Re: American "imperialism"

Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 22:31:14 MST

Non-member submission from []

> The recent debate about US interventions in other countries is
> because of
> the lack of non-US citizens on this list.

Oh, hey, I was going to write something along this line in the
meta "this list has gone to the dogs" post earlier, but gave up half way
through as
I just couldn't be bothered with it.

but what the hell. I lurk, I used to write to this list years and years
and YEARS ago.
But I stopped a while ago as the list became saturated with a vicious
right-wing mindset,
which I'm sure I could spend the rest of my life arguing against, but
lives tend to
not be that long, so I'd rather have one than spend all my time arguing
with maniacs.

The impression I have gotten is that a hell of a lot of other people
feel the same
way, leaving the list overpopulated with maniacs.

> Most New Zealanders do not mind US interventions _as long as_ they see
> America is
> not acting in its own interests and that it is acting altruistically
> other people.

The problem is, does *anyone* beleve america acts altruistically? Even
if it does, it's
considered dubious by most people. The Gulf War is a classic example.

> That said, the opinions of New Zealanders are sadly based on (a) what
> NZers tell them to think (b) What they see on Tv

You have just described 90% of the Western world.

> An example is East Timor. Recently, during the lead up to the
> vote, when Timorese were being terrorised
> by Indonesian militias, there were calls in this country by pacifist
> for the US to liberate East Timor.

The US actually offered troops to supervise the elections and that was
rebuffed by Australia and others. These troops were then frantically
called for
when the shit actually *did* go down, but I found it highly interesting
other than the initial newspaper report, this has never been mentioned
Australia since then

> 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.

Well, allegedly retaliating, we have yet to see any evidence.

> It is significant that the various and bloody Soviet interventions
> never demonised in teh same way as american actions.

??? You are joking, aren't you? There was a huge global outcry, the
Olympics were torpedoed, etc.

> It may or may not be significant that Samantha assumes responsibiltiy
> all actions by individuals in the US govt for the past 50 years.

She's a spook!

I see it as two aspects, there's the American *people* and there's the
*govt* which I think is a tool of big business and international
capital, and
will simply bail when it gets too awkward, much as they bailed out of
when it got sticky in the middle of last century. A lot of people blame
US *people* whereas a lot of the americans I know complain bitterly
how they feel that they have lost control of their govt to business

Unfortunately the NYC attack was aimed at the people and not the govt.

> 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
> policy at cost to our relations with other countries eg the Labour
> stance on nukes in 1985 resulting in terrorism by France on the
> Warrior and
> the collapse of the ANZUS treaty with America. The reason is that NZ
> wanted idealistic foreign policy and Labour wanted to be in govt,
> than Labour being altruistic.

I think you'd find that if NZ was a world-striding collossus like the US

then the NZ govt would be highly imperialistic, the same as the govt of
all major world Powers are, sort of goes with the turf. NZ can afford to

be idealistic as the biggest threat to NZ is an invasion from Samoa.
If NZ were stuck in the middle of Africa or Asia then I suspect things
would be a wee tad different.


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