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Update [2005-3-6 10:3:53 by Jerome a Paris]: I have started a new diary to continue the discussion: Europe 'losing hope' about America: a follow up.

I'm sorry for the harsh words; you know I've been around this site for a while now and I don't think I can be categorised as radical, or provocative, or anti-American in any way in my views, but the above seems to me to sum up the reaction in Europe to the latest US fuckup in Iraq, i.e. the shooting of liberated hostage Giuliana Sgrena and the killing of Nicola Calipari, the secret service agent who had negotiated her liberation and protected her - to his death - with his body.

I'll be the first to acknowledge that the facts are not yet clear -  whether that event was the result of bad communications, someone panicking or something more sinister cannot be ascertained at the time I write.

It's just the last item in a long, long list, and the reaction is pretty much the same everywhere:

Stupid fucking war.

Stupid fucking Americans.

Stupid fucking Americans who don't care about the rest of the world but use self-righteous violence whenever they feel like it, kill, maim, destroy without a thought, all in the name of "freedom".

Stupid fucking Americans who, if we dare protest, call us hypocritical, morally bankrupt, Saddam-loving we-saved-your-sorry-asses-twice-last-century degenerate Euro-whiners.

Stupid fucking Americans who voted for Bush - the warmonger, the torturer, the crusader, the born again obscurantist, the irresponsible spendthrift, the profiteer of their fears, with his entourage of criminals and lackeys.

Stupid fucking Americans who have managed to alienate even their grateful friends the Poles and their criminal lackey Berlusconi.

Guess what, we're losing the will to complain. It's useless. We've lost hope. The sad events of yesterday have become typical of today's America, and we don't expect anything else anymore. We don't trust you today (as a country and an administration), and we know we shouldn't expect any different in the foreseeable future.

And I know that you Kossacks should not be put in that same bag, that you did your best to bring about another outcome, but America, your America, is not acting like you. Sanity is officially no longer an American value.

America is the country that tortures, and that shoots-first-asks-questions-later in the minds of the rest of the world. Americans are still our friends and our business partners, but for how long?

And I am French, therefore highly suspect of anti-Americanism, and I would not write this if I did not keep on hearing this from Italians, Spaniards, Germans and Brits. Brits, for God's sake - they seem to hate you Americans more than us French these days, which is no means feat, let me tell you.

We don't admire America any more. We don't envy America anymore. We beg you to listen to the harsh lessons we've learnt - thanks to you - half a century ago when we almost self-detroyed (and you saved us and helped us reform our ways). We pity you, and we're scared - for the Iraqis being killed, for anyone that disagrees with you and does not have the chance to be backed by nuclear, oil or commercial power, for whoever will be next, and for the whole planet should anyone make you even crazier by succeeding in a new terrorist attack against you.

Please, Kossacks, you are our last hope. Please take your country back from the zombies. Please bring back our high expectations and hopes. Please stop the madness.

Originally posted to Jerome a Paris on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:13 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Midnight here... (3.95)
    I'm going to bed, but I promise to reply to all comments - if I still have an account in the morning...

    in the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)

    by Jerome a Paris on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:07:41 PM PST

    •  You know who I hate? (4.00)
      Niggers and fags and beaners who come into my country.

      This government is apealing to peoples basic emotions. Hate is a pretty powerful tool, but they have no idea what they are doing. Its all a big trick. But a trick works only if you want to believe it, and those who voted for Bush do. They would rather hate then make peace. Destroy rather than build. Maybe some have been manipulated and pushed over the edge to vote againts their intrestest on economic issues, but at heart they want all this and the blame rests squarley on them. Not as bad AMERICANS, but as bad HUMAN BEINGS.

      But you ever come to think maybe your just as bad for hating them? In reality though, we don't hate them. We just feel sad and angry that we have to be dragged along with them.

    •  Suggestion (4.00)
      If "stupid fucking Americans" is the view you're attributing to European reaction, even if it's not a direct quote, you should put quotation marks around the phrase in your title instead of asterisks.  It's clear from your text that you're attributing that as a reaction and not anti-Americanism of your own, but the title as currently written, imo, suggests a very different tone.  

      Or not.  The dismissiveness of the title doesn't match the anger but struggle to resist cynicism and pessimism that comes through in your diary.  My suggestion is simply to rework your title, which as currently written is insulting and dismissive even though your diary is not.  And I know from reading your stuff for many months, the resistance to cynicism in the diary is a more accurate reflection of who you are than is the hopelessness of the title.  

      •  I see the point (4.00)
        of your comment, but it makes no difference in fact. Check out your own reaction, and indeed, all of our reactions. Yes, it is us that the title refers to and making it rhetorical doesn't really change anything. This is emotion. We're all trying to lean over backwards to be fair and balanced--to who? The European and world reacion is one of "the straw that broke the camel's back"--enough is enough, whether there are exculpatory circumstances or not. Enough.

        Sigh. I've said it. You've said it. "Please tell our friends that we don't want this, we didn't vote for this, etc., etc." In the end we are part of the chain of causation in all this in some part or another. Karma. It's hard to bear. I'll reflect on this more and so will most others who come here. More work lies ahead, it's the only way out.

        Rolfyboy6 -Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

        by Rolfyboy6 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:03:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find this diary to be so depressing (4.00)
          For 3 years or more, I have dreaded, and yet knew this reaction would be coming our way.  For his first term, I hoped that the world knew that this was Bush, and Bush alone acting, and not the America that I care about.  But after this last election, I knew it was only a matter of time, and that this was a lot more than Bush, over half this country elected him.  One of the biggest reasons I hate Bush, is what he has done to our country, and our standing ( or lack of) in the world.  I am tired of being so ashamed.
          •  Actually not half... (none)
            If it helps, remember that more than half didn't vote at all, so we really don't know who they may have voted for.

            Then there is the fact of all the people that couldn't vote because of the long lines, etc., that happened, along with the possible machines not working properly for whatever reason.

            Therefore, the most we can say is that maybe a third at the most for Bush, if we go by what the "official" results are.

            Hope that made someone feel better!

            •  Better? (none)
              I'd say it's damn incriminating that people didn't even bother two vote.

              One thing I can say about americans (both at home and in Iraq) is that they have a tendency to negligent and even reckless behaviour.

              Restore Democracy!

              by high5 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:14:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We've been rendered helpless- (none)
                tin foil cap time- I swear the more I am on the computer here the less I am able to function by actions other than complaining, being outraged etc., etc., I feel desensitized-

                I think there are a lot of freepers here who diary-out important info diaries, freepers who mislead, mis-inform and interupt important discussions. Nothing is getting done.

                The tin-foil part is or maybe 'subliminal messages' which I am trying to research. It's either that here and on the TV or there is something in the air....Just contemplate it and the possibilities.

                How can a country like America where the majority has absolutely no power turn around so fast? and WE are the majority. We've proven that here many times with all the Voter Fraud info we've dug up.

                If we don't uprise soon we will be condemned to servitude-if that hasn't already happened.

                •  It is time (none)
                  We Americans stand up and take responsibility for what America is doing.
                  I will not even comment on if what this country is doing is correct or wrong.
                  But enough is enough Stop blaming Bush, the neocons,the GOp or the morons or the red staters. That does not cut it anymore in the eyes of rest of the world.
                  You might say fuck the rest of the world That is fine too, But please STOP shirking responsibility for what you country is doing.
                  You have the following choices
                  1. Agree with what the country is doing with pride
                  2.Openly disagree and do the lawful and non violent things to change that in your community and then in the country as a whole
                  3.Acknowledge that the majority wants the way the things are and be the oppressed minority.

                  And don't forget the changes happening in the domestic front either. They are equally important eventhough it might not appear to foreginer.

            •  Tell that to the rest of the world (none)
              Bush is in control, and thats all that matters to them
      •  nitpick (4.00)
        If "stupid fucking Americans" is the view you're attributing to European reaction, even if it's not a direct quote, you should put quotation marks around the phrase in your title instead of asterisks.

        I won't presume to speak for Jerome but I think most of us know that quotation marks in diary titles do not always come out as we thought they would when rendered in html. They often come out as " (the coding).

        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

        by catnip on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:51:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  correction (none)
          "They often come out as (& quot ;)"...without the spaces.

          "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

          by catnip on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:52:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's why I use (none)
            single quotes.  Those work.

            Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. -- George W. Bush

            by Page van der Linden on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:00:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's Because You Have... (4.00)
            ..."stupid fucking Canadian quotation marks."  ;-)
            •  At the risk of some rather shameless plagiarism (4.00)
              This dialogue pretty well sums up my attitudes on the W. regime.

              "I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why.  But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something."
              "What are we holding on to, Sam?"
              "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."

              The Book of Revelations is not a foreign policy manual.

              by Dont Just Stand There on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:25:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  term limits (none)
      only 3.9 years of the bushnuts left and America can return to something like normal(as long as we keep jeb out). The shooting, i suspect, was pure accident. the 22nd amendment will keep fascism from taking permanent root in America, i think. peace.
      •  I fear that 8 years will only be the beginning (4.00)
        It will take years to take back local governments so elections can be run by honest people again; it will take years to gear up the alternative media to get the truth out to regular folks working 2 jobs; and they all the voting apparatus in place to manufacture fear and bias for years to come.

        First, we have to take down all those direct mailing scams being run by GOPUSA, that freedom school they run and put their indoctrinate workerbees into the inner workings of fed government everywhere.  Pulling these people out into the sunlight is a long process.

        And jeb is waiting in the wings with his glorious team.  No, this fight will be a long one.  And it is totally understandable that the world is growing tired of our stupidity, and worse.  Turn away from us, world, and take care of yourselves.  We here will start at the ground level and work up.  You start from the outside and work around this country.  Once the struture is weakened enough, with little internal support, and no outside help, it will topple.

        But when?

      •  Hope you're right (none)
        It just seems to me that with four more years of tilting the playing field and changing the rules, they could get Neil Bush elected.
      •  Amendments? (none)
        We don need any steenkin amendments!  We don need any steeken laws.  WE ARE THE LAW!  The law of Jesus Christ himself returned as fuckin' George fuckin' W. fuckin' Bush!  

        The repugs don't care about the 1st, 4th, 5th, amendments...why would they care about the 23rd?

        "Help him...help the bombardier!" "I'm the bombardier...I'm OK!" "Then help him, help him!"

        by Bulldawg on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:46:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Frankly though (4.00)
        'normal' wasn't anything to write home about.
        Sad to say, but I think in some ways it makes more sense to think of Dubya's administration as offering an extension and acceleration of 'business as usual' rather than as representing that stark a disjunction with previous regimes.

        I mean, let's face it. Under Reagan, the U.S. got up all kinds of shennanigans. They supported apartheid in S.A., they invaded Grenada, they amused themselves in Afghanistan (and didn't that one turn out well?). Under George I, it was Panama and Iraq. Under Clinton, there was the killing of 500 000 Iraqi kids through sanctions (malnutrition plus lack of medical treatment combined with the after-effects of DU exposure), plus the bombing of a pharmeceutical factory in the Sudan. And that's far from an exhaustive list. In my bleaker moments, I think that the U.S.'s current war against all merely makes explicit a foreign policy that has been implicit for a long time now. Moreover, it is a foreign policy in which many democratic politicians and supporters have been deeply complicit. (You expect crap from the Republicans -- it pisses me off far more when it's at the hands of those who should know better)

        I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth and I am a citizen of the world -- Eugene Debs

        by dove on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:08:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It goes back to the beginning (none)
          American history has lived a tension between utter selfish disregard for people who stand in the way of some one making a fast buck, and the vision of a society with an open-ended history that treats each individual as an ontological miracle. We did terrible things to the Native Americans, occasionally, but significantly, in reaction to some actual or perceived assault on white persons squatting on the edge of civilization.   The mass importation of enslaved black people in the 18th century is of course an egregious example.  The violent suppression of the labour movement and the institution of Jim Crow in the late nineteenth century add to the list.

          It has only been during a few brief moments that the political dice haven't been loaded. What is happening today is not so much an aberration, as an exceptionally violent exaggeration of one strand of American civilization.  We on this site represent the other strand.  It's always been a toss-up which one would win in the end, if in fact there is an end.

      •  Ha! (4.00)
        You really think there will be an election in 2008? I don't.

        Or if there is one, it will be one of those interesting ones we read about that has 96% turnout with a 98% vote for one hand-picked candidate ... if you get my drift.

        I think we've seen our last free election for president in this republic.

        These people have a death grip on this nation and they will not let go.

        •  Unfortunately (4.00)
          I have the same fears for 2008.  This is why I am feeling so helpless, hopeless today.  I have hardly had the energy to comment on anything.  It's just too much bad news all of the time.  
        •  Gore Vidal said (4.00)
          that the republic ended in December 2000. I tend to agree with him.

          There's a nice-ninny priest/at tea in everyone,/all cozy and chatty as auntie,/but a saint comes/and throws rocks through the window. -- John Ciardi

          by Mnemosyne on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:34:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  well (none)
          the dems need to make clean elections the top priority, but i really think when the bush family is not in the running we'll have a reasonably clean election. It is the Bushies with their oil soaked tentacles reaching all the way back though nixon's cia, saudi arabia, united defense and old prescott's nazi money laundering that have brought US democracy to this new low.
          Even so, the history of democracy is tipped elections, going all the way back to ancient Greece, and whether we like it or not roughly 50% of the country voted for this train wreck of a president.(sigh)
          With Dr. Dean at the helm I do believe the dems will win in 06 and 08:)
        •  There will be one in 2008, but... (4.00)
          ... attacks on American soil between now and then will assure that the scared and obedient masses keep the GOP in power, however bizarre an outcome that suggests. Elections will continue, so as to convince the masses the country is "still free," but their outcomes will be foregone conclusions.
        •  Isn't there a motion (none)
          to amend the amendment that made 2 terms the limit for a President?  

          I've heard that it's in the works.

        •  They can't leave (none)
          Rove has the whole thing wired anyways, but with all the crimes they have committed, they can't leave or they will be swinging from the nearest yardarm. Texans know all about a good lynchin', so they have a right to be scared. If the economy goes wrong, dollar crash etc, then we might have a chance.
        •  You're so right about the death grip (none)
          I needed to vote twice.  I want to think it's not over, but I'm having recurring dreams about leaving America.  My gut says "It's over".
      •  what (none)
        makes you think the gop will not win again in 2008?
        End of Bush's term does not mean end of the current policy. Bush is only a front man.
        If we don't take the country back , my friend this is only the begining.
    •  Needed to be said. (4.00)
      I don't know what to say, other than.. Well, yes, I understand why Europeans are disgusted and angry.  So am I.  

      The best way I have to try and explain it is that.. well, frankly, it's a difficult and stressful time to be an American, and it's only been getting more and more so.  Even for those Americans who voted for Bush and support his policies.  It's not just the security issue as regards terrorism and war - it's also the lack of a sense of community, lack of job security, lack of adequate health insurance, lack of decent benefits, the huge amount of personal debt carried by many people, and now the war on Social Security makes retirement one more thing that seems insecure and uncertain.  

      So that's what I'd say to Europeans.  It's not an excuse, precisely, but I'd say that it's at least worth noting that plenty of people here aren't leading these blissfully free-spending, freewheeling, oblivious to the world lives.  I think most Americans are required to be so completely self-sufficient and have such a huge amount of responsibility just for managing everyday life.. it makes looking at the bigger picture and staying well-informed a luxury, almost.  My world would look a lot different right now if I had health insurance and didn't have a pile of school debt and credit card debt.  I can't imagine how it is for parents who are struggling to pay the bills, in debt, can't find affordable child care, can't find good schools, can't find good paying jobs with benefits, and don't draw the slightest connection between these kitchen-table issues and what goes on in Washington and abroad.  When all that is on your plate on a daily basis, how much do you learn about politics and world news?  Not much.

      •  that's right (4.00)
        We were unemployed/marginally employed for three years. We went through all of our savings. We have two kids. We live below the poverty line. We are losing our health insurance. We are in debt up to our eyeballs. While never part of the fashionably comfortable middle class, exactly, we are now so close to the edge it is frightening, and I don't see any end in sight. An enormous number of people here are just hanging on.
      •  And that signifies... (4.00)
        ...nothing at all.  You have been protected for a long time.  Now you must face reality and you will not do so.  The time for "blood on the streets" was the year 2000.  When you let them get away with it you gave up.

        All you complaints, your issues have been felt keenly elsewhere before and knuckling under has been proven to only make things worse.

        I'm with Jerome.  I think most Australians are too.

        Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

        by Truckle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:07:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  why is that, (none)
        eventhough I agree with you, the majority of americans (who voted for Bush) don't see that way?
    •  As a Surrender Monkey myself, (4.00)
      I must say I do not agree with the title (désolé, Jérôme !).

      Having been a Kosmonaut for months now, I know how wonderful, brilliant and caring the people you meet here can be, and that the Bush voters are not representative of all Americans.

      But I must also say that Jérôme's rant reflects the feelings of a growing part of the people I meet all over Europe. Only some of them are aware of the fact that many Americans don't support (and can't stand) the Bush administration (they don't read dKos, poor them!). And every new day brings some depressing info about US policies and behaviour. You should try to understand how we feel, too...

      Hopefully, reading your diaries and comments helps me to keep believing in a progressive America.  I think we should consider how we can work together to fight this widening gap between United States and Europe, and not only waiting for the next election...

      •  respectfully (none)
        Having been a Kosmonaut for months now, I know how wonderful, brilliant and caring the people you meet here can be, and that the Bush voters are not representative of all Americans.

        Jerome made it clear that this rant was not directed at all Americans and definitely not at kossacks.

        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

        by catnip on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:54:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know (none)
          I said I don't agree with the title, because it can be felt as offensive by some Kossacks...

          But I mainly agree with the content of the diary!

        •  Not (4.00)
          I'm dipping into this thread without reading all the comments. I scrolled down randomly and saw your post. That said, I disagree vehemently with the notion that we're less culpable for the sins of our fellows because we do not support George Bush or the Iraq war. That's one of the reasons it's so painful: that man speaks for us, and we are implicated. The inconveniences of democracy, unfortunately, but it's cowardly to pretend otherwise.

          "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality."

          by Marshall on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:42:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I will say this (4.00)
            I am guilty of being so caught up in my personal survival issues for the first thirty years of my life I was only marginally politically aware. Then as I became more aware, I remained convinced nothing could be done to change it, so did nothing. Then I began to do things but I chose the wrong things, like supporting Ralph Nader in 2000. Now I don't know if things can be changed, but I do know it's morally bankrupt not to participate. So I can see - yes, I am responsible, if I fail to act, no matter how I may feel or what I believe.
            •  this (none)
              is a reply to marshall and blue bird. I understand how you feel.
              Yes, we are responsible for the actions of our Govt. It does not matter whether you agree with it or not. You elected it (Don't give me the crap that you did not vote for Bush). Now if its actions are painful or amoral to us, the only whay we can not be responsible for it is to bring about a change in the govt.
              Every one is talking about democratic changes happening in Ukraine and lebenon etc . How about the USA? Where is the PEOPLES POWER in this country?
          •  There is a difference... (none)
            ..between being responsible and being to blame.

            I don't blame Kossacks for the current state of affairs but every single American is responsible.  Even Kossacks.  I think we are waiting for you to stop talking and do something about it.  If it isn't already too late.

            Now, just maybe, you are right and it will all come out in the wash, that GannonGate maybe a WaterGate, but the rest of the world does not have good reason to believe that.  The record isn't great.

            I hope you are right, the Bush will be his own undoing, but I really think you have left it to late, he has done an end run past you.

            Maybe I should leave dKos, I am not sure I have anything positive left to do or say.

            Needless to say, I feel betrayed.

            Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

            by Truckle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:15:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Betrayed by what? Whom? (none)
              By us little guys? By us not being clairvoyant in 2000? By not going to the streets pitchforks in hand? Before I go too far and simply become snotty, perhaps hindsight indicates that taking to the streets in 2000 would have done

              FWIW, do you have any idea how many people are newly politically active here? I mean -- more than just silly typing, Meetups, sign-wavings, working on campaigns, working in local Dem groups. Buying DVD's and sharing them around, learning about George Lakoff's framing.

              Any idea how hard how many of us worked on the Kerry campaign, whether we liked him or not? You should have SEEN the people packed into an old schoolhouse in Seattle ready and willing to give up the whole work day on Nov. 2nd, to get Dems to the polls. Not making this up, there was a traffic jam getting to the building from the nearest freeway, had to park about 6 blocks away.

              Howard Dean wasn't elected to DNC in a vacuum, thousands of us worked hard to achieve that, tho it may not be visible from overseas.

              Look, it all looks dark now, and scary from here, too. But NO horrible regime lasts forever. Hitler's Germany didn't, and things in the USA are NOT that bad yet.

              Summing up, we ARE working and doing more than just blogging. Join us! Donate to the Rockridge Institute, start a "Save America" Meetup where you are, or whatever. Write letters to our editors, there must be many things that would help.

              And if you run into that guy with the 180 IQ again, ask him for some ideas for us, eh?  :-)

              Reframing the news and people's views of our world: http://www.HeroicStories.com

              by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:16:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Apology. (4.00)
                By us little guys? By us not being clairvoyant in 2000? By not going to the streets pitchforks in hand? Before I go too far and simply become snotty, perhaps hindsight indicates that taking to the streets in 2000 would have done

                I probably owe you and kossacks and apology for my passion.  And it is that, passion.  You see, without being knowledgable about them, the ideals of your founders have been my dreams.  The achievements of America have been magnificent.  There is no doubt that the twentieth century can be named the century of America.  But it was also the century of Promise.  The time when we believed we could solve all problems.  I have always been critical of the bad things in America and never desired to become one, although I would love to visit the places that I have read about.  But I have always been the loyal opposition.  For all my life I have worshipped America (from afar).  

                I could live with my dreams turning to dust, but they are turning into the putrid slime that my parents generation went through (and that's another story).

                FWIW, do you have any idea how many people are newly politically active here? I mean -- more than just silly typing, Meetups, sign-wavings, working on campaigns, working in local Dem groups. Buying DVD's and sharing them around, learning about George Lakoff's framing.

                No, and that's partly why I owe you an apology.  Thing is though it hasn't been enough.  While I am not saying it has been ineffective, it is not effective enough.  Bush is till where he is.

                And yet he seems such an easy target from here.

                Any idea how hard how many of us worked on the Kerry campaign, whether we liked him or not? You should have SEEN the people packed into an old schoolhouse in Seattle ready and willing to give up the whole work day on Nov. 2nd, to get Dems to the polls. Not making this up, there was a traffic jam getting to the building from the nearest freeway, had to park about 6 blocks away.

                Yes, I hear they do that quite a lot in the US.  Doesn't happen here , but voting is not optional and there are always a couple of polling stations within walking distance for most people.  Many/most schools are polling places.

                But Bush still won.

                Howard Dean wasn't elected to DNC in a vacuum, thousands of us worked hard to achieve that, tho it may not be visible from overseas.

                No.  And it isn't that obvious that it will make any difference either from this distance.  Kerry was a good man, would have made a good president, but he wasn't a good enough politician (or his advisors were not good enough).

                Look, it all looks dark now, and scary from here, too. But NO horrible regime lasts forever. Hitler's Germany didn't, and things in the USA are NOT that bad yet.

                They may not be that bad in the US yet, but other people elsewhere are suffering, and other matters that should not be ignored are being forgotten.

                Summing up, we ARE working and doing more than just blogging. Join us! Donate to the Rockridge Institute, start a "Save America" Meetup where you are, or whatever. Write letters to our editors, there must be many things that would help.

                I think that there a few things you could do that would make a lot of difference.  And I mean a lot.  You see, there are methods for combating BushCo that you do not seem to be using.  The methods you are using are often those that preach to the converted.  You too need to look in the past for old methods.

                The first and most obvious is ridicule and humour.  It strikes deeply, in needs no explanation and it is inclusive.  Get a "baby jokes" campaign going against him.  Never say anything negative without making a laugh out of it. Use jokes to spread facts that are not being told.  Most people still don't know where the hijackers came from.  Put it in a joke. You don't need much of a swing in the vote.  A good organisedhumour campaign will get you 10%.

                A second thing perhaps, many have written posts about friends and relatives who voted republican.  Don't let that happen.  If every Democrat picked one Republican to convert it would save much energy.  You have to work at the individual level as well as the group level.  Use your people skills.  Pick a Republican, let your Dem friends know so they can pick someone else and try to find out how and why that person thinks, then explain to them in their terms why they should not vote Republican right now.  You have one year to do this.  Shouldn't be too hard.

                Lastly, for now anyway, think, ask questions.  Which would people be more scared of?  A vague threat of terrorism or riots in the streets?

                If you can't pull people, then you have to push them.  Just to compensate for Bush herding them.

                I know I am well outside, but the frustration we are feeling here is that it looks like the last couple of elections have not been lost but thrown away.  The republicans have changed tactics and the Democrats are not changing theirs to match.

                Nevertheless.  As I said.  I owe you all an apology, because my passion has overstepped the bounds.  Bounds of manners and bound of what I have a right to say.

                So, you may not believe this, but I am sorry.

                Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

                by Truckle on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 02:42:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I get that (4.00)
                But if dKos is any indication, that Seattle schoolhouse retains a large contingent who think
                a) America is the best country in the world;
                b) Americans are better than everyone else;
                c) that the U.S. should pursue a 'vigorous' (aka aggressive) foreign policy;
                d) that trade subsidies should be eliminated everywhere but the U.S.;
                e) that 'they're' stealing 'our' jobs;
                f) that immigration and freedom of movement should be curtailed, etc. ad infinitum ad nauseum?

                All of which certainly seems to be commonly expressed opinion here (though not uncontested, Thank God) and none of which -- from my foreign perspective at least -- inspires confidence.

                I have a hard time believing that with respect to foreign policy, the Democratic party will be anything more than purveyors of Empire-lite (as they were under Clinton). Is that preferable to the Rethugs? Of course. But in the same way that getting your fingers cut off is preferably to losing the whole hand.

                 

                I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth and I am a citizen of the world -- Eugene Debs

                by dove on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 03:06:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  yes (2.75)
              Maybe I should leave dKos, I am not sure I have anything positive left to do or say.

              Maybe that's a good idea.  I suggest that you redirect all your condescending vituperation and rage toward making things better in your own country.  That would be more productive.

              •  Bullshit. (none)
                Stay.  
              •  I gave you a three... (none)
                ...because maybe be you have something right.

                But it is not reasonable for an American to call an Australian "condescending".  It smackks far too much of hypocrisy.

                I do not see where I have been vituperative.  I do however see where you might think so.  Do not let pain blind you to the truth.

                As for rage, well, I am too old and tired to feel anything like that.  Rage is for the young or the insane.  Old people don't have that kind of energy.

                As for making things better in my own country, well, I do try to do what I can.  Which isn't that much nowadays, but has been enough for me to have a fight keeping "hackers" (funny what they respond too) out of my mailing list server.

                That's about all I can do nowadays.  Last time ('60s) I put my life on the line and nearly lost it.  I lost a lot over it.  Including the affection and respect of my father.  Any idea what consequences there are of "direct disobedience of a military order during wartime"?  I know because I faced them.  

                So criticise me when you have paid your dues as I have, OK?

                But you are correct, the fact that I am too old should not make any difference.  The fact that I have three kids 12-16 should make no difference.  But somehow it does.

                But you are right, "I'm too tired, it is someone else's turn" is not good enough.  So I gave you a three...

                Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

                by Truckle on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:15:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  You're not visible enough! (4.00)
        You must understand that, for the vast majority of the Europeans who, outside of the presidential elections, are not well informed of the US political life, opponents are not visible.  

        Besides, the European mainstream media, as everywhere, tend to relate and comment the Bush administration acts and sayings, but give very little room for the opposition unless there is some spectacular event (like a big demonstration).

        Hence, many people here tend to believe that americans support Bush! And it will go on unless opponents manage to show on the European MSM radar...

        •  Don't cry for us Europeans! (4.00)
          We need and deserve your rage.  Those of us desperately trying to breakout and against the apathy of Americans (should I say superiority of Americans) we need your accusations!

          I feel as if we are all (here in America) holding our breath and waiting for the disaster that is our reward for what we are currently sowing.

          •  European rage won't change things here (4.00)
            In fact, the right-wing talk-show hosts and pseudo-journalists will eagerly use European displeasure with the U.S. to whip up more support for Bush. It's the "He may be a dumbass, but he's our dumbass" mentality. Not defending it; just pointing it out.
            •  I couldn't agree with this more (none)
              Anger toward the USA will only give the loonies here more to scream about. Smart, subtle, long-term diplomacy is needed. I have every confidence Europe can come up with an accomodationist strategy for the next three years.

              The Book of Revelations is not a foreign policy manual.

              by Dont Just Stand There on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:10:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nationalism (none)
              Wow, if you squint at that comment a little bit, you can see one of the main reasons why our policies towards Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and many others are doomed to be ineffective at best.

              "Political skill in the absence of statesmanship is the first act of a tragedy" - Garrison Keillor

              by sfidler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:01:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  We need more European Voices like Jerome's (none)
            This dialog with Jerome has a special feel to it. I like hearing what Europeans have to say, without it coming through an editor's rewrite for corporate media. I like this global dialog. We have much to learn from one another.

            Are we the first pulses of neural activity of a new global consciousness?

            think freely, ask rude questions, find truth

            by Rxtr2 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:05:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I was saying something similar about (4.00)
          how Canadians view the U.S. from seeing CNN (North American version) and the American networks. I have to reassure my Canadian friends and relatives that there are many, many millions of people here in the States who are VERY upset with Bush and that the American TV channels have basically become propaganda outlets.
        •  Stupid fucking Europeans! (none)
          At least, those who allow themselves to be hypnotized and bamboozled by the media.  They have only themselves to blame.  They know that almost half the electorate voted AGAINST Bush.  But they ignore that fact and let loose with the anti-Americanism, because it's fun and makes them feel superior.

          Get over yourselves, Europeans, and concentrate on your own problems - you have plenty of them.  That's what you should really be working on.

      •  yeah melanchthon (4.00)
        i totally agree.

        coming to dkos has revealed what a miracle of intelligence is living in the usa. considering the evil pressing down on you, you yanks are heroes to me, blogging a way forward out of this awful nightmare.

        having a huge monolingual, educated, computer literate public with access to the internet may be the reward and cure for toughing it out through this make-or-break decade for american democracy as we knew it.

        i see it as a healing crisis so severe the patient's life is in danger, and if a country can have a group soul - which i believe - that too is at stake.

        europe is great in many ways, but though there are many wise heads here, there is no phenomenon like dkos; the linguistic regionalisation, while breaking down at a satisfying rate, is still too big an impediment to permit the bubbling, fomenting glory of what happens when millions of page hits on a site can call forth so much brilliant, committed commentary in near realtime.

        it's a wave, and it's infecting us over here in yurp too.

        america is much less isolated than many have been (conveniently for some) brainwashed to believe.

        kossaks care about the rest of the planet, because we realise it's all connected.

        we need to all pull together, and the ideas and thoughts expressed here are a tonic force, no matter where you live.

        if the quality stays as high as it's been for these last couple of years or more, i predict increasing interest from africa and india too, where they have a leg-up on the language, and eventually the rest of asia and points beyond.

        scalability, no problem with that when the foundation is love and respect for all...

        thanks kos

        why? just kos..... *just cause*

        by melo on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:07:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They are right! (4.00)
      We are all at fault and we suck!  We let this happen in our country because we got fat and lazy!  We sat in front of our TV's and went to the mall.  We suck!

      We haven't yet taken to the streets.  I've said this before: Demonstrations are important because they will show the rest of the world that we are not all like the "fucked up Americans."  It will show the rest of the world that we are with them and not the other half of America.

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:51:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Demonstrations (none)
        aren't covered by the media, the numbers always minimized, people in the center don't even see them. I called a friend in Boston and she said demonstrators were blocking Mass Ave. but it didn't make the national media so I saw nothing.

        A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

        by Little Red Hen on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:28:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are so right (none)
        Help us help you. Big demonstrations will definitely be broadcasted here. I do recognize what Jerome is saying. The shooting incident doesn't get me outraged anymore. It just comfirms my opinion about the road America has taken.
        We don't know exactly what caused the shooting incident, and it is possible that it was bad communication or scared kids with machine guns(what are scared kids with machineguns doing in Iraq anyway). But by now we are suspicous of anything this administration does.

        You need to take your country back in order for all of us to live in a peaceful world.

        Bush is destroying your country. There is no patriotisme driving this administration just pure cronyisme. The Bush administration is creating a slave labour force to serve the big corporations.
        The big macs are your bread and the wars are your games.

    •  I am saddened and embarrased to say..... (4.00)
      that you are right in what you say. And just as importantly, I agree with everything you have said.

      It is absolutely shameful what this great country of mine - of ours - has become in just 4 short years. And the next 4 years do not portend well.

      There's a comment down below this that takes a bit of exception to the wording 'stupid fucking americans'. While that term may ordinarily be obnoxious to us Americans, I'm afraid that at this point in time it is an appropriate worldview to have of my country.

      I voted for Kerry and worked to get him elected (actually I worked to get Bush's ass out; I would have voted for Miss Piggy if she was the Dem candidate.) But Bush was re-elected and I am now also painted with the same broad brush of 'stupid american'. It pisses me off - not that this is being said of me, but that this is (reasonably? appropriately? fairly?) said of America in the first place.

      I am not insulted by foreigners calling me a 'stupid fucking american', I am insulted that bushco has caused foreigners to believe that we are all stupid fucking americans.

      The problem lies with bushco, not the foreigners.

      *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

      by clueless on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:34:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had the same... (none)
        initial reaction that you did.

        Then I went back and re-read the diary. I had to put myself into the role of the diarist.

        I didn't like being called a "stupid fucking american".

        I didn't like it, and 49% of this country doesn't like it.  This country is in a transition of power, and we will get the right people back in charge.

        It will happen.  I have several family members that were Bush diehards, and now they are starting to question his policies. (Except for the christian loonies, they think I'm nuts and going to hell and they pray for me..LOL)

        KO

    •  Ton anglais est formidable... (none)
      Je voudrais parler aussi bien francais. Mais je viens a Paris en vacances le 23 Mars!
    •  Jerome, the frustration runs BOTH WAYS. (none)
      Pass this on to your European friends.

      WHY AREN'T YOU DOING MORE TO STOP THIS???

      Who keeps Sylvia Berluscone in power??

      (I know it's not Europe, but...) Who kept PM Howard in power in Australia?  I prayed that Howard would go down so it would help us get rid of Bush.

      And why isn't that asshole Blair gone in Britain?  Why is it that the British complain about this war, but they don't have the balls to get rid of the number one enabler of this madness?

      If you want an example of somebody to admire, look to the Spanish or the French.  But much of the rest of Europe seems to be taking a passive position in all of this when it's their lack of spine that enables what is happening.  They oppose Bush but not enough to REALLY oppose him.  A little help and a little less superior attitude would help a hell of a lot.

      God, I was pissed off about Howard.  And I hear Blair's going to make it again, too.  You know how the Bush team will spin that, don't you?

      So tell your "Fuck America" friends to get off their asses and start saying "Fuck Blair" a little louder.  We need help.

      •  'Get rid of' is a tough job (none)
        When the man you're asking us to get rid of is our Clinton.  What would you have done to get rid of Clinton and his right-wing, war-making, welfare-cutting ways, knowing that the other guy was Pat Buchanan, or George W. Bush?  

        Our other guy is Michael Howard.  Michael Howard!  Yeah, putting him in No. 10 is gonna work out well.  

        •  The third man (none)
          What about the lib dems? They were against this war from the beginning. If I were voting in England I would give Churchill's party my vote.

          Blair is a religious crusader just like Bush.

          •  I may well do exactly that (none)
            But the bottom line has to be keeping the Conservative party out of power, or it would be like voting Nader.  So under what conditions can I vote LibDem with a clear conscience?  

            1) Under the condition that my ward is going to go for one party's candidate no matter what.  In other words:

            • if it will definitely go Tory, I can vote LibDem;
            • if it will definitely go Labour, I can vote LibDem;
            • if it will definitely go LibDem, I can vote LibDem.  
            2) If it may go Tory, and may go LibDem, but definitely won't go Labour

            The point is, under both conditions 1) and 2), nothing I did would lend or deny support to the Labour candidate at all anyway.  My absolute determination not to give the Tories any chance to pick up a seat means that the only circumstances I could vote LibDem are those in which my vote for Labour would not count towards returning a Labour MP to Parliament.  

            Since my ward is Labour and looks to stay that way, option 2) doesn't apply, which is a shame, because a LibDem vote under that circumstance would be a definitely positive action to take.  If I gauge the support for the Labour candidate1 to be strong enough, I may vote LibDem to register a protest.  

            1: he's a new guy, following the deselection by local party members of the odious Iraq War-supporting, "Saddam lover"-accusing incumbent

    •  Murderers (none)
      And the US military reputation is taking a hit too.

      Take the Marines Corp, once viewed as an elite and courageous force. It now looks like a bunch of cowards and murderers. The attack on Fallujah was worthy of the 3rd Reich's Einzatsgruppen,

      Too bad, otherwise I would hope for a military coup to restore democracy in the US.

  •  asdf (none)
    I echo the sentiment from Canada...
    •  Definately (none)
      I hate to say it, but it seems like the average sentiment of Canadians is rapidly turning anti-American rather than anti-Bush. I think most Canadians and Europeans were willing to give America a mulligan on the first stolen Bush win, but to see a majority of voters return the same nutbars to power was too much to swallow...
      •  Please, please! (4.00)
        It was only a small minority.  The smallest ever for an incumbent.  And I, and many others are not convinced that the even the small majority really DID vote for him, but that it was rigged by Diebold and Co.

        "Help him...help the bombardier!" "I'm the bombardier...I'm OK!" "Then help him, help him!"

        by Bulldawg on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:49:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That the election was even "close" (3.83)
          was shameful.

          That few percent wouldn't have made the difference without the other 40-something percent. :(

          10 Apr 2003 WH spokesman Ari Fleischer declares: "... That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence [WMD] will be found."

          by julifolo on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:26:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with julifolo (none)
            When it counted, Kerry didn't press Bush on his record and didn't take a hard enough stand on well, anything. The Kerry campaign let the campaign come to them instead of taking hold of the campaign.

            Democracy for America supporter!

            by Danno11 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:56:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  American voters (4.00)
              should not have needed Kerry to make the case against Bush.  Bush himself made the case against his own administration.  And still he was re-elected.  Don't blame Kerry.  Blame the voters.  Blame your fellow Americans for either being gullible, or ill-informed, or - worse - informed and yet supportive of Bush's neo-fascism.

              Sorry to be harsh, but I think my view is not atypical of other foreign observers of the American scene.  A majority of those voting in the last election cast their ballots for George W. Bush, and then went on to elect a Republican Senate and House.  

              Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

              "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

              by fishhead on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:19:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I blame a couple other things: (3.50)
                1. The media.  Primarily the Foxes, Sinclairs, and Clear Channels that place partisanship over journalism and have seriously misled the American people into a distorted view of reality, and also the rest of the media for letting them get away with it.

                2. A culture that values ignorance and even puts down liberals for being intellectual and actually thinking.

                I've fought, and I'll continue to fight to clear our good name, but it's hard when all our fighting seems to get us is further behind.

                I've seen the reaction from Europe too, I was there a week ago and saw Bush's European tour from their media.  I didn't get as much out of it as I would have liked due to my limited language skill, but protests were prominently covered, as were the draconian security procedures to protect the President, even more than those covered in a Bulgarian press story linked on Kos, including closing an entire car factory for a day because it was in the vicinity of the President's visit.  I also saw a number of man-in-the street interviews on TV, many seemed to not be very friendly toward Bush, although again my limited language skills left me understanding only part of the comments.

                In addition I got a fresh comparison of CNN International with CNN domestic.  I saw the initial coverage of the latest suicide bombing in Israel, initially from CNN International staff, who covered the story in a professional manner, then they switched over to an American anchor for more commentary.  Although it was already clear that this bomber targeted a crowd waiting to get into a nightclub, the CNN American announcer kept harping on how close this was to the American Embassy, could the American Embassy have been the intended target, what about the American Embassy, yadayadayada.

                I'm now back again in the US, although I increasingly feel like just givig up and leaving. The situation seems next to hopeless.  However, as having Bush follow me to Europe reminds me, I can't hide from the neocons, the best thing is to stay and try to fight them.  Besides, as an American in one of these countires, I could become an outlet for the anti-Americanism that results from the policies I'm trying to escape.

                •  But (none)
                  the best thing is to stay and try to fight them.  

                  As Yoda would say "Thee is no try".  Just do it.

                  Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

                  by Truckle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:28:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Any American who opposes Bush (none)
                  gives us hope. I don't feel people are anti-American here. Most Europeans just don't understand your reasoning.

                  Why would you have your country be represented by this obviously intelectual challenged man who has put your country on the brink of an economic disaster, and alienated you from the rest of the world?

                  How is it possible Americans believe their is a connection between homeland security and invading Iraq?

                  Why would you vote for a man that takes away your meager social programs to fatten up his corporate friends?
                  And how in the world can you believe you will benefit by making the rich richer?  

                  I saw a program on a dutch news program showing conditons on skid row. They interviewed a homeless man standing in an alley where some beds were provided for the homeless.
                  The man pointed to the beds and commented how happy he was that he lives in the greatest country in the world. It is this disconnect which baffles us.

                   

                •  Any American who opposes Bush (none)
                  gives us hope. I don't feel people are anti-American here. Most Europeans just don't understand your reasoning.

                  Why would you have your country be represented by this obviously intelectual challenged man who has put your country on the brink of an economic disaster, and alienated you from the rest of the world?

                  How is it possible Americans believe their is a connection between homeland security and invading Iraq?

                  Why would you vote for a man that takes away your meager social programs to fatten up his corporate friends?
                  And how in the world can you believe you will benefit by making the rich richer?  

                  I saw a program on a dutch news program showing conditons on skid row. They interviewed a homeless man standing in an alley where some beds were provided for the homeless.
                  The man pointed to the beds and commented how happy he was that he lives in the greatest country in the world. It is this disconnect which baffles us.

                   

                  •  It's called (none)
                    scaled down expectations and I'm not a psychologist, but I think it has something to do with survival.  You know, the "they haven't come for me yet" mentality.  Yes everything you say, I believe.  My Swedish grandmother was able to keep her home during the depression but my Italian grandmother lost her home.  And if SS goes kaput - I'll lose mine.  People are beginning to go into a fetal mentality -- and the other side is absolutely without shame.  Their allegience isn't to Americans == it's to the corporate class structure.  You know that the chasm of income levels is obscene and growing here.  That is the real problem -- simply put - selfishness.  I read that we now have robot soldier ready to try out.  If that doesn't give the real elites a foot up -- well what would?  Although a great SF novel or short story with the unpopular high school nerd becoming a national hero as he/she defeats the robot army would make great material here.  

                    It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                    by xanthe on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 02:08:10 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I saw something about that robot too (none)
                      It realy scared me. Especially with the neocons in control. Here is their ultimate weapon to reach their goal of world dominance. What would be the interest of the msm to cover a war fought with robots. It realy bothers me when I hear Americans say, that it is better to fight this war on foreign soil then in the US. What oppostion can be found when there is no price to pay for waging a war.  
                      •  Never thought about (none)
                        how Europeans would "hear" that comment about "not on our soil."  Now, of course, it makes total sense that that would highly offend and/or scare Europeans (as well as the rest of the world). Europe's horror is not that long ago, is it?  You must understand that this admin doesn't care about Americans, so why should he care about the rest of the world.  They are corporate citizens, not American citizens.  Their loyalty is to the corporate class.  Their loyalty is not to the dollar (but to whatever is the current big dog currency).  Their money goes wherever it makes more money, not in a sensible capitalist way to work for their people.  Why don't some Americans get that?  I don't know or understand.  I understand that when I was working hard for my family years ago, I had no idea what was going on in the Reagan admin.  Didn't pay attention.  Where the heck was I?  Now I'm reading everything I can get my hands on and my brain is spinning.  Iraq was a real eye opener for me and Fallujah has absolutely turned me hard about these people.  

                        We are paying the price here now economically.  We are paying the price here now culturally.   We're 25th in life expectancy and also way down in new born survival. What does that tell you?  Our health care is in a chaotic mess. The divide in the country is as bad as I've ever seen it.  The lastest divide will be between young workers and the older class in order to privatize SS.  I have to force myself to go to mass this morning for instance because the misguided fascist christians are taking away my taste for organized religion.  But I will go and pray for our country.  SS may be the issue that makes Americans wake up.  I hope so.  I am dispirited but hopeful that will pass and I can become energergized to fight politically.   Remember the Americans you read on these posts -- we know we need to mobilize - that is a start.

                        The robot soldiers probably will be tested here when mass demonstrations continue.  They have some kind of a sound machine now that causes damage to ear drums I've read about for crowd control.  I used to think these would never be used --  Now I have to gird myself before I go to demonstrations...

                                   

                        It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                        by xanthe on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:28:41 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We hear the war drums (none)
                          And it is frightening. Especially when we see the extreme patriotism, the worshipping of the flag. The stupidity of Bush when he uses words like crusade, while we are struggeling here to build a society where our large muslim community can live in a peaceful coexistence with the non muslim population. It is frightening to read the neocon manifest and realize that world dominiation is what this administrations is striving for. We need to work together on this. Europe should wake up and ring the alarm bell and Americans like the ones at dailykos should do the same.    
                          •  Yes, I'd forgotten (none)
                            that you are struggling as well with cultural complexities.  None of these events are easy to explain or solve.  But intelligence and an open mind, as well as tolerance on all sides is what is needed  -- not uber patriotism. Americans tend to forget Europe is dealing daily with cultural divides.  We are all in this together.  The fault lies at the top because it gives simplistic answers to perhaps the most complex questions with which world citizens have had to deal.  And that is comforting to the blind.  Speaking of which the gospel today is stunning in its relevance.  It is about the blind man cured by Christ and the manouevers by the Pharisees afterward.   Essentially -- do not look at what appears to be the truth - especially do not let those in power reveal their truth as the way.  It is not.  Open your eyes!

                            I am sorry we are frightening you - but we are frightened as well.  If there is a draft, watch out! I am going out later to plant some Dutch bulbs - tulips and iris -- I'll plant them in your honor.    

                            It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                            by xanthe on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:42:10 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hope they will brighten your backyard (none)
                            It always feels good to have a nice exchange across the atlantic. That gives me more hope then any Bush visit can ever accomplish.
                          •  Oh, I preached on this today (none)
                            What a long Gospel reading!  I can e-mail you the sermon if you like - it got a lot of good feedback.

                            "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                            by fishhead on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:04:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you a clergyman/woman? (none)

                            It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                            by xanthe on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 04:41:08 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm an Anglican priest (none)

                            "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                            by fishhead on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:20:01 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do I call you Father? (none)
                            Do you like the british author, Barbara Pym? She has written about Anglican priests. I'd love to see your sermon but I don't give my email out.  I don't think it's on Kos?  I hope not.   Did I get the gist of the sermon?  My favorite gospel is the woman at the well?  I fell in love with Jesus thru this small scene.  He does not give her a pass --no but he is wise and warm.  And he is certainly not naive.  Of course, you can guess a little about any woman who likes this story.  Is your church well attended?  Did you read Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin or the sequel, (can't think of title) about Anglican American priests - one of whom is a woman.  Please read if you have not.  Send blessings my way today if you get a chance.  I am a Roman Catholic, trained by the Catholic nuns in chicago during late 40s and thru 50s.  Best thing my parents ever did for me.  Good, good women. Also, attending an all girls school in highschool is probably responsible for my strong feminist leanings.    

                            It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                            by xanthe on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 09:43:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sermon (none)
                            You certainly have my prayers and blessing.  BTW, some folks call me father, some don't - I'm sure it's the same in the RC Church.

                            Since I doubt anyone's still posting on this thread, I've reproduced my sermon in its entirity.  Enjoy!

                            You've all seen me after worship wearing my cassock.  Well, I'm a bit of an odd duck, I suppose, but my excuse is that I'm from Victoria.  We're a bit traditional over there.  Indeed, I clearly recall as a child that I never saw our rector, Archdeacon Jones, without his cassock.  If he possessed a pair of legs, it was a matter of pure speculation.  Then my family went up to stay in a beach-side cabin at a resort near Parksville, and who should have a cabin down the way but the archdeacon and his wife?  The sight of our rector in an Adirondack chair sunning himself in his swimming trunks was probably about as dismaying to me as the sight of parishioners holidaying at the same resort was to him.

                            Well, things have loosened up a bit since then. But when I was a curate at St. James' the expectation was still that the clergy would wear their cassocks while in the church precincts.  I can still remember an occasion, on my day off, running into a parishioner while walking downtown.  She is someone who expresses herself totally without guile, and seeing me dressed in my baggy jeans, hooded sweatshirt, and backwards-facing baseball cap, she exclaimed, wide-eyed, "Father, you look just like a sixteen year old!"  Yes, indeed, I was transported for a moment back to that beach in Parksville, circa 1972.

                            Appearances can be deceptive.  The way we choose to appear sends signals to others about what we're like, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.  And sometimes deception is the reason why we choose to appear to others the way that we do.  It is amazing how well a person can be armoured in fashion or in a uniform so that what people see is not you, but an idea.  If the average person saw me walking down the street towards them in my black clericals, they would pull out a mental recipe card called "priest," with a list of attributes and beliefs written on it - and that would be who I was to them.  The psychologist Carl Jung called these recipe cards "archetypes" - a generic image which predispose us to see things and people in certain ways, to have certain emotional experiences, and to engage in certain kinds of behaviour.

                            The unreliability of appearances is a theme running through today's readings.  Consider Samuel.  He is called by God to anoint one of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem to succeed Saul.  But neither Samuel, that great priest and prophet, nor the father of the eight boys could possibly imagine that the most unlikely son, the youngest, the sheep-tender, would be chosen king over Israel.  But God saw beyond David's appearance to perceive the heart of a warrior and a leader.
                            Even more telling is the Gospel account of the man cured of his blindness - a story so elegantly constructed by the author.  The blindness here is both physical and spiritual.  The healing itself is related with an almost startling brevity.  Rather, what is important here is the interrogations.  Throughout the narrative, the man obtains true sight - insight, if you will - with ever-deepening clarity.  Confronted by his neighbours, the man simply says that the healer was "the man they call Jesus."  In a preliminary investigation by the Pharisees, he allows that this man "is a prophet."  Under a more searching interrogation, the man does not shrink from his growing awareness, rather he confesses that his healer is a man who is "from God," and finally when Jesus himself questions him, he proclaims that Jesus is the "Son of Man."

                            Contrast this with the Pharisees, who become blinder and blinder.  They begin by accepting the healing, though some express distress over the fact that it occurred on the Sabbath.  But by the end of the interrogation of the man they have tried to deny he ever was blind, they vilify him, and they drive him out.  The moral is stated succinctly by Jesus to the cured man:  "I came into the world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind."

                            Throughout the stories of Jesus handed down to us by the evangelists, we are constantly confronted with misunderstandings of who Jesus is and what his coming into the world represents.  Even the apostles themselves, even Peter, cannot recognize the true nature of the messiah and his mission.  They and the Pharisees have these recipe cards in their heads filed under "M" for "messiah," complete with a list of what the descendent of David will look like (kingly), where he'll be from (David's ancestral city), what he will accomplish (the restoration of Israel's glory days), and what his legacy will be (the vanquishing of Israel's enemies).  

                            When Jesus doesn't live up to the archetype, the Pharisees don't throw out the recipe card - rather, they deny that Jesus is who he is.  But Jesus is the great healer of the blind, and the disciples and the ones who through their faith are healed will come to a gradual, and thus deeper knowledge of him.  It may take a cross and an empty tomb, but they will come to understand.  In the same way, the light of faith opens our eyes to the evil and oppression - the spiritual and physical violence - visited upon millions daily, sometimes in the name of God but always with a disregard for the true nature of Jesus Christ.  And if you cannot understand the true nature of Jesus Christ, you will never understand the true nature of discipleship.

                            Part of the true nature of discipleship is to be honest before God and before one another.  It is one of the hardest things about discipleship, since it first requires us to be honest with ourselves.  After all, just as others have recipe cards about us, we have them about ourselves.  Our own recipe card, the archetype we present to the world, Jung called our "persona."  The persona is a kind of mask for who we really are.  There are very few people before whom we are prepared to stand unselfconsciously naked.  There are even fewer before whom we will stand emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually naked.  Is it not the case, in fact, that many times we won't even stand that way before ourselves, before our own consciences?  

                            We need to take seriously Jesus' diagnosis that we are the walking wounded - wounded by countless hurts inflicted on us by others and - yes - by ourselves, wounded by the suffering that is a part of life.  We often nurse the wounds by wounding others, alienating us even further from God.  We traffic in deception.  We deceive ourselves and others if we do not see ourselves as the wounded and the wounding.  And seeing this is the first step in healing.  Amongst other things, Lent is a season which invites us to see, to allow Jesus to heal us of our blindness so that we may overcome the deception of appearances.  Lent is a season which casts into sharp relief the woundedness of God tormented on the cross, as well as the woundedness of the human soul.  But it also is a season which points to the healing of the soul made possible by the resurrection of the One who is Life and Love.  As we continue our Lenten journey, I invite you to open your hearts to God in confession, true repentance, and amendment of life.  And as we are healed, may we each see beyond the façades and into the heart of Christ dwelling within every human soul.  Amen.

                            "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                            by fishhead on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 02:52:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Father, (none)
                            Thank you for posting this lovely homily.  An appropriate theme for today's event.  And like all of the gospels, deceptively simple.  The older and more experienced I become, the more the gospels sing to me. Still more people than ever "believe in iron."  (From a wonderful poem by Yusef Komanyakaa "Believing in Iron.")  Your parishioners are most fortunate to have you in the pulpit.  

                            It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                            by xanthe on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:42:21 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Ignorance and pride (none)
                    Whether willful or not, I think ignorance is the biggest reason.  For most Americans, after working 50-60 hours a week and taking care of their children, there isn't much time to go and find a variety of news sourced other than the nightly TV news.  If that news station's parent company has intrests which coincide with the Bush admin, what do you think the message will be?

                    On a deeper level, there is pride.  Part of this results in a stubborness to refuse we are wrong and to stick to our guns in the hope that things will turn around.  Also, Americans are raised to believe we are living in the greatest country on earth.  So the homeless man on your news broadcast, who grew up with this idea and who sees no information about other nations, will have the idea that he is okay.  After all (by his logic), if the US the greatest country in the world, even at its worst, it still has to be better than anywhere else.

                    •  I thin your analysis is correct (none)
                      It just seems so Orwellian to see this guy proclaiming his good fortune.    
                    •  There is ignorance, pride, denial. (none)
                      Pride and denial are powerful things... It's very hard to admit you were wrong when you've spent $200 billion and counting, lost 1,500 of your own troops, killed countless others, and turned practically the entire world's public opinion against you, and found none of the things you went to war for.

                      To the Europeans credit, I did not encounter any anti-Americanism in my last visit, though I wonder how much more of this administration's behavior they can take.

                      I hope, and fear, that the Bush administration is beginning to learn on foreign policy that it can't go it alone (this kiss and make up tour of Europe gives me hope), my biggest fear for the next term is no longer foreign policy, but collapse of the dollar due to fiscal policy that they haven't yet learned their lesson on.

                      I have seen more frank and accurate descriptions of America on foreign media, for example the plight of the homeless, than I've ever seen on American media.  I'm afraid America's profit and ratings driven media has too many incentives to tell people only what they want to hear.

                      So, I have to blame both the American media and Americans themselves for what we've done to ourselves.

                      I'm afraid we do have to many people like this:

                      •  It never felt so clear to me (none)
                        of how far Europe and the US have grown apart as during Bush's visit. The conclusion here was that we all agreed to disagree and then turned our backs toward each other and continue on our own paths.

                        I don't think you will encounter anti-Americanism here at a very large scale. The people here that are very anti Bush are usualy well informed and capable to distinguish the individual from the adminstration. You will always be welcome in Amsterdam as far as I am concerned.    

          •  Seconded. (3.50)
            In any halfway sane universe, W would have gotten no more than 30% or so of the vote in any state, and we would have had the first unanimous Electoral College decision since George Washington.

            You will see light in the darkness. You will make some sense of this.

            by ColoRambler on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:20:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Gave you a four for the uncalled for one (none)
          This guy just goes around doling out ones.
    •  me too n/t (none)

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:43:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (none)
      I echo the sentiment from Texas!

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:52:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't sign on (none)
      This diary is very theatrical and dramatic. I wasn't sure how to respond at first. But now, I have to say, this is not my view. I continue to believe that reasonable people will prevail. Yours hopefully, rp

      Myths and legends die hard in America. --Hunter S Thompson

      by peterborocanuck on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:05:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do not give up (4.00)
    Do not give up for the sake of sanity in the rest of the world.  Keep holding up the mirror and shout it from the roof tops.
    •  Shot at check point? NO (none)
      Apparently she and the secret service man weren't even shot at a checkpoint but by a patrol.

      More random killing we probably would never have heard about if it hadn't been someone high profile in the car.

      War to bring peace, yeah, right. Great idea. Wonder why we don't do it more often.

      •  Exact quote (none)
        Source (and I've seen it other places):

         Sgrena told Rome prosecutors Franco Ionta and Pietro Saviotti that the shots didn't come from soldiers standing at a checkpoint.

        ``It wasn't a checkpoint, but a patrol that started shooting after pointing some lights in our direction,'' the Ansa news agency cited Sgrena as telling the prosecutors. ``We hadn't previously encountered any checkpoint and we didn't understand where the shots came from.''
      •  More (none)
        "Sgrena told colleagues the vehicle was not travelling fast and had already passed several checkpoints on its way to the airport. The Americans shone a flashlight at the car and then fired between 300 and 400 bullets at if from an armoured vehicle. Rather than calling immediately for assistance for the wounded Italians, the soldiers' first move was to confiscate their weapons and mobile phones and they were prevented from resuming contact with Rome for more than an hour."

        source

  •  uh (none)
    Your poll doesn't mention "cheese-eating."  Is this an anti-american oversight?  On a more serious note, we're almost as powerless as you in the face of all-Republican rule all the time.  

    But no excuses--we can't give up hope.  And neither should you. This too shall pass.

    "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

    by markymarx on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:15:26 PM PST

    •  If 49 million (3.50)
      Americans decided to storm the capitol next week and kick out the congressmen and women, and decide that Barbara Boxer was going to be our president, no one would be able to stop us. They would have to nuke D.C. in order to prevent it.
      •  If only... (4.00)
        Yeah, and if only the cameras were there to photograph the evil monkeys flying out of Dick Cheney's ass.  

        Until then, there's plenty to do.  We've got key federal battles like social security, stopping the next senseless war and preventing Bush's worst court appointments; state and local politics; and long term, rebuilding the left from the bottom up. Grab a shovel and start digging brother.

        "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

        by markymarx on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:33:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What I also find ironic about this is... (4.00)
        how the Bushite government would react to us if 49 million of us did anything like this, or even just staged a massive protest.

        The Bushpanzee gets all misty-eyed and sentimental when he talks about the latest "People-Power Revolution" (i.e. "The Cedar Revolution", "The Orange Revolution", "The Rose Revolution")...

        Heh.  Yeah.  If we all gathered in massive numbers like that in the capital, it would hardly be seen as "People Power"!  Bushie would immediately scream "INSUBORDINATE UPRISING!!" and proceed to direct the cops to gas us all, throw giant nets over everyone and haul all our asses into giant warehouses for 'processing'!

        YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

        by molls on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:45:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's see a massive demonstration (none)
          as a "Focus Group."
        •  It's too cold for that right now (none)
          Can we postpone it till the spring or summer when the weather is warm? A massive protest in DC would warm my heart to no end. That Americans are vocal about our democracy or lack thereof would be amazing. But, let's wait till the weather gets warm. ok?
        •  As I have pointed out (4.00)
          This type of democracy would never be excepted in America:


          From "Should Bush Resign?"

          If 40 000 democrats or Anti-government American's took to the streets of Washington and demanded Bush resign would this be a sign of democracy in America?

          ...

          It seems rather hypocritical to me that this method of "revolution" is praised in the Ukraine and in Georgia and to a lesser extent Lebanon but if the same were to happen in America surely it would be an act of war or treason; even more so if it were funded by foreigners!

          Diary here

        •  Actually, with a really huge demonstration, (none)
          or something like a general strike, they could hardly ignore it. It would have to reach a certain size. We are not there yet. When the economic crisis continues to deepen, I think the demonstrations will start to get very large. I can only hope they do. But meanwhile, we can do all we can to provide the explanatory framework for why we are going into an economic crisis to begin with. Also, we have to make the creeping fascism a big issue.
          •  I have to wonder what will happen (none)
            when the working class finds out about the games Rick Santorum's bill is playing with overtime or that the same bill would make it possible for tip-earing employees to work for nothing except tips!

            Maybe receiving Social Security seems too far away for many to worry about it and bankruptcy a problem for someone else, but Santorum's bill is going to hit home with an awful lot of working folks!  Surely that news won't be received quietly!

      •  AMEN (none)
        Now you're talking!  I'm ready.

        The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

        by TXsharon on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:53:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So do it (n/t). (none)

        Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

        by Truckle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:30:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Europe can take counteraction (none)
    Rather than waiting, the major European states could sell modern antitank and antiaircraft weapons to states threatened with a loss of peace.  That's "sell" not "threaten to sell".

    You cannot launch an offensive with AT and AAA missiles.  They are defensive weapons.

    The same is true of modern, indetectible land mines.

    Remote control milgrade detonators also come to mind.

    •  You suggesting selling arms to N. Korea .et al? nt (none)

      If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he be angry or laugh, there will be no rest - Proverbs 29:9

      by Croatoan on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:59:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a mad... (none)
        ...serial killer on the loose. Extra protection for self-preservation should be every country's first priority.
        •  Thomas Paine (none)
          in Thoughts on Defensive War, wrote:

          Whoever considers the unprincipled enemy we have to to cope with, will not hesitate to declare that nothing but arms or miracles can reduce them to reason and moderation.  They have lost sight of the limits of humanity.  The portrait of a parent red with the blood of her children is a picture fit only for the galleries of the infernals.

          From the House of Commons the troops of Britain have been exhorted to fight, not for the defence of the natural rights, not to repel the invasion of the insult of enemies; but on the vilest of all pretences, gold.  'Ye fight for solid revenue' was vociferated in the House.  Thus America must suffer because she has something to lose.  Her crime is property.  That which allures the Highwayman has allured the ministry under a gentler name.

          But the position laid down by Lord Sandwich, is a clear demonstration of the justice of defense arms.  The American, quoth this Quixote of modern days, will not fight; therefore we will.  His Lordship's plan when analized amounts to this: these people are either too superstitiously religious, or too cowardly for arms; they either cannot or dare not defend; their property is open to any one who has the courage to attack them.  Send but your troops and the prize is ours.  Kill a few and take the whole.

          Thus the peaceable part of mankind will be continually over-run by the vile and abandoned while they neglect the means of self defence.  The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.  The balance of power is the scale of peace.

          The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not others dare not lay them aside.  And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up.  Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong.  The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.

    •  uh (none)
      If Europe wants to take the lead, should't it be talking about preventing further nuclear proliferation, rather than encouraging it, as the Bush administration has been doing?

      "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

      by markymarx on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:36:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  whoah (none)
      i don't believe you just suggested proliferation of landmines, not to mention proliferation of landmines against U.S. troops.  Not to mention proliferation of undetectable landmines against U.S. troops.  

      I understand your feeling--a real desire to protect sovereign nations--but that really horrifies me.

      "Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers." --Susan Sontag

      by spoooky on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  umm (none)
      arms buildups are bad, even if its defensive.  remember how wwI started, no not that prince or whatever getting killed, the political situation in europe/russia.  there was huge arms buildups before, and some really bad sets of alliances behind the whole thing.

      Take your message out to the streats. We own the truth, tell it and get others to do the same. -- myself

      by Hari Rothstein on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:04:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  please don't even go there (none)
      it'd just compound and perpetuate the problem.

      it's over, this whole issue of trying to take the planet hostage through force.

      you don't think the good folks at carlyle etc. aren't drooling with pleasure to hear your point of view?

      yuck, more arms to try and scare suicidal psychopaths with.

      my planet extinguishing weapon is bigger and more godly than yours...

      puhleeeze

      why? just kos..... *just cause*

      by melo on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:27:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (4.00)
    I'm waiting for all the facts before I make a judgement.

    I heard the soldiers gave warnings to the car which it either misunderstood or ignored and that is why they fired on the vehicle.

    If I gave a car warnings to stop and I didn't and I thought it was going to blow me up, I'd be apt take offensive action too.

    We shouldn't be so quick to judge until all the facts are out and explored.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein.

    by GregNYC on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:18:47 PM PST

    •  Something Almost Nobody Has Discussed (none)
      What's the background of the driver?  Was he, as you would expect from the intellegence agents, a skilled driver capable of evasive actions but also able to recognize when not to expose oneself to undue risk?  Was he capable of staying calm?  Was he jittery?  Did he know his way around and know how to respond to American troops waving him down at night?  

      Maybe he was good at all these things and nothing he did or didn't do mattered in the outcome.  But those questions should be part of the fact-sorting that's being done.  It may be that the troops were wrong to do what they did, it may be that the driver screwed up, and--as I think is quite possible and maybe even probable--it could be some combination of those and other factors that created this incident.  

    •  I don't think it will matter, though. (none)
      We've already lost the PR war on this one.  It could turn out that it was perfectly legitimate.  However, I think it's tapping into a vein of not-so-latent America-hatred, as we can see by Jerome's words.  I think it's too late to put the genie back in the bottle.

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:57:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the thing (4.00)
      and I think part of the diarist's point. The facts don't matter.  The U.S. has messed up diplomacy so much in the last few years, not only with the war, but how Bush basically handles ANYTHING internationally, that even if the troops were 100% innocent, the worst will always be assumed about the United States. That's the legacy that Bush has left us with.  

      There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

      by SairaLV on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:07:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the source (none)
      You "heard"  that from the Pentagon ...

      repeated verbatim by network TV outlets who don't care about the truth, and other smarter people like Juan Cole who should know better.

    •  I disagree - this event is representative (3.77)
      The poster has good reason to be angry.  In this particular instance, we simply knew the person beforehand.  How many others (thousands?) have been killed in a similar manner by trigger-happy soldiers?  I am irate because this war has been a travesty.  

      Hundreds of thousands of people protested around the world before the American troops invaded - but Bush and his henchmen went ahead anyway - supported by a pack of lies that they told Americans and the rest of the world.  The nonsense about weapons of mass destruction were lies plain and simple.  I don't believe that our intelligence forces could have gotten it so wrong. Misinformation was forged and planted and when it was revealed as forgeries and bullshit, despite the protests Bush went ahead...

      He was warned that there were not enough troops to keep the peace - but he went ahead anyway - and the result was that civilization lost thousands (tens of thousands?) of priceless relics of our earliest human heritage... Despite the warnings Bush went ahead.

      He was warned that there would be a resistance - but he ignored it and tried to suppress the population with torture and threats and bullying and eventually the destruction and evacuation of an entire city... bush went ahead.

      He was told that there would be civilian casualties - but instead of accounting for the dead, it became official policy to ignore the body count - leave it up to others to estimate or guess at.  How many taxi drivers have been killed?  We only hear about the families shot while taking pregnant women to the hospital - or other freak "accidents".

      Now throughout this whole sordid affair, Americans have sat back and made excuses for "bad intelligence" because it was more convenient than believing that they were complicit in a fraud.  Americans have applauded the bravery of the troops as they stormed with the heaviest tanks ever built over against enemy foot soldiers hiding behind doorways.  Americans have applauded phony rescues of wounded soldiers simply because no real heroes were to be found.  Americans have cheered while the government staged fake rallies to tear down totem statues.  Americans have relished in sham construction projects while tens of billions of dollars have been wasted or filtered off into the pockets of war profiteers.

      I think the evidence is in.  

      This latest killing was not simply a freak occurrence.  It was the probable outcome of an ill-conceived policy that was forced on the American public and the rest of the world.  Americans have made excuses.  They have looked the other way.  They have accepted the lies and have patted themselves on the back for being the savior of the Middle East.  And if you believe that, maybe you should move there.

      Congregamus ergo sumus.

      by biotecchie on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:48:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're going to hear the same answers- (none)
      -and bogus ones, I might add, as were offered up after a bunch of W's boys opened fire on that family car- remember the picture of the little girl with her parents' blood and brains splattered all over her? ANd what did we ever hear about that? Just more equivocation, disengenuous excuse-making. Bullshit. All of it.

      Someone upthread said there's a serial killer on the loose- and it's true. We sent that killer out the door with their sack lunch, a peck on the cheek, and a "You be a good boy now..." though the gore from the last killing is still under the fingernails.

      It makes me sick. All of it.

      "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

      by Lainie on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:25:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stupid. (4.00)
      I'm waiting for all the facts before I make a judgement.

      And how are you in a position to separate fact from fiction?

      I heard the soldiers gave warnings to the car which it either misunderstood or ignored and that is why they fired on the vehicle.

      Not good enough by a long shot.

      If I gave a car warnings to stop and I didn't and I thought it was going to blow me up, I'd be apt take offensive action too.

      And you would be just as guilty of murder too.  If they can't set up a proper check point they shouldn't be there.  

      This isn't just about pulling the trigger, it is about allowing the situation to exist.  About allowing themselves to be placed in that position.

      If someone shoots at you and you shoot back it is self defence, right?  So why do you have a crime of felony murder?

      Every soldier over there must know by now that it is illegal, that they do not actually even have the right to defend themselves unless in full retreat to the border.  In your terms it is felony murder.

      The ones who shot up the Italians have even less excuse.  They are not even competent to set up a set up a safe (or minimal risk) checkpoint.

      You have 150 thousand loose cannons in Iraq, not troops, loose cannons.

      Don't try and tell me about highly trained and disciplined.  The idiots can't even set up a checkpoint.

      We shouldn't be so quick to judge until all the facts are out and explored.

      Weaseling.  Even if the Italian driver did everything wrong, this should not have happened.

      There are the quick and the dead.  The US (democracy) is dead.

      Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

      by Truckle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:50:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The last time we heard (none)
      ... about a situation like this, it came with pictures of a four year old girl covered in her parents blood. These things will happen in war. There is no way around it. That is why war should be the absolute last resort not a base grab for oil and land against a country with no ties to 9/11, not ties to Osama Bin Laden, and no WMD.

      I don't diparage the soldiers (I served in the USAF for 9 years). I disparage the corrupt administration that sent them into this war.

      Pictures from Tal Afar: http://tinyurl.com/5se9t

      I really wish these photos could get wider distribution.

  •  But America is part of the (none)
    international community, doncha know?
  •  Hows about posting this over at Free Republic (4.00)
    instead. Maybe someone could read it before its zapped.

    This community is doing the best we can. the sentiments expressed on this board and by half the country (or more) are not, as you may have noticed, representative of our government. I personally dont need your pity as yet, and I think I speak for all of DKos when I say that we are keenly, KEENLY aware of the creeping fascism here. Its difficult being an American these days.

    In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

    by ablington on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:20:26 PM PST

    •  heh, wouldn't work... (none)
      They (FR) don't like swearing, it makes them feel dirty (unlike pissing on Middle Easterners and poor people).

      In Afghanistan, they call them the Taliban. Here, we call them Republicans

      by ragnark on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:34:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  pardon me... (3.66)
    but I think the most on point thing you said is this:

    "I'll be the first to acknowledge that the facts are not yet clear"

    -let's try to get to the bottom of things before we go around slandering a whole country.

    I blog here (music) because man cannot live on politics alone!

    by jdavidson2 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:22:09 PM PST

    •  Hasn't Karl schooled you yet? (4.00)
      With all due respect, the facts are almost irrelevant due to the context of the event.  Perception weighs heavy and the perception of the US is extremely negative.  One could make an argument that the US is responsible for this incident merely by virtue of being there on marginal grounds.  If we weren't there, there would be no American checkpoints from which to receive fire at all.

      A moment of resistance; a lifetime of capitulation.

      by lapin on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:29:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "marginal" is generous (none)
        I think, but I agree with you.  It doesn't matter if it was a mistake or not, we shouldn't be there for this kind of event to happen.  

        That being said, when we've pushed someone as generous and amiable as Jerome to this level of despair, I can only guess how the rest of the world sees us.  Well, strike that, I know how the rest of the world sees us.  

        Clearly, there's lots of work to do....

    •  The "facts" were in last November (4.00)
      We didn't need an international incident to realize that at least 51% of Americans are either (take your choice): 1) batshit crazy; 2) Stupid as fuck; 3) both of the above.
      •  if the post... (4.00)
        were directed only at those 51% I probably wouldn't have responded.

        I'd also add another option that may represent a small, very small percentage - i.e. the percentage we need back in the D column in '08 - and that would be 4) good people who just got duped.

        I blog here (music) because man cannot live on politics alone!

        by jdavidson2 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:40:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I go back and forth (4.00)
          between wanting to be charitable and think that some people were in fact "duped" ... and the realization that even if they were duped, that could only happen because they were criminally -- yes, criminally -- irresponsible in using their right to vote. It didn't take an Einstein to see that Bush was the worst and most incompetent president we've had in our lifetimes.
          •  I understand the back and forth... (4.00)
            I really do.  That's why I said a "small percentage.."  And, I think if you think about some people who were in many ways understandably scared out of their wits by the propaganda after 9/11, combined with frankly overall poor Kerry candidacy/campaign I can see why a few folks slipped the other way.

            I blog here (music) because man cannot live on politics alone!

            by jdavidson2 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:53:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  But he has that nice guy image (none)
            that makes people want to have a beer with him. Kerry did not have it.

            I'm serious. Populism matters

            The parts of the Bible on greed and gluttony are optional. Oh, and those on bigotry and hypocrisy too.

            by Joe B on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:32:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sorry but (none)
              i'm so sick of that line.  i didn't want to have a beer with him.  i still don't.  he makes my skin clawl. he's a proven cretin.  and if people really prefer his "image" and base their voting decisions on something so facile, then they don't deserve the democracy they were born into.

              theo-con republicans: fear democracy, smear patriots, loathe paper trails

              by tsurube on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:16:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Beer (none)
              I'd much prefer to have a glass of wine with Kerry.  I don't particulary care for beer (well, maybe once a year when it is extremely hot) and I sure as shit don't care for Bush.  I've met a loss of losers like him in my life.  
            •  If populism matters (none)
              then you deserve Bush.  I'm sorry, but governance is not an exercise in tabloid entertainment.  Why is it that the US finds it so necessary to find some regular beer-swilling, barbecue basting, "howdy, how y'all doin'?" type good ol' boy to administer the executive branch of government?  Is that really the vital skill necessary for the job?

              Like I said, if the electorate is that shallow and stupid, they deserve what they get.  If the USA was a podunk little South Pacific country, no one would care.  But it isn't.  Pity the rest of the world has to suffer as a result.

              "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

              by fishhead on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:28:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well if I was drinking beer with Bush (none)
              He'd probably say something so asinine that I would want to just pop him in the jaw.

              Now a beer with Dean, Clark, Conyers, TedKen, Jeffords, Kinky Friedman, Earle, Hightower, Schweitzer or Molly Evans (to start the list) would be a great thing.  Even those who say that Kerry wouldn't be drinking beer - I care to differ.  I would love to get to know the gruff John Fuckin Kerry and hear his dirty jokes and off-colour stories along with the stories of taking the bastards on.  Without his image straightjacketeers he's a guy I can picture just popping back a couple cold ones, and tossin the peanut shells on the floor.

              "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

              by Thor Heyerdahl on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:50:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  51% of voters (4.00)
        are not 51% of Americans.  Unfortunately.

        "Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?" Joseph Heller, Catch-22

        by wozzle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:46:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Crazy, Stupid, Good, Evil (none)
        Unfortunately, it isn't that easy. If only I could agree that 51% (or whatever the real figure is once all the voter fraud is taken into account) were either crazy, evil, stupid etc.

        You folks are in deep shit. This is worse than McCarthy.

        No the "51%" were not crazy, evil, nor necessarily stupid. To try to bring a wider view point on it here is something to ponder:

        Communist revolutionaries believe(d) that one engages in guerilla war to make the covert fascism of the state overt. Then the masses will all rise up and lead to the glorious dictatorship of the proletariat. There are a few problems with this theory. A big one is that the masses when faced with the overt fascism of the state and the overt totalitarianism of communist revolutionaries either do noting or actively choose the state. Bin Laden's attack radically strengthened the state. People voted for safety, security, comfort, and conformity. You want to know who your neighbours are and you want them to be just like yourself. They are desperately reaching out to maintain their crumbling world view. I don't know - fortress America, Good America, and most important Safe America - a land untouched by it's enemies. WWI WWII Vietnam, Korea - all happened somewhere else. (That they will not get what they voted for is a very different issue.) I don't have answers. I wish I did. I do know you are going to have to walk a mile in their shoes before figuring anything out though.

        •  I wish someone would address this (4.00)
          with a diary of its own. Maybe I will.

          You apparently don't live in the U.S? Your second paragraph is a good example of how the last election was spun in both the so-called liberal and the center-right media. In years past, I would have thought much the same. But actually living in the U.S., seeing everyday how ugly many -- most? -- of my compatriots have become, I can't buy this line anymore. The truth is, that 51% who voted for Bush love war, hate diplomacy, revel in the terror and awe of a superpower pummeling a third-world country, and think nothing is more fun than watching gays, single women and Moslems get put down, where they belong.

          If there's a subtle distinction between "evil" and all this, I'd love to hear it.

          •  Trying to get back to US (4.00)
            I am an American who has spent years working throughout Eastern Europe helping build democracy here, but now realize that it is time to return home to rebuild democracy there back in the US.  Trouble is... my husband is not American.  He watches the European news and is completely overwhelmed by the notion that America is a strange and frightful place under this administration.  He has been to the US a number of times, first during the Clinton years when his impression was quite favorable. He has been during the Bush years, but refuses to go too often.  As an outsider, he said that there is a definite difference in how people react to one another -- and to him as a foreigner.  When I return from time to time, the U.S. has become as foreign to me as foreign countries once were.  I feel screaming that this is not what America is, but realize that we have all let it become so.  We need stronger activists, more visionaries -- Dean is a good start, and more practicians -- Kos is another good start.  But we need to build quickly and efficiently.  Am happy that those of you are starting on this already and am trying to beat my way back to the U.S. to join the fight.
    •  It's not slandering. (4.00)
      Jerome is expressing a general feeling of despair. Which I'm sure you are familiar with: how did you feel the day after the election? That's the feeling he's conveying here.
    •  The facts are clear: (4.00)
      Nicola Calibari is dead, Giuliana Sgrena injured.  Perhaps the shooting was accidental, but the American presence is Iraq is not.  We are there on a lie.  
    •  The point is... (4.00)
      ...that this incident - whatever the true story actually is - confirms the emerging view in "Old" Europe that Americans are out of control.

      To be clear: This incident didn't create that view in Europe, but it does help solidify it - along with many other incidents.

      •  Exactly (4.00)
        This is, sadly, another drop in a very big bucket.  There are reasons that this and this exist.  People were giving us the benefit of the doubt.  But as our government's sins grow, the world's generosity dissipates.

        Freepers would argue that we're idiots and socialists for caring what the rest of the world thinks of us.  Of course this is terribly short-sighted, but it wouldn't be the first time they've been accused of that.

        We can only apologize for so long.

      •  Bush is truly a uniter and not a divider (none)
        European governments were initially divided on the issue of war in Iraq (the actual people were not, Europeans universally opposed the war). Rumsfeld famously divided Europe into new and old. As a kossack pointed out Europe is now Europe classic. All European governments are furious with the Administration for a whole spectrum of reasons ranging from Iraq to Kyoto to economic policy.

        Basically, there is no 'old' Europe any more. You are right to say that "the incident confirms the emerging view in Europe [and I would add, the rest of world] that Americans are out of control."

        The roots of both pro- and anti-Americanism are deep and respectable. The current US administration took an axe to the pro-American roots pretty much as soon as it was elected [appointed].

        This bizarre story (whatever the facts turn out to be, it is a bizarre story [tin foil hat idea time- the insurgents gamed the Americans into shooting at their former hostage]) is just another chip of wood flying off to join a growing pile.

        When will we cry timber!!!? I don't know, its an awfully big and old tree but that's a really sharp axe you've got there, George.

        Thinking dangerous thoughts in the birthplace of democracy

        by Athenian on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:25:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A small illustration (4.00)
          When Clinton was in Denmark in 1998, it was completely crazy. People wanted to cheer him, the government was proud to have him, the streets were full.

          If Bush visited today, he'd be run out of town.

          Friendships die quickly when one side doesn't give a damn anymore.

          •  Sigh - I was in Copenhagen when he visited (none)
            I remember being a party and a couple of the partyers were at the speech - the town was just packed with people, balloons and happy feelings.

            I was riding a bike through Copenhagen and at a light when the motorcade came through.  Had I been on the other side I would have seen Clinton's face in the limo - all I saw was the back of his head.  Today, if I was so close I would likely be caged in Gitmo.

            Keep fighting for good.  The world has the progressive's back (or realizes though the Dems are by no means perfect, the GOP insanity bubble has to stop here and now!).

            "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

            by Thor Heyerdahl on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:01:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  at a party (none)
              haven't yet personified the entire party myself - or at least with a bunch of other guests...

              "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

              by Thor Heyerdahl on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:05:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  On November 3rd or 4th Bush petulantly (none)
          spoke about his "mandate" and the fact that he was going to spend his "political capital." I wrote to Ron Brownstein of the LA Times in response to a column and said that Bush was out of control. At that time, Bush struck me as having the grandiosity and destructiveness of someone experiencing a manic episode in bipolar disorder.
    •  The facts are plenty clear (4.00)
      To Europeans.  They're not getting the same force fed diet of right-wing bullshit about spreading freedom and democracy.  They probably do care that this illegal war was waged entirely on false premises.  This is just another cruel, horrible example of American aggression.  Those facts are in a plenty.

      As for this shooting, the facts are one dead, one injured with our own government blaming the victims.  Sound like a problem yet? Turn it around and imagine how Americans would feel if the Jessica Lynch rescue story ended this way with Italian troops shooting?

      This story is the fairy tale, the damsel is rescued from the clutches of evil only to have her knight slain and the damsel wounded. It isn't supposed to end that way.  It's wrong, wrong, wrong.

    •  Beaufully Done (3.33)
      Divert the discussion by arguing the facts of this particular case as if, somehow, should it turn out not to be the case, whatever that case is, it negates all the other cases where it was true.

      The only two options here are criminal action or exceptionally deep incompetence.

      It doesn't matter which of those two we go for, they are both germane to Jerome's frustration and anger.

      Take a 2 for trying to subvert the discourse.

      "Till the Last Dog Dies"

      by Deep Dark on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:41:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pardon Me (none)
      Torture
      Fox News
      Ann Coulter
      Jerry Faldwell
      Detainment without trial
      Blue Skies initiative
      Medicare Bill
      Social Security
      Old Europe
      WMD
      Kyoto pullout
      Class action legislation
      Karl Rove
      Dick Cheney
      Religeous Right
      Neocons
      Preemptive Warfare
      Bush Tax cuts
      Gannon
      Trent Lott
      Frisk
      Tom Delay

      The facts on all of the above are pretty clear to me.

      We let this happen people.

  •  The Euro (4.00)
    Lest we forget:  There is another player in this situation.  The Euro!  And it's becoming the lucre of choice in the oil world.  The admin is asleep at the wheel.  I heard some typical corporate citizen, not even bothering to pose as an American, on Charlie Rose saying all his money was overseas.  Oh yezzz - follow the money!

    It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

    by xanthe on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:29:00 PM PST

  •  Then get your god damned leaders to oppose us. (4.00)
    Stupid fucking Shroeder!
    Stupid fucking Chirac!
    Stupid fucking Berlusconi!
    Stupid fucking Putin!

    Hey man, get your leadership to do something.

    We are at the mercy of these bastards too.

    At least you don't have to deal with not being able to stop it.

    Get your leaders to oppose us, IN PUBLIC!

    You are the last chance. We can only do so much here when our people see your leaders taking brunch, sipping tea, and smiling along side these bozos.

    Get your leaders to fight, dammit.

    Thanks Jerome.

    •  Oh, you forgot (4.00)
      Stupid fucking Balkenende!

      Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. -- George W. Bush

      by Page van der Linden on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:34:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Follow the Money: (none)
      We're each others' best trading partners.

      ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

      by PhillyGal on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:36:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  don't forget (4.00)
      Blair.
    •  Sadly, have to agree (4.00)
      I've begun to think that the Europeans know that they're sitting pretty for the foreseeable future. I think their leaders couldn't care less what happens to us. They know they're going to be just fine. Plus there has to be a certain amount of schadenfreude watching an empire self-destruct.
      •  If America self-destructs, (none)
        what will that mean for the European economies?
        •  If we self-destruct... (4.00)
          They'll be fine.  Note some events:  China and India.  Euro doing gangbusters.  The "old world" reaching out to Latin America, spec. Brazil.  While we have a bunch of people running this country who can't look ahead -- the rest of the world is positioning itself to the benefit of its own people -- something our admin doesn't worry about.  They'll watch with glee - like watching the Yankees go down.  The poster above got it exactly right.  Does anyone think Blue State secession may be an answer?  Just askin.

          It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

          by xanthe on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:22:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Blue State secession? (none)
            That would be extreme. There might, however, be merit in having a so-called "federal" form of government. Trying to make California live by Texas rules -- or vice-versa -- seems to be a bad idea. It causes such a squabble.

            Consider decentralist solutions -- more choice, stronger communities, less dangerous power.

            by technopolitical on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:33:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Give me more (4.00)
              Information on your comment.  I'd like to understand.  And yes, I used to think this was extreme when I awoke at 3am and stared at the ceiling -- but lately, I can't believe the mean spiritedness, greed and selfishness -- the lack of tolerance, the lack of compassion and empathy even among the poorer segment of Bush country.  I can understand the wealthy wanting to remain wealthy - but I don't understand the divide that is becoming greater every day among the red mentality and blue mentality.  Comments being made like nuking Syria, the Dikensonian bankruptcy legislation, the dismantling of our social safety nets --and Americans sitting around with their mouths open watching Fear Factor. An article in a magazine saying "Americans should not give up the shame factor" - thinking about Janet Jackson, for instance.  But not a word about the national shame of Fallujah.   God help us.  The Gannon story and the main newspapers don't cover it. Someone like Ann Coulter actually passing herself as a knowledgeable person we should listen to. I am really frightened.  I turned on McLaughlin Grp tonite - (I watch so little mainstream stuff now) and Tony Blankley sitting there beaming with pride stating that the bankruptcy bill will pass like a fat kid saying "my team will beat your team."  These people are so clueless about what's happening in our country - they live in a sheltered glass case.  Talking about a million jobs being created in 2005.  Who believes anything they say anymore - Furthermore, their fidelity is to the corporate class structure not to the country as a whole.  

              Look at the language - now we have a "war room" for SS - Grover Norquist wants to "drown" the government (bigger than ever by the way) - meaness, meaness, meaness. So sometimes I think, maybe it isn't extreme, maybe it's our salvation.  

              It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

              by xanthe on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:19:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  In the book "The Liar's Club" (4.00)
                Mary Cherry wrote that her father described a republican as someone who couldn't enjoy a meal unless he knew that somewhere someone was starving.  I think that says it all.
              •  More, such as it is (none)
                My comment has more direct application to domestic policy than to foreign policy.

                It seems to me that much of the fire beneath the culture wars has been each side's sense that the other threatens its own way of life. And that, in turn, is a result of how power is distributed. The prize of central power -- and the threat posed by another's possession of it -- makes the struggle fierce.

                If California and Texas had a relationship more like Canada and Mexico, there'd be little heat in the culture wars. Every step toward tighter engagement, via stronger central power, makes battles more desperate, more nearly winner-take-all. And conversely, decentralization of power tends to let communities seek their own way.

                The idea of a federal government, now way out of balance, was to unite the states in some ways, but to let them pursue their own democratic paths in others. There is no easy way to describe the best balance, and most criticisms of decentralized federalism should be seen as calls for a somewhat different balance.

                The same argument supports more community choice at even more local levels. (Subject to limits!)

                "The U.S. constitution -- it isn't perfect, but it's better than what we've got."

                Consider decentralist solutions -- more choice, stronger communities, less dangerous power.

                by technopolitical on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:05:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well here it is 3:30 am and I'm staring (none)
                  at the ceiling again.  It's Dickensian by the way, not Dickensonian (although Emily's poetry is certainly more political than people realize).  You mean a kind of loose federation of states.  What about taxation?  It shouldn't be dispersed, should it - kept at home?  Is that what you mean?  If and when SS is dismantled (and it would affect seniors today I believe) -- the states will have to step in, no?  State taxes will certainly go up. I see Max Boot has come out for granting citizenship to those who join the armed forces - in the hopes of beefing up the services and, of course, keeping the real elites out of harm's way.  I see a lot of problems with this but perhaps a military person could address this.  Has there ever been a successful power who relied chiefly upon mercenaries?  I really don't know.  Yes, your argument makes a lot of sense.  Can you direct me to any literature?  As long as it's peaceful - it's worth discussion for a philosophical/political exercise - which is what my prior post is about.  

                  It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

                  by xanthe on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:42:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Your comment is so eloquent and expresses (none)
                my feelings exactly. The Tony Blankly comment was especially acute.
      •  Maybe they're hoping (none)
        we'll learn the lessons they already learned.

        The less a politician amounts to, the more he loves the flag.

        by tryptamine on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:24:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No more happy-talk visits, please (4.00)
      Here's one thing European countries who oppose Bush can do -- don't have him over for any more Rovian campaign swings.

      He may want to come, to burnish his notional statesman cred, but just say NO.

      Let him know, loudly, that war criminals are just not welcome.

      If accomplices like Blair and Berlusconi insist on inviting him anyway, make the protests so overwhelming that they are the news, not the bullshit photo ops.

      We're trying to do our part here, but we need all the help we can get.  

      The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

      by devtob on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:25:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, let him come... (4.00)
        ...but leave him stranded at the airport without a ride.

        Cancel his hotel reservations.

        Demand a cavity search at the airport, purely for "security" reasons, of course.

        Or just have him met by the third minister in charge of animal excrement disposal.

        There are plenty of ways of showing displeasure.

        "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

        by Mad Dog Rackham on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:51:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What the hell happened to Chirac? (4.00)
      I was counting on him to continuing giving Bush the finger.

      When the US invaded Iraq, I wrote the French ambassador to the UN to thank him for his opposition to Bush's war, and let him know he was speaking for not only the French but for many Americans who are not being listened to.

      Pls Euro leaders! Do not capitulate to this Bush. Appeasement doesnt work when dealing with these Bushists. Like V. Lenin, the Bushists see compromise as weakness. By capitulating you give the Bushists propaganda to cause even more damage and death.

      Stand firm against Bush's policies, we in the US, who believe in international law and real democracy need all the help we can get.

      That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

      by assyrian64 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:18:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't count on Chirac (3.66)
        Chirac represents the worst of all French qualities almost as much as W. represents the worst American ones.  

        W is of course the classic violent, quick to anger, none too sharp, loathe to educate himself on anything remotely complex, arrogant American laced with condescending religious hypocrisy.

        Chirac on the other hand is that haughty, elitist, unprincipled, condescending to all the lower plebian masses, and just ever so certain he deserves to govern la Republique.

        I wouldn't want to be locked in a room with either of them.  That said, I'd bet Chirac would have a better table spread.  

        The Book of Revelations is not a foreign policy manual.

        by Dont Just Stand There on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:12:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps you should realize (4.00)
      that we have about as much control of our 'leaders' (in my case Balkenende, prime minister of the Netherlands) as you do of yours. Unless BushCo take your phonecalls and comply with your requests - but somehow I find that hard to imagine.

      Most Dutch were against joining the 'coalition', but the government did so anyway. The next elections are in about 2 years from now, and until then there's not much we can do but protest (which was done initially, but now most people have other things on their minds - like the social security system being dismantled).

      Bush's re-election has hurt the image of the people of the USA more than anything, as far as I can judge; much more than Bush starting the war, because it was clear that that was a government action and many people opposed it.

      We haven't had a chance to vote yet (and I have no idea how much of an issue the Iraq/US policy of our current government will be, because there are lots of internal problems as well) - so you may have to wait a couple of years for our 'leaders' to do what we want them to do.

      The Spanish did a great job of setting an example and I hope that the rest of Europe follows.

    •  well (4.00)
      At least you can't say "Stupid F-ing Martin!" of Canada because we did stand up and we will continue to do just that.

      Yay us!

      "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

      by catnip on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:02:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because Martin... (none)
        ... is particularly vulnerable due to the minority government and feels that need to be a populist leader.

        People around here looked at me like I'd grown a second head when I was cackling with glee over the last election results... Minority governments don't make a single move without testing the polling waters, and quite frankly I LIKE having a government that responsive to our national mood.

        There's a time and place for clear and decisive leadership, and a time and a place to sit down, shut up, and give the people what they want. Iraq and BMD were two of those sit-down-shut-up moments that Martin (through wisdom or realpolitick) handled correctly.

        Now if we could just get them to stop bleeding money on useless crap like gun registry, and actually put some work into reforming immigration policy so that immigrant professionals can do serious work without going through a decade-long series of hoops to be re-accredited...

        •  I think it can work very well (none)
          The NDP has had a good effect on policy disproportionate to the number of seats it gets. I don't always agree with the NDP but Canada has universal health insurance because of the NDP. In the U.S. the Democrats always have to be a centrist party to counteract the very right-wing Republican Party--you can see how well that's working. But the real point I want to make is that the values and policies of the liberal/left wing of the Democratic Party are ignored, ridiculed, and dropped automatically.
    •  You are right (none)
      I hope there will be a turn around during the next elections.

      In Europe we should all take Spain as an example.

      The polls in Holland seem to indicate that the Balkenende government will be outed next elections in favour of the socialists.  

  •  You took the words right out of my mouth (4.00)
    When 51% of Americans are taken in by a lying, torturing, plundering mediocrity, you have to wonder about the national I.Q.
    •  "51% of Americans are taken in" (4.00)
      I fear that the 51% wanted to be taken in.  They are complicit in this disaster.  It shows you that this country is morally bankrupt.
    •  It makes me weep, but (4.00)
      I don't think that these 51% were STUPID (after all, I found out after the fact that my father voted for Bush and he's no fool) but that they were easilly taken in...I'm sure my dad did it for the best of reasons, but expected he was being told the truth.  But he wasn't.

      A lot of people in this country have gotten used to being able to trust the media implicitly, and it's now allowing them to be sheep.

      So ignorant, yes.  Stupid, no.

      As far as the diary itself...please be glad you're at least a step removed.  We have to live with everything this insane Administration decides to shoot down the pipe.  There are far too many insane plans that there are almost too many to fight.  Too many things to try to shoot down...and sadly, some (such as AG AG and Condi) will get through.

      Remember that 49% of those voting (which equals, by the way, about the same 30% of the vote-able public that voted for Bush -- 40% didn't vote at all) voted for someone else.  So don't give up complete hope on us.

      But as said here, get your own governments to oppose ours.  If you can't..then you can see why we are feeling powerless to stop what's happening.

      Even Lt. Chekov knew how to say 'nuclear'..even if he couldn't say 'vessels'.

      by Stymnus on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:46:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definitions (none)
        'Stupid' also means insensate.
        •  "willfully ignorant" is the way I (none)
          think of Americans. Prime example being the roughly 75% of Bush voters who believed on Nov. 2nd that Saddam had WMDs and was connected to 9/11. Even Bush admitted this was not true by then. But these people couldn't be bothered to learn this.

          The saddest thing to me is not that I no longer beleive mu  country to be a basically good country with basically intelligent people.

          Nor is it that I now believe we are the most dangerous nation in the world.

          The saddest thing to me is that there seems to be no nation or group of nations willing to pick up the torch that we have dropped.  They all just view evil with alarm, and go back to their own business. Just as they did while the Bosnians were being ethnically cleansed, which the U/S. finally stopped. Just as they did during Rwanda, which we did nothing about.

          Absent American moral decisiveness, there is none.

          I hate my country.

          I hope we go down.

          "Go in peace, errant sisters." -Horace Greeley, April, 1861

          by faithnomore on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:15:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My despair causes me to foresee (3.81)
    a coming civil war.
    I'd rather die at the hands of a terrorist than become a terrorist.
    That is what makes me different from the people you observe in power here.  
    First the neocons were free, but dissatisfied.
    9/11 made them licentious.
    And now they want to enslave all of us, chain us to the culture they prefer.
    They force upon us a culture of violence, imperialism, and control.  
    I think the nations of the world who support the ICC should have no more dealings with the US.
    I believe they should alter international markets to make the Euro or the Yuan supreme.  I want foreigners to stop financing our elites' good time and free ride.
    I know that all Americans will suffer because of this, but I'd rather suffer honestly and force our leaders to get the house in order than remain indifferent.  Hard times can foster community, and necessity is always the mother of . . . you know what I mean.
    •  I think it's possible THEY made 9/11 (none)
      in some indirect way. All PNAC needed was a "Pearl Harbor-like event" to get the American people to go along with their plans to invade Iraq to start renovating the Middle East (and wrest control of its resources).
  •  Hey, for those of you thinking... (4.00)
    ... of moving to Europe, take my word for it:

    IT'S A MONUMENTAL PAIN IN THE ASS

    It's worth it, and I can't wait to be there, but it will be fucking DECEMBER before I will have a Dutch work permit.

    That means I can't work for a long time!

    Just so you know, it's not like you can just get on a plane and show up.

    Anyway, back to the regular programming.

    Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. -- George W. Bush

    by Page van der Linden on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:46:07 PM PST

    •  So, We Can Expect To See... (none)
      ...a lot of good posts by you over at The Next Hurrah, right?  ;-)
    •  And this is precisely what I suggested they fix (none)
      in my diary a while ago, entitled How Europe can moderate Bush.

      Europe should seize this moment and create a reverse-brain drain that will harvest the brightest minds that aren't destroyed by the American education system, and completely ensure their success and ease in emigrating to Europe and contributing to European success.

      Yes, that's a treasonous suggestion...that we encourage Americans to abandon their country.

      But it's nowhere near as treasonous as the asinine assholes who are creating the motivation to leave.

      My objective is not to rid the American bench of its best & brightest...Page, obviously an example, is such a loss. My suggestion is that the clear & present threat of our engines of prosperity taking wing imminently will cause the rethug ideology to collapse under its own weight.

      This is suggested by someone who has spent many years on both sides of the Atlantic.

      Yesterday we stood at the abyss; today we are taking a step forward.

      by peeder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:49:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reverse Brain Drain (none)
        But wouldn't that require...uh, er, ... jobs?
        Those aren't exactly in plentiful supply in a lot of European countries just now, right?
        •  Actually, if you read the article (none)
          my diary pointed to, (unfortunately, it's now being charged for...maybe you can find a free mirror of it), the Europeans are having difficulties filling their top job slots with homegrown talent because of the low birth rate (which should be praised of course).

          Furthermore, every one of the "best & brightest" you hire creates 10-1000 follow-on hires in their wake, because they are so talented they create market leadership wherever they go.

          Yesterday we stood at the abyss; today we are taking a step forward.

          by peeder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:59:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Easy way to move to Europe... (none)
      Marry a European...
      (they're lots of cute ones... and they're not likely to be fascist red-staters!)

      I did... my wife moved over here to work in the US (she admitted she always wanted to live here as a kid)... but with the inpending inflation crisis, social INsecruity plot and whatnot, I'm very tempted to move (back) to France with her...

      --
      Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

      by sacrelicious on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:42:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why I'm going there. (none)
        I'm marrying a Dutch guy... and not because I want to move there.

        I met him, fell in love, then I fell in love with Amsterdam, and I'm ready for a change.

        That's why I'm moving there :-)

        And yeah, he's very cute.

        Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. -- George W. Bush

        by Page van der Linden on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:19:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  read you often (4.00)
    and have great respect.

    hate what bush has done in this country & the world.

    what is the point in fanning "stupid fucking americans!"

    although I might prefer that America return to its senses, and still have a little hope that can happen, if no one can offer a compelling countervision other than US flaws, that's not going to cut it. Implicit in that approach is accepting that America is the only one that can act big. and that is where this cardboard US prez has everyone by the balls.

    and please, I do not mean this to be senselessly provocative; I am scared about a world that can only roll their eyes at america as much as I am of an america without vision.

    "....a relative newbie (user ID in the 18,000 range).. "

    by Miss Devore on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:49:30 PM PST

  •  I get you... (4.00)
    Hey, I'm married to a Brit.  I have a cousin who is a minister in Denmark.  But my views are not all that different from the majority of other Americans in my circles who have no direct Euro/U.K. contact.

    Everything you're saying is true of some of us.  About half of us?  But remember, Bush just squeaked through that last election, he doesn't have the mandate he says he does.  He's got incredibly bad approval ratings for a so recently re-elected president, not to mention one in war.

    I think you put your finger on it about how Europe learned a lot in WWII that we didn't.  I think the difference is that we may have sent soldiers and gear, but you all had your own cities and villages bombed flat, your own civilians killed, it was a war that no-one could escape.  I think that is why Europeans and Brits are no longer willing, in the majority, to subscribe to ideology, religious or political, in the way so many Americans still are.  Over there you mostly know on a reflexive level that the pleasure of self-righteous group solidarity in nationalism is ultimately not worth the price.

    That's just my take, anyway.

    What scares me is that we may have to learn that lesson the same way you did, we may have to suffer that much, only we would probably destroy a lot more of the world in the process - unless you all formed an extraordinary unexpected coalition and came over here to do it, and god, I don't want to see that day. I want to get out of this politically, I am doing everything in my tiny power to get us there.

    But if you want to help take down this administration, get a move on!  Or, turn your backs, whatever works.  They are destroying our government and our beautiful land, and in some ways that I'm sure aren't making the front pages of European papers, but which are going to hurt all Americans, the 's.f." ones and resisters alike.

    "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

    by sarac on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:51:02 PM PST

    •  That is why it is important (none)
      to show Europe there is a large opposition to Bush in the US. This will make Europeans aware it is not Europeans against the US, but rather world citizens against the Bush administration.

      I think most Europeans will be relieved that not all of America has changed into this war mongering, ignorance preaching, bible thumbing bully we have all learned to fear and distrust these past four years.  

    •  corrections. assurances (none)
      But remember, Bush just squeaked through that last election, he doesn't have the mandate he says he does
       
      Correction: Replace with "stole"

      ... we would probably destroy a lot more of the world in the process - unless you all formed an extraordinary unexpected coalition and came over here to do it, and god, I don't want to see that day. I want to get out of this politically,...

      Assurance:  It is very unlikely that rest of the world engage in direct military confrontation with the US, unless the US backed them to the wall in the way that Hilter militarily threatened the world during WW2. And the idea you are implying of "invasion"  of the US borders on the histrionic.

      The rest of the world sees pretty clearly what this immature and sociopathic administration, and its constituent power groups (mainly, some powerful US/British corporations and allied intrerests, and Israel) are trying to do,  and I would be surprised if they are not  taking steps to bleed the strength out of the threat to world peace that Bushco poses in non-military yet very effective, ways.

      Bushco seems to be  pushing back with its "march to democracy" (Rose, Orange, Purple(finger), and Cedar) campaigns, sowing chaos wherever it can, and attacking/provoking  the UN, and non-Bushco power centers (EU, Russia, China/N.Korea, S. America, Africa).    

  •  I voted to continue the fight, (none)
    and I have dual citizenship and an Irish passport (so I could leave.)
  •  With deepest respect (3.91)
    You are correct in your rant.  It is getting difficult, even here, to hold on to hope.  The bravado and stiff-upper lip responses look increasingly deluded.

    It is not slander of a country to tell the truth.  We know that to the outside world that we look like stupid fucking Americans.

    If the worst happens over here, please don't slam the door to refugees from the US, no matter what your economy is doing.  Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General profoundly disturbs me.  An iron curtain is falling across North America separating tyranny from freedom.  We no longer know what is happening in the world or even in our own nation.  How long will it be before you no longer know what is happening the the US.

    Keep writing, Jerome.  Et merci beaucoup.

    The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:53:26 PM PST

    •  We ARE beyond the iron curtain (4.00)
      of lies, tyranny, greed, evil, and the right to do whatever, say whatever they want about anybody.  This is a very sad time.  Very sad.  And I agree that those who say be patient, don't surmise with all the facts -- the history of the way bush has ruled - yes ruled! -our country tells me all I need to know.

      they would be more than happy to take down anyone who gets in their way.  If that is a journalist -- so be it.

  •  Sorry but (3.80)
    You think this HELPS anything?

    First of all it is of course Idiotically stereotypical. On the level of "french surrender monkeys".

    Second every freeper, reporter, moderate et al who comes to kos because they heard it was "the heart of the grass roots democratic party" gets to see right up top "how libruls hate murica".

    You're not helping. You're hurting. You're in effect declaring an stereotype war on americans. And im sure the right wing thanks you.

    The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

    by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:01:00 PM PST

    •  Agreed (4.00)
      Some of his past writing has been good but the framing in this one is simply a disaster.

      No more Mr. Nice Democrat

      by Viktor on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:09:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The right wing is totally fucked up (3.94)
      It amazes me that people in America care anymore what the right wing thinks about anything, because they react in a knee-jerk choreography (sort of like a goose-step) to any criticism from any corner.

      They have made a joke out of American media because the "mainstream" is little more than a propaganda arm of the right wing, and yet they scream "Liberal Media!" every chance they get because Americans are SO FUCKING STUPID they do not bother to seek out information to prove or disprove assertions by the military or Bush.

      You know, the right wing doesn't care about fairness, it doesn't care about stereotyping because it serves them well. They don't care about truth. They don't care about you.

      I've been reading about the way the Nazis rose to power as viewed in a small town in Germany via information supplied by people at the time, newspaper reports, analysis of govt actions at the time...

      ...and the things the Nazis did bear so much resemblance to what the right wing is doing in this country right now, it's eerie.

      ...and the things those who weren't on the far left did was to try to accomodate the Nazis. They refused to heed the warnings from the working class social democrats. They told the middle class how dangerous the nazis were, but people wouldn't listen.

      and because they thought the Nazis would be better for them financially, the middle class helped to vote Hitler into power.

      The people who voted for Bush and Bush and all in his administration make me ashamed to be associated with them simply by virtue to the country in which we are all citizens.

      We have a govt that is guilty of crimes as bad as ANYTHING Saddam ever did to the Iraqis, and yet....it's okay because we're American?

      (and I'm not talking about this car shooting. I'm talking about the torture and rape of innocent Iraqis civilians.

      I'm talking about commanders who "forget" to tell their soldiers that the place they're shooting at is the home for journalists who are not in bed with the military.

      Who is the commander who is guilty of the murder of journalists from Reuters, for instance?

      Instead of worrying about what some right wing asshole is going to think after reading a post on dkos, maybe you should think about how far you're willing to go to accomodate people in this country who advocate genocide, the murder of gays, liberals, and muslims....because that's what the right wing in America has done, both from their websites like Free Republic and LGF and from media whores like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and more.

      So, yes, STUPID FUCKING AMERICANS.

      Those of you who support the fascists in power, or who are one yourself, have disgraced this country.

      /rant

      •  So (none)
        Yes, stupid fucking republican americans.  Let's not condemn ALL americans, just the republican americans.
        •  gnostics use pretty color language. (none)

          DCDemocrat: Higher editorial standards than The New York Times.

          by DCDemocrat on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 02:15:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Last word hopefully. (none)
            Mock me all you want.  Any casual observer sees that you don't intend to back up your assertions, not even just one book..we all know why.

            As can happen with lifelong mission, heart-felt topics, you inspired me press on, to write another one on this topic tonight...enjoy.

            Jesus: "Destroy this church (temple)-- G. of John 2:19

            by The Gnostic on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 07:52:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Cowardly (none)
        French Surrender monkeys.

        Damn Nazi Krauts
        Stupid Fascist Italians
        Slimey Imperialist Brits
        Cowardly Nazi-aiding Swedes

        Oh wait... cant say THAT...
        But hey.. get your rocks off. Dont think about the say..(guessing) 1000 new people a day who visit Kos. Dont think about how many of them leave and Believe the spin about Kos next time they read it. Dont think about the people who vote R next time because they see a reccomended diary named "stupid fucking americans"... i mean.. this is Democratic Stereotyping stupidity.. its Different when WE do it.Right?

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

        by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:26:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  BTW (none)
        A little information is a Dangerous thing. You should probably consider reading more about how the Nazi party came to power.. because what you posted is pretty much... well wrong.

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

        by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:29:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh (none)
          well, then correct me.

          As I said, I was reading about the way in which the Nazi party took over in one town. The book was part of someone's thesis long ago and was lauded by the NYTimes book Review, the NY Review of Books, the Guardian, and more..includng an historical organization whose exact name I cannot recall off the top of my head.

          The information came from town records, first-hand accounts...so they're all wrong? Then tell me what's wrong with that account.

          But are you trying to say that middle-class people did not turn to the Nazis because the Weimar Republic was blamed for the inflation ann the insuing depression?

          What else did I write that you think is wrong? I will happily cite and quote the pages that would support what I said here.  

          I didn't even mention the part about the Nazis blaming their own citizens for the loss of WWI (the Jews, but also the social democrats, who did not want to go to war, and who believed it was the cause of their financial problems.)

          But again, the Swift Boat Veterans would have been right at home with that sort of Nazi propaganda...and Jeff Gannon would have fit in well, too in a  Rhoemer sort of way.
           

          •  Certainly (none)
            And i didnt mean to be insulting if you took it that way. Well perhaps i did subconciously and i'm sorry.

            There were a lot of forces that led to the rise of the Nazi party. And in part the Nazis were democratically elected. In a very small part.

            At the time of the rise of the nazi party Germany had been turned from a military superpower into what we'd think of as a third world hellhole overnight. Their government was totally unresponsive and the world not only didnt care.. but thought it fitting punishment.
            At that time radicals arose from anarchists to communists to the nazi party. Big business supported the nazis as their fascist ideas were a dream for the upper class and gave them both covert and overt support.

            And the Nazis had something the communists et al didnt have : The brown shirts. The brown shirts werent simply group of thugs wandering around Germany beating the stray lefty as some think. They were an organised and tightly controlled paramilitary that literally marched around the streets of Berlin armed with squad automatic weapons, machine guns and worse. And the police turned a blind eye to them because they were doing what the police and the establishment wanted done. If you wrote critically of Hitler your paper was likely to recieve a firebomb or a visit from one of the Brown shirt death squads. Your family might simply be machine gunned to death in their homes. If you held a rally you could be sure groups of heavily armed brown shirts would show up with clubs, knives , and guns. And when it was written about in the papers it would be spun as those in the rally starting an altercation with the brownshirts.. who were the noble defenders of germany. You can think of the brown shirts as "working class SS".

            Germans were at the ends of their rope. The government simply didnt care about the lower classes and apparently were fond of the Hoover/Bush1 strategy for economic recovery "it'll all sort itself out". So hitler did get some democratic support. Add in vote fraud, voter intimidation (at the barrel of a gun) and you have hitler winning an office. Hitler then lined up big business, such world leaders as the British royal family, the american aristocracy , the german upper classes et al  behind him and he was handed power over Germany. He then put his purge of any political opposition into high gear.

            That is a MUCH condensed version and their were other factors. But the point is this. Fascism takes power through violence. Hitler came to power not because all germans hated jews, worshipped militarism, or even liked hitler. But because of the convergence of Greed, Desperation, tyrannical opression and force of arms.

            The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

            by cdreid on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:07:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  do you think reasonableness (3.75)
      will take our country back?  Sometimes one has to speak what is in ones heart, and not consider the political ramifications.  If Kerry had spoken his heart, he might have won.

      I truly hope he is NOT sleeping well these nights.  while he is not directly at fault, his lack of fight really hurt him.  We knew what was at stake -- some seem to have forgotten.

      •  It's time to stop being reasonable. (3.66)
        It's time to get good and pissed off, get into rage and use that energy to get something done.

        The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

        by TXsharon on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:10:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sad thought to add (none)
        When I first heard about Clinton's bypass surgery, I couldn't help thinking that he must have been under incredible stress, realizing that if he hadn't been taken out by hubris Bush wouldn't have had the inch of traction it took to steal 2000.

        I respectfully disagree about Kerry not speaking his heart. He came up from way behind in the horse race. Given the exigencies, I thought he found his pace and showed his heart pretty damn fast. It just wasn't fast enough to become Spiderman.

      •  Reasonableness? (none)
        Read the title. This post doesnt attack republicans, the far right, or bush. It is a direct frontal assault on :Americans

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

        by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:19:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not an assault. It is (4.00)
          a mirror.

          Is the holy symbol of Solipsism a banana peel?

          by nargel on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:02:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (none)
            it isnt.

            I am an american. I am a lifelong democrat. The bush administrations policies do not reflect my views or the world ive put my vote towards creating.

            The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

            by cdreid on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 12:36:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It simply states (none)
          how Americans are viewed by a large part of the world population. I am sure it is not what Americans would like to hear but it is a fact.

          We think the actions taken by the Bush administration are condoned by the Americans because they are fucking ignorant.

          Would you prefer Europeans to think, that the majority of Americans are aware that the Bush adminstration is killing the people of Iraq, and in the proces killing their own children just to further its own agenda in distributing the wealth of Iraq to his friends, and think this is a worth while sacrifice in order to continue to drive a suv?

          We still care enough about Americans that we don't want to see them as evil emperialists.

          We just think they made a fucking stupid choice in reelecting Bush. Instead of nurturing the misplaced hubris of the masses, I think we should start calling the path the US is on for what it is "fucking stupid".

             

      •  Don't blame Kerry (none)
        A turnip should have been able to defeat Bush, given the record of his administration.  People chose to re-elect him either despite that record or - worse - in support of it.  The majority of American who cast their ballots for Bush, a Republican senate candidate, and a Republican House candidate, are the ones to blame.  They either knew the record or they should have known the record.  Period.

        "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

        by fishhead on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:36:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (none)
          I firmly believe we lost because we didnt offer americans anything to vote for.

          "We're just like the republicans but we're nicer! And bush sucks" isnt much of a campaign platform.

          The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

          by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:48:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup (none)
            and I don't remember Kerry offering to get out of the war. He ran on a war platform too...

            "the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad... for the multitude of thine inequity, and the Great Hatred" - violent femmes

            by Tirge Caps on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:42:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Your post is very right wing (3.75)
      Don't say anything against the war, you're only hurting America.  Don't say anything against the troops, you're hurting America.  

      This is a very emotional story and this is an emotional post.  Let it be.

      •  As a wise man once said (none)
        Bite My Ass

        Right wing? Get a grip and a clue and then try READING the post. Dont say anything against the war you're only hurting america? Im scrolling up and trying to find anything whatsoever like that in my post.

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

        by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:21:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right wing indeed (none)
          You think this HELPS anything?  This is standard issue right-wing as are your following comments which are essentially "aiding and abetting the enemy" arguments.  

          Second every freeper, reporter, moderate et al who comes to kos because they heard it was "the heart of the grass roots democratic party" gets to see right up top "how libruls hate murica".

          You're not helping. You're hurting. You're in effect declaring an stereotype war on americans. And im sure the right wing thanks you.

          Your "bite my ass" comment falls into a number of catagories including furthering the stereotype of stupid fucking Americans.

          •  Buhbye debraz (none)
            You obviously dont have a clue who you're talking to. This aint freeperville where you identify someone as "not following the party line" and then have them silenced. Sorry to upset ya but we dont play that way. Nice try though.

            The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

            by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:43:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What party line and what silence? (none)
              Make a point please.  I welcome different perspectives including those expressed by this diary.  I am not afraid to hear other points of view and will not resorted to telling anyone to bite any part of my anatomy when I disagree.

              You say pretty clearly that the thoughts and emotions expressed in this diary are aiding and abetting the enemy. Right-wing, freeperville policy, no?

              If you are not saying that Jerome should shut up because his expression supports the right-wing stereotype, what are you saying?

              •  READ the bloody post (none)
                Im saying exactly what the post says.

                One- Saying "stupid fucking americans" is attacking: Americans. Not republicans

                Two- Saying "stupid fucking americans" is EXACTLY the same thing as "french surrender monkeys".

                Three- Saying "stupid fucking americans" DOES happen to offend a whole lot of very patriotic Americans

                Four- Any reporter checking out "that lefty blog everyones talking about" scrolls down and sees "Stupid fucking americans".. and buys into the right wing spin.

                Five - Any moderate, republican or even Democrat who comes to Kos and sees that isnt going to think "Man those people support our troops and that is why they support the war. Man they wanna improve americans lives".. they see that and think "Whoa.. these freaks really do hate america"

                Six - Very very few Americans actually give a f*** about what europeans or australians or .. you name it think about americans.

                Seven - "Stupid fucking americans" plays NICELY into the right wing spin about "elitist liberals". It sure does sound like "you commoners are just too stupid to think for yourselves."

                But hey that was all wrapped up in a very short post.. my original one. Which you'd have known if you'd bothered to read it rather than making the assumption anyone who didnt fit your mindset was... a freeper.

                The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

                by cdreid on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:20:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  It is precisely (none)
      that thinking that has allowed the current situation. No America needs to hear what Jerome is saying, unvarnished, unframed and undiluted.

      The time for polite discussion has long gone.

      We really are on the edge of something very nasty and as someone said earlier the first step to a cure is the acceptance of the problem.

  •  Yes, jerome, (none)
    please keep on writing.  I am tired of being angry and frustrated and every bit that motivates me to keep on fighting is needed.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.
  •  Democrats and liberals of other persuasions (3.87)
    are beginning to get an understanding of how the Native Americans of this continent felt as they had to watch their lands stolen, another religion stuffed down their throat and things they know to be evil presented by others as perfectly sane.

    Maybe it is karma.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King, Jr

    by SarahLee on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:06:32 PM PST

    •  Please. (none)
      I depart from your fan base here. I don't like what you said. The implication that what you sow, you reap is true, but too easy. The Democratic Party is the party of empathy. We were born rending our garments and tearing out our hair. At every revolution of the history cycle, we are told to brace ourselves to confront our "karma."

      It is a measure of my misery that my first reaction to Jerome's diary was guilt. And then, deep shame for feeling guilty. Every time, all the time. I don't need to be reminded of our eternal collective guilt for every act of oppression committed in our name reaching back even before we had a name. I don't know any answers, but I am mortally tired of feeling defensive.

      •  It isn't that simple (3.50)
        It is a simple world view or simple political view of good vs. evil, us vs. them.  You're aware of the number of Democrats who voted for this war, to support this war, to continue this war because it was the politically advantageous thing to do.  

        The fact that far too many people have done far too little speaks volumes about this country.

      •  I am sorry you are tired of being defensive (none)
        and the Europeans are tired of getting lied to by our, OUR, President.  We should have been able to get rid of this lying, thieving, sonofagun.  But NOPE, their sliming did the trick and we have to live with it.

        Anger at us is totally understandable.  All of Europe has an active opposition.  Our side is just waking up.  Or at least our leaders are.

        You don't like what he said.  But that is exactly how the rest of the world is feeling right now.  What to deny that is how they feel?  Go ahead.  Denial does not change the facts that they really, really dislike America, and are coming to be wary of Americans.  Get used to it.

      •  Then why did so many (none)
        Democrats vote for this preemptive war on Iraq?

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King, Jr

        by SarahLee on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:39:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Vote for preemptive war (none)
          I will never, ever understand this. It's the main reason I couldn't get comfortable with John Kerry being our candidate.

          Yes, I know how he explained it. But it seems to me that any thinking person would have seen the invasion for what it was.

          Maybe he was hedging his bets at the time - politically. That's a sorry excuse.

  •  I just heard a reason why this was intentional (none)
    Or rather, might have been intentional. NPR reported that an Italian newspaper has claimed that the Italian government paid $8 million for the journalist's release. That's $8 million that insurgents can use against U.S. troops in Iraq. Could it be that the U.S. military wanted to send a message that this practice should stop?

    "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

    by chimpwatch on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:08:43 PM PST

    •  If that is US logic, it is pretty flawed (none)
      That would be classic Bush/Rumsfeld/Wolfie scale fuck-up thinking though.

      Because by this accident/hit happening, the US has probably just lost Italy as a force in Iraq, and can kiss the 3000 Italian pairs of boots on the ground  goodby.

      The thing about this deal is Bushco has no leverage with the Italians,  and they hate him to the max already. They are ready to explode, and if Giuliani and the other Italian survivors  get  the story out and it continues to sound like this, those troops, and probably Berlusconi too, are gone. No matter if the US killings were accidental or deliberate.

      This is the final straw for Italians,IMO.  

      •  if only! (none)
        but I don't think it's that simple. Berlusconi was reportedly furious at the US, but he doesn't want to cave in to its own domestic opposition either. Not to mention, opposition to war runs in his own coalition too, especially among the Catholics.

        He has tried all along to accomodate the anti-war views, claiming the Italian military presence is a "peace mission", but that's a lie because it's under US command, and the US are not there on a peace mission, and the different tactics about hostages make that very clear.

        The effect on popular opinion is similar to that of the Cermis tragedy. In fact, worse. But that doesn't mean the government is going to pull troops, at least, not immediately. I don't think that's likely.

        It's very likely that this will affect Berlusconi's chances in national elections next year, though. The predictions are for a Zapatero-style changeover, even if, our left wing is not as in good shape as Zapatero's...

  •  asdf (4.00)
    Jerome, your analysis on Europe and the viewpoint held by certain citizens there is absolutely correct.

    I honestly don't care what the GOP or the Dem elite says anymore. If Freepers or DLCers come to Kos and proclaim that "libruhls h8 'Merka", because of this diary, they only further their own delusion.

    Pointing out a country's flaws or sullied reputation is not treason. Facism, as exhibited by some, is.

  •  okay, but (none)
    What does this tragic incident in Iraq involving a checkpoint, an itchy trigger finger, and a journalist have to do ME?
    •  I hope you're being snarkish (4.00)
      but if you're not, consider this -- it's not too much of a step from nervous trigger fingers in Iraq to nervous trigger fingers in the Land of the Free (Market) and the Home of the Brave (Chickenhawks).

      Remember:

      Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'.
      We're finally on our own.
      This summer I hear the drummin'.
      Four dead in Ohio.

      Gotta get down to it.
      Soldiers are gunning us down.
      Should have been done long ago.
      What if you knew her and
      Found her dead on the ground?
      How can you run when you know?

      It can happen here...and it can happen again...

      "It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously." -- Bill Bryson

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:36:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Europeans should distrust America (4.00)

    They should focus on strengthening the European Union, strengthening the Euro as monetary currency, and completely and absolutely divorce themselves from any obligation to kowtow to a ruthless war-criminal and propagandist as long as the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Rice cartel remains in power.

    With these guys in charge, America is no "friend" or "ally" to anyone.   They orchestrated and facilitated the Sept. 11 attack, and used it as a pretext to launch their unlawful docterine of "Regime Change" by means of bloodshed, destruction, and invasion anywhere they feel like it.   Furthermore, they have thumbed their noses at the Kyoto agreement and, even worse, removed themselves from every major international weapons treaty in existence, from the Chemecial weapons ban, to the Nuclear Test Ban, to the Nuclear proliferations treaties.

    Systematically, the United States has created a new nuclear weapons buildup, fostered new tensions, and marched towards a path of aggression and warfare as the cornerstone and root of its foreign policy.

    Nothing like this has occured on this scale since Adolf Hitler.

    So, Europeans should wise up and divorce themselves from America.   The United States was a very different country back in the mid-20th century.   Back then, it was trying to defeat facism, unprovoked invasions, torture, and media control.  Today, it is the perpetrator of those very  tactics.

    The single best strategy is for the entire rest of world to come together and isolate America and publically renounce and rebuke their policies. By doing that, and, only by doing that -- pressure may build within America to a different way of thinking.  

    Tony Blair single-handedly is responsible for the United States pulverizing Iraq and its people.  Without his cooperation, it would have been far more difficult to abort the U.N. Inspection process and start this unnecessary and tragic invasion & occupation.

    England should drive Tony Blair out of power and put in someone new who will stand up and say -- "Great Britian will no longer be a participant in this madness and tragedy.  We will no longer cooperate in any way with George Bush's "regime change" terrorism.  Not only does this violence not make us any safer, it makes terrorism worse, and, is itself terrorism."

    And, then drive home that message every day!

  •  So i am a Brit and a Murkican (4.00)
    Born in england, naturalized in the US.

    Until about 3 years ago I was starting to feel a little American, but let me tell you when i look at my red passport and my blue one, It's the red one I am thankfull for.

    I REALLY dont recognize this country theway i did when i came here, it has changed radically to an intolerant hateful place, even my wife, who was born here thinks the same.

    america is increasingly filled with small minded selfish cretins, incapable of thinking for themselves.

    In the persuit for keeping more of "mine" it is destroying the fabirc of society. Schools are getting worse, so too are roads, healthcare in getting out of hand, the work place is hostile to the worker, everyone looking over their shoulder waiting to get the chop or be outsourced, poorer memberso f my family are really struggling when once they prospered.

    This country used to be powered by ideas and energy and genuine compassion, now it seems only hate and fear drive people.

    BUT. America has been through worse, far worse and survived, because I think there is an indominatable spirit that cannot be slyed so easy, it is evidenced here all the time, and elsewhere aroudn the country.

    We cannot go passively, ancestors demand more of us and we owe it to ourselves and our future generations to prevail.

    fight the motherfuckers, tear their fucking hearts out as they are tearing america apart. We are in a war of words and ideas, we simply must win lest the weapons become less discriminate.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:26:39 PM PST

  •  All will be well when the rapture comes (none)
    all the GOoPers will be swept up to heaven and we can all have fun swimming in their pools, flying around in their lear jets, yachting down the intercoastal waterway...

    After a few weeks of that we should be prepared to turn our weapons into plowshares.

    Coming attractions...Get ready for the great unveiling of the next great Scoop site: http://www.boomantribune.com

    by BooMan23 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:28:48 PM PST

    •  I see this (none)
      "Road Warrior" sort of thing happening.

      We can fight over gas until they're all gone.  Then the gas is ours while we fly their jets and drive their Hummers.

      When we're tired of that, after a few weeks, hell, I like your plan.

      Swords into plowshares.  Hummers into homes for stray cats and dogs, heh.

      Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. -- George W. Bush

      by Page van der Linden on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:31:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So when the Rapture comes, (none)
      how many of these GOopers do you think will be going?  Damned few, I'll reckon.

      "Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?" Joseph Heller, Catch-22

      by wozzle on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:46:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not quite (none)
      I'm pretty sure I read something about a rich man, a camel, and the eye of a needle somewhere in the Bible.

      "Political skill in the absence of statesmanship is the first act of a tragedy" - Garrison Keillor

      by sfidler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:27:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jérôme (none)
    ahh - you start getting it?
  •  Europeans are right to write off America (4.00)
    But it is to deeply misunderstand the situation to speak of "stupid fucking Americans". Although I was born and raised in America and currently live here, I have also lived in several European countries, and speak three European languages (besides English). So I think I have a fairly good sense both of Americans and of Europeans.

    I think the real divide is not between Europeans and Americans, but between neocon & neobliberal ideologues and their fundie enablers on the one hand, and liberal or progressive, reasonable Americans, and Europeans on the other. When it comes to reasonable Americans, one can further distinguish between those who can see that BushCo is fully outside the scope of normal, civilized society, and those who can't. Unfortunately, Kerry falls into the latter group, and that is part of the tragedy. He is a liberal in the original sense of the word: tolerant, even tolerant of those whom one tolerates only at one's peril.

    So one part of what is "fucked up" about America is its two main political cultures: what I like to call regressivism -- which combines militaristic nationalism (a.k.a. neoconservatism), neoliberalism (i.e., market fundamentalism), and "Christian" fundamentalism -- and liberalism. Liberals are so conceited about the "pluralistic" American political system that they are unwilling to admit to themselves that it can be utterly subverted by a group that does not play by the rules. That leaves only progressives (and true conservatives, as a recommended diary pointed out today) as Americans who can see the current state of America for what it truly is.

    Aside from the dominant political cultures, what is fucked up about America is its institutions, namely the federal government, the press, and the laws regulating relations between corporations and ordinary people. These two factors taken together mean that the system is not capable of correcting itself, any more than the Soviet system was. Before the 2004 election I was hopeful, but the result of that election (whether it was stolen or not is not of major importance, since it could have been stolen, and if it was not, that merely demonstrates the disfunctionality of the democratic process in America) shows that it is hard to imagine the right-wing Republican machine doing anything that would unseat it. If the Democrats couldn't win this presidential election, it is hard to imagine how they will ever be able to win an election again.

    When systems are not capable of correcting themselves, they collapse. That is what will free us of the right-wing Republican grip on this country. The only question is whether the US will collapse as gracefully as the Soviet Union did. No doubt this, and not America's continuing domination over world affairs, is what worries European elites the most.

    To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
    modern times

    by Alexander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:50:40 PM PST

  •  I can't disagree with Jerome (4.00)
    I wish I could. I wish I could conjure up some of the righteous rage over his words that others on this thread have expressed.

    But I am so incredbly dismayed by how small minded and petty and bloodthirsty and selfish we've become.

    I've heard so-called liberals tell me my part of the country should be bulldozed under.

    I've had so-called liberals tell me people shouldn't be allowed to have babies unless they fit a carefully defined white middle-class --- actually upper middle class --- criteria.

    And worse.

    And then there's the crazy wingnuts. They're insane. And the Head Boob and his minions.

    The war. The media. The new legislation on bankruptcy. The complete corruption of our government and the iron fist of religion they use to taunt us with.

    On an individual level and throughout the blogosphere, I find hope.

    But I also see a lot to despair over. A lot. And if I weren't such an innately optimistic person and if I didn't have so much to do that I don't have a lot of time to mull it over, I would be extremely depressed about our prospects.

  •  Sorry, Jerome (3.20)
    I usually like your diaries but this one is irritating and pointless.

    So there are a lot of Europeans who hate Americans.  Big fucking deal!  There always have been and there always will be.  (I've gotten into  arguments with Brits who claim that the UK and Australia won WWII - the Americans were just dead weight.)  Just like there are idiots here who hate the French, the English, and so on.  This is not news.

    I'm sick of America-bashing.  We have enough trouble and grief around here without hearing Europeans bitching and moaning and telling us how "fucking stupid" we are.

    You Europeans aren't exactly brilliant geniuses and paragons of integrity either.  So let's not even go there.

    •  I think (3.75)
      the important point here isn't that Europeans hate Americans.  You're right that they've always existed.  The point is that those who didn't hate us are losing patience with us.  It takes a lot of energy to try to discern who supports what in a different country and it's a bad sign that Europeans are washing their hands of us (the sane ones, I mean).

      And though the Europeans may have screwed up pretty badly at times, I think most of us agree that right now the American government is Public Enemy # 1.  At this point, we don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to pointing out the failings of other countries.

    •  It is news (3.83)
      Right now on CNN.com, the Sgrena story is longer to be found.  Meanwhile, in Europe, it is the number one story.  Jerome is giving us a closer look at how this incident has so outraged the Europeans.  CNN.com certainly isn't informing us of any outrage.
      •  that's not the point of this diary (none)
        The other diaries giving the news about Sgrena are fine, and very useful.  What I object to in this one is the pointless - even, I must say, trollish - rant against America and Americans.
        •  I didn't say (4.00)
          that Jerome's diary was about Sgrena; it's about the European reaction to the incident.  He's saying that, though, as you say, there's always been Europeans who've hated America, this story has basically everyone furious at the US, it has basically everyone ranting against us.  

          Again, just compare the front page of CNN.com with www.spiegel.de.  One headline in one of the Spiegel articles says that Berlusconi was "beside himself with anger."  And Berlusconi is one of Bush's strongest allies in this war, as you know.    

          You seem to being saying that you don't care if world opinion of the US is changing?  But consider also how there is a suspicion of the weak dollar and an increasing preference for the Euro; consider the sharp decline in foreign students in the US--the NYT recently reported that many of those prospective students are now going to universities in China; consider, again from the NYT, how China is forging much stronger trade and other ties with South American countries, especially Brazil, seemingly behind our back.  All these things suggest a increasingly negative change in how the world views us.  

          •  I'm saying that (2.75)
            ranting about "stupid fucking Americans" is a silly waste of time and energy.  Anyone who tars an entire country with the same brush, even though almost half the voting public voted against the Bush administration, is lazy, ignorant, or trying to stir up trouble, or all of the above.

            Bash the administration all you want, criticize the military, but don't slur the entire population.  

            The mentality behind this kind of insult is the same as that behind "Freedom Fries".  In short, it has no place in thoughtful discussion.

    •  America needs some bashing (3.66)
      It certainly isn't coming from inside, so we might learn something from outside. You do realize that the neocons are poised for war in Iran or Syria, or Iran and Syria.  We can't do it alone, or with Poland.

      We have a general saying "shooting people is fun" and the military and media thinking that's cool.  We have torture as policy and mass murder an acceptible response to fear. We are out of control and some major America bashing right now may save countless American, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian lives.

      •  I completely disagree (none)
        Bashing America and calling Americans fucking stupid, etc., will do precisely zero to save anyone's life.

        Hey, if we're all so fucking stupid over here, nothing anyone says will do any good, now will it?

        Better to spend the time and energy in attacking the real problem, which is that our government has been  hijacked by warmongering oafs, and we have to get it back.

        •  It isn't just our government (3.75)
          Take a look around.  How many cars do you see with Bush/Cheney 04 bumper stickers and a Support the Troops magnet?  How many people do you see ignoring Iraq as long as it is mostly Iraqis doing the dying?  It ain't just the government my friend.  It's far too fucking many stupid Americans who done give a shit as long as it is happening to somewhere else to somebody else.
          •  I agree (none)
            BUT not everyone feels that way.  Millions upon millions of Americans voted against Bush, and hate this war.  That is a fact, whether Fox or CNN reports it or not.  You can't slam this entire country for the sins of its government.

            And make no mistake - all across Europe, there are plenty of stupid people who don't give a shit about this war and would be ignoring it except for the fact that it gives them a chance to vent their hatred/resentment of Americans.

            •  The stupid Europeans (none)
              who don't give a shit about this war are usualy pro-america.

              I think what Jerome was trying to convey is the sense of hopelesness and frustration we feel. The feeling that there is no reason left within this adminstration and that the American people are letting them get away with it.

              That whatever this adminstration does, no accountability seems required.      

              •  face your own problems first (none)
                who don't give a shit about this war are usualy pro-america.

                Which is another way of saying what I said above.  Basically the only reason anyone in Europe gives a shit is because it's an excuse to vent their anti-Americanism.  My guess is that the vast majority of Europeans couldn't care less about the fate of the Iraqis.  Americans only started really hating "ragheads" after 9/11, but in Europe they've been hating them for a loooong time.  And you know what, they're not crazy about Jews either.  Even today.

                And yes, I know a lot of Europeans.  I've spent a great deal of time there and even worked there for a while.  I have stories that would curl your hair.  Suffice it to say that there are plenty of problems in Europe that need fixing and you should worry about your own shit instead of complaining about how horrible we Americans are.  Let's be pragmatic here.  If you want to make things better, start in your own backyard.  That's what I've been doing.

  •  As a dual US-EU citizen (as of 2 weeks ago) (3.85)
    I have to say we're not going to defeat these fuckers unless we pressure them from inside and outside. We need Europe exhibiting the same kind of solidarity that we hope the Democrats will. We defeat them domestically in their war on social security and you defeat them internationally by refusing to play by their rules.

    Your Chirac is, of late, no better than Joe Lieberman. If we can get Chirac and Joementum to stick with the moral side of events, we can win this. If either one of them quits...all bets are off.

  •  It's sad that (3.75)
    I can't disagree with a word of your post, Jerome.

    People, here in the U.S. (AND THOSE OF YOU ON KOS WHO STILL WOULD RATHER PLAY THE OSTRICH ROLE), wake the fuck up.   This isnt going anywhere but worse.  Could it go worse? It wouldnt seem so...shouldnt seem so....unless you've had your head in the sand.  Will it?  Almost surely.  What has anyone seen to make them think otherwise?  Give me a fuckin break.

    Ugh.  Give me a beer.   I need to make myself not think for one night.

    I just wish some people would wake the fuck up and realize what is going on.   Some people on our side act like the shit is not right in their faces..... get rid of the denial and understand that this country is slipping down a slope that has FASCISM.... say it out loud class... F-A-S-C-I-S-M.....say it again if you couldnt grasp it hte first hundred times the essays of Neiwart, the diaries of TomTech, and the obvious clues the rest of us have gotten didnt pass your smell test the first time.....written all over it.

    COME ON PEOPLE.  THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

    DID WE ALREADY FORGET?

    The best post I've read lately was one in which someone reminded us that hitler was not a monster...he was a human being.   I'm too in a rush to find out who said it and quote it but I'll try to cite it later (and apologies to the author, it was a very good post).

    We are up against something we do not understand the fullness of.   It's fucking now or never.  Get your heads out of the ground.   Ugh.

    Orwell is spinning in his grave

    by tlh lib on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:53:55 PM PST

    •  killing of the federal judge's relatives (4.00)
      Your comment about fascism, reminds me that today was the funeral for the husband and father of a federal judge who were shot execution style last week. Probably victims of a fringe right-wing hate group.

      These fringe groups are being encouraged by people like Ann Coulter who exult in sending messages to liberals, "by killing John Walker Lindh, liberals will be cowed" (I paraphrase).

      Every moment people like Coulter get face time on TV, the media is enabling fascism in this country.

      •  My tin-foil hat is getting very bad reception (none)
        on that "judge's family murdered" case.
        • the corp media is giving story lots of airtime and pushing the 'neo-nazi guilty' theme big-time

        • Fox/CNN/MSNBC all showed highly inflamatory film of "culprit" walking on an Israeli flag-rug

        • However, the mother of the media-designated "culprit"  sounded extremely credible and gave very convincing multiple reasons why it simply not in her son's interest to intimidate the judge in this way.

        • If it is a setup, who benefits, and what is the benefit?
  •  It is all well and good for (4.00)
    you and Europe to keep pushing our heads into the ground, and continueing to brow beat us, but frankly I don't know what we can do about it anymore. It is about useless to having this repeated over and over again, as though one more time will make us change everything overnight.

    We are in this situation, and no it is not us Kossacks who think differently and have tried, but a huge number of other people in this country and there is evidence of it everyday.

    All we know at this point, about the tradegy in Italy is that the journalist was hit and her agent killed.  What chance do we have of defending ourselves if in fact it was just reckless actions on the part of the military.  Italy is already convinced that we were trying to kill her.

    We are fighting it everyday, and doing the best we can.  What is the point of continually pointing out how much we are hated.  What are you trying to accomplish by this.  You're trying to get water out of a stone.  The stone is dry.

    •  Protest, demonstrate (none)
      make Europeans aware that we are in this together. This should be a global fight, not Europeans against Americans. The general public here is not that aware that Bush and his policies are hated as much or more in the US by a large segment of the US population.

      I think if their would be a large uprising in the
      US, it would stimulate Europeans to support the anti-bush crowd in the US.  

  •  Help. (4.00)
    We have an internal problem here in America, and it has to do with the unique type of democracy that we have.  That is the problem, the electoral election system -- notice when a new democracy pops up, they use the popular vote/ coalition government system.

    With fascist Republicans usurping even our fucked up system, and waylaying the Constitution, what can we in the minority do?

    For God's sake, our high court is thinking about allowing Christian religious symbols whereever they want -- what happened to not establishing a preference for any one religion or sect (or cult).

    I think that the Europeans can do more.  I think that they have been intimidated by business considerations (I buy French wine whenever I can) -- I think that more could have been made out of the election problems that everyone witnesses in the bright light of day.

    The fact is, our disparate system screams of corruption.  We need France again, just like we did when they saved us at the last moment during the Revolutionary War.

    Help.  Please.  And calling all Americans, except Kossack, stupid, is counterproductive.

    Republican Americans are stupid.  That would sound better.  Religious fanatic talibanesque You're-going-to-hell-if-you-don't-join-my-cult Republicans are stupid.

    Republican traitors that have sold America down the river for international business concerns, and with their patriot act and their treasonous assault on Constitution are stupid.

    The other 50% have some sense.  We just can't seem to stop infighting regarding how to defeat them, and we can't find a good leader to unite us.

    Help us find that.

    •  Sigh (4.00)
      Many Americans on this site seem to be missing the point.  He doesn't think that all Americans are fucking stupid.  American, although a descriptive term for the collective people of America, also refers to individual Americans.  And around the world, the prevailing view is that if you meet an American, they are likely to be fucking stupid.  I'm not saying that it most Americans are stupid, but looking at it from the outside it's hard not to get that impression.  The rest of the world hears about America unfiltered - it's "American Forces", and "American President", and "American policy" and "American aid".  Imagine if Chirac was acting like as big of an ass as GW.  Replace "American" with "French".  It would be pretty easy to criticise every error that they made as "Fucking French", wouldn't it?  And wouldn't most say that, knowing that there are people in France opposed to faux-Chirac's policies?

      I live less than an hour from New York State.  Before Bush, I used to visit the States all the time.  After university, I spent a couple of months travelling the American Southwest (the most incredible landscapes anywhere!).  I think that New York is the most amazing city anywhere, have burned myself on the beaches of Maine, Florida, California and one of the Carolinas.  I have marveled at your capital, and have traveled to many of your hockey arenas (yes you have them too!).  With the exception of a graduation at Cornell, the last day that I was in the US was the day that GW was inaugurated the first time.  Why?  I'm afraid of American's.  Not the people, but the society.  

      Talk to black people in Detroit.  When they cross the Ambassador Bridge to Canada, they notice a change in society.  They feel different here because society is different just 400 metres away from their country.  There is a palpable change in society because Americans treat them differently than Canadians.  Obviously racism exists in both countries, but for whatever reason, it is more pronounced in the States and this reflects on Americans as a society - not as individuals.

       I think the point of this whole diary is that, like it or not, all American's are lumped in together now - the view of Americans, as a society, has changed for the worse, and it has coloured America as a whole.  When meeting an American for the first time, it is with trepidation, waiting to find out if it is one of the `good ones', or a `typical American'.  A lot of Americans don't like this, for obvious reasons, and have taken offence that the rest of the world looks at Americans with a sense of distrust and suspicion and fear.  

      I know that there are a lot of great Americans out there.  Everyone knows that.  We remember Clinton, and we loved him.  Give us another one of those, and the worldview of Americans can change again.  Right now, America is represented by George W. Bush, and we don't like him.  Unless you change the person who speaks for you on the world stage, he represents America, and he is fucking stupid.

      •  Thanks.. (none)
        ..for the response.  I just kind of wish that a disclaimer like that was included in the original diary.  And the repetition of "Americans are..." kind of makes even the most embarassed liberal a little defensive of their country, not defensive of the stupid Republicans however.

        And Bush.  Of course Bush is stupid.  And of course the other countries of the world know that there are intelligent people here and people that they would want to sit, discuss, be merry, whatever with.

        Republicans however, are another story.  And Bush:  He can't even say "nuclear".  What a fucking moron.

        If he had listened to his more intelligent aids who hopefully had told him to stop saying "nucular" initially, it will have been seen as an admission of his idiocy, so he had to keep saying it the stupid way.  You almost feel sorry for the fuck (no, not really).  He is a fascist and a daddy's boy, and an embarassment to the civilized world.  And he is only a fascist because daddy and Cheney told him to be.

        Personally, I am embarassed for the arrogance in my country.  Many liberals, those with no compromise in them, show arrogance.  People need to keep checks on themselves or they start acting like their political enemies to some degree.  

        But all the fat Americans that show up in other countries and expect to be able to demand service and be assholes while they stuff their faces:  shameful.  I have been to Europe twice now and I have seen it, and it is incredibly embarassing.  And the rest of the world is amazed at that arrogance.  I live with it and I'M amazed day in, day out.  

        Mostly, I think, they think they can be that way because they are "saved" by the "Lord" and that gives them license to be idiots, because their peers indicate that it's ok to be idiots.

        I don't at all feel like a liberal "elitist" by saying that I think they are pathetic ignorant pigs.

        Cheers!

  •  Berlusconi, Blair, LePenn (4.00)
    Every country has their wingnuts and somehow some of them get elected...

    We're doing the best we can, as I'm sure you are too.

    Don't give up! We wont either.

    In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
    The truth? Complacency was easier

    by lawnorder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:18:35 PM PST

    •  Hopefully (none)
      Le Pen was never elected president!
    •  Blair's not even that bad... (none)
      But what about Thatcher?  She actually basically SUCCEEDED in destroying Britain's retirement insurance program.  And what American president would even consider a poll tax?

      It's not over till you're underground.

      by ChicagoDem on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:40:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is widely known... (none)
        ... that New Labour simply continues Thatcher's neoliberal project, under a different name. Even Thatcher wouldn't go so far as to privatize the railways (John Major did that), but Blair was adamant about privatizing the London Underground.

        Plus, there was at least a case to be made for supporting Bush 1's war.

        To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
        modern times

        by Alexander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:11:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Apply economic sanctions (3.66)
    The rest of the world ought to totally isolate us and apply economic sanctions as has been done for years on outlaw nations.

    You'd see this country throw Bush out in half a second if the average American Bush-voting citizen couldn't mainline the constant stream of imported cheap shit and expensive German cars and high-tech gizmos that actually work.

    We produce nothing, we create nothing, we are addicted as a society to both cheap and expensive distractions. Cut off our distraction supply and you'd see this society demand Bush be impeached.

  •  Couple of thoughts... (none)
    Have a little hope. As an American I at times have said the same thing, ie, "Stupid fucking Americans!". In NYC I have never heard it uttered so many times as nowadays.

    However, as Im sure many above have noted, Kerry received the second most votes in US history last Nov. Blame Bush, blame those who voted for him, but remember Bush is one of the most unpopular presidents of all time, we simply have a VERY divided country here and the Bushists are highly skilled propaganda experts, ie highly skilled liars.

    Secondly, who are these Euros who are reaching the end of their ropes just now? They should have had no hope in Bush years ago, when he proved he was a liar. The unfortunate fact is that accidental shootings are an everyday occurence at checkpoints in Iraq, its been happening to the Iraqi people everyday.

    That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

    by assyrian64 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:37:36 PM PST

  •  Come on (3.83)
    We pity you, and we're scared - for the Iraqis being killed, for anyone that disagrees with you and does not have the chance to be backed by nuclear, oil or commercial power, for whoever will be next, and for the whole planet should anyone make you even crazier by succeeding in a new terrorist attack against you.

    Europe gets a great fucking deal out of America, y'know?  I don't think there's ever been another group of autonomous, sovereign nations in the history of the planet that's been both wealthy enough to provide a historic standard of living and lucky enough to not worry about military attack.  American taxpayers are subsidizing your national defense and giving you a massive budget windfall you're able to use for the national healthcare, the clean energy, the excellent public education.  Now I'm not saying you don't have the right to criticize, of course you do, but lets put this "Americans are lame and pitiful" talk in some perspective.

    I mean damn, if Europe had been willing to stand up for itself and take control of funding its own defense-- something the poorest developing nations are routinely expected to do-- then the militaristic radical right in the United States might never have had the ability to grow so strong.  I mean ok, the Marshall Plan was important, but even 40 years after the end of the devastation of World War II, Americans had a strong and unchallenged presence on the Continent.  Instead of taking responsibility for their own safety, the nations of Western Europe had to stand up and beg defense from the scary Communist menace.  Could there have been a Ronald Reagan if safeguarding Western Europe wasn't considered America's job?  I doubt it.  Yet for all of Reagan's and most of Bush's tenure you begged us to stay there, to arm ourselves, to spend money protecting the wealthiest nations on earth from the terrible menace (</sarcasm>) behind the Iron Curtain.  Europe basically gave the man political capital.

    In light of that, to turn around lecture the Americans-- particularly the American Left, that actually shares many of your values-- is absurd.  And you know what, Europe does not have hands that are any cleaner than our own.  I mean consider how close the French recently came to electing Le Pen-- a man that makes George W. Bush look like John F. Kennedy.  And despite the saving grace of the fact that conservative Chirac won instead of fascist Le Pen, you still have the specter of the French enacting cynical anti-Islamic laws (under cover of secularism) which are far worse than anything Bush would attempt.  Look at the Dutch who are very close to kicking out thousands of human rights refugees due to nativism that's just as bad as anything Mike Savage has ever spewn.  Consider the Italians and Austrians, who have basically spent the last decade supporting far right policies that don't exactly scream out tolerance and inclusion.  Consider the agitation surrounding the entry of Turkey into the EU-- despite its historic importance in the region-- at least partly because it is majority Islamic and therefore somehow inferior.

    And then we can look at history.  Y'know, Iraq's a stupid mistake and our government has done some bad things, but our imperialism is not nearly as heartless and greedy as Europe's was.  For every atrocity the Americans have commited there were a hundred more in places like Algeria, Vietnam, the Congo, India, and actually on virtually every other country on the plant, committed by Europeans.  And, as much as Bush is an idiot and I don't trust PNAC, I have to say that a strategy to set up a democratic state is a lot better than "brown people don't know how to govern themselves or manage economies in the global system".  Sure, a foreign policy that calls for pre-emptive warfare and unasked for nation-building is exploitative and wrong, but at least it's not some Kipling-esque "white man's burden".  

    Power corrupts, and it brings greed with it, but America's still doing better in its tenure as "scary megalomaniacal global hegemon" than either England or France did.  And we're clearly doing better than Germany would have if it had gotten its chance in the twentieth century.  So criticize Bush, criticize America when it does something wrong, but lets stop the moral condescension here shall we?

    It's not over till you're underground.

    by ChicagoDem on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:39:07 PM PST

    •  "Come on," indeed (4.00)
      And then we can look at history.

      Yes, we really should. You, especially. America owes a hell of a lot to Europe; I think it's reasonably safe to say that the transatlantic ledgers are mostly in a state of balance. We've been paying for a lot of things lately, but we were the moochers for quite a while early on. We wouldn't even be a nation (or we'd be a much younger one than we already are) if it hadn't been for the French and the Polish, among others. Where do you think we got most of our legal system? (Hint: do the words "Magna Charta" mean anything to you?) How'd we get such a big educational system? We copied what the Germans had been doing--and we "borrowed" from them again after the Second World War (see Operation Paperclip). Sure, we loaned the Europeans money after both of the world wars: many of those loans were paid off, and even if they weren't, a significant proportion of those dollars came right back home again in the form of trade. We were lending them the money with which to buy our goods.

      Michael
      "Jedoch der schrecklichste der Schrecken
      Das ist der Mensch in seinem Wahn" -- J. W. von Goethe

      by musing85 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:52:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, we do owe a lot to Europe (4.00)
        If they hadn't had those idiotic kings and religious wackos running things, we wouldn't have had to leave and start our own country.

        And hey, now our country has finally become mature enough to set up our own version of the idiotic-king-and-religious-wacko government!  We're becoming Old Europe.

      •  It's a global system of ideas (none)
        And that's awesome, certainly.  As much as it may sound, I don't have a problem with Europe at all.  I enjoy Western culture :).

        But there's a difference between being appreciative of a culture and standing by as someone pretends to have moral credibility they just don't have.  Europe gave America a lot, of course.  But they made a lot of terrible mistakes as well, even when they were directly running North America.  To be lectured about human rights by the people responsible for almost every hotspot in the world is a little hypocritical.

        One point about the Magna Carta, though.  Have you actually looked at the thing?  I know we look at Runnymede as some huge point in the history of freedom, but honestly it's not that impressive.  It's nto a document that codifies freedom or liberty, it just codifies feudalism at a time when the state was getting more centralized.  Our Constitution is an Enlightenment document and it owes a lot more to Locke, Rosseau, and even Voltaire than to the Magna Carta.

        It's not over till you're underground.

        by ChicagoDem on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:04:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me get this straight (none)
          To be lectured about human rights by the people responsible for almost every hotspot in the world is a little hypocritical.

          Indeed. So why are you presuming to lecture Europe? They've made no more "terrible mistakes" than we have--and, unlike us, those mistakes are mostly in the past. Besides, who better to point out our screw-ups than the people who made those same mistakes and learned from them once before?

          Michael
          "Jedoch der schrecklichste der Schrecken
          Das ist der Mensch in seinem Wahn" -- J. W. von Goethe

          by musing85 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:42:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So BushCo is pursuing a "strategy to set up (3.80)
      ... a democratic state"? You live in Freeperville. And what did the British say when they occupied Iraq the first time, but that they were bringing civilization to it?

      Liberals have to get over their compulsion to be as pig-headedly nationalistic as right-wingers.

      To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
      modern times

      by Alexander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 06:25:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you pegged Musing right out of the box (none)
        Look through his comments/ratings history for confirmation.
      •  Yeah I'm a Freeper (none)
        Fuck, I hate how Coulter-esque some elements of the left can get about divergent opinions sometimes. You're either with us or against us, huh?

        10, 15, 20 years after the invasion, BushCo's Iraq will be more democratic than British India or Egypt.  Or, y'know, British Iraq.  That may or may not be a good thing through Western eyes, but it will be more democratic (if not necessarily more free) than anything the Europeans attempted throughout most of their history.  I mean I know this is a prop, but Bush has already treated Arabs with more respect than the British treated them-- and in a country with a less positive attitude towards them no less.  Consider the way the British completely reneged on their deal with King Feisal after World War I, and that was with the PR hurricane of Lawrence of Arabia behind him.

        I don't support Bush's war because it lacks rationale, it was poorly planned, it's so sloppy that it's killed 100,000 civilians and counting,
        it has no clear exit strategy, it places a higher primacy on making Halliburton rich than safeguarding American soldiers, it weakens the nation's economic, geopolitical, military, and moral standing, and it's been a terrible source of "shut your fucking piehole" propaganda.  And I think it's awesome when Europeans back up the American Left in those arguments.  But to be lectured about ethically occupying other countries by Western Europeans is absurd.

        But ok, I guess any opinion other than "America is pitiful" makes you a "pig-headed nationalist" along the lines of any right-wing nutjob.

        It's not over till you're underground.

        by ChicagoDem on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:55:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you don't like the left... (none)
          ... you're living in the right country.

          And I don't consider Britain to be morally superior to the US -- after all slavery was brought to America by English colonists -- but I do hold that to be the case for continental Europe. If Europe has learned from its mistakes but America hasn't, why doesn't that give Europe the right to lecture America?

          There is no question that Europe has come up with a better way to run society than America has. I don't see why it is so hard for some Americans who realize that this country has major problems to admit as much.

          To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
          modern times

          by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:17:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We feel like the GOOD Germans in 1934 (3.85)
    Jerome, you are absolutely correct.  The trouble is, half of us citizens of the US feel exactly the samer way you do.

    The best way I can express it is, in 1934 and 35, many Germans saw their country headed toward a terrible fascism, and comforted themselves by saying "well, it won't really be that bad, we have a constitution, they waon't really do the things they are talking about."

    well, we all know how that turned out

     - and I'm sorry, but given the sheep-like intellect of more than half of my fellow citizens, and the cowed and bought-off media, the US becoming Nazi Germany is simply the most likely scenario I can see.  

    (And this coming from someone who worked like crazy for rational candidates in the last 3 elections, only to lose, every time, to fear-mongering and stupidity - )

    which is why I voted for "how do I emigrate to your continent?"  - although I'm also considering Costa Rica -

    again, I"m sorry - but Jerome, you're right - it's one thing to have a fluke election stolen by facists - but since the US then turned around and elected those same fascists, there's no hope for us.

  •  it's depressing (4.00)
    We'd like to leave the country but where is there to go? Not so easy to leave. And not responsible, because if people like us who are here don't try to fix it, who will? I don't blame anyone for hating "Americans" if by "Americans" you mean the Bush Admin and every moron who voted to keep him in office and every asshole in the Senate who supported his stupid war. What's not to hate? I hate their stupidity & ignorance & selfishness & short-sightedness & ambition and I hate Bush for being Hitler's twin. You think only people outside the U.S. hate "Americans"?
  •  Chirac, Putin, Schroeder and Zapatero (none)
    Think Bush is on the menu to be "roasted" ?

    Chirac, Putin, Schroeder and Zapatero to meet in Paris

    PARIS, March 4 (AFP) - The leaders of France, Russia, Germany and Spain are to meet in Paris March 18 for a working dinner designed to accommodate Russian President Vladimir Putin's wish to see a closer EU-Russia dialogue, French officials said Friday.
        It will be the first time such a meeting will take place, the officials from French President Jacques Chirac's office said.
        As well as Chirac and Putin, the dinner's guests will include German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
        Although no formal agenda has been established, it is expected the conversation will cover EU-Russia relations and major international developments, the officials said.
        France and Germany organise regular meetings of their leaders and foreign ministers. Next Monday, Chirac is to hold informal talks with Schroeder in Blomberg, the chancellor's town of birth in Germany."

    In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
    The truth? Complacency was easier

    by lawnorder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:45:13 PM PST

  •  We liked Clinton (none)
    and we liked Kerry. Most of us know that there is a reasonable America. We just don't understand what is wrong with 50% of your country.

    /Joe, living in Sweden

    The parts of the Bible on greed and gluttony are optional. Oh, and those on bigotry and hypocrisy too.

    by Joe B on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:45:48 PM PST

    •  Neither do we (n/t) (none)
    •  I don't know either. (none)
      I wish I could take my heritage full circle and move to my Grandmother's home town of Varberg.
      I am ashamed of my country.
    •  It's the crooked elections (4.00)
      We just don't understand what is wrong with 50% of your country.

      Actually, more than 50% of the country voted against Bush. But it was a crooked election. African-Americans are not fully enfranchised in this country. If they were, Bush would not be president right now. If Europeans want to bring about political change in the United States, they need to work with like-minded Americans (and there are a lot of us) to fully enfranchise low-income and minority voters.

  •  Reading this rant, a song keeps playing in my head (4.00)
    The song is Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You Black Emperor.

    The part of the lyric specifically brought to mind by this piece I've made bold;

    The car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel
    And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
    And a dark wind blows
    The government is corrupt
    And we're on so many drugs
    With the radio on and the curtains drawn

    We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
    And the machine is bleeding to death

    The sun has fallen down
    And the billboards are all leering
    And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles

    It went like this

    The buildings tumbled in on themselves
    Mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble and pulled out their hair

    The skyline was beautiful on fire
    All twisted metal stretching upwards
    Everything washed in a thin orange haze

    I said, "Kiss me, you're beautiful..
    These are truly the last days"

    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream or a fever

    We woke up one morning and fell a little further down
    For sure it's the valley of death

    I open up my wallet
    And it's full of blood


    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:46:43 PM PST

  •  Meanwhile... (4.00)
    Neocons fret over tilt to Europe

    AMERICA SUPPORTS a strong Europe,' George W. Bush told an appreciative audience at his first major European speech in Brussels Monday, 'because we need a strong partner in the hard work of advancing freedom in the world.' But many on the right disagree, and the warm words conceal strenuous infighting among conservatives over the shape of the administration's Europe policy.

    Gerard Baker, writing in the current Weekly Standard, criticizes the administration's olive branch and warns that Europe is seeking to become a counterweight to the United States in world affairs. The real European goal, writes Baker, is to undermine NATO, America's greatest source of trans-Atlantic influence, and to initiate policies of its own that are less bellicose than Washington's.

    A prime example is the joint German-British-French initiative on Iraq, which would offer economic incentives in exchange for Iran's agreement to dismantle nuclear weapons capabilities.

    American conservatives have relentlessly disparaged the Iran initiative as naive or opportunistic.

    In fact, the initiative is actually making some headway and may spare us a military confrontation. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who provided crucial cover for President Bush's effort to portray the Iraq invasion as the work of a broad coalition, is with the Germans and French this time.

    Other neoconservatives take an even darker view of Europe. In National Review Online, Andrew Stuttaford attacks Europe's proposed new constitution as 'an unreadable mish-mash of political correctness' and faults Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for being 'either delightfully insincere or dismayingly naive.'

    Some on the right believe that the United States should explicitly oppose Europe's new effort to have a common foreign and defense policy, as antithetical to American interests, and want to actively contain Europe.

    Others applaud Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's effort to divide the 'new' Europe of former Soviet satellites from the 'old' Europe of major states that have been our most steadfast allies except on Bush's dubious Iraq policy. (This divide-and-conquer tactic won't work. It's the new European nations that look most closely to Brussels rather than to Washington.)

    European integration has been a core US goal since the Truman administration. President Truman and Secretary of State George Marshall blessed the antecedents of Common Market, which eventually became the European Union."

    How like the neocons to see Europe's success as a menace! In the 1990s, the American right disparaged the project of completing a single European market, and the effort to build trans-European social, parliamentary, and regulatory institutions. American conservatives ridiculed the idea of a common European central bank and currency, but the euro is a phenomenal success and Bush could take some lessons from Europe's fiscal discipline.

    It's stunning that the right tries to have it both ways. On the one hand, Old Europe is said to be a naive, force-averse, sclerotic society. On the other hand, it is a growing threat. I hope Secretary Rice is better at warding off neocon influence than her predecessor, Colin Powell, was. And I hope that President Bush's fence-mending is for real. Europe and America need each other.

    Europe needs America's strong support as it reaches outward to embrace Turkey, the exemplary nation that is both Muslim and democratic. This is surely consistent with the administration's freedom goals. Europe and America also need to work together to root out terrorism, share operational intelligence, pursue humanitarian efforts, and work out a more balanced economic trade and monetary relationship.

    And face it: America also needs Europe, to moderate the worst impulses of the Bush presidency. Let's hope the neocons are right on that score.

    In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
    The truth? Complacency was easier

    by lawnorder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:49:50 PM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    I voted for "Fuck you, surrender monkey" in sort of the same way I vote for "Fuck you, you goddamn commie" on Daily Show polls. heehee.
  •  Save us from ourselves, Jerome à Paris! (none)
  •  Then the (3.90)
    Euros need to stop complaining do something to help reshape the paradigm... they should stop eating McDonalds, stop using Microsoft products, stop drinking Coke, turn off CNN, and on and on.... Bush is in the White House because the Corporations want him there, including BP Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Petro Canada and so on. Bush is the corporate King of the world, put there by the big companies Corporations transcend national borders. They dont care if its a German, American or Thai building their garbage, its whoever can do it cheaper with less regulations. In 2000 when the Florida coup d'etat was occuring, no country stepped up to the mike and said " Hey, whay arent the votes being counted? Count all the damn votes? Can any one name one foreign leader that even questioned what was going on?. The best way to get rid of Bush is hit the corporate bottom line. But Euros, like Americans, have gotten lazy in their comforts and no one wants to sacrifice. Please dont confuse the 55 million with those 59million.. The last time the country was this polarized was the Civil War, in my opinion. One other thought... When Bosnia and Kosovo where in flames, the Euros stood there and watched  Euro slaughter Euro, and very little was offered in the way of troops." Somebody DO something was the Euro cry" Oh yeah, the Dutch, sent troops, but they stood and watched a massacre take place and did nothing. Wars are fuck ups.Its not just Americans. Shit happens. These bozos are fucking up big time, but dont give up hope... do something. If we all surrender, then they HAVE won... and thats exactly what they want us to do.. So if Euros are so pissed. stop buying US products from big companies. Think of it as liberating the 55 million who feel even more helpless then you, because the Corporate Curtain is rapidly decending on America, and the rest of the world
  •  Even in the 90's (4.00)
    when I spent some time in Europe, I found that the American social model was not widely admired.  Citizens of nations with national health insurance, good unemployment benefits, good social safety net, etc. were disdainful of our unfettered, social Darwinist, cowboy capitalism.  But at least we were admired for the example we set in foreign affairs, and now Bush has ruined that.  The situation may be beyond repair, for once contempt has set in, it probably takes a generation to change.
  •  Seriously, we need Europe and Canada to (none)
    help us. We need you to maintain a united front of rationality and progressivism. Don't let Bush be a naughty spoiled brat. Please remember we (the kossacks and the people who would be kossacks if they knew how to) are here. We will keep working on this end.
    •  European governments let us down... (3.66)
      ... when they recognized Bush's "government" in 2001, which was not elected and hence illegitimate.

      They are not going to provoke lunatics that have their finger on the nuclear button. They will simply let time take its course, avoiding open confrontation as much as possible. In any case, they have no more moral obligation to be concerned about the welfare of Americans than they have to be concerned about the welfare of the majority of humanity, poor people living in poor countries.

      To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
      modern times

      by Alexander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:09:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't realize... (4.00)
    that Europe had cured all of its racism issues. Oh, and, they must have defeated the corporate forces of privatization and free trade; and no, that wasn't France that helped throw out Aristide to help make Haiti a sitting duck for corporate exploitation. Gee, it's good to know that paradise is just across an ocean.

    America may be the extreme example right now of forces operating all over the world, including Europe. Europeans need to wipe the fog off their mirrors, step a few feet away from it, that might help, before they can really help us.  

  •  OK FOLKS (3.60)
    Lets face it here.  Jerome is feeling angry, betrayed, bitter, he is mouring and lets let him feel those emotions.  He is at the very least honest with us when he speaks of those emotions to us.  I hear them-emotions- coming out of our very own mouths eveyday here and other places.  I am one who lets my emotions out at times and I feel no one listens to me and I really feal that way too.  I am heartfelt for the Europeans right now.  They are feeling very betrayed at this moment.  Are't we feeling like that too.  We need to find a healthy emotion to replace this anger, bitterness and get with the business of being good Americans again.  This means get with the program and get busy with the up coming elections so that we can just maybe win back at least one house in congress.  jermone, Darlin', you can rant here any old time you want as far as I am concerned.  I would rather you do that here with friends than pick up a gun and come and try to shoot us over this rage of negitive emotions towards us.  I do understand.  I really do. I feel that way and have felt that way for going on 5 years now.  Stay with it, Man. Come along with us while we try our damndess to over thow this evil we have leading us down the path of unrightousness.  I feel God knows the truth but he has to see that we will work for the truth not just give lip service to it.  Hope you have a good nights sleep and awake with a new day on your mind and with refreshed thoughts towards us Americans of the other kind.  We are on your side.
  •  Speechless (none)
    I have been virtually speechless all day today.  I am so depressed about what our country has become.  I agree with Jerome.  As painful as it would be, I think our country needs a wakeup call.  My repug friend keeps saying, "Who needs them" about the rest of the world.  "Well, we need them because they are carrying our debt." She says, "Well, we can just declare bankrupcty."  I say, "What about the money we borrow daily to keep this whole chrarade going."  The world just needs to say "enough."  It would be painfull, but we are just dying in degrees here.  Let's get it over so we can start anew.  
         
  •  Stupid (3.50)
    Today I went to Ground Zero to hand out flyers and talk to tourists about 9/11 Truth.org.  We were surprised by some of the Americans who wanted to learn what we had to say.  One middle class white guy in a Philadelphia Flyers hockey shirt had his little boy with him and talked with us for 1/2 an hour.

    Some reacted like the small group of 20 somethings who, when I held out the flyer and asked,

    "Do you know about the unanswered questions regarding 9/11?" said,

    "You're a sick fuck, buddy."  But in New York City, that can almost pass for dialogue.

    What bothers me the most is that the vast majority of bypassers didn't want to hear or read what we had to say.  They looked away, shook their heads, waved us off.

    What bothered me most is that most people just don't want to know.

  •  World Needs to Recognize (4.00)
    that there may well be less to take "back" than either American Democrats or foreign well-wishers fear.

    First of all, look at our societal leadership. The President's party overwhelmingly represents the ownership and leadership of America's:

    • economy
    • military
    • authoritarian religion
    • culture
    • press
    • activist scholars

    To my eyes there is no signficant leadership force in American society that sides with the Democrats. Certainly all of society's historically strongest forces--authoritarian religion, the military and economic ownership--are overwhelmingly behind the Administration.

    In every economic and cultural sector as I see it, any benefit to the common people is a cost to leaders and owners. Better wages; better education (beyond literacy and job skills); better information; workers' conditions, rights and protections; health care; truth in advertising; political power--you name it, and it costs immediate money, power and opportunity for our leaders and top owners, while offering only nebulous and distant benefits if any to them.

    The world's problem with America is that we have given society's greatest forces a taste of power and freedom they couldn't have before--and they like it, and they want more. Meanwhile we've put the citizens in a more authoritarian society than we've had, and on the whole they've found it more comforting than threatening.

    I think it's entirely likely that our present cabal will leave power. On the other hand, I am now almost convinced that all of our horses and all of our women and men will never be able to put the American Experiment back together again.

    The warning for others is to do more than just "look to your moat." Every single force at work here is at work in your society.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:42:18 PM PST

    •  I, too, fear the total entrenchment (none)
      of their power.  Just in the unfolding Gannon story, GOPUSA, and on and on -- the schools where they pump out more Rove's to open more think tanks.  the corporations that feed at the trough of money and power and they know that they will get more of both only from the Republicans.

      Clinton tried to walk a middle path, and it seemed to work for a while.  but they were entrenching even more behind his back.  Hell, even straightforward attacked his every move.

      the Carlyle Group now owns America -- lock, stock, and people.  We the people of this nation, once formed to be a more perfect union, have become a wholly owned, operated, and raped subsidiary.  America will have to fall completely to undo the wrongs being done at the gut level.  Even a dem president will have all of the corporations on his neck hounding him day and night.  Look at Ken Lay -- is he suffering?  

    •  Something similar happened (none)
      in 19th-century Ruissia, when the serfs were given the first little bits of freedom:

      we have given society's greatest forces a taste of power and freedom they couldn't have before--and they like it, and they want more. Meanwhile we've put the citizens in a more authoritarian society than we've had

      They found they wanted more, wound up assassinating one of the czars, and look what happened after that.

      There's a nice-ninny priest/at tea in everyone,/all cozy and chatty as auntie,/but a saint comes/and throws rocks through the window. -- John Ciardi

      by Mnemosyne on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:12:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been feeling (none)
    ...this way for years now, really decades, with just a few brief bright spots.  

    If we Kossacks could form strong bonds with great numbers of Blue Worlders, we could perhaps build a real media presence that effectively counters this idiocy.  We need all the help we can get.  Even if we can just link up to citizen journalists like you worldwide, we could build very effective "eyes across the planet".  I deeply hope there will be many more friends outside the USA coming to dKos to help us.  We need you.

    Someday, perhaps there will be video streaming from the digital cameras of citizen camera people.  I would like to see, for example, the protests in Italy, but haven't had a TV for 40 years.

    "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

    by eyeswideopen on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 07:54:05 PM PST

  •  I'm tired of being frustrated (4.00)
    and feeling ineffectual.  I don't have the money I would need to move abroad, and, more importantly, I think we have to fight here because the U.S. has too much power not to effect the rest of the world.  That said, I want to do something constructive, but what?  Kos is a godsend because it gives like-minded people an outlet, but we need to do more.  Quite frankly I don't know what the next step should be.  Protesting in the streets?  We did that and were marginalized and/or ignored.  Stop spending money to corporations that support the GOP?  I know that my friends and I have done that as well.  Cancelled cable, don't read the NYTimes and I don't buy from red companies (I cancelled my Amazon account and I look at www.buyblue.org before I make a purchase).  But that doesn't seem to be enough.  So what do we do?  
  •  well, help us out, will ya? (none)

    Look, this is all grief for a level of civilization that we imagined was higher than it has proven itself to be.   We're all through a lot of the Kuebler-Ross stages now- Denial, Bargaining, and Bitterness, anyway.  On your side of the Atlantic you folks are hitting the Depression phase, on this side of it we're slowly pulling out of it.

    On this side of the Atlantic we have strongly polarized sides, one medieval/feudal European -utterly Dark Ages- and one fairly Modern.  One your side it's more of a continuous spectrum, though I hear it's increasingly polarized as well.

    Europeans are responsible for a certain amount of enablement, though, of the colonialist travesties of the present.  Blair's government in Britain lends utterly crucial international political cover and credibility to Bush's efforts.  Berlusconi's government doesn't do much for Bush, but it keeps Blair from getting isolated in Europe.  The one significant other European contingent in Iraq that goes unmentioned, isn't being talked about as being withdrawn, and whose government is utterly invisible in Coalition machinations...is Hungary.  Together the clout of these three countries plus the Bushs' are the reason NATO officially sanctions the Iraq occupation.  

    Domestically, the Bush regime functions only because it has credibility on foreign affairs.  This is strongly dependent on the perceived success or failure in Iraq, which in turn is leveraged by the three aforementioned European governments, and on the sanction of NATO.  It's a political house of cards.

    What can be done on your side of the Atlantic -now- is to cave in New Labour in Britain enough that the next government (whoever it is) has to pledge to get out of Iraq.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:00:35 PM PST

    •  Actaully, I feel like I am (none)
      hitting depression right now, not pulling out of it.   Yes, it looks like we have, perhaps, won the social security battle for now, but the bankruptcy bill is a fucking disgrace.  And these monsters won't stop.  But the biggest problem is that there is no way to reach the majority of Americans because of our fucking bought for media.  CNN loses viewers and still doesn't get it, or do they (and I mean TimeWarner).  I think that the corporations that own these broadcast outlets are prepared to carry loses because they are rewarded by the government less obvious (to the general public) ways (i.e., NBC let's Tim Russert lick the GOP's ass because war is good for GE's bottom line).  So, what do we do?
      •  it's a war (none)

        And wars are just long, dull, extensions of time that are on the whole painful to contemplate until they're over.  Until afterwards, when the winners forget them and return to Life while the losers rarely do and wax nostalgic about What Could Have Been until they die.  Happily, our side is the winning one.

        About the bankrupcy bill, there are two truths there.  One is that too much cost is being offloaded onto individual people.  Another is that too many people do attempt to live beyond their means these days.  We are watching consumerism reaching its logical, ugly, end and prove that the materialism that underlies it victimizes rather than psychologically sustains people.  The idol the corporations built devours its most faithful adherents.

        Our 'media' is driven by 'market research' and short term profit making.  Maximal profits lie in catering to stupid peoples' egotistical and narcissistic desires and lack of perspective.  The problem is that the race to the emotional and intellectual bottom also means catering to people with ever less money and shorter attention spans.  So it's either a precarious balancing act, which no media organization is really capable of these days, in content or you lose advertiser-desired audience.  The one alternative is to go ideological, which means Right- liberals simply don't spend much time or money on media, since they know from experience that their viewpoint is basically correct in the long run.  The Right needs all the propping, all the crutches and assurances that despite all the facts not agreeing, their view is right after all.

        What to do...on the hand we're stuck with the Right's rampage, a burning up of all their resentments at us, each other, and the rest of the world.  Nonetheless, our job is to 'help' them arrive at the failure of all their 'ideas' and false certainties as quickly and with as little cost as possible.  

        Renewal, not mere Reform.

        by killjoy on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:33:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Response (4.00)
    I know you have the best intentions Jerome.  I agree with many of your criticisms here.

    I will be honest though.  The title of your diary puts me off.  Instead of trying to find common ground where I also disagree with Bush, I feel pressured to defend my countrymen.  

    Yes, anger with Americans and the Bush Administration is growing in Europe.  A similar trend is happening in America.  I am not sure how your diary is going to help close that gap.  Most Americans that read this diary will be put off; just try posting something like this on a moderate/conservative blog.

    If America were to defer to Europe on the international stage, what could we expect exactly?  While the Bush Administration wrongly went to war in Iraq, I am not sure things would be better under European leadership.  What about Iran for instance?  Iran is insisting that it will never agree to fully suspend uranium enrichment.  Would we just allow them to develop nuclear weapons with a slap on the writs.

    What about North Korea?  What would you have us do there?

  •  Americans Aren't Stupid (4.00)
    I know it seems that way. But the truth is Americans are victims. Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh aren't just some assholes with a following. They are weapons.

    There has been a conspiracy since the late 60s to seize control of the American media and use it to mislead the American people. This isn't a theory. The conspirators brag about it now.

    They've used formidable wealth and enduring patience and they have, at last, achieved their goal.

    Now, of course there are some who have made the conspirator's task quite easy with their predisposition racism, bigotry and shallowness. But those people exist in every nation.

    What has made Americans so stupid is their trust in the media and the institutions of our government. What has made Americans so stupid is an orchestrated campaign to make them that way.

    As angry as I get at our fellow citizens for not seeing through the lies and malfeasance, in the end it is sadness, even sympathy I feel for that sinificant percentage of people who's only crime is that they trust and believe the media and their leaders.

    Again, let me repeat, there is also a pretty significant number of people who have a predisposition to being nazis. But all totaled, I don't think their numbers exceed 25%.

    The rest, like us and Jerome in Paris, are victims.

    Howard Dean: The Democrat's last chance...

    by TocqueDeville on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:11:51 PM PST

    •  I agree with you completely and share (none)
      your feelings, sadness and sympathy is what is mostly left after all is said and done.

      And then I watch myself getting caught up in anger, well knowing that it is the goal of the hate-speech weaponistas Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reilly et al to hurt our feelings anytime, over and over again, ad nauseam.

      You couldn't have said it better.

      Human life should be governed by truth, freedom, justice and love.

      by mimi on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:09:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't lose (none)
    Dear Europe,

    You're starting to sound a bit Red. You have to fight that urge. We've been fighting it here for a while, and we know it gets tough. But you have to try.

    Love,
    Blue

  •  Dear Jerome (none)
    I have thought exactly the same thoughts, and I'm American.
  •  Sorry... (none)
    "surrender monkey" is just too funny a phrase to resist.  

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:35:51 PM PST

  •  Guilt doesn't work on most Americans (4.00)
    We could (will/are) screwing up the entire planet, and will continue to do so with losing any sleep. At least except for some us bleedin' heart liberals.

    Really, try envy instead. How about something more like this:

    Us Euros are kickin' back, drinking good wine, working 35 hour weeks at good jobs with great health care benefits and friggin four weeks more annual vacation than you pyschotic Americans working yoursevles into early (uninsured) graves attempting to play world policeman while digging yourselves into a financial abyss buying consummer junk from China.

    Yup, envy will get a better reaction from Americans than guilt.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

    by Ed in Montana on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:48:03 PM PST

    •  unfortunately so very true (nt) (none)

      Human life should be governed by truth, freedom, justice and love.

      by mimi on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:18:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: (none)
      You're right on when stating that Americans respond more to envy than guilt.  After all that's why so many in this country always want a bigger TV, faster car, etc.

      But if you mention the short work weeks or national health care to many conservatives, they'll simply decry it as a bunch of lazy socialists mooching off the welfare state, without realizing the creative innovations and general contentness coming from overseas.  In due time though, I hope the Wal-Mart generation will see the good living standards and high satisfaction of our overseas friends and actually become envious.

      •  A couple of months ago (none)
        I got into a conversation on this very subject with the checkout person at our local grocery store. We got to talking about vacations, and I remarked that Europeans get on the average four weeks more paid time off than Americans.

        She said "That's not true!"  I assurred her it was.

        She then went on to say that she had no idea what she would do with so much time off, and that she would rather work than be bored at home on paid vacation.

        Stupid fucking Americans indeed.

        Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

        by Ed in Montana on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:43:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They won't see it thru US corporate media though. (none)
        Media will just keep pumping out the "US is #1"  message to the US people.

        and the overwhelming majority of US public will never have the opportunity to go to Europe and see for themselves how we Muricans are "not" keeping up with the european Jones.

  •  Jerome, I don't want to lose hope (3.80)
    and I don't want stupid Europeans giving up their their hopes about stupid Americans.

    Nobody is really stupid here, many are demoralized, because they haven't found a way to change the conditions that surround them. I think we are not more helpless than any other generation that found itself in unacceptable conditions and were about to lose their faith and hope over them.

    We don't admire America any more. We don't envy America anymore...We pity you, and we're scared

    To be honest, I don't think we really ever admired America (at least not in the way Americans seem to believe they are admired in the world) and I don't think we ever envied America (as soon as we had visited once). That is what Americans believe themselves to be the case, but it ain't so and it wasn't so.

    But - on the other hand -  so far we have seldom pitied you, nor were we really scared of Americans.

    That has changed, I pity a lot of things and the fate of many people in America, and I fear a lot of things and a lot of Americans nowadays. That wasn't the case before. Before and during the Vietnam war, we saw, cried with and admired the civil rights movement's leaders and we saw that Americans struggled with themselves over the Vietnam War. I don't think Europe ever lost hope in the values and the good will of Americans during those times. We really looked at you and respected your struggles and your achievements, because you overcame so many hurdles and reached the most amazing goals in science and technology.

    So, why do we now lose hope? I certainly believe that Europeans are instinctively on the right track when they pity and fear a lot of Americans these days. They are not wrong in their feelings, but wrong in their analysis of where they come from and therefore wrong about how to help Americans.

    In the past we wanted to admire you (and kept our questions to ourselves) and we always nodded with our heads when Americans in their endless "we can do" attitude went around the world selling their country and themselves as the greatest, the best and the bravest.  

    What I do believe is that we always were polite enough to behave as if we admired America and when Americans asked to be complimented, we tried to give them the compliments (however awkward we may have expressed them).

    If I talk about "we" I mean all Europeans who never immigrated or were forced to immigrate into the US. I understand that there are millions of people who immigrated from Europe to the US before and shortly after WWII who became the most patriotic believers in the American myth. I am talking about the after WWII European generation and their children, they are different, they don't have to believe in America, because they are doing fine in their own countries.  

    Finally I don't think this diary helps. Americans know now how "the Europeans throw the towel" when it comes to believing into America's better half.

    What does it help making all the many Americans who need the support and solidarity from Europeans more depressed and angry?

    I really don't want that to happen. I want to positively help stupid Europeans understand stupid Americans and make them good Europeans helping good Americans to build a more fair,  just and equal among equals kind of America.

    I won't allow myself to get depressed here and give up hope. That's simply a no no. Period.

    Human life should be governed by truth, freedom, justice and love.

    by mimi on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 08:55:33 PM PST

    •  I do feel hopeless (none)
      you cannot imagine how I lived for that last presidential election. I was convinced America would redeem itself and get rid of this horrific adminstration. I took the day of on november 3rd so I could watch it life. My co-workers tried to console me on november 4th.

      What can we do? It was so frustrating not to be able to vote since this concerns us all. We were depending on Americans to take back their country and show their fighting spirit as they did during civil rights era and their oppostition to the Vietnam war.

      I was convinced Americans would not stand for the grinding down of their civil liberties. I told all my friends and co-workers of this wonderful american blog I frequented, where all these fine people were working hard to get rid of this adminstration.

      Now I am disappointed especially when I see diaries suggesting giving up roe v wade to pacify the religious right.
       I see diaries bemoaning how bad it has gotten and than it gets worse.

      If you think that we Europeans can do something to help  change what is happening we should start coordinate and work together.

      The first thing we should do is tell it each other the truth. Not out of some sense of misplaced superiority, but because that is what friends do.

         

  •  Time to hit the streets, friends (3.80)
    Masturbating at your keyboards will not cut it anymore.
  •  Worried about my little sis (none)
    This anti-American sentiment you describe is something I feared would happen after the November elections.  When I was in Europe in May 2003 (2 months after the Iraq war began), I was somewhat concerned by the reception I'd receive after all the anti-European propaganda in the leadup to the invasion.  

    But after engaging in some conversations with some locals, where I convinced them I was one of the "good guys," I realized that the Europeans I spoke with detested the administration and their supporters, but had hope that the rest of the U.S. would promptly get the jackoffs out of office as soon as possible.  The people I spoke with believed as strongly as I did that this was a fraudulently elected administration and the rest of us would come to our senses.

    Now, we Americans are collectively to blame.  As hard as I any all of us worked to defeat the asshole in the WH, half the voters did support him, and many more than that did not care enough to bother voting.  The title of your diary is exactly the sentiment I stated on 11/3/04.

    I was concerned that if GWB was re-elected the old axiom of, "hate the leaders, love the people," would dissapate and true anti-American feelings woud spread.

    I worry for my sister who will be studying in Paris next spring, even though she's as "true blue" as I am.  

    As least I'm somewhat comforted knowing that if a draft comes after our next disaterous invasion, she'll be safe overseas.

    •  Don't worry about your sister (4.00)
      I have experienced more anti-Americanism in England (under Thatcher) than I ever did in France, or Germany for that matter. All she has to do is act intelligent and not stand out as an American.

      One problem with Americans is that they are so isolated from other cultures that they have very little ability to adapt their behaviors, dress, and so forth to the local culture. (Of course, when the empire was successful, as it was from, say, 1945 to 1973, there was little need for them to do so, other than simple good manners.)

      To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
      modern times

      by Alexander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:58:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (none)
        That's definately good advice, both in terms of personal safety and respect for local culture.  While I think it's still important to maintain your identity, to not make an attempt to adopt some local customs is just rude.

        Hopefully, she'll practice this, which really is useful travelling anywhere.  Show some respect to your hosts, and you won't be the ugly visitor.

        •  In my experience, Europeans are not like... (4.00)
          right-wing Americans. Even if they have a preconceived notion of what people from a given country are like, they will treat each person as an individual, and form their sense of what the person believes in from what the person says, as opposed to relying on predetermined labels. Actually, this goes for Americans across the political spectrum: Americans are conditioned not to have serious political discussions, so that they do not expect that anything useful can be learned about a person by having one. Large segments of the European population derive as much pleasure from talking about politics as Americans derive from talking about sports.

          The French are a breed apart, though. If she hasn't had much direct exposure to French culture, I would suggest that your sister sees as many films of Eric Rohmer as possible. With the French, personal interaction, and indeed personal relationships, are a game. What matters above all is how well you play the game (unlike America, where what matters is how "successful" you are, that is, how much money you have). If she doesn't at least have a sense of the game (as it is played by the French), the French will not take her seriously. And this would not be because they are anti-American, but simply because they are French.

          To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
          modern times

          by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:14:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the film recommendations (none)
            What you described is similar to what my aunt (raised in SW France) desribed as the way to interact with Parisians especially.  If you know the proper social codes in dealing with a stranger, you will be welcomed far more readily than not.

            The game of social interaction can be quite fun and enlightening, if you know the rules.

            •  I'm glad you got what I was getting at (none)
              There is something seductive about the French, even if you do not want to spend the rest of your life playing their game.

              I can imagine that the same can be said for the Iranians for example, even though I hardly know their culture. It is the tragedy of most Americans that they do not have the openness to other cultures to experience the Jouissance that such exposure can provide.

              To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
              modern times

              by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 02:04:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  As a French, (none)
              I would say Alexander's comments are sound. Your sister (and you) must not worry too much: usually, we look at people as individuals and tend to judge them from their behaviour and sayings (as everywhere, you will always find some morons who don't).  

              I would look at a broader variety of French movies (and more recent): Eric Roehmer's films are seen (even here!) as elitists and made for intellectuals...

              I would only advise your sister to:

              • be humble and try to understand: we french can't stand arrogance (except ours!)
              • show sense of humour: it is the key that will open all doors.

              And if she is in trouble or find it hard to adapt, tell her to ask the French Kossacks for help: we are a worlwide community now!
      •  yes, and here I see something where Europeans (4.00)
        really could do something more.

        ... "One problem with Americans is that they are so isolated from other cultures that they have very little ability to adapt their behaviors" ...

        The problem is that the average American has only two options to get to know other cultures in general. They either have to join the peace corps or they have you join the US Armed Forces. That are both NOT really good places to immerse yourself in another culture as an equal among equals, which is what Americans need to do.

        The typical American, who is stationed overseas has very little chances to learn to "feel and think like a native of his host country", because the American always experiences a country from an unnatural position of power visa a vis his guest country.

        The typical peace corps American, signs up to "serve and help" mostly also out of a position of a superiority feeling, being the person, who can "teach about democracy", who can "preach about values" and who usually are uncritically convinced about their own goodness of intentions and goodness of their values and goodness of their hearts.

        Not that this might not be true, but from the view points of the natives of their host country, that might not be good enough and is seen as "the moral superiority complex of the (often) religiously motivated American, who out of the goodness of his heart, is helping you (poor native citizen of country xyz) to learn how to achieve more and how to live happy ever after under democracy rule American style.

        I don't think that this how Americans should "get to know" other cultures.

        Very, very few Americans can just go to Europe and study and work there like equals among equals. THAT SHOULD BE CHANGED. European countries should let Americans into their schools and let them live and work in Europe and have a much more liberal visa policy vis a vis Americans.

        Europe should shame the Americans by letting them experience a MORE liberal, MORE social, MORE fair, MORE just living environment than Americans find in their own country.

        I am for a big cultural exchange across the Atlantic, this time into the other direction. I want the Americans to go to Europe. And Europeans should let the Americans come in without any second thoughts and treat them naturally as just another member of the world community. Or better treat them as members of the European Union, when it comes to letting them work and study in Europe.

        Let Americans experience a life-style, where parents have not to worry in kindergarden age, if their children will get the chance to access a university and if they will ever manage to make enough money to get their kids an education. Americans need to be shamed about their own unsocial, pityful class-maintaining system. Do that by giving them access to experience other cultures educational systems and working environments.

        Human life should be governed by truth, freedom, justice and love.

        by mimi on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:47:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Several of my family members and myself (none)
      have been in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, and Ireland) for extended stays (more than a week each place)in the past year.

      People were warm and friendly, and atmosphere and quality of life (food prices, transportation, personal safety, cleanliness) was very nice everywhere we stayed (Paris, Frankfurt area, Dublin, norther Italy.

      I'm sure your sister will have a very positive experience as long as she:

      1. shows an interest and appreciation in the local culture, and

      2. does not carry a George Bush style attitude around with her.
  •  Immediately after the November 2 election... (3.66)
    I felt the same as you (I'm a Canadian).

    However, soon after, I discovered that yet again (a repeat of 2000) that the U.S. election system is corrupt.  Free and fair elections, my ass!  They were anything but.  Unbelievably, 30% of Americans now use electronic voting machines with NO PAPER RECORD, for goodness sakes.  That is but only one glaring example.

    In 2004 another idea galvanized in my mind.  America does not have a free press anymore.  The 4th estate is simply a collective of glorified stenographers.  No wonder that, as late as October 2004, 61% of Republicans believed that Sadaam Hussein was directly involved in the 911 attacks.  We're talking widespread ignorance among Americans here, folks.  Even 40% of Americans (overall) believed this lie.

    So, I am left to debate this question in my mind.  Does a people who are brainwashed on a daily basis and who are, in effect, living in a pseudo-democracy deserve our hatred or sympathy?

    For now, I am still hopeful that enough Americans can still defeat this evil neo-fascism that is growing in America today.

    Time is ticking, however -- and the world cannot wait forever.

  •  Do not lose hope (4.00)
    Please, Kossacks, you are our last hope. Please take your country back from the zombies. Please bring back our high expectations and hopes. Please stop the madness.

    This is a dark time, bad things are happening, but this too shall pass. The financial pain is about to hit as you, London Yank and others have pointed out. At the same time the Rethugs have overreached. When people fall deep into debt and find they can no longer get a helping hand from bankruptcy court. When their portfolio tanks because of the falling dollar. When they see the republicans try to steal their social security. When the price of gas hits $3.00. When they loose their job and the only replacement they can find pays minimum wage with no health benefits. When they find they no longer get overtime pay for working more than 40 hours.  When health problems come and they lose their insurance and have no where to turn. When their son or daughter die in this stupid war. They will ask why? They will ask who is in charge? And they will blame the republicans. They will be pissed.

    Then, finally then, the scales will fall from their eyes and the wax will melt out of their ears. They will question their unwavering faith in their leaders and will be receptive. The message will come blasting in as it did for the Wickersham brothers in that Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who. We Are Here. We are here. We are here. And the democrats will be there with a new message and a new song about fairness, justice, and a sane foreign policy.

    I cannot predict when this will happen, but this house of cards that George W. Bush has built, cannot stand. We all know it is a matter of time. We are already over the cliff, but I just don't know when we will hit bottom. After the impact I will be there and all kossacks and Howard Dean, and Russ Feingold, and Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. We will fight like hell and make sure this all gets hung around the necks of the bastards that caused this. We will beat them to a pulp, so that they can never, ever rise again and do the damage they have done to this world.

    Why am I so sure this will happen? Is it Harry Reid's fighter attitude? Is it Russ Feingold's big win and potential run for president? Is it Howard Dean being voted in DNC chair? Partially yes. These are all signs that the grass roots is roaring and the democrats are listening to their base. Howard Dean won the chair because of his ideas, but also because of us. But the main reason I am hopeful is the students. I teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The students I work with are gifted, hard working, and committed. But most importantly, they want to make a difference. Ten years ago it was all about good money, good jobs and having a good time. Students now still want to succeed, but success means making this world a better place for others. They are politically active again, something that has been missing for many years. I have never seen this kind of engagement. They are the next great generation and they (along with us older folks who have seen the light) are willing and able to turn this around.

    So yes Jerome, their is hope. The light is coming and it is bright. I know it is dark, but the dawn is coming and it will hurt your eyes! I understand your frustration and I feel it too. But we are here and we will fight, and we will win.

    Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

    by DrSpike on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:19:44 PM PST

  •  Well (none)
    This is what you and your European counterpartrs need to know. Bush narrowly won re-election, the closest margin since 1916. He won by only 3% in a very close race that ran to the wire.

    A lot of division exists in America over many of his policies. A significant minority (48%) opposes many parts of his policies. And they don't like many of the decisions undertaken by his administration either.

    So I don't think it's fair for the Europeans to hate all Americans or look down on the country. That being said I can fully understand why these feelings exist.

  •  It may sound silly and overdramatic... (none)
    but I have begun backing out of relationships with friends, co-workers and family members who proudly proclaim themselves Bush supporters. And I'm telling them why they'll be seeing less of me.

    Hasta la vista baby, Rush and Ann can be your pals.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    "Democracy was getting old anyway"

    by Agent of Fortune on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:47:56 PM PST

    •  Yep! (none)
      I feel exactly the same.  Every Republican is my enemy, whether they voted for Bu$hCo because they are ignorant, hateful for scared.

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:52:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (none)
        Although this idea of treating Republicans as the enemy, as opposed to people we should try to work with, has been marginalized at dKos, at least until recently. I remember my first posts here were exchanges with DMinHI on exactly this subject.

        To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
        modern times

        by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:10:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The FACT that they are our enemies (none)
          doesn't mean that we mistreat them by being rude or anything.  It means that I NEVER forget and let my guard down.  I take EVERY opportunity to subtly or brazenly point out the contrast in the rhetoric and actions of the Asses of Evil.

          Often I simply mention something like the Bankruptcy bill and say that we had all better be careful and pay off our cc's quickly because did you know...  It gets them thinking.

          The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

          by TXsharon on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:36:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Keep one, though! (none)
      I find it can be fun and a bit cathardic to have at least one Republican friend around.

      One of my closest friends hangs out with a die-hard republican he's known forever.  He knows that he's the whipping boy of our decidely liberal group, and that good times are had by all whenever we can knock him down a peg using crazy lefty ideas ideas like facts and logic.

    •  Feel that way too (none)
      The last election became personal....a large segment of our country decided that it was ok to take peoples rights away and take a forward leaning, "muscular" foreign policy that would alienate our tradional allies and friends.  

      I no longer wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner with family members who support these policies, and egage in the lively political banter that we had during previous holiday gatherings.  The divide in America had become personal and bitter.

      the holy roman empire is neither holy, nor roman, nor an empire....Goethe

      by rust belt refugee on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:51:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup...that's exactly what I mean... (none)
        and I totally agree with TXsharon as well.

        It doesn't mean I'm going to go out of my way to antagonize rethug family and former friends. That's not my style. But I ain't gonna go out of my to have any contact with them anymore unless forced to by circumstance such as work or family necessity.

        Personal? I think its sure getting that way. Back in November a co-worker who I was once friends with started mouthing off against Kerry (shortly after Kerry had conceded) while I was standing right there. He knew I had volunteered for Kerry campaign yet he still proceded to launch into the typical rethug victory diatribe against everything Dem (as he's been programmed to do). It demonstrated clearly that there are such things as sore winners as well as sore losers. Anyway, when he started into an equally hateful tirade against public school teachers (of which my wife is one) I finally blew a gasket and invited him to view my extended middle finger.

        I was friends with this guy for 15 years but no more. Funny thing is, he seems genuinely puzzled why I won't talk to him anymore. He keeps trying to make nice to me but I've got no more patience for him and others. He and so many other formerly tolerable rethugs have become clueless about how far reaching and effective their hate machine has become. Now he's gonna learn that boorish behavior has consequences.

        "Democracy was getting old anyway"

        by Agent of Fortune on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:52:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  FOUNDATION (4.00)
    I agree with those who say there'll be an election in 2008. It's easier to "win" an election than stage a coup. Make room for Prez Jeb Bush.

    America is the Soviet Union of the 21st Century. After 10-15 years of Brezhnev-like policies, the Bush Empire will collapse, dragging the resst of the country down with him.  THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL CASE THIS COUNTRY TO CHANGE: ruin and humiliation.

    There is nothing we can do to avert it -- like Hari Seldon in Asimov's FOUNDATION, our job must be to prepare for the Fall and plan for the reconstruction.

    •  Very nice (none)
      I read Foundation when I was in junior high, but have nearly forgotten it, so your analogy would never have occurred to me. But I have been thinking along similar lines recently.

      To be precise, this country (to continue in Jerome's vernacular) is so fucked up that individuals can do nothing to save it. We are talking about the tides of history here. I believe that Tolstoy had a theory of history along these lines in War and Peace, another novel I recollect only dimly.

      As to your point that "our job must be to prepare for the Fall and plan for the reconstruction": this is the first time I have heard this idea. But, come to think of it, some German economists in exile did exactly this kind of thing during the Nazi period. In our postmodern time, we do not have to go physically into exile: being exiled by our ideas being blocked out by the corporate media is enough. At least, I hope it stays that way.

      To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
      modern times

      by Alexander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:45:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Long View (none)
        My view is that the Empire WILL collapse. I don't think we can stop it now, and neithyer do I think we can prevent its fall.

        I also don't think we can "convert" the fascists WITHOUT the evidence of the fall of the Empire. Very much like what happened in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

        I think we have to be ready to seize the opportunity when the collapse comes.

        •  I completely agree (none)
          You are the first person I have heard express this idea, but it is quite compelling. The Bush supporters are so irrational -- and there is enough of them that nothing can be done without at least not having their active resistence -- that they will not be convinced of their errors without a disaster that is plain for all to see, like the Nazis losing the war or the Soviet Union falling apart.

          So progressives  must think ahead, and plan their programs for the political climate that will exist after the fall: which means that calls for "pragmatism", such as taking into account the reality of the health care lobby as grounds for not proposing a reasonable health care system, are themselves hopelessly unpragmatic.

          To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
          modern times

          by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:24:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe it is just an SF fantasy on my part, but (none)
      I'm still clinging to the hope that there is a strong but silent reservoir of power groups in the US that have clearly seen the train wreck  coming to this country, understand how it jeopardizes their interests,  and are already executing a plan to stop it from happening.

      And I don't consider the recent Democratic party, to be among these power groups. They have shown themselves to be berift of effective plans or power over the past 5 years, and are functioning today as merely a cosmetic 'straight guy' foil to the power regime controlling the US.  

  •  Lay off it (3.50)
    Don't you guys have some problems to take care of?  I mean, we might have a shitty administration, but we are the ones who have to deal with it for the most part.  The last thing we need to do is throw a bunch of generalizations around.  And that last line about "high expectations and hopes;" are you implying that we should be taking heroic actions to bring justice to all?  As of now, that is Bush's current reasoning for Iraq and all of his adventurism.
  •  A Brit here: (4.00)
    I hear these comments in Britain all the time.  I spend a lot of time defending America.  I keep on emailing people the urls of DKos diaries, and that helps a bit.

    In a comment above, someone implies that we should mind our own business.

    The problem is, American is so powerful.  The carbon dioxide you produce warms the whole planet; the wars America starts (with the unforgivable assistance of Blair) affect not just the countries you invade but community relations everywhere, including Britain.

    The American president is often described as "the leader of the free world" and yet just over half of you (less than half of those eligible) vote for him, and those of us in the rest of the world have to put up with it.

    And one of the most galling things is that on matters where we think the civilised argument has been won (universal healthcare, judicial execution, to name but two) the US seems positively medieval.

    The US could do so much good in the world, and Bush's fallacy is to assume that because it could, therefore it does.  But it doesn't.

    •  Agree (none)
      I think part of the problem too is that we Americans are so indoctrinated to believe that our way of life and ideals are superior.  Unfortunately, the neocons seem to have either forgotten or ignored what that means.

      It seems that you're saying that GWB thinks that because the US the most powerful nation (for now), the rest of the world should automatically follow us.  He seems to forget that to be a good leader, one needs to set a postitive example, and we've lost that role to many other nations.

      I still believe that the ideals the US was founded are among the highest a society can strive for, but we must realize that there are many ways of achieving these ideals.  Ideals which we share with many other nations including those mentioned tonight, with whom we can work together to achieve these commoon goals.

    •  Almost forgot (none)
      In our defense, we did decide to stop executing children!

      Huzzah!

  •  America has become the USSR of the 21st century (4.00)
    We're being looked at just the way we used to look at Brezhnev's Russia: big, fearsome, a bit crazy, not to be bothered, better left alone, not to be challenged but rather isolated or ignored, knowing full well that its feet-of-clay economy, its Afghanistan debacle and its own internal corruption would cause it to collapse under its own weight.

    The world needs do nothing -- like the USSR, America, or rather the American Empire as it exists today, will collapse on its own within the next decade.

    •  Which is not to say that the US has not made (none)
      ... a useful contribution.

      The USSR gave us Shostakovich and several poets of the first order. The US has given us mass production, marketing (admittedly not such a positive contribution, since marketing applied to politics is propaganda, a.k.a. public relations), and computer science (UNIX, and the programming languages Lisp and C).

      Furthermore, America has made significant contributions to cinema, dominating that art form after the Nazis killed off the German film industry. The American project is justified alone by the genre of the western, which, unfortunately for the purposes of the current discussion, was best realized by an Italian director, Sergio Leone. Perhaps the ultimate purpose of America was as an aesthetic object, for Europeans to contemplate?

      To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
      modern times

      by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:44:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It also gave us (4.00)
        a darn good constitution - now being relegated to the dust bins of history.

        It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

        by xanthe on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 02:26:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would say the Constitution is part of... (none)
          the problem. It was deliderately designed to make change difficult, and gives the two main parties a lock on the system, which gnaws like a cancer on the country, as Kosaks are well aware.

          To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
          modern times

          by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:43:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree (none)
            I think it needs to be re-written, as was done in Canada 20 years ago.  

            Clearly, the US and the world has changed a lot in the past couple of centuries.  Maybe Kossacks might want to start agitating for a new constitutional convention or something.

            "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

            by fishhead on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:24:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Keeping Republicans at a distance (none)
    Like some of the above posters, I have also recently adopted the extreme view of avoiding Republicans, even in my family. That anyone could vote for Bush is so beyond me that I can only see anyone who did so as stupid, nasty, especially nasty, looking for blood, literally and figuratively, in Iraq and elsewhere in the world as well as in the U.S. itself where the old, infirm, poor and children have to pay with their lives to reaffirm Republican triumphalism. I am appalled that Mr. William Jefferson Clinton is now hanging around with the Bushs, who helped engineer his impeachment. Evidently the Bushs have the one thing he can never achieve: wealth and status by birth. Pitiful. His behavior makes me bitter.
  •  And (none)
    the Democratic Party will not get anywhere near the White House or a Congressional majority until it finally, completely nullifies the mesmerizing, destructive self-serving mystique of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. They have nostalgic value at this point, nothing more. The times call for firm, principled stanpoints, which are not compatable with the Clintons' consumer-oriented political posturing: they have no principles.
  •  Jerome (none)
    Your bitterness is understandable.  That being said, we need you and a body of people abroad to stay connected to us.  There will be times when we need contacts at "the end of the line."  Please stay with us and build a body of people who know we are here and who we are.  Right now the need is psychological but the need may become quite concrete and literal.  Without someone at the "end of the line" we may be at loss about where to turn.  I'm reading Bonhoeffer these days and would hope you might do the same.  Meditations on the life of a marked man is currently appropriate.  I would also suggest that you and plutonium page connect asap.  Page, if you're out there reading, are you and F. open to this?
  •  USA passed the point of no return (none)
    USA government is a 1-party system now, GOPs are
    fashists - doing everything to make it better for
    corporations (and bad for people) and brainwash
    the population with lies, wrong wars, wrong laws,
    religion and total BS Television.

    Democrats are faceless trying to be GOP-lites,
    maintaining friendship with corporations,
    pretending to be a mid-class party (even mid-class
    is in decreasing mode for years to come) and
    abandoning poor people by avoiding to adopt
    socialistic programs.

    Foreign relationships damaged to unrepairable
    level and since GOPs will do more damage soon,
    there is no hope for the future.

    In addition our economic is falling, dollar is
    falling, good jobs are leaving USA and will not
    return back. Mighty competition from Asia and
    Europe will leave USA only with one argument:
    military force and it will make feeling toward
    USA (described in original post above) even
    stronger.

    I will say: there is no even last hope here.
    We reached the POINT OF NO RETURN.
    Hate us as much as you can, and nothing we can
    do about it!

  •  If you think you will move to Europe or Canada (none)
    learn other languages. And make sure your children learn other languages.
    •  Which, not surprisingly, (none)
      we Americans are particularly bad at when compared to our industrialized counterparts in the world.  Funny how that works.

      "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" - Bill Clinton.

      by RAST on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:35:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you want us to listen, you have to speak! (none)
    Yeah, yeah.  We hear it all the time.

    Americans don't care.  We're stupid.  Crazy.  Jingos. Whatever.

    And you hear it.

    Europeans.  Whiners.  Off in their corner, bitching at our hubris and stupidity and smirking when it inevitably bite us in the ass.

    The truth is WE don't hear YOU.  Sure there's a story now and then in the NYTimes.  But almost no one reads it.  The MSM's coverage of European views is a 3 second sound bite.

    The remedy is the same as that I've urged for the Democratic party.  BUY AIR TIME.  SELL US YOUR TRUTH LIKE WE SELL SOAP.  In large part, America is TV.  IF its not being pushed relentless on TV, it doesn't exist for most Americans.  So, stop complaining and start the Ad campaign.

    •  agreed, but I don't want Europeans start (none)
      an "ad campaign", I want them to broadcast their newscasts, talkshows, documentaries to the US, translated.

      Other than that Americans need to live in Europe in larger numbers and be integrated into European-style living conditions (health care, education etc.) That is what Europeans should do. Be open to Americans and make them living among you. They learn by experiencing.

      Human life should be governed by truth, freedom, justice and love.

      by mimi on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:19:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Financed by the State Department, maybe? (none)
      Heh. That's such a neat idea. But there's a little problem. With whose money? And targeting what massive market of US media consumers currently begging for more European points of view? Come on... The kind of cute charm offensive you're dreaming of needs buyers, and sellers - with motivation to buy, and motivation to sell. Frankly, I don't see much of either.

      Nevermind politics and news, look at cultural and entertainment industries, tell me how much distribution European films and music get. That's the fault of Europeans, too? I'd reckon it's a little more complex, no?

      Come on, mate. What people in any country in the world do, when they really want to hear more about another country or groups of countries in the world, is do the homework themselves - find sources on the internet, read books and get films and documentaries from those countries, get to know people from those countries, learn their language if it's different, and maybe even pay a visit if they're so interested.

      There are Americans who do that already, whether their interest is more cultural or political or both. But for several obvious reasons, and not all necessarily bad, in fact, many of which are rather neutral - the fact that different countries have different mentalities and public opinions and different politics and different news systems - the Americans who are so interested in other countries to do all that homework themselves are not a majority big enough for Rupert Murdoch to devote an entire channel to them. They're not big enough as the target audience for Fox. And Murdoch is a very flexible businessman, in other countries his news channels have a completely different slant because the local target audience is completely different (for instance, in Italy, where I live). Simple as that.

      Besides, hate to break it to you, but it's not Europeans you need to connect to. It's Arabs, starting with Iraqis. I know it's a little bit more difficult, but no one ever said cross-cultural dialogue was easy. If anyone said that, they're lying.

      That's it, my optimist thought for the day.

  •  A substantial proportion of young Americans... (none)
    still goes to college (although, unsurprisingly in Bush's America, that proportion is going down, as proportionately fewer Americans can afford it). And semester or year abroad programs are available at most colleges in my experience. Unfortunately, those students who would most benefit from study abroad choose not to do it.

    To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
    modern times

    by Alexander on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:43:15 AM PST

  •  My own twoppence (or eurocents) (none)
    I only skimmed through the whole thread so forgive me if I repeat some things others may have said.

    Also I'm new here, so hello everybody. I'm European, I'm Italian, and I come here with friendly intentions, and not of the friendly fire kind... I can understand Jerome's outburst, especially after last Friday, I can't deny a lot of that was my reaction too. But, when I think "stupid fucking idiots" I think of the people who shot at the Italian agent, and then of the people who had nothing else to say than blaming it on the people who got shot, and, sadly, there's a few stupid fucking Italians who thought that too, at least, the idiots that some right wing tabloids cater to. Granted, they're not a majority, not even among the criminal lackey's supporters, seen as he was rather furious about what happened in the first place, and they're not in charge of the biggest military superpower ever anyway, so it's a bit different, but with all those and other due differences, I have to deal with those people in my own country too.  I also have to deal with a left wing coalition that's often a  mess.   And we all have to deal with the cynicism and hypocrisy of all international politics, things like Bush coming here and pretending it's all fine and dandy and no European leader bothering to bring up issues like torture and Guantanamo and such, becuase of course, that's not the "etiquette" of diplomatic meetings.

    What can people do? Well for once it'd be nice to see more people take to the streets. Demonstrations alone aren't going to change things, but it wouldn't hurt to see more of them in America as well as in Europe. There's no need to wait for the next elections or the next military operation, whichever comes first. Guantanamo is not going anywhere, in the meantime.

    But don't do it for PR, do it because you believe it. Stop worrying about the opinion of other countries in terms of "the image of America abroad", that's only going to turn into the favourite right-wing tirade about "why do they hate us". People need to reject that us/them logic to get anywhere. Reactionary trends cut across all nations, no matter which nation is more powerful.

    Well I hope that wasn't too heavy, but the last days have been a bit heavy here at the political level. The fact the US ambassador to Italy never even bothered to learn one word of Italian hasn't helped his delivery of the official "excuses" - the previous ones spoke fluently and had a lot more contacts with the local press. So yeah well I guess it's about PR too, at some level.

    Last thing. Yesterday's edition of il manifesto had, in the last page, a full page of letters from readers. One was signed by a person with an English name and titled "an American friend", and expressed condolences and shock at the death of the Italian agent. The editors picked that title for the letter. It was good to see that. If anyone wants to send more letters, just do it, you can write in English too - go here http://www.ilmanifesto.it/pag/info.html and click on "redazione nazionale" on the right of the page.

  •  A stupid fucking thing that happens in war (none)
    Which is exactly why war should be a last resort not prosecuted to obtain military bases, oil, and Halliburton profits.

    An incident similar to the jornalist shooting was recorded on film and I wish with all my might I could get it more widely distributed. Pass it on if you deem it worthy.

    Photos here:
    http://tinyurl.com/6ocye

    Story here:
    http://tinyurl.com/4dc6m

  •  Whats the French word for Troll? (none)
    le trolle?

    An opposition party need only oppose.

    by litero on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 01:06:58 PM PST

  •  "born again obscurantist" (none)
    Je voudrais vous donner un "4" en plus pour cette phrase-çi, Jérôme!

    "...And bunnies would dance in the streets, and we would find life on Mars." -Peter Singer, Brookings Institution

    by zentiger on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 12:36:59 PM PST

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