We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
That is the thing about America that most Americans don't realize. For all the hopeful speeches made by American leaders about exporting the Des Moines way of life to Baghdad or Kandahar, what people in those parts of the world see when they look at America isn't democracy and freedom, it's wealth and power. Those are the things they want, and they don't understand why American leaders keep chattering on about democracy and freedom, no more than we understand why Muslims keep going on about the Koran.
They're not interested in what we believe, but in what we have, and they can't make the connection between one and the other, as far as they are concerned they already believe the right things. Muslims see the West in purely mercantile terms, decadent but rich. Dubai and Riyadh are in their own way crude imitations of us, or how they think we are. Luxury cars, gold encrusted things, prostitutes and tall buildings. The same goes for Moscow and Beijing, which gave rise to their own ruling mafias riding around in limousines, squandering fortunes, building tacky towers and imagining that they are outdoing the West.
Groovy post Junkie. And I'm shocked by Mary's cynical attitude. Well OK, not really. So true that the missionary zeal of neo-cons is detached from reality. Conquer them, in as nice and gentle a manner as possible, pamper them with tons of money, infrastructure and facsimile institutions of self governance. Then, be surprised that Muslims don't do self governance, but do enjoy taking your money. One word, Islam. Yep, it's Islam what is the trouble. It's an inbred caveman culture nurtured on murder, deceit, slavery, intolerance and oppression. Which don't make no room for genteel parliamentary debate if ya get me drift. But, what do I know?
Thank you, Mary. The bells you hear in the background are from the rest of us celebrating your insight.
Here's a thought: We can have freedom without Democracy but we cannot have Democracy without freedom.
Got that? Good. Now follow that trail on your roadmap to the future and you'll have a good idea of what comes next... and it ain't pretty.
As for the rest of the folks in this world, I don't much blame them for not understanding. Our founding fathers managed to get the freedom/wealth thing fairly well sorted out and then we blew it. If we can't stay the course, how can we expect others to follow our lead?
enough of this nonsense. Anglo-American style liberties work because Anglo-American law grew up in the context of a feudal society evolving towards individual responsibility through economic freedom and limitations on the arbitrary reach of government. It not possible to successfully impose these enlightened notions on peasants happy to live in the the 9th century.
the human wreckage and total waste of public money over 10 years of the Afghanistan war should make this more than evident.
they don't need to love us -- they're never going to love us. they do need to fear us. but that's not going to happen with our noble piece prize winning community warlord running the show.
Fear is what kept the British Empire alive for so long. Pretty much everybody knew if you messed with the Union Jack, you got a World of Hurt.
In this age of 'enlightenment', petty 'power trips', like projecting force, intimidation, and 'holding a bigger stick' are frowned upon, replaced by inclusion, global awareness, multiculturalism, and the removal of exceptionalism\personal rights. Forget holding onto what is yours - there are poor people out there who have need to what you have\produce, you hater\denier...
Khan, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. would love our touchy-feely mentality these days - ripe fruit ready to be trod over with the boot.
on the other hand, the author Neal Stephenson told an anecdote in in an essay I can't recall the name of that at a convention of third world police chiefs, complaints were made about arrested suspects expecting to have their Miranda rights read to them. this was because the TV series Starsky & Hutch was a popular American export.
anyway, its interesting how some good American values can influence the benighted Rest of the World.
Not too long ago someone was being interviewed about why he thought Western civilization is superior. He referred to the behavior of the men on the Titanic, and said that all you need to know about why Western civilization is superior is this phrase:
Women and children first.
I just read the memoirs of a combat soldier in Iraq, who described his shock after kicking in a door and charging into the room, rifle leveled, to find a grown man holding a little girl in front of himself for a shield.
Women and children first. A lot of cultures don't think that way. All of them suck.