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American Hegemony

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There is a reason why everywhere you go, well almost everywhere, America, the American goverment has a bad name. People view America as being the worlds Judge. Or the world's bully if they don't feel like phrasing it so nice.

 

Is that being too harsh? Yes it is, and no it isn't. America has a habit of getting involved in other countries where there really isn't a reason. at the same time quite often it helps countries that it really didn't have to as well.

 

I am possibly not the best person to talk about this as American culture really doesn't exist in mainland China. At least not outside of hollywood films.

 

America has an image problem abroad it is that simple. Anti-American sentiment exists in almost every country and the goverment need to come up with ways to improve attitudes toward America. Me personally I have no beef with the US, but growing up I was told something along the lines of US is like a shady uncle with some past misdeeds. You love him anyway because he is part of your family, but you don't quite trust him.

 

Are US policies regarding helping and or warring with other countries deeply flawed? Is current U.S. policy regarding militant Islam, the Middle East and the war in Iraq fundamentally flawed, and who bears responsibility if it is? These are questions I dn't have an answer for, but questions I thing about never the less.

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One small quibble for Nightwing: I'm pretty sure we did back the coup against Venezuela in '02.

 

 

Yes and no. Both US and Chile acknowledged support the de facto pro-US Carmona government which breifly took over in the coup. As soon as they lost both US anc Chile retracted their views in record fast time. After the coup was defeated the US goverment condemned them.

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You don't think they meant well? Don't you think that they thought democracies or Pro-American governments would improve the following places? I'm not arguing they did these out of purely noble motives. I don't think, however, that they get their jollies out of kicking people while they're down.

 

So what. It doesn't matter if they "meant well"--the road to hell etc etc.

 

I think they really believe that democracy and good relations with the US will not only bring about better living conditions, but allow for more stability in their regions (which, generally speaking, is a problem with many of these areas)

 

And the British Imperialists thought that they were bringing the light of civilization to the dark places of the globe and lifting the swart races up.

 

2. I can't deny the atrocities that we committed against the Indians, the robbery we committed against Mexico, nor the injustices that we inflicted on the Hawaiians. It'd be foolish of me too. But, as smitty said, these were completely regional and hardly international. They also aren't unique to America; the Mexican-American War is comparable to a great many European wars (Off the top of my head, I'd probably compare them to Prussia's wars against Denmark and Austria), and European attitudes towards natives in Africa are comparable to the worst that we did to the Indians and the Hawaiians. And, depending on the power, perhaps worse (Belgian Congo, for example).

 

This regional/international distinction is some real bullshit. American, Mexico, and (to some extent) the Indians all constituted separate "nations" at the time. Thus any interaction between them was, by definition, "inter-national." And, really, is there really a difference between snatching land from your nearest neighbors in an act of imperialist aggression and snatching land from people on the other side of the globe in an act of imperialist aggression?

 

Again, I'm not trying to excuse ourselves, but I feel as though you're singling out America unfairly in this matter.

 

Once again, he wants to put the U.S. on trial and ignore the history of every other world power which have done things far worse and with far more detrimental consequences.

 

The topic of this discussion is American Imperialism/Hegemony, not "the history of every other world power." I'm sure if you made a thread called "British Imperialism" XC would be right there, posting a litany of awful human rights abuse committed in the name of the Crown.

 

I don't want to make this a personal argument (though he already has), but I'm waiting for the post where X.C. blames us for the Holocaust. That's how ridiculous this is becoming.

 

You're an idiot.

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You don't think they meant well? Don't you think that they thought democracies or Pro-American governments would improve the following places? I'm not arguing they did these out of purely noble motives. I don't think, however, that they get their jollies out of kicking people while they're down.

 

So what. It doesn't matter if they "meant well"--the road to hell etc etc.

 

You missed the point; I'm not saying they didn't make the mistakes. I'm saying that the US's objective isn't to be evil. XC keeps putting this sinister objective on things, like they're deliberately attempting to fuck up these places.

 

I think they really believe that democracy and good relations with the US will not only bring about better living conditions, but allow for more stability in their regions (which, generally speaking, is a problem with many of these areas)

 

And the British Imperialists thought that they were bringing the light of civilization to the dark places of the globe and lifting the swart races up.

 

You're talking about completely different things. US efforts in Iraq are much, much different than the British colonial governments, and operate under different objectives. You're reaching hard on this one.

 

2. I can't deny the atrocities that we committed against the Indians, the robbery we committed against Mexico, nor the injustices that we inflicted on the Hawaiians. It'd be foolish of me too. But, as smitty said, these were completely regional and hardly international. They also aren't unique to America; the Mexican-American War is comparable to a great many European wars (Off the top of my head, I'd probably compare them to Prussia's wars against Denmark and Austria), and European attitudes towards natives in Africa are comparable to the worst that we did to the Indians and the Hawaiians. And, depending on the power, perhaps worse (Belgian Congo, for example).

 

This regional/international distinction is some real bullshit. American, Mexico, and (to some extent) the Indians all constituted separate "nations" at the time. Thus any interaction between them was, by definition, "inter-national." And, really, is there really a difference between snatching land from your nearest neighbors in an act of imperialist aggression and snatching land from people on the other side of the globe in an act of imperialist aggression?

 

The Indians are always a bit weird with me. I mean, technically their lands had been owned by the Spanish and the French previously. Napoleon certainly had ideas for North America before Haiti turned south on him. I'm hesitant to define them as "international" in the way that XC is attempting to use the term. I wouldn't define that as "international activity".

 

On Mexico, there's a point to be made. Then again, it's as international as the German Wars of Unification; a regional dispute that concerned no one but the two powers. The problem was that the US was actively pressing what was a legitimate border dispute into a giant land-grab (Again, like the German Wars of Unification). That is the real problem.

 

The topic of this discussion is American Imperialism/Hegemony, not "the history of every other world power." I'm sure if you made a thread called "British Imperialism" XC would be right there, posting a litany of awful human rights abuse committed in the name of the Crown.

 

Okay, you got me. I think the main problem is that XC is framing things in a way to show that this is some sort of plan of America to abuse people, and selectively using the facts to justify it. That is rather frustrating.

 

 

Smitty: There's a difference between recognizing the government and what Chavez is saying. We didn't orchestrate the coup, like Chavez suggests.

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this conversation isn't really going anywhere. it doesn't do any good to form a laundry list of good things the US has done and bad things the US has done. i think one more interesting question might be, given the increasing interdependency of economics, politics, etc., all over the globe, does the US have any choice BUT to make repeated interventions in all sorts of countries according to its own interests? i can't think of any civilization that's ever relinquished its power willingly, and when your influence is wide, that influence can cut both ways. if al-qaeda is in pakistan, that IS a direct threat to the safety of the US--obviously not to its stability as a country, but to its citizens. and of course there are more assured deaths from handguns, car accidents, etc., than there could ever be from terrorism, but terrorism doesn't work the same way. i think the issue isn't whether or not america is a force of evil or a force for good or whatever, the issue is what practical options and obligations does a country with the power and interests of the US have?

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i think one more interesting question might be, given the increasing interdependency of economics, politics, etc., all over the globe, does the US have any choice BUT to make repeated interventions in all sorts of countries according to its own interests?

 

I think so, yeah. It would take a massive ideological realignment in the country, and a concerted effort to understand the world in a fundamentally different manner than we do now. But I think it's possible. The fact is, we really cannot keep going the way we're going. As long as we stay on this path the threats that are already manifesting themselves (terrorism, climate change, economic collapse) are only going to intensify and newer, more dangerous threats are certain to arise. The past 30 years of interventionism have produced little more than mass human rights abuses and deep-seated resentment toward us in all corners of the globe. Something has to change.

 

if al-qaeda is in pakistan, that IS a direct threat to the safety of the US--obviously not to its stability as a country, but to its citizens. and of course there are more assured deaths from handguns, car accidents, etc., than there could ever be from terrorism, but terrorism doesn't work the same way.

 

 

The problem isn't that we're fighting al-qaeda, it's that we're fighting al-qaeda in totally stupid and unproductive ways. Messing around in Pakistan and destabilizing that already unstable country even more is a bad, bad, bad idea. A complete power vacuum in a country with nuclear weapons would be a much worse threat to global peace than al-qaeda could ever hope to be.

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i think one more interesting question might be, given the increasing interdependency of economics, politics, etc., all over the globe, does the US have any choice BUT to make repeated interventions in all sorts of countries according to its own interests?

 

I think so, yeah. It would take a massive ideological realignment in the country, and a concerted effort to understand the world in a fundamentally different manner than we do now. But I think it's possible. The fact is, we really cannot keep going the way we're going. As long as we stay on this path the threats that are already manifesting themselves (terrorism, climate change, economic collapse) are only going to intensify and newer, more dangerous threats are certain to arise. The past 30 years of interventionism have produced little more than mass human rights abuses and deep-seated resentment toward us in all corners of the globe. Something has to change.

 

if al-qaeda is in pakistan, that IS a direct threat to the safety of the US--obviously not to its stability as a country, but to its citizens. and of course there are more assured deaths from handguns, car accidents, etc., than there could ever be from terrorism, but terrorism doesn't work the same way.

 

 

The problem isn't that we're fighting al-qaeda, it's that we're fighting al-qaeda in totally stupid and unproductive ways. Messing around in Pakistan and destabilizing that already unstable country ever more is a bad, bad, bad idea. A compl power vacuum in a country with nuclear weapons would be a much worse threat to global peace than al-qaeda could ever hope to be.

 

It's not that the US needs to pull back from interventionism. The problem is that the 1st World needs to show a more united front and more concern with the 3rd World. If the UN were to work as it was supposed to and we actually got truly international peace-keeping forces, we could actually do something. But the US running around on its own while Western Europe and others twiddle their thumbs is the wrong solution for both sides. Diplomacy without force and force without diplomacy are both losing strategies.

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i think one more interesting question might be, given the increasing interdependency of economics, politics, etc., all over the globe, does the US have any choice BUT to make repeated interventions in all sorts of countries according to its own interests?

 

I think so, yeah. It would take a massive ideological realignment in the country, and a concerted effort to understand the world in a fundamentally different manner than we do now. But I think it's possible. The fact is, we really cannot keep going the way we're going. As long as we stay on this path the threats that are already manifesting themselves (terrorism, climate change, economic collapse) are only going to intensify and newer, more dangerous threats are certain to arise.

 

I think the problems you're referring to actually require strong US leadership a la Bush I and Clinton (in grand strategy parlance, engagement). A Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich type turn by the US would be antithetical to solving the three problems that you've mentioned.

 

The past 30 years of interventionism have produced little more than mass human rights abuses and deep-seated resentment toward us in all corners of the globe. Something has to change.

 

Again, I have to disagree. I think most of George HW Bush's & Clinton's foreign policies were pretty successful, from stopping Iraqi aggression against Kuwait to stopping genocide in the Balkans. I don't want to go into list mode again and tick off gtd, but I don't think your statement is accurate with respect to those two presidencies. Bush II and Reagan, yep.

 

The problem isn't that we're fighting al-qaeda, it's that we're fighting al-qaeda in totally stupid and unproductive ways. Messing around in Pakistan and destabilizing that already unstable country ever more is a bad, bad, bad idea. A compl power vacuum in a country with nuclear weapons would be a much worse threat to global peace than al-qaeda could ever hope to be.

 

I guess you're referring to the drone strikes in Pakistan here? I agree that these are problematic and are pissing off Pakistanis. But it seems pretty clear that Zardari wants the strikes and just criticizes them for show. These areas are being used as a haven for terrorists, and the drone strikes are a much better option that sending in US troops. The Pakistani military or intelligence services obviously aren't going to anything about it, so I think right now it's the best of many bad options we have.

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It's not that the US needs to pull back from interventionism.

 

A Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich type turn by the US would be antithetical to solving the three problems that you've mentioned.

 

I wasn't actually advocating for either of these things, btw. I apologize if it came off like that. Isolationism is, to my mind, just as wrong-headed and pernicious as imperialism. Both of them ultimately grow out of the same injurious Us vs. Them line of thinking, and it's that line of thinking that I'm ultimately opposed to. I fully agree that America has a huge role to play in combating those threats I mentioned, and with our resources it's only logical that we lead the charge. The problem comes when we equate "leading the charge" with "telling other countries what to do." We need to engage the globe on its own terms, not just on ours

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Byron, one of the prompt questions was, "Is America the least rapacious 'empire'" or something along those lines, so comparisons to past powers is A-OK in this thread.

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It's not that the US needs to pull back from interventionism.

 

A Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich type turn by the US would be antithetical to solving the three problems that you've mentioned.

 

I wasn't actually advocating for either of these things, btw. I apologize if it came off like that. Isolationism is, to my mind, just as wrong-headed and pernicious as imperialism. Both of them ultimately grow out of the injurious Us vs. Them line of thinking, and it's that line of thinking that I'm ultimately opposed to. I fully agree that America has a huge role to play in combating those threats I mentioned, and with our resources it's only logical that we lead the charge. The problem comes when we equate "leading the charge" with "telling other countries what to do." We need to engage the globe on its own terms, not just on ours

 

Completely agree here.

 

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Our track record of propping up brutal military juntas is pretty unmatched as well.

 

The topic of this discussion is American Imperialism/Hegemony, not "the history of every other world power." I'm sure if you made a thread called "British Imperialism" XC would be right there, posting a litany of awful human rights abuse committed in the name of the Crown.

 

 

To review:

 

-Criticism of the U.S. when comparing to other countries = acceptable.

 

-Defense of the U.S. when comparing to other countries = off topic.

 

 

Any other inquiries about special circumstantial rules should be sent to [email protected]

 

 

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Our track record of propping up brutal military juntas is pretty unmatched as well.

 

The topic of this discussion is American Imperialism/Hegemony, not "the history of every other world power." I'm sure if you made a thread called "British Imperialism" XC would be right there, posting a litany of awful human rights abuse committed in the name of the Crown.

 

 

To review:

 

-Criticism of the U.S. when comparing to other countries = acceptable.

 

-Defense of the U.S. when comparing to other countries = off topic.

 

 

Any other inquiries about special circumstantial rules should be sent to [email protected]

way to ignore the thrust of the discussion in a sad attempt at one-upsmanship that says absolutely nothing. if you're going to argue with someone, argue with their more strong or substantial points, don't piss and moan about little shit and act like you've solved the whole discussion.

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-Defense of the U.S. when comparing to other countries = off topic.

 

I never said that. Stop being dumb.

So you're saying you don't have a problem with doing a comparative defense of the U.S. in regards to other countries, so long as I don't actually say anything about the history of the other countries with which I am doing the comparisons? Yeah, maybe instead of lecturing me with contradictions, you should just shut the fuck up and stop trying to tell me what to talk about.

 

 

I'm done talking about this now.

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Guys like Kucinich who call for removing military bases around the world and drastically cutting the military budget should not be considered isolationists.

 

American hegemony should certainly be a concern as it only enhances nuclear proliferation and threatens world peace. Propping brutal regimes are certainly one way to make enemies out of entire populations - but waging war and militarizing space could lead to some pretty frightening consequences.

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When I saw that Cbacon had the last post in this thread before I opened it I felt like a little kid at christmas about to open his Big gift. After reading his post I feel like I opened it to find socks. pokadot socks.

 

Where's the crazy?

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