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Author Topic: American Colossus - Is the United States an empire  (Read 8496 times)
BlackBox
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« on: June 05, 2004, 18:21:58 »

a la Atlantis
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Eol007
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2004, 18:26:27 »

quote:
Originally posted by BlackBox

a la Atlantis


Lord Knows [|)] Must be my apolitical upbringing!
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2004, 18:26:27 »

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Jenadots
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2004, 19:28:40 »

In a word -- No.  

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Mustardseed
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2004, 18:20:03 »

In 3 words.......ohhh yeah absolutely
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kiauma
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2004, 22:37:14 »

LOL!  Well that's been a lot of opinion...

I think one really needs to qualify that heavily to give any answer any real meaning.

Is America innately imperialistic?  No.

Is the current administration's policies and goals symptomatic of an imperialistic agenda?  Absolutely.

Despite people dying almost daily for their misguided intentions, when you really look at what Bush and company are trying to do, it really is laughable, in a tragic, ironic, black humored kind of way.  I think they really have convinced themselves they are 'saving the world'.  The irony is that the world, especially America,  needs to be saved from them!  [xx(]
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2004, 22:37:14 »



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coral1
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2004, 00:32:02 »

The real "Axis of Evil" is the Pentagon,the Justice Department and the White House.

Happy Trails
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coral1
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2004, 00:47:25 »

quote:
Originally posted by coral1

The real "Axis of Evil" is the Pentagon,the Justice Department and the White House.

Happy Trails

Take your point, but don't think that is where the thread was going in terms of a US Empire etc. DO you really feel that passionately about your nation?

I feel that the British for instance are not particularly jingoistic and seem more focused on regional identity unless rallied very deeply by political manipulation. But then the UK is remnant of a faded Empire after all. However there has been a recent positing of the English identity with respect to sport and a lot of flag waving going on etc. Hopefully harmless!

Cheers,


S
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James S
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2004, 01:49:11 »

We tend to feel much the same here in Aus EOL007. After all, we're a former penal colony for that faded empire![Wink]

It seems to me that few other countries push patriotism as hard as the US. The typical Aussie's response to patriotism here is "yeah whatever", unless of course someone starts threatening us, then we seem to produce some of the hardest, nastiest troops about.

I do get a definite impression from the US government of "if your not for us, you're against us." There's quite a lot of political bickering between our two major political parties about just how much we've been sucking up to the US lately. Austrailia's always been closely allied with the US since before WWII, but most Australians feel we're definitely getting the raw end of the deal, that the US seems to be dictating trade terms and things like that all the time.

 - James

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Nagual
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2004, 07:24:30 »

quote:
I think they really have convinced themselves they are 'saving the world'.

Not sure about that.  I think they know what they are doing; planning to boost their military/oil/construction stocks...  It's just that they are not very subtle about it.

They need to wage wars from times to times to make profits...
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kiauma
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2004, 11:16:29 »

Bush is certainly of the moronic mindset that he is ridding the world of 'Heathens'.  His compadres are certainly using his twisted right wing altruism to great effect, and coincidentally filling their pockets in the deal.

If you look closely at Bush's career and historical personal finances, other than a few 'questionable' deals, everything he has touched has turned to excrement.

The closer you look at everything about the current administration, the more complicated and dirtier it all becomes.
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Jenadots
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2004, 13:19:24 »

In what speech did Bush call say he had to rid the world of "heathens"?  

And corruption -- this administration isn't any more or less corrupt than the last one -- or the next one.  DC is DC - deals are made and a whole lot of money gets spread around on all sides of the political fence.  The big company and organizational lobbists give a lot of money to both political parties so they will be "covered" no matter who is in office.  

Unfortunately, because it takes a huge amount of money to run for any office, the rest of us get ignored except at voting time.  Then it is promise us anything, but it is business as usual once in office.

Of course, when the next terrorist attack hits in the USA - there will be more people saying Nuke-em in whatever country they come from and no one will be worried about prisoners having a pair of panties on their heads.

I read the Robin Williams Peace Plan - which is of unknown origin.  It is funny but has some element of truth in it.  I would also add that any country or leader that panders in Hate America rhetoric be told to get their grubby little hands out of our collective wallets and stop taking the foreign aid money.  Just say no - it is dirty money, evil money, bad bad money[Tongue].  That would be a real change.

If the European Union wants to run the world, a la The French and The German leaders -- they are welcome to it.  They don't want to do the fighting and the dying, but they certainly seem to want in on the money end of things.  They want the rebuilding contracts which are financed by the USA's taxpayers.  I am tired of hearing how the US "shouldn't have done that" but now that you did, we want a piece of it.  Spoken like true, former colonialists.

Money makes the world go around.  I can understand why some people think the USA is set on an Empire course.  It has been the most pervasive spread of culture and language since the Roman or Chinese Empires.  English is the language everyone in the world wants to learn, except, of course, some of the bi-lingual crowd in the USA and the French in Canada.  

But it really is all about the money - they want to do business with us & have our tourists.  All well and good.  But there definitely is a hate-America sentiment out there right now.  Maybe it is just the biggest kid on the block type of thing.  Doesn't really have anything to do with policy.  We are just the people some love to hate right now.  

In 50 years it will probably be somebody else who the rest of the world decries as wanting an Empire.  50 years ago it was the Germans and the Japanese.  Now it is us.  I wonder who is next? Most people in the USA would be happy to let them have a turn.  It would also have the benefit of giving us somebody we love to hate instead of hating and snipping and sniping at each other.
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kiauma
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2004, 13:31:25 »

ROFL!  Well articulated rant Jenadots. [Cheesy]

I don't remember which speech, but I saw it on a live newscast when he remarked of Islam - "It's not even a real religion."

Seriously.
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Eol007
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2004, 13:50:32 »

Hi,

Hi,

Thank you all for your responses thus far to this thread.

Although in starting the thread I was interested to see how people thought about the documentary or at least the concepts postulated in the brief overview on the C4 site.

I was not quite sure why I posted the thread in the 1st instance, but had an innate curiosity bubbling in the background to try to understand in particular: how US American people individually feel about their nationís influence and how it sits in the greater scheme of things!

It seems easy to be occluded as an individual by consensus thinking on this subject. In my opinion hysterical feelings and sentiment being expressed by for instance the media and political manipulators around the world makes it seem that the peoples of the nations of the world do not value and respect: not only the USA as a nation but also its good citizens.

In my mind this is a true shame: as no country and people have had more opportunity to bring benefit (at least material) to all peoples and nations. As a matter of shared responsibility with us all: can the US finally contribute to seeking and implementing real and meaningful resolutions to the big issues faced in the world as per its aparant aspirations?

Or are we just waiting on this spinning mote of dust to see if the US just turns into another faded memory of past glory and shame?  

Iím no social sciences guru Ė but I really wanted to understand not only how you all feel about this subject, but also to see how looking at the bigger picture might give a more illuminated perspective on things.

Sorry if this sounds like idealistic clap trap (bahh)

Kind wishes,

Stephen
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kiauma
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2004, 14:08:52 »

Don't feel bad Stephan, I am an Idealist.  [Smiley]

Will the US become a world benefacter?

Ashamedly, my opinion is that while it certainly could, I feel that it is too tightly in the hands of the manipulators and power/money hungry.  Mostly it seems, the good the US has done has been done by private benefactors who happen to be US citizens.  This is still a possibility.  Also, US sponsored UN humanitarian actions will continue, where it does not conflict with the current administration's agendas, but alas I feel that largely the US's huge potential will be wasted.

I hope I'm wrong, and we begin to take our responsibilities as an upstanding member of the international community, the human race, and fellow custodians of the planet earth seriously.
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Eol007
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2004, 14:21:16 »

Hi kiauma,

No probs... [8D]

S [Smiley]
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narfellus
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2004, 14:47:29 »

yeah, jeandots, that was a nice display of word choice. What is REALLY sad and ironic is this:

If the rest of the world knew the innermost thoughts and desires of most Americans, it would be the same as theirs; we just want quiet lives. We don't want wars, we don't want to fight anybody or cause problems. We don't want to SAVE THE WORLD because our society and political leaders aren't capable of doing that. Saving the world will come from a much different aspect, and even that term is not accurate. Do we really need saving, or are our individual paths proceding just the way they're supposed to?
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Eol007
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2004, 15:01:06 »

quote:
Originally posted by narfellus

yeah, jeandots, that was a nice display of word choice. What is REALLY sad and ironic is this:

If the rest of the world knew the innermost thoughts and desires of most Americans, it would be the same as theirs; we just want quiet lives. We don't want wars, we don't want to fight anybody or cause problems. We don't want to SAVE THE WORLD because our society and political leaders aren't capable of doing that. Saving the world will come from a much different aspect, and even that term is not accurate. Do we really need saving, or are our individual paths proceding just the way they're supposed to?

Hi,

No matter what s*&t goes on around us on the global stage - I for one am glad we have a forum like this - where each individual can have their say and express often very profound experiences and sometimes a need to unload!

For me as one it is always a delight to be able to have opportunity to interact with you all!

You all make a difference in the scheme of things and your contribution here is really valued - I have no doubt in that at all in my mind about that one!

All the best,


Stephen

P.S. Must have a daft hat on today - So don't all throw up at once [Shocked)]
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kiauma
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2004, 15:03:43 »

Wow - to make a difference, even a small difference - that is cool.  [8D]
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2004, 15:14:29 »

The people of the USA are not imperialistic, the current government exhibits clear signs of budding imperialism.

It's important to make the distinctin between the people of a nation and its government which may display a radically different behaviour and set of values than the individuals.

Personally I have nothing but good to say about americans as individuals , some of the most meaniful influences have been americans, but the actions of various governments along the past years give me the willies.

What are the signs of this imperialistic trend?  Intervening in national states when there's a self-interest in quesiton but not doing so when there isn't. Examples, Rwanda genocide vs. Iraq/Kuwait, North Korea vs. Iraq/Afghanistan, ideology that might equals the righth to intervene and that it is the solution to mane a few signature traits.

Now remember that I'm referring too the government not the people. No wars have been fought between individual citizens but always between governments. Always for someone else's benefit but the individual citizens.
So while it seems apparent that the government of the USA has a definite imperialistic characteristic to it the people are as they have always been, friendly, proud of their country, intelligent and always up for the challenge.
Don't let those qualities be swalloed in the figment of government.

2cents & L&L
Jouni

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Nagual
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2004, 06:31:21 »

quote:
If the European Union wants to run the world, a la The French and The German leaders -- they are welcome to it.

I beg your pardon???  They were pushing for UN since the beginning!
It's the US Government that said "f*ck" UN, we'll do it our way.
Maybe the UN is slow and not perfect; but it is representing the nations of the world...  So, basicaly, the US said "f*ck" to the world.
quote:
But there definitely is a hate-America sentiment out there right now.

Nope.  As Jilola said, do not (purposefully?) confuse America with American Government...  I have many American friends and, 99% of them are very nice, peaceful and respectfull persons.  They don't like Bush's governement either, and they were against the war...

So please, stop this "the world hate us so let's f*ck them" propaganda...  You don't buy love/respect; you earn it.
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Jenadots
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2004, 23:44:57 »

Happy Friday everyone.  

When the terrorists kill my American brothers and sisters, they are not killing a government -- they are killing you and me, any of us who happen to be where the killing takes place.  So hating one and loving the other doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  

The problem with separating a government from its people is the problem of dictatorships and theocracies.  In a democracy, we are the government as we vote for it -- at least in theory.  And most of us in the USA do feel a sense of responsibility for what our government leaders do and do not do within our own country and in other places. That is why our debates and elections get so down and dirty.  Just the way we like them.  At least we do air our "dirty linen" in public

No one will ever be 100% satisfied with our government or its political leaders.  The beauty of a democracy is we can say so without risking out lives to do it.  Sometimes the people in other countries take the snippets of political rhetoric they see and think we are much more divided than we are.  We are not all that divided as a people, not in our values.  Most of us want our country to do good things in the world.  Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.
And sometimes, it is impossible to do and sometimes even trying to do something good can have an unexpected outcome.  That's just life.  

As for the UN -- it is corrupt.  As Jeane Kirkpatrick, one of our former ambassadors to the UN once told that assembly -- any time you want to leave New York, she would stand on our shores and wave them all a fond farewell.

I do not recall just what that tiff -- or difference of opinion was about but she certainly was one of our more credible ambassadors and is a noted author and professor of foreign policy in the USA.  If she has a problem with the way the UN is run and structured, I would say she is worth listening to.

Not that the USA is always right.  But I do wonder just how many of them were against any action in Iraq because they were lining their pockets - and the pockets of some relatives -- with the Oil For Food money?  Most of that money was provided by the working taxpayers of the USA and the food obviously did not get to the Iraqi people.  We know millions of it ended up with Saddam and Sons -- but millions of it also ended up in some very public UN pockets.  

So to say we told the UN to go "F" itself, perhaps we should say it is about time.  

I only wish I could save the world...but I am having a hard enough time just saving myself.  So I guess the best approach is to save the world one person at a time, starting with whomever you see every day.  No one here is a saint, but even something as simple as an encouraging word can make someone else's day better.  

It is June and everything here in the midwest is lush and green and I have geese to feed and a beautiful place to just sit and watch the moon rise.  Hope your evening is as pleasant.  [Cheesy]
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jilola
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2004, 23:54:11 »

Quite right. They are killing innocent civilians but what they are attacking is the government.

Separating the government from the people is indeed the road to totalitarianism but ask yourself, how much does the government really listen to its constituents after it's been elected into office?
I know the buggers here don't give a hoot so I'm not speaking off a soap box.

The horrible truth in the world we live in is that the leadership position get filled with ppewple who seek to guard their personal interest before anything else. And that goes for any political, financial and even humanitarian organization at the moment.

The reason I said that government and thepeople need to be kept separate is exactly the fact that a government is a consensus and a compromise that all too often is biased toward the ones who stand to gain most as opposed to taking care of the vast minority (intentional contradiction) who don't really matter to the financial players.

2cents & L&L
jouni
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Jenadots
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2004, 02:19:33 »

People are people.  Be it politicians or truck drivers or anything else.  We all look after our own interests.  That is human nature.  Best we can do is to try to keep them honest.  

We all know that too many of the people in government don't give a hoot about what the rest of us want or think on a daily basis.  We see how fast they vote themselves raises and how slow they vote for other things.  It is a political game and too often in the USA the biggest smile and best hair wins as opposed to the best thinkers and doers.  That too is human nature.

And because governments are run by people, there are going to be problems.  The alternative is wait for intelligent computers to do it. But who wants that?  Might be more efficient for some things but I only want people - warts and all - making decisions.  

I am always leery of people who want a political office too badly, or feel entitled to it, or think it is their destiny.  I have to wonder why.  The problem is there is too much to gain from these offices.  
And then there is the love of power, the love of control.  

I have no doubt that most of our elected officials started out wanting to do something good for the rest of us.  And it is probably very hard to keep that thought uppermost in one's mind while surrounded by an atmosphere of power and influence peddling.  Just the experience changes them.

I don't know if anyone could be unaffected by it all.  The people in the government are all too human in that regard and you are right - they do not seem to spend much time listening to the ordinary folks outside that circle of power and influence.  

And they all make everything so complicated.  These people couldn't simplify taking a walk in the park so it is no wonder that our tax codes and laws are in 10 pound books that fill whole buildings.  

And they wonder why most of us seem to ignore them as much as they ignore us.
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jilola
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2004, 02:28:40 »

Hah! I tihnk anyone who willingly wants a public office should immediately be disqualified on account of general suspicion.

Really working for the good of the nation is a hard and thankless job not a chance to milk money and perks into one's pocket.

I think people should be sentenced to public office with a chance for advance parole due to good conduct.

2cents & L&L
Jouni
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Mick
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2004, 14:32:24 »

quote:
Originally posted by Jenadots

Not that the USA is always right.  But I do wonder just how many of them were against any action in Iraq because they were lining their pockets - and the pockets of some relatives -- with the Oil For Food money?  Most of that money was provided by the working taxpayers of the USA and the food obviously did not get to the Iraqi people.  We know millions of it ended up with Saddam and Sons -- but millions of it also ended up in some very public UN pockets.  


The way this investigation is looking the poor control and maybe pocket lining by the UN of the programme resulted in much suffering by Iragis particularly its infants and even now there are reports that the UN is trying to stifle the investigation, not of course forgetting Saddam himself was a player also in the situation that some Iraqis found themselves in. The UN charter allows for it to respond to genocide in a pre-emptive manner but here it looks to have become became part of the problem Sad

Having looked at sites like this one http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/iraq1/oilindex.htm finding the innocents will be tricky Smiley plus a history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil-for-Food
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