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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It's a great country to live in if you are a white person. It's a great country to live in if you are middle class (or better).

    It's not such a great country to live in if you're a person of color, though it could be worse (or better). It's not such a great country to live in if you're very poor. Though again, that could be worse and better, depending on where you look.

    And the really fucked up thing about the US has very little to do with how its own citizens are treated, but rather with how the US tre
    • I wouldn't want to be a poor peasant living Afghanistan right now, or Colombia, or Cuba, or anywhere in most of Africa, or Russia, or any of a dozen other places where US foreign policy is making an already difficult life nearly unbearable

      What are you talking about? Is it your opinion that the US is holding these countries down? Let's look at two of your examples:

      1) Africa. Not a single great nation has come out of Africa since Hannibal & Cleopatra. I'm sure Africa's "demise" had much more to do

      • Well, the American slave trade didn't exactly do any good for Africa. Nor did US support of the South African apartheid regime.

        Russia, yes, had internal problems. The cold war, explicitly designed to destroy the Russian economy, also didn't help.

        But here are a few others:

        - Iran, where we installed a dictator that served our (oil) interests. That dictator's oppression was so severe that he was overthrown by a fundamentalist Islamic regime, which has been making Iran miserable ever since. Remember, at
        • I'm not up on all of these events and all of their degrees of complexity (I'm still trying to get my head around the Milosevic stuff), but I think it unfair to directly associate the deaths of millions of people to the support (or lack thereof) of the US.

          The US is not pulling the trigger in most of those examples, and I would hunch that it was not only the US that supported those governments or parties that led to those atrosities. Additionally, hindsight allows us the luxury to see that they were atrosities instead of what could have been a better situation. That's a harsh judgement to apply to any country.

          The official thread-killer is always a Nazi/Hitler reference ;) - Hitler had the support of the neighboring European countries [suc.org] for his nationalistic endeavours and we all know where that led to. Does that make Italy, Finland and Romania bad countries?

          Jason

          • The US is not pulling the trigger in most of those examples, and I would hunch that it was not only the US that supported those governments or parties that led to those atrosities.

            In Vietnam (and Cambodia & Laos), the US did indeed pull the trigger.

            In all the others I've mentioned, there was active US involvement (usually via the CIA) to support the brutality. This goes for all the South American countries mentioned as well as Iran, Iraq and other middle eastern countries.

            The others have all recei
            • There are those who see the whole Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos debàcle as a reason for indicting Kissinger on war [guardian.co.uk] crimes [guardian.co.uk] charges. There's other [guardian.co.uk] despicable stuff too mind.
              • I definitely think Kissinger is a war criminal. As are Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright (Iraq) and numerous other US government officials. Frankly, the list of people in the US government, past, and present, who should be indicted on war crimes, is simply too long to list. And then we can go to the puppet regimes the US supported in South America and Southeast Asia, there's Ariel Sharon, and the list goes on.

                Of course, none of them will be brought to trial because it is not politically useful for the
                • I think the shocking thing about Kissinger is not that he did a bad thing, but that he has done so many bad things and has got away with it.
          • The official thread-killer is always a Nazi/Hitler reference ;) - Hitler had the support of the neighboring European countries [suc.org] for his nationalistic endeavours and we all know where that led to. Does that make Italy, Finland and Romania bad countries?

            The US provied the technology and sold the Nazis the computing machines that made their census possible. The US also took no action until Pearl Harbor even though the NYT had front page news of the atrocities of the war. Hitler had a lot of suppo

            • That wasn't my point - this thread seemed to become a US-bashing one and I was merely pointing out that the US is not alone in supporting such atrocities, though the US does seem to receive more than its fair share of finger-pointing.

              Good to see you back, hfb! :)

              Jason

              • I just don't understand why you think the US receives more than its fair share of finger pointing? It does the most worst stuff and gets the most criticism. Pretty simple, I think.

                The reason why I personally focus on the US is that I live here, so I figure I should start close to home.
                • Again, you're missing the point, which is that instead of solely finger pointing to the US, how about also identifying the other countries that also share some of the blame? You shouldn't focus only on the US, especially when they aren't the only guilty country in the mix.

                  I also argue that we didn't do "the most worst stuff" - I leave that to Hitler/Nazi Germany. Or Stalin/Russia. Let me know when the US slaughters millions of its own citizens and then we can talk about "the most worst stuff."

                  Jason

                  • But your original journal entry was about the US!

                    If you had been talking about how great a country the UK was, maybe I would have responded. But probably not, since I'm just not as up on the UK's foreign policy, except inasmuch as it mirrors ours.
                    • It was about the US, but I did NOT say that the US was the best country to live in or the best country ever. I said it was the best for me (and as you point out, probably so because I'm within the majority [white male]). My original point in the journal is that patriotism is a personal issue not equivical with others. Again, I may be ignorant, especially in foreign issues/affairs.

                      Jason

                  • Oops, I forgot to respond to the other half.

                    As to "the most worst stuff", I don't feel a need to find the absolute #1. Definitely Hitler and Stalin are among the worst of all time. No argument there.

                    What worries me is your talking about the US slaughtering its own citizens. Does that mean that when the US slaughters at least a million people in Vietnam (along with sending about 58,000 of our own citizens to die) that it doesn't matter as much because it wasn't our own citizens being butchered?

                    I hope y
                    • I would make such a "sick" argument. Focusing on your comparison, let's compare Vietnam (which I'm not totally familiar with, either, but I know it was a war) vs. the US rounding up a minority group and executing them.

                      That's apples & apples to me (for comparison's sake) and you're saying that Vietnam is on an equal footing of "most worst stuff" with genocide?

                      I would argue that genocide is more horrible (if that point hasn't been made already) than war-time casualties (oops, I mean "slaughtering").

                    • Vietnam was a war only because the powers that be (here in the US) called it a war. The vast majority of people killed were Vietnamese non-combatants.

                      The peasants that made up a large majority of the country pretty much all supported the Communists. But of course a (relatively) bloodless communist takeover could not be allowed.

                      So US policy was designed to kill and uproot huge numbers of peasants. The ones who weren't killed outright by US weapons still had to survive in a country that was mined like c
            • The US sold them the machines? I thought it was IBM.
              • On the other hand, I guess the US didn't really do anything to STOP the sale, which itself is cause enough for complaint ...

                BTW, I am told by a friend who hates Nazis and Republicans that the book "IBM and the Holocaust," which documents that the Nazis used IBM machines etc., has been "judged to be very weak on facts" by historians. I can't say either way, YMMV.
                • In the UK, when British Aerospace wanted to sell a bunch of jets to an unpleasant regime (can't remember which one now) there was a good deal of bashing of BAe for wanting to in the first place. And a good deal more bashing of the government for granting the export licenses.
          • I'm not condoning the choices of my grandparents (or, more like, their parents), but I think at that point in time "it seemed like a good idea". Namely:

            1939 Sep 1st Germany invades Poland
            1939 Sep 3rd Britain, France, Australia, NZ declare war on Germany
            1939 Sep 5th US proclaims neutrality
            1939 Sep 10th Canada declares war on Germany
            1939 Sep 17th Soviets invade Poland
            1939 Sep 27th Poland surrenders
            ...
            1939 Nov 30th Soviets attack Finland

            (Thanks for the WW2 timeline [historyplace.com].)

            What happened between the Sep

            • Uhhh... correction: the M-R treaty had been signed already earlier in the year, not between the September and November.