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Teddy Bear

I really wasn't intending to go too deeply here into WW2 politics, just mainly to snub the 'nationalist' and divisive claim of Inept...which really grates from either side of the 'pond'. Thanks though for the further clarification.

One think I love about this site is it brings like minded individuals together across the globe who share a similar vision and have the intelligence and AWARENESS to see what's going on in the world today, and what is and isn't being done about it. I think patriotism is entirely laudable and is one of the qualities necessary to build a good nation. Nationalism is simply mindless racism in another form, and only serves to alienate others and bring ones own society down.

With the principles that B&A have outlined above I would only add the following proviso. These are similar principles that were used (or abused) to enable the UN to become the corrupt organisation it is today. I only mention them as one example where those of evil and negative intent can use qualities that we laud to undermine our society. An example would be 'compassion' which sounds great as an ideal, but in practise if it is being used as a lever to allow mediocratic and parasitic elements to leech off of us, then it is not a virtue but a weakness.

What I would like to have added here is that these 'virtues' be applied WHERE DEEMED JUST, and not to make ourselves feel good by aligning ourselves with lofty ideals. This is one of the big mistakes that many liberals make, seemingly unable to use discrimination in the application of their liberalism.

Steevo

Ballotboy I have no idea what you want. What claims you have made I've directly responsed to.

You've made this as pure American self-interest. We were even responsible, or almost?, for WWII. Whoever Geddes is he's spoon fed you exactly what you want.

This thread was intended to discuss Tim's 6 points. You couldn't handle them and continued with prejudice contrary to the stated purpose and hope for this forum.

I agree with Teddy's above post 100%.

JF

"Britain is not apathetic (you clearly have not been following the story over here) and don't forget the Reagan did a deal with Iran by giving them weapons to get them back. Plus Blair's response got them back short of 444 days without having to give them weapons."

I've been following the fallout since the kidnapping, but I haven't read any calls for military action in retaliation. Perhaps I've missed those editorials, can you please direct me to those?

If you knew anything about the hostage crisis of 1979, you would know that they were ended by the Algiers Accords, which had nothing to do with Iran-Contra. Did you say you were a teacher? Scary.

"Yes and the USA uses British diplomats as a back channel."

What proof have you of that statement?

"The CIA goofed up on this one and you know they did. Missing this was a grave error and you know it."

Incredible, I marvel at your willful ignorance. Responsibility for counter-terrorism belongs to the FBI, not CIA. And your intelligence services really proved their superiority by thwarting the July 7, 2005 bombings. Oh wait, nevermind..

"Again you miss the point - I was saying that you slipped up here and failed to see it coming. Also you Appeased Japan in the 1930s just as we did the Germans."

We failed to see it coming? It wasn't our responsibility to stop it. Since you're not aware, NATO didn't exist then, and neither did any strategic defense treaties with the UK. You let them take the Rhineland. Then you let them take Austria. Then Czechoslovakia, then Poland. Is it any wonder why it is the US that had to take care of Yugoslavia?

As for appeasing Japan, again you have it wrong. It was the League of Nations which awarded Germany's old colonies to Japan. Let me take this moment to point out, since you don't know, that the US never joined the League of Nations, so our hands are clean there. When Japan invaded Manchuria, the US condemned it. Then the US canceled the 1911 U.S.-Japan commercial treaty, embargo scrap metal and gasoline shipments to Japan and deny Japanese shipping the use of the Panama Canal. For pity's sake, why do you think Japan attacked us? Because we were strangling their economy! I'll take that kind of "appeasement" any day! As usual, you have it all backwards.

"What do you suggest we do? Had we taken any military action the 15 abductees would have been killed. Maybe we should have taken resolute action like with the USS Pueblo. Or maybe a Gulf of Tonkin type reaction that gets us involved in a ten year war we lose."

Yes, re-establish your deterrence credibility to ensure this never happens again.

"The Soviets softened up the Nazis for three years before D-Day - If the USA had got involced in 1939 (or even before) this would not have been needed and the Cold War could also have been avoided."

Our non-involvement is indeed regretful, and FDR will burn in hell forever for that. But to blame the war on the United States is insane. Hitler and Tojo were responsible, and Chamberlain served as an enabler. Is this the kind of revisionist history you teach your students?

"Quite frankly, the British public, like the American public, don't trust Bush on the military front. By the way, not all Americans are struggling to see why we didn't go nuclear on Iran - just the Neocons, which is where I came in."

I'm sure the British would be more than happy to allow the Iranians to acquire nuclear weapons. What's less clear is if you're willing to wait for that, or if you'll pre-emptively appease by just giving them the weapons. Iran will not stop on its own. It must be stopped by others. Who is going to do it, the EU? See what use they were with your marines and sailors.

"Anyway, off to bed now as tomorrow I have essays to grade."

A teacher, eh?

"you've not red Geddes, you should get out of the debate"

Teacher, what does it mean to "red Geddes"?

Ballotboy, do yourself a favor and demand the dismantling of the BBC before it absolutely destroys what is left of your educational system.

Besides Mr. Montgomerie, are there any Brits here who actually like the US?

Keir

I don't agree that Britain would have necessarily have fallen with American help; I think they could have made an agreement with the fascists to focus on the Soviet threat. That Britain didn't is to Her everlasting honour.
FDR hoodwinked Churchill into having British Commonwealth citizens die to prevent the Nazis from spreading across the Atlantic, and paying for it through the nose until nothing was left. Last month saw Britain finally ending such payment after so many decades.
It was the US under Marshall Plan that created the concept of an EU (why give $15 billion to little states when it's more efficient to have one body take care of it) leaving Britain in the weak and lowly state it is in now where ever more sovereignty is being ceded.

JF

Keir, my apologies. It is of course self-evident that the US didn't enter the war to destroy the Japanese Empire or fight the Nazis in Europe. It was all to dismantle the British Empire and encumber the UK with debt. The defeat of the Nazis and Japanese was a strategic blunder. Think of how much longer we could have oppressed the UK if we had kept them in power.

Fortunately, we came up with the master plan for the EU and forced the UK to join, thus accomplishing the same thing in the end. Time to give ourselves a pat on the back.

Gildas

Also you Appeased Japan in the 1930s just as we did the Germans.

You teach History?

Japan's reason for launching the war was to seize the Dutch colonies in what is now Indonesia in order to acquire their oil. The reason? The US had cut off oil supplies.

Japan reasoned that given that, the US would not allow it to attack the rest of SE Asia, and therefore in order to win it had to knock out the US Fleet at the outset. Hence Pearl Harbor.

I am sure that you can dig up examples of (shock horror) the US acting in its own interests after WWII. Of course the UK was not immune to that either - in 1946 Truman cut off Britain's food shipments because he discovered the Attlee government had been reselling them to the continent at a profit.

Steevo

Gilda, your understanding of our role with Japan prior to the war is exactly mine.

JF, I would not wanna have to debate you, except to vote the proper way :-)

I haven't been here too long but I have come to wonder if some are here for Tim's stated intent. I don't agree with Americans, unprovoked and without reason, to simply rub it in. And as proof with many of my responses, I don't agree with Brits doing the same.

The reasons for this web site were more or less obvious from the day I began. As clearly stated now... they are honorable, no? Since its almost impossible to ignore derogatory and inflammatory comments which destroy this experiment, if there are posters so resentful and bent on finding reason to make the others' nation low in character and actions, why not find another forum?

It may be an impossible attempt but for those of us willing to acknowledge Tim's 6 points as worthy, lets try to keep ideology, Left to Right, in perspective. When discussing differences on the issues presented, stay determined for a common and constructive end goal. Nationalism is ever present and whether its simple-minded racism as Teddy stated, its certainly similar in potential hate and disgust. Respect on the other hand can go a long way trying to reason it through for the good indeed.

Ballotboy, no hard feelings mate. Sorry it took off.

Kevin Sampson

Ballotboy-I would also like to know exactly how we 'appeased' Japan.

I don't think it can be said that we 'saved' Britain from the Nazi's, we saved it, and all of western Europe, from the Russians. Hitler had already scrapped Sealion and turned his attention to Barbarossa before we entered the war. Once he attacked the Soviet Union, Germany was doomed. However, I don't think Stalin would have stopped after crushing Germany. The Red Army would have rolled across Europe like a wave, 'liberating' France from the Vichy government and Spain from the hated Franco. They might have stopped at the Channel, or maybe not. The only thing which prevented this was the presence of the US military.

Rebecca

By 'America' you seem to mean 'United States of America'. Isn't there a better way of describing USA citizens than 'Americans'?

TimberWolf

Good to see British and American NeoCons getting on so well, and discovering a common view of history and current events.

JF

Rebecca: no. There is no one in the world who mistakes "American" for Canadian, Mexican, or any citizen of Central or South America.

TimberWolf, I agree. This site is a superb idea, even if the posts aren't very frequent.

Tim Montgomerie

JF: Thanks for your encouragement. We've increased posts to at least one a day recently and are determined to increase the frequency of posting further in the weeks ahead.

Teddy Bear

JF - Re: "Besides Mr. Montgomerie, are there any Brits here who actually like the US?"

Like every country, every relationship, there's good and bad, positive an negative within. When all is said and done, I'm a Brit and I love the USA. They've made my world far richer for their existance, and they display a grand moral expansiveness in much of what they do.

JF

Teddy Bear, many thanks. Americans realize they aren't perfect, we've made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. It is very discouraging when we see the polls which put us at the top of dangers to the world, and when I read blogs that should be our natural allies (this site, Iain Dale's Diary, Brussels Journal, etc.) and see commenters come out of the woodwork just to bash the US, I get frustrated.

So I apologize if I come across in a heavy-handed way to any of the posters here. I'm an Anglophile who is grateful to Britain for providing the world with the common law system, parliamentary democracy, and the values of transparency and accountability. I believe in a strong and independent Britain, and any criticism I have is only with the best intentions to ensure Britain maintains its leadership role (much like our British allies occasionally criticize the US to make sure we stay on course).

Teddy Bear

JF - Re: "It is very discouraging when we see the polls which put us at the top of dangers to the world,"

What are you really seeing here?
Isn't it simply the power of the media to shape public opinion that is being demonstrated. If we are going to be intelligent and try to re-shape the world into some sort of moral sense then we have to be pragmatic and realise how powerful a force this is. We can know that eventually the shit ust hit the fan. This dumbing down of society that the media is engaged in, so they can wield their 'power', eventually has to kick them up their own ass. That's why I think sites like these are so important to maintain a moral and intelligent standard, raising awareness on a host of important issues, and attract those who must increasingly become disillusioned by the status quo until we are the mainstream.

Don't be discouraged - it will get a lot worse before it can ever get better - it has to - natural law :o)

S. Baker

Regardless of the comments posted, I consider you my brothers and sisters and I would never abandon you to Nazis, Muslims, or anyone else for that matter!

S. Baker

Regardless of the comments posted, I consider you my brothers and sisters and I would never abandon you to Nazis, Muslims, or anyone else for that matter!

BrasherBoot

Im afraid that the global phenomenon of Anti Americanism is something much, much, deeper. Something that the US and Americans will have to face up to sooner or later.

The fact is, the USA is stagnating and losing its leadership role.

For instance, it is losing its manufacturing base (to China), its financial world premiership (to London), its 'cultural' leadership (to Europe, China), its wars (in Iraq, Somalia, Vietnam), its global influence (in South America, in the Middle East, in Asia, in Europe).

In short in all of its industrial and commercial spheres, America is losing its share and its dominance. All except its military 'prowess', which will collapse when the rest reduces or goes.

When going up, a power is always magnanimous. When going down, a power becomes embroilled in unnecessary wars to prove itself.

The world awaits the collapse of a once great giant.

JF

BrasherBoot, the world awaits this, or you? I'm sure that you look forward to living under Muslim dominion, or Chinese dominion, or blackmail from a newly arrogant Russia, but your children will surely curse you for having supported them.

Do you think these entities and countries will support free and fair trade, human rights, democracy, and peace as the United States has? Do you think these countries will subject themselves to the idiotic oversight of the United Nations as the United States has?

Perhaps it would be best if the United States loses its position as the world leader. Then we could reclaim our full sovereignty. It's unfortunate that Europe will no longer exist as we once knew it by then.

Brasherboot

"The world awaits this or you?"

Hey, dont shoot the messenger - and dont go flying away from my points and bash on about how the world owes the US a living.

The world existed happily before the USA and will exist after its power fades. Neither does the USA have some pre-ordained 'right' to global supremecy.

There are nations (China, India et al) and supra national organisations (aka the EU) that are collectively eroding the USA's powerbase and will continue to do so.

Open your eyes a little and you can see it; from US debts, China's growth, EU's cultural expansion and so on.

Tell me, do you deny that America isnt in anyway losing its commercial dominance or its global influence?

And please dont insult me by suggesting its in someway Anti American (that's a a very tired retort) - its simply reality.

JF

Brasherboot, I don't deny that America's relative power is declining. What I dispute is your statement that "When going up, a power is always magnanimous. When going down, a power becomes embroilled in unnecessary wars to prove itself." I don't believe any power has been as benevolent as the United States during its rise, and you misinterpret the intentions of the United States if you believe that Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq are simply the results of an American desire to flex its muscles and strike fear into the world.

Vietnam was an attempt as forceful containment. Somalia was a thankless but humanitarian attempt to save lives. Afghanistan was a retaliatory and defensive action, not initiated by the US. And Iraq was a genuine attempt to overthrow a dangerous tyrant and bring democracy to a people who had never before benefited from freedom.

Your contention otherwise reeks of anti-Americanism. Your denials indicate either self-delusion or such thorough absorption of BBC propaganda that you can't believe Americans can ever act out of a sense of wanting to help. It's a tired retort because it must be constantly brought up to rebut you and your kind's tired accusations.

Brasherboot

A power only exists to feed its own hedgemony but hides behind 'morallity' in the process.

(Someone famous said it many years ago and I cant remember who or the exact quote).

I dont doubt that Americans have added positive value to the world and will continue to do so.

But, there is a classic bell-curve for powers that applies to all powers. that is, history consistently repeats itself.

As a power rises, it generally has the goodwill of those around it. As it peaks it gets burdened down with responsibilities and forced or otherwise to act to those responsibilities. Including thankless, unnecessary wars.

Do you honestly believe that the war in Iraq was really necessary? Afghanistan, I understand, but Iraq?

Was Vietnam necessary? (BTW: Some put America's peak in the 60's, thats why I mention it - I personally, believe the peak was early this century). Nothing was gained by the US in Vietnam. Zero.

America has an Empire. It may not be as a traditional set-up in the same manner, but it has an Empire no less.

America does not act simply because it is being philanthropic - it acts to protect and grow its interests.

But dont take my word for it. Let me provide a simple example; World War One. And a question you will think you know the answer to. Why did America come out on the side of the British/allies as opposed to Germany?

Because Britain and France owed you more money than the Germans - a finding by an independent committee just after the war.

Now tell me, is that the sign of a philanthropic power?


JF

Brasherboot, knowing what I know now (that there were no WMDs), no, I do not believe the war in Iraq was necessary. But I didn't know then what I know now, and I'm not in a position to say whether our leaders lied to us or simply made the mistake of trusting our unreliable intelligence services. But going to war with bad information doesn't make the United States evil, and it is undeniable that the United States is still in Iraq for good-intentioned reasons. It should be manifestly clear by now that we are not, and have never been there for oil, as some on the left would have us believe. Yet we continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of our soldiers' lives to stability the country and bring it peace. That is the act of a benevolent power.

Vietnam, knowing what we knew then, was necessary. It was part of the strategy of containment--a strategy, I must point out, conceived of by a Democrat (Truman) and executed by a Democrat (JFK). The United States lost Vietnam because it lost the will to fight, not because it was defeated. See the Tet Offensive, which virtually wiped out the Viet Cong. The left wing media, always eager to present any American victory as a defeat (as it is doing now with Iraq) became a pawn of the North Vietnamese in using Tet as anti-American propaganda.

What was gained by Vietnam? We signaled to the USSR that we were willing to back up our position and allies with force. Who is still around today, the US or the USSR?

America is not an Empire. We have soldiers stationed around the world, but only at the request of the host governments. I guarantee you that if Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. asked us to leave, we would, gladly.

America does not act simply because it is being philanthropic - it acts to protect and grow its interests.

Absolutely. We are a nation, and our government is responsible to the citizens of this nation, not the citizens of other nations. Sorry, that's the way it is and the way it should be.

As for WWI, I won't deny that debts played any part in the decision, but I would dispute that they were the primary motivation of our entry on the side of Britain. You are ignoring the Lusitania, the Black Tom incident, the Kingsland incident, and, most importantly, the Zimmermann Telegram and unrestricted German submarine warfare on our merchant vessels.

I have to salute your left-wing educators and BBC for doing such a superb job brainwashing you with "America is Evil" propaganda.

Now let me ask you something: Why did we intervene in Somalia? Why did we intervene in Kosovo?

malcolm

It might suprise you JF , to know that I agree with pretty much everything you wrote in your last post. It is rather naive of Brasherboot to believe that nations often act for reasons other than self interest. The US involvement in Somalia and Kosovo are two examples for which your country can be proud.

S. Baker

Well if giving supremacy to China to produce counterfeit drugs, unsafe food, etc is what happens I am more than happy to let it happen. As for America crumbling, it reinforces my belief that most people in the world does not understand America or its strengths!

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