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Behold what we have wrought - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Behold what we have wrought
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givemethewhip From: givemethewhip Date: August 6th, 2003 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Yep. We definitely have very different views on this issue, and I think you're misstating mine. I certainly wasn't saying we're perfect, or that everyone who lives here is some sort of Beaver Cleaver reincarnation, or that people who admire America (including me) don't also recognize that it has weaknesses as well as strengths. Nor was I trying to make the case for colonialism that you seem to think was hidden in my comment somewhere. I was just saying that there is a segment of the world population that admires America -- a view that in my experience is at least as pervasive as the view that America is the Great Satan.

I guess during my travels abroad I've interacted with an very different set of foreigners than the ones you've encountered-- while, as I said, I've met a lot who despise the US, I've met even more who don't, even if they object to some of our actions. I guess I've seen some American programs and assistance (government and NGO) that aren't in any way related to Roman road-building, Empire-expanding projects, or the "White Man's Burden" of Kipling's British Empire. And I guess I don't view American opportunity and freedom as a myth.

So at any rate, it's clear that you have strongly held opinions and that I strongly disagree with them, and, as you said, we're not going anywhere from there. Diversity is what makes political discourse so interesting. All I would ask is that you don't continue painting my views with the rather broad brush you used at the end of your comment.

As a quick aside: it is fairly common for average Nepali businessmen to travel to the US. It's not common for other average Nepalis, mostly becau
komos From: komos Date: August 7th, 2003 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
The brush I chose was a direct response to the rather broad strokes you used to address me initially. It appeared that the thrust of your argument rested on the refutation that everyone hates Americans. Leaving aside that the idea was a minor sidebar in the discussion, I conceded early in my response that it was an exaggeration. My contention was that in your attempt to reduce that exaggeration to absurdity (as indeed, any generalization so broad must be), you overstated your case. I saw fit to call some of the things you appeared to believe are self-evident into question. To reiterate, I think that it's dangerous to mistake "desire for our wealth and priviledge" for "admiration." The current American model differs from those I cited only in form. The execution is remarkably consistent.

Let me rephrase my original contention... The history of the outcomes of American intervention in the Middle East from the Second World War to the present suggests that Americans should not feel any more secure for this action in Iraq or indeed for our heavy-handed, vaguely defined, and decidedly clumsy "war on terror." Our actions in the post-9/11 world have done nothing to improve anti-American sentiment, and it is likely that we are laying the seeds for future disaster.

But then, as you said, this isn't really what you wanted to debate.
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