June 25, 2005

Anti-Americanism

In about twenty minutes a friend of mine is going to board an airplane to Belgium. He lives there on-and-off part time, in Antwerp, and this morning he told me he’s dreading going back there. The anti-Americanism gets more hostile and deranged by the week. It’s grinding him down so much he can hardly stand being in Europe.

He isn’t a defensive right-winger who can’t take any criticism of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. He is a leftist who voted for Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary election.

It’s not just Europe, either. Australia, staunch ally that it is, also looks like a rough place for Americans if you hang out in some circles. (Hat tip: Tim Blair.)
AMERICAN students are quitting Queensland universities in the face of hate attacks by Australians angry at US President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.

One university has launched an investigation into claims an American student returned to the US after suffering six months of abuse at a residential college in Brisbane.

American students have told The Sunday Mail the verbal attacks are unbearable and threatening to escalate into physical violence.

Griffith University student Ian Wanner, 19, from Oregon, said abusive Australian students had repeatedly called him a "sepo" – short for septic tank. "It is so disrespectful. It's not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere here," he said.

The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission has described the abuse as "horrible" and says it could be classed as racial vilification.

The abuse problem is so prevalent that US students are being given formal briefings before leaving home on how to cope with abusive Australians.

Mr Wanner said even female Australian students were verbally abusive. He warned the problem could "escalate into a very large brawl".

"There has already been confrontations between people," he said.

A female American student from Griffith, who wished to remain unnamed, said she had met some "exceptional" people in Australia – but was leaving this month in shock over her treatment.

She said she was desperate to go home after the slurs, which also spilled over at pubs in central Brisbane.

"They basically picked on me," she said. "At first, I thought it was a joke. Then I just had it out with them and told them I came here to be treated respectfully.

"I have had a few incidents in bars. I had a guy and he heard my accent and he said: 'I hate your president. I hate your country.' "

Another Griffith student has already returned to the US after enduring six months of abuse at the university's residential college in Brisbane.

All the students received counselling before arriving and were warned of the backlash against the US.

They said they were advised not to carry any items that would identify their nationality.
What I find most odd about this phenomenon is that Arab countries (at least Libya, Tunisia, and Lebanon) are a lot more welcoming of Americans than other Western countries are. Arabs are the ones who supposedly hate us the most, but they are vastly vastly more polite and more pleasant to hang out with.

What’s up with that? Is the Arab code of hospitality the only explanation? Maybe it is, but I’m not so sure. Whatever the explanation, the difference in the way Americans are treated in different parts of the world certainly is counter-intuitive.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 25, 2005 04:34 PM
Comments

Hmmmmmm. I went to High School (16 years ago) with a girl who spent a year in Australia as an exchange student. She came home to Wyoming with a thick Australian accent - very proud that the last 4 months that she was there no-one could guess that she was an American when she spoke. Anyway, she said that when she first arrived her "nickname" was Sepo. (Apparently due to the "fact" that Americans litter and Aussies don't.) It sounds like the sentiment has become much more hostile though.

Posted by: Richmond at June 25, 2005 04:57 PM

This was a topic of conversation on my trip to Paris last week. I know I'm just one guy but my experience is that the anti-American sentiment is less now than I've noticed over the last decade but there are two very noticeable differences. The first is it seems to be very focused on anti the American President, where before there would be signs proclaiming some I hate America sentiment or other, now all of them pretty much make a reference to Bush. The second is the willingness of the dislike America group to get very personal about it. So I guess the number of instances I've noticed is down by quite a bit, but the intensity of the ones that do happen is noticeably higher. The one exception I've noticed is Brazil, I don't think they ever liked us, they certainly don't now.

Posted by: tommy at June 25, 2005 05:01 PM

It's their newspapers, magazines, tv shows, etc. Ever read those foreign papers? I'd hate Americans too if I read the crazy crap and stereotypes constantly drummed into Europeans' heads through their media. And Australians, too I guess. That's kind of a surprise.

It's like in the movie, Barecelona, the best movie about anti-Americanism I've ever seen.

"Have you read the things they say about us? I mean, I know we're not supposed to take it seriously, but after a while it really starts to hurt!"

That character is later attacked and nearly dies after an anti-American Spanish journalist falsely accuses him of being a CIA agent.

Posted by: Chokey at June 25, 2005 05:02 PM

In the UK they call Americans "Septics", as in septic yanks.

Posted by: Chokey at June 25, 2005 05:03 PM

So it appears Australian universities are similarly rat-infested dens of the Left.

Posted by: spaniard at June 25, 2005 05:10 PM

Oh my - well here I'll go again and say that it's pretty obvious that Americans are the new Jews. This has been obvious for quite some time now. The fundamental irrationality of anti-Americanism is a dead giveaway that a basic psychodynamic impulse is operative, in this case "displacement", which Wikipedia defines as "an unconscious defence mechanism, whereby the mind redirects emotion from a 'dangerous' object to a 'safe' object."

It's fairly obvious that America is the "safe object". One guess as to who or what the "dangerous object" is.

Posted by: Caroline at June 25, 2005 05:14 PM

What's the mystery, Michael? It's the European left, of course, picking up on the traditional anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. Yes, even in Britain. Yes, even in its US manifestation. Anti-Americanism traditional? Read Orwell commenting on the reception of US troops in Britain during the early stages of WWII. Throw in state run radio and television and declining world influence as the center moves to the Pacific, and Europe is well on its way to rediscover of the joys of fascism.

Austrailia (and NZ) are far closer politically to Europe and Britain than to the US, so no surprise there. Why not so much in the Arab countries? Well, first of all the left hardly exists in the region anymore, and what remains finds itself abandoned by the Europeans. In addition, anti-Americanism hasn't the long history it does in Europe and Arabs emigrants have better opportunities in the US. Certainly they are more successful here. Anyway, it will be interesting to see this phenomena more studied. And I think we will have plenty of opportunity.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 05:16 PM
Harry's Place has a pretty reasonable explanation for the recent rabidization of anti-Americanism in Europe - it might also apply to Australia:
Since September 11, its not been hard to detect a mood in Western Europe to pull down the blinds and wish the rest of the world would just go away. If it wasn't for the meddling Yanks and the looney Muslims we could all just get on with our nice quiet European lives like we used to do. This Europe's slogan is Could everyone just please leave us alone? These are the people for whom the description 'Fortress Europe' was not a criticism of the EU but a positive policy proposal.
Aussies can be pretty isolationist when they want to be. When I was there, I didn't see too much anti-Americanism, but for some reason, people seemed to assume that we were Canadians. Maybe it was the way we dressed?

I've often thought that a solution to the difficuties that we've had as the sole remaining 'superpower' would be to start a war with the Aussies, let them win, declare that they are now the world's superpower, and let them deal with the loony Islamists, Ba'thists and Europeans. As the youngest member of the Anglosphere it's their turn and personally, I'm tired of the whole thing.

(This suggestion is only partially facetious).

Posted by: mary at June 25, 2005 05:22 PM

I should add that the sentiment is likely to be most pronounced where the left is most prominant: universities, the young, and the educated. This is a testable hypothesis. Anyway John of Argghh has been visiting Normandy and doesn't seem to have encountered any problems. As he says,

Somehow, that whole “The French don’t like us” deal I keep hearing about rings kind of hollow, both in light of what I saw and my chat with Were-Kitty's Norman alter-ego...

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 05:27 PM

I don't know Mary - I kind of liked your wild idea of outright buying central Asian countries in cash and taking them over. :-)

Posted by: Caroline at June 25, 2005 05:28 PM

Hey, I'm Australian and I go to a major Australian university (Melbourne University, Victoria) and I reset the implication that there's pervasive anti-americanism in the country. First in the general populace there is extremely strong support for the US alliance. We went to war with you guys in Iraq with absolute bipartisan support and much less heated protests than across Europe. Something which hurt the opposition in the Oct 2004 elections was the perception that they weren't going to be close enough to the US diplomatically because they felt we should focus more on Asia. Among the general population there is a broad respect for Americans.

Having said that, we do have a radical left fringe which is most visible on uni campuses. They don't represent all that much of the population but like radical leftys the world over they're vocal. They are far from representative of majority opinion, though.

There also is probably some cultural misunderstanding too. Australian's tend to be fairly blunt and expect others to be as thick skinned as they are. I've never heard the term (I think it must be Qld specific) but "sepo" sounds just like the sort of larrican nickname Australians would give someone to tease them in a relatively good natured way. I'm not saying that there wouldn't be people who could be genuinely nasty, but I'd be astonished if it were a significantly large group.

There's a significant number of american exchange students in my lectures, clubs and tutes and I've become reasonably good friends with 3 or 4 of them. All of them had great, positive experiences here and (to my knowledge) didn't experience any significant "racist" attacks.

Just thought I'd try and clear the air somewhat.

Posted by: Jeremy at June 25, 2005 05:29 PM

You don't have to go to Australia or France to be hated. US universities have plenty of hate-america types. A lot of them have tenure, but a lot of them are just conformist sycophants who hate america because they think it's a cool thing to do.

Posted by: Fran at June 25, 2005 05:38 PM

Jeremy,

I believe you. That's why I was careful when I crafted this sentence:

Australia, staunch ally that it is, also looks like a rough place for Americans if you hang out in some circles

I know it's not bad everywhere there.

The funny thing is, I had coffee with some Hezbollah fans in Lebanon and they were perfectly pleasant as people. One is a lawyer, he gave me his card, and told me to call him if I needed help with anything whatsover. He gave me a Cuban cigar as I went on my way. He is a political nutcase, but a really nice guy.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 25, 2005 05:42 PM

Envy and immaturity explains much of this. Leftism can largely be explained as the political manifestation of envy and childishness.

When a person sees others around her who have more wealth, power, intelligence or beauty, she generally responds in one of two ways...with acceptance, frequently accompanied by a determination to do her best at whatever special talents she may possess ( in other words, she responds constructively ), OR, she is consumed by envy and becomes determined to destroy that which she cannot attain ( the destructive response ).

We all know which of these two types of people constitute the Leftist movement. Most anti-American types - regardless where they live - hold the same views. And you can accurately predict their views on almost any topic by knowing only their view on a particular topic. It is safe to assume that a high percentage of the people who hate Bush also hate free trade, free markets, and support large welfare states. They hate the US because they want what we have, but they do not have the guts or the will to obtain it for themselves, because to do so would require that they give up their farm subsidies, 35-hour work weeks, etc.

But, all is not lost for the Left. Now that Americans have lost their property rights, maybe we will eventually become welfare-state addicted drones who will oneday willingly give up our rights for the sake of "security", just like the Europeans have done. Then the world will no longer be "bothered" by that group of strivers and big dreamers who dared to push the world forward -- you know, those pesky arrogant people called Americans, who used to believe in freedom.

Don't worry Lefties..your fascist paradise may yet be realized. You are well on the way. Keep it up. Stalin, Bismark, and Mussolini would be so proud of you.

Posted by: Freeguy at June 25, 2005 05:43 PM

I don't know Mary - I kind of liked your wild idea of outright buying central Asian countries in cash and taking them over. :-)

If we act fast, we can get some good deals...

Posted by: mary at June 25, 2005 05:46 PM

Freeguy,

I note that opposition to the Kelo decision was both left and right. I think there is a libertarian streak in the American soul that cannot be expunged, even if it gets covered up sometimes. I don't think we will ever follow the European way.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 05:51 PM

Mary: "If we act fast, we can get some good deals..."

I doubt we can act fast enough to beat the Chinese - you know - the new NEW Jews!...:-)

Posted by: Caroline at June 25, 2005 05:56 PM

Michael,

You're right. In regions where we are actively pursuing stability, we are in the very least, given a pass by the vast majority of the population - if not openly welcomed. That fades over time, as is evidenced by most of the countries of Europe where it has been a while since we have actively pursued stability. Australians will come around, they are a lot more sensible than their "small island" kin. ;)

Posted by: Joel (No Pundit Intended) at June 25, 2005 06:22 PM

Joel,

We're not exactly pushing for "stability" in the Middle East. Quite the opposite, actually.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 25, 2005 06:43 PM

I know a couple of Americans who just returned from Australia and they had a blast. This article might just be a media thing. I suspect that Canadians hate us more than any other country.

If you want to read foriegn press you can go to www.watchingamerica.com. The North Korean articles are the best.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 25, 2005 06:44 PM

In this contentious age, it is well to remember that some things are universal. The desire to sell a Lotus, for instance. The rest of the story is here.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 07:14 PM

When I travel to the UK once each year, I wear the white jacket I picked up in Edmonton. It has CANADA embossed across the front in bright red letters. It threw a US customs agent for a loop when he saw my American passport, but it avoids making me a target. Nobody seems to hate Canada.

Posted by: Didsbury at June 25, 2005 07:24 PM

I am an American living in Beijing. During the years I have lived here I have experienced very little anti-americanism. Although, there is a deep hatred for president Bush and his policies throughout the country, usually the Chinese don't equate Bush with individual American citizens. They may just be holding their tounges about it, but I suspect the majority believe that government policies can be vastly different from people's individual views. After all, that's their experience with their own government. Perhaps this explains the Arab attitudes, because they must certainly have a feeling of powerlessness.

Maybe these anti-American Australians are feeling a sense of frustration because their president so completely endorsed the war in Iraq. He was then subsequently re-elected. I wonder if the hatred would be less in countries that did not support the war. I mean at least they can say, "it's not my fault, we were against it". Can you imagine some other country dictating our foreign policy, we would be up in arms as well.

Posted by: Mr. Kovach at June 25, 2005 07:48 PM

Mr. Kovach, I don't think we are dictating policy to Australia. Bush is not giving the P.M. of Britian or Australia orders. If Edwards went into Iraq to maintain an alliance with the states he did not need to. I am certain that if Australia was in trouble we would be the first to step up and eat some bullets.

Jeremy, why did Australia go in with the US? Are the people in Australia happy with what they have gotten in return?

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 25, 2005 07:59 PM

MJT sez He is a leftist who voted for Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary election.

"He," dude? Don't you mean "She," as in your wife voted for Dennis the Menace? Is them "fighting words." Totten?

Well, then, wipe me out, Wimpy. And, while you're at it, take back all that crap you told me about that "woman in the park" verses the non-interference "prime directive."

And I thot John Kerry was a waffling fool.

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 25, 2005 08:02 PM

I suspect that Canadians hate us more than any other country.

Nope. Bush isn't popular though. Even though I'm a baby-eating Canadian leftist, I regularly go on wilderness kayaking trips with a US Republican who's company I more than enjoy. I think that generally, Americans are enjoyed as members of a happy, outgoing, and generous culture, and IMO, the personalities of Americans reflect that.

MJT: He is a political nutcase, but a really nice guy.

My feelings exactly about my Republican paddling buddy.

But on the other hand, when a greater part of your traditional allies (my nation included) were given the finger when they didn't toe the US administration's line on Iraq, what was the expected outcome? (Remember that the world was almost 100% behind you guys on the Taliban issue, including this particular leftist).

C'mon guys, you didn't want allies, and now you don't have them. What's the problem?

Didsbury: When I travel to the UK once each year, I wear the white jacket I picked up in Edmonton.

You BASTARD! That's why we're publishing lists of questions that should be asked of tourists claiming Canadian citizenship. (Michael did well last time I tried this, so now it's tougher):

1. What is gaunch?

2. What does it mean when someone scoffs your touque?

3. Where is Peter Man's Bridge located?

4. What orifice is Seeman's generally inserted in?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at June 25, 2005 09:35 PM

Sorry, make that last one "4. What orifice is Sleeman's inserted in?"

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at June 25, 2005 09:37 PM

It's when folks read sh!t like this, it's hard to love and embrace imperialism...ask the American Revolutionaries.

---------------------------------
We are the new empire—get used to it. This is the message being promulgated by a number of conservatives, led by William Kristol’s Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a Washington think-tank dedicated to enhancing America’s "military, diplomatic, and moral leadership" around the world.

That is, as the world’s only remaining superpower we should accept our responsibilities.

"I think Americans have become used to running the world and would be very reluctant to give it up," insists Tom Donnelly, PNAC’s deputy executive director, who makes the boldest case for an active, expansionist, engaged American foreign policy. Donnelly refers longingly to the strategies and tactics of the old British Empire, policing the Raj and maintaining its "Pax Britannica"—but the American empire he envisions holds no territorial ambitions.

http://www.kevinbaker.info/a_nyt_empire.html

Posted by: NeoDude at June 25, 2005 09:43 PM

This isn't hard to understand. Leftists are very frustrated in all Western countries. They are a lot more frustrated outside the US though, because they feel that even if they can win an election locally (which in some places they can and in others doesn't seem likely) their views still won't have any impact because all of the big decisions today are made by and in the US.

That's basically it, it annoys them no end, and they get obnoxious about it when they see an American. The only thing I can't see is, even though I have to put up with this from time to time, why I should be upset about it. Personally I think it's a damn good thing that we are the more powerful nation, and I hope it continues that way for a long time.

Eventually these people will come to be seen in their own countries the way we see our own ageing leftists and hippies - as a bunch of under-achieving perennial whiners and losers. A younger generation we can get along with better will emerge. We should have the patience to wait for this to happen, because you can't compromise with this sort of anti-American any more than you can with devoted environmentalists, global warming enthusiasts or other leftist zealot sects.

Posted by: ZF at June 25, 2005 09:48 PM

Traveled through Southeast Asia with my g/f right before the troops went into Iraq in 2003, and detected not the slightest trace of anti-Americanism from any of the Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian folks we met. Hung out a fair amount with a handsome young Vietnamese couple, for example, the guy an entrepeneur, the girl a starlet in the Hong Kong film industry, and they were pro-American through and through. (Visiting America, the young businessman told me soberly, "Is my dream.")

The anti-Americanism all came from the European tourists, from the drunk Brit who lectured us on the wisdom of Michael Moore, or the German tourist who was entirely friendly and chatty, until I told her I was from California. ("Oh," she said, looking like she just swallowed stomach bile, "American then."

My theory (not withstanding the odd Aussie college student) is that international anti-Americanism is usually in proportion to a country's irrelevance on the global scene, and/or the self-evaluation that their best days are behind them.

So: France, Germany, and Turkey: very anti-American. Eastern Europe, India, pretty much all of Asia: fairly pro-American.

Posted by: Wagner James Au at June 25, 2005 09:57 PM

Paul Hollander edited and contributed to a collection of essays entitled "Understanding Anti-Americanism: Its Origins And Impact At Home And Abroad." It was published in 2004 so it's up to date. It's a great read.

Per Hollander, "anti-Americanism stems from four major sources. The most general is the need for human scapegoating; the second is the sole superpower status of the United States that makes it exceedingly well suited to meet these needs as both the richest and strongest nation in the world; the third is the justified identification of the United States with modernity and its problems; and, last but not least, the identifiable, specific errors and mistakes of American foreign policy and the flaws of its domestic institutions and social arrangements."

Posted by: John Gavello at June 25, 2005 09:59 PM

It's a combination of jealousy a lack of information on what American does, due to the brainwashing done by the anti-U.S. media in much of the world.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 25, 2005 10:01 PM

The most interesting part will be the suggested speech for party leaders, which was the model for thousands of speeches delivered throughout the country on 30 January. It presents a summary of Nazi accomplishments over the ten years of Hitler's rule, presenting Germany as the innocent victim of a war forced upon it by its jealous enemies.

The source: 30. Januar 1943. 10. Jahrestag der Machtübernahme. Anweisungen des Reichspropagandaleiters der NSDAP. Zusammengestellt vom Hauptamt Propaganda (Amt Grossveranstaltungen) der Reichspropagandleitung der NSDAP.

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/30jan1943.htm#speech

Posted by: NeoDude at June 25, 2005 10:05 PM

A guy name "zf" wrote:"Eventually these people will come to be seen in their own countries the way we see our own aging leftists and hippies - as a bunch of under-achieving perennial whiners and losers. "

I'm sorry, zf, but history sez you are wrong. History decried the Socialist Norman Thomas in 1928, a generation later history crowned Norman a Conquerer. Such will be the case with the Socialist Hillary. 1994 history decried hr, but 2008 will find her crowned with a glowing diamond, as Amerikia embraces National Healthcare, National Energy, and National Children.

We are about to embrace all that Norman Thomas fought for and more. It will be a nirvana America, a blessed, enlightened America...

... an absolute despotic America, too. Not to mention, a vast wasteland. :)

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 25, 2005 10:06 PM

DPU,

C'mon guys, you didn't want allies, and now you don't have them. What's the problem?

Exactly, I don't see a problem here, do you? We've got Britain and OZ, no one else really counts at this time, right?

What I find interesting is the visit of the Vietnamese prime minister. And there is this:

After his discussions with Bush, Khai planned to meet with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Military ties between the two countries have included periodic docking of U.S. warships in Vietnam and plans for U.S. military training of Vietnamese officers. Intelligence sharing and cooperation on counterterrorism activities also are part of the mix.

Folks aren't paying much attention, but the big strategic developments are in Southeast Asia. Iraq will settle out soon enough.

Speaking of Vietnam, I recall someone asking a Hong Kong Chinese how come he resented the British while the Vietnamese liked the US, despite the war. His reply was that Americans had killed Vietnamese, but they hadn't snubbed them ;)

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 10:08 PM

Neodude, we are not the new empire. Americans are by nature isolationist, even Bush in his 2000 campaign wanted more isolation, meant it, and prior to 9/11 ignored basically every country but Mexico.

However, 9/11 changed us and made us angry Jacksonians determined to finish the job Al Qaeda started. The rest of the world hates us for that, since by their lights we should apologize for making the Muslims mad, pay them bribes/tribute, and bury our dead.

Far from being the Empire, Americans just aren't taking this garbage any more, and won't sit back and listen to the abuse from people who's own countries have serious problems. I recall the reflexive and ugly anti-Americanism in a RSC play in London years ago, in a way that didn't even make sense. The UKs fall has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the UK failing to harness the energy of it's people.

Basically, Americans are through shutting up when the abuse starts. We won't sit in our seats while hijackers slit the throats of Stewardesses. We won't be PC, won't be multicultural, won't be properly "respectful" of other people's religions, cultures, or what have you. They crashed into us and now we are determined to return the favor.

I agree though that most of the resentment and hatred comes from America being the home of modernity. Civil Rights, women's rights, technology, justice, freedom, social advancement, entrepreneurship are all inimical to the static, traditional life that keeps the lower classes in their place and the elite in power. No wonder Aussies and Brits hate us. We are a huge threat because our model works and theirs doesn't, despite our many flaws and problems.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at June 25, 2005 10:17 PM

Wasn't it Churchill who said France can't forgive us for liberating her? It's shame--most Europeans now that if it were not at the point of Allied guns in WWII, fascists would still be ruling there. Next time one of them gives you a dirty look, just say "Vichy!"

As for ME people, they probably love anyone their government officially hates. :) The "Arab Street" protests are about as spontaneous as May Day parades.

Could be, too, that your friend hangs out with people who feel comfortable in sharing their disdain with him, as he's a Kucinich supporter, you know? One of us, one of us...

Posted by: Patricia at June 25, 2005 10:52 PM

Jim Rockford,

Yeah....and the Nazi's kept using WW1 as an excuse to kill and take revenge.

------------------------------------

that women and children are being evacuated from the British capital, that the larger part of London's population is sleeping in packed subway stations, and that, as English newspapers report, the British people can only talk about German revenge weapons — but yet the English government has taken no defensive measures? Although we have the most cause to be satisfied, we take no pleasure in the desolation our revenge is causing in London. We see is only as a defensive measure that is having an effect. We even shudder to think about what the British capital has to expect from our future and more deadly revenge weapons.

Our revenge action is not at an end, but at its beginning. Military experts far and wide are of the opinion that our revenge weapons are a revolution in military technology. What will they say when our newest and even more impressive weapons come into use! Did London really think that we would simply allow Anglo-American air terror to continue without objection? That we would not take appropriate steps? It may be that the enemy's scientists are ahead of German scientists in one area or another of military technology, even if their work is based on German research that we unfortunately saw the military significance of too late.
--------------------------------------

Background: For months, Goebbels and the Nazis had been speaking of revenge weapons. The German population was longing for some sign of them. A week after D-Day, the first V-1 rockets fell on London. This is Goebbels's first article that deals with their use. He is optimistic, but soon realized that Germans could come to expect too much of them. See an article from Das Reich two weeks later for more on the V-1.

The source: "Die Frage der Vergeltung," Das Reich, 23 July 1944, pp, 1, 3.

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb69.htm

It looks like the Germans really despised all the "colateral damage" they created in London...wow...you Amercian Right-Wingers must think they are "honorable".

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 12:21 AM

On the one hand, most of the commenters here want the US to be the sole superpower, free to 'make over' any part of the world that displeases it and to dictate policy to 'allies' unilaterally and have them reply with no questions asked.

On the other hand, you want the US and its travelling citizens to be liked.

Hate to break it to you people but 'absolute power' and 'genuine affection' are mutually exclusive (in the real world that is).

Posted by: Michael Farris at June 26, 2005 12:37 AM

Marc Lamb: "He," dude? Don't you mean "She," as in your wife voted for Dennis the Menace? Is them "fighting words." Totten?

Eh? I'm not talking about my wife. My wife does not live in Belgium part-time. (?!?) Nor did she vote for Dennis the Menace. Jeez, man.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 12:44 AM

Well, Lebanon amkes sense. I think they understand the benefits of American power being used to spread democracy, having suffered under the boot of tyrants for so long. I think a lot of Arabs hate us, and a lot of Arabs appreciate what were doing. A lot of Europeans (and apparently some deluded Americans) don't understand us. Many of them really hate Bush (I'm not the biggest fan of a lot of his policies either, but you know what I mean), and some really do hate America.

Posted by: Rafique Tucker at June 26, 2005 01:40 AM

I'm afraid Jeremy above is either pretending to be an Australian, or ignorant, or lying.

Australia's involvement in Iraq did not have bipartisan support. The opposition Labor party opposed any military action without express UN authorisation, and it's policy has generally been to bring the Australian troops home as soon as possible. In addition, polls suggest that a substantial majority of the Australian population opposed the war from the start and continues to do so.

However, the war has not been a significant election issue, mainly because the number of Australian soldiers there is so small.

Also, it's hard to believe that Jeremy is really an Australian if he hasn't heard the common term "seppo" for Americans. It's rhyming slang: look it up if you don't know what that is. "Seppo" = "Septic tank" = "Yank".

I think these articles give a better sense of Australian attitudes toward what the United States has become:

http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2005/03/28/news/australia.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/viewsofamerica/story/0,15221,1327472,00.html

I would also say that my observation is that Australian attitudes towards Americans generally (as opposed to just the Administration) have hardened substantially since last November. I think a lot of Australians were prepared to accept that a guy like George Bush could be elected once, but that he didn't really reflect what America is as a nation.

Since you guys re-elected him, I think people here are more inclined to believe that he speaks for you all, and act accordingly.

Posted by: An actual Australian at June 26, 2005 01:55 AM

My interpretation of the problems reported from Australia is that those being abused are hanging out with the left, which is where anti-americanism is fashionable. It's also fashionable in the far right but I doubt most people around here hang with the far right.

In Lebanon, I think the explanation for the friendly Hezbollah man is simply discipline and political sophistication. Hezbollah see themselves as part of a powerful political movement and they intend to act the part. That's part of what makes them dangerous. They may civilize rightwing Arab politics in that way but they don't make it any less reactionary - quite the contrary.

If you were to find yourself among rightwing Arabs without the discipline of a political party supporting them you would probably then encounter the hostility.

Living in the UK, I find that Arab friends over the past few years have remained friends if they were liberals but haven't remained friends otherwise. The two exceptions I have stopped seeing, because they were superficially friendly but cool. I no longer believed they were conveying their true feelings.

Posted by: Juan Golblado at June 26, 2005 02:46 AM

I'm at university in Israel, and two years ago one of my roomates was a very religious Muslim. He asked me point blank about the problems Arabs were facing in the US after 9/11 and the position of Arabs in Israel without ever being in the least bit abusive, angry, or insulting. On the other hand, several of the European exchange students I ran into were viciously petty and obnoxious about the US and Israel and especially Bush and Sharon. I think that while Europeans claim to be concerned about human rights; Arabs are quite often far more generous when it comes to individual human beings. I think many Europeans love humanity as a concept and hate people. That was my impression, anyways.

Posted by: benjamin at June 26, 2005 04:51 AM

You should note that anti-Americanism is very common across the political field. It would be too easy to claim that opposing America is equal to being a Leftist. In American rhetoric all negative things seem to arise from Leftism.

Here in Finland(and elsewhere In Europe) many liberal right-wingers feel antipathy for Americans for many complex reasons. The war in Iraq is surely not the only one.

Posted by: Finn at June 26, 2005 04:59 AM

MJT,

Whatever the explanation, the difference in the way Americans are treated in different parts of the world certainly is counter-intuitive.

It is not at all counter-intutitive. It is perfectly predicted by the embrace of Marxism by many Westerners. The only certainty here is a failure in your intuition.

Posted by: HA at June 26, 2005 05:08 AM

I live and work overseas in Taiwan. The only time I've ever encountered anti-Americanism that was really annoying was at a trade show where some Greek guys got really upset about the US bombing of Serbia. I had to explain that I was not in charge of US foreign policy! So it's not always just a Bush thing.

In general, Taiwanese are very pro-American. I wonder if it is because they are under the gun and know who will come and help? I remember during the peak of the SARS outbreak, only America broke ranks with the UN/WHO and sent experts to help in Taiwan. I guess it's because we are international outlaw cowboys that we do such thing.

Posted by: Aaron at June 26, 2005 05:10 AM

>

That pretty much tags it, I think. Also, I would guess a large portion are in Scapegoat / Modernity areas, but might use foreign policy as a rational excuse for their beliefs.

See Germans worried about locust capitalism from USA, etc...it's a transferral of all that fear of being made to compete onto America.

Posted by: Aaron at June 26, 2005 05:18 AM

My comment was referring to the Gavello commenter who had quoted an academic study.

Posted by: Aaron at June 26, 2005 05:19 AM

See Germans worried about locust capitalism from USA, etc...it's a transferral of all that fear of being made to compete onto America.

Or just maybe people have a perfectly rational fear and dislike of imperial powers that act violently without regard for international law or the rights or views of people from any other country. Since when are empires loved, or even admired, by anyone other than themselves?

Perhaps people are also quite logically feel angry because they believe that the actions of the United States government are contributing significantly to a looming climate disaster, the secondary effects of which are likely to kill millions of people, but Americans are too selfish and self-absorbed to make their government change its mind.

Perhaps you don't need to look for any obscure academic study, when the proximate causes of the phenomenon are staring you in the face, no matter how much you would like to avoid seeing them.

Posted by: An actual Australian at June 26, 2005 05:44 AM

Michael, your post caused me actual disorientation this morning. I just got back from Amsterdam, and I felt none of what you describe. And I was there for three weeks, and I did get out. Didn't see any of that, and the one time I did get called out on being an American, it was in a very positive way.

I work in banks, implementing Trade Finance software. What does your friend do? Maybe he needs to re-think his peer group.

Oh, and and "actual Australian", the baby I had for breakfast was delicious.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 06:28 AM

Perhaps that I should have made it clear in my earlier comment that I'm a US citizen and speak English with an American accent. Others from the US will probably not have given a second thought to someone named Juan Golblado commenting on what it's like to be an American, but people who are not so used to our multi-ethnic and multi-lingual makeup might have been surprised.

By the way, I feel sorry for the guy posting just above me who claims to be "an actual Australian", it sounds like he would have been happier had he been born on Mars or somewhere. Or maybe he was. Maybe that's the problem. Anyhow, I've met some really nice Australians, too.

Posted by: Juan Golblado at June 26, 2005 06:36 AM

By the way, I feel sorry for the guy posting just above me who claims to be "an actual Australian", it sounds like he would have been happier had he been born on Mars or somewhere.

Grow up, Juan. The topic of the post was why Australians have a low opinion of America right now. Without expressing any personal views of my own, I've pointed out some pretty obvious reasons why a great number of my countrymen might feel that way. What part of that prompted your childish reaction?

Posted by: An actual Australian at June 26, 2005 06:48 AM

"What does your friend do? Maybe he needs to re-think his peer group."

By which I obviously meant those in Antwerp.

And "actual Australian", your posts make me want to go out an buy a Hummer (as if I could afford it) and just leave the engine idling 24/7.

Gotta do my part to fend off the coming Ice Age....

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 07:09 AM

Or just maybe people have a perfectly rational fear and dislike of imperial powers that act violently without regard for international law or the rights or views of people from any other country. Since when are empires loved, or even admired, by anyone other than themselves?

Funny thing, "Actual Australian", but I didn't meet a whole lot of Aussies who launched into spittle-flecked tirades about the evils of imperialism. Most joked about the Royal family, expressed shame over their nation's poor treatment of the Aborigines & immigrants and worried about American Christian overreaction to the Janet Jackson breast-bearing incident, but no one whined about "imperialism".

I have met many actual American leftists who whine about that, but the majority of our population calls them 'extremists' or 'losers'. I got the impression that majority of Australians felt the same way.

So, are you going to tell us about how 'real' Aussies hate bourgeois running dogs and dream of establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat?

Posted by: mary at June 26, 2005 07:13 AM

I'm an American and an Australian having migrated here in '76. Yes, sepo is based in riming slang - I can still see the bloke in his shorts, looking for all the world like Paul Hogan, at a bar in `1976 saying to me 'A bit septic are you mate?' It took a moment, but I got it. For the first time I had the wit to realize that 'septic' implied 'tank' and that rimed with 'Yank'. It was good natured and delivered with a sly smile and I got full marks for getting it but some points off for being a bit slow. That was then, its been different since 9/11. There is an edge to the anti-Americanism that is no longer good natured. And that is among many different kinds of Australians. I'm 62 and have an eclectic group of friends. Some are virulently anti-American and still good friends. Some are less virulent but less good friends. Some are balanced in their views and not therefore really anti-American. A very few are pro-American. The last are a great support and make it possible for me to continue to live here. I understand how the person returning to Belgium feels. That said, Australians, in my experience, don't ostracize as easily or completely as Americans. They can be blunt, as one commenter observed, but still accept you. I can well understand young Americans not realising they might still be able to 'be mates' after being told off for being American.

I was in Alaska on 9/11 and on my way back to Australia I visited Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans treated me like a person who had just lost a close relative. They all told me that three Zimbabweans were killed in the Twin Towers. They shared my sense of loss, made little of their own, and did not imply that the US had brought it on itself. When I got to Australia no one told me how many Australians had died. I only found out reading a newspaper, it was 15. I got no sympathy, and neither did America - the other side got quite a bit. I heard what a fine looking man Osama was. Most commonly I heard: 'Its a terrible thing, but...' The most overt, but also the most honest, anti-American statement was by an Australian music teacher. He said. 'When I saw the Twin Towers go down, I said 'YES, America MUST fall'." I just shook my head. In thinking about it later I strongly suspect there was more than a bit of Marxist dogma involved about the inevitability of capitalism collapsing from it's own contradictions. I think it is a valid point that Marxism, at least as a popular belief system, is a strong contributor to anti-Americanism. In Australia there is another cultural trait called the 'tall poppy syndrome' that makes Australians dislike any big shot - individually or as a country. A working class Aussie I know said shortly after 9/11 that 'Even though I think America is too big for its boots, that can't just take it laying down.' That ambivalence was always there, but some of it got a lot nastier after 9/11. You can feel it in An Actual Australian's comments above. I know lots who FEEL exactly that way without being vicious about it -which I don't mind - even if I have a very different view of America.

Posted by: lgude at June 26, 2005 08:04 AM

German Right-Wingers always thought that the world was jealous of their superior culture.

American Right-Wingers are working from the same play-book.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 08:32 AM

Their hate knows no boundaries!

The echoes of the first shots that began the war had hardly faded when Germany's enemies began their war of nerves, conducted on the battlefield of the spirit, and just as important as the soldiers' battle. In modern war, a people's spiritual and moral state plays an important role; indeed, on it depends victory or defeat. Total war uses not only all military means, but also all the forces of the spirit. In the end, the stronger nerves, the greater faith, the firmer steadfastness determine the outcome.

National Socialist Germany, which over five bloody years has been forced by its opponents into a war that has spread to the entire world, was prepared for spiritual warfare. The German people knew its enemies, their hate for the German Reich that under Adolf Hitler had once again become a world power. It knew the background that led to the declaration of war against Germany. Those who pull the strings in the world's backstage are not unknown to us. The Reich's political leadership saw to it that they were revealed. If our enemies believed that the war of nerves they so carefully began and steadily intensified would lead to victory, they soon had to realize that we were immune to this enemy poison. Twenty years of National Socialist education had sharpened our hearing. The tricks of 1918 that our opponents tried to reuse failed. Germany in this area is invulnerable!

From:
Heinrich Goitsch, Niemals! (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1944).

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/niemals.htm

------------------------------

PARANOID EMPIRES, ARE DANGEROUS...ALL OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION REMEMBERS THIS....EXCEPT THE HILLBILLIES THAT CALL THEMSELVES AMERICAN.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 08:36 AM

An actual Australian wrote:

Since you guys re-elected him, I think people here are more inclined to believe that he speaks for you all, and act accordingly.

Turnabout's fair play, my friend. You guys re-elected Howard first, but you sound more like a Labor voter. I'll therefore believe that Mr. Howard "speaks for you all, and act accordingly."

Posted by: Scott Crawford at June 26, 2005 09:16 AM

Mike #3 or 4: "I suspect that Canadians hate us more than any other country."

It's worth remembering that on September 11, 2001 Canada probably gave the US more direct help than any other country. At the US's request, Canada accepted the landing of international flights bound for the US - over 200 flights, with over 30,000 passengers. These passengers, most of them American, were stranded for a week or more. They were billeted in whatever facilities were available - many in private homes. There was a Korean Airlines 747 bound for the US that appeared not to respond to messages. The Canadian government authorized F-15's from Alaska to follow the plane into Canadian airspace, and was prepared to authorize shooting down the plane if it proceeded south. Fortunately the plane got the message and landed in the Northwest Territories.

Canada supported the invasion of Afghanistan and, like other NATO countries, has had troops serve in Afghanistan. Four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in 2002 when they were accidentally bombed by an American F-16. Recently the 187th Infantry Regiment, with whom the Canadians were serving, added the Canadians' names to their regimental memorial in Kentucky.

Going back further, Canada aided the US in smuggling 6 Americans out of Iran in 1979 during the Hostage Crisis. The Americans were diplomatic staff who were not in the embassy at the time of the takeover.

These are examples of ways in which Canada has supported America in times of crisis. Equally important is the long, peaceful, co-operative relationship that Canada and the US have had.

Canada and the US don't see eye to eye on every issue. The US is aggrieved over lack of support on Iraq. Canada is upset over tariffs on softwood lumber and bans on import of Canadian beef.

Canadians are also very wary of the unilateralism that the US has shown under Bush. It often seems that the US doesn't want allies, but vassal states. But Canada isn't alone in feeling that way, and most Canadians recognize the difference between the American government and Americans as individuals.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 26, 2005 09:29 AM

I have one word to temper this friendly debate:

China.

China is poised to make some serious waves on the world stage. NOOC's bid to purchase Unocal might very well be the barb that undoes the stitching that binds the US and China.

As China starts making serious bids to compete with American hegemony across the globe, be assured that those bids will be antidemocratic. China is not a force for democracy. It is no where close to being one. We can hope earnestly that their growing middle class and the Internet will liberalize their society -- but taken on the whole, their proposal to developing nations with the raw materials they need is that autocracy is a viable alternative to democracy.

Once this reality sinks in and the world is obviously bipolar again, with the Chinese Navy protecting its global interests, I think much of the anti-Americanism we see will diminish. But that won't happen until things are obvious, which is an eventuality that is growing ever closer.

I think a lot of anti-Americansm is a knee-jerk cultural pastime taking place in the absense of people perceiving a real global threat. So, time will tell.

Here's a few links to chew on:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/business/26unocal.html?ei=5065&en=12dfe370f6a318e8&ex=1120363200&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print

http://www.washtimes.com/specialreport/20050626-122138-1088r.htm

http://www.washtimes.com/national/inring.htm

Posted by: Marcus Cicero at June 26, 2005 09:30 AM

Very interesting comments concerning anti-Americanism, but as a Canadian back from visiting Washington and Oregon, I experienced some anti-Canadianism. Basically a golf trip through the two states, but our license plates got some cold looks on the freeway, our accents, which were very rarely even noticed during past visits to America, were almost always noted and commented upon, mostly benignly, but some of the commie symp, socialist wimps stuff as well. We had a bizarre occasion at Bandon when an American refused to play golf with us when he discovered our nationality, he simply walked off the tee. So I guess I feel a little bit of solidarity with Americans who feel hated abroad, but also feel like maybe I'd rather vacation in my own country like a few Americans suggested.

Posted by: cynical joe at June 26, 2005 09:39 AM

I'm not confident that China's rise will act as a moderating influence on anti-Americanism. Never underestimate the power of the knee-jerk, visceral loathing Europeans and other foreigners often have for the United States. Remember that it was all the United States could do to get European nations to pull with it during the Cold War, when there was an immedate existential threat to the Continent in its own backyard. Regional Communist and otherwise anti-US parties remained comparatively strong in a number of countries, and some actively cooperated with Soviet intelligence. One History Channel special on the cold war featured interviews with British leftists who had colaborated with the KGB against their country's political mainstream. One stated that he was proud of what he had done to this day and would do it again, given the chance. I doubt he's alone. Doubleplusungood stated that the world was behind the US almost 100% after 9/11. This is incorrect. Steve den Beste explained this phenomenon quite nicely on the USS Clueless - foreigners took a kind of perverse delight in seeing the US humbled and bloodied, and were happy to offer their sympathy when the nation was in this condition. As soon as the US demonstrated a commitment to making sure 9/11 would not happen again, international goodwill - if you can call it that - was suddenly "squandered". Go figure. Remember that the French Press claimed that the US simply went into Afghanistan for the explicit purpose of murdering civilians. British commentators' immediate reaction to 9/11 was to praise the attackers for providing a "spectacular" show. An expatriate US engineer commented that well before OIF Germans came up to him and told him how glad they were that 9/11 had occurred. I could go on forever. And we're supposed to believe that it was Iraq that caused the falling-out with Europe? Uh-huh. I am convinced that many foreigners would much rather aid China and possibly engineer their own destruction than ally with the US and have their pride hurt.

Posted by: Samsung at June 26, 2005 10:18 AM

NeoDude is making Ashcroft look better all the time....

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 10:36 AM

Pardon, got my Fascists mixed up. That should have been "Rove", not Ashcroft.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 10:37 AM

No kidding. He's a monomaniac witch doctor chanting the incantation "Nazi, Nazi, Nazi" as though this magic word will restore the respectability he and his fellow loons have forfeited. I personally lost track of any semblance of an argument neodude might have had a long time ago. I glance at his post and there's some inane reference to V-1 rockets from WWII. Does anyone even understand his bizarre non-sequiturs re: conservative/Nazi links anymore? Come on; it's OK to be honest.

Posted by: Samsung at June 26, 2005 10:45 AM

The truth hurts, doesn’t it you little American fascist?

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 10:47 AM

Actually, I'm pretty big. Michael, are you sure Rove did something stupid, or did he just flip on the light switch to set the roaches running?

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 11:04 AM

Mark Poling: Michael, your post caused me actual disorientation this morning. I just got back from Amsterdam, and I felt none of what you describe.

I've been to Amsterdam twice, and once recently, and detected no anti-Americanism there. It is, actually, the most pro-American feeling place I've been in Europe. (I have visited six European countries: Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany.) It does depend on where you go. Amsterdam is a tolerant place. Belgium, not so much.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 11:15 AM

Vino,
YOur comment about unilateralism is typical of some of the propaganda that has led to much of the anti-American attitude around the world. A lot of people only have access to that kind of inaccurate reporting. NONE OF THE ACTIONS HAVE BEEN UNILATERAL!!!! UNILATERAL DOES NOT MEAN "OUTSIDE THE U.N."!!!!!

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 26, 2005 11:19 AM

The Administration's lack of preparedness should be seen in concert with some other outrageous aspects of this war: the Administration's equal unwillingness to fund soldiers' and veterans' benefits, the DSM memo confirmation that the war timeline was planned to coincide with US elections, and the RW chickenhawks' unwillingness to enlist (even as they vilify any who oppose the war).

The war isn't about making America safe, or protecting our freedom. It never was.

It was always, and only, about political power - power for the owners, in Bush's notion of an "Ownership Society."

There's something almost medieval about it. In feudal times, if you weren't already born to the elite class, your only hope of advancement was in the army, or in the Church.

Bush's enomonic policies eat away at the middle class. His Medicare policy and SocSec "phase-out" are aimed at destroying those programs. His education policies undermine education, by funding it badly, and by encouraging fundamentalist efforts to theologize the curriculum. He wants to impose Biblical laws on our private lives and replace secular social services with tax-supported religious outreach.

This all adds up to a powerful, continuous assault on the American dream of upward mobility, the American ideal of personal autonomy, and the Consitutional requirement of separation of Church and State.

Bush's Iraq policy should be seen in that context.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 11:23 AM

I think many Europeans love humanity as a concept and hate people. That was my impression, anyways.

benjamin,

That was exactly my impression of people I met working in the non-profit sector back in my Lib days (the vast majority of them were Libs and hard Lefties). They wanted to save the world, but treated clients and volunteers like dirt (not the donors though). That's why they are the "compassionate" ones, but are so vicious in their politics at the personal level. When they accuse others of "hate", it's a window into their own soul.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 11:24 AM

lqude: I was in Alaska on 9/11 and on my way back to Australia I visited Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans treated me like a person who had just lost a close relative

I traveled quite a bit after 9/11. I didn't expect any sympathy for what had happened. I was on vacation and didn't even want to think about it, let alone talk about it. The one place where people did actually sympathize - and they were obviously sincere about it - was Chile.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 11:28 AM

I travelled to Egypt and Jordan in summer 2002 and had only one hostile encounter due to my American identity. Everyone else was pleasant, kind and mostly surprised to see an American backpacking through Arab countries. They just don't see us out there among the other Western tourists. I was in Paris in summer 2003 and had not a single negative experience. Most people abroad, as opposed to in the U.S., can clearly separate individual citizens from government policies they dislike.

Posted by: Kung fu at June 26, 2005 11:35 AM

Most people abroad, as opposed to in the U.S., can clearly separate individual citizens from government policies they dislike.

I don't doubt it. That's because those countries aren't Leftist. But the ones that are Left leaning are distinguishable by how they personalize their disagreement with policies of our government and reduce it to the personal level. I see a pattern. Go to any university (Leftist havens) and you'll see the same-- the political climate is hostile on the personal level. Here on this blog, take a shot and "the Left", and they'll respond on the personal level.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 11:41 AM

Great thread. I think one factor that hasn't been taken into account yet over the divergence in behavior is the fact that citizens of Western nations feel a much greater sense of cultural kinship with America than citizens of Arab nations. Just as you're more likely to get angry over a relative's bad behavior than that of an acquaintance you barely know, a Canadian or Belgian is more likely to feel a sense of personal betrayal as a result of American foreign policies that he considers to be misguided than a Tunisian or a Jordanian.

By the way, the comments box for this page didn't load properly on Firefox, so I had to use IE.

Posted by: Eric at June 26, 2005 11:43 AM

I'm using Firefox/1.0.4 on Windows XP sp2 right now w/o probls. Never had any problems with this or any other comment boxes. I hope you get the bottom of the problem you're seeing.

I have Firegox put up an icon in the upper right whenever there's an upgrade available, and then I can choose when to upgrade. It never takes more than a couple of minutes to download and install it (on an ADSL).

Good luck!

Posted by: Juan Golblado at June 26, 2005 11:57 AM

"Here on this blog, take a shot and "the Left", and they'll respond on the personal level."

You mean, people with left leaning sympathies have the gall to personally address someone on this blog who has a long history of makes blanket unsubstantiated,unintellectual, and grade school appraisals of the Left and 'Libs'? The Horror! THE HORROR!

We need to root out this problem before these lib fascists take away our god given right to make assanine arguments unchallenged for good.

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway at June 26, 2005 01:47 PM

...lib fascists sure, but you repeat yourself.

Posted by: chuck at June 26, 2005 01:57 PM

Chuck: lib fascists sure, but you repeat yourself.

Liberals are exactly as "fascist" as Bush is. For God's sake, people!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 02:03 PM

Quote by an actual Aulstralian "Or just maybe people have a perfectly rational fear and dislike of imperial powers that act violently without regard for international law or the rights or views of people from any other country. Since when are empires loved, or even admired, by anyone other than themselves?"

That is an easy question. The Roman Empire, which acted exactly as you described, was well liked by a large majority of the people in it. Roman citizenship was prized by the polulations of the provinces and the Romans were genuinely admired. And although the ruling class could be disfunctional, by and large the Empire's population was better off in just about every aspect under Roman rule.

I am also unsure about the importance of international law on inhibiting a State's actions. I know that a lot of political scientists buy into the theory into the power of NGO's and conflict resolution but the theory never really made much sense to me. I always thought that theories based on the accumulation of money, power, or security had more explanatory power in describing State actions. And although appeals to international law can have some effective retorical value, if they had the power, other countries would probably ignore international opinion or international norms where convienient. (see also China, Russia, and to some extent Brazil).

Posted by: Matt at June 26, 2005 02:03 PM

Dustin Ridgeway steps up to the plate and illustrates my point perfectly.

Thanks Dustin.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 02:04 PM

Michael, get a grip, man. It is a take off on Twain's remark:

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

i.e., I was having fun with Dustin.

Posted by: chuck at June 26, 2005 02:36 PM

"Just as you're more likely to get angry over a relative's bad behavior than that of an acquaintance you barely know, a Canadian or Belgian is more likely to feel a sense of personal betrayal as a result of American foreign policies that he considers to be misguided than a Tunisian or a Jordanian."

H'mm. That's a very interesting and good point, Eric. The only counterpoint I can think of is that relationships within a family can be pretty damn dysfunctional, so I'm not sure that your analogy means that anti-americanism in Europe is justifiable behavior.

My experience working with Asians (which constitute about 60 percent of the workforce in my high tech company) is that they like frank and honest discourse, even though the majority disagree with me. I learn much more talking to my Indian and Chinese buddies than the American Northeast liberals who round out our workforce. I also sense though Asians disagree, they have much more respect for me than many in the PC crowd.

In so many ways it seems analogous to MJT's experience with Arabs and Europeans.

Posted by: bob at June 26, 2005 02:38 PM

Latest survey results:

http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=247

Posted by: EKP at June 26, 2005 02:45 PM

Just as you're more likely to get angry over a relative's bad behavior than that of an acquaintance you barely know,

Criticism of family always stays within family-- not on display for the amusement of strangers. Leftist Americans suck up to Europeans by joining them in their anti-American hatefests. Michael Moore's Americans=dumbasses is a pretty good example. I myself did the same as a Lib.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 02:46 PM

"Dustin Ridgeway steps up to the plate and illustrates my point perfectly.

Thanks Dustin."

Note for future reference: When you are going to duck and slither out of an argument you can't win, it's best to part with a slightly funny joke. You could learn something from Chuck.

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway at June 26, 2005 02:56 PM

Dustin,

you've not yet offered an argument, only a few personal ad hominems. Your timing was perfect, by the way.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 03:00 PM

Ad Hominem attacks? All I did was point out that the responses you were complaining about recieving, whenever you make one of your moronic and out of the blue assertions about the "The Left" and "Libs", are in fact the only responses you merit. In short, it is you who has neglected to put forth any semblance of argument in favor of crass ad hominems and blanket, artless, thoughtless pronouncements about your perceieved opponents. In subsequence, your protestations against those who debunk your imbecility merit little sympathy.

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway at June 26, 2005 03:12 PM

In short, it is you who has neglected to put forth any semblance of argument in favor of crass ad hominems and blanket, artless, thoughtless pronouncements about your perceieved opponents.

on the contrary Dustin. When I indict the Left, I almost always gives examples. That's one better than what you do when you level your blanket cartoonish attacks on evangelical christians.

So in your world here's where I would respond back and call you a moron to "debunk" your imbecility, as you do to me. And then you would retort and call me a bigger moron. Or if you're a real clever Lefty, you could call me a "fascist" or "nazi". And then we go back and forth like that. And that's supposed to make you, Dustin, the smart nuanced one?

Dude, you're living proof of the truth of my statements. And I won't give the Left a minute's rest no matter how much you froth at the mouth. It's not gonna happen dude.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 03:34 PM

Any of you tough Right-Wingers gonna show that hard American spirit and resolve by enlisting in the army and defend Western Civilization?

C’mon, our existence depends on your bravery.

Ya know, WW2 and stuff.

Take the fight to them cuz they made 9-11 happened.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 04:06 PM

NeoDude demonstrates another common tactic Libs use to personalize political discourse. It asks the reader to assume rightwingers are cowards because they aren't in the military-- as if not being in the military is proof of character, or as if their being cowards would make any difference even if it were true, or as if the truth of their statements cannot stand alone and apart from their character.

The common thread here is their attempt to silence people. When a Lib shouts "racist" and "nazi", or even "imbecile", they seek only to silence and intimidate. This is the atmosphere they have created on university campuses here in American, and in Australia too apparently.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 04:19 PM

"on the contrary Dustin. When I indict the Left, I almost always gives examples."

False. And even in the few instances you do, your logic is specious at best and offensive at worst.

"That's one better than what you do when you level your blanket cartoonish attacks on evangelical christians."

Just exactly which of my alleged blanket attack on evangelical christians were you referring too?

"So in your world here's where I would respond back and call you a moron to "debunk" your imbecility, as you do to me."

As in calling someone a moron for being, well, a moron?

"And then you would retort and call me a bigger moron."

No, and you clearly haven't put much thought into this.

"Or if you're a real clever Lefty, you could call me a "fascist" or "nazi"."

Well then I guess I'm not so clever, but if you would be so kind as to boost my self esteem, please point out where I have referred to anyone besides nazis and fascists themselves, as such.

"And then we go back and forth like that. And that's supposed to make you, Dustin, the smart nuanced one?"

Your ad libbed scenario is increasingly hard to follow.

"Dude, you're living proof of the truth of my statements."

Unless your statements equate to 'mean ol' lefties won't let me make thoughtless pronouncements about them without pointing out my idiocy' then I suppose I am guilty as charged.

"And I won't give the Left a minute's rest no matter how much you froth at the mouth. It's not gonna happen dude."

Hey, knock yourself out 'dude', use this weblog as a soapbox all you want; fear not. But when you make a moronic statement, don't whine and pity yourself when I point out you aren't ready for prime time.

toodles.

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway at June 26, 2005 04:23 PM

spainiard,

I hear recruitment is down and this the battle of our lives..no...no the The Battle For Civilization...why don't you brave Right-Wingers go down and bring those recruitment up...c'mon...you can even turn down the sweet signing bonuses to help the cause...

Your nation needs strong and brave right-wingers who believe in this war...get a steppin' you beings of such moral clarity.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 04:38 PM

Neodude,

You keep making the same juvenile chickenhawk argument over and over again. We get your "point." We know where you stand. Repeating it will not make it sink in any more than it already has.

If you don't have anything else to say, then there is simply no point in posting any further comments.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 04:51 PM

"Most people abroad, as opposed to in the U.S., can clearly separate individual citizens from government policies they dislike."

Never having met "most people abroad," I can neither agree nor disagree with this observation. THAT said, I can say with confidence that most Americans that I do know or have met don't harangue visitors from abroad or foreigners living among us whose governments have been unsupportive of the liberation of our Iraqi brothers & sisters about those governments' lack of support. Or is it just moi?

Posted by: chris in st. lou' at June 26, 2005 05:27 PM

Neodude,

Be fair. Perhaps a lot of the right-wingers that post here are beyond enlistment age, so your challenge is meaningless.

But they may have children or nieces or nephews. May we assume the right-wingers have answered "Yes" to the Michael Moore question? May we assume that they are encouraging their children and twenty-something friends and relatives to enlist?

If not, why not?

Recruitment is down. Poor enlistment numbers are one of the things that will limit America's options.

Michael and all you other hawks, I challenge you to post articles on the topic "Why Young Americans Should Enlist to Fight in Iraq".

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 26, 2005 05:32 PM

What country are you in Neodude?

Posted by: Mike #3or4 at June 26, 2005 05:54 PM

Perhaps a lot of the right-wingers that post here are beyond enlistment age, so your challenge is meaningless.

That's one reason why the chickenhawk challenge is generally meaningless. Another is that whether or not someone on this blog has chosen to sign up for a war has no bearing on whether that war is justified or not. Lots of people had to be drafted in WW2 and Korean War, for example. This challenge is meant only to belittle other posters.

So let's stop pretending the chickenhawk challenge, or the personal ad hominem, have anything to do with the exchange of ideas. It's about belittling the person.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 05:58 PM

VinoVeritas, you simply repeat NeoDude's chickenhawk argument. Re Michael Moore's question:

….Representative Kennedy (R-MN), one of the lawmakers accosted in Fahrenheit 9/11, was censored by Michael Moore. According to the Star Tribune, Kennedy, when asked if he would be willing to send his son to Iraq, responded by stating that he had a nephew who was en-route to Afghanistan. He went on to inform Moore that his son was thinking about a career in the navy and that two of his nephews had already served in the armed forces. Kennedy’s side of the conversation, however, was cut from the film, leaving him looking bewildered and defensive.

What was Michael’s excuse for trimming the key segment? Kennedy’s remarks didn’t help his thesis: “He mentioned that he had a nephew that was going over to Afghanistan,” Moore recounted. “So then I said ‘No, no, that’s not our job here today. We want you to send your child to Iraq. Not a nephew.’”

Kennedy lambasted Moore as a “master of the misleading” after viewing the interview in question.

Frankly, ranging yourself alongside a slimeball like Moore is like branding "sucker" on your forehead.

Posted by: chuck at June 26, 2005 06:11 PM

Spaniard: “…whether or not someone on this blog has chosen to sign up for a war has no bearing on whether that war is justified or not.”

Right. So just spend all your time fulminating about how disloyal, traitorous and dishonest liberals are. Meanwhile recruitment figures are down and American troops are being required to serve longer and more frequent rotations.

A common jab against “The Left” is that they don’t “support our troops”. Presumably, Spaniard, people like you do. Well, there’s a real, tangible way that you can support them – talk to every 20-25 year old you know and encourage them to enlist. Maybe even volunteer to talk in high schools and colleges about the importance of enlisting. Getting more troops to fight in OIF is the best way you can help the troops there now. Your obvious talents of persuasion are being wasted on this blog.

Chuck: Good for Representative Kennedy. How about the rest of congress? How about you?

For the record: I am a Canadian. One of my sons has talked in a vague way about joining the Canadian Reserves. I’ve encouraged him to look into it. If, after serving in the Reserves he wanted to join the regular forces, I would encourage that. If he were to serve in Afghanistan, naturally I would be worried sick, but I would be proud. But not Iraq. Iraq is America’s mess. The situation there is the result of Bush’s poor judgment and Rumsfelt’s arrogance, and I would not support sending Canadian troops to dig you out of a mess that you got yourself into.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 26, 2005 06:36 PM

A common jab against “The Left” is that they don’t “support our troops”.

Vino,

I'd be satisfied if the Left stopped comparing our troops to nazis and prison guards at gulags. I'm asking little more of them. And what's their response? That I enlist!!! even though I'm almost 40. So ridiculous.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 06:40 PM

How about the rest of congress?

Pretty good, actually. The cabinet does even better, but I am not going to do any more work for you. The answers are out there, look em up. Your questions are the last resort of the teminally lazy.

How about you?

59 and blind in one eye.

...and I would not support sending Canadian troops to dig you out of a mess that you got yourself into.

Absolutely, I feel the same about Canada.

By the way, do you have any idea how insulting your questions are? You sit there in judgement, too damn lazy to educate youself, and sneer at us. Twit to the core.

Posted by: chuck at June 26, 2005 06:57 PM

I am not being juvenile...I want to know why right-wingers are not making sure their are enough soldiers to fight a war they claim is so important.

The literary talents on The Right are not weak, so why aren't you patriots trying to fill those ranks?

If there is a shortage of soldiers the terrorist would have won? The terrorist must be winning, because right-wingers are scared to enlist in the army and fight them.

What are you right-wingers doing to be sure that we win in Iraq...outside of being professional linguist chasing liberals and the seditious word they say.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 07:00 PM

I have met many actual American leftists who whine about that, but the majority of our population calls them 'extremists' or 'losers'.

Wow . . . so Mary, you're on speaking terms with the majority of our population?

cynicaljoe, sorry you had such a bad experience.

Posted by: kc at June 26, 2005 07:11 PM

chuck,

your nation is calling you...or is this war a bullshit war not even the right-wingers believe in, anymore?

Really, why are you guys ashamed of getting the ranks up to some healthy numbers?

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 07:24 PM

From the New York Times this evening:

American marines climbed atop the collapsed roof of the final house to be searched this week in an operation to clear this desert town of foreign militants and declared victory. Almost one hour later, they left.

When asked if the foreign fighters would be back, Sgt. Wayne O'Donnell of Company K, the unit that made the final push to the tip of the town, replied in a tired voice as he walked away, "Oh, definitely."

So goes the war in Iraq in this windswept swath of desert along the Syrian border, where marine commanders move their thinly stretched troops from village to village to quash insurgents, only to see them resurface a short time later. The problem is all too familiar. American troops farther north on the Syrian border had to beat back insurgents twice in nine months, after leaving only 500 troops to control thousands of square miles.

The issue of troop levels is so delicate that the commanding officer here, Col. Stephen W. Davis, refuses to allow their true numbers to be publicly released. If insurgents learned the figure, he says, it would pose a safety risk for his marines. He does acknowledge what is widely known -- that most of the 300-mile border with Syria, a major entry point for foreign militants, is unguarded, and the most important crossing point, in Husayba, a town near the Euphrates River, has been closed for seven months because troops simply cannot control the flow.

"They will come from wherever we are not," Colonel Davis said of foreign fighters.
Based on previous reports, it's clear that when the reporter says Husayba "has been clised for seven months," she means closed to American troops, conceding the town to both Iraqi and foreign guerrillas.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/international/middleeast/26karabila.html?pagewanted=print

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 07:27 PM

Neodude, I for one don't blame any of the commenters here for not enlisting. No doubt they have other priorities.

However, now that our military is so stressed, I do wonder why we haven't heard any of the prominent politicians who supported this war encouraging young people to enlist and serve.

Posted by: kc at June 26, 2005 07:32 PM

Spaniard: “I'm almost 40.”
Chuck: “59 and blind in one eye.”

Then you’re beyond enlistment age. But are you encouraging younger friends and relatives to enlist?

Chuck: “By the way, do you have any idea how insulting your questions are? You sit there in judgment, too damn lazy to educate yourself, and sneer at us. Twit to the core.”

My original question was “May we assume that they (i.e. right wingers on this blog) are encouraging their children and twenty-something friends and relatives to enlist?” The only way I know how to educate myself on that topic is to ask you.

Why don't you give me a straight answer?

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 26, 2005 07:32 PM

Then you’re beyond enlistment age. But are you encouraging younger friends and relatives to enlist?

No. I don't have any friends or relatives of enlistment age. Any more questions? Good.

I'm hoping now that my answer doesn't give you Lefties license to call our troops nazis and compare them to gulag prison gaurds? Good.

Because comparing our troops to nazis is just a tad more objectionable to the fact that I'm not standing on the street corner telling 19-year olds to enlist. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 07:40 PM

Our grandfathers and fathers, and uncles earned respeect and goodwill among our European and Canadian cousins...and our generation is pissing it off for a cheerleading coke-head drenched in oil.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 07:59 PM

Neo,

the Democrats and their obsession with "torture" and gulags is doing more to erode our image around the world than anything Bush has done. So stop pretending you actually care.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 08:04 PM

Bush supports terrorism and you want to blame others?

Your moral compass seems broken, which would explain your lack of enthusiasm to fill the ranks of the military.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 08:12 PM

Wow . . . so Mary, you're on speaking terms with the majority of our population?

Are you saying that the majority of Aussies DO launch into wild diatribes about the evils of imperialism? Does the majority excrete recycled badly digested Chomsky-style Marxism in the style of the average American Lefty/extremist?

From my short stay, I got the impression that the majority of Australians were more intelligent than that. My bad.

Posted by: mary at June 26, 2005 08:15 PM

Neo,

on the contrary. If I was starting out again I'd start in the military. As fate would have it, I was a Lib in my youth and despised the military. My Lib parents raised me that way.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 08:17 PM

Sorry, I meant torture not terrorism.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 08:18 PM

Now your a right-winger who advocates for wars you don't believe in.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 26, 2005 08:20 PM

Sorry, I meant torture not terrorism.

Oh, like that makes any more sense.

Posted by: spaniard at June 26, 2005 08:22 PM

Stop feeding the troll, guys.

Posted by: RyMaN600 at June 26, 2005 08:35 PM

Neodude,

One more chickenhawk post and you're banned. If you have nothing else whatsoever to say then you can start a Chickenhawk Blog and write the same post over and over and over again. This isn't the place for it. Move on or move along.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 09:29 PM

Michael wrote: "My wife does not live in Belgium part-time. (?!?) Nor did she vote for Dennis the Menace. Jeez, man."

So she went for Al Sharpton instead? Jeez, man, look at what's become your beloved party, dude. Oops, I'm sorry, wrong question. Everything's just fine with the Party of Harry Reid, who calls the duly "select not elected" President of the United States of America "a loser."

Yes, Dennis or Al would do just fine, right? ABB! Or his rat-infested GOP (The NYT McCain excepted of course).

Posted by: at June 26, 2005 09:40 PM

Everything's just fine with the Party of Harry Reid, who calls the duly "select not elected" President of the United States of America "a loser." ... if front of a bunch of school-children... in a time of "war."

Shame? Quite the opposite, you'll vote to shame the guy who sought to defend the defenseless.

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 26, 2005 09:50 PM

Interesting them saying "encourage people to enlist" while the left is actively interfering with the military recruiters.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 26, 2005 10:04 PM

So she went for Al Sharpton instead?

Don't fuck with my wife.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2005 10:35 PM

Neodude what country are you living in right now? I asked about 100 comments ago and you ignored me. Where are you asshat?

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 26, 2005 10:48 PM

I figured to hit a nerve, Michael, but you're the one who drug her in here. I thot it a below the belt move (yours)... but then again, that's the way politics seem to be moving these daze.

No offense, just callin' 'em like I see 'em.. :)

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 26, 2005 10:55 PM

Michael -- I'm coming late to this thread and it does seem that "neo" is obnoxious.

Nevertheless, ban him or not, the fact that we DO have a lot of chickenhawks in this country IS a serious problem. Or at least we have too many chickens, hawk or not. Just ask any military recruiter who is having trouble meeting his or her monthly quota.

He or she will tell you that the situation in Iraq is DIRECTLY responsible for these low numbers. And that SHOULD be a matter of concern to you and a lot of other independents and Republicans.

Posted by: markus rose at June 26, 2005 11:28 PM

'tall poppy syndrome'
This is the main issue of ENVY on the Left -- the desire to destroy that which is better. The American dream of a farmer: "to have a BETTER cow than the prize cow of his neighbor."
The Russian dream:"That his neighbor's prize cow, dies." (Told to me by a Russian programmer in Silicon Valley in 1989/90).
Bush hate, Jew hate, Success hate -- too many on the Left hate the tall poppies.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at June 27, 2005 01:25 AM

What's interesting is troop retention rates are very high, but recruitment is down.

I would suggest this means that prospective recruits are scared by media reports of what is going in Iraq, whereas those who are there think it's not as bad (or why else would they re-up?)

Personally, I have a 36 year old friend who is considering going back on active duty specifically to Iraq or Afhanistan - he was against the war and doesn't like Bush, so go figure. I guess you could call him a Wardove?

Posted by: Aaron at June 27, 2005 01:46 AM

Iraq is America’s mess. The situation there is the result of Bush’s poor judgment and Rumsfelt’s arrogance,

Wrong. Iraq is NOT America's mess, nor Bush's mess, nor Rumsfeld's -- it is Iraq's mess. Iraq. NOT America.

The anti-America/ anti-Bush thinking is stupid on this, and totally counterproductive.

When I joined the US Naval Academy, in 1974, I still thought Nixon was going to "win" in Vietnam -- since that was why he was re-elected by a huge landslide in 1972.
But Vietnam was not America's mess, either -- and when America left, thanks to successful Leftist anti-war folk, the genocide and Killing Fields of Vietnam and Cambodia were also not America's mess.

America is in Iraq to help Iraqis create a democratic society, which is able to modernize at a culturally sensitive pace. Hopefully the Iraqi culture will be respecting of Human Rights, at least more than in the other 20+ Arab countries of the ME.

And young folk should go to college under ROTC (or an Academy, if they can get a nomination), and be ready to serve their country to help Iraq -- or wherever in the world the duly elected Commander in Chief sends them.

Because America IS the greatest nation on earth -- although it is NOT perfect.

No other country leads in Free Religion, Free Speech, Property Rights (despite Kelo), and individual responsibility and authority as seen by Gun Rights. Comparisons to the real, not Unreal Perfection, are the right comparisons.

For almost every other country on earth, more of the people born in that country have chosen to leave for America, than Americans have chosen to leave America for them. (Including my future citizenship home in Slovakia.) I know of no counter-examples; not sure of Australia (a big draw for Slovaks, as is Canada).

[If Bush wants more folk to enlist, he should raise benefits to the military. He should substantially raise benefits for learning Arabic in any case--lack of Arabic speakers is prolly his biggest mistake; a big Clinton mistake, and Bush I mistake, too.]

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at June 27, 2005 01:59 AM

Spaniard: "No. I don't have any friends or relatives of enlistment age. Any more questions? Good."

Just one. Can we at least agree in some vague, unspecified, bloggish kind of way that it is the duty of everyone who supports the war to encourage young friends and relatives to enlist?

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 27, 2005 03:44 AM

Michael,

This has nothing to do with being a chicken-hawk, and everything to do with actully supporting wars you advocate.

Obnoxous or not, your moral compass (and many right-wingers here) is broken. Most of these brave and tough right-wingers would rather stay home and accuse people of being traitors rather than fight...that's the truth.

You could avoid the subject by saying, "I don't have to answer that because it sounds as if your calling me a chickenhawk."

I never called you a chickenhawk. I accused you pro-war types of supporting a war you don't believe in.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 06:09 AM

Michael J Totten said:

I traveled quite a bit after 9/11. I didn't expect any sympathy for what had happened. I was on vacation and didn't even want to think about it, let alone talk about it.

I wasn't expecting sympathy in Zimbabwe - it just came my way. Because I've lived in Australia a long time and wasn't just passing through I experienced the wide range of Australian reactions I wrote about. What may be less obvious is that Australians, and I expect a lot of Europeans, feel like they have no say in America's actions - and it often upsets, angers or scares them. Even with Clinton during the impeachment I had several Australians say to me. "Why are you tearing down this man down so over a sex scandal - we need him - HE IS OUR PRESIDENT TOO." Now they don't feel that way about Bush (waiting for laughter, catcalls and hisses to die down) and he really feels like he's acting unilaterally and completely beyond their control. Hence, I suspect, the French thinking of us as the 'hyperpower'. So as a RESIDENT YANK I believe I cop a lot of this frustration.

Posted by: Lgude at June 27, 2005 06:22 AM

Can we at least agree in some vague, unspecified, bloggish kind of way that it is the duty of everyone who supports the war to encourage young friends and relatives to enlist?

Vino,

I honestly don't even know why we're having this discussion. It seems so silly. Yes, I'm really bummed about the recruiting numbers, and I worry about the mission in Iraq, yet I feel no compunction whatsoever to tell people to enlist. Whether someone decides to put himself in harms way is purely a private personal matter in my opinion as long as there isn't a draft.

Posted by: spaniard at June 27, 2005 07:35 AM

Oh, lookie here. Euro Leftists supporting terrorists with their $$$Euros:

"It's the old anticapitalist, anti-U.S., anti-Israel crowd," says Vidino, who has been to their gatherings, where he saw activists from Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Italy. "The glue that binds them together is anti-Americanism."

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050623/23euroleft.htm

The American Left is not far behind.

Posted by: spaniard at June 27, 2005 07:38 AM

Spaniard: “I honestly don't even know why we're having this discussion. It seems so silly. Yes, I'm really bummed about the recruiting numbers, and I worry about the mission in Iraq, yet I feel no compunction whatsoever to tell people to enlist. Whether someone decides to put himself in harms way is purely a private personal matter in my opinion as long as there isn't a draft.”

So let’s see if I got this straight. You spend a lot of time on this blog fulminating about the evils of the left. Because the left is opposing the war with words.

It’s obvious from this blog that the right supports the war with words, but recruitment numbers show that there aren’t enough people that support it with action. The war is not going to be won with words, at least not with words alone. So why are you spending all your time beating up leftist sock puppets, while viewing enlistment as “purely a private personal matter”.

It sounds so, well, pro-choice or something.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 27, 2005 08:40 AM

If it wasn't Iraq it would be something else. I've got two Canadian brothers-in-law. One has been virulently anti-american for the fifteen years I've known him. The other one I actually enjoy spending time with.

Most of my visits to Australia have been very pleasant, although I've noticed a change in the past 20 years for the worse. If I stay with the business and professional crowd things go swimmingly. The lower crust or academics can make things uncomfortable.

America draws people like a magnet. Most people in the world would be thrilled to become americans. Still the land of opportunity. Leftists can't stand that.

Posted by: Heimo at June 27, 2005 08:54 AM

Vino - I supported the threat of war in Iraq, but, as I've often said before, I don't think we can install a Marshall Plan anywhere in the Middle East until all fascist elements, Ba'thist and Islamist, are rendered powerless. I assumed that this was part of the plan, and I was wrong.

The war in Afghanistan was a direct attack against a terrorist group, and I was surprised by how well the Bush administration carried it out. The war in Iraq was not planned as well.

The war in Afghanistan was a direct part of the war against terrorism. The war in Iraq is part of a larger realpolitik strategy that is not a direct attack against terror-supporting states. When we're allied with terror-supporting states like Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Sudan, we're talking about the diplomatic equivalent of a chess game, and it's not made clear to the average American when we have 'won'. Because making this clear is not in our 'national interests'.

The war in Iraq has accomplished many great things, notably the elections in Iraq and Lebanon. Our military forces are killing Saudi, Ba'thist, Yemeni, etc. terrorists by thousands, also a great thing. But we're trying to kill terrorists while simultaneously trying to win their supporters' hearts and minds. Who wants to die for that?

Many Americans would be willing to risk their lives in a direct fight bin Laden and his supporters, but there aren't many kids who are willing to risk death to be a pawn in some diplomat's realpolitik game. The best outcome of the Iraq war would be victory against the terrorists and the realization, by State Department and the United Nations, that the American public is not impressed by their doubletalk and manipulative gamesmanship. In general, Yanks prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around. Potential recruits may be voting with their feet. The declining enlistment numbers may, hopefully, put an end to realpolitik gamesmanship.

Posted by: mary at June 27, 2005 09:25 AM

Again, this nation did not become great because right-wingers have been in charge of its legacy.

Many of you right-wingers are taking credit for the work of the generations before us. At the same time destroying everything they worked for.

Right-Wing organizations did not make this country what it is today! It was the commitment to liberal democratic values and the Enlightenment, all the things right-wingers hate, that created this nation.

Your commitment to the Right-Wing Party over our liberal legacy certainly explains your fear of military sevice.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 09:30 AM

Mary,

You sound like another right-winger:

But we must surely give the curious citizen a different answer than the one he expects. He must be told that in the National Socialist Führer state, the Führer and his advisers make all the important decisions without discussing them in advance in public. That is how our present situation differs from that of the World War. Then irresponsible party politicians in the German parliament could chatter about anything at all. This loose talk gave the enemy its most important information and its most damaging propaganda arguments. For example, on 29 November 1917 a certain Herr Haase gave a speech arguing for peace in the German Reichstag just as the army was winning a great victory on the southwestern front. The Social Democratic press published the speech. A few days later, British planes dropped 100,000 copies of the speech over the German front. Thank God, we are protected from such examples of free speech. Today the world hears only the Führer's voice as the voice of Germany's political will."

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/heimat.htm

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 09:36 AM

Strange exhibition of fragility here by the new Masters of the Universe.

I hate your president. I hate your country.

Possible responses:

a) Co-optiont: "Not so keen on the guy myself."

b) Dismissal: "Your problem, bud."

c) Sarcasm: "That's a pity, he always speaks very well of you."

d) Surrender: Leave . . . in shock over [your] treatment.

Who knew (d) was the American Way?

Posted by: Robert McDougall at June 27, 2005 09:38 AM

I wonder which climate disaster the actual Australian is worried about, the coming Ice Age we were warned about thirty years ago or the melting polar ice caps on Mars.

Posted, BTW, using Firefox. The comment box is up in the left hand corner and I won't see what I typed until I preview, but IE is on my computer only because Paint Shop Pro uses its rendering engine.

Posted by: triticale at June 27, 2005 09:59 AM

"When I joined the US Naval Academy, in 1974, I still thought Nixon was going to "win" in Vietnam -- since that was why he was re-elected by a huge landslide in 1972."

Well gee, with all due respect, perhaps this is evidence of long-standing cluelessness. Nixon ran for president, even back in 1968, on a platform of getting us out of Vietnam "with honor". Which was very obviously NOT a strategy of victory, it was a strategy of losing gracefully, and in a manner that would not undermine (or minimize the undermining) of our standing in the world.

By 1972, not only was "victory" a long-forgotton dream, we had, in fact, almost completely drawn down our presence. The '72 election was not a referendum on peace (withdrawl) vs. victory - we had in fact almost completely withdrawn by that time! McGovern did not lose because his insistence on withdrawl was unpopular - he lost because this one single issue of his was already accomplished. And he had very little else to offer the electorate.

With your level of historical understanding, a lot of your current views are somewhat more understandable.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 27, 2005 10:15 AM

NeoDude, what is it with you and Nazis? Is it just that you assume anyone who doesn't agree with you is one, or is it something even more unhealthy?

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 27, 2005 11:07 AM

Mark,

As soon as I hear Right-Wingers throw traitor around and become knee-jerk anti-Liberals...German Right-Wingers (not to mention Iranian Right-Wingers) are the historical precedents that come to mind.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 11:19 AM

Neo,

it's true that both sides label and insult each other. But some labels are reality-based, others aren't. Here's why "traitor" is more reality-based than Nazi:

Eurolefties fund Iraq insurgency

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050623/23euroleft.htm

The American Left has so far only supported the insurgency with their words, but their goals are the same-- an American defeat.

Posted by: spaniard at June 27, 2005 11:29 AM

Mark Poling,
The loss in Vietnam was due to the drastic reduction in support provided to the South Vietnamese government, not to the decrease in the number of American troops.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 27, 2005 11:47 AM

Oh jeez, wake up people...

The loss in Vietnam was due to massive lack of support for the SV government amongst the people - a very significant majority of whom felt that the US presence (and support for that regime) was the final chapter in their decades long war against Western colonialism.

Irresepective of your opinion of that frame - and clearly we Americans didnt see it that way - that is how most of the Vietnamese saw it. They were thus determined to drive us out, and to take control of their own destiny.

Money, weapons, or troops would not have changed a thing, except to prolong a fight that they had been waging, against the French, the Japs, the French again, and finally us, for nearly 50 years.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 27, 2005 12:16 PM

All I know is that ever since I was born, all I can remember is that we Americans are ignorant, ethno-centric, loud, obnoxious, fat, impotent, crazy-warmongering-cowboys. By 10:00 a.m. September 11, 2001 I had enough. I don't give two shits what the world thinks of us. I really don't, in fact I very much enjoy antagonizing their hysteria. It's fun, and you know what, as I have personnally found out, it's even more fun to tell them I don't give a f***. After that, and telling them that I voted for Bush twice just to say "F*** you!", they usually tend to get a deep shade of red in the face and spittle tends to fly out of their mouths when they "talk". Then is the perfect time to give 'em a wink, a smug grin, and a good old "Piss off, stupid".

Posted by: Mike T. at June 27, 2005 01:56 PM

spainard,

And Bush is protecting Saudi's who financed 9-11 and currently financing the insurgents in Iraq.

Bush has also decided to support Pakistan as they are protecting Bush's favorite Saudi, Bin Laden.

Bush also has turned Iraq into a second Afghanistan, training another generation of jihadist.

Who is really giving aid and comfort to our enemies?

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 02:25 PM

And let's not forget the rise if Iranian influenec and theocracy in Iraq.

The Los Angeles Times this morning reports on what more than 1,700 Americans have died to bring to Iraq:

Physicians have been beaten for treating female patients. Liquor salesmen have been killed. Even barbers have faced threats for giving haircuts judged too short or too fashionable.

Religion rules the streets of this once cosmopolitan city, where women no longer dare go out uncovered.

"We can't sing in public anymore," said Hussin Nimma, a popular singer from the south. "It's ironic. We thought that with the change of the regime, people would be more open to singing, art and poetry."

Unmarked cars cruise the streets, carrying armed, plain-clothed enforcers of Islamic law. . . . Shiite religious parties now control both the streets and the council chambers. And though Basra has not suffered the same level of bombings and assassinations as major cities to the north, the trade-off for law and order appears to be a crackdown on social practices and mores that were permissible under the secular, if repressive, regime of [Saddam] Hussein.

. . . A local businessman who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisal compared the current strict rule to life under Hussein.

"The same thing is happening now," he said. "During Saddam, we had the secret police. Now it's coming again. If you say something bad, they shoot you in the night."

I guess American Right-Wingers will always find common cause with Right-Wingers all over the world to supress Liberalism in all its forms.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 02:29 PM

"The loss in Vietnam was due to massive lack of support for the SV government amongst the people..."

Of course, the Viet Cong (and their benefactors) had nothing to do with it....

And NeoDude, I for one have never called you a traitor. For one thing, I think you're Canadian, and for another, being a traitor requires a more active role, I think. I can't imagine you selling classified materials to our enemies, for instance (even if you could get your hands on them.)

The term "useful idiots", though, was coined by someone with impecable anti-National Socialist creditials, and I believe the term fits you to a tee.

And while on the subject, I find it interesting that Karl Jr. doesn't find the contribution of the North Vietnamese army to have had any consequence in the resolution of the Vietnam War....

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 27, 2005 03:03 PM

Physicians have been beaten for treating female patients. Liquor salesmen have been killed. Even barbers have faced threats for giving haircuts judged too short or too fashionable.

Religion rules the streets of this once cosmopolitan city, where women no longer dare go out uncovered.

"We can't sing in public anymore," said Hussin Nimma, a popular singer from the south. "It's ironic. We thought that with the change of the regime, people would be more open to singing, art and poetry."

Unmarked cars cruise the streets, carrying armed, plain-clothed enforcers of Islamic law. . . . Shiite religious parties now control both the streets and the council chambers. And though Basra has not suffered the same level of bombings and assassinations as major cities to the north, the trade-off for law and order appears to be a crackdown on social practices and mores that were permissible under the secular, if repressive, regime of [Saddam] Hussein.

. . . A local businessman who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisal compared the current strict rule to life under Hussein.

"The same thing is happening now," he said. "During Saddam, we had the secret police. Now it's coming again. If you say something bad, they shoot you in the night."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-basra27jun27,1,6351590.story?coll=la-headlines-world&ctrack=1&cset=true

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 03:07 PM

I'm from California.

And I think Right-Wing groups are dangerous.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 03:09 PM

Mark,
The NV army, and the VC were Vietnamese too. They never recognized the artificial, Western-imposed division of their country.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 27, 2005 03:15 PM

Don't believe the South Vietnamese thought the North's government was legitimate either. (For that matter, I bet a lot of South Koreans would like to see a unified Korea, but I doubt many would want to live under the rule of the Dear Leader. So artificially separated it remains.)

Here's a tip for telling who the good guys are; look for the flow of refugees. The side te natives run from are probably the bad guys.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 27, 2005 03:42 PM

I guess American Right-Wingers will always find common cause with Right-Wingers all over the world to supress Liberalism in all its forms.

And up is down and 2+2=9

The Rightwing freed the Iraqi people and now is putting its reputation on the line to help their democracy survive. The Leftwing, on the other hand, is in league with anti-democratic terrorists and insurgents-- aka "minutemen" by Michael Moore.

Lefties fund Iraq terrorism

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050623/23euroleft.htm

Posted by: spaniard at June 27, 2005 04:16 PM

Neo,

I don't question your origins, or your love of country, but frankly I have suspicions about your age.

Should we have allied ourselves with the Soviet Union during WWII? After all it represented a brutal totaltarian regime which had a track record of starving tens of millions of their own citizens Ukraine in the 1930's. War is first and foremost about survival and sometimes you are forced to align yourselves with nations with which you otherwise would keep at arm's length. You are also forced to pick you fights. As Lincoln once said, "One war at a time."

UBL was in Afghanistan, not Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.
Unless you are asserting that we should not have responded militarily to the attack on 9/11, we were forced to deal with the logistical cards that were dealt to us. Afghanistan is land locked and it took lots of negotiations with suspicious neighboring countries to get the airspace we needed to fly into the country.

Were we supposed to fly F-16 sorties out of Peoria?

You lament that we are working with Musharaff, but what other choice did we have? Are you advocating that we should have expanded the retaliation into total war against a country that was armed with nuclear weapons and has a radicalized Muslim population of a hundred and sixty million people? (I'm sure my Indian friends would have loved us for that.)

The world that we woke up to on 9/11 had been shaped over many decades due to forces that go way beyond anything created by American foreign policy.

Posted by: bob at June 27, 2005 04:36 PM

It's fun to spite the world, isn't it, MikeT? To just give the world your middle finger and a hearty "Fuck you!"

Of course, it makes it kinda hard to round up allies when we wanna we do something like, say, invade Iraq, but what do WE care? We are a rock! We are an island!

America, FUCK YEAH!

Posted by: kc at June 27, 2005 04:47 PM

What's interesting is troop retention rates are very high, but recruitment is down.

I would suggest this means that prospective recruits are scared by media reports of what is going in Iraq, whereas those who are there think it's not as bad (or why else would they re-up?)

Aaron, maybe it's not so much that they think it's "not as bad" as they have a heightened sense of duty? Or they just really want to see their mission carried out? Kudos to them, I say, though I wish they could get some reinforcements.

Posted by: kc at June 27, 2005 04:51 PM

Wow . . . so Mary, you're on speaking terms with the majority of our population? - kc

Are you saying that the majority of Aussies DO launch into wild diatribes about the evils of imperialism? - Mary

Uh, no, dear. I presume nothing about the "majority of Australians." You're the one who presumed to know the minds of the "majority of the population."

Posted by: kc at June 27, 2005 04:55 PM

KC: It's fun to spite the world, isn't it, MikeT? To just give the world your middle finger and a hearty "Fuck you!"

I didn't do any such thing. In fact, I complimented the people who are supposed to hate us the most.

Are you fifteen years old? Or are you just a reactionary?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 27, 2005 06:08 PM

KC,

Nevermind, I see now that you weren't talking to me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 27, 2005 06:10 PM

WW2 was never predicated on “The War Against Tyranny!” It was a self-defensive war. A real war. We taxed ourselves; we drafted every able body, and the progressive/liberal government of FDR had many plans for the war. We never claimed to have liberated the Germans from Hitler, nor did we claim the war was all about liberating the Japanese from Tojo. It was TOTAL WAR. Not this photo-op of a war the right-wing government of Bush is waging.

If you want a historical comparison, I think McKinley’s Spanish-American War, the Philippine War after that would better match up. Both were/are waged by right-wing Republican governments, under false pretexts, (and Rove admires Hana, McKinley’s political advisor). Or maybe the Vietnam War, two Texans how used false pretexts to wag war?

But like it or not WW1 and WW2 were waged by liberal governments, which means progressive values were used. A draft, taxes, LOTS OF PLANNING, (that means they were not afraid of leftist academic and their educated plans) which the right-wing government of Bush is doing the opposite.

If Bin Laden and Al-Queda executed 9-11, it would be the responsibility of our government to deal with him and those who finance and supported them. The Saudi government, the Afghani government, and the Pakistani government. Instead we are dealing with Iraq.

There is something evil about this. This is the type of shit fascist governments do. This is the typical shit right-wing governments engage in.

Bush has always had the character of a spoiled brat. AWOL, abortions, coke, insider trading…but he would dangle that Born-Again lingo and all that didn’t matter. Because as amoral/immoral as many of these right-winging politicians are, there is a huge amount of Americans who would rather have a immoral right-winger than a liberal. Like most populations who embrace fascist governments.

If you right-wingers even gave a damn about the people of Iraq, you would have taken cues from the liberal/progressive government of FDR and do this right…but instead, you all just loved the “image” of war, without the sacrifices.

Warmongering Wimps! But this is what to be expected from right-wingers. You love image more than substance. And Iraq will be punished for your vanity. Bush lied. If you wanted to help the people of Iraq, you would do something REAL, there is a tradition of waging wars by liberal/progressive Democrats, from WW1, WW2, Korean War and Vietnam…instead you fools elected someone who is stuck in the Spanish American War.

If anything, it seems like you hate Iraqis and this is why the war is going the way it is.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 06:34 PM

kc,

What Mary is forgetting to tell you is that there is a backdoor draft, and most of those brave soldiers are being forced to stay.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 06:35 PM

Nevermind, I see now that you weren't talking to me.

Glad we got that cleared up, though I am, in fact, fifteen years old. ;)

Posted by: kc at June 27, 2005 08:26 PM

What Mary is forgetting to tell you is that there is a backdoor draft, and most of those brave soldiers are being forced to stay.

Three Dollar, is that you?

Posted by: chuck at June 27, 2005 08:32 PM

KC missed the joke! Heh heh heh he han ha.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 27, 2005 09:57 PM

KC missed the joke! Heh heh heh he han ha.

Neodude, republicans really are Nazis. Everyone who voted for Bush working for the new Jew world order. A few years ago the Jews and Nazis made a deal to screw liberals and dominate the world.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 27, 2005 09:59 PM

1. I left out an "is"

2. I meant to say Jew world order not New world order.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 27, 2005 10:01 PM

Turning a nation into a magnet for terrorism, torture and mayhem is evil.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 27, 2005 10:41 PM

Neodude, did the U.S. turn Iraq into a magnet for terrorsim, mayhem and tourture? Please feel free to comment about the state of Iraqi's before 2003. While you are at it, please inform me about your views regarding international law.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 27, 2005 11:01 PM

G'day, Greg from Sydney, Australia 'ere! Great thread, most stimulating. Firstly, to clear up "sceptic tank" or the abbreviated "sepo". In rhyming slang this does mean yank. A sceptic tank is the unit used by toilets not "on line" with sewerage service. Thus the deeper meaning is that a "sepo" is full of shit. LOL. Secondly I have just made up a riddle for you-how many yanks does it take to change a light bulb? Answer-as many as possible because it is really a fucking IED! HAHHJAHAHAHAHA! Hmm, that ain't bad! Third, The Left is dead/dead/dead in Oz. Like Red/Blue in the USA, here the difference in policy betwixt the two is Chardonnay versus Riesling. The country is evenly split on the Iraqi war, the incumbents are pro-war and this is a payback (symbolic) support because you guys stationed the 7th fleet off East Timor when we did our OWN oil/gas grab, against Indonesia (like Uncle, like Nephew?). Most of us just wanna invest in real estate and 4 wheel drives, pay off mortgages and scramble up the ladder. I have visited the States and, whilst your education system is woeful, and most of your countrymen are pig ignorant (AND proud of it)it is not the American people I despise, it is your government. With the synergy of 290 million people there are, I know, some VERY clever Americans ie Ron Paul is a sterling example! Lew Rockwell, Matt Taibbi and Ken Kesey (sob). My beef is that we breached the rule of law with this invasion. No ifs, no buts and this makes us WORSE than the bad guys-we are 'sposed to know better. Regards.

Posted by: Greg at June 28, 2005 12:33 AM

Greg,

How was the liberation of East Timor an oil grab? First I've heard of it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 28, 2005 12:57 AM

Dumb.

Even dumber than when a bunch of ABC stations were cowed into not showing "Saving Private Ryan" on Veterans Day.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 28, 2005 04:16 AM

Isn't it nice of the Australians to refer to Americans as "septic tanks."

Really classy. You know, when guests come to my country, I always give them a nice insulting nickname. For example, from now on I will call Australians "Yobbos."

Or perhaps "glass bowl" because it rhymes with...

DISCLAIMER:

Current experience with Australians: Indonesia, California, and Taiwan. Settings ranged from bars to Uni to outdoor events. Most are very nice people. XXXX is a pretty good beer, too.

Posted by: Aaron at June 28, 2005 04:43 AM

Michael, the poster is referring to disputes between the Australian government and the East Timorese about oil and gas rights in the Timor Gap.

Australia had previously signed a treaty with Indonesia and some think it's not fair. Actually, I only know a little about this, so use Google.

Posted by: Aaron at June 28, 2005 04:47 AM

Uh, no, dear. I presume nothing about the "majority of Australians." You're the one who presumed to know the minds of the "majority of the population

Sure, hon, I presumed that most Aussies are intelligent. Do you have a problem with that?

Posted by: mary at June 28, 2005 08:13 AM

KC,

I didn't want to invade Iraq. I did want to bring down Saddamn, but knew it would be iceskating uphill trying to put together a coalition when everybody you want to ally with is on the take from the guy you're trying to bring down. Not to mention the fact that our "allies" have been posturing themselves to counter-balance the U.S. since the end of the Cold War.

So if you want to really call a spade a spade we shouldn't have been looking to wage a full scale invasion of a sovereign nation not because it was illegal or difficult, but because we (as some of us did) should have known that our friends are not our friends and that we are already alone when acting in or own benefit.

BTW KC, Team America was a really funny movie particularly when the marionnettes had sex and when Michael Moore blew is fat apologist ass up.

Posted by: Mike T. at June 28, 2005 08:17 AM

I think the movie Team America, was also making fun of people who view the United States as a police force.

If you noticed...when they landed in Paris and Egypt, the folks that lived there were not impressed...and the members of Team America all seem like amoral granola heads.

Like most things the South Park crew gets everybody.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 28, 2005 09:14 AM

How was the liberation of East Timor an oil grab?

It wasn't.

The new Timor Gap Treaty, signed with East Timor after liberation, maintains the same terms as the old treaty, signed with Indonesia during the occupation.

Posted by: Robert McDougall at June 28, 2005 09:29 AM

Quote:
Warmongering Wimps! But this is what to be expected from right-wingers. You love image more than substance. And Iraq will be punished for your vanity. Bush lied. If you wanted to help the people of Iraq, you would do something REAL, there is a tradition of waging wars by liberal/progressive Democrats, from WW1, WW2, Korean War and Vietnam…instead you fools elected someone who is stuck in the Spanish American War.

If anything, it seems like you hate Iraqis and this is why the war is going the way it is.

____________________

Again, it is the Right that hates Iraqis even though Neodude recently accused all Iraqis of being political extremists. He can't have it both ways - are the Iraqis all theocratic scum or noble victims of American imperialism? We get nothing from this statement except the aforementioned reversal of his attitude towards Iraqis and this weird conviction that war is glorious and noble when it is waged by Democratic administrations. It's fascinating, really, how self-evident his untenable positions seem to him.

Posted by: Samsung at June 28, 2005 10:03 AM

Yes, NeoDude, it's hard to agree or disagree with you when your point of view changes with every comment. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make and I suspect that you don't either.

Posted by: mary at June 28, 2005 10:23 AM

Samsung,

I never called Iraqis, theocratic scum…you did.

If people elect religious extremist, that is their choice. But most of the warmongers kept denying this scenario…they were convinced that liberal democrats lie in the heart of all people. And I also recall their brilliant insight, which was that there were no ethnic and sectarian divisions in Iraq. See what happens when you fear academics; you believe your own propaganda.

I do have a problem with our military and tax money going to protect and support radical Islamist groups who are rabidly pro-Iranian. And I have a problem with our military being tools to install theocratic governments.

When it comes to war, it seems that Republicans don’t know what the hell they are doing. Bush Sr. is the exception to the rule. Bush Jr and his cult love to use the jingoistic IMAGES of WW1 & 2, but refuse to use the actual sacrifices.

Right-Winging Republicans would rather do photo-ops and blame liberals than actually execute an actual war. If you are not willing to pay for the war, commit a draft for the war, and make use of the wealth of academics (like WW1 and 2) for planning…then you are just full of shit.

Warmongering wimps. All talk no action.

You right-winging Republicans look like irresponsible fathers who like the IDEA of fatherhood, and you like the NOTION of having babies…but you are not willing to sacrifice and plan for actually being a father with a baby.

You would rather just have the parties and take pictures and hope someone else comes around to change the diapers and feed the little thing.

Oh and by the way…why did Bush let Bin Laden go?

Posted by: NeoDude at June 28, 2005 10:57 AM

Mike T.

Great post.

NeoDude,

Stop the name calling, grow up a little, and start using your noggin. Offer some constructive feedback rather than launching off into an adolescent tirade.

"It was TOTAL WAR. Not this photo-op of a war the right-wing government of Bush is waging. "

Got news for you Scooter, total war, post 1945 equates to nuclear annihilation. That is what we are trying to avoid, both abroad or within our own cities.

You have just advocated total war that includes attacking Pakistan. Defend that. Please explain why that would not immediate create either a nuclear response local to the sub-continent, or better yet, the inevitable loss of nuclear inventory to Islamic extremists in the ensuing chaos of war?

Just like Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and Bush dealt with the Cold War, we are trying to contain and discredit a dangerous totaltarian ideology by taking advantage of weaknesses of enemies and working on bringing the Middle East into the fold of modern nations. That's called strategy.

Btw, the closest analogy of our situation to previous wars is not WWII or the Spanish-American war, it is in fact, the westward expansion and the war with Indian nations.

We are mired in a clash of cultures where it's anyone's guess whether or not two cultures (West and Islamic) can learn to cohabitate in a shrinking world with global communications and economies.

Posted by: bob at June 28, 2005 02:47 PM

Has Pakistan threatened us with a nuclear attack if we go in and get Bin Laden?

Wouldn’t a threatened nuclear attack for capturing an “evil killer” of thousands of Americans on our soil, be an act of war?

If they are hiding and comforting a criminal who engineered the death of 3,000 Americans, why isn't that is an act of war?

The money that financed 9-11 came from the Saudis...why isn't that an act of war? How many of Bin Laden’s accomplices are finding refuge in Saudi Arabia? It seems the 9-11 commission found quite a bit of them still free and happy in Saudi Arabia.

Did we declare war on Iraq for 9-11 and decided on a criminal investigation for the ACTUAL perpetrators?

Are we actually at war? Or is this a deranged criminal investigation? Our actions do not match our rhetoric. Bush sure talked tough. Didn’t mean any of it, but that seems to be the MO of a right-winger.

And where did you get the Indian analogy? Did Americans claim to have killed millions of Indians in the name of liberty and freedom? If you are arguing that we have to place Arabs into reservations or concentration camps, what is this talk about freedom, democracy and liberty?

Posted by: NeoDude at June 28, 2005 04:26 PM

I was recently in Morocco and I am obviously an American,(dress, manner, axcint frum Texas) and I was treated like family. Supper friendly, hospitable, terrific people and a wonderful feeling that makes me yearn for a return. I did encounter two bits of anti-Americanism, French golfers at the hotel I stayed in and some Dutch twerp at Schipol. Michael , you have somethere on Arab hospitality.

Posted by: Dave at June 28, 2005 04:49 PM

Michael, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1062316,00.html
Aaron, gettawoollybullupya, bristles backwards! Aussies use nicknames for everyone. Our muslims are called mozzies (THEY call temselves this!), it is a combo of Muzzy & Ozzie & mozzy also means mosquito. Egyptians are "gyppos", Irish are 'Micks" and Sepos are sepos! Don't get me wrong, I had a Rotary Exchange to Mexico years ago & got to visit the States a lot, I even stayed there for 3-weeks, I generally like yanks. I was, however, taken aback by 1) No-one knew where Australia was and 2)americans kept complimenting me on how good my english was! I even got asked if we had electricity! Strange, given we were settled by the english & are one of the most urbanised countries in the world. But back to the point: Amerika has lost all credibility on the world stage. When Condi says "we got it wrong in the Middle East, we want Democrapy (sic), not stability..." do you reckon any furriners actually believes that at it's face value??? Seriously?! Or when a Wit(less) House intern states famously that the neacons ignore the "reality based" community, or that Gonzalez states that the Geneva Convention is "quaint"!?! What about the Downing Street memos? Anyone? Or that Rummy AUTHORISED torture!?! From the top down-War Crimes. Strewth, are ya blind, lad? America's rep is trashed. Not by the people some say? Only the government? Well who voted last election? I grew up believing all the US Hollywood crap re home of the free, our media is saturated with american influences. The thing is NOW, I don't believe the hype. WMD? Nope, Saddam & Osama? Nope. Democracy? Please spare me.

Posted by: Greg at June 28, 2005 08:11 PM

Greg, it barely worked for Joyce. Give it a break.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 28, 2005 08:13 PM

Many people from, from the developing countries do not believe the United States is as democratic as she claims. Many of them seem to believe, like in their own country, an oligarchy or super wealthy elite runs the United States. This is why some of them don’t hold Americans responsible for the fruits of their elections.

I think folks in advance countries imagine Americans are responsible for their governments and treated accordingly.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 28, 2005 08:17 PM

Neodude held up a small number of extremist Irqis as characteristic of all the Iraqis the US military is trying to engage. He is now declaring that he never said this. Maybe he's just too incoherent and scatterbrained, as usual, to remember what he himself recently posted. At least it's different from his usual pattern of attempting to say something meaningful, getting in over his head, and flailing around for a Nazi analogy to extricate himself. I can't believe that he and other leftists are holding up WWI and WWII as examples of wars fought "right" and that they would be willing to support. They can't stomach the comparatively miniscule level of casualties occurring in Iraq. Do you think they'd be willing to stick to the mission when faced with gas attacks on the Western Front, the loss of the Philippines, and other catastrophes? Of course not.
To get back on topic, it's also nice to hear Neodude and his fellow "progressives" speaking for people from third world countries, as he does in the post above. I'm the child of immigrants who are actually FROM such a country, and I can attest to the fact that anti-Americanism is often based on simple resentment of the United States and its comparative success. Neodude's incorrect to claim that dislike of the US government is separable from dislike of individual US citizens. It's been my experience that people from my parents' home country are much more likely to manifest anti-Americanism through their hostility to foreigners, instead of through general comments about the Bush administration.

Posted by: Samsung at June 29, 2005 03:11 PM

Samsung,

For all your talk abour war...you guys are sure fucking up in Iraq.

Posted by: NeoDude at June 29, 2005 05:57 PM

So if you want to really call a spade a spade we shouldn't have been looking to wage a full scale invasion of a sovereign nation not because it was illegal or difficult, but because we (as some of us did) should have known that our friends are not our friends and that we are already alone when acting in or own benefit.

Or because we should have known the Bush administration was too arrogant and incompetent to do it RIGHT. Because they rushed it, they sold it in bad faith, they completely refused to consider any scenario that didn't involve swift victory and storms of rose petals.

Anything worth doing is worth doing RIGHT. Don't you agree MikeT? Especially something as all-fired important as establishing a model of freedom and democracy in the ME.

BTW KC, Team America was a really funny movie particularly when the marionnettes had sex and when Michael Moore blew is fat apologist ass up.

America! FUCK YEAH!

Posted by: kc at June 29, 2005 07:29 PM

Sure, hon, I presumed that most Aussies are intelligent.

Well, no, you presumed something entirely different and rather specific. Based upon, it is abundantly clear from your subsequent posts, ZERO evidence.

Posted by: kc at June 29, 2005 07:32 PM

Greg,

I know all about Australian culture. You left out "Abo" on your list of good natured nicknames.

Look, I've met great Australians and I have met turds. This is normal for any country. And when talking about American ignorance of Australia's location and language, Chinese people do the same thing as Australia and Austria sound the same to many people.

p.s. Not as bad as the Aussie girl in Bali who would not believe I was from California. Is this a common pick up line?

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