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There are few countries where there would be such vigorous

by Ziks511 / June 18, 2005 9:31 AM PDT

debate and disagreement carried on in so public a way as in the United States. Even Britain is more subdued when discussing their treatment of IRA prisoners than is the current debate over Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Baghrab prisons.

Of course debate isn't everything, and the behavior of the Bush Administration has been high handed and in my view contrary to everything I think the US stands or should stand for, but the debate has been loud acrimonious and extremely public, which is a good thing.

I thind debate in France might reach the heights of acrimony that US debate is at. Britain and Germany being less inclined to challenge the elected authority.


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(NT) (NT) and of course you would say that
by Mark5019 / June 18, 2005 9:46 AM PDT
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According to most people here I am virulently Anti-American
by Ziks511 / June 18, 2005 10:13 AM PDT

I just thought I should speak more clearly for myself as greatly appreciating free speech and the influence it can have on US actions. I don't have to slavishly agree with US or Administration policies that I think are Un-American, and I don't have to put up with being characterized by those here who are inclined to pick a fight when no controversy or disagreement is intended.


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you cast enough doubt onto theyself
by Mark5019 / June 18, 2005 12:10 PM PDT

your the one who constantly adds fuel to your tirades, dont blame us americans for seeing it as it is

if you find the heat to much stay out of the kitchen.

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"According to most people here..." ?
by EdH / June 18, 2005 12:25 PM PDT

That's a gross overstatement. Who are these "most people"? Feeling persecuted again? I don't think most people here think you're anti-American. Maybe just sadly off kilter...

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The debated subject is BS!
by lylesg / June 18, 2005 12:31 PM PDT
the current debate over Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Baghrab prisons.

Debate something worthwhile.

This acrimony that you reference, IMO, is very demeaning for the US and it is mere political BS slinging from some of our own people who are so caught up in the fact that their political party/ideas are not prevalent and they will stoop to any means imaginable to humiliate the current establishment before the eyes of the entire world. We are animals? I don?t think so. Bush and his party are animals, no. Do I entirely agree with Bush, no. Maybe our soldiers at those places you referenced do push, shove, trip, spill food or water and down right kick ***, but they are detaining some of the meanest sob?s this world has ever known. The detainees/prisoners would cut every Americans head off if it were possible and then feed remains to swine. They have already sawed head?s off and will do it again, too. Would our soldiers do this? I don't think any American believes that they would. Any one of those insurgents would blow himself up if he could kill two Americans in the process. Big friggin? deal that some of them have been treated rough and their religious beliefs have been mocked. Aren?t their religious beliefs the root of the evil that?s inside them and it inspires them to hate us to the point of killing innocent American men, women and children? All Moslems do not believe like those animals do and the peaceful ones use their holy scripture as inspiration for the betterment of all mankind, I would hope. But, those animals that are in detention use their holy words as justification for killing Americans and that being the case, they do not read from the same words as other Moslems read, so destroy any weapon?s that feed their cause and doing it right before their eyes wouldn?t bother me one bit. IMO, it?s not the same Koran in both cases.

I thind debate in France might reach the heights of acrimony that US debate is at.
God be with France.

Britain and Germany being less inclined to challenge the elected authority.
Perhaps they do not believe in trashing all that their nations stand for in an attempt to degrade and humiliate the current government. Perhaps the US ?might reach the heights of acrimony? of Germany and the UK.
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(NT) (NT) Amen! Say it again, Mojo! Louder;)
by Glenda / June 18, 2005 1:03 PM PDT
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Our mistreatment of them demeans US.
by Ziks511 / June 18, 2005 5:15 PM PDT

It has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with the difference between us and them. If we act worse than most Western Democracies (except maybe France) in Public we end up looking like the bad guys. And like most of SE you ignore the FBI report that started this whole thing and has yet to be shown false.

Those who say the Newsweek report was false when it varied in a few details from what has come out since are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic or nitpicking.
But that's Just my opinion.


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(NT) (NT) Bull
by EdH / June 18, 2005 8:50 PM PDT
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While I do believe the behaviour of the few
by Dragon / June 18, 2005 11:33 PM PDT

is taken to be 'demeaning to the US' by the people of some countries, I think they are mistaken to perceive it that way. Rather, they should see it as a reflection of 'the few'. Since they are anti-American in many respects, they take 'the few' as symbolic of our country. (BTW, I dont see anything wrong with putting panties on a prisoner's head, especially the type of person they put in prison Happy

And, while there are some who do speak acrimoniously, I think in large part, people just go about their business. The 'forum phenomenom' is certainly unique, in that some people tend to be less restrained than they otherwise would be.

It may be true that in this country, people are more outspoken than British -- I dont have first hand experience but if you do, I'll take your word for it -- I imagine elected leaders of both our countries get into discussions that are equally heated, if not more heated in Britain.

As far as what was done at Gitmo, a soldier kicking a Koran, for example, I consider this a trivial matter, blown up by the media and the left and taken seriously by a few malcontent muslims. This is what we should expect as the result of a free press...and Im not insinuating that theres anything wrong with a free press, except that it should be responsible in what they report. These days, the news has to be gotten out faster than it ever has in order to remain competitive. There isnt much in the way of deliberations before inking a story.

Thats just my opinion.

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My own feelings.
by lylesg / June 19, 2005 12:57 AM PDT
It has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with the difference between us and them.

What it?s got to do with is the fact that those detainees are people who have already sawed American heads off and would do it again in a heartbeat. They are not soldiers that showed up on a battlefield perform their patriotic duty. They are the lowest of the low and their resolve to kill us goes far beyond that of conventional warfare.

And like most of SE you ignore the FBI report that started this whole thing and has yet to be shown false.

I don?t give a rats @@ about what happens to those animals short of fire torture. I do have my limits I guess.
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Hold on !

From the get-go, this country was founded on dissent, dissatisfaction, and disagreement.

Some of the early settlers were dissatisfied with practicing theirs in the wake a national religion.

As settlements became permanent and grew in number, so did their dissatisfaction of being a colony, and taxed by that government.

As the groundswell for independence grew, there was dissent as an element wanted to remain British.

As more became dissatisfied there was a revolution, resulting in independence.

There was debate while the Constitution was being written. "All men are created equal" had not been said before. Over time amendments have led to correcting and clarifying when appropriate.

Later, there was dissatisfaction with the union of states. As the disagreements increased, dissent led to the Civil War.

This country has been one of ideas, rather than ideology.

We have no class nor caste system. We stand up in the presence of our presidents, with our heads as high as theirs, out of respect for the office, regardless of our party.

We are free to disagree with any administration, and when we are dissatisfied with their performance, we show our dissent at election time.

As to Ireland, there was no Geneva Convention at the time of the revolution Though it was a civil war with rifles facing cannon, they were not considered prisoners of war, and thus were hanged for treason. Following that, the British government broke as many promises as we did to the Indians.

The editorials in foreign papers I have read over the years have been continually critical of our sitting administrations. The warts in our history have been fodder for demeaning us.

Whether I do or do not agree with or support this administration, President Bush is my President. So the "Be thankful we are not like the Americans" attitudes from other countries prompts me to say "We have never claimed to be perfect. Look to your own problems and your own histories before implying that you think you are."

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Editorials in American papers also criticize other nations a
by Ziks511 / June 20, 2005 6:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Hold on !

and their leaders, sometimes with accuracy, often with little resemblance to the actual situation. I refer you to any of Mark's posts of editorial opinion on any other country for the latter.

It was precisely my point that the US has been carrying out vigorous open debate for 230 years or so and not even Britain can match that record nor can France or any other country I know of.


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You seem to think I was criticizing the US when my post was
by Ziks511 / June 20, 2005 6:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Hold on !

exactly the opposite? Why. It's like one of the other people saying that they always know my opinion in advance, when it's clear to me that they don't.

People here have been calling me Anti-American for so long that they're actually beginning to believe it. I never have been, but I have been critical of Administrations, which is I understood to be an inherent part of the whole Free thought, Free Speech thing.

Heaven knows the Republican Lying machine said nasty things about Carter and Clinton most of it groundless, and none of it offering the slightest shred of dignified opposition, it was all virulently viciously vitriolicly personal. Just because I live outside the US doesn't mean that the President becomes immune or not a just target from amd for my opinions, or anyone's, American born or not.

All Presidents who are acting shamefully or illegally wrap themselves in the flag. It is one small thing in his favor that Clinton never did. He just tried to do the job while the Raving Recidivist Right tried to burn the government down around his and all of our ears. I don't like his absence of sexual restraint or morality, but I dislike the tactics of the opposition at least as much.


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My intent

What I addressed was the propensity of foreign newspapers to spend too much time, IMO, in criticizing the US than in focusing on their own. This could explain why they may not engage in as much vociferous public debate as we do-

I also pointed out that we always have.

That unconstructive criticism offered few, if any, solutions, excepting that we should change to a parliamentary form of government.

I am aware of inappropriate comments being made about Canada here, but I think you will agree that it is not done by the vast majority of our members. On the flip side, mention has been made more than once on this board re: our history of treatment of the Indians, slave-holding, etc., but, also only by a few.

I was in school with a fellow who was a child at Pearl Harbor during the attack, and a bomb hit his house. His father was killed at the docks. When he visited England in later life, he stood and cheered with the Londoners during a parade commemorating VE Day. A woman standing next to him must have caught his American accent. She turned angrily to him, and said, "What business of this is yours? Your country was never attacked!"

I cannot speak as whether other countries should loudly and publicly debate as we do.

There are many, myself included, who have learned that there are some topics that may not be debated here in a civil manner. One side believes that Democrats are communists and bleeding hearts, , the other that Republicans serve only the rich and ignore the poor. . Though reason says that these stereotypes are not true, deep seated views have not and will not be changed here.

On a personal note, my formative years were spent in a time when "Loose lips sink ships" was stressed. Thus I admit to concern about what terrorists read due to their apparently sophisticated use of the internet. Intellectually I know that a free media is the mark of a free people. What I would consider the ideal is that issues be debated civilly and without rancor. IMO, this would be the real eye opener for terrorists - that people with different views can speak to each other, respect each other, and not blow up dissenters for doing so.

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Thanks so much Angeline for your intelligent and civil
by Ziks511 / June 21, 2005 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: My intent

response to my sometimes touchy post. I am perhaps too inclined to be defensive in this forum but not without some reason.

That's a distressing story about the VE celebration in London. Regrettably not everyone is as well informed as they should be.

Because I too have a WW2 fixation, perhaps because my Mum went through the Blitz and my Dad was an airman in the UK with the Ninth Air Force based in Norfolk, I tended to visit all the old airfields and air museums. At Blake Hall, which was the Command and Control Center for North Weald Airfield an RAF Fighter Command Airfield through the war, my wife and I met a really delightful couple who it turned out lived near us in Billericay. Den and Mavis were a lovely couple, he a milkman before he retired. He waa absolutely addicted to the Eighth Airforce and had a display at Blake Hall honoring the American airmen in Britain. He made extensive model layouts of their airfields including a wonderful winter scene of 1/72 scale B17s being swept clean of snow in preparation for a winter mission. He also had an enormous collection of Glenn Miller records which he used as background music for his presentation at Blake Hall and for his own entertainment at home. He had literally everything Glenn Miller ever recorded both in the US and with the Band of the US Army Air Force in Britain, most of it two or three times over, including Allied Armed Forces radio broadcasts. He would have set that woman straight.

It makes me sad because they were both unwell before we left and Mavis, who suddenly developed Pulmonary Hypertension a year after we met them, was unlikely to survive more than another year or two. Den wouldn't have lived much more than a few months after Mavis went, they were that kind of couple. I was wrong not keeping in touch.


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Reminds me of my aunt
by Dragon / June 21, 2005 12:41 PM PDT
In reply to: My intent
I was in school with a fellow who was a child at Pearl Harbor during the attack, and a bomb hit his house. His father was killed at the docks.

She was in a bus that was straffed by a zero. Fortunately for her, though, the plane was too close and the bullets hit on both sides of the bus.

BTW, as an aside, she said that the maids had disappeared. She figures they knew ahead of time that there would be an attack.
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by TONI H / June 21, 2005 1:22 AM PDT

My opinion as always is that the USA is the only country in the world that goes to the extreme side of giving information to the public that other countries don't believe the public should have......for security reasons if nothing else, let alone the constant barrage of criticism that would come from informing the public of everything.

As long as we remain a country that doesn't hide our booboos, flaws, and mistakes from not only our own people but the rest of the world as well, we will always be a target for world wide criticism when other countries do far worse in private and behind closed doors and can feel smug about it.

That is one of the aspects about our country that other countries resent.....our citizens have the right to know and the right to openly criticize, and the right to openly protest whatever they feel is unfair or unjust without fear of reprisal from the government over it.

We won't always agree on everything that happens here, but at least we can say we don't. The other countries hide behind the cloak of respectability even though its a cloth cape that sooner or later tatters to shreds, and the USA normally gets the shaft for 'not knowing ahead of time in order to stop it'. There is very little that actually goes on in other countries' governments that the people who live there and the rest of the world knows about.

When the other countries learn how to clean up their own backyards and air their dirty laundry on a regular basis and inform their citizens and not punish their citizens for speaking out against their government, the USA will always be the country that gets the most criticism and flack.......

And we'll continue to be raked over the coals for anything we do or don't do that some people in SE can google a comment about.


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(NT) (NT)The ''Little dogs nipping at the big dogs heels'' affect
by Dragon / June 21, 2005 12:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Consideration
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