American "imperialism"

From: Philip Howison (
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 21:59:34 MST

The recent debate about US interventions in other countries is pointless
because of
the lack of non-US citizens on this list.
Most New Zealanders do not mind US interventions _as long as_ they see that
America is
not acting in its own interests and that it is acting altruistically towards
other people.
That said, the opinions of New Zealanders are sadly based on (a) what other
NZers tell them to think (b)
what they see on TV.
An example is East Timor. Recently, during the lead up to the independence
vote, when Timorese were being terrorised
by Indonesian militias, there were calls in this country by pacifist lefties
for the US to liberate East Timor.
They had the same anti-american feeling about the US _not _ invading East
Timor as when the US bombed
Serbia causing a few civilian casualties.
Also, the various anti-american americans on the list miss the point- the US
is reacting to the "intervention"
by Osama bin Ladens forces on its soil, so the retaliation in Afghanistan is
clearly different to other interventions in the past.
It is significant that the various and bloody Soviet interventions were
never demonised in teh same way as american
It may or may not be significant that Samantha assumes responsibiltiy for
all actions by individuals in the US
govt for the past 50 years...
The proper role for US foreign policy is to operate by principle rather than
benefit to US (these 2 are not mutually exclusive) . I am not sure why it is
not so since in new zealand the govt has often pursued an idealistic foreign
policy at cost to our relations with other countries eg the Labour govts
stance on nukes in 1985 resulting in terrorism by France on the Rainbow
Warrior and
the collapse of the ANZUS treaty with America. The reason is that NZ voters
wanted idealistic foreign policy and Labour wanted to be in govt, rather
than Labour being altruistic.


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