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View Diary: Why is the "West" so bad at strategy? (244 comments)

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  •  The problem is as much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In her own Voice, Thutmose V

    that "The West" doesn't understand the rest of the world as the rest of the world doesn't understand reality.

    As we know from the lessons of Iraq, France, Russia and others opposed the invasion of Iraq not on moral grounds, but on economic ones.
    They were dealing, in contravention of international law, with a rogue nation, and were simply trying to protect their investment.

    Right stance on the invasion, but for all the wrong reasons.

    The rest of the world is as selfish as America is, their motives just as impure, their ambition to be the top dog just as powerful.

    They just aren't as good at it. And they are envious.

    And Jerome, when you speak of "The West", say what you mean.
    The U.S.A.
    You are not fooling anyone. "The West" is not the root of all evil... just an excuse for the rest of the world to ignore their own sins.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly".

    by Niniane on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 07:22:39 AM PDT

    •  oh yes (25+ / 0-)

      the West means the English speaking countries, ie the US and its permanent vassals like the UK. France and the rest of Europe are allowed to be included in the West when they agree.

      They (...) were simply trying to protect their investment.

      This is such a patently silly argument that I'm surprised to see it on DailyKos. If economic arguments had ruled, surely we'd have followed US cues, given the threats of economic boycott and the general bad blood with a country which is by orders of magnitude a more important economic partner than Iraq.

      The rest of the world is as selfish as America is, their motives just as impure, their ambition to be the top dog just as powerful.

      That's the "we're no worse than the [fill the blank]" argument. It used to be that some in America had higher standards than that.

      They just aren't as good at it. And they are envious.

      LOL As good at what?

      •  Hatred of America (0+ / 0-)

        is not a "Progressive" ideal... at least in this country, although I'm sure it is considered one in France.

        Shame... I used to enjoy your Diaries.

        "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly".

        by Niniane on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 07:39:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who displays hate of a country? (27+ / 0-)

          You accused "France" of behavior re Iraq, and generally of jealousy. My whole diary was about the small number of people that are driving the current policies of your country for their personal gain and against the general interest of most Americans.

          Can you not see the difference?

          •  I understand the difference. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timoteo, ChapiNation386, dRefractor

            I agree with that sentiment completely.
            Your tone, your stance... in this diary and the last few months seem to extend the sins of the Rethugs onto the American brand.
            I think that maybe, just maybe, you have lost just a little perspective.

            The problem lies not with the USA or it's citizens, but with those we have allowed to (mis-)govern us.

            My point is that it isn't just the governments of "The West" that are guilty of such behaviors.
            As these things go, the USA isn't even one of the worst offenders.
            I would place the USA firmly behind China, Russia, and much of Western Europe in that regard, and way behind pretty much everyone else. BushCo may have narrowed the gap, but we aren't the bad guys the rest of the world makes us out to be.

            I understand the USA for what is is, warts and all.

            I don't make excuses for our actions.
            Sometimes governments have to behave in ways we are not comfortable with. That's reality. We don't have to like it.
            But there are lines that should not be crossed, without dire necessity, if ever.
            The current administration has done that.
            We are trying to fix that particular problem.

            But every other sovereign nation has their warts too. But they try to hide their flaws with their criticism of the USA.

            It's time that we, as American Progressives, stopped letting them get away with it.

            Glass houses, don't you know.

            "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly".

            by Niniane on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 08:01:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't blame Jerome but your own naivete. (20+ / 0-)

              What has been happening could not have taken place without the assent of the American people.

              An American as red-blooded as any you could find--West Point grad, Vietnam vet, father of another soldier killed in Iraq--puts the blame squarely on the American people and the TWO political parties that have catered to them.

              From Andrew Bacevich's interview on Bill Moyers' Journal:

              BILL MOYERS: And do you remember that it was his successor, his Vice President, the first President Bush who said in 1992, the American way of life is not negotiable.

              ANDREW BACEVICH: And all presidents, again, this is not a Republican thing, or a Democratic thing, all presidents, all administrations are committed to that proposition. Now, I would say, that probably, 90 percent of the American people today would concur. The American way of life is not up for negotiation.

              What I would invite them to consider is that, if you want to preserve that which you value most in the American way of life, and of course you need to ask yourself, what is it you value most. That if you want to preserve that which you value most in the American way of life, then we need to change the American way of life. We need to modify that which may be peripheral, in order to preserve that which is at the center of what we value.

              Link to interview.

              •  Not with my assent (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gatorcog, ChapiNation386, divineorder

                Not even with 50% of our population. Representative democracy is not inherently synonymous with popular will, you have to define who is being represented and how.

                To argue that our government reflects our collective will is laughable.

                Argue for your limitations and you own them - bach

                by dRefractor on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 09:32:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Major party candidates must be idiots then. (7+ / 0-)

                  Tell me, please, which of the major party candidates stands for the following:

                  1. single payer health care?
                  1. any reduction in the Defense Department budget?
                  1. impeachment of the criminals in the White House?

                  The two major parties certainly feel that they can win on platforms whose economic and foreign policy components make Nixon look progressive.

                  •  Our politician's masters (0+ / 0-)

                    are certainly not the voting public. You're not seriously saying that, are you?

                    There are several ways to vastly improve our "representative" democracy, but unless we do so, it is disingenuous to spout the "we get the government that we deserve" meme.

                    Suggestions in increasing order of controversiality:

                    1. Require 50+1 majority for all elected officials
                    1. Federal term limits
                    1. Eliminate corporate campaign contributions of all kinds (including to PACs and whatnot)
                    1. Require that voters know what/who they're voting on (i.e., eliminate low information voters)

                    Boatloads of other things we could do, but these would be sufficient (#4 being the diciest by far, but with the best potential payback -- give voters a study guide and give them a week to pass the test).

                    Argue for your limitations and you own them - bach

                    by dRefractor on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 10:51:48 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Voting Rights Act? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      samddobermann

                      Remember literacy tests?

                      Imagine Republican election officials administering your little quizzes in the South.

                      Been there.  Done that.  Outlawed it.

                      Wow.  Does anyone left on this site have a memory that extends prior to 2000?

                      •  Well, don't you think it strange (0+ / 0-)

                        that we have local officials having so much sway on NATIONAL elections? Put that down as number 4 (i.e., nationalizing voting processes) and move 4 to 5.

                        And you can save your condescending remarks for someone else, I'm quite aware of our past follies. It would not be terribly difficult to require, in plain english, that people understand what they are voting on. Or perhaps you are of the extreme opinion that anyone with the motor skills of an 5 year old should be allowed to blindly vote on whatever the hell they want to for no reason whatsoever. That's our system today and it has led to lazy incompetent governance (amongst the other reasons).

                        Freedom without responsibility is crap. And you can't be responsible if you're ignorant. Gun owners don't want to be told how to use their guns, parents don't want to be know the abc's of child development, manufacturers don't want to tell people what's in their products, our government doesn't really want you to know what they do behind closed doors and on and on. Voting in ignorance is a pox like all the rest of our societal blindness'.

                        Argue for your limitations and you own them - bach

                        by dRefractor on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 02:31:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Right point, wrong target... (11+ / 0-)

              Niniane, while I'd agree with a lot of your points (anyone w/ relatives outside of the US should be only too aware of the 'sins' of other countries), I'm not sure Jerome's diary is the big offender in this area.

              It's true that foreign powers often use the "...bad, bad US..." talking points to distract their citizens from their own home-grown issues (and atrocities), I think the FT author was mainly talking about how the horribly disjointed and irrational approach of the US and it's western allies is at this point not doing any good for anyone - the US, our western allies, or the citizens in those other nations that are as bad or worse.)

              Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

              by Timoteo on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 08:42:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Shades of Socialism 1920/1930 style redux (4+ / 0-)

              But every other sovereign nation has their warts too. But they try to hide their flaws with their criticism of the USA.

              It's time that we, as American Progressives, stopped letting them get away with it.

              This exact idea is how every European working/middle class group fell obediently into line behind THEIR OWN ruling classes and followed enthusiastically the solutions of predatory capitalism that benefited their own country at the expense of all else and the military adventure was the final solution when nothing else the corporate rulers of the time tried worked.

              There is a wilfull blindness, be it sheer ignorance, excessive pride and hubris, or simple lack of analysis of the success and failures of the competition and the crises that came before. And it as bad or worse in America (ever hear of "American Exceptionalism"?) than anywhere else in 2008.

              McCain: Unlike Republicans, (most)he HAS dropped bombs on a people and country that did not attack America. It fits: Warmonger

              by Pete Rock on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:29:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  nini ane, your are what is wrong with America (0+ / 0-)

              Blaming the "leaders" and falling back on smug self satisfaction. The point is that almost all  Americans have participted in this. Few have fought against our very selfish consumerist society - and in fact the ideas of community to the extent that society itself is fractured.

              And you are determinedly dumb.

              We are in a time where it is risky NOT to change. Barack Obama 7-30-08

              by samddobermann on Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 02:26:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nicta, kalmoth

            My whole diary was about the small number of people that are driving the current policies of your country for their personal gain and against the general interest of most Americans.

            Thank you for stating that not all people here in the United States have that mind frame.  You diaries are sometimes a "hard spill to swallow", yet, good intellectual reading. It's good to hear other people's perspective of what they think of the United Sates and its policies.

            You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.---Malcolm X

            by Queenie68 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:47:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hatred of America (18+ / 0-)

          besides going, "where the f did that come from?"

          Hatred of america would express itself as encouraging us as we dive headlong into disaster after disaster.  

          Love would be an intervention...

          The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"
          "America is a free speech zone."

          by Love and Death on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 07:56:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No hatred in them. (15+ / 0-)

          His diaries are brilliant.

          So you think there is no useful truth to this diary? Nothing to be learned, then?

          YES WE CAN Register to Vote from China! http://www.votefromabroad.org

          by beijingbetty on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 08:03:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're kidding (0+ / 0-)

        I know you know that patently silly arguments happen here all the time.

    •  Even if everyone else is as bad as us, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk, Niniane

      everyone -- including us -- will benefit if there are enough of them opposed to us to block our actions, i.e., a balance of power.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 08:34:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the lessons of Iraq... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antiapollon

      In the countries you mention there was vast public opposition to the war on moral AND strategic grounds.  Governments aren't entirely immune from the opinion of the electorate (although it sometimes appears that way), and all of those governments voiced that opposition in private and at the UN.  Of course they had economic concerns...but so did we.  The US no longer had any oil contracts in Iraq, and that certainly was a factor in the decision to go to war.

      As far as dealing with a "rogue nation" (you seem unaware of which nation that really is), the US was perfectly willing to sell Iraq chemical weapons during the Iran/Iraq war, to turn a blind eye towards Iraq's use of those weapons, and to block a UN vote condemning such use.  We even went so far as to provide Iraq with satellite imaging data to help Iraq gas Iranian troop positions.  Moral high ground?  I think not.

      •  Oh, there have to be morals (0+ / 0-)

        for someone to claim that particular kind of high ground.
        Nope, too many mistakes were made for us to claim to be the good guys re: Iraq... not for decades now.

        But just because our feet are dirty, doesn't make theirs any cleaner.
        One does not have to be above reproach before one can comment on the sins of others.
        One just shouldn't play the innocent while doing it.

        Our guilt doesn't make them any less guilty, and cannot be used to justify their crimes.

        "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly".

        by Niniane on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  International relations are never built on moral (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          samddobermann, alizard, antiapollon

          grounds, but trading in violation of UN sanctions doesn't compare to murdering one million people for oil and strategic position.  First take the log out of your own eye.  The real lesson of Iraq is that the US no longer has any moral standing whatever.

          •  Who does anymore? (0+ / 0-)

            That is my point.
            On the international stage, there is no moral high ground.
            Disagree? Go talk to the folks in Darfur.

            "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly".

            by Niniane on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:58:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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