Why bash Americans?

Old Nov 24th, 2000, 01:02 PM
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Chris H, your question is interesting, but your supporting statements are questionable, both in veracity and presentation.

Your statement "don't blame us [for sending in peacekeeping troups}, blame our outgoing president (President Hillbilly)". The name-calling is childish and should be beneath a serious International Affairs student; you lost credibility right there.
Secondly, every president (with a couple of exceptions) has used his discretion in sending troops into volatile situations. Singling out Clinton to blame shows limited knowledge of the political history of the United States. You make a rather non-definitive statement "when it comes to 'policing' the world, I think that is BS." BS is a word used when the writer/speaker has no other way to express him/herself. You give no supporting statements for why you think 'policing is BS'. You then go on to advise how to learn about another country, yet you've never traveled outside the United States. If you are speaking from theory, again, where are the supporting arguments?
This statement is unclear; what did you mean? "If you haven't studied anything, you won't realize this president has overstepped his legal bounds more times than I can remember." If you're using this post to criticize this encumbent president, you have not made your point. Other presidents (Richard M. Nixon comes to mind) have overstepped moral and legal boundaries; are you saying Clinton was the ONLY president to do so? You are wrong if that is your contention. Are you saying Clinton committed more egregious acts? Again, you are incorrect on that posture. "Look at all the land he grabbed in the American West and Alaska." Suddenly, you're switching from international affairs to Department of Interior affairs. I once again question whether you're using this forum as a soapbox for your condemnation of the current president, rather than the "discussion" you proposed as your reason for starting this thread. Even if you want to draw into this a discussion about Clinton's handling of interior affairs, you'll need to do better than toss out inflammatory statements with no facts or supporting statements.

"When I mean'bigger and smaller' nations, I mean virtually defenseless nations and aggressor nations. Like Kuwait. Like South Vietnam (that went over well...) etc. I don't think we, the US, should send troops to other countries unless they ask for our help. Wouldn't your country do the same thing?" You chose two armed hostilities that are surrounded by controversy, and are poor examples to use to uphold your premise.
"I just wanted to enhance the difference between bashing America as a country because a select few decide to make themselves sem great in the annuls of history". This statement makes no sense, as you never finished the 'difference'.

Finally, it is difficult to take seriously someone who claims to be a major in International Affairs, yet has such poor spelling ("annuls"?), sentence structure, and vague thought processes. The advice "It's language, learn a little of it" is difficult to take seriously from someone whose command of the English language is minimal.

Old Nov 25th, 2000, 02:32 AM
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I will try to give an honest answer from a European perspective.
1. There are nice people and not-so-nice people everywhere. It is ridiculous to judge an individual because they carry a certain passport.
2. Many Europeans have a love-hate relationship with the USA. We love the vibrant economy, the optimism, the entrepreneurial atmosphere, the "getting-things-done" mentality, the cosmopolitism, the uncomplicated friendliness and the "from paper boy to millionaire" opportunities in the USA.
At the same time, we can not understand how such a rich country has so much extreme poverty, how they can allow citizens to carry guns, how a civilized country still can have the death penalty. Also, many Europeans do not like the extreme materialism of many Americans. "More" seems equivalent to "better".
3. Perhaps there is a similar divide in the USA itself. I read an article that proposes to split-up the USA in "Gore-land" and "Bush-land". Maybe it is no coincidence that the places that I (and many other Europeans) like in the USA are all in Gore-land. (New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Hawaii)
There was an opinion poll amongst Dutch people here asking the question who they would vote for if they were allowed to vote for the American presidency: 80% voted for Gore, 15% for Nader and 5% for Bush! Perhaps these votes can be included to reach a solution?
Old Nov 25th, 2000, 02:56 AM
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Apart from the fact that all who replied to this post (including me) need to get a life..., all countries have there stereotypes
Australia: loud, beer guzzling, thongs, sheila's, Elle McPherson (we all look like her.. really)
NZ: sheep, sheep, sheep
UK: whingers,unwashed, pale, only eat fish and chips
US: overweight, hawaiian shirts, socks with sandals, camera's around their necks, load....
France: smelly,berets, beatnix's, snails, garlic, hate the English
Give us all a break and enjoy our uniqueness
Old Nov 25th, 2000, 05:48 AM
Bill Cliton
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Sjoerd - Here Here. We need more folks like you in my silly country. I love the Dutch attitude of free sex, free drugs and free cheese. No wonder you have no crime or dissatisfaction in your mighty country. Isn't it great the way your people have no guns. You NEVER have incidents of mass killings or any drug related crime. How'd you like to take a "ride" on one of the attractions at "Clintonland"? You'll get a free cigar afterwards.
Old Nov 25th, 2000, 08:03 AM
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Ah Bill how right you ar eof course. Holland does not (inrelation to population size) have ANYWHERE near US crime rate/killing rate/drug crime rate/poverty rate. Nor does any country in Europe come to think of it. Sjoerd just about hit the nail on the head with his comments.And just How many people has Bush sent to their death?? So its not just the citizens with guns its the elected government officials also.
Old Nov 25th, 2000, 04:45 PM
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Yup, Chris...

I have to agree with you on that country music thing... (thang?)


Old Nov 25th, 2000, 08:00 PM
Bill Cliton
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Yeah, thos edamn Republicans don't give a crap about anyone. They just wanna see everyone die. They and their families don't drink that water they pollute nor do they breathe the same air. They are deliberately out to kill everyone. Especially the perfect Europeans.
Old Nov 26th, 2000, 08:26 AM
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If your going to take on the persona of "Bill" you may want to spell his name right.

I have a distaste for the American way of spin-doctoring the past to have them 'winning' or 'maintaining' on behalf of the civilized world.

For example, I recently saw a speech of a man professing why the US should employ a more reasonable medicare system, and he mentioned that they are attempting to improve- get this, a three thousand year old medical system.
Oh yeah, I forgot, the US is three thousand years old. He was relating to the medical system that is derived from ancient Greece. And no one called him on it, in fact they gave him a standing ovation.

The speaker was taking credit for another nation's ideas, which seems to be the norm for the US.

And let's not forget WWII, THEY won the war, right? Nevermind the millions of Brits and French and Commonwealth Nationals that lost their lives or loved ones in WWII.

That's one reason why US citizen's are disliked.
Old Nov 26th, 2000, 09:20 AM
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Didn't Gore take credit for the Internet/world wide web also? Which was infact invented/started by a British man.
Old Nov 26th, 2000, 09:27 AM
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We love ya really. In fact everyone gets bashed but I guess its only the French who deserve it and they know it and don't mind so what the heck

Old Nov 26th, 2000, 09:29 AM
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The movie U-571 depicted an American sub retrieving an Enigma machine from a German U Boat. One of the greatest points in WWII. Except the fact that in REALITY it was a British sub who retrieved the Enigma machine and turned the tide of the war.

The Brits were up in arms about this misfact, and the director's response was that Americans wouldn't go see a movie about Brits. He was quite astonished that there would be such a backlash.

Old Nov 26th, 2000, 05:56 PM
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Thanks for your comments Elvira. As I agree with all of your points in response to the original post, you've saved me a lot of typing.

If this is the caliber of thinking and verbal expression that comes from an International Affairs major, heaven help us. Chris, you might want to try to see a little bit of the world and actually learn something about foreign countries, their citizens, and their attitudes first hand before making broad generalizations. You should also brush up on your history while you're at it.

Also, if I remember correctly, "President Hillbilly" is a Rhode's Scholar. You, on the other hand, seem to have trouble mastering basic spelling and grammar.
Old Nov 26th, 2000, 07:03 PM
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As a professor in international relations/political science, I would urge you to consider enrolling in a different institution. It would seem from your post that your education is doing little for your cricital thinking, analytical thinking and communication skills. Perhaps you have made vast improvement from where you started. But with the cost of higher education, even at public institutions, I would look towards get a "bigger bang for the buck" by attending an institution that can focus on those areas in which you clearly need improvement--as well as provide you with the historical knowledge you desperately need to improve your understanding of what President Clinton has and has not done in comparision to other presidents. There are many fine institutions in the South which you might find compelling. However, no institution will be able to address the underlying arrogance and general lack of respect for knowledge that you so aptly display in your original post. Good luck.
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 09:24 AM
Steve Mueller
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Funny how quickly these types of threads degenerate into ad hominem attacks. Are certain participants in this forum really so bigoted as to criticize someone for preferring a different type of music? Often, those that consider themselves to be the most culturally sensitive are the first to invoke disparaging stereotypes.

With all due respect to Sjoerd, whom I regard as a generally astute observer of European society and politics, the Dutch prefer Gore and Nader because these candidates are borderline socialist. Moreover, if Europeans are genuinely opposed to US military intervention, they would have favored Buchanan, an avowed isolationist.

Although I doubt that poverty is a major reason for US bashing, attitudes toward poverty reflect attitudes toward politics. Europeans view the poverty stricken as helpless victims of an inequitable society. The majority of Americans view poverty as a consequence of choices that we make in life: the choice to drop out of high school, the choice to have the first of many children as an unwed teenager, the choice to abuse drugs and/or alcohol, the choice to become involved in criminal activity (and thereby acquire a criminal record), etc.

Sjoerd's statement that Europeans prefer "Gore-land" (e.g., New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, etc.) cannot be entirely accurate. I have met many Europeans in the national parks of the western US, most of which are, without question, in "Bush-land."
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 09:46 AM
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Per your comment "Are certain participants in this forum really so bigoted as to criticize someone for preferring a different type of music?", if you were refering to my comment (on Chris's comment) about country music, please realize I was trying to make a point, more than anything, by being facetious...

And yes, I really don't like country music, but then again, who cares? I don't care if others do (well, as long as they keep it low, that is...)
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 10:09 AM
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I think that any bashing stems from distrust and disgruntlment.

My boyfriend and I recently spent a month in Europe this last May and met with some friendly Northern Europeans in Brussells, Copenhagen, Paris, Stolkholm & Helsinki. We went to a local laundry mat in Denmark and met a guy who deciphered the instructions for us--he was extremely nice.

It wasn't until we got to Munich and Rome when the general public's attitude seemed to disenegrate. For us, down there, we met with some really rude people. It also happened that we came across other Americans who felt the same way. Who knows? But our feelings are that we can't stand the Romans.

Sometimes it doesn't matter that your only interacting with a few people and not the whole country. When an awful person ruins your day, it ruins your day.

And it goes both ways. I'm sure there are some real jerks in Denmark, but did we run into any? No. As a result, did we come away loving Kobenhavn? Absolutely.
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 12:27 PM
World Traveller
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I have travelled to about 50 countries in the last 10 years, and I have noticed Americans bashing everywhere. In fact, a lot of experienced travellers have recommended me to wear a Canadian pin when I travel, and I'll be treated better. It actually works quite well.

Out of my travelling experience, I have come to several conclusions:

Most people welcome Americans because American tourists in general are fun, open and friendly. Every country in the world also loves the mighty American dollars.

However, American tourists often show lack of respects for other cultures. Simple example: An attire of t-shirt, shorts, sneakers and baseball cap is inappropriate for most places in Europe. American tourists also tend to assume everyone in the world speaks English. Before I go to another country, I always learn to say all greetings, and "Do you speak English?" in the language spoken in the country I'm travelling to. This simple gesture goes a long way when you travel.

But I believe what damage the American image the most is the American military presence in foreign countries. First of all, most people believe American military presence is in the self interest of America. It is also unfortunate that American soliders are rarely in their best behaviour when they are in other countries. I spent a year travelling around Asia and I was absolutely digusted with many American Soldier behaviour. While I was in Japan, news about American Soldiers raping small children and beating up locals were common in Okinawa. American soliders were also well known for picking on people much smaller than they were. When my friends and I were travelling in Korea, we hanged out with a few American soliders stationed in Seoul. We learnt first hand how American soliders enjoy their weekend nights out in Seoul. Some solider insisted on teaching us tricks to take advantage on Korean prostitues without paying. We felt incredibly disgusted and ashamed. You might ask why we would hang out with such animals while we travelled. We were actually kindly invited by an US GI on the street, and he offered to show us the nightlife in Seoul. We later on found out that this GI was in fact interested in one of my friends who is a good looking American guy with East Indian origin.

I sincerely hope that more Americans will behave respectfully when travelling aboard because a small percentage of bad apples can affect an image of a great nation.
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 12:54 PM
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Well, I was doing an admirable job at staying out of the fray until I read the esteemed Professor's response!

Professor, your disrespect for institutions of higher learning located in the South is not only insulting, but ignorant.

Bashing of any group for any reason is abhorrent. The stereotypes of the Southern bumpkin are worn out, Professor. Show some class.
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 01:05 PM
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Professor, I construed your post to be sarcastic with regard to Southern universities. If you were, in fact, mocking Southern education, my rebuke stands. If I was mistaken, please forgive my angry haste and accept my apology. I just get tired of the regional slurs...
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 02:54 PM
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yeahright ([email protected]) - Actually the British did not capture the first Enigma code machine. It was the gallant Poles, who then handed it over to the Brits. The British figured out the mechanics and used it to intercept German coded messages. Incidentally, in trying to maintain the secrecy of their knowledege of Enigma, the Brits also allowed countless soldiers and sailors of the British, Aussie, Free French, Free Pole and U.S. military to die instead of warning them of German machinations. Not to mention hundreds of Resistance fighters sacrificed for the ultimae "Good" of the war effort.

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