Re: American "imperialism"

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sun Nov 25 2001 - 11:32:13 MST wrote:
> Non-member submission from []
> >
> > The recent debate about US interventions in other countries is
> pointless
> > 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,

I assume that Ned includes me in that mindset. I can counter by saying
that I know more extropians who do not sub to this list anymore (as
opposed to those who still do) specifically because it has become
inundated by left winger socialist types in the last 3 years.

> 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.

Yes, but apparently not the maniacs you are thinking of.

> > 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.
> 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.

What surprises me is that the moral relativists have such difficultly
grasping the idea that just because America doesn't act according to
YOUR principles that it doesn't act according to its own as IT
understands them (NOT YOU). I'd think that people with such allegedly
broad minds would be able to grasp, embrace, and even apologize for such
things before breakfast.

> > 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
> You have just described 90% of the Western world.

Yes, but we don't all watch the same TV channels, do we? Some of us live
where most of the available media is not funded or produced by the
government to fit its own agenda.

> > 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.
> The US actually offered troops to supervise the elections and that was
> strongly
> 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
> that
> other than the initial newspaper report, this has never been mentioned
> in
> Australia since then

Of course not. Popular world opinion is that either a) US military
forces are a bunch of murderous raping criminals, or else b) that they
are effete pampered pansies who can't put their combat boots on right,
compared to the military in their own particular country. In either
case, it's obviously embarrassing to be seen asking for such infantry to
join your particular cause.

> > 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.

After the NA forces complaining that we were not bombing enough to the
western press (I found it so hilarious that the US tv media was trying
to embarrass the Bush administration by reporting the NA recommendations
that we carpet bomb MORE villages).

> > It is significant that the various and bloody Soviet interventions
> were
> > never demonised in teh same way as american actions.
> ??? You are joking, aren't you? There was a huge global outcry, the
> Moscow
> Olympics were torpedoed, etc.

We, the US, torpedoed the Moscow olympics by staying home, but I don't
recall many other countries staying home. Perhaps you can provide more

> >
> > 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.
> She's a spook!
> I see it as two aspects, there's the American *people* and there's the
> American
> *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
> Europe
> when it got sticky in the middle of last century. A lot of people blame
> the
> US *people* whereas a lot of the americans I know complain bitterly
> about
> how they feel that they have lost control of their govt to business
> interests.
> Unfortunately the NYC attack was aimed at the people and not the govt.

Many more of us feel we've lost control of our government to NGO special
interests funded by millionaire/billionaire aristocrats like Ted Turner
and Andrew MacKelvey.

> > 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.
> 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.

A very good point. NZ can afford a principled isolationist stance
specifically for the same reasons the US could afford the same prior to
WWII: you can't git theyuh frum heyah.... that easily.

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