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Nations Divided

Discussion in 'Serious' started by yodasarmpit, 8 Jul 2005.

  1. acrimonious

    acrimonious Custom User Title:

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  2. Dad

    Dad You talkin to me?

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    I wanted to stay away from this thread because so much of it gets under my skin, but I have to jump in again. Seriously, why is it that everyone seems to believe nearly everything written that is critical of the US while at the same time not believing much of any good press? Especially from a paper who employs someone (Dilpazier Aslam) who has been exposed as having links to the Islamist group Hizb'ut Tahrir? Within this critically acclamed documentary is an argument that "Al Qaeda does not exist, except as a kind of collective hallucination on the part of American neoconservatives" as reported by The New Yorker. Are you kidding me? So Al Qaeda doesn't exist eh? Tell that to the people who died in NYC, Washington, Pennsylvania, London, Bali, Madrid, Kenya and all those other places that Al Qaeda is a hallucination.

    Over and above that, it has not been banned in the US. Networks as a rule never really show documentaries, especially multi-part or 3-hour foreign ones and most cinemas wouldn't make any money off a 3-hour foreign documentary escept for in niche markets or cities in which it HAS been shown. The only place that this may be shown on American TV is PBS (public broadcast station), but then it's doubtful.
     
  3. acrimonious

    acrimonious Custom User Title:

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    And why is there a tendancy from anyone IN the US to believe that people just passivley consume documentarys without any research of their own. To knee-jerkedly try to discredit any news organisation that supports something critical of the US government all the while happily being served the slop that is Fox News. I don't want to get involved in this thread either, but for your own sake you have to stop taking everything that happens in General News and Serious Discussion so personally - I fear you may be found dead of stress in front of your PC with bit-tech on the screen.

    The documentary that you may never have seen or will ever see is not only critical of the US and not the UK and Middle-East/Arab nations. In fact, it's not critical to any of those, it's critical to their governments and a handful of their citizens so why take it so personally? It's an extremely well respected journalist and documentarists' opinion of why what happened on 11/09/01 happened which won't be shown on US television - to the people affected most by Sept. 11 - surely that's not an admirable decision.

    Adam Curtis isn't Micheal Moore which I expect may be the impression you have got. Curtis has an acedemic background (Professor of political studies at the university of Oxford iirc) rather than a "how can i grab attention by bitching about everything" attitude.
     
  4. .308AR

    .308AR What's a Dremel?

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    Oh...he's a professor. They don't tend to be biased at all.
     
  5. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Then can I ask where the average American gets his knowledge of recent history from? No disrespect, but a soundbite from the President doesn't replace a lengthy look at the day-by-day unfolding of events, interviews with participants from all sides, archived records, etc. The ancient Romans called it "bread & circuses", keep the public on a diet of drivel so they don't start thinking for themselves.

    We are very well served by both BBC and commercial stations over here, and I'm sure the same applies to most of Europe. The Cold War put us right in the middle of the battlefield, and we're finding now there weren't good guys and bad guys, just two shades of grey each with their own selfish motivation and unsavoury means.

    Now the Communist threat has gone away, the US military and politicians need a new ogre to keep the citizens in line. If it weren't Islam, China would be Mr Bogeyman.
     
  6. Dad

    Dad You talkin to me?

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    Will never happen - will most likely be on the phone listening to my x-wife complain about something I could care less about ;)

    I'm not really going to respond to specific things, only everything in general - including you cpemma ;)

    "regular" Americans in general are just tired of only hearing bad press from the foreign, and to an extent domestic, media. Honestly, it was very refreshing to hear someone like Bono from U2 say that he loves America and it's ideals a few weeks ago. Yes, he was a little critical with certain things, but it was nice to actually hear positive comments from someone in the spotlight. The reason I seem to take things so personally is because of things such as where this thread (and others) usually end up. ie: Bush sucks, America is <<insert negative comment>>, Abu Gharab, Gitmo, and so on. A few bad seeds in a military as large as ours and the whole military, government and morality of the American people are attacked. I love this country and our ideals, but so many times I see our ideals, morals, principles and what-not attacked and it really bothers me to hear it. I believe in the American spirit and know that there is so much that we can do for others, but when we do, we're criticized for doing it "wrong", not doing enough, being stingy or whatever.

    Now, so this gentleman being a professor. That doesn't do much of anything for me at all. There's a professor out at the University of Colorado (can't remember his name) who compared the people who died durring Sept 11 with Nazis. Professors in my opinion seem to be far too Liberal for my tastes and seem to criticize at the drop of a hat while expecting everyone to listen to them because they are in fact professors. Know what I mean?

    As far as where we get our information from, just because the major networks typically don't air 3-hour foreign documentaries doesn't mean anything. In fact, there are many shows on the Discovery, History & Learning Channels along with others like PBS (which is actually a publicly funded station) and digital stations which do air documentaries, educational shows and in fact they have many shows produced by the BBC. There was one I watched about 2 weeks ago titled "The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off" which was about Johnny Kennedy and what he went through. Fascenating documentary, fascenating person and produced by the BBC.
     
  7. .308AR

    .308AR What's a Dremel?

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  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Oh, poor victims, you... how can supporting dictatorial regimes or training fundamentalist psychopaths in terrorist techniques possibly be interpreted in such a bad light? :rolleyes:

    Look, I'm tired of this. The US is not the worst country in the world (by far) but it certainly isn't a saint either. The problem is that being a bigger country, it can make bigger mistakes. Ideals are nice and all that, but there is a reason why the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. We (the US and assorted Western Nations) screwed up big time, yet again. Accept responsibility, learn a bit more and justify a bit less, and try to act wiser next time.
     
  9. .308AR

    .308AR What's a Dremel?

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    Why are you 'furriners so interested in our country, anyway? As long as your government doesn't shoot (or threaten to) at mine, I really couldn't care less about what it does.

    In addition to being arrogant pigs, we are also popular. :)
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    For the same reason you meddle in other countries' affairs. "Because what your country does affects our national economy/security".
     
  11. .308AR

    .308AR What's a Dremel?

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    So do you want us to meddle in other countries' affairs or not?

    If not, that means no money/aid to the poor & starving. I'm 100% in favor of leaving foreign countries to their own devices. Until they threaten or attack us, that is.
     
  12. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    There's a world of difference between giving food & medicine or materials for sanitation & education, and giving weapons & training to prop up a "friendly" regime.
     
  13. Dad

    Dad You talkin to me?

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    i'm not saying we're the victim by any means and if that was implied, it was purely unintentional. Being someone in the Physchology field (can't recall exactly what you do off hand), you out of all of us should realize that by constantly criticizing someone, whether a single person or a group of people will eventually wear those people down no matter what they personally feel or how strong that feeling may be. This thread is a perfect example. The thread originated with "nations divided" and I've been trying to show how exactly people feel over various topics, but when I do, I get barated because of it.

    Maybe so, but no one on this board is qualified to make that judgement. We only know what our respective media outlets tell us and what we can garner off the Internet.

    This thread is a perfect example of why a lot of Americans have left Bit-Tech all-together or never come into GN&SD or Gen Disc anymore - some of them being mods. A few of those people (normal members and mods alike) have PM'd and emailed me about this and how steadfast my resolve is in defending this country and how they felt by being here. They got tired of it and I'm starting to get tired of it too.
     
  14. ufk

    ufk Licenced Fool

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    Whilst the US government does come in for a lot of bashing, we criticise our own governments as well

    Its nothing personal against americans in general but the US gov't does seem to come across as a bit gung-ho in their dealings with other nations

    [off topic]The main problem with politicians in my view is that democracy has gone away from the idea of gov't for the people by the people / elected representatives to the idea of gov't for the people by the few that can afford to be elected, The various elected governments seem to intent on putting their idealogical stamp on soicety by any means neccesary rather than working for the improvement of soicety in general.[/off topic]

    The arab world works in a completley different way from the western world and democracy is probably as alien to them as the idea of suicide bombers is to us, and lets face it their culture is a lot older than ours

    As to china being the new bogeyman in reality thats going to be in economic terms rather than strength of arms terms, china is an industrial powerhouse these days
    Individual nations like to maintain their status quo in the world be it in economic or military terms and unfortunatley the status quo is changing wether we like it or not , some nations will rise in power while others diminish, looking back at history the UK for example used to be an industrial and military force to be reckoned with, we ran a goodly portion of the world in the past, the US was once part of it which has changed, we fought for and lost our once great empire as times changed and times are still achanging

    I personally feel sad that american members have left bit-tech because of the US bashing that does happen, unfortunatley its a lot easier to criticise a nation in the current world situation than it is to praise it (everyone forgets the good stuff), and everybody loves to blame someone else for their problems and at the moment the US is seen as the source of many problems, who knows in a couple of years time we could all be bashing china as exports dry up and imports go up, because they will be able to cheaply produce goods on a massive scale

    relax it's just your turn on the whipping wheel till either someone else screws up on a grand scale or the status quo chages
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2005
  15. heelan

    heelan bow tie enthusiast

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    Professors are about as educated as you can get, they've made a career out of learning. Yes you get the odd nutcase. But the fact that the majority tend to be quite liberal - doesn't that say something? If most of the best minds in the country are expressing fairly liberal opinions, it might not be a coincedence. They aren't automatically superior to everyone else, but if it's a choice between listening to a professor, or listening to George W Bush, I don't see much of a contest. ;)
     
  16. Uncle Psychosis

    Uncle Psychosis Classically Trained

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    A bit of a mirror to US foreign policy there Dad---"people don't like us, so instead of finding out why we're just going to ignore them". No?

    Sure the US has some great features---it's just that things going well make for very dull discussions. "Man becomes self-made millionaire by the age of 30" isn't particularly newsworthy, whereas "World's largest Military abuses POW's" is pretty much the definition of newsworthy!

    Yes, there is a lot of anti-American feeling that goes on in these forums---but it's not just for the sake of it. It seems to me that there are several American forum members who are too willing to play the victim and label any criticism of their Government or Country "anti-Americanism" without actually thinking about whether it might be valid or not.

    Secondly, there are clearly a few people here who like to bash the US just for the sake of it. Drop it---you weaken the arguments of the rest of us :D

    I find that a healthy use of the "ignore" button will greatly add to the intellectual level of the discussion :D (and that goes for both "sides" of the coin)

    Sam
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I of all people direct my criticisms against "most Western countries", including Holland (my country of birth), the UK (where I live), not just the US. Most British people appear happy to acknowledge those criticisms as just that, even if they do not necessarily agree (and so does the occasional Dutchman on this forum). They certainly do not appear to feel attacked on a personal level.

    But it seems to me that some American members do take the specific criticisms on foreign policy or the war in Iraq as a (personal) assault on the American Way, which is not to possibly be questioned, critically examined or held to account in any way. I guess Uncle Psychosis has a point in saying that this seems to mirror the US approach to foreign politics: ---If people don't like the US, it doesn't ask why --it just reacts to it. Or as Bush so eloquently put it: "If you're not for us, you're against us".

    And this is a perfact example of the whole problem right there: how can criticism of specific Western foreign policies, or of the war in Iraq suddenly require you to "defend your country"? No-one is attacking your country. Critisising US foreign policy, yes. Criticising the Bush administration, yes. But then again UK policy and government are criticised in the same breath. Yet no-one here appears to feel that Britain is "under attack" from other forum members and needs defending as a country.

    You are right that this debate is generating strong feelings with everybody. Here in the UK we just had another bombing attempt in London and a tube station turned into a shooting gallery. You had 9/11 (which pretty much defies any description, really). How can we not feel strongly about all this? But just as we are going to lose if we construe our situation as a "War on Terrorism", we will lose if we construe critical self-examination of our roles, actions and motives in all this as an "attack" on our own, or each other's nations. Critical self-examination is not a sign of disloyalty or betrayal. That way lies fundamentalist thinking.

    So let's take ownership of our feelings. If we feel victimised, perhaps that is because we decide to assume that role. We all know that. Londoners in particular know that, and that is why they are saying: "We are not afraid", and still getting on the bus and travelling by tube to work every morning. Like the New Yorkers after 9/11, they are determined not to be victims, but to be courageous, wise and above all, human beings. I think we, in the relative safety of between seat and keyboard could try and do the same on this forum.
     

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