian friend is from Cario, and then is a Moslem. A friend from Malaysia, is a Malaysian who happens to be a Moslem.
The USs biggest mistake is to follow a racist colonialist tradition of simply calling the "others" by one sweeping name.

This mindset creates so many wrongs, so many wrong assumptions leading to wrong policies.
Like comments made about "Why don't the Moslems themselves help pout the Palestinians, give them land or something." Well, HELLO! because they are peoples of various nationalities first. It would be like the French helping out a Russian oppressed group.

As a PERSIAN, a decendant of Cyrus The Great, I am greatly offended when people bunch me with Turks one day, with Indonesians another, with Morrocans on yet another, all based on the fact we have the same religion. The English would kill you if you called them French!! (And vice versa!)
I share a religion with the abobe. However: We don't share a history. We don't share the same language. We don't share the same food.

So, my advice would be, please define the people you're admiringly wanting to normalize relations with. A sweeping colonial term, isn't American in spirit.

why does the atheist lad :

keep referring to English Wikipedia references?

isn't the United States of America wikipedia references toasting his bread?

why not just say google

George H.W. Bush CIA Walker and florida or GEORGE H.W. BUSH and Zapata

or George H.W. Bush, Uncle Walker and West Indies Trading Company and Cuba

many references to check out, get to know the presidents father, and understand that he's been involved in the government for over

50 years, long enough to set up some games.

.

Jeb maht be a hankering to run next, he's living in florida with goss and uncle walker.

.

ps. :

anyone using Islamo Fatcysts is "appealing to emotion," ignore them no matter how many times their name changes...or how many times they post the same rascist hate driven message........

unless you meet them, then have them arrested for hate crimes.

heck I even enjoy reading myself, what an incredibly lucid and varied writer I am.... :

A SMALL

reminder about terroriism....

(it's a key word in the fight against thinkin!!!!!!!!!!!)


your countries desperate leaders and complicit congress are afraid that you've seen them behind the curtain of OZ, manipulating events, puttin on puppet shows...making you look where they want chou to.............

and so, they're announced they are going to push the ^—*FEAR*—^ button and get you

all worked up in fricking Octover and September so that they can trick you into believing that someone is soft on "terrorism," and fool you again in November....

if there's terrorists' out there, how did the fricking 12,000,000 MILLION fricking ILLEGAL ALIENS get in here? because no one is watching the borders? that doesn't make any zenze? does it? because it's BS....

since the head terrorist, Negroponte, is in control of the Green Zone

google Negroponte and Honduras and Iraq

while you are at it Negroponte Bush Goss Walker and Yale

back to the topic, it's all about keeping you

_AFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFRRRRRRRRAAAAIIIIIDDDDD_

or "appeal to emotion,"

****Appeal to emotion**** is a logical fallacy where a party relies too much on emotional issues or presents only an emotional case in establishing an argument. This kind of appeal to emotion is a type of red herring and encompasses several logical fallacies, including:

Appeal to consequences

BINGO************** Appeal to fear **************BINGO

Appeal to flattery (someone did that to me a couple of weeks ago, maybe Archimedes?)
Appeal to pity
Appeal to ridicule
Appeal to spite
Wishful thinking

Related fallacies

Other types of fallacies may also overlap with or constitute an appeal to emotion, including:

Ad hominem attacks
Guilt by association
Misleading vividness
Slippery slope
Truthiness
Two wrongs make a right (if arguing for revenge)

Examples
"Think of the children!"
"For The Children"
"Mom and Apple Pie,"
"Appeal to manhood/patriotism"

In case you're too lazy to google, you still need to understand what you're looking at

ps. I do think that getting CHERTOFF THROWN OUT, AND PUTTING SOMEONE IN THAT ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THE WORD SECURITY MEANS FROM HAVING WORKED IN THE INDUSTRY WOULD BE SMART..........

BROWNIE HAS A POINT, HE _WAS_ APPOINTED TO A JOB THAT HE WASN'T QUALIFIED TO DO

JUST LIKE CHERTOFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF GET RID OF HIM..........NO OVERSIGHT

NO OVERSIGHT

CRONYISM!!!!!!!!!

ahhhhhhhhhh ack ack ack...

.

I think one poster pointed out something important to :

realize,

the Executive Branch is alienating people on purpose.

They need to prove that terrorists exist, so they have to manufacture them.

Indians welcomed, sort of, people to the United States......

that's what the American HolyDay Thanksgiving is all about, the Indians took pity on the colonists and helped to feed them.....since they didn't know how to get around Manhattan....

then as more colonists came in, and needed more land, they villified, and provoked the Indians

which gave them a reason to, take advantage of them, although the whites and the military called it defending themselves..........yah know who started the practice of scalping? The French.....

anywayz, yah got to attack people and treat them like dirt in their own country if you want to really make them angry enough to

"look like"

?terrorists? so what are the CIA and Negroponte? choir children?

how'd dim dere EL QUEARDAS BOYZ get so dem mean? why it was the CIA a teachin them mean things......

and howd them dere WTC bombers learn to fly dem dere 747's? ah heard it wuz in an AMemican school.........cud det be twue?

ah don tink dat coud beah twue....mustabe some kinda complicity kinda think....

dat wud mean dah uh prezidente of dis ahere gummit must a be a debbil........

aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

yes, boyz and girls the president and the executive branch are possessed of bad vibes otherwise known in the rest of the civilized world as greed, wit a tech of bEEezelebubb.....

ah smell dat sulfur?

.

Tom Wonacott, Meridian, Idaho :

The goal of US policy should be to continue to send a message to Islamo-fascist that their terrorist policies will not be tolerated.
Iran and Syria were behind Hezbollah's attack on Israel. Both are terrorist states that support world-wide terrorism. Iran continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. Most other Middle East countries teach hate (which began long before President Bush took office) and support terrorist by contributing to charities which help fund terrorism.

Islamo-fascist influence policy by indiscriminate killing of innocents (Spain for example). Islamo-fascist cannot be appeased. Diplomacy has failed miserably in the Middle East. The Israel-Lebanon war resulted from diplomatic failure! Appeasement has not deterred Iran, and their development of nuclear weapons is imminant.

The United States should only reach out to Muslim countries that support our fight against Islamo-fascism. Are there any?

daniel :

I find myself really concerned about many of the comments here. Obviously the U.S. is a democracy—in fact it takes in people from here, there and everywhere. But no one really makes the connection that this process is also resulting in extreme paranoia—a huge military and relentless business actions—to make it possible. We have the disheartening contradiction that we welcome anyone—just look at especially the cities on the east and west coasts—but then we move militarily and economically against precisely the nations where all the immigrants come from. Our nation is striving to be noble, yes, but even at its best to sustain the above process calls for questionable actions. And at the extremes we have the hard right which could care a less about immigrants and the integration of peoples and just wants to move as a military/business force against one and all, and the far left which seems absurdly to believe we can create a world in which all live together without any questionable military/business actions at all. (Sorry for making the last sentence so simplistic and confused). The question is one of being realistic about the possibility of sustaining our democratic outlook. The left hates the business and military actions taken and with good reason: much can be construed as having nothing to do with democracy at all. But it could also be that our concept of democracy unavoidably needs a powerful military and questionable business actions to make the integration of various peoples possible. A pity there is a far right which exploits this or even wants to turn the clock back into a 19th century conception of American democracy (brutal laissez faire, etc.). I apologize for not being clearer here. I just wanted to reflect on our stated aims at best and what we have to realistically expect for them to be realized.

MikeB :

Srikanth Raghunathan - Thank you and thank you for "calming the waters". I wish people would read history and find a away to break the cycle that manind is apparently trap in. I would disagree with you (regretfully, because it is a wonderful religion) about Budhism being peaceful. Some of the worst attrocities today are being committed by the Bughist Armies of Burma/Mymar against the minority Christian Karin peoples. They surround villages with minefields during the night and sit back and shoot at them at first light. The children run out and are blown up. I have frinds who are returning missionaries from this area and have shown us movies of much of this and it is sickening. Even worse is knowing that American businesses are clammering to do business there. The Bush campaign commitee and the RNC are even having much of the campaign hats, banners, etc, made there by slave labor...now, as we exchange posts here!

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

The hatred is caused by fear and ignorance, not by realism.

Looking back on 60 years of US hegemony you have to ask what the US did right? Some of the greatest democracies and companies on the planet are Japanese and German, the great enemies of yesteryear. Europe is free, parts of the Soviet Union are now democracies and member states of the EU. Communism is dead, Fascism defeated. China, India, Brazil and many other populous nations of the world are making great strides. Poverty, hunger, disease, Illiteracy and ignorance are losing ground rapidly.

After the fall of the Soviet Union most nations have moved towards more freedom and development and less repression. We are starting to experience the American century, and who other than the architects of progress are left to hate? It's pointless to hate the Soviet Union, it is gone. The Nazis and the European and Japanese empires and all their singular ideologies are almost all gone.

The remaining ones make the most noise. Iran, Syria, North Korea, it is no coincidence to come across the same names again and again allover the world. These are nations with little to no credibility when it comes to respecting human rights, freedom and progress for their own people and for others. Time and again they challenge the prevailing socioeconomic order and time and again they demand rights they deny others. The only thing they can do is reject all liberal values including even other people's religions or ideologies because subscribing to any part of our liberalism and pluralism would undermine their singularity of ideology, the only thing they can try is to stir up hatred against the US because these nations most transparently have no defense against liberty other than seeding more hatred, fear and ignorance.

This hatred is nowadays often focused upon (US support of) Israel. Along with Iraq, Israel is the only nation in the middle East where Arabs are allowed to vote and be voted for in free elections, Israel is the only state in the middle east where a vibrant communist/left wing party exists which has more Arab than Jewish knesset members. Israel is the only state that tolerated the Muslem Brotherhood to run in an election. Israel has an independent supreme court and one of its members is Arab. All these factors make Israel the only substantial democracy in the Middle East and the only place where an Arab can freely both vote and be voted for. Israel acts out of self defense in assassinating terrorists in the occupied territories, acts out of self defense after the invasion by Hezbollah. Innocent civilians are killed on all sides in a war, it is something Israel has always expressed regret for. No number of valid arguments anyone could make can undermine Israel's standing as a responsible liberal democracy with an independent judiciary. I know that people feel negative about Israel and have reasons to but I have never seen a consistent argument that would indicate otherwise.

The hatred also is focused on the invasion of Iraq, which should have taken 450.000 troops instead of 150.000. The civilian leadership in the US believed it would be a war of liberation, not occupation. But the military leadership believed something else. 150.000 troops could have secured Iraq if the Iraqi army had not been disbanded, and that more than any other decision caused the anarchy and bloodshed we are witnessing today. It has to be said that of all the sectarian killing taking place in Iraq today, the US is involved in none of it and is working very hard to stop it. Considering the current administration's and Republican party's poor standings in the polls it is in the US best interest to have a stable and democratic Iraq. The US is not the cause for the current bloodshed in Iraq, Iran is arming the faithful on one side, and Sunni donors keep the other side floating while Syria is doing little to halt the flow of terror on either border.

The hatred is caused by fear and ignorance, not by realism.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

MilkeB:

Let us not get into personal attacks and vilification. You, too, are correct at stating most of the facts. It is our job to educate each other to the best of our abilities. Not many are taught the World History in American schools. (Again, education is the key. See my earlier post.)

If one were to really look at all the minutiae, then all religions, save perhaps two (Hinduism and Budhism), have resorted to violence and mayhem in the name of religion and God. (Hinduism is purported not to be a religion, but a way of life; i. e., one can belong to any religion and still be Hindu!) Even Hindus were intolerant; that is why Budhism came about.

Laura from MD:
You make an interesting observation; equality in everything is absolutely the key to peace.

Bottom line is that we must possess tolerance to diversity, for it is a critical ingredient to the not only the success of Humankind's, but also its very survival. You see, we live in an information age, which could aid us in better understanding other cultures and religions. Let us put that to good is use. My personal belief is that "Information and Knowledge are Power."

Anonymous :

to: daniel, Arlington VA, USA at August 30, 2006 03:49 PM, 04:09 PM.

Regarding israel, hizbulla you can be objective and right if you start counting history from a date more convenient for your predetermined views than the date of UN (or LN ?!) vote for the creation of israel in 1948.
Your "objective rationalist" ' "American Exceptionalism" bulls**t '
seems to me pretty subjective since "American Exceptionalism" appears to be nothing more than a fitting description of the present international state of affairs —probably resulting from an exceptional Constitution reflecting a well thought-through compromise of and applied to an exceptionally diverse group
of people and faiths.

not afraid to be nice, Burke, VA, USA :

Be a nice person. Set an example for all Americans. Be YOU! No matter what your politial beliefs. It helped me, especially since I am a conservative girl. When I was living in England during the war, people would ask me if I supported the war I said "yes" (and I still do). And when they said that they didn't, I said "thats great!" I wanted to get along with people, not start dibate battles. It worked sometimes and sometimes not. But no matter what the outcome, I tried to be a nice and polite person.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

btw- I know this came up in other posts. I am by no means a liberal. These posts aren't the posts of a liberal.

They're the posts of an objective rationalist that generally accepts the tenets of classical liberalism, and can still be proud of the idea of America without buying into this "American Exceptionalism" bulls**t. They are the posts of someone that can treat two groups evenhandedly and objectively (ie- Israel and Hezbollah), without justifying the position of either.

MikeB :

Millersville, Maryland - I do not hate Islam. Just Fundimentalist Islam. As for history, READ SOME before you spout off nonsense. Any balanced history of the Crusades will demonstrate two things - (1) the Crusading Armies were an unorganized rabble of thieves, religious fanatics, and mercinaries and (2) the Islamic Armies were driven by religious zealousness. When the Ottoman's invaded Turkey, they did so in stages. During each stage, they "eliminated" (butchered) the original Western natives, either murdering them in cold blood or selling the into slavery. The Christian churches and Jewish synogogs they encountered were either utterly destroyed or were converted into mosques. Then, they forcably settled Arabic natives in the communities emptied of their Western inhabitants. Right up to the present day, *all* of the older mosques in Turkey were formerly Christian churches. The great mosque in Cairo, Egypt was a Christian church. So were more than 50 mosques in Palestine. The conquering Islamic armies murdered the Christian and Jewish communities, took their homes and businesses and schools and chruches, stripped those people of everthing and sold the few survivors into slavery. Calling me a "racist" or "bigot" simply demonstrates your willingness to ignore facts and history by tossing off a cheap (and worthless) insult. It makes you, in my eyes and in the eyes of anyone willing to actually read history, no different than Bush and the ignorant, anti-science, anti-intellectual crowd surrounding him. Further, Islam and the Is;lamic wars of conquest were fundimentally different than any wars of conquest in history. They were fought, based on a theology, to encorporate vast amounts of territory into a devine Islamic state. People who did not accept the superiority of Islam were to be put to death. You Christian and Jewish minorities in the Ottoman Empire had to acknowldge that, had to curtail many of their basic beliefs, had to pay a special tax, and lost all normal rights of citizenship. So, please excuse me, but hisytory and facts teach that traditonal Islam and certainly Fundimentist Islam is a barbaric belief system of intolerance, violence and bloodshed, ignorance, greed, and bigotry on a scale the world has never seen before.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

Laura from Maryland makes excellent points.
Another interesting paradox of the whole idea of pre-emption.

Let's assume that pre-emption is a viable justification for making war. If a nation possesses the means and the will to attack you, you are justified in attacking them first, REGARDLESS of whether they've actually attacked you. This is basically the pre-emption argument.

If this logic were really acceptable, then Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba would all be justified in attacking the United States immediately. They wouldn't be justified by any fundamentalist code or socialist ideology- they would be justified by the EXACT SAME line of reasoning promoted by the Bush administration. The means exist, and the will exists in the United States to use force against these nations. That's pre-emption in a nutshell.

If anything, these "rogue states" would be MORE justified in the execution of a pre-emptive strike, because the United States' ability to wage war is so much greater than there own. The potential threat posed by the United States to Venezuelans, for example, is infinitely greater than the threat posed by Venezuelans to the United States. Pre-emption is practically an imperative in that kind of situation.

So, if these regimes were to accept the Bush administration's logic of pre-emption, they would only have two options available to them:
1. Surrender immediately and submit to the US's will, or
2. Militarize in preparation for the pre-emptive strike.

It should be no wonder that as our influence expands abroad, nations opposed to our interest militarize. This isn't necessarily a sign of ACTIVE aggression- It's very likely that this kind of nuclear proliferation is a REACTION to US military activity, grounded in the very doctrine of pre-emption that we espouse.

Think about it:
1. The US is responsible for promoting the most militarization and the most extensive troop deployment of any nation on earth, and
2. The US is the chief proponent of the doctrine of pre-emption.

If you put those two together, and put yourself in the position of the President of Iran or the President of North Korea, the ONLY rational, consistent response is to arm and attack the US.

We may not have started these rogue regimes. We may not have put these dictators in power (although in many cases we did), but by extending our troop deployment abroad and openly advocating pre-emption, we are absolutely encouraging nuclear proliferation and aggression.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

to: Realist with eyes and ears:
"- Israel has a right to exist and has the right to bully others in the region after they start bullying israel without provocations."... Make sure you get your news right, and that means looking beyond the op-eds that agree with your own sensibilities. In what world was Israel bullied without provocation? The "kidnappings"? Is that what you're refering to? Funny- when Palestinians defending their homes are taken away and thrown in Israeli jails, its called an "arrest", or MAYBE even a "POW". When Israelis defending their homes are taken away and thrown in Lebanese jails, its called "kidnapping" and "terrorism". I fail to see the difference.

As with all my posts, this isn't to justify Hezbollah at all, but if you're going to accuse one side of "bullying without provocation", you need to have a little more evidence behind you than the semantics of pro-Israeli American editorialists. Be objective- just because one action is called a "kidnapping" and another is called an "arrest" doesn't mean they are substantively different. Remember- Nazi Germany made many "arrests"... doesn't mean they were justified.

If you really think the Hezbollah "kidnappings" qualify as "bullying without provocation", then Israel has far more blood on its hands from committing exactly comparable acts against the Lebanese and the Palestinians.

realist with eyes and ears :

to: ª Fredo, Boulder, CO at August 30, 2006 03:04 PM

- Israel has a right to exist and has the right to bully others in the region after they start bullying israel without provocations.
- The agenda in Iraq is not a proven failure, yet — from the US perspective.
- Realize that democracy can be forced on any nation , even if 'some nations actually WANT and will "democratically" vote for a muslim theocracy whether we like it or not,' and it is possible to "bomb" or bomb that out of them (but only with determined US actions and help) if the elected muslim theocracy is not adopting itself to non-jihadist and non-violent behavior in a reasonable time.

Laura from Maryland USA :

Actually, on the question of the nuclear ambitions of Iran, it would seem sensible for them to desire weaponry given recent US international actions.

We invaded Iraq and Afghanistan (while I didn't support the first, as a feminist I've advocated for international intervention in Afghanistan since 1997. Too bad it took 9-11 for conservatives to get a clue about the Taliban.). Both did not possess nuclear arms.

We have not invaded North Korea. They have nuclear arms. Nuclear arms seems to be an instant insurance policy against invasion by the U.S. North Korea is testing long range rockets, and Iran is all some people will talk about.

Please, a little perspective if you are going to war monger. And one war at a time. We still haven't defeated the Taliban in the first "war on terror." We've done so bad a job in Afghanistan we've taken to hiding behind NATO. Remember??

Fredo, Boulder, CO :

- Cease "unconditional" support of Israel, realizing Arabs in Gaza and West Bank also have rights, and supporting those rights along with an independent state in Palestine is the most important step - Israel is a fact of life and has a right to exist but not the right to bully others in the region;

- Remove American troops from the Middle East as soon as reasonably possible - the neocon pre-emptive / unilateral agenda in Iraq is a proven failure, and will be calamitous if allowed to be implemented in Iran or anywhere else in the Middle East (or Korea);

- Realize that American "democracy" cannot be forced down the throats of any nation - whether we choose to understand it or not, some nations actually WANT and will "democratically" vote for a muslim theocracy whether we like it or not, and it is not possible to "bomb" that out of them.

Fredo, Boulder, CO :

- Cease "unconditional" support of Israel, realizing Arabs in Gaza and West Bank also have rights, and supporting those rights along with an independent state in Palestine is the most important step - Israel is a fact of life and has a right to exist but not the right to bully others in the region;

- Remove American troops from the Middle East as soon as reasonably possible - the neocon pre-emptive / unilateral agenda in Iraq is a proven failure, and will be calamitous if allowed to be implemented in Iran or anywhere else in the Middle East (or Korea);

- Realize that American "democracy" cannot be forced down the throats of any nation - whether we choose to understand it or not, some nations actually WANT and will "democratically" vote for a muslim theocracy whether we like it or not, and it is not possible to "bomb" that out of them.

Millersville, Maryland :

Mike B.- If you want to hate the Islamic world nothing I can say or do will change that. If you want to re-write history nothing I can say or do will change those views either. So we'll just have to agree to disagree.

To: Claudia in New York- Abbie Hoffman once noted in the 60's that Americans (in general) love to hate. America seems to thrive on having enemies. He went on to say how horrible it would be if the Soviet Union ever disbanded because we wouldn't have an enemy to focus. With no enemy to focus on we'd look inward at our own society to find one. Remind you of the 90's? Then along came the dreaded, "Terrorists," something an American could really sink their teeth into whether no not there was cause. In a sense 9/11 gave GW and company an excuse to create an evil enemy. Sadly, it was an easy sale among a country looking for something to hate. Bush didn't need proof anyone did anything that deserved invasion and mass killings he had 9/11 and that superceded reason and logic. Bush is still stumping around America (Salt Lake at the American Legion Convention today or tomorrow) giving speeches based on the us vs. them, good vs. evil and how we must for humanity stay the course. Of course it's a crock of doo doo, but he's out there selling it to friendly audiences and Faux News (fox) can't stop patting him on the back for the lies and incompetence of his administration. Hopefully, the mid-term elections in November will return one or both chambers of Congress to Democratic control to place some checks on this war mongering moron of a tug we call president. See, you're not alone. A lot of us feel as horrible about what the US has done and become in the last 6 years as you do. May well all live long enough to apologize to the rest of the world for our past 6 years.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. :

MikeB:
In any civilizationm, there are bound to be extremists. I have to say that Millersville, MD is quite correct about the Ottoman civilization. Ottoman (Osmani, as it was known, before being Anglicized) empire was no exception. Many others, inclduing Romans, Greeks, Normans, Saxons, English, et al also did. However, many of the Ottoman rulers (Sulemyman, Mehmet, et al) were tolerant of other religions; they also knew that by slaughtering "conquered" peoples, they would only lose their tax/revenue base. Furthermore, they were "Sufi" sect (dervish) of Islam and did not generally beleive in praying at mosques.

As regards the demarcation of present-day territories, let us not rewrite history, but only learn from our mistakes and NOT repeat them. Bottom line: conquests are things of the past, and the world has indeed inexorably and immutably become global village. We are all citizens of the world. That is it! Extremism in any religion MUST be rooted out. The first step is to understand the reason for one's extremism; then the second step is to address it peaceably; if that does not work, the the third step is forcible eradication. First we must give peace a chance, without rattling our sabers and missiles.

jeremy taylor, port of spain, trinidad and tobago :

No superpower can expect to be loved. The question is how much hate the US is prepared to live with. At the moment, the Islamist obsession with the US, and the US obsession with "terror" (both jihads in their own ways), are distracting the entire global community from the urgent task of continuing to develop a viable world order for the 21st century: one that is necessarily based on negotiation and compromise, not on isolationism and force. Everything from climate change to poverty reduction is being derailed by this compulsive conflict.

The roots of the conflict go back far more than three years, way before 9/11. The first condition for reducing this debilitating hostility, therefore, is a much clearer sense of history, and of the reasons for the growth of anti-American fundamentalism capable of far-reaching violence. It didn't just appear one day, nor did "evil men" suddenly rise up from nowhere. A second condition, consequent to this, would be a far greater sensitivity to non-American realities. A leader who honestly doesn't know the difference between "Islamic" and "Islamist", and has no idea that a phrase like "Islamic fascist" will cause profound offence, simply does not know what he is doing, literally. It is out of the question, therefore, to expect the US political elite to countenance any of the foreign policy changes which might actually make a difference, such as a rapid disengagement in Iraq, or a settlement in Israel-Palestine.

The other major condition of reduced hostility would be a genuine attempt to rebuild American credibility. The US is perceived now (and not just in the Muslim world) as dishonest and untrustworthy, most of all over the reasons given for the invasion of Iraq. All the damage done by the continued deceit over that issue, both in Washington and London, has to be repaired, and it is obviously unrealistic to expect the present administration to do that.

We can therefore expect the present stalemate to continue at least to 2008, and way into the future if the radical right continues to hold power in the US. There seems to be no sign of the renewed internationalism, the openness to foreign policy change, or the minimal standards of transparency, which might begin to reduce the hostility that so baffles America.

MIkeB :

Millersville, Maryland - "...Ottoman Empire, put in a historical context, was actually quite advanced and rational..." And, so, that is why, after conquering Constantinople they went through the city and slaughtered ever man woman and child that would not convert to Islam? And, that is why they slaughtered all of the Creek and Roman inhabitants of Palestine, Lebanon, and modern day Turkey in fact all of the lands they conquered? And, then, they foreably settled those lands with Arab immigrants. The "enlightenment" of the Ottoman and other Islamic courts is a myth. So is the fable that they kept the ancient writings of the Greeks. Those were, in fact, kept by the Syriatic and similar monesteries, which is where we received ours. The history of Islam is a long and bloody and barbaric one. It has NOTHING to offer us in the West and I cannot fathom why anyone in the Middle East would choose to practice that insane and despicable disjointed collection of lunacies, either. Be that as it may, I figure about half of the Islamic world practices what I would describe as "Fundimentalist Islam" and I think it is a global danger on a par with the worst movements imaginable in human history - SS extermination guards, Po Pot, the Spanish Inquisition, the CIA and the KGB. We have a choice. We can ignore them. Let them kill each other and rot as they roll around in their self created filth - and let me be clear about this, this *IS* my first choice. Or, if they insist on attacking us or inflicting their lunacy on us, utterly and completely destroy them, using whatever means necessary.

Anonymous :

The premise that U.S actions, specifically in the last few years is the cause of this issue, is ludicrous. I have to assume that this was posted by some liberal. Fanatical muslim hatred for U.S has been around a long time. Remember the hostages Iran took in the '70's.

Take a looks at what happened in France, who disfranchised their young Muslim population. Groups like Hamas have been given plenty of "carrots". Recall that Hamas struck from land that Israel gave back. Radical muslims like Hamas will hate the US no matter what, so stop this "it's the U.S fault" b.s

Claudia, New York :

That was supposed to be, 'do we hate people we've never met so much we're willing to die for it?'

Because that's what I see in my once-great country. I recently took my daughter to the Smithsonian to see our space capsules—I cried when I rembered how proud I was of my country when we put a man on the moon, when we had great accomplishments and dreams of the future.

Now all we have is fear and hatred and bigorty. I pray to God that we will somehow survive this terrible plague of an adminstration, this hidious curse upon our people.

Claudia, New York :

I really appreciate all the sane responses from Canada. It's just terrifying living in the US and watching this incredible deja vu, this foaming rabid hatred agains Muslims, sounding exactlly the way the germans sounded about the jews just before WW2.

Do people really not realize that attacking Iran will be the start of a world war? Do they not know or care that other muslim nations, some of which are already nuclear armed, will feel compelled to side against us? Do you really want the nuclear terrorists of pakistan, say, where US taxpayers have paid for an enormous nuclear arsenal, to be used against us?

In short, are we lemmings? Are we so stupid we have no survival instinct in this country? Do we have a death wish? Do we hate people we've never met so much we're willing to do for it? For hatred?

Aequitas, Toronto, Canada :

Unfortunately, Athiest is representative of the "moderate" segment of the US, in which American exceptionalism, while perhaps not derived from god, remains an immutable but unstated fact.
The questions remain: on what basis do you people presume the right to dictate how the rest of the world lives? Do you think the world can or will allow this to continue indefinitely? Are you looking forward to more wars? Do you really believe that your government and society are agents of truth or justice?

Millersville, Maryland :

Mike B- First, do you really believe the majority of Islamics have designs on what was the entire Ottoman Empire no matter what date they acquired the territory or how long they held it? I don't and I don't see the analogy between Palestine and Spain, Italy, Greece or for that matter all the way to the walls of Vienna, Austria useful. It's the old if we give an inch then they'll take the solar system argument and is simply meant to put fear into people.

Second, killing three quarters of a billion people isn't a realistic option. I sincerely doubt we could do it if we wanted.

Third, all I was trying to point out is both the Israelis and the Arabs claim the territory Israel is currently occupying. Frankly, I think they both have legitimate points as to whose land it is. That's why I believe they will continue to fight over it. Countries that support Israel militarily will be subjected to the actions of the radical elements of Islam. (terrorism) Contries that support the Arabs over Israel will be subjected to Israel's ire.

As much as our esteemed leader wants to dehumanize the Islamic world history has a very different view. The Ottoman Empire, put in a historical context, was actually quite advanced and rational. They allowed Muslims to have their own law, Jews to have theirs and Christians to have theirs. They were tolerant and in many cases solictited non-muslims into the empire. The Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul/Constantinople and the rest of the Empire stayed open during almost 800 years of Ottoman rule. Judism was tolerated as well.

While I certainly acknowledge radical elements in Islam today it is not the norm or is it supported by history. The Islamic world was a highly sophisticated, proud and powerful force in the world for centuries. Certainly differences exist between their world and ours, but get used to it because they will be a force to be reckoned with again. Actually, it's ironic. The western nations break up the Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI only to have the core of that empire sitting on over 50% of the known worlds oil supply.

disgusted :

Well, if the Muslims and Christians are the terrible ones, why is it that Jews are the hated ones...are now and have been in every country, every century, wherever they appeared. Never welcome everywhere. Read the above and get a clue to that!

RONALD TORREY, AUSTIN, TX. USA :

Muslims are a cowardly and barbaric people, who believe in murder as
the high point of diplomacy. They love to kill, whether it is their
fantasy enemy or one of their neighbors next door. I doubt if any member of the muslim religion will speak up about the excesses committed by
the large lunatic fringe, for fear of them or thier familes being eliminated.

realist with eyes and ears :

To: Atheist, Boston, USA at August 30, 2006 05:11 AM.
Atheist you are right these "Islamic animals " use "verbal trickery".
But why would you offend animals? Aren't these extremist islamic creatures much worse than animals? Wouldn't "exterminable islamists"
be a more fitting name for them?
Now, these exterminable islamist use, indeed, "verbal trickery" as one of their weapons they are very proud of —like it's a gift from their allah as proof of his love to them and their worldwide jihad.

Atheist, Boston, USA :

Should we Americans attempt to reduce the hostility that Muslims spew against us?

That question is really pointless unless we actually know the issue of which the Muslims are accusing us. Consider the issue of Abdul Rahman. The web page at the following web link accurately describes his plight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rahman_(convert)

The Muslims in Afghanistan were insanely angry at Westerners for saving his life. The Muslims wanted to kill Rahman for daring to convert from Islam to Christianity.

Should we Americans have appeased the Islamic animals by punishing Rahman for his religious conversion? Of course, the answer is "no".

When Amar Bakshi (who posed the original, loaded question starting this discussion) suggests that Americans should appease Muslims (to calm their anger) regardless of the issue at hand, Amar Bakshi is simply engaging in verbal trickery. Like many Muslims, Amar supports this sort of verbal trickery. Verbal trickery damages society because it diminishes the availability of accurate information which citizens need to make the best decisions. Not surprisingly, most Middle Eastern nations are failures, and not coincidentally, most Middle Eastern nations are Islamic societies where verbal trickery is widely practiced. The Iranian president himself claims that the Holocaust is a lie.

letter re. people's un-readiness in US to act/react :

[The] media's tendentious coverage and
its pervading all corners of our life in the US. This press is read by
those who are planning one more trip overseas in their quest for more
entertainment, more excitement and
more ostrich policy, and not wanting to acknowledge the real state of
affaires. I repeat what I said many times: In a country the press should
NEVER get to the point to have opinion-making and all encompassing
political power when the agenda is more important than the defense of the
country. If you say I have dictatorial tendencies, so be it. The general
indiscipline has become as threatening as those who want our demise.
Everyone who says that we are in the gravest of dangers is simply either
taken for clown or crucified. They say it's going to get worse before it
gets better. I say, absolutely not, half of us will have to be
annihilated in order for the other half, wiping their eyes of the sleepy
haze, to start asking themselves with a big yawn what just happened,
whether it's for real or they're still dreaming half dazed on the couch
with the TV still on at 3 in the morning after watching their favorite
reality show, murder story and sports team. I don't care what anyone
says. This is the state in which our people consume their life. Probably
yours too, the results showed up last and this months.

Mark, Victoria, Canada :

Ahhhh...Atheist. Embrace the nuttiness, my friend, get right down and wallow in it. Be sure to cite that phony story from the National Post, that suggested Iran would now make all religions other than Muslims wear a coloured patch to identify themselves (neat segue to Mr. Hitler and the despised yellow star). That was a great story, got people all foaming at the mouth and everything; people like you, I imagine. The problem was, it was planted. As soon as attention was focused on the improbable nonsense, the story's backers melted away like snow.

There's more than a little suspicion that the story you linked was also a tempest in a teapot, much ado about nothing in order to make political points. I'm not suggesting it didn't happen at all, just that it was hyped in order to wind up true patriots such as yourself.

Conversion to Christianity doesn't necessarily change you much as a person. The "always angry" Muslims will have some work to do before they kill as many people as Christians have, in the name of their religion. I imagine the Muslims laugh, too, when some talking head says, "Christianity is a religion of peace" just the way Christians laugh when that talking turnip Texas retard gets up on his stump and says, "Islam is a religion of peace". George Bush knows as much about Islam as he does about Indonesian folk dancing - which is to say, nothing.

The two Fox News reporters recently released were supposedly made to convert to Islam. Did horns spring out of their heads? Do you notice they're always angry now, and make that "loolooloolooloo" sound before trailing off into mumbles of "jihadjihadjihad"? Maybe that only happens if you're a willing convert.

You should hand in your resume to the White House now - I hear they're going to be looking for a new Secretary of Defense soon. You'd be perfect. You're going to have to change your name, though. Maybe you can call yourself "Christian True Believer Superhero" or something like that, should really resonate with The Base.

Atheist, Boston, USA :

The West should do nothing to appease the Muslims. Everything that Westerners have done so far has been consistent with promoting human rights and democracy. We have certainly blundered in the case of Iraq, but our entering Iraq was not an attempt to insult Muslims. We were stupid enough to believe that Iraqi Muslims (like the Eastern Europeans) would immediately create a liberal democracy once we liberated them from Saddam Hussein. We were wrong.

Anyhow, the Muslims will be angry just because they want to be angry. They are, after all, Muslim.

Allow me to pick a damning example of Muslim bigotry. Feast your eyes on the story at the following Web link.

http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/03/88695A81-73C1-4881-8A22-1293511BB8A4.html

Abdul Rahman is an Afghan and converted to Christianity. According to a core principle of human rights, a person is entitled to freedom of religion. Just as a person is free to pick the hatred-filled, advancement-limiting religion of Islam, a person is free to pick any other ignorant religion.

Unfortunately, the Muslims in Afhanistan simply cannot tolerate conversion to Christianity. I am not talking about the Muslims in the Taliban government. I am talking about the Muslims who voluntarily elected the democracy government. I am talking about the Afghanistan that European and American soldiers liberated from the Taliban. In the process of this liberation, hundreds of Western soldiers died — for the sake of Muslims.

The Muslims wanted to sentence Abdul Rahman to death by firing squad. Even the moderate Muslims who had been arrested and tortured by the Taliban wanted to kill Rahman.

Well, Westerners refused to put up with this Islamic nonsense. Western government applied pressure to the Afghan government. It released Rahman, and he has moved to live in Italy under the status of political asylum.

The Muslims in Afghanistan were outraged at this act of Western compassion for Rahman.

Should we Westerners appease these Islamic Afghani animals by imprisoning Rahman for the "crime" of converting to Christian? The answer is "no". We Westerners should tell the Muslims to go to hell, where Mohammed bathes in pig blood.

Rennypolis :

http://rennypolis.squarespace.com/

The US should work hard to reduce this international hostility against it through deveoping "soft power," something that has been squandered through the Bush administration's foreign policy maneuvers. What is soft power, and why does it matter?

Soft power is often contrasted with hard power in descriptions of power relations between states, yet both methods are directed towards the same goal: the achievement of a change in state behavior towards a desired end. The hard/soft distinction does not itself indicate a particular kind of power, rather it comes from the way in which power is used and the ways in which outcomes are achieved. Hard power is any power that is used by a state to coerce a change in behavior, for example through military threat or economic inducement (sticks and carrots).

Soft power, on the other hand, describes any power that attracts a change in behavior. A state can ÔøΩobtain desired outcomes in world politics because other countries want to follow it, admiring its values, emulating its example, aspiring to its level of prosperity and openness.ÔøΩ Soft power is a more ambiguous concept than hard power because it arises as a reflection of a countryÔøΩs values, it can be both within and without the domain of the state to control, and its ability to shape preferences tends to be associated with the intangible aspects of culture, institutions, and ideology. For example, the US governmentÔøΩs establishment of the Peace Corps (now an institution) is an example of a stateÔøΩs active encouragement of soft power, while Hollywood movies being watched around the globe is a cultural example of soft powerÔøΩs working outside the domain of centralized control and promotion. These examples reflect active and passive dimensions of soft power; it can be actively promoted (i.e. Peace Corps initiatives that improve and inspire others), yet always passively exists, for good or ill (American culture always has some degree of presence without being actively promoted as such). Soft power essentially reflects the ability of a country to indirectly frame the preferences of other countries without firing a shot; if I can attract you towards wanting what I want, then I do not have to force you to act the way I want.

The problem with soft power, some say, ÔøΩis that itÔøΩs, well, soft.ÔøΩ It is all but impossible to quantify, and thus it can be difficult to concretely link soft power with particular effects. This presents great difficulty in identifying and measuring soft power, yet it is only part of a broader current of immeasurable forces that nonetheless impact international relations in significant ways. While explaining the place of soft power within international relations theory in his article Apocalypse Forever?, William Tow notes that the structuralist approach in International Relations emphasizes the effects of unobservable and/or immeasurable phenomena that influence relations between states. The observable yet immeasurable shared customs and mores of diplomatic communities and their impact upon negotiations between states is one example of such an influence.

Another criticism of soft power points out that American popular culture (the global presence of which reflects a degree of US soft power) does not always make people in other countries love the US. However, this critique misses larger points. First, the ÔøΩattractivenessÔøΩ of a certain set of choices does not entail feelings of love for a particular country. Second, any such attractions are developed by a combination of influences, including ideology, institutions, and economic opportunities. To the extent that others in the world are attracted to sets of choices commonly identified with the US on the basis of any or all of these aspects is an indication of the influence of the United StatesÔøΩ soft power, and such attraction need not be based on love-practical utility will suffice.

More extreme critics downplay soft power altogether, arguing that using hard power to topple a dictator (for example, Saddam Hussein) will make other countries change out of fear of the US threat of reprisal. However, as Thomas Carothers explains,

"the experience of recent decades shows that while the direct application of military force can certainly oust defiant dictators, military threats and bluster almost never do. While rapid regime change seemingly offers a quick fix for knotty problems, the U. S. government will still need to pursue sustained diplomatic solutions to its security problems, as well as to pursue a broad range of nuanced, nonmilitary efforts to empower the domestic opponents of hostile dictators over the longer term." [Carothers, Thomas. ÔøΩ Why Dictators arenÔøΩt Dominoes ,ÔøΩ Foreign Policy, Issue 137 (July/August 2003): 59.]

As case in point, North KoreaÔøΩs dictator Kim Jong-Il remains in power after the rapid regime change in Iraq during March and April of 2003. Since the end of the Iraq war, North Korea has given the impression of having actually quickened its efforts at developing a nuclear weapon to counter the US threat of military force, rather than abandon the project in the face of such a threat.

Soft power is difficult to quantify by its very nature, but one way to attempt to do so is through public opinion polling. According to a 2005 Pew Research Center public opinion poll studying attitudes towards the US among 16 different nations, most countries polled still possessed unfavorable attitudes towards the US as a result of the 2003 Iraq war. This is only one example of evidence that the ability of the US to attract the people and institutions of other countries to its position has diminished as a result of the Iraq war. And once the US is not able to attract other countries to share its foreign policy goals, then the only method left is force, either economic or military. This is the self-fulfilling prophecy of using force exclusively to effect change: soon it becomes the only method available.

http://rennypolis.squarespace.com/

Andrew - New York :

Let me ask this audience. Most will give into the idea that when looking back, it seemed obvious during the 1930's that something bad was likely to happen in Europe, given the cast of actors and their stated intentions (Mein Kampf). Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and embraces a strain of ideology that regales in martyrdom and endless 'death to the infidel' rants. No one likes the idea of pre-emptive wars. But someone please tell me what the US' response to a nuclear detonation in New York City would be...5..10..15 years down the road from now. Do you think anyone would say for a second..."gee, now that's something we didn't see coming...we allowed a known state sponsor of terror that openly embraced a religeous, extremist, intolerant ideology to attain the most powerful weapons in the world and something bad happened'? For myself that is a rhetorical question, the answer is obvious.

With Iran the concept of mutually assured destruction, which kept the US and Soviet Union from ever going to war, could not responsibly be relied upon. Extremist Muslims regale in death if 'in service to Allah.' So in visiting it upon the West, a responsible world must take into account whether an Islamist extremist Tehran government would actually regale in its own extinction...that way all 35 million males in the country could swiftly be sent to heaven to meet their waiting virgins, rather than having to wait for so long on earth continually putting up with those annoying Americans.

Andrew - New York :

Let me ask all of you. Most will give into the idea that when looking back, it seemed obvious during the 1930's that something bad was likely to happen, given the cast of actors and their stated intentions (Mein Kampf). Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and embraces a strain of ideology that regales in martyrdom and endless 'death to the infidel' rants. No one likes the idea of pre-emptive wars. But someone please tell me what the US' response to a nuclear detonation in New York City would be...5..10..15 years down the road from now. Do you think anyone would say for a second..."gee, now that's something we didn't see coming...we allowed a known state sponsor of terror that openly embraced a religeous, extremist, intolerant ideology to attain the most powerful weapons in the world and something bad happened'? For myself that is a rhetorical question, the answer is obvious.

With Iran the concept of mutually assured destruction, which kept the US and Soviet Union from ever going to war, could not responsibly be relied upon. Extremist Muslims regale in death if 'in service to Allah.' So in visiting it upon the West, a responsible world must take into account whether an Islamist extremist Tehran government would actually regale in its own extinction...that way all 35 million males in the country could swiftly be sent to heaven to meet their waiting virgins, rather than having to wait for so long on earth continually putting up with those annoying Americans.

realist with eyes and ears :

MikeB at August 29, 2006 05:45 PM wrote
"Either Islam undergoes some fundimental liberalizing changes or it needs to be exterminated."
Islam before being exterminated it could be dealt with proportionate force: blacklists, boicotting, specify and declare extremist Islam as prohibited ideology just like communism was, make necessary arrangements to enable a Cold-War like conditions between those who tolerate xtermist islam and those who don't.

Bj. World citizen :

US is spending nearly 500 billion dollars on it's military. That is half of the world's total military spending!

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm

More that 50% of your income tax is spent directly and indirectly on military:
http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm

To sustain this level of spending on arms, we need major enemies! We need to be fearful. No peace loving nation needs this. This is the requirement for domination and control through force if needed.
Don't you find it ironic that the strongest democracy in the world has invaded so many countries, staged so many coups,...
The demagogs need war rhetorics.
US war machine needs this.
Iranian demogogs need war rhetorics to hide the fact that majority of people in such a rich country live below poverty line (40%) and the supreme nacho claims to be voice of god!!

Israeli fascists ( and their neo con supporters) need war rhetorics and war to hold on to occupied territories, be a base for the US imperial interests, be an apartheid state yet claim to be a democracy!!
Hope it helps with the question!

MikeB :

Millersville, Maryland - "...Considering the Arabs claim the land currently occupied by Israel (all of it)...." What you also fail to mention is that fundimentist Islam (and, incodently, that was stated quite clearly by the president of Iran, too) also claims Spain, Sicily and southern Italy, and a heck of a lot of Europe. A foundation belief of Islam is that a land, once conqured for Islam, is a part of the Islamic Empire...forever. They CANNOT surrender it, yeild it for peace, etc. So, unless people are willing to simply surrender, the murders, the bombingings and other terrorist acts, and a while lot worse will continue. If we are "civilized" I don't know what we hope to accomplish. The underlying problem is not with the West, it is with Islam. Their proposal seems to be something like "surrender or die". It doesn't seem to ocur to them that there is a third option and that is to destroy them first. Either Islam undergoes some fundimental liberalizing changes or it needs to be exterminated.

daniel :

First: because a Daniel from Arlington Va. has my same first name let it not be confused with me, simply, Daniel.

Second: I want to concentrate simply on the concept of reducing rhetoric. Anyone can observe that perhaps we in the U.S. should move away from oil—naked facts are obvious—but the problem of reducing, raising, or even knowing rhetoric when we see it is extremely difficult. One thing I do know for certain: the Bush administration is having a hard time at home let alone in the world because the rhetorical methods by which it has united itself are obsolete—or rather I should say the views expressed are obsolete.—Or even better: no matter if the views are genuine and heartfelt or a cloak for questionable actions they are as if a bubble popping in a world of overwhelming complexity and full of insights which reduce the bubble of the administration to its worst aspects (whatever good-will is overlooked). To put it even more clearly, the U.S. today is perhaps being scrutinized more closely than any nation in history, and this forces the nation to become as nations are not really that familiar with being. The U.S. is becoming self-conscious, angry because this is so, guilty, defensive, and trying not to be so conscious of itself in a world coming closer together through communications technology, etc. All the previous observations apply to other countries as well. Countries quite simply are having difficulty maintaining themselves in the unconsciousness of their centuries old identities. Even what nations should be proud of come under fire and come to be seen as somehow inauthentic. Calls to reduce rhetoric here in the U.S. are almost identical to calls to be more honest and indeed create some sort of higher identity. But this is exremely difficult. To try to put it still more clearly, the U.S. now can be compared to a person who lies as much as anyone, is aware of telling lies to advance himself (using rhetoric), but the unparalleled scrutiny today is not only puncturing the worst lies but even the tamest lies—even the basic foundation of personality and calling into question how to orient oneself in the world. Reducing or increasing rhetoric will not help when we are faced with a question of total reorientation of identity. We are being thrown into the situation of having to create a new national truth—how are we to reduce or raise rhetoric when truth itself is being called into question more and more each day? Obviously the best path to follow is one of unrelenting honesty. But that is exceedingly difficult and is the path of science, reason, rationality, discipline, responsibility, etc. And unfortunately if the U.S. were to follow that path still it would run up against other nations—especially the religious view everywhere. We have not burned ourselves up with nuclear weapons yet, but we are burning ourselves up with truth. Hopefully this baptism by fire (in truth) will not lead us to self-destruction and will in fact show us the path out of self-destruction. A few thoughts on rhetoric and truth and why the question posed by the panel is perhaps the one most difficult so far.

Millersville, Maryland :

Easy question: Yes to reducing hostilities

How?

1. Withdraw all of troops out of the Middle East.
2. Articulate and implement a Neutrality Doctrine to all Middle Eastern countries.
3. Stop giving Israel arms and military supplies.
4. Treat the leaders and people of all Middle East countries with respect. (the same way we want to be treated)

Considering the Arabs claim the land currently occupied by Israel (all of it) and the Israelis claim it as well we have an inherent problem. Also, considering the different religous backgrounds the problem is compounded. The west is not going to solve this conflict. We certainly helped create it, but we've been unable to bring peace to the region. The solution must come from the countries in the region whatever that solution will be. The west gains nothing in the long run taking sides in this conflict. Each side claims historical ownership and each side will fight for it. Violence will continue in the region, but that doesn't mean we have to participate, take sides or give arms to any nation in the Middle East.

Ken McGee Louisburg, North Carolina :

I think that Bush ought to debate Ahmadinejad on worldwide television. Maybe, if the Muslims felt sorry for us, they would like us better.

MikeB :

Under George Bush we have become an international joke and are villified by all sides at the same time. Anything we do right now will be, at best, questioned and disregarded. Not just in the Middle East, but everywhere. Our "job" is to somehow survive Bush.

skirke, chicago,usa :

We have the "Axis of Evil" administration. There will be no changes.

James, Leonardtown, USA :

Daniel,
Of course one needs to be wary of generalities, but the exceptions appear to be too few to be of much concern. As for your other comments, they lack creditibility.

I'm sorry, but I can't see faulting a country for invading another to stop a terrorist organization from firing rockets into the civilian populace with the sole objective of killing and terrorizing people. The Lebanese are not innocent bystanders here! From a legal standpoint they have shown depraved indifference and are legally culpable. They knew that terrorists were using their territory to launch attacks against Israel and did nothing to prevent it.

The invasion of Iraq was not unprovoked, and it was not based on lies. That you believe it to be does not make it so. It is very possible the intelligence that the invasion was based upon was faulty, but this is the same intellegence that has been reported by the US Agencies for over ten (10) years. This isn't something dreamed up by the current administration.

We, as a county, are not violently imposing our will on the rest of the world. To even claim such a thing is ludicrous and deprives you of credibility in future discussions. At present, we are resisting other people's attempts to impose their views upon us through violence. As we do business in the world, we bring our culture, and the message of freedom with us. This is a powerful message that is feared by the ruling power structures in the Middle East. The only reason to violently attack us is a lack of faith in their system of government and religion. They do not believe they can compete with us in an honest exchange of ideas and beliefs and therefor react violently.

I doubt our Founding Fathers would be ashamed of our conduct. More likely, they would be astounded at our restraint.

AM, Vienna, VA :

Liked? That is secondary, lower even than feared.

The preference is for RESPECTED, then feared. We'll be respected when we articulate our interests, and give berth to dissenting views. Not everyone who disagrees is an enemy. Essentially, drop the 'with us or against us' nonsense and mentality. Also drop the shoot first then think mentality.

As for Muslims in particular, the key is a solution to the Palestinian problem. This administration has made us completely and unconditionally subservient to Israel. A fair solution to the Palestinian problem is necessary, and will go very far to restoring respect in us.

By the way, that consists of:
1. A viable, to the Palestinians, state in the West Bank & Gaza;
2. Release of all the prisoners;
3. Return of all the land captured in 1967;
4. Compensation to the Palestinians for the land given away by the UN in 1948.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

I'm concerned with the generality of James's statement:

"We should not concern ourselves with whether we are liked or not. The value system of our society is so vastly different from those of the Middle East that the only way to ensure we are liked is to be untrue to ourselves." etc. etc.

To a certain extent, I agree. Take equality of women for example. Clearly there's a difference of opinion on this. On some issues- ie, honor killings, denied civil rights- we should NOT give in. If there's disagreement, so be it. On other issues surrounding women's rights, I think we should just defer to what their culture dictates. There may be disagreement, but that doesn't mean we need to dislike each other. We need to remember- though- that Muslims are not one big homogenous groups. Many muslims DO have ideas about women's rights and freedom of religion that you would find in American- some don't.

However, all this talk about our essential differences overshadows some VERY basic issues. For example- a lot of Muslims don't like us because we side with Israel when they terrorize southern Lebanon. I'm not talking about any grand issue, like Israel's "right to exist". I'm just talking about the fact that we essentially sided with them on the recent conflict where they brutalized the Lebanese civilians. We're not liked for that for good reason and we SHOULD be concerned about that.

We invaded Iraq unprovoked, and we promoted lies to justify our invasion. In the process, we took possession of immense natural resources to enrich ourselves. Again, this isn't about anything nearly as abstract as "women's rights" or "the right of Israel to exist"- its about the tens of thousands of innocents who lost their lives. We are disliked for doing that, and we SHOULD be concerned about that.

I'm worried James glosses over the real issues at stake. The world isn't growing in its anti-Americanism because of our position on women's rights or meritocracy or the freedom of religion. The world is growing in anti-Americanism because we are violently imposing our will on the rest of the world such that even our own Founding Fathers would be ASHAMED of our conduct.

James, Leonardtown, USA :

We should not concern ourselves with whether we are liked or not. The value system of our society is so vastly different from those of the Middle East that the only way to ensure we are liked is to be untrue to ourselves. We as a society believe in Israel's right to exist, in the equality of women, the reward of merit, and the right to choose one's path (i.e. religious freedom). None of these basic human values is accepted in the Middle East, and they never will be if we change to accomodate their prejudices.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

I gotta take issue with "James, Laurel, USA"'s third point:

"3 Stop responding to the extremists. Want to piss Hezbollah off? Freeze them out of negotiations. Walk away from the negotiating table, don't say a word, and remove any and all recognition of their claimed authority as a political or diplomatic force."

We need to get to a point where we realize that if Hezbollah is a terrorist aggressor- so are the United States and Israel. If you look at the body counts, if you look at what provoked our invasion of Iraq or Israel's invasion of Lebanon, you realize that WE are the ones being disproportionate, WE are the ones using terror tactics, and WE are the ones holding the international dialog hostage. In the recent conflict, Israel has benefited from the fact that it is an internationally recognized state, whereas Hezbollah is only a paramilitary organization. The IDF and Hezbollah can engage in the exact same tactics for the exact same reasons, but the international media will condemn Hezbollah as terrorists and the IDF, at worst, as way-ward soldiers. Israel leveled southern Lebanon, targeting sites that weren't even centers of Hezbollah activity. In what world is that not extremist? Do you remember why Hezbollah came into existence in the first place? As a response to Sharon slaughtering men, women, and children in refugee camps in 1982. And yet somehow, we engaged him. We didn't "stop responding to the extremists" in that case. We turned around and branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization, when it was Israel that massacred the refugee camp.

And just like in my previous post, I'm not saying this to justify Hezbollah (or in the case of my previous post, Ahmadinejad). Those guys ARE extremists- I admit that. They're not the kind of people we should get all warm and cozy with. But we need to recognize that we ALSO have terrorists and extremists in the Pentagon, or in the Knesset, or at 10 Downing Street, or in the White House (and by this I mean individuals who advocate the use of terror or other extreme tactics to achieve their ends). Until we acknowledge this, we're not going to get anywhere. I agree that we shouldn't give into extremists of any stripe, but extremists turn extreme for a reason- there is almost always provocation or injustice that turns them that way. If we don't engage them as human beings (remember- they ARE human beings) we'll never get to the root of the problem.

James, Leonardtown, USA :

We should not concern ourselves with whether we are liked or not. The value system of our society is so vastly different from those of the Middle East that the only way to ensure we are liked is to be untrue to ourselves. We as a society believe in Israel's right to exist, in the equality of women, the reward of merit, and the right to choose one's path (i.e. religious freedom). None of these basic human values is accepted in the Middle East, and they never will be if we change to accomodate their prejudices.

James, Leonardtown, USA :

We should not concern ourselves with whether we are liked or not. The value system of our society is so vastly different from those of the Middle East that the only way to ensure we are liked is to be untrue to ourselves. We as a society believe in Israel's right to exist, in the equality of women, the reward of merit, and the right to choose one's path (i.e. religious freedom). None of these basic human values is accepted in the Middle East, and they never will be if we change to accomodate their prejudices.

John Gallagher, Glendora CA, US :

Yes it should be a goal of the US to be if not liked at least respected. The Bush/Cheney Administration has been a catastrophe for advancing fairness and peace. Condi Rice also should share in taking credit for our declining respect. She arrogantly stated that the objective of the US was to help create a "new Middle East" and therefore it was neccessary to allow the killing and bombing to go on awhile longer in Lebanon. The crassness and total immorality of her statements was dumbfounding. In just a few short years the Bush people have managed to almost completely destroy the respect the US has enjoyed for a few generations
The person, I think, who could do most to restore us to a place of respect on the planet is Al Gore. Since I doubt he will run for president I hope someone else with loads of integrity will emerge in the next year or so.

James, Laurel, United States :

Absolutely.

How?

#1 Cut the "spread the Democracy" crap. There are some legitimate human rights issues in some current governments which need to be curbed, but by and large, its pretty stupid to have the first thing you say when you meet a country is "we want you to tear down everything you've ever known and do it like we do because we think we're better". THAT is raw hubris. Afghanistan and Pakistan are both examples of where secular governments have made strides in maintaining something resembling working order by respecting existing tribal structures and their semi-autonomy. There is nothing wrong with this, it works, its respectful of their beliefs and livelihoods. Are there specific elements which could be modified through diplomatic pressure? Damned straight, but it doesn't require the shredding of the entire culture and the implementation of an America-clone. It doesn't work, it generates a buttload of resentment that's entirely avoidable.

Democracy worked in the US and Europe because the people there wanted something new. They were sick of the old order and sought to replace it. The desire for change came from within. Until the people want it bad enough, its just not going to happen. With this hamhanded crap in the Middle East, we're trying to impose it, and we're getting our butts handed to us because of it.

In Iraq, Bush and his people were so damned sure of their preconceived notions of how the world should be, they walked in with the same attitude that Saddam had. "You can't do it right, I'll (we'll) tell you how to do it." Stupid move. Should have run the reconstruction of Iraq like the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Secure the nation's freedom, then LET THEM FIGURE IT OUT FOR THEMSELVES. Now we've played the benevolent dictator hand too hard, and the place is ready to explode because now there's a force in power that isn't ruthless enough to crack down like Saddam was.

At this point, back out, and let them get whatever it is out of their system.

#2 When the time comes to act violently, do it decisively. No minimum numbers, you go in full throttle with maximum directed violence, and you smash the hell out of whatever is needed to ensure that future violence won't be necessary. Oh sure, you'll piss off the target government, maybe even get the rhetoric brigade fired up, BUT, if you do the job right, you put the impression back into place that you are not the one with which to screw, THEN you show the gentler side as the alternative better dealt with.

#3 Stop responding to the extremists. Want to piss Hezbollah off? Freeze them out of negotiations. Walk away from the negotiating table, don't say a word, and remove any and all recognition of their claimed authority as a political or diplomatic force. If they get hostile, you take them down in the field, BUT you leave THEM to be the aggressor. Reagan was the only smart one, DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS. Bottom line, end of story. If a Muslim group has an issue, take it through legitimate channels. Recognition in the media empowers the radicals and marginalizes the national governments. STOP DOING THIS. Make the government your point of contact. Make THEM the key. If the terrorists take it to the streets with hostile actions, then you address them there, but in negotiating grievances, the West MUST empower the national governments by making THEM the only authorities we recognize.

That's at least a start.

daniel, Arlington VA, USA :

One way to get the world (not just Muslims- but the entire world) to respect America more would be to take Ahmadinejad up on his offer to debate Bush. That would show that we don't want to dictate policy to the world- we want to engage the world. Now, I personally believe that the Bush administration is NOT interested in engaging the world- that's why he's refusing the idea of debate- but I think they American people are genuinely in support of a more humble approach to international affairs. If Ahmadinejad were to appear on the same stage as Bush, all kinds of positions would be expressed that the American media (the Post included) are currently keeping suppressed.
Ahmadinejad would bring up issues, such as:

-Why is Iran's nuclear program being singled out, despite the fact that no evidence has been revealed suggesting that it is anything but civilian, while nations like Israel and India are actually COOPERATING with the United States in developing nuclear weapons?
-Why is Iran considered a regional security threat when the United States and Israel are the only nations to have taken offensive military action in the region in the last several years?

I'm not saying we have to take Ahmadinejad's side on all issues- he's dictatorial and hateful. As bad as our president may be, Bush is still preferable to his Iranian counterpart. But by letting this debate go forward we can admit that America doesn't have all the answers. That in some cases, America may be distorting the truth- and that it takes an Iranian dictator to point it out. We need to admit that we're equal to everybody else- and I think engaging Ahmadinejad in a debate is great way to start.

Terry Morrison Canada :

It seems to me that a distinction is in order here in regards to the views of Americans by "others". In my own country Canada there certainly has been a rise in anti American sentiment in recent years. However dig deeper into this sentiment and you will discover that it is anti Bush administration sentiment. People dislike the combination of arrogance and ignorance displayed by key figures in this administration and the policies which flow from this dual source. Views of American people are a separate matter entirely. Canadians in general like our cousins even if they find them a bit louder on some matters. In fact there is a sense of feeling a bit sorry for Americans in having to have their current President and his gang represent them. The first step in addressing the anti American issue then is clear and simple: begin the process of "regime change" in the USA starting with congressional elections in November.

Mark, Victoria, Canada :

American policies and rhetoric in the past three years have created a rise in anti-US sentiment in the world, period - don't bother trying to single out the Muslims, who probably have the greatest reason for it. It hardly needs saying why this has come about, because the US and its people would be the first to jump on it if it were any other country.

Let's pretend it's Russia. Russia elects, under suspicious circumstances, an extremely unpopular leader who makes the rest of the world nervous and uncomfortable. This leader uses a national disaster as a springboard to launch a war of aggression against an unrelated country, which just happens to be resource-rich. The initial military campaign is successful, but problems pacifying the country set in. However, in the initial rush of euphoria, a minister of the leader's government announces, obviously with the leader's approval, that only those countries who participated in the illegal assault to seize the country will be permitted a slice of the reconstruction pie, although everyone is welcome to invest in free humanitarian aid.

As things begin to get sticky, other government figures who suggest maybe the attack on the unrelated country was unsubstantiated are ruthlessly pilloried by the government. As soldiers start to die, phony letters start to crop up in Norman-Rockwellian small towns, saying how delighted the peasants of the country are to have the Russian army run the show for them. These letters prove to have all originated with the same source, and were not even seen by those who are suggested to have sent them.

The debacle continues to worsen. Russia says it will pull out just as soon as it is able, but is seen to be building permanent military bases, although it uses every possible adjective except "permanent" to describe these necessary structures. It begins to construct the largest Russian Embassy in the world in the hapless country. When a couple of towns become fractious and ungovernable, Russia surrounds them with its military and pummels them flat, with enormous loss of civilian lives and incorporating illegal weapons. Russia denies the latter, but battlefield records show the allegation to be true.

Along about this time, another election comes due. Despite much information being available in the public domain regarding the sins being carried out in the name of Russia, the Russians ELECT HIM AGAIN!!!!

Things go from bad to worse, and Russian infrasructure begins to suffer for the gajillions of rubles being spent on the war. The leader finally admits, under questioning designed to pin him down against a tendency to give weaselly non-answers, that the country under occupation had nothing to do with the disaster, despite conscious and overt effort by the government to link them. Unabashed, Russia begins to rattle its sabre in an effort to whip up war fever against another, bigger neighbouring country.

Stop me at the point you think Americans would have developed a negative view of Russia. How can you pretend anti-Americanism in the current environment is unexpected or undeserved? Now, be Muslim on top of that.

despicable :

Foul! Your question supposes, rather tries to propogandize—what we get all day every day from the neocons—
the idea that it is the bad bad muslims who hate us, are coming to get us, so we must constantly war war war...preemptively.
It is the WHOLE WORLD THAT HATES US, because of our support of the savage Israelis and their determination, succeeding, to use the US armaments and blood in a constant war, their only wayto take over. The long, long plan. It failed in Germany, is succeeding here. The whole world sees it, the Europeans know the routine.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C. :

I posted these comments on the other question in WP: "Is Iran just trying to buy time? Should the UN negotiate more with Iran, or impose sanctions because of its failure to comply?" I believe that they are worth repeating.

Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. My fundamental question is - as much as I hate to ask this - who are we to dictate terms and conditions to a sovereign nation? What moral right do we (the U. S., the U. K., France, et al) have to tell other countries how to run their sovereign nations? I am afraid that the proverbial nuclear genie is out of the bottle. Guess what - France, U. S., the U. K., and Canada have been the worst proliferators of nuclear technology. Take India for instance: Canada, France, and the U. K. provided all the technology. How can we provide one country with the technology and deny the other? If we want to hold a moral high ground, we should have a uniform policy across the board. Even if we do have preferences, I am not sure that we can prevent the transfer of any technology to a third party. However, we, as a sovereign nation, always do have the right to say that we will not provide the technology.

Let us approach any problem, inlcuding Iran, with tabula rasa. Let us not go in to the negotiations on a high horse. We can always walk off the negotiations, if we do not agree with the terms and conditions. Let us approach it as if it were a business negotiation, with an open mind and without preconceived notions. Patience is a virtue that not many people (countries) have.

In the eyes of many countries, the U. N. has become a bully pulpit for us (the U. S.) and other so-called "Western Nations." It is time for us to restore some credibility to the U. N. Let us show Iranians and other "troubled" countries what good we can accomplish, and how to do it, through peace and economic reforms at home. After all, most of Humankind's brain is in its stomach! Even wild animals, when adequately fed, do not pounce on preys!

Let us address underlying issue (Palestinian crisis, at least as it is purported to be; I am not arguing that it is true). We have to remove all the obstacles, before we jump to a bullheaded stance and conclusions. All religions and cultures have rabid fundamentalists and fanatics. It is just that it Islam seems to have a much greater proportion of these nitwits. Unfortunately, it also seems that Islam has a strong proclivity toward demagoguery and rabble-rousing. Having said that, what is happening to Palestinians is no different from holocaust that Hitler unleashed on Jewish population. Bottom line: people are getting agitated without understanding the real issues. Let us focus on fundamnetal issues without getting caught up in the miasma that pervades all of the Middle-East.

I believe that the U. N. (not just the U.. S., the U. K., Germany, China, France), as an institution, should be empowered to negotiate and act. (See, the world has lost respect for the so-called Western Nations. Neutrality is sorely needed in this instance.) If negotiations do not work, then the U. N. should impose economic sanctions and arms embargo on Iran. We need to try everything, before we can gain legitimacy for our actions. Saber-rattling simply does not work, nor help.

Winning a war (be it of any kind - symmetric, or asymmetric) requires at least two things - will and material wherewithal. The "wherewithal" includes economic power, military power, technological power, and lastly, not the least, personnel. Lately, we (the Western countries) seriously lack (for whatever reasons - one could write a couple of tomes on these reasons alone) the willpower. We also lack human power (population). The only edge (very slight) that we have are technology and economy. Unfortunately, these two advantages are also evanescing fast. Ultimately, countries that have the greatest educated human resources will be clear winners. (We - the U. S. - is seriously lagging behind ther nations on this, because we would much rather spend money on wars than education!)

All I am asking the world community to do with Iran is take a deep breath; analyze the fundamental reasons for the issue(s); try to address them before we go to another war and lose our limbs, if not our lives, and many other countless casualties. As regards Iran (Mohammed Ahmadinejad), let us not make the same mistake that we did with Iraq (Saddam Hussein). I recall Ronald Reagan's phrase "trust, but verify" - let us do the same thing with Iran. Let us enagage them in constructive dialogue. If that does not work, then we must take punitive measures. Let us not rattle our sabers, unnecessarily, and lose credibility (whatever very little s left of it).

Now, let us ask ourselves what the fundamental reason(s) for this strife in this part (Middle-East) of the world is (are). Well, in two words - exploitation and expediency. It originated with the Colonial powers - Great Britain, France, Netherlands (Dutch), Portugal, Spain. They simply wanted to exploit the resources (natural and human) for their own benefits. When the going got tough, these Colonial powers decided that they would hightail it out of there! (This is how the State of Israel came about. Great Britain could not control the Jewish "terrorists," and hence, decided that it would partition the land rather than finding a long-term solution.) The same rationale holds true for Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and countless other nation-states. If there is one country that I blame for all the misery in Asia, that would indeed be none other than Great Britain, which is currently not so great, after all. Now, its power (economic and military) has been reduced to rubble. (What goes around, comes around!) However, I do not want to rewrite history, but only learn from our past mistakes.

Israel should cease trying to be a just "Jewish" state, but as a true democracy, wherein Palestinians and Jews have equal rights in all respects. (I am no fan of Hezbollah, Hamas, or other radical factions. So do not even try to address my non-existent predilections for religious fundamentalism and waste your breath.) The current situation reeks of erstwhile slavery in the U. S. religion has no place, none whatsoever, in today's politics.

We, the U. S., are acting exactly like those Colonial powers, although our intentions are ostensibly magnanimous and noble. (I am sure that our Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.) Why is that the Western nations are prepared to withstand the grind of war and poverty for many years, losing its precious resources (its people), alienating the populace, instead of finding a peaceful, long-term solution? There is something radically wrong with this picture.

If we were to drop tactical/strategic nuclear warheads, then we would have no basis for protection, but only total annihilation of the world, as we know it. I just want to ask: who let the nuclear genie out? I am sure that we have heard the expression "hoist with one's own petard." This is what is happening to all of us, now. Newton's third law says "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Unfortunately, this is also true in humanity.

We could insure that possessors of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technology not to transfer, nor proliferate, to other countries. Let us see how many of those countries are willing to do it? Unfortunately, the adage "it is the economy, stupid" still rings very true. Proliferation is really a chain-reaction. Pakistan got its technology from China; North Korea got its technology from Pakistan and China; Iran is getting it from Pakistan and North Korea; Libya got, or is still getting it from Pakistan. Guess who provided, at least partically, China with the technology?

Education is the key. (I do not mean just "bookish" education.) It opens eyes and minds and let people appreciate and respect the strength in diversity and differences of opinions, without resorting to war and mayhem. Lack of education (ignorance) keeps people totally in the dark and make them fall prey to demagoguery. That is why the younger generations of Iranians are seemingly clueless to the world at large. Education is also the reason why many of the Israelis (Jews) are calling for peace in the Middle-East and equal rights for Palestinians (against Israeli government's policies) and an end to the violence. Lack of education is also why many of us (Americans) are ignorant and vote for the demagogues, fearmongers, and rabble-rousers. Europeans, generally, but not always, tend be "less closed-minded," because they travel around extensively. (Traveling could be educational and informative.) Let us ask ourselves something - how many of us have left our home base?

Here are my thoughts on what we (the West, especially the U. S. should do):
* read and understand history and learn from it (more to determine "what NOT to do");

* understand that the separation of church and state is a must;

* not support one faction, or another, in a conflict; and

* insure that our policies are even-handed, fair, just, have a long-term view, and not for the sake of expediency;

* invest in a strong "defense," not "offense." In Teddy Roosevelt's words: speak softly and carry a "really" big stick (the key here is speak softly, first).

* invest in education.

Deep Ray, Wappingers Falls :

The question presupposes that the Bush/Cheney regime actually wants to reduce hostility by muslims.. I have a contrary opinion. The neocon crowd are not stupid even though they are very fortunate to have as President a person with a very limited knowledge of the world in general, and muslim history and civilization in particular. I strongly believe, based on the plicy and actions of the Bush/Cheney regime, that they actually want to increase muslim hostility against the USA. That serves as a perfect foil to deflect any criticism from their strategy of endless warfare in the mideast: create deep fear about the " evil terrorists", "islamo-facsists", "they hate us because we are free", "if we don't fight them there, these alien creatures will follow us here" in the mostly clueless supporters in the South and parts of mid-West who are the base for the Republicans. Any thoughtful person would ask the question what freedom was Muhhamed Atta lacking in Germany where he was pursuing his education in architecture that he became so enraged to transform himself into the ring-leader of the 9/11 team of airplane hijacakers. Same questions are raised about the train bombers in Madrid or the British-born young muslims of Pakistani-origin who have recently engaged in the foiled plot to blow up multiple planes in flight. One can clearly see in the Bush/Cheney response to these events that they are least interested in these questions. Their answer to the London terror plot was best summed up by Cheney two weeks back: if you vote against anybody (Lieberman) who blindly supports the "forever war on terror policy", you are actually encouraging "Al Qaeda types"!! I can't wait until these wonderful defenders of democracy take away our voting rights because " we are at war"!!
So my conclusions, based on the actions of the Bush/Cheney regime, are:
1) they will continue to use "bomb first, ask questions later" policy if they keep control of the Congress after the fall election.
2) This reckless policy will continue to inflame muslims worldwide, and force other nations like China, Germany, Russia, France to be not supprtive of US initiatives on Iran sanctions, or working with USA to resolve other conflicts such as the Israeli-Arab conflict. The muslim anger and rage aganist continued occupation and destruction of Iraq, treating all muslims living in the West as suspects in potential terrorist acts, will lead to more violence against United States and its few allies (England and Estonia??).
3) Continued terrorist acts against USA will be used to keep the American people in perpetual fear and confusion. This would enable the Republican majority to prevent any meaningful legislations/policy debates to address the real economic threats to the well-being of millions of hard-working middle-class and poor Americans: reduce budget deficits so that social security and medicare obligations can be paid in the next 20-30 years; develop plans for uniuversal health care, and meaningful program towards developing alternative energy to reduce our dependence on mideast oil..

The last item (no energy policy) is the most obscene and cruel joke that the Bush/Cheney regime has successfully played on us: continued chaos in Iraq and constant threats of invasion of Iran have contributed to $20-30 to the price of a barrel of oil. The windfall profits to Iran and S. Arabia funds the jehadist movements (Hezbullah by Iran; continuation of teaching young muslim boys in the mideast, Pakistan etc to hate all other religions, and the jehadist call of war against infidels). At the same time, the big-oil and related companies are minting money with unprecedented profits which funds the Republican machine to engage in the massive propaganda and manipulation of news that enable them to win "free elections" to keep the regime in power!!

PostGlobal Top Commentator: Vital Perspective :

Without question a goal of U.S. foreign policy ought to be reducing hostility to the West from the Muslim world, however, we reject the premise that American policies and rhetoric in the past three years (i.e. since the invasion of Iraq) is the catalyst of a rise in anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiment. Islamic extremism and anti-Western positions in the Muslim world haven't been a new phenomenon since 1979. Since then, Islamic extremists have committed the overwhelming majority of terror attacks worldwide.

It cannot be argued or reasoned away that anti-Western sentiment among the world's Muslims was not fervent prior to the invasion of Iraq. Have we forgotten the bombings against tourists in Bali, the attack on the French oil tanker Limburg, the bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Calcutta, the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, and of course, 9/11?

Our allies in the region are committed to helping the U.S. win the war on terror. Intelligence has proven strong in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which assisted the U.S. in the capture of Abu Zubaida and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, among others. Not to mention the Iraqis that dropped a dime on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Some would have the U.S. support moderates in the Muslim world and build up our alliances within the existing framework of allies to win the war on terror. This, however, ignores the threat that state sponsors of terror pose and puts us back into a foreign policy where the empowered extremists can use their terrorist contractors to attack worldwide. It was exactly that sort of policy that created a more acute terror threat, and we ignore it at our own peril. Fortunately, there is a solution to reverse a generation of disdain for the West in the region: cultural exchanges, democratic reform and broad economic investment. Hostility to the West cannot be reversed in a day; it's a process that requires a long-term commitment from America that we must continue with to make our nation more secure.

Check out their blog here: http://vitalperspective.com

Vital Perspective

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