>My apologies to Mike, Brian and others whose hackles I have
>raised, I have reread my first post and confess that it was rather
>badly written and over the top.
>My points are not an attack on the American people or their way of
Accepted, consider yourself Un-Plonked. ;)
>True, America does have far more in the way of rights for its
>citizens than any European country. The difference arises in the
>practice, during the McCarthy Era for instance, it didn't matter
>that you had a right to silence, several left-aligned playwrights
>and actors were ruined by the McCarthy trial simply because they
>stuck to their right to silence, and they were punished for it.
>And as for thinking that the NSA really doesn't spy on American
>citizens, doesn't that seem a little strange when you consider
>programs such as Echelon (which does operate in Europe AND
I suggest you read James Bamford's books on the NSA to get
perspective on this.
>True, the US hasn't initiated any conflicts, but the US put an era
>in fear during the cold war (both America and the USSR were to
>blame, not just the USSR). The USA remains the only country to
>use a weapon of mass destruction on a civilian target (I'm not
>sure if you are the only nation to use weapons of mass destruction
>on military targets either) for the bombing of Nagasaki and
The cold war was the unfortunate result of the aftermath of WWII,
We were right to oppose totalitarianism disguised as communism.
As to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hiroshima was the embarkation point
for the southern Japanese fleet, and just upriver from Nagasaki was
where the torpedoes used at Pearl Harbor were made. There are also
allegations of chemical weapons factories if I recall. So much for
them being civilian targets.
By the way, both the notion of civilian targets and weapons of mass
destruction are modern ideas and terms, back then the atomic bomb
was seen as a new bomb, a superbomb sure, but not something that
had it's own class.
The fire bombing raids killed far more than both of those bombs by
the way. I suggest reading Richard Rhodes books for perspective on
As I used to tell people:
What was released at Hiroshima and again at Nagasaki were the souls
of the men aboard the Arizona.
>And as for confiscating the rights of the accused in nationalistic
>hysteria, how about the McCarthy Era. Also seeing as most of the
>situations you have mentioned occurred in western Europe quite a
>few hundred years ago (certainly in Britain) then I feel compelled
>to mention the slaughter of the native American people by the US
>government (such as the trail of tears), the confiscation of their
>land and repression of their culture.
You forgot slavery. No, clearly our forbearers are not without sin,
but neither are we. It's important we do better, that's what this
list is about.
Of course Britain has it's share, and it's still going on (Northern
Ireland). Lets talk India...
>Are you saying that you deny the effect of movies, TV programs and
>books in influencing common belief about history. These films
>seep into public opinion, Pearl Harbor is probably too extreme a
>case and I admit it was a bad choice to quote. Unfortunately the
>average idiot is unlikely to regard these movies with a critical
>mind but rather just watch it, if said average idiot hasn't had a
>particularly good history education, then where does he draw his
>knowledge about history from. I'm not saying that a guy watches
>pearl Harbor and says "my god, we won" but to deny the effect
>movies have on public opinion is dangerous.
The recent movie "Pearl Harbor" was bad, but not as bad as your
interpretation of D-Day.
I agree with you that such movies have bad effects.
>Hey! I'm no Socialist, Anyway good for him. But you must admit,
>the Star Wars program is a bit mental (apparently it's going to be
>the most expensive project ever undertaken by Man), and my points
>about the Kyoto talks (Clinton partly to blame here as well) and
>the Chemical weapons talks (the name escapes me) still stand.
In a world with rogue countries armed with intercontinental
ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads, a missile defense program
sounds like a pretty good idea.
As for Kyoto, that was herr Klintons idea, actually more Gore's
idea, and a bad one. Since it did not enjoy the support of the
American people who's opinion was never even consulted, it was
rejected. There's a lesson there.
>I agree with Lee Corbin on almost all of his points, it was lack
>of thought that messed up my message, I have nothing against
>patriotism and national pride, and I really can't see how any
>other nation could become as large and as powerful as the States
>without doing a better job, some would do just as well, some would
>do far, far worse. My point was more that most nations would
>refuse to join the United States in any but the most extreme
>conditions. While I fixated on Europe's attitude to America, I
>ignored our attitude to ourselves, national pride AND good old
>English Xenophobia is what is keeping England out of Europe and
>maybe at a later date, out of the USA
A federation of aligned countries is a good idea, I'm not
interested in more than that, I'm a pluralist.
>Also I'm not envious of the States at all, I dislike all nations
>equally and without prejudice (even my own) :)
>I agree with J.R.'s idea. The Chinese are certainly the only
>other nation I can think off that can be considered a superpower
>now. Russia has all gone to hell but the chinese have been
>beavering away quietly(ish). They have the worlds largest
>population, a huge army, and communism seems to work alot better
>there than it did in Russia, maybe because of the cultural
>background. Should be interesting to see what they get up to in
>the next 20 odd years.
To be a superpower you have to have world reach, something China
does not yet have. However I think China has every intention of
becoming one, and with it's current regime I don't see this as a
Extropy Institute, www.extropy.org
National Rifle Association, www.nra.org, 1.800.672.3888
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