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Do Americans feel as though the US is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t?

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  • Do Americans feel as though the US is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t?

    The recent question on the North America sub-forum titled:
    "Why do foreigners care about US domestic policies?" by the venerable and astute 'Cult Icon' has reminded me of a thread-starter of mine from some ten years ago.

    Given that one interpretation of Trump's election is that a sizeable portion of the US voting population simply decided to give the rest of the US and the WORLD a massive finger I thought it might be of interest to revive the question.

    It's from 2007 so I've edited and updated it a bit:

    "This is a rehash of an old question that leftie Uni lecturers (yep, I did say leftie!) in Australia used to pose to political science and modern history undergrads when I was attending back in the early to mid seventies.

    It would go something like this:
    after a couple of terms (semesters as they are called in the US) subtly and sometimes openly spicing a political or history topic with an anti- American undertones, they would suddenly in term three turn the whole thing around and start defending US policy and actions.

    Simple intellectual gymnastics really, but very effective when you’re teaching innocent 18-21 year olds. And to give them their due it was an honest attempt to show both sides to an issue.
    They would usually conclude the topic with something along the lines of:
    ‘so ya see kiddies (all undergrads are kiddies and need to be reminded of this often) it’s never as simple as it looks:
    .Who’s the first nation to be condemned? The US of course!
    .Which nation ya gonna first call on for help? As above!

    Is it any wonder then, that many quite reasonable Americans feel frustrated, angry, puzzled and indeed even bitter about the way they are perceived of and treated by many in the rest of the world. In short they feel the US will be damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t”

    Seems to me little has changed in regard to the US in the last 35 (now 45!)years.
    So what do people think? Is it just the way of the world and a natural human tendency to pull down number one or is it the fault of a particular administration and the way they do or don’t do things?"

    Be interested in a present day range of opinions on this topic.

    Regards
    lodestar

  • #2
    Originally posted by lodestar View Post
    The recent question on the North America sub-forum titled:
    "Why do foreigners care about US domestic policies?" by the venerable and astute 'Cult Icon' has reminded me of a thread-starter of mine from some ten years ago.

    Given that one interpretation of Trump's election is that a sizeable portion of the US voting population simply decided to give the rest of the US and the WORLD a massive finger I thought it might be of interest to revive the question.

    It's from 2007 so I've edited and updated it a bit:

    "This is a rehash of an old question that leftie Uni lecturers (yep, I did say leftie!) in Australia used to pose to political science and modern history undergrads when I was attending back in the early to mid seventies.

    It would go something like this:
    after a couple of terms (semesters as they are called in the US) subtly and sometimes openly spicing a political or history topic with an anti- American undertones, they would suddenly in term three turn the whole thing around and start defending US policy and actions.

    Simple intellectual gymnastics really, but very effective when you’re teaching innocent 18-21 year olds. And to give them their due it was an honest attempt to show both sides to an issue.
    They would usually conclude the topic with something along the lines of:
    ‘so ya see kiddies (all undergrads are kiddies and need to be reminded of this often) it’s never as simple as it looks:
    .Who’s the first nation to be condemned? The US of course!
    .Which nation ya gonna first call on for help? As above!

    Is it any wonder then, that many quite reasonable Americans feel frustrated, angry, puzzled and indeed even bitter about the way they are perceived of and treated by many in the rest of the world. In short they feel the US will be damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t”

    Seems to me little has changed in regard to the US in the last 35 (now 45!)years.
    So what do people think? Is it just the way of the world and a natural human tendency to pull down number one or is it the fault of a particular administration and the way they do or don’t do things?"

    Be interested in a present day range of opinions on this topic.

    Regards
    lodestar
    In regards to who do countries call for help first, it needs to be remembered that plenty of countries answer the US's call for help whenever they ask for it. It's not a one way street.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lodestar View Post
      The recent question on the North America sub-forum titled:
      "Why do foreigners care about US domestic policies?" by the venerable and astute 'Cult Icon' has reminded me of a thread-starter of mine from some ten years ago.

      Given that one interpretation of Trump's election is that a sizeable portion of the US voting population simply decided to give the rest of the US and the WORLD a massive finger I thought it might be of interest to revive the question.

      It's from 2007 so I've edited and updated it a bit:

      "This is a rehash of an old question that leftie Uni lecturers (yep, I did say leftie!) in Australia used to pose to political science and modern history undergrads when I was attending back in the early to mid seventies.

      It would go something like this:
      after a couple of terms (semesters as they are called in the US) subtly and sometimes openly spicing a political or history topic with an anti- American undertones, they would suddenly in term three turn the whole thing around and start defending US policy and actions.

      Simple intellectual gymnastics really, but very effective when you’re teaching innocent 18-21 year olds. And to give them their due it was an honest attempt to show both sides to an issue.
      They would usually conclude the topic with something along the lines of:
      ‘so ya see kiddies (all undergrads are kiddies and need to be reminded of this often) it’s never as simple as it looks:
      .Who’s the first nation to be condemned? The US of course!
      .Which nation ya gonna first call on for help? As above!

      Is it any wonder then, that many quite reasonable Americans feel frustrated, angry, puzzled and indeed even bitter about the way they are perceived of and treated by many in the rest of the world. In short they feel the US will be damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t”

      Seems to me little has changed in regard to the US in the last 35 (now 45!)years.
      So what do people think? Is it just the way of the world and a natural human tendency to pull down number one or is it the fault of a particular administration and the way they do or don’t do things?"

      Be interested in a present day range of opinions on this topic.

      Regards
      lodestar
      Only the fools.




      Regards.
      Grishnak.
      Wack tac mac hey.
      Regards.
      Grishnak.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JFKvsNixon View Post
        In regards to who do countries call for help first, it needs to be remembered that plenty of countries answer the US's call for help whenever they ask for it. It's not a one way street.
        Actually it is. The level of commitment is what determines the quality of the response. Plenty of nations send a company of cooks or clerks. Not many send a decent number of combat troops. And even fewer are willing to simply defend themselves for a change.

        Ask yourself how many nations can project sea or air power around the globe. Those nations are the effective ones. The rest are merely hangers on, who don't even offer to pay the staggering cost of the help that they constantly demand.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          Actually it is. The level of commitment is what determines the quality of the response. Plenty of nations send a company of cooks or clerks. Not many send a decent number of combat troops. And even fewer are willing to simply defend themselves for a change.

          Ask yourself how many nations can project sea or air power around the globe. Those nations are the effective ones. The rest are merely hangers on, who don't even offer to pay the staggering cost of the help that they constantly demand.
          Quite right.
          Wack tac mac hey.
          Regards.
          Grishnak.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
            Actually it is. The level of commitment is what determines the quality of the response. Plenty of nations send a company of cooks or clerks. Not many send a decent number of combat troops. And even fewer are willing to simply defend themselves for a change.

            Ask yourself how many nations can project sea or air power around the globe. Those nations are the effective ones. The rest are merely hangers on, who don't even offer to pay the staggering cost of the help that they constantly demand.
            I think that you need to show some respect. The Europeans have lost hundreds of lives and thousands of troops have been injured answering your request for aid in Afghanistan.

            Also, don't try to suggest that the USA's participation in NATO was for any other reason than it's own self interest, and it shouldn't be any other way. The US is a power for good and it led the world during the Cold War, but getting sanctimonious about it does you or your country no favours at all.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JFKvsNixon View Post
              I think that you need to show some respect. The Europeans have lost hundreds of lives and thousands of troops have been injured answering your request for aid in Afghanistan.

              Also, don't try to suggest that the USA's participation in NATO was for any other reason than it's own self interest, and it shouldn't be any other way. The US is a power for good and it led the world during the Cold War, but getting sanctimonious about it does you or your country no favours at all.
              Since we pay the majority of the costs of NATO, the self-interest is yours and the other nations, not ours. Pay your way or do it yourself.

              Respect for whom? Many of the foreign troops in Afghanistan are non-combatants, as you well know. Meanwhile, we've been at it far l longer and paid the vast majority of the costs, and we have lost thousands dead and many thousands more maimed for life.

              Fighting terrorism is not "self-interest", but I agree with you that it should be, and that we should stay away from you when they attack your nation and let you fight your own war alone.

              Meanwhile, you continue to survive under the nuclear umbrella of protection provided free of charge to you by America since the end of WWII.

              The poster here asked why we felt the way we do, and we are answering. If you don't like the answers, or can't handle those answers, do not read them and do not comment. And if you yourself have not served in your own military, say nothing at all because you haven't earned the right to do so.

              Freedom is not free to anyone.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                Since we pay the majority of the costs of NATO, the self-interest is yours and the other nations, not ours. Pay your way or do it yourself.

                Respect for whom? Many of the foreign troops in Afghanistan are non-combatants, as you well know. Meanwhile, we've been at it far l longer and paid the vast majority of the costs, and we have lost thousands dead and many thousands more maimed for life.

                Fighting terrorism is not "self-interest", but I agree with you that it should be, and that we should stay away from you when they attack your nation and let you fight your own war alone.

                Meanwhile, you continue to survive under the nuclear umbrella of protection provided free of charge to you by America since the end of WWII.

                The poster here asked why we felt the way we do, and we are answering. If you don't like the answers, or can't handle those answers, do not read them and do not comment. And if you yourself have not served in your own military, say nothing at all because you haven't earned the right to do so.

                Freedom is not free to anyone.

                One word: Kosovo.

                That was Europe's problem, nobody else's. They couldn't even manage to take care of that. The US was drug in to stomp on that war. Libya was another. Sweden sent some jets to help and then found that Italy couldn't even supply the right fuel for them...
                Poland and Britain usually send the largest contingents on these foreign wars and such, including sending offensive combat troops. France does occasionally too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JFKvsNixon View Post
                  I think that you need to show some respect. The Europeans have lost hundreds of lives and thousands of troops have been injured answering your request for aid in Afghanistan.

                  Also, don't try to suggest that the USA's participation in NATO was for any other reason than it's own self interest, and it shouldn't be any other way. The US is a power for good and it led the world during the Cold War, but getting sanctimonious about it does you or your country no favours at all.
                  Yes, our self interest in not seeing Western Europe turned into a group of nations subservient to the whims of dictators in Moscow. That was our only interest. If the Red Army had steam rolled you guys into the Atlantic, the good old USofA would've still been here. Our only self interest was in saving your asses from a fate worse than Hitler.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JFKvsNixon View Post
                    In regards to who do countries call for help first, it needs to be remembered that plenty of countries answer the US's call for help whenever they ask for it. It's not a one way street.
                    Yes great point. And also this is a good thread Lodestar.
                    Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DBaY0RsxU
                    Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                    George S Patton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      Since we pay the majority of the costs of NATO, the self-interest is yours and the other nations, not ours. Pay your way or do it yourself.

                      Respect for whom? Many of the foreign troops in Afghanistan are non-combatants, as you well know. Meanwhile, we've been at it far l longer and paid the vast majority of the costs, and we have lost thousands dead and many thousands more maimed for life.

                      Fighting terrorism is not "self-interest", but I agree with you that it should be, and that we should stay away from you when they attack your nation and let you fight your own war alone.

                      Meanwhile, you continue to survive under the nuclear umbrella of protection provided free of charge to you by America since the end of WWII.

                      The poster here asked why we felt the way we do, and we are answering. If you don't like the answers, or can't handle those answers, do not read them and do not comment. And if you yourself have not served in your own military, say nothing at all because you haven't earned the right to do so.

                      Freedom is not free to anyone.

                      So in your world unless you've served in the military you'er no right to an opinion? Maybe if you were more open to the views of others your opinions would differ? Maybe then you'd understand that the US was/is in NATO to defend it's interests nothing more nothing less. You are not in it for charitable reasons, the US profits from a prosperous and conflict free world.

                      Lets put some context to my post, I have no issue with the US. Time and again here on this forum I'll acknowledge the good that it has done in leading the world post WW2, I am grateful for it.

                      So, on to the content of your post.

                      I've never said that I had any issue with the answers people were giving, I just disagree with some of the views expressed. Everybody is welcome to their own opinion, and so am I. All did was correct the wrong assumption that it's a one way street in regards to US and Europe. Europe does answer the US's request for help and it has cost Europe dearly to do so.

                      I do not have an issue with that beyond the need for it to be acknowledged.

                      Also I'm not sure if you noticed that Europe has enough of a nuclear deterrent to deter an attack. Okay, we may not be able to make the rubble bounce two or three times, but we have enough to deter.

                      It also seems that you need reminding that Europe contributed plenty towards your nuclear deterrent to the point that I doubt you'd have it without European scientists, so there is no need to get prissy on that score.

                      You say, freedom is not free to anyone. You seem to forget that I come from a country that has paid a massive price for the freedom of it and it's neighbours. A country that sacrificed it's position as a World Power to a country that still had food rationing nearly 10 years after the end of WW2.

                      Anyone with a basic knowledge of British history fully understands the price of freedom.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                        Actually it is. The level of commitment is what determines the quality of the response. Plenty of nations send a company of cooks or clerks. Not many send a decent number of combat troops. And even fewer are willing to simply defend themselves for a change.

                        Ask yourself how many nations can project sea or air power around the globe. Those nations are the effective ones. The rest are merely hangers on, who don't even offer to pay the staggering cost of the help that they constantly demand.
                        One day you will call, and not one ally will answer. And that will be a good day, because then arrogant know nothings like you will find just how much hard work your allies have done for you in your shitty, and mostly uncalled for, wars since WW2.
                        Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                        That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                          One day you will call, and not one ally will answer. And that will be a good day, because then arrogant know nothings like you will find just how much hard work your allies have done for you in your shitty, and mostly uncalled for, wars since WW2.
                          Which wars would those be...?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            Which wars would those be...?
                            Oh geez, just off the top off my head... Vietnam... Iraq II... whatever the hell you are doing in the imbroglio of Syria / Iraq today... Afghanistan...

                            I'll give you a part pass on Korea because it was a UN action... still bloody pointless and costly though. Also a part pass on Iraq I because it was a nasty thing Saddam did to Kuwait, even if Kuwait is a middle ages kingdom and Saddam was your love child until he stopped being your dog on the leash.

                            But that's not the point. Australian blood was shed in all these places BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR OUR HELP. And the thanks we get is getting told we are hangers on that bleed you dry.

                            Oh, and the rest of the world loved how you came late to both world wars and then claimed the win. Sheesh. Like I said: one day you will call and no-one will come. I hope that day is soon.
                            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                              Oh geez, just off the top off my head... Vietnam... Iraq II... whatever the hell you are doing in the imbroglio of Syria / Iraq today... Afghanistan...

                              I'll give you a part pass on Korea because it was a UN action... still bloody pointless and costly though. Also a part pass on Iraq I because it was a nasty thing Saddam did to Kuwait, even if Kuwait is a middle ages kingdom and Saddam was your love child until he stopped being your dog on the leash.

                              But that's not the point. Australian blood was shed in all these places BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR OUR HELP. And the thanks we get is getting told we are hangers on that bleed you dry.

                              Oh, and the rest of the world loved how you came late to both world wars and then claimed the win. Sheesh. Like I said: one day you will call and no-one will come. I hope that day is soon.
                              The arrogant and ignorant ugly American aside what the US did during the Cold War was necessary to contain the Soviet Union ever since it ended a few weren't necessary but for the foreseeable future the US still is our best defense against all our enemies whether or not they do something stupid again like the last Iraq invasion.

                              Comment

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