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Nani
13th Feb 2004, 11:26
Keep Your Hopes Up, Overseas Americans, Help Is Available!

"Hello, my name is Eric, and I'm an American."

The 12-Step Group for Americans Abroad (http://www.eriksvane.com/aa.htm)

BlueDiamond
13th Feb 2004, 12:41
Nani, it is a sad fact that people, inhabitants of JetBlast amongst them, feel that it is somehow compulsory to slag off the United States and its people.

While your post and link show that Americans are not beyond treating this attitude with a sense of humour, I am sure there must be times when you all wonder why this happens. I certainly don't have the answer but I do know that I have heard people rubbishing the U.S. who have never even met a single American let alone visited the country.

Even within my own family there are those who are happy to indulge in America-bashing even though we actually have American relatives!!!

If it's any consolation, there are those of us who are NOT American who get a little sick of it too.

BlueWolf
13th Feb 2004, 16:20
Don't sweat it BlueDiamond, we do the same to you guys:D, and I even have the same family connection you refer to :O :O

I say, go the Yanks, you are the big, bold, bright, brash leader, and we will follow you; but be advised, we will take the p1ss at the same time.

It's just the way of things, particularly when you are dealing with primarily British stock. Learn to like it, the way we like you.

:E :D :ok:

Capt.KAOS
13th Feb 2004, 17:31
Nani, your message is understandable, but only a very few of the so called American bashes are directed to the US people or even the US Army. If you reread the messages most if not all is directed to the current US government, it's (foreign) policy and the circle of advisors, lobbyists, (religious) pressure groups, (at least that is in my case).

BlueDiamond, can you pls show me where the American people have been compulsory slagged off?

ORAC, I followed your advise and saw the same handsome fella in the mirror as yesterday, albeit one day older. Looking at the other reactions to Nani's post, what's so different about mine?

BlueDiamond, sarcasm is born out of anger, I was merely ironic, yet your answer is duly noted.

ORAC
13th Feb 2004, 18:04
Capt Kaos, have you actually read the article Nani linked to above? Read the two paragraphs in it under "Americans of All Stripes, Unite!", then look in a mirror.

Spuds McKenzie
13th Feb 2004, 19:39
Keep Your Hopes Up, Americans (overseas and in the US), Help Is Available!

"Hello, my name is John, and I will be the next President of the United States of America."

http://www.johnkerry.com

:ok: :D

BlueDiamond
13th Feb 2004, 19:41
BlueDiamond, can you pls show me where the American people have been compulsory slagged off?


Sure can, Capt. KAOS but I might have to wait until "search" is available. I'm sure you realise, though, that my phrase "(some people feel) that it is somehow compulsory" was intended as sarcasm.

Nani
14th Feb 2004, 01:40
Come on fellows,especially the good looking ones ;),lighten up.
I thought it was very funny.

con-pilot
14th Feb 2004, 02:27
And you guys always say that we Americans don’t have a sense of irony!

I also thought it was funny.

Techman
14th Feb 2004, 07:02
Well, if it had been subtle or clever it might have been funny or even ironic. Instead it's just crude and obvious.

Capt.KAOS
14th Feb 2004, 07:24
Nani, I'm sorry if I got carried away from the subject, yes, it was kinda funny.

Talking about funny from America: I do LOVE the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and his crew, absolutely hilarious, particularly his "correspondents" Stephen Colbert and Ed Helms :ok:

Jon explained the Iraq War (http://www.comedycentral.com/dailyshow/images/down/wp_ncaa_1024x768.jpg) and it became all clear to me.

Too bad, it''s only once a week at ungodly hours.. :(

Rollingthunder
14th Feb 2004, 07:34
Only once a week? Here in the lowly great white north - we get that show five times a week at decent hours. Great stuff it is. Glad to see Dennis Miller back on.

HugMonster
14th Feb 2004, 18:28
Any country on Earth where Benny Hill is still a big hit has a serious problem. ;)

Nani
14th Feb 2004, 22:38
Daily Show with Jon Stewart is hilarious. I love Dennis Miller too,especially when he goes for his rant-roll.

My only "must watch or I'll just roll over and die" show is South Park.

jonah g
14th Feb 2004, 23:03
Americans are cool..
South Park is cool....
George W is not..
The Hot Dogs from the vendors on the streets of New York are definately not nice!

Caslance
15th Feb 2004, 01:28
Blame Canada.........:ok:

Jerricho
15th Feb 2004, 01:50
Thank you Kyle's mom!

pigboat
15th Feb 2004, 03:20
Nani, betcha didn't know that SH was the new Canadian Prime Minister. :p

zerozero
15th Feb 2004, 03:32
...but I think you guys missed the point of the Am-anon website.

It seemed, at first, to bash Americans but later it started to draw comparisons between the current war(s) America is engaged in and other deadly conflicts where the "rest of the World" remains tragically silent.

It mentions thousands killed after Pinochets coup d'etat; thousands killed in Cuba; thousands killed in Ethiopia/Eritrea; hundred of thousands in Congo!!!

Yet, *ironically*, none of these nationals are met with the same level of disgust as the dumb, ugly, fat American.

Maybe it is all about Coke, Big Macs and Mickey Mouse???

Look, I'm not defending American foreign policy or our culture of "more and faster".

But I am pointing out the sad fact that lately it's not just Old World vs. New World.

More and more often it seems to be the world against the US. But it doesn't surprise me. How could it when our dubious leader says things like, "You're either with us or against us"?

Thanks a lot, George.
Smart move.
:hmm: :rolleyes: :uhoh: :yuk:

answer=42
15th Feb 2004, 05:06
00

You raise a lot of important issues. Let's try and explore a few.

You state (or quote the Am-Anon website with approval) that other nationals are not faced with the same recrimination as Americans are on the basis of their country's policies.

I think you will find that British people abroad were often confronted with criticism about Northern Ireland. I dare say French people were criticised about Algeria and the Rainbow Warrior; and probably will now be about the veil issue. And during the apartheid era, white South Africans travelling abroad were likely to be met with silence. And this occurred/occurs whatever individuals' own views were/are.

You go on to state that criticism about American policy is really dislike of American mass culture: Coke, McDonalds etc. Well, I'm sure that there is an element of truth in what you say. But there is also a great liking for US mass culture abroad. Young people rap in French and Arabic about how they are oppressed. Perhaps the view of American culture outside the US is a little distorted: how many people outside the US have heard of the Sundance Festival, Merce Cunningham or Joshua Redman?

Finally, I'd like to go back to your statement that the rest of the world doesn't complain about other conflicts. This statement is simply untrue. You should use the internet to see what newspapers around the world are discussing. At the same time, you ask for Americans' political responsibility for their country's actions to be judged on the same standards as citizens of very poor countries, often with undemocratic regimes. Frankly this combined with your claim to moral superiority for which no country has grounds is not particularly endearing.

Nani
15th Feb 2004, 05:22
Pigboat,

I was amazed how fast they pulled that episode.:p Most probably,it was sitting on the shelf for many months.
My favourite was Casa Bonita.

zerozero,

More and more often it seems to be the world against the US.

The world's against they don't know or they fear. Not just US but we seem to be the most published target.

But it doesn't surprise me. How could it when our dubious leader says things like, "You're either with us or against us"?

Do you really think GWB would be in more favourable light if he asked the UN handle ME?

Here's (http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/039/focus/Grand_old_policy+.shtml) a review on an upcoming book and should be worthy the price.

Jerricho
15th Feb 2004, 06:04
Sorry for the slight drift here, but the episode of "Christmas in Canada" was pulled!?!!? Are you serious!?!?


Ah, Casa Bonita......not as funny as Fat Butt and Pancake Head

"Taco flavoured kissed for Kyle........."

zerozero
15th Feb 2004, 07:03
answer = 42: Thanks for your response.

I appreciate your contribution, even your criticism.

But your last sentence bothered me a little: <<Frankly this combined with your claim to moral superiority for which no country has grounds is not particularly endearing.>>

*My* claim to moral superiority?

Where did I claim I was morally superior? Or are you speaking in a general sense? About Americans in general?

Is this a reference to Bush's war rhetoric:
"God is on our side"
"Terrorists are evil-doers"
etc?

If so, all I can do is reassure you that I did not vote for the man, he doesn't speak for me and if I were King for a day America would be a vastly different country.

For just a day.

answer=42
15th Feb 2004, 07:39
zero x 2

Thank you for your measured reply. If I have misunderstood you, I apologise.

I did not suggest that you consider yourself personally morally superior. However, you quote Am-Anon (and appear to agree with it) as follows:
'the "rest of the World" remains tragically silent' (about other conflicts).

This suggests that the USA is the moral conscience of the world. No one country is.


This is a good point at which to remind everyone of America's contribution to democracy, peace and freedom. We should all re-read the Gettysburg address (http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/gadd/4403.html) and remind ourselves that this was written in 1863. At that time Britain was four years away from the Second Reform Bill; France was under the Second Empire; and Prussia was fighting with Austria on its road to creating the German Empire.

Abraham Lincoln, that great American, was admired by radicals and thinkers throughout Europe and beyond.

Times have changed.


Nani,

Perhaps you are not aware that the US has agreed to a UN mission to Iraq, which has just taken place, to recommend how and when elections in Iraq should take place.

I presume (sorry too lazy to check) that the US media has reported this.

Does this fact and your comment that:
Do you really think GWB would be in more favourable light if he asked the UN handle ME?

mean that you consequently view GWB in a less favourable light?

zerozero
15th Feb 2004, 10:29
I never quoted anything from the Am-anon site and if I seemed in agreement it's only because of my poor paraphrasing and an attempt to mimic the victimized tone of that guy's writing.

The last half of his writing goes on and on but here's an actual quote that I feel is fairly representative and proves my original comment that the site *truly* bashes not Americans but those 'foreigners' who are critical of America.

<<The people who are always concluding that American society is a criminally inept one rarely if ever apply the same standards — and certainly not the same level of fury, the rantings and the ravings — to China, to Iraq, to Zimbabwe, to Ethiopia, to Cuba, not to mention to their own societies. (Well, some do, sometimes, but never with the same energy, and you often feel they're doing so for either of two reasons; either so they can claim that they cannot be accused of being anti-American since this is allegedly proof that they also promote "humanistic" policies elsewhere ; or else they do so reluctantly, because you can almost hear them muttering, "Wouldn't those people (Russians in Chechnya, Chinese in Tibet, etc) know better than to act in such retrograde ways, when they ought to be clear-headed (as clear-headed as we are) and join forces against the real enemy — the U.S. and American capitalism!")>>

Now. As I said in my original post, I'm not defending US foreign policy--or even the wacko logic in the quote above.

I was only trying to point out two things:

1) The Am-anon site really isn't bashing Americans.

and

2) If it seems to the Americans that the 'rest of the World' is against us maybe we should vote for someone who avoids such inflammatory and divisive language as, "with us/against us, evildoers, axis of evil" while giving the finger (the bird?) simultaneously to the Kyoto Treaty and the UN.

I apologize for the horrible sentence structure. I feel a rant comin' on a la' Dennis Miller.

Now there's a man I'd vote for....I mean: for whom I'd vote.:)

Peace man.

Smedley
15th Feb 2004, 10:48
The reason for this attitude is not exactly clear to many Europeans, because they fail to delve deeply enough into the matter.

There is an organization called American Enterprise Institute (AEI) which
seems to provide too much input to our Foreign Policy. This is no MIT, or
Princeton. Despite
this, it's members are represented with fancy titles such as "resident
scholar", and "AEI Fellow". Actually, it is in the lobbying business.

The list of Bush Administration foreign policy guru's include dozens of
graduates of the AEI, a Pro-Israel lobby group that camouflages itself in
the garb of a pseudo-academic 'research' establishment. In fact, the only
thing they research at the AEI is the best marketing strategies for selling
Sharon's real estate fantasies with a 'made in America' label.

The largest contributor to the AEI is Irving Moskowitz, a bingo hall
operator from Florida. He is a militant supporter of the Jewish settlement
movement in Israel and the occupied territories, which is in direct
opposition to any number of foreign policy declarations by people in our
highest government offices.

The "Neo-Cons" who surround Bush are a strange lot, indeed. In political
parlance, they have no footprint, no constituency and are not a political
party. They added 'neo' to their political label because the authentic
American conservative movement considered them too suspect to embrace when
they defected from the left wing of the Democratic party. In fact, the vast
majority of conservatives resent the fact that a few dozen Likudnik
activists managed to hijack their political creed by simply adding a
three-letter prefix to the conservative logo. Wonderful.

The neo-cons are unique in American history in that they did not rise to
power on the strength of a grass roots constituency. Rather, they came to
rule the United States by deploying a few high caliber think tanks in the
nation's capital, namely the AIC, and JINSA, The Jewish Institute for
National Security Affairs.

So, how did this bingo hall financed "enterprise", a lobby working for the
account of a foreign government, end up placing over 20 of it's graduates in
the most sensitive positions in the Pentagon and the State department?

The short answer is they rode into town on a Trojan horse named Dick Cheney.
His wife still draws a paycheck from the AEI. The Vice President along with
Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Lewis Libby, Douglas Feith, John Bolton and Elliot
Abrams all have long standing ties to the American Enterprise Institute and
other institutions under the Israeli Lobby umbrella.

In order to project their views to the American public, they recruited mass
media operatives like William Safire, who boasts about writing Sharon's
speeches and Charles Krauthammer, a designated OSP leaker. Some of the other
neo-con media personalities are Judith 'WMD' Miller (who just happens to be the wife of Fed. Chairman Greenspan, the second most man in the USA), Wolf 'War Room'
Blitzer, Aaron 'arson' Brown, Andrea Mitchell (a centerfold on AEI's web
site) and Ted Koppel, a family friend of Netenyahu. By far, the most
formidable part of their media arsenal is Rupert Murdoch's neo-con gang at
FOX. The Weekly Standard and the New York Post.

I firmly believe that it is because of these think tanks and their members
that we suffered the tragedy of 11 Sept. 2001, had our Liberty violated in
the name of security by The Patriot Act, go through periods of "Alerts"
generated by information from them, and find ourselves at odds with most of
the rest of the world, which at one time sympathized with us after 911, but
are now disillusioned by our actions.

DC Meatloaf
15th Feb 2004, 13:21
Smedly,

Despite your purple prose, there's nothing particularly sinister about think tanks. AEI is a pretty overtly conservative think tank, along with Cato (though that tends toward more hard-core libertarianism) and the Heritage Foundation. But there are a few very influential liberal think tanks as well: the Brookings Institute, the Center for National Policy, the Progressive Policy Institute, George Soros' "Open Society Institute," and now the new "American Majority Institute" with John Podesta. They are part of the ecology of DC -- and have been for many many years (AEI's been around since 1943, for example).

Frankly, if you've got a problem with neo-con ideology, I think it makes more sense to tackle it head-on then to impugn the motivations of the people who espouse it.

Back on thread, I thought the Am-Anon link was pretty on-target, if a little over the top. :)

"Hello, I'm DC Meatloaf, and I'm an American..."

Huck
15th Feb 2004, 21:58
Smedley's pithy, ain't he?

Smedley
15th Feb 2004, 23:14
Huck - I thtopped pithing mythelf yearths ago, thmarty panth.

I still say these particular think tanks exert undue influence on the US government.

BTW, I think my post is germane to the thread.

Capt.KAOS
16th Feb 2004, 01:42
Dennis Miller? Very sorry, but here our paths do separate :yuk: Miller came a long way from calling Gingrich Hitler 10 years ago. His rantings contains neither wit nor subtle irony. Like killing a mosquito with a JDAM. It's deadly when a comedian becomes a hypocrite. Guess power does corrupt?

Smedley
16th Feb 2004, 04:37
http://www.fair.org/activism/miller-conflict.html

Conflict at CNBC's new Dennis Miller Show

answer=42
16th Feb 2004, 05:22
zerozero

Thank you for your comments. All is clear.


Smedley

I don't know so much about the neo-cons but I know that Cheney is not one of them and for that matter nor is Rumsfeld.

The differences between the cons and the neo-cons are greater than you made out. Part of the difference is to do with their visions of the use of state power. Over Iraq there were considerable differences. Rumsfeld argued for a rapid overthrow of Saddam Hussein and then handing the country rapidly over to pro-American elements. The neo-cons argued that America had a right - nay a religious duty - to bring American democracy to Iraq by force of arms. However, both groups united around blocking the US State Department, let alone the UN or any 2 bit ferinners from having any input into the post-war world.

Well we all know what happened. The initial invasion was successful so Rumsfeld won the internal argument. Then things fell apart as they always were going to do. The traditional conservatives have been forced to argue for a long-term American military presence while the neo-cons have been forced to argue for imposing a 19th century caucus system instead of democracy.

So much for all their high-powered think-tanks.

You say that the neo-cons do not have a constituency. Well, I'm not sure that that's correct. The whole objective of their project was to bring about conciliation between religious conservatives of different beliefs. There are a lot of these people in the States.

You may not like GWB's policies but he has been very effective at forging a coalition among conservatives of differing opinions. Neither he nor the neo-cons should be underestimated.

Finally, you may also not like Mr Moskowitz or his political views. Fine. But please do not attack him because he made his fortune on Bingo. This is legal and brings many people pleasure and causes relatively little harm. Personally I can't stand it.

What we in Europe need to learn from the USA is that, provided it is legal and harmless, it is valid to make a fortune by doing something banal.


DC Meatloaf

You state that there is a distinction between political ideologies and the objectives of those who hold them.

Justify this statement, in any way you can.

DC Meatloaf
16th Feb 2004, 07:23
You state that there is a distinction between political ideologies and the objectives of those who hold them.

Justify this statement, in any way you can.Well, no, that's not actually what I stated. I said that it makes more sense to tackle the issues you disagree with head-on than it does to try and tease some meaning out of a web of shadowy associations and alleged motivations. Here's an example. Suppose I declare "I believe one insures peace through strength." Does the fact that I might be related to the King of Prussia, I often share a cab with Donald Trump, and that my secretary once worked for a notorious marxist (none of which is true, by the way) help prove or disprove my declaration? Maybe one could deconstruct all those associations and figure out what I really meant by what I said. Or, maybe its easier to just argue with it at face value.

Damn Euros want to deconstruct everything. ;)

West Coast
16th Feb 2004, 07:25
"We in Europe"

Apart from the discussion, I always wonder the meaning a poster puts behind a term so encompassing as that. Taking sovereign nations with differing agendas in political and social terms and considering them one for the purpose of discourse.
I am reticent to say "we in the US" and follow it up with a declaritive statement about most anything that would indicate some sort of homogeneous thought.

answer=42
16th Feb 2004, 08:52
DC Meatloaf

What you said in your earlier post was as folows:
Frankly, if you've got a problem with neo-con ideology, I think it makes more sense to tackle it head-on then to impugn the motivations of the people who espouse it.

I agree with your last post but this is rather different from what you said earlier.


West Coast

I am not making an absolute statement about what Europe or America homogeneously believe. As you rightly say, that would be invalid - necessarily incorrect. I am making a comparison: one set of views is more common in Europe than in America.

I do not say that all people in America hold one view or all in Europe the other. There are also differences in the weight of different viewpoints within Europe but - in my view - these are relatively small compared with the trans-Atlantic difference.

A relative statement that compares two schematic viewpoints is indeed a simplification for debate but not necessarily an invalid one.

Smedley
16th Feb 2004, 10:38
Cheney's wife is.

Also, note that Andrea Mitchell is the wife of Alan Greenspan, FWIW.

DC Meatloaf
16th Feb 2004, 10:40
6 x 9=,

Let's just chalk it up to my imprecision then....

West Coast
16th Feb 2004, 13:43
Answer=42

Roger...

Nani
17th Feb 2004, 01:19
Smedley/Capt.Ed,

Don't understand where the conflict lies in Dennis Miller latest show?

Smedley
17th Feb 2004, 23:28
Nani - It changes every day. Check the archives.