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  • Perspectives from around the globe

    Since we have such a diverse group here me may as well put it to use and get some perspective from everyone.

    1. For our members for Eastern Europe or parts of Russia etc. How do you view Western Europe in general? Has your view changed greatly in the last ten years? Where do you see Eastern Europe heading?

    2. For our members in Europe. What is your opnion of the EU? Is the EU a positve thing and where do you see it going in the next ten or twenty years? Do you think power within the EU will be fairly distributed or will the larger nations control the destiny of smaller ones?

    3. For non-American members. Has the Iraq situation significantly altered you perception of world politics? Your view of the USA? If so, in what way and do you see this as a temporary political impression, or has this seriously altered your perceptions of the US?

    4. For US members. Has the Iraq situation altered your peception of Europe? Of Canada or Australia? If so, how. Do you see this as temporary or have your views dramatically changed in the last few years?

    5. For anyone. Overall, have you found yourself paying more or less attention to politics and/or the news in the last few years? Do you feel that you you have access to timely, accurate news when you need it, or is all the news slanted with someone else's political agenda?

    6. For anyone. Do you think the world has crossed a turning point and will slowly but surely eradicate terrorism as a major force, or do you believe that the worst is yet to come and terrorism will grow even more powerful regardless of what we do to stop it?
    Editor-in-Chief
    GameSquad.com

  • #2
    Since we have such a diverse group here me may as well put it to use and get some perspective from everyone.

    1. For our members for Eastern Europe or parts of Russia etc. How do you view Western Europe in general? Has your view changed greatly in the last ten years? Where do you see Eastern Europe heading?


    The Western Eu was a way to go (looked like heaven), but now we saw more problem than good. There is a disappointment here...


    2. For our members in Europe. What is your opnion of the EU? Is the EU a positve thing and where do you see it going in the next ten or twenty years? Do you think power within the EU will be fairly distributed or will the larger nations control the destiny of smaller ones?


    EU should decide if she will act as one power, or still some bunch of countries who sometimes agreed on things (but more likely not)...


    3. For non-American members. Has the Iraq situation significantly altered you perception of world politics? Your view of the USA? If so, in what way and do you see this as a temporary political impression, or has this seriously altered your perceptions of the US?

    The US movements were mostly because of Bush, and not the US people, so my view does not change on US, but Bush still not my favorit...

    ...
    5. For anyone. Overall, have you found yourself paying more or less attention to politics and/or the news in the last few years? Do you feel that you you have access to timely, accurate news when you need it, or is all the news slanted with someone else's political agenda?


    We are "internet men", I can reach many opposing view, info, reason in no time. So I think we cannot be (easily) manipulated, but the TV men can see very onesided view most of the time (either side).

    6. For anyone. Do you think the world has crossed a turning point and will slowly but surely eradicate terrorism as a major force, or do you believe that the worst is yet to come and terrorism will grow even more powerful regardless of what we do to stop it?

    If we continue the fight in the same way (war against Iraq, etc.) the terrorism cannot be stopped...
    (my favorit example, there is no need for weapon to be a terrorist, just tell to the newspapers that you poisoned many chocolate with a poisoned needle, or you put some bacteria in the water of the city... that's enough for a big panic...
    a brain cell

    Comment


    • #3
      In Eastern Europe there is some envy over the Western European and American standard of living but an overwhelming majority of the population considers all of Europe and America as one entity, lands of people who are the same. All differences are considered minor.

      Question number two-no the war has not altered my perceptions of Europe because the European reaction was mixed.

      As for terrorists I believe they had crossed the point of their own extinction a few years ago in the 1990s when they understood the pace of globalization and the pace of the information revolution. That's why they struck; this campaign is their last major one even though there may be isolated problems in the future. Bin Laden's dramatic jihad is a lame attemt at undoing what cannot be undone anymore. It is also a choice of honorable death; destruction of the network in battle with the infidels rather than seeing it slowly die away of natural causes.
      Last edited by MonsterZero; 19 Mar 04, 12:58.

      "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
      --Frederick II, King of Prussia

      Comment


      • #4
        6. For anyone. Do you think the world has crossed a turning point and will slowly but surely eradicate terrorism as a major force, or do you believe that the worst is yet to come and terrorism will grow even more powerful regardless of what we do to stop it?[/QUOTE]


        The major aspect of this question is 'what we do to stop it?' If colateral damage (killining innocents) is an accepted part of a states or terrorrists strategy then yes terrorism on both sides will become worse. If the only solution to the problematic of terrorism is seem through positivist eyes (military reaction) then yes terorism will grow stronger.

        At the moment there is no one clear cut solution to the problem the world faces with the upsurg in nationalistic ideals and religious fundamentalism that the world is experiencing in these times. I think the events Iraq and recently Spain are starting to show this.


        'eradicate terrorism as a major force' The biggest major force in the world today is US foriegn policy when will that be eradicated?
        Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

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        • #5
          My thoughts on Don's questions:

          2.- The European Union should integrate all its members to become something as the "United States of Europe". Of course it is a very difficult issue and the most powerful countries in will try to have a control on subjects like economics, diplomacy, etc. Still in our world I don't see a clear place for a bunch of small countries as European are. I guess that the alternatives are: integration on EU or dependence from major countries.

          3.- The USA is now the most powerful country as others were in the past. So their actions have an effect everywhere. This is why all non-Americans would like to see a more co-operating America in foreing politics. The USA is the current dominating Empire and, of course temptation of acting acording only to her own interest is strong but this leads to isolationism.

          5.- About information... well, every time the media focus on a subject I know something about, I found that they don't know what they are talking about or maybe they are badly informed or maybe they fail in explaining what they know. I am skeptical by nature.

          6.- To eradicate terrorism forever... I'd like to see it but I feel skeptical about this too. Maybe we will see the end of Islamic terrorist (the one that is in mind of everybody right now) but more fanatics will come with a different cause. Who knows what kind of tension will be in the future world?
          Cual lidian bien, sobre dorado arzón
          Mio Cid Ruy Diaz, el buen lidiador;
          Minaya Alvar Fáñez, que en Zorita mandó;
          Martín Antolínez, el burgalés de pro...!

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, by terrorism I meant a massive, global Muslim-extremist movement that's trying to wage a Jiah on Western civilization with the goal of "destroying Western civilization" or "converting the West to Islam". Those guys are going down because they're too dumb to survive.

            I do realize people like ETA or IRA will exist in one form or another until they decide they're satisfied with the progress of their cause. Also, the world will still feature crazy individuals or cult groups like those who carried out gas attacks in Japan.

            "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
            --Frederick II, King of Prussia

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Don Maddox
              3. For non-American members. Has the Iraq situation significantly altered you perception of world politics? Your view of the USA? If so, in what way and do you see this as a temporary political impression, or has this seriously altered your perceptions of the US?
              I'd say it has changed my view of the USA. I thought the US government's reaction to Canada's essentially neutral stance on Iraq was quite exaggerated and childish. Many people in Canada (even non-Liberals) thought that the Liberal government skillfully walked a very fine line of neutrality on the Iraq issue. Some critics would even say it was a defining moment of the Liberal government, even a defining moment in the country's political history. Having the two country's embroiled in several trade disputes (on the USA's initiative) at the same time, I think many people here felt quite alienated.

              5. For anyone. Overall, have you found yourself paying more or less attention to politics and/or the news in the last few years? Do you feel that you you have access to timely, accurate news when you need it, or is all the news slanted with someone else's political agenda?
              I'm finding myself paying less attention to global politics. Since so many issues nowadays revolve around Iraq or the war on terror, and since it is the nature of war to produce vast amounts of propaganda and mis-information, can you really trust what people say anymore? Some historical figure (I can't remember who) is quoted as saying "The first casualty of war is the truth". I don't think even today's media is exempt from these forces. So, I'll wait another 20-30 years for the truth to start coming out as to what's really going on.

              6. For anyone. Do you think the world has crossed a turning point and will slowly but surely eradicate terrorism as a major force, or do you believe that the worst is yet to come and terrorism will grow even more powerful regardless of what we do to stop it?
              I think the only way to erradicate terrorism is for governments (ALL governments) to stop forcefully imposing their will on people. Terrorism has been a problem for powerful nations, and even lesser ones have suffered too (my own nation included). As long as governments seek to expand their power and seek to control people, terrorism in some form will always exist, be it by the government or against it. Some governments can and do live relatively terror free, but I think this will remain the exception for a long time to come.

              Using military force to erradicate terrorism is only a small piece of the puzzle. Nowadays, some nations are using more and more government control and power to fight terrorism, which I think will only perpetuate the cycle.

              Comment


              • #8
                2. EU is in trouble. Is it federalist or confederate? For many of the outsiders joining, it has been seen (naively) as a means to straighten things out in defunct national states. For me anyway. Once a member, desillusion is a fact. EU is very ineffective, as it must be since its agenda and priorities are not set. The proposal for a EU constitution was a ******man's joke. I would think that the vision of an all European union differs greatly between small and big states, east and west states, south and north states, protestant and catholic states, and the discrepancies are too great to be overcome soon. My feeling is that the politicians are trying to go faster ahead with integration and cohesion than the various peoples want. EU also lacks the popular, legal or constitutional ground to move with self-assuredness.
                Some of the bigger states have recently clearly shown that they don't give a damn about the smaller states. I've said it before, and I say it again, being net payer I will take no bullying from Chirac et consortes. His threats to some of the joining states in conjunction with the Iraq war was most disgraceful and a clear indication of the egoism still plentiful abound. The big bully the small.

                To cut it clean; I voted yes to join the EU but now I think it must be dissolved, rebuilt, or rather we leave, since it is much too much ego involved, and far too little law and rules. Some states with traditional chauvinism (no names) don't care about anything except their notion of greatness. Germany is shy since 60 years, and only recently has raised its voice in egoistic manner, but I dare to promise Sweden won't take that subjection to the big, we'd sooner leave, and I see this coming. The Norwegians are more individualistic but less efficient than the Swedes and they stayed out. Clever people, wonder why. I'd prefer a northern EU with the Nordics, Germans, Dutch, Brits and Irish, and maybe some others, the rest could join if they tried hard, real hard... . But as a newcomer, it's the other way around of course...dearly.


                3. Yes. The last has been an American century, but it is wearing off. Later happenings and Iraq has focused on one specifics: terrorism. In fifty years, revisionists may start unassaulted to look at the motives of USA-hatred around the turn of this century. Without getting into anything specific, many people I know, ardent US supporters, have had to revison their views on the USA; from a basically good nation with unselfish motives and a will for sacrifice for eternal good, to a nation which rightly or wrongly pursues an own nationalistic agenda. And then they backtrack. I foresee a major revision of 20th century history, soon.

                5. Yes, the older you get, the more cynical you get. I hardly give a damn anymore. There is always a motive why they should lie to you. Internet is great, at least you can assemble a lot of lies with different goals, and weigh it yourself. To that; it seems the problems between men seem eternal and have the same basics. I do believe there is an eternal conspiracy against fairness and right. Power is negative, it supresses some other chum.

                6. I think terrorism al-quaeda style is doomed, and the US will eradicate it very soon. Maniacs, nuclear bombs in cities, well I fear it will happen, regardless of what we do to stop it.
                "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game."
                "Hey, you just made that rule up."


                Heil Dicke Bertha!

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                • #9
                  5. In the past few years I have been definatly paying attention more to the news. However it is hard a ever to get the whole story from an unbiased source. Also news organizations have to ability to control what we know by covering certain events and not even touching on other events. Also most news organizations are either liberal or conservative and they tend to twist news to either bash the other side or to help their side look good. Thankfully I can check lots of sources on the internet, but still I can never be sure of excatly what happened and if I was given all of the details.

                  Thanks for looking!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Don Maddox
                    3. For non-American members. Has the Iraq situation significantly altered you perception of world politics? Your view of the USA? If so, in what way and do you see this as a temporary political impression, or has this seriously altered your perceptions of the US?
                    The aparent war-fevor in the US prior to the war in Iraq has greatly diminished my opinions of the American people. It was distressing to see how easily the US population could be whipped up to support an unessesary and irrelevant war, and how popular ignorance of world affairs fed the war fevor.

                    5. For anyone. Overall, have you found yourself paying more or less attention to politics and/or the news in the last few years? Do you feel that you you have access to timely, accurate news when you need it, or is all the news slanted with someone else's political agenda?
                    I've been pretty happy with the world's media - despite everything, they've mantained a safe distance between themselves and their governents and the quality of reportage has been fairly good. The media now spends less time obsessing over non-issues such as celebrity scandals, and that can only be a good thing.

                    The worst thing the media is guilty of is whipping up hysteria over terrorism - there seems to be a near complete lack of perspective over the limited threat terrorists actually pose, and the rantings of any idiot who's prepared to call themselves a terrorist are reported in great detail, generally with little discussion of how seriously they should be taken (ie, the idots who originally claimed credit for the Madrid attack were taken seriously, depsite their track record of claiming credit for anything and everything, including last year's US blackout!).
                    Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
                    Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
                    Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Don Maddox

                      3. For non-American members. Has the Iraq situation significantly altered you perception of world politics? Your view of the USA? If so, in what way and do you see this as a temporary political impression, or has this seriously altered your perceptions of the US?


                      5. For anyone. Overall, have you found yourself paying more or less attention to politics and/or the news in the last few years? Do you feel that you you have access to timely, accurate news when you need it, or is all the news slanted with someone else's political agenda?

                      6. For anyone. Do you think the world has crossed a turning point and will slowly but surely eradicate terrorism as a major force, or do you believe that the worst is yet to come and terrorism will grow even more powerful regardless of what we do to stop it?

                      3. My perception of the US HAS changed. I used to see her as a benevolent superpower among other superpowers; now the saying "absolute power corrupts absolutely" takes on a whole new meaning.

                      5. As a keen surveyor of the news since the age of 6(hey, ask my mom ) I can't say that I'm paying more attention to it since that has always been the case; but I HAVE noticed that news organisations by and large follow the "general consensus"; especially in the US.

                      6. The problem of terrorism is nothing new; only the scale in which it operates is new.
                      Al Qaeda has redefined the meaning of terrorism in the modern age. It has brought the specter of terrorism to a whole new height. Everybody is now a target.
                      Now whether terrorism grows in depends by and large on the actions of the US administration.
                      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Don Maddox

                        3. For non-American members. Has the Iraq situation significantly altered you perception of world politics? Your view of the USA? If so, in what way and do you see this as a temporary political impression, or has this seriously altered your perceptions of the US?
                        The Iraq war has definetely altered my view on the Bush administration. As far as if it has altered my view of the US, it remains to be seen, because I am still wondering if the current foreign policy of the US is only the result of the Bush administration's ideological stance... or does it really reflect deep trends of the American society - in other words, would it be the same with a Democrat administration or even a different Republican president?

                        If the current foreign policy of the US reflects deep trends of the American thinking towards the world, then I am really worried. I strongly believe the planet has been made LESS SAFER by the actions of the Bush administration in the last 2 years. How can anybody pretend the world is a more secure place today? It is not. The Iraq war only accelerated the spread of terrorism against Western countries. The Iraq war makes it easy for terrorists to get new recruits everyday. How can anybody pretend otherwise?

                        So, yes, currently my view of the US has been altered by the Iraq situation. While in the past I have always viewed the US as a powerful and stabilizing force on the globe, I now see the US as some kind of loose cannon, a superpower gone awry to some point. Since the end of the Cold War era, the US has lost its status of "leader of the Free World". With the communist world gone, "leader of the Free World" sounds like an empty slogan, even to American ears. It appears to me that the US still need to find their way, to define their role. The problem is that some Americans seem to think they can define their role alone, without caring for the rest of the world, and especially caring about working with their closest historical allies in defining this new role. This is a mistake since this attitude results in a complete lack of credibility and legitimacy of the US on the international stage.

                        I especially insist on the legitimacy aspect of this issue. The biggest failure of the Bush administration is the dilapidation of the legitimacy of US global power. Today, all around the world, the US are mostly despised because they are seen as acting without any kind of legitimacy, whereas during the Cold War they had powerful legitimacy.


                        6. For anyone. Do you think the world has crossed a turning point and will slowly but surely eradicate terrorism as a major force, or do you believe that the worst is yet to come and terrorism will grow even more powerful regardless of what we do to stop it?
                        Terrorism is growing, and will continue to grow in the coming years. There are two ways to deal with this problem, and these two ways are complementary. One without the other can't succeed, they need to be dealt with in a synchronous manner:

                        A) First and foremost, a strong political, social and economic effort must be made to cure the most important geopolitical problems of our era, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These problems are the fertile grounds on which terrorism flourish afterwards. This effort must be honest, determinate, and not selfish, such as the outrageous support of the current policy of the Israeli state by the US. This point has been mentioned for years and years but it seems people are not getting it at all.

                        B) Secondly, a concentrated, concerted and strong military response against terrorism is needed, not from one country, but from all countries. Contrary to some peace lovers, I do not believe it is possible to deal or negotiate with the terrorists themselves or their organizations. They are fanatics, they only understand the language of violence, and they must be met with violence and be eliminated, simply. To do this, there is no need to invade a whole country and destroy its infrastructure. What you need to do is to strike with special forces at precise destinations and precise moments to eradicate these individuals. You must do anything in your power to not kill innocents at the same time. We are really talking here about "surgical" strikes of almost a SWAT nature rather than the whole heavy military shebang. These SF operations need to be continuous, they are not a one-shot effort.

                        So you need to perform these 2 actions at the same time. Otherwise, it is like constantly removing bad weed without first looking at the soil underneath to understand what makes this bad weed possible...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tzar
                          Otherwise, it is like constantly removing bad weed without first looking at the soil underneath to understand what makes this bad weed possible...
                          I like this analogy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
                            I like this analogy.
                            I liked his whole post. Very good, Tzar!
                            I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

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                            • #15
                              5. My views of Europe hasn't changed much. To be honest, I don't know America responded so harshly to something we knew for more than two decades. We always understood most of Europe would never support deposing Saddam, certainly not without a grossly aggressive act. I admit alot of their concerns were well-founded, and should have been treated justly by Americans. Yet, other views were and continue to be misguided concepts and responses to the reality that contradicts the general opinion. If Islamic radicals are not a spin-off of American imperalism, it would mean radicalism is a political ideal, not a criminal act, thus requiring new, more aggressive measures, similar to, but not exactly like the Cold War effort. This would complicate growth and once again likely result with America taking the lead, while everyone follows along with authority.

                              The horrible reality is the West lack true understanding, wisdom, and leader-ship. In Iraq, you had the most powerful nations go head-to-head in a classic display of supreme stupidity as it tried to figure out how best to protect individual interest. Everyone was guilty of corruptive behavior. If the world expressed less tolerance for dictators like Saddam, maybe we would have less problems. No matter their reason, saying no to invading Iraq equated to approving all the evils he brought upon the Iraqi people. At the same rate, if the US would think before it shoots, and treat people around the world as allies, not subordinates, maybe we would be seen in a better light.

                              Iraq should be used as a tool to strengthen our alliance. The first is step is forgiveness. Bush needs to stop walking around with a chip on his shoulder and basing support for America solely on opinions of American policy. There are plenty of other issues we all generally agree upon, and these should receive special attention now. Whether we want to admit it or not, without the support of the international community, the strength of America, and what we can do with it is greatly diminished. If we could really do so much by ourselves, I highly doubt America would have any interest in international foriegn policy.

                              The world needs to loose it's own chip on the shoulder as well. Some of negative views expressed against America is about as retarded as American fries. We're not going to solve Iraq's problems overnight. The great pressure expressed by allies for a speedy transition is clearly unrealistic, and ignores doctrine. Instead of constantly complainting about what we might or might not be doing, it needs to do more to solve problems. I highly doubt Bush could withstand a concerted diplomatic effort to get the UN more involved if the world's leaders quit talking to Bush, and start talking his boss, the American people. In all honesty, it is in the best interest of the world Iraq is stablized and has some form of democracy. We loose out there, the world will likely end up depending more on American power to protect their interest in the region, which is counterproductive to the greater liberalization through acknowledge and respect so many seek.
                              "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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