A world without America?


by Leon
21st February, 2007 at 11:14 am    

Tory TV, Fox News lite, 18 Doughty Street TV has a new “attack ad” up entitled ‘A world with America’. According to them their aim is as follows:

At a time of rampant anti-Americanism this ad – produced with BritainAndAmerica.com – aims to remind the world of the great economic, technological and political benefits that the US has brought to the world.

You can watch the full ad here:

Is 18DS bang on the money or far off the mark? What would a world without America be like?


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  1. DavidMWW — on 21st February, 2007 at 11:48 am  

    In the “sky writing” word-montage finale of that video they include Elvis Presley, The Bra, and (bizarrely) The Liberation of the Falklands.

    What? No Simpsons?

  2. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    I hate stupid What If? scenarios. The question is What Now?? What does America want to be, and does it have the resolve and attention span to meet its aims for a better world. At the moment, I don’t think so.

  3. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:19 pm  

    BTW That was not really aimed at you Leon, its just I don’t see the point of that pathetic ad. Again it goes back to that lame joke that we’d be run over by the Nazis and communists. Look America supported the Allies not because the particularly cared about the holocaust, or the EU, rather they didn’t want the battlefield to be in America. Same principle applies to their fights against communism. Not out of a simple desire to export freedom. What was that quote: “he may be a bastard but he’s our bastard”

  4. Kismet Hardy — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:24 pm  

    A world without America is ridiculous. You couldn’t wipe out a chunck of land that big without expecting the rest of the world suffer both economically and environmentally, which, seeing as what America does for a living anyway, will only mean their work is carried on after its death.

    Now a world without American intervention? I’d buy that for a dollar

  5. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:29 pm  

    Heh. It would just be like …a world without British imperialism? Empires come and go. Always have done and always will. We’d all yawn and move on to the next kiss-ass licky relationship or whatever, and chuckle about the day the hicks over in the US thought they were the big boys, especially with all that trillion dollar debt.

    ( dunno, guess like how the Romans feel nowadays..)

  6. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:29 pm  

    there would be monty python-esque sketches on ‘what did the Amewicans ever do for us’

  7. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:31 pm  

    yeah, i suppose kismet is right -america would stay where they are, someone else would just become the be a powerful bully. ( money appears to be on India or China – boy are the Indians getting excited and salivating all over the place – finally a chance to be the big Imperialists themselves! I bet they can’t wait. )

  8. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:31 pm  

    so much f**cking nationalism all over the world. ‘We’re next – we’re shining, or poised, or whatever’

    roll on – yawn

  9. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

    just think – maybe we could get the global weed ban overturned. boy then bill hicks would turn over in his grave

    sniff. bill you were great.

  10. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:33 pm  

    I was going to post this of the Niqab thread, but it closed, the girl lost the case against her school:

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2018006,00.html

  11. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

    im surprised her parents let her out of the house even.

  12. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

    “money appears to be on India or China – boy are the Indians getting excited and salivating all over the place – finally a chance to be the big Imperialists themselves! I bet they can’t wait.”

    Ditto Sonia, whenever I talk to some of my Chinese suppliers and complain about fake components and how people will stop buying from China if this continues, they tell me to shut up and that China will soon take over the UK and I should grovel to them instead. And it is definately true that more and more Indians are not just becoming assertive in the new global order but salivating at the opportunity to be the next “SUPERPOWER”. *voice echoes everywhere* ;)

  13. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

    i suppose that’s the condition – we’ll only let you go to school in this ungodly country if you cover up in the niqab. for a 12 year old that just seems excessively puritannical.

  14. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    yep Sahil, just you wait. :-) Global Domination by the Indians – ( and we all know Racist they are) Boy I CAn Hardly Wait.

  15. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

    i mean of course, before everyone starts salivating here and jumping up and down, :-) heh – that WE all know how racist WE are.

    you know.. damn those goras – they don’t even wash man type statements. look at that kali girl over there – so ugly yaar.

  16. Chairwoman — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    What no America? Well it’s certainly on the way economically. Virtually everything you pick up in the shops there appears to be ‘Made in China’.

  17. Chris — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:15 pm  

    “A world without American intervention” almost always means “except when we need them”.

  18. Jagdeep — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

    Who funds 18 Doughnut Street? Looks like a sleek operation.

  19. justforfun — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    Sonia – that visa delay in the India High Commission has certainly pissed you off :-) India will live to regret it one day. ;-)

    Sahil #2 “What ifs” are a waste of time and as you say it the present and future that count – How far back do we go – if there was not the problem over the tax on tea, then the British would never have bothered to go to India for the 2nd Empire. Would the Moghuls have clung on like the Ottomans and Qajars. A different worlds indeed. What if the sub-continent and Burma had achieved Dominion status in the 1920s as excpected before Winston put his oar in, what would the world be like now? PS – if you get lip from your Chinese suppliers, tell them you’re moving the contract to Eastern Europe – I have for a few things and its far better – works out roughly the same price after you factor in the sheer hassle of dealing with the Chinese and costs of going and sorting out endless problems, and you are in the EU and no problems with IP etc etc.

    Justforfun

  20. Chairwoman — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:29 pm  

    Actually more than a little of the ad is accurate.

    Jagdeep – 18 Doughty Street might be a slick operation, but as an ex-ad agency exec, I wasn’t terribly impressed by the production of the ad. It was an excellent idea executed in an amateurish fashion.

  21. Jagdeep — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:36 pm  

    Chairwoman you have the final word on all things here. Doughnut Street has gone down in my estimation.

  22. John Christopher — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

    Lucky for me, my first girlfriend was Indian, so when the revolution finally comes, I’ll be safe in the arms of my desi-babe (except from her brothers that is).

  23. Chairwoman — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:46 pm  

    Jagdeep – Thank you for cheering me up:-)

  24. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    Hi Justforfun, I’m definately working on Eastern EU suppliers, cheaper freight and less hassle. Too many bad experiences =(

  25. Jagdeep — on 21st February, 2007 at 1:57 pm  

    Could do with a midweek open thread. I downloaded a streaming programme onto my computer yesterday that lets me watch football for free — Champions League on the PC tonight Barca – Liverpool get in!! Premiership free too although some of the matches only have Chinese commentary.

    Linking that into this thread, no America means no Windows technology —-> no free football streams on PC —-> no free football, so, America is therefore good. 19 Doughnut Street has saved America.

  26. Tim Ireland — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    This ad is compromised before you even click ‘play’.

    Criticism of the current administration does not equal hatred of America.

  27. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:05 pm  

    “Could do with a midweek open thread. I downloaded a streaming programme onto my computer yesterday that lets me watch football for free — Champions League on the PC tonight Barca – Liverpool get in!! Premiership free too although some of the matches only have Chinese commentary.”

    Jagdeep, can you tell where you got it. I have a really hard time getting to watch Milan.

  28. justforfun — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:06 pm  

    Supposedly Eastern European hospitality is better – or so I’ve heard ;-)

    Just re-read my post – Anas – “IP” means Intellectual Property – just in case you think they are heartless bastards in the East who care little of the other IP – they probably are ! – but business is business and we have to make more stuff and more stuff untill we can’t get out of our front doors for stuff.

    Jagdeep – you’ll get fired if you have that sort of thing on your work PC. Or are you the “Sugar” daddy at work?

    Justforfun

  29. Jagdeep — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

    On home PC justforfun

    Sahil : http://www.live-footy.org

  30. Sahil — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    THANKS!!!!!

  31. Jagdeep — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

    No probs bro.

  32. Sid — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:25 pm  

    Doughty Schmouty.
    It’s Iain Dale’s vehicle and he’s recently fallen backwards on Guido’s knob, hasn’t he?

  33. Sid — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:26 pm  

    What Tim Ireland said (#26) again and again and again and again.

  34. Leon — on 21st February, 2007 at 2:43 pm  

    Criticism of the current administration does not equal hatred of America.

    Indeed. The whole premise (Eustonites take note) of ‘anti Americanism’ is just plain daft. What about those Americans that hate Bush and were opposed to the Iraq war? They anti American to?

    It’s just a debased term to skewer debate along emotive lines about loyalty rather than dissent and critical thought (and action!) about policy.

  35. Anas — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

    Disliking the massively negative influence that American governmental foreign policy has on the rest of the world, does not equate to hating America, its people, or its culture. Nor is it the same thing as saying that America should pursue a purely isolationist foreign policy. Prentending otherwise, and assuming that most criticism of the policies of the American establishment derive from a reflex anti-Americanism, saves prats like Iain Dale from having to ask difficult questions themselves.

  36. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:08 pm  

    I doubt anyone from 18 Doughty Street will actually read this, but on the off chance they do. My crippled pet hamster could produce a better ad. Theres 16 yr olds on youtube who could produce a better ad. That was one of the most cringeworthy things ive ever seen. The internet judges you.

    Oh and any sane individual is rightly anti-American in these times.

  37. Anas — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:11 pm  

    I’d love to see an advert entitled ‘What about a world without Iain Dale?’ Now that would be a feelgood piece.

  38. Anas — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:15 pm  

    I’d like to see an advert entitled ‘A World Without Iain Dale’. Now that would be a real feelgood piece.

  39. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:19 pm  

    jff – “Sonia – that visa delay in the India High Commission has certainly pissed you off” :-) why do you assume that, heh im used to embassies i know what they’re like. i say what i say because im a desi and desis aren’t politically correct around other desis! ;-)

  40. sonia — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:22 pm  

    34. leon…YOU SAID IT!

  41. Jim Denham — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

    Leon: the idea that a rather nasty, semi-racist, blanket anti-Americanism, is a problem in Britain and Europe (especially, but not exclusively on the so-called “left”)is a problem, is far from “daft”. It’s *very* prevalent: just read stuff from the SWP and their “Respect” front organisation, or listen to that dictator-loving demagogue Galloway, if you want proof. Anti-Americanism is not “left wing” or in any way progressive – especially as it is often a thin veneer for anti-semitism.

  42. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    “Criticism of the current administration does not equal hatred of America”

    Indeed not – but what we see too much of today is a hatred of America. It predates the Bush administration too, going back to the Vietnam war and perhaps even further. It’s fuelled by European hatred for having to be saved from the facists/communists, Arabic hatred at their failure to destroy Israel, and general jealousy and a wish to see the mighty bought low worldwide.

  43. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:39 pm  

    Oh, and “liberation of the Falklands”? WTF?

  44. Sid — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    No biggie. Great Britain used to be subject of the coarsest anti-British sentiment when she was Imperialist Gangster Number One. Now its the USA. Roles change.

  45. raz — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:52 pm  

    A lot of these anti-American accusations ignore the fact that after 9/11, the US enjoyed widespread global sympathy, and their operation in Afghanistan was fully supported around the world. Their government has done a fine job of squandering all that goodwill.

  46. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 3:59 pm  

    Sid – what the empire on which the sun never sets had was Palmerston and civis romanus sum, which you just can’t get away with these days. The US is probably the first empire to pay out more than it gets in. Dumbarse Yanks. :D

  47. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:02 pm  

    “A lot of these anti-American accusations ignore the fact that after 9/11, the US enjoyed widespread global sympathy, and their operation in Afghanistan was fully supported around the world”

    What? You’ve not heard the phrase “war on islam” being bandied about?

  48. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:08 pm  

    Indeed not – but what we see too much of today is a hatred of America. It predates the Bush administration too, going back to the Vietnam war and perhaps even further.

    I may be completely misunderstanding your point, but hatred, bitter bitter hatred of America over its involvement in Vietnam was and is completely justified.

    It’s fuelled by European hatred for having to be saved from the facists/communists, Arabic hatred at their failure to destroy Israel, and general jealousy and a wish to see the mighty bought low worldwide.

    I’m unsure what version of history you were taught, but the United States didn’t save Europe from Nazism. The Soviet Union did. The arab hatred is centred around support for Israel. The rest of the world hates America not out of some vague sense of jealousy, but from pretty concrete instances of American foreign policy fucking them over, off the top of my head and encompassing as much of the world as possible bayofpigs/vietnam/overthrowingmossadegh/overthrowingallende/iran-contra/greneda/

  49. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:15 pm  

    “I may be completely misunderstanding your point, but hatred, bitter bitter hatred of America over its involvement in Vietnam was and is completely justified”

    Does that go for Korea too?

  50. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:19 pm  

    “I’m unsure what version of history you were taught, but the United States didn’t save Europe from Nazism. The Soviet Union did. The arab hatred is centred around support for Israel. The rest of the world hates America not out of some vague sense of jealousy, but from pretty concrete instances of American foreign policy fucking them over, off the top of my head and encompassing as much of the world as possible”

    If it wasn’t for the lend lease kit from the US and UK, Moscow and the southern oilfields would have fallen into nazi hands. Japan would have decided it could probably handle a second front, and the USSR would have been forced to sue for peace. So you’re entirely wrong.

    US support for Israel didn’t kick into gear until the Arabs had already attacked and got beaten off. That humiliated them – but it’s not so bad now as they can blame their defeat on the US.

    The rest of the world has benefitted hugely from US foreign policy – you have to admit they’ve provided rather a lot of aid, science and tech?

  51. bananabrain — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    any sane individual is rightly anti-American in these times

    what a load of arsewash, kulvinder. good luck expecting the european commission or amnesty international or ken livingstone or whoever the hell it is you think ought to be in charge to provide you with protection when the iranians and chinese are in charge.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  52. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Does that go for Korea too?

    The involvement of the United Nations in Korea wasn’t to aid pluralism and democracy but to stop the ‘red terror’. The actions of Syngman Rhee, and events like the jeju massacre are pretty much testatment to the fact the South Koreans were as shit as the North Koreans during the war. Korea didn’t achieve real democracy during or indeed in the immediate aftermath of the Korean war.

    Even though the war ‘ended’ in stalemate it gave the Americans the impression they could unilaterally build a ‘free world’ and led to things like Vietnam and Iraq.

  53. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:27 pm  

    So it’s all the fault of the UN? We DO agree on something. :D

  54. soru — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

    ‘What about those Americans that hate Bush and were opposed to the Iraq war? They anti American to? ‘

    The thing I disagree with is not so much anti-americanism as americo-centrism. It is one thing for an american to think the most significant thing that happened in the entire 20th century history of a particular country was an incident in the 1950s when the CIA was one of several parties involved in some murky coup, to be able to quote chapter and verse on those events, but know nothing of equally important developments in the 30s or 70s that the US happenned to have nothing much to do with. There’s an unarguable case to be made for caring more about the things you are responsible for, and there is some sense in which americans are responsible for the doings of the CIA.

    The same persepctive on an issue held by a non-american becomes misleading, because they are not americans, don’t have that particular responsibility, and probably do have other equally or more significant responsibilties that they are neglecting by looking first at the sins and mistakes of those people across the atlantic.

  55. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:33 pm  

    If it wasn’t for the lend lease kit from the US and UK, Moscow and the southern oilfields would have fallen into nazi hands. Japan would have decided it could probably handle a second front, and the USSR would have been forced to sue for peace. So you’re entirely wrong.

    And if the Soviet hadn’t destroyed the 6th army, the battle of normandy would have been different. If you’re going to pick at whatever points you wish, then so shall i.

    US support for Israel didn’t kick into gear until the Arabs had already attacked and got beaten off. That humiliated them – but it’s not so bad now as they can blame their defeat on the US.

    It was recognition by the US that allowed Israel to buy weapons enmass.

    The rest of the world has benefitted hugely from US foreign policy – you have to admit they’ve provided rather a lot of aid, science and tech?

    Im unsure what that even means, you’re confusing government and private business. US foreign policy has provided ‘science’? id prefer if they provided maths. But no what contributions the US government has made has been pitiful in comparison to its actions.

  56. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    what a load of arsewash, kulvinder. good luck expecting the european commission or amnesty international or ken livingstone or whoever the hell it is you think ought to be in charge to provide you with protection when the iranians and chinese are in charge.

    The chinese have never threatened me nor have the wished to impose themselves over the world.

    Your mentioning of the Iranians is bizzare.

  57. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    “And if the Soviet hadn’t destroyed the 6th army, the battle of normandy would have been different. If you’re going to pick at whatever points you wish, then so shall i”

    Er, the USSR would have been forced to terms over a year before the destruction of the 6th Army. I’m hardly picking at points here – the surrender of the USSR could hardly be described as picky, could it?

  58. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    “It was recognition by the US that allowed Israel to buy weapons enmass”

    UN recognition you mean, surely?

  59. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    “Im unsure what that even means, you’re confusing government and private business. US foreign policy has provided ’science’? id prefer if they provided maths. But no what contributions the US government has made has been pitiful in comparison to its actions.”

    Pitiful? The world’s largest provider of foreign aid and you see it as pitiful? Or have their actions dwarfed their massive contributions to the world? Vietnam and er, Cuba you mean?

  60. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    Er, the USSR would have been forced to terms over a year before the destruction of the 6th Army. I’m hardly picking at points here – the surrender of the USSR could hardly be described as picky, could it?

    Our POV are completely divergent if you believe the Soviet Union was ever going to be overrun.

    UN recognition you mean, surely?

    US recognition, a few minutes after it happened iirc. The security council fell into place.

  61. Chris — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    Where have all Kulvinder’s posts gone??

  62. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    He’s got me beat, I now appear to be a gibbering schizophrenic. Damn. :(

  63. bananabrain — on 21st February, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    on the contrary, the israelis got fed up that nobody was selling them arms and built their own technology and military – with the result that they now have one of the best hi-tech sectors in the world. among other things, you can thank them for icq and the genesis of instant messaging.

    but never mind, hey – bunch of evil bastads….just like those awful yanks…

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  64. Nick — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:20 pm  

    Re 46 – Quite right Bert. In 1967 the Egyptians refused to admit their airforce had been destroyed on the ground by Israel alone. For days they broadcast it was a joint US-Israeli strike. Many in the Middle East still believe this.

  65. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:22 pm  

    Odd, considering only 11 years earlier it was the US as pulled Egypt out of the soup over Suez.

  66. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    Sunny’s stalinst website is auto-censoring me :( My posts are apparently awaiting moderation :(

    Pitiful? The world’s largest provider of foreign aid and you see it as pitiful? Or have their actions dwarfed their massive contributions to the world? Vietnam and er, Cuba you mean?

    As a percentage of GDP or in dollar amounts? The implications are very different. But yes the rest of US foreign policy has completely overshadowed that, both in dollar amounts and increased conflict/agitation.

  67. Sid — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:36 pm  

    but never mind, hey – bunch of evil bastads….just like those awful yanks…

    Dunno if ICQ redeems those “evil bastads”.

  68. Sid — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:38 pm  

    The Americans, however, did give us Jazz and Blues derivatves of which makes up at least 90% of my mp3 collection.

    And they gave us database technology, without which we wouldn’t be able to communicate with each other. It also magically puts food on my table.

  69. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    “As a percentage of GDP or in dollar amounts? The implications are very different. But yes the rest of US foreign policy has completely overshadowed that, both in dollar amounts and increased conflict/agitation.”

    Low %GDP, high dollar amounts. More than made up for by the technology they pay to develop then just hand to the rest of us. Free, gratis, take it John. GPS, internet (invented by an Englishman – hah! as if we’d have got anywhere with it) etc.

    On the other hand we have the USSR – would you say they did more good than the USA? Seriously?

  70. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

    Low %GDP, high dollar amounts. More than made up for by the technology they pay to develop then just hand to the rest of us. Free, gratis, take it John. GPS, internet (invented by an Englishman – hah! as if we’d have got anywhere with it) etc.

    According to wiki USAID gave $10.9 billion in ’01 and japan gave $9.7billion, i can’t find their sources and can’t be arsed to exchange the japan’s aid budget from yen to dollars, but it isn’t exactly entire orders of magnitude above everyone else. Packet switching and the like was developed by the americans but the WWW was developed at CERN, and they gave it away. I’m unsure how to compare the usefulness of the WWW and GPS, in my day-to-day life the www is probably more important.

    On the other hand we have the USSR – would you say they did more good than the USA? Seriously?

    They did less harm to the world, you could argue they thats offset by harming their own people to a far greater degree, regardless im no apologist for the wrong the USSR did. I’m not sure what your point is in comparing the two.

  71. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

    Well as Japan’s defence budget is largely covered by the US, they probably have the spare cash, no?

    The comintern did less harm? Bloody hell man, they made the CIA look positively isolationist. Just take a look at which type of tank and rifle is most likely to be found flattening the civvies.

  72. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    Oh, and GPS is fantastic. It’s enabled me to almost save a life, and has likely saved mine more than once. Can’t fault it. Except in that the EU got jealous at American largesse and is currently spunking some 8 million on a rival system. I mean, why?

  73. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:04 pm  

    Oops, 8 billion that should be. let it not be said that I’m a tight-arse.

  74. Anas — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:28 pm  

    Lest we forget, the United States, as it exists now, was built upon the massive genocide of native populations and the sweat and blood of millions of Black slaves. Very easy to forget, as the history of the world is written by the winners.

  75. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:33 pm  

    I don’t see how that makes them in any way exceptional?

  76. Jagdeep — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:36 pm  

    Easy to forget? Maybe if you live in a cocoon — the rest of the world and America all know about slavery and the dark aspects of American history. It’s not like how some cultures and nations are in denial about the dark hearts within their chests.

  77. William — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:47 pm  

    As the old saying goes they are sons of bitches but they are our sons of bitches. If america disappeared now off the face of the earth it would probably be replaced by some other son of a bitch. That is the cynic in me saying that.

    However the rational side says these things are difficult to assess considering the interaction of differing powers of interest over the last century or so. Many of the alternatives are pretty grim ie communism, fascism. The biggest question surrounding America for me is still also a western capitalist question. That is, how beneficial is it compared with its potential to exploit and make money on the backs of others and at the same time keeping those others in poverty. The twin towers were attacked because of they were signifiers of big finance.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the answer I gave up socialism and since have been puzzled about it all. There are simply to many negatives and positives to work out whether there would be more positives or more negatives. So I’ll side with the sons of bitches.

  78. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:48 pm  

    On the contrary, many Europeans are only now learning that they were up to their necks in the slave trade, having previously thought it was an almost entirely US thing.

  79. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:55 pm  

    Well as Japan’s defence budget is largely covered by the US, they probably have the spare cash, no?

    Eh? AFAIK the US doesn’t pay for Japan’s ~$40 billion military budget. The US forces stationed in Japan aren’t there on humanitarian grounds rather because the US has interests in the area.

    The comintern did less harm? Bloody hell man, they made the CIA look positively isolationist. Just take a look at which type of tank and rifle is most likely to be found flattening the civvies.

    I deliberately said ‘foreign policy’ to include the actions of all organs of government. I’m no apologist for what the USSR did, but i do accept they invaded/fought/occupied fewer nations than the US.

    I don’t see how that makes them in any way exceptional?

    It doesn’t, but thats the point. Their history is as shit as anyone elses (if not more) and i see no reason to shout how great the US.

  80. Chairwoman — on 21st February, 2007 at 6:56 pm  

    William – I think the physical position of the twin towers and their height might also have had something to do with it.

  81. justforfun — on 21st February, 2007 at 7:11 pm  

    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp

    Might be of interest.

    For selective quoting :-)

    USA’s aid, in terms of percentage of their GNP has almost always been lower than any other industrialized nation in the world, though paradoxically since 2000, their dollar amount has been the highest. (Only since 2004 have they move up from last place, by one.)
    Since 1992, Japan had been the largest donor of aid, in terms of raw dollars. That was until 2001 when the United States reclaimed that position, a year that also saw Japan’s amount of aid drop by nearly 4 billion dollars (as tables and charts below will also show).

    The conditions attached to @aid’ are another matter.
    Aid for given to buy industrial products produced by the donor, to get around competition laws for state subsidising companies. Food aid where the food is dumped , as it already been paid for by subsidising home farmers, but is counted as aid. Now the weez of getting cheeaper Oil for London and we give the consultants !! its a crazy world we live in.

    The more that is churned the more that sticks to sticky fingers and then is invested in nice safe stable countries like the UK and its nice safe off shore banks. No wonder London is booming – nice warm, damp benign conditions, just right for bacteria to multiply. curn away churn away. No wonder New York is lossing out to London. The climate for bacteria has got a bit coolish over there.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2010028,00.html

    Justforfun

  82. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 7:12 pm  

    nb I’m not calling for the physical elimination of the territory that makes up the US – the point in that ad where they ‘remove’ the US from the world map was utterly brilliant and brasseyeish

    ‘The Eurofags/Islamists/Commies/Aye-rabs want to wipe America from the face of the world

    Rather id prefer a type of soft confederacy.

  83. Nick — on 21st February, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

    “Lest we forget, the United States, as it exists now, was built upon the massive genocide of native populations and the sweat and blood of millions of Black slaves. Very easy to forget, as the history of the world is written by the winners.”

    True, but… well how about Hinduism? Excuse my ignorance, but wasn’t this designed by the Ayran invaders of India to perpetuate their rule with the original “tribal” or untouchable population condemned to PERPETUAL slavery? Next to that it makes the Moghul Islam are relatively liberating.

    People in glass houses…

  84. lithcol — on 21st February, 2007 at 8:59 pm  

    What a stupid question? Of all the countries of the world I have been to, only the US of A embodies the future. Can do without limits.
    Of course the UK instigated the industrial revolution and the modern scientific age, with a little help from Europe, notably Germany.
    Many freedom loving people who could tolerate uncertainty and were not afraid to question flocked to the U.S of A and found like minded people. And what a nation they built.
    We are at war with barbarians who wish to live according to mores of primitive 7th century Arabia and the superstitious belief of an all knowing god who lays down laws for living and thinking ( same for other religions but less so in their influence ). Most are failed states, depriving their citizens of basic human rights. The most basic being the right to question received wisdom and inquire into the nature of human existence.
    Oil will eventually run out, the middle east will starve. Why should the U.S of A care, or indeed the rest of the world.. They wont. They will solve the problem of energy and move on.

  85. soru — on 21st February, 2007 at 9:08 pm  

    ‘ I’m no apologist for what the USSR did, but i do accept they invaded/fought/occupied fewer nations than the US.’

    I think you forgot Poland.

    And about 50 or 60 other countries…

    Look at this list of US interventions, compiled by a US academic:

    http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

    If you don’t realise that the corresponding list for the USSR (or the UK, or France) would be two to three times as long, then you have a seriously unbalanced view of 20C history. I would recommend either learning some new things, or forgetting some of the things you do know.

    It’s like those lists some internet nutters trot out of every muslim war or massacre across 13 centuries of history – a bit less of an obsession with Tamerlane and a bit more thought about the here and now would be a bit more healthy.

  86. Soozy — on 21st February, 2007 at 9:09 pm  

    hahaha Nick you ignorant twat, Anas is a Pakistani. You’re a right short tempered blockhead with an inferiority complex arent you? Get a life.

  87. Nick — on 21st February, 2007 at 9:14 pm  

    Soozy… er… so what? I don’t care WHAT Anas is – that wasn’t the point. Touch a nerve did I? You’re very rude, all empowered behind your computer screen. But we’re all human beings you know. Even inferior blockheads like me.

  88. lithcol — on 21st February, 2007 at 9:37 pm  

    Welcome to the 21st century. Business as usual. The U.S. of A have liberated Iraq and allowed the Sunni and Shiite to continue their usual enmity. Iran gets the bomb and is immediately blown up by Saudi Arabia who have used their vast wealth to purchase nuclear devices.

    Meanwhile, India is totally pissed off with Pakistan and eventually removes it from the world. China also decides to get its own back on Japan. The west responds, oblivion.
    Don’t you just love it. Bring back the cold war, things were more stable then.

  89. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 10:26 pm  

    I think you forgot Poland.

    And about 50 or 60 other countries…

    Nah i didn’t the comparisons can only be done within certain frameworks or else it doesn’t make ‘sense’. Im well aware of Eastern Europe and hadn’t forgotten it or the SSRs.

    The territory that now encompasses the United States of America and the territory that that encompassed the thirteen colonies in 1776 are massively different. Unless you can link me to the referendums that were taken by the various peoples that owned that land in that time, the US by any rational use of the words ‘invaded and conquered’. If you want to say the louisiana purchase was buying land that was already ‘subdued’ thats fine, but the purchase itself was no different to drawing lines in Africa by London or Paris. They were buying something they had no right to, thats before we even consider the rest of the Continental United States LET ALONE its pacific acquisitions.

    Haven’t you ever wondered how exactly Hawaii came to be an american state? Or for that matter what happened at the end of another war that the US was fighting 100 years ago in the Philippines?

    The point im trying to make is the difference in territory between the thirteen colonies and what makes up the US today or what made up the US at one time is so massive that it nearly impossible to list all the peoples the conquered. The difference of course is they largely brought everything under direct control of washington and made it part of the US. If i say every SSR within the USSR was occupied then to be fair i have to consider all the peoples within the US, which just becomes very very very messy.

    So i just took the end of WWII and the cold war as being the USSR as it was and the USA as it was.

    If you don’t realise that the corresponding list for the USSR (or the UK, or France) would be two to three times as long, then you have a seriously unbalanced view of 20C history. I would recommend either learning some new things, or forgetting some of the things you do know.

    The overall ‘list’ of the USA would be comparable to that of the UK or of France when taken over its history. You see you’re also taking the timeframes you consider to be relevant (’20th century’).

    It’s like those lists some internet nutters trot out of every muslim war or massacre across 13 centuries of history

    Well quite. So shall we just agree on the time period of the cold war? It seems to be the most relevant, in which case am i wrong in saying the US has ‘militarily intervened’ in more cases?

    Im not frothing at the mouth about americans btw, quite the opposite. I just prefer a balanced view. All this ‘OHMIGOD the americans just do GOOD, don’t be antiamerican’ business is laughable.

  90. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 10:55 pm  

    Kulvinder, you want to take a serious look at a post war world where the USA had been driven from Europe, the Middle East, SE asia and Africa and ponder how, as the USSR couldn’t even look after it’s own people properly, the world might have fared.

    Your reference to the US in 1776 is nothing short of laughable – had you forgotten that a century later the same people went to war and killed a million of their own while shattering their country, all in the name of the anti-slavery cause? They even sided with the UK, who were willing to tear up every international law and convention of the era to attack the slave trade. The Un would never have allowed it.

    Can you guess who apologies are today demanded of for the slave trade?

  91. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 11:10 pm  

    Kulvinder, you want to take a serious look at a post war world where the USA had been driven from Europe, the Middle East, SE asia and Africa and ponder how, as the USSR couldn’t even look after it’s own people properly, the world might have fared.

    In the absence of data all opinions become valid. The problem with ‘what if’ scenearios is basically the axiom of choice. In my imaginary parallel world the lack of any cold war meant a far more peaceful earth where everyone hugged trees.

    Your ‘what if’ and my ‘what if’ are equally valid.

    Your reference to the US in 1776 is nothing short of laughable – had you forgotten that a century later the same people went to war and killed a million of their own while shattering their country, all in the name of the anti-slavery cause? They even sided with the UK, who were willing to tear up every international law and convention of the era to attack the slave trade. The Un would never have allowed it.

    I’m unsure what you’re saying as a century later (~1876) the civil war was over, or what you’re implying about the UK’s role. But anyhoo the civil war wasn’t really about slavery (i thought everyone knew…) the slavery thing was a sideissue that came to a head during the war. The emancipation proclamation wasn’t exactly issued prior to the outbreak of hostilites. Nor incidently was Lincoln ‘anti racism’ he was very much a racist. The war itself was about governance, and i have to say morality aside id probably agree with the cause of the southerners in self-determination.

  92. Kulvinder — on 21st February, 2007 at 11:15 pm  
  93. Bert Preast — on 21st February, 2007 at 11:59 pm  

    “In the absence of data all opinions become valid. The problem with ‘what if’ scenearios is basically the axiom of choice. In my imaginary parallel world the lack of any cold war meant a far more peaceful earth where everyone hugged trees.”

    Yeah, they were real big on hugging trees in the USSR. Or am I thinking of California? And if you can’t cope with “what if’s”, you’re better coping with how things are. Whinging about Vietnam isn’t going to help that much, is it?

    And my “what if” IS more valid, for two major reasons:

    1. You don’t like “what ifs”, and have consequently put little thought into them.

    2. My “what if” has you rather annoyed, so must be realistic.

    Unlucky.

  94. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:02 am  

    “I’m unsure what you’re saying as a century later (~1876) the civil war was over, or what you’re implying about the UK’s role. But anyhoo the civil war wasn’t really about slavery (i thought everyone knew…) the slavery thing was a sideissue that came to a head during the war. The emancipation proclamation wasn’t exactly issued prior to the outbreak of hostilites. Nor incidently was Lincoln ‘anti racism’ he was very much a racist. The war itself was about governance, and i have to say morality aside id probably agree with the cause of the southerners in self-determination.”

    Well I would have said “85 years later” rather than a century. But I was afraid you’d accuse me of being picky again.

    Slavery was the major difference between north and south, and the only difference grave enough to mean war. Have you ever read a book?

  95. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:03 am  

    “The war allowed things to be done that were difficult before.”

    Yeah, like abolishing slavery.

  96. soru — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:06 am  

    ‘The overall ‘list’ of the USA would be comparable to that of the UK or of France when taken over its history.’

    Really, it wouldn’t – it’s a lot less than the UK alone, post WWII. Pretty much the only US military action the UK wasn’t also involved with was Vietnam, and there were 20+ UK wars the US had nothing to do with.

    Same deal with Russia – Russia fought a lot of proxy wars with the US, and some other ones as well (e.g. with China, or it’s backing of coups against UK/French backed regimes that had nothing in particular to do with the US). All the while it was militarily occupying countries that certainly wanted to not be occupied, and sometimes were prepared to fight over the issue (e.g. Chechnya). I don’t think you can plausibly claim that the citizens of Louisiana feel they are similarly occupied.

    ‘All this ‘OHMIGOD the americans just do GOOD, don’t be antiamerican’ business is laughable. ‘

    Have you ever actually met someone who claimed that? Obviously, you can find any possible opinion on the internet, but meeting such a person in real life sounds about as likely as meeting someone who thinks Lady Diana was poisoned by martians, or any other random stupidity.

  97. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:20 am  

    Easy to forget? Maybe if you live in a cocoon — the rest of the world and America all know about slavery and the dark aspects of American history. It’s not like how some cultures and nations are in denial about the dark hearts within their chests.

    Fascinating Jagdeep. So tell me, without looking it up, do you know how the number of Africans who died as a result of being shipped over to the Americas? And can you tell me about the scale of the genocide of the Native Americans? No, you probably can’t. But now compare that to the treatment of, say, the Nazi Holocaust in academia and popular culture. I’d say, given the extent of the genocide, it ranks right up there with those other nations and cultures you were mentioning — which knowing you, are probably meant to be all Islamic.

  98. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:20 am  

    Easy to forget? Maybe if you live in a cocoon — the rest of the world and America all know about slavery and the dark aspects of American history. It’s not like how some cultures and nations are in denial about the dark hearts within their chests.

    Fascinating Jagdeep. So tell me, without looking it up, do you know the number of Africans who died as a result of being shipped over to the Americas? And can you tell me about the scale of the genocide of the Native Americans? No, you probably can’t. But now compare that to the treatment of, say, the Nazi Holocaust in academia and popular culture. I’d say, given the extent of the genocide, it ranks right up there with those other nations and cultures you were mentioning — which knowing you, are probably meant to be all Islamic.

  99. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:22 am  

    Oops, spot the difference between the two posts.

    Anyway, did y’all know that Voltaire was a slave trader?

  100. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:24 am  

    Anas – good to see you use “the Americas” there rather than “the US”. But it does rather destroy your point, I’m afraid.

  101. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:26 am  

    “Anyway, did y’all know that Voltaire was a slave trader?”

    He was also French. So slaving was frankly the least of his problems.

  102. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:27 am  

    Erm, the US was in the Americas last time I checked.

  103. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:28 am  

    Yeah, but he was a Frenchman who admired the English and thought the French could learn a lot from them.

  104. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:33 am  

    “Erm, the US was in the Americas last time I checked.”

    Indeed it is. But it was hardly the main player in the Indian genocide or slave trade. In fact it was the main player in putting an end to the slave trade. Unlucky on the Sioux etc though, I grant you.

  105. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:34 am  

    “Yeah, but he was a Frenchman who admired the English and thought the French could learn a lot from them.”

    Can’t fault a word of it really, can you?

  106. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:43 am  

    It was *hardly* the main player in the indian genocide or the slave trade? Funny how there are millions of people of African origin in the US at the moment, wonder where they all came from? And I wonder where all those red Indians that lived in the space current occupied by the US went too?

    Yeah the US put an end to slavery, and stopped killing those pesky injuns (granted there were very few of them left), but that doesn’t mean either slavery or the genocide of the Native Americans has been acknowledged to any great extent.

    That’s the thing, it’s all too easy to be a patriot, and to be proud of the achievements of the nation you happen to have been born in by some fluke of chance, but funnily enough patriots seem to be the least likely to feel shame at, what is in this case, the very recent history of a nation.

  107. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:55 am  

    Anas, you might want to take a bimble about Brazil sometime. And what remains of the Red Indians are mostly doing okay exploiting their ethnic rights to run casinos, though it is correct that some still live in absolutely shameful conditions. I have seen signs on some reservations in New Mexico that forbid photographs and with good reason. It puts one in mind of a Syrian refugee camp.

    Slavery has been acknowledged to every extent realistically possible – from fighting a civil war, to providing a territory in Africa for slaves to return to, to positive discrimination. I assume you have a list of other nations to take these actions to hand?

    And how am I an American patriot? I’m an Englishman, damn yer eyes.

  108. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:29 am  

    My original point was that it was pretty remiss of anyone to describe what a world without the US would be like without mentioning the millions of innocent people that were wiped out during the establishment and growth of this entity known as the United States of America.

    And BP, you’re wrong, slavery and, especially, the genocide of the native americans has not been acknowledged culturally to its fullest extent. If the full extent of these processes was understood then the main founding myths that provide the basis to the American sense of self-identity would no longer be tenable, in fact it would mean an unprecedented transformation in how Americans see themselves and how they view patriotism, and their own flag. Much as modern Germany lives, quite rightfully, under the shadow cast by the Holocaust. Well, the reality is that colonialist, imperialist lies live on, which makes for a fairly quiescent population as the US government pursues its neo-Imperialist agenda abroad.

    Your reference to the remnants (the very few remnants that remain mind) of the Native American population is laughable too. So what if some of them are doing well. Do you object to commemorations of the victims of the Nazi holocaust on the basis that the Jews seem to be doing quite well nowadays? And positive discrimination is an acknowledgement of slavery? Sorry, I thought the point of positive discrimination was to in fact counter negative discrimination against people on the basis of their skin colour. (And your point about the acknowledgement of slavery in the US is interesting, I suppose Jim Crow, the popularity of the KKK and racial segregation was by way of contrition too, right?)

    Relax, Bert, I know you’re an Englishman (living in Spain) I was just making a point about patriotism in general.

    And Nick you fruitloop, as far as I can tell, the Modern Indian state was founded on the caste system.

  109. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:30 am  

    Sorry, was NOT founded on the caste system.

  110. Kulvinder — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:34 am  

    And my “what if” IS more valid, for two major reasons:

    1. You don’t like “what ifs”, and have consequently put little thought into them.

    2. My “what if” has you rather annoyed, so must be realistic.

    Unlucky.

    What?

    Slavery was the major difference between north and south, and the only difference grave enough to mean war. Have you ever read a book?

    Yeah. Slavery was a catalyst for the war but it would be misleading to say the union fought the confederacy to free the slaves, and as i said the emancipation proclamation wasn’t issued at the onset of hostilities. There are various historical takes on why the war happened, everything from idiotic statesman to diverging economies, and of course slavery. But the key point was state rights and ultimately a consistent culture within the United States of America. If not slavery then something else would have caused the confederate succession, and that was what led to war.

    Lincoln was against slavery but he didn’t go to war to ‘free’ a people who he didn’t see as equal, but because he thought the union was more important than anything and had to be protected.

    It would be completely inconsistent for government and people that were that against slavery to applaud indian killers at a later date. The north fought because it didn’t recognize the sovereignty of the south; if i suddenly declared an area of land as ‘mine’ and violently confronted UK forces id expect UK forces to fight back. The confederate succession occurred because it was fundamentally different to the northern states – in almost every area. There were two diametrically opposed political and cultural influences within one nation, they were going to collide at one point.

  111. Kulvinder — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:43 am  

    Really, it wouldn’t – it’s a lot less than the UK alone, post WWII. Pretty much the only US military action the UK wasn’t also involved with was Vietnam, and there were 20+ UK wars the US had nothing to do with.

    ‘‘The overall ‘list’ of the USA would be comparable to that of the UK or of France when taken over its history.’

    Post WWII, yeah fine.

    Same deal with Russia – Russia fought a lot of proxy wars with the US, and some other ones as well (e.g. with China, or it’s backing of coups against UK/French backed regimes that had nothing in particular to do with the US). All the while it was militarily occupying countries that certainly wanted to not be occupied, and sometimes were prepared to fight over the issue (e.g. Chechnya). I don’t think you can plausibly claim that the citizens of Louisiana feel they are similarly occupied.

    I was talking about the Soviet Union not Russia But if the demographics of Chechnya are radically changed and we advance time 200 years, they’ll feel completely ‘russian’.

    That said there are obviously still remnants of questioning and conflict about whether people in an area are american or not. Puerto Rico being the most obvious example.

    Have you ever actually met someone who claimed that?

    I have met lunatic supporters of the USA, yes.

  112. soru — on 22nd February, 2007 at 7:50 am  

    ‘‘The overall ‘list’ of the USA would be comparable to that of the UK or of France when taken over its history.’

    Again, no, over it’s whole history, it would be a hell of a lot less. British India alone had a comparable number of nations and tribal groups to the US west, and a vastly higher population. Canada and Australia, also not small.

    Apart from that, on the US side there was just the Phillipines, Liberia and various small central american states, which is a list the Victorians could have knocked off in a quiet decade.

    Face it: you have an unduly americocentric view of the world.

  113. Nick — on 22nd February, 2007 at 7:59 am  

    Anas, but THAT WAS WHAT I WAS SAYING. Why the fruitloop then? You, um, Robin Reliant (sorry, just trying to get into the swing of routine, not to say silly, abuse that seems de rigeur here).

  114. Chris — on 22nd February, 2007 at 9:13 am  

    “In the absence of data all opinions become valid. The problem with ‘what if’ scenearios is basically the axiom of choice. In my imaginary parallel world the lack of any cold war meant a far more peaceful earth where everyone hugged trees.”

    I’d love to meet Kulvinder in person – from his posts here and on the niqab thread I assume he is a teenager?
    I have low blood pressure and need to work to get it raised.

    Counterfactual theories can be judged according to consistency with prior data.
    And, er, we do have the “data” as to how the USSR killed millions of its own citizens. So we have *some* idea as to what might have happened had Soviet expansionism not been contained. Tree-hugging outcome a little less consistent with the data!

  115. Leon — on 22nd February, 2007 at 10:01 am  

    It’s an interesting ad almost for much of what it doesn’t say as what it does. Where is the celebration of respected intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky? Surely people like him have made valuable contributions to the human species

  116. sonia — on 22nd February, 2007 at 11:10 am  

    good point leon. it’s buying into a very particular and specific view + take on ‘America’ as an ‘entity’. Pretty much one that is sold on Robert Kagan’s “vision” of America as a nation built on principles of expansion
    (which bizarrely in his mind somehow equates to liberal democracy) “In the Name of Progress we shall March on this World.” i.e. america as a particular static“ideology”.

  117. sonia — on 22nd February, 2007 at 11:12 am  

    “Dangerous Nation” indeed! What with that and the islamic fundamentalists all stirring up the pot nicely it really is turning into pandora’s box.

  118. Katherine — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:02 pm  

    People commenting here on anti-Americanism (does it exist? what does it mean? why? etc) may wish to peruse this thoughtful piece:

    http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.com/2007/02/andy-markovits-western-europes-america.html

  119. Tasneem Khalil — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

    And what about an America without the world? Who is going to ask that question? Or produce another video on how India, China, Mexico, Europe are fuelling USA’s journey till date.

  120. Tasneem Khalil — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:26 pm  

    so much f**cking nationalism all over the world. ‘We’re next – we’re shining, or poised, or whatever’

    Sonia: That’s what I call: “flag fetish”.

  121. sonia — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:38 pm  

    119 – tasneem – good one – let’s look at the flipside absolutely

  122. Kulvinder — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    Again, no, over it’s whole history, it would be a hell of a lot less. British India alone had a comparable number of nations and tribal groups to the US west, and a vastly higher population. Canada and Australia, also not small.

    The state department 562 tribal governments. Those are just the ones that made peace with the US government and survived, i’m unsure how many distint local governments there were prior to colonial india. But still 562 is hardly a trivial number.

    Apart from that, on the US side there was just the Phillipines, Liberia and various small central american states, which is a list the Victorians could have knocked off in a quiet decade.

    Hawaii, Alaska, the annexation of Texas, which led to the Mexican-American war, Mexican cession from that (so California, New Mexico), the territory gained from the Spanish–American war (of which the Philllipines was just one)?!?

    Face it: you have an unduly americocentric view of the world.

    I have a what!

  123. Kulvinder — on 22nd February, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    apologies for the open tags

  124. Kulvinder — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    Counterfactual theories can be judged according to consistency with prior data.

    Not according to consitency of data, but taking a different view of Causality. Obviously one which is feel us useless when talking about history or alternate realities.

    And, er, we do have the “data” as to how the USSR killed millions of its own citizens. So we have *some* idea as to what might have happened had Soviet expansionism not been contained.

    Sorry i thought i made that clear, im rejecting the reality where America goes but the USSR stays, im only accepting the one where they both go.

  125. Sunny — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    I agree with Tim in that criticism of American foreign policy does not equal criticism of America as an entity. Among the biggest critics of US FP are Americans themselves.

    And to add to that, I generally like America and Americans. Though I probably mean Californians specifically because I’m not sure I’d love to hang around the mid-west.

  126. Amrit — on 22nd February, 2007 at 1:45 pm  

    God, that advert is so earnest, it’s hilarious.

    And I like how you had things like ‘Denim jeans’ bursting in the sky alongside ‘A free Afghanistan.’ Beautiful. *wipes tear from eye*

  127. Chris — on 22nd February, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    Sunny – you should go at least to Chicago.
    Fantastic city.
    (Though less so in winter!)

  128. soru — on 22nd February, 2007 at 2:37 pm  

    The state department 562 tribal governments.

    India lists 573 scheduled tribes.

    Add to that the kingdoms and empires, tribes in Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka, then it looks like I was wrong when I said the number was comparable, it’s actually much greater.

  129. Kulvinder — on 22nd February, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

    Actually thats pretty much what i thought, its only a difference of 11, india as it is made up the largest portion of land that encompassed colonial india, so id hazard a guess there aren’t 10,000 other tribes out there. We aren’t talking about different orders of magnitude.

  130. Jagdeep — on 22nd February, 2007 at 3:13 pm  

    Fascinating Jagdeep. So tell me, without looking it up, do you know the number of Africans who died as a result of being shipped over to the Americas? But now compare that to the treatment of, say, the Nazi Holocaust in academia and popular culture,

    Anas, I spent years studying the slave trade out of personal interest and through a close friendship with a former student of the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka — so take your low self esteem, trading in genocode pissing contests and victimhood, and munch on it.

    Good opportunity to mention Soyinka’s book ‘The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness’ — a brilliant historical, moral and philosophical meditation on slavery and colonialism.

  131. Anas — on 22nd February, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

    Anas, I spent years studying the slave trade out of personal interest and through a close friendship with a former student of the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

    Good for you, Jagdeep, nice to know you have some redeeming qualities aside from all the bitterness and nastiness you like to display in your posts (as exemplified especially by the next few poisonous words in your post).

    However, I think my general point still stands: I don’t think America as a whole has really come fully to terms with its past, especially not with the ethnic cleansing of the native population, nor with the scale of the genocide that the slave trade entailed.

  132. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    Anas – “And BP, you’re wrong, slavery and, especially, the genocide of the native americans has not been acknowledged culturally to its fullest extent”

    Now is where you tell me in which countries slavery has been acknowledged culturally to it’s fullest extent?

  133. Sahil — on 22nd February, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    Anas you might also want to look at this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_slave_trade

  134. Leon — on 22nd February, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    According to Wikipedia:

    The trans-Atlantic slave trade resulted in a vast loss of life for African captives both in Africa and in America. Around 20 million Africans died during the brutal process, which turned human beings into property.

    Link

  135. Jagdeep — on 22nd February, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

    Anas, you asked me what I knew about the slave trade and I told you. So your were chatting bollocks. Your assertion that there is little or no academic discourse or acknowledgment of the slave trade or the native American tragedy is also wrong. So once again, chatting bollocks amidst the genocide pissing contest you indulge in.

    My redeeming qualities are so many it’s unreal — I’m sexy, intelligent, funny, a great father, a virile husband, and I can do handstands too. Amongst my qualities are generosity of soul too — Peace and Love Anas, peace and love!

  136. Bert Preast — on 23rd February, 2007 at 1:34 am  

    Kulvinder wrote: “Our POV are completely divergent if you believe the Soviet Union was ever going to be overrun”

    I never said overrun, I said forced to terms i.e ceding of the Caucasus oil fields and probably all territory west of the Volga. Without lend-lease, this would likely have come about in late 1942 or 1943.

    You’ve heard of Marshall Zhukov? He agrees with me, calling lend-lease “indispensible” and singling out the US and British sailors who suffered appalling conditions and losses to run the first convoys through to Murmansk. A great uncle of mine was one of them, sunk four times and when the fourth left him a cripple he was chuffed to bits to be alive and out of it all. They gave the Red army the trucks and trains they needed to save Moscow. Hell, even Stalin conceded they were “extremely important”.

    A good case can also be made for the strategic bombing campaign in this respect – 3/4 of Germany’s 88mm guns were in Germany pointing up rather than in the east pointing at T-34s, as was most of their fighter force. While in the early years this was conducted by the RAF rather than the USAAF, where do you think the fuel and the explosives came from? Same as the Russians, we liked to make our own kit to keep our people’s morale up but kit’s no use without the consumables.

    So a world without America would probably have meant a world without the USSR as we know it too, the gap filled by a Nazi German empire and satellite states ranging from Cadiz to Stalingrad. So basically – thanks, Yanks.

    And if this turns up as a duplicate after I first tried to post the bastard nine hours back, I shall probably cry.

  137. Tahir — on 23rd February, 2007 at 1:52 am  

    It would be interesting to muse about the promise and potential of America – the tragedy of America was that it was a break from the old world, the birth of somethng new , and then something went horibly wrong.

    I am not American but admire what America could’ve been.

    Anyway as to the question what would the world be like without America? Well for a long time, the world was without America, until the emergence of US power at the end of the 19th century, let’s see who dominated, the Brits and the French, possibly Spain and Portugal,

    and then three new revision powers tried to upset the balance of power – USA, Japan, Germany, Russia, and we know the rest is history.

    So, America’s business is business, it’s not rocket science, and a world without America post-1945 would’ve been a world without the Bretton Wood system and a single unitary global trade system – that’s been the US’s victory over the 20th century – which is also about the rilvery with USSR which challenged the Bretton Woods System – and now , its the Bretton Woods International Finance Institutions ( World Bank and the IMF) which together with US regulate the economic system and it seems that lots of proxy wars have been fought to maintain this system – and will continue.

    T

  138. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd February, 2007 at 4:01 pm  

    Bob, all you’ve done here is illustrate exactly what the rest of us don’t like about the American government.

    It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault

    You’re just there to end what others started by bombing the fuck out of the lot of them

    God bless ya

  139. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd February, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    But you did though.

    Slavery: “What those here have not come to grips with is we finished what you (Europeans) started.”

    Native Americans: ” European settlers killed natives to take their land”

    WWII: Russia and Japan asked for it

    Cold war: “it was the allies (Britain and France in particular) who requested a US presence in Europe to keep the Soviet Union in check.”

    Vietnam: “US involvement in Vietnam came at the request of France who was losing its grip on its former empire”

    And finally: “We have not colonized any nation in the last 60 years”

    Nope. You just went in to countries uninvited and fucked them over in the name of ‘protection’

    You think you’re superman. But even your most deluded artist in Marvel comics HQ would pen you as the galactus of bullying

  140. Kulvinder — on 23rd February, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    Bob this completely sank your post

    If anyone here thinks Islam is a religion of peace and co-existence you are crazy!

    I think Kismet pretty much summed up the rest.

  141. Bob — on 23rd February, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

    WOW so truth is “blaming everyone” in your world?

    Those facts are simply statements that the US didn’t invent those things and we were not the only ones involved. You can’t refute any can you? No. All you do is call names and close your mind.

    I don’t know where the WWII statement came from “Russia and Japan asked for it”? I NEVER stated that! Russia was an ally if you remember. BUT Japan DID attacked the US without a formal declaration of war. In your warped world is that not reason to respond?

    What country have we gone into “uninvited and fucked them over in the name of ‘protection’”?

    In my estimation there have been 2 in the last 60 or so years that “we went into” and neither “in the name of protection”. Afghanistan and Iraq. Are you saying we had no right to go into Afghanistan when they were harboring a group who killed 3,000 people in our largest city?

    We could get into a debate over the whole UN resolutions that legally gave ANY UN country the authority to go in and disarm and remove Sadaam debate but you probably wouldn’t understand.

    I don’t think I am superman (I guess in your fantasy world you know me) and I don’t live in your comic fantasy world.

  142. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd February, 2007 at 6:05 pm  

    “Are you saying we had no right to go into Afghanistan when they were harboring a group who killed 3,000 people in our largest city?”

    I’m saying no one gave you the right to go into any country and kill thousands upon thousands of innocent men, women and children in the hope that some of them might be the bad guys

    And I know you don’t think you’re superman. I’m talking about the country you are so proudly representing.

    The day your government gives a damn about treaties and conventions the rest of the civilised world submits to is the day your country can be known as anything but comic book evil

    Now put those blinkers on old chap. You won’t want to see all the torturing going on in them deserts

  143. Kulvinder — on 23rd February, 2007 at 6:05 pm  

    He is right though, you have blamed everyone else. This wasn’t about ignoring the good that america did, simply putting it in context. You are trying to turn the worst actions of the US into the faults of others.

    Britain abolished slavery long before the US did, i have no idea why something you chose to perpetuate is anyones fault but your own. Your Indian wars were your own doing. You stayed in Vietnam of your own free will, or are we going to completely ignore the domino theory? The Secretary General of the United Nations HIMSELF declared the war in iraq to be illegal.

  144. Sahil — on 23rd February, 2007 at 7:05 pm  

    “Also documented evidence was found that the Russians helped Iraq get them out @ 2 months before the coalition attacked. They are in Syria!”

    Link!! This is the first that I’ve heard of this.

  145. Bob — on 23rd February, 2007 at 7:10 pm  

    Kismet, Al-Qaeda, the Sunni’s and Shite’s in Iraq are killing more “innocent men, women and children” than we ever did! We have put restraints on our soldiers that are absurd. If we didn’t care about innocent women and children we would not have over 3K dead in Iraq. We would call in air strikes and level buildings and Mosques. Funny how we seem to be the only ones that care about those things!

    What about the thousands and thousands killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban? The thousands and thousands of Iraqi’s killed by Sadaam? The thousands and thousands killed by insurgents? Oh yea, that is OK because? Why again? It isn’t the US?
    You are a comic book stooge!

    As for torturing leave you blinders on to the torture and beheading done in the name of a religion! Oh yea, again not done by the big bad US so it is OK.

  146. Sunny — on 23rd February, 2007 at 8:05 pm  

    WWII: Russia and Japan asked for it

    In both the world wars they did bloody well ask for it, and I for one am glad the Americans kicked Nazi ass.

  147. Kulvinder — on 23rd February, 2007 at 8:10 pm  

    Britain abolished slavery in 1833 30 years before we did (though we made slavery illegal in the northern states in 1800 and the importing of new slaves was banned in 1808 LONG before Britain did).

    Eh? Its illegality was confirmed in England in 1772!

    What you won’t admit and refuse to even mention is Europeans brought slavery to the “New World” and it was here when we won our independence…

    …Yes (again here is where I admit we made mistakes) we continued the battles and did horrible things to the native Indian tribes (here is where you AGAIN bury your head in the sand and say it was only an America thing)…

    …We stayed in Vietnam of our own free will is correct AFTER being invited in by both the French and S. Vietnamese.

    If your entire argument is ‘we didn’t start anything we just continued it’ i don’t see whats wrong with saying you’re blaming others. The actions of the US after independance are its own. The actions of the US after it got involved in situation X are its own.

    You seem to be implying the US is incapable of making rational judgements when it involves itself in something.

    Is that the same secretary general who was implicated in the food for oil scandel?

    No this is the same secretary general that was exonerated and cleared of any wrong doing over oil-for-food.

    Who’s entire administration was caught with their hand in the cookie jar?

    I’ll resist the temptation to mention ‘Valerie Plame’ but no his entire administration wasn’t caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Various people were indicted (among them an american and a briton), a south korean has just been sentenced to five years over it, the first to be done. Kofi Annan isn’t on trial.

    Also documented evidence was found that the Russians helped Iraq get them out @ 2 months before the coalition attacked. They are in Syria!

    Okaay then.

  148. Kulvinder — on 23rd February, 2007 at 8:18 pm  

    What about the thousands and thousands killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban? The thousands and thousands of Iraqi’s killed by Sadaam? The thousands and thousands killed by insurgents? Oh yea, that is OK because? Why again? It isn’t the US?

    No it isn’t ok, and nooone claimed it was. You’re probably going to ignore both lancet reports so im unsure whether to bring them up, regardless if you believe in an inherent american ‘goodness’ if you believe that america is fighting the good fight against the dark forces of evil, then its actions (inclusive of extraordinary rendition/interrogation techniques/FP) are all the more reprehensible.

    If your argument is that ‘hey look all these people behaved like shit aswell’ then fine, but you’re implicitly accepting the US is ‘comparably bad’ to them. If you’re saying the american way is better then im unsure how you’re juxataposing this in your mind.

  149. Bob — on 23rd February, 2007 at 8:37 pm  

    I am not saying America and Americans do nothing wrong. I am saying you have to fight evil with evil sometimes.

    Basically here is my view…
    If a piece of shit coward terrorist who just blew up 100 innocent people and tried to get away was captured I have NO PROBLEM with torturing him to get information that could save the lives of 100′s or 1000′s of innocent people (men, women, children, Iraqi, Iranian it doesn’t matter). I DON’T CARE THAT YOU AND THE REST OF THE PANTY WASTES IN THE WORLD DON’T LIKE IT. I want all of them dead and their weapons confiscated.

    These people are using people like you to create an out cry when the US kills 1 woman accidentally or because these cowards are using her as a human shield. And you fall for it every time. I have not heard you ONCE say they are pieces of shit for killing innocents daily. WHY? Do you support their cause?

    In your view we should ask these people to stop killing us and sit down to afternoon tea and ask them where their bombs are. That is what Chamberlain did in the 30′s and that evil SOB figuratively threw the tea in Chamberlains face. It took Churchill to finally say enough is enough and Hitler is evil. Then the world finally did what was needed to stop him. Berlin was bombed and London was bombed. Many innocents were killed. Does that make the cause of stopping Hitler wrong?

  150. Bob — on 23rd February, 2007 at 8:43 pm  

    I am not saying America and Americans do nothing wrong. I am saying you have to fight evil with evil sometimes.

    The Lancet reports were widely denounced by the UN, Iraq government etc. their range was 600,000 pretty big “give or take” to have any credibility.

    Basically here is my view…
    If a piece of shit coward terrorist who just blew up 100 innocent people and tried to get away was captured I have NO PROBLEM with torturing him to get information that could save the lives of 100′s or 1000′s of innocent people (men, women, children, Iraqi, Iranian it doesn’t matter). I DON’T CARE THAT YOU AND THE REST OF THE PANTY WASTES IN THE WORLD DON’T LIKE IT. I want all of them dead and their weapons confiscated.

    These people are using people like you to create an out cry when the US kills 1 woman accidentally or because these cowards are using her as a human shield. And you fall for it every time. I have not heard you ONCE say they are pieces of shit for killing innocents daily. WHY? Do you support their cause?

    In your view we should ask these people to stop killing us and sit down to afternoon tea and ask them where their bombs are. That is what Chamberlain did in the 30′s and that evil SOB figuratively threw the tea in Chamberlains face. It took Churchill to finally say enough is enough and Hitler is evil. Then the world finally did what was needed to stop him. Berlin was bombed and London was bombed. Many innocents were killed. Does that make the cause of stopping Hitler wrong?

  151. The Dude — on 24th February, 2007 at 12:35 am  

    I watched a great documentary on BBC2 about how Crazy Horse and his band of Braves wiped out the Indian hating scum-bag General Custer at Little Big Horn. It was a timely reminder that modern day America was concieved from a kind of irrational hatred, fear and greed that I can’t even begin to contemplate or imagine. America was born in original sin and as remained so to this day. But here is the paradox. Even in America, sin is not absolute. Great men and women are son’s and daughter’s of the Stars and Stripes. America is inhabited overwhelmingly by good, plain talking people. But here is another paradox. Today America has a fuckwit for a president. Don’t blame the players (the American people), blame the game.

  152. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 9:07 am  

    Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine — a two-pronged imperialist strategy. It makes me laugh how some U.S. right wingers still refer to themselves as the Republic and scorn the Brits for their imperialist laugh.

    Still, No America, No Steinbeck, No Robert de Niro, No Stevie Wonder, No Noam Chomsky, No Henry Ford, No Gary Cooper, No F.Scott Fitzgerald, No John Coltrane, No Elvis, No Paul Newman, No Stanley Kubrick, No Carlos Santana, No Edison, No Bill Gates, No Mohammed Ali, No Sugar Ray Leonard, No Marvin Hagler, No George Foreman, No Carl Lewis, No Orson Welles, No Ernest Hemingway, No Denim, No Al Pacino (where da women — help me out Chairy).

    And no constitution which has the pursuit of happinesss as a prime objective.

    On the the other hand….

  153. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 9:24 am  

    I’m surprised and ashamed. I see the American who came on to stick up for his country has been deleted, though from what people are quoting of him he was debating rather than abusing anyone.

    Kulvinder – Slavery was abolished in western Europe in 1945, in easterm Europe in 1989, in the Middle East in 2006 and continues to this day in Latin and central America and Asia. Yet give “slavery” a google and all you get are results about slavery in the US – so who’s really not coming to terms with their slaving past then?

    Kismet – the US as the “galactus of bullying”? This is a country that having defeated the nazis and facists in WW2, rather than extracting reparations from their foes poured billions of their own money in to develop these countries and build them up to be world players again. Has that ever happened before? I can’t think of anywhere else that has ever been so generous.

    The Dude – indigenous populations have been treated as sub-human right into the modern age in many countries, so to say that “modern day America was concieved from a kind of irrational hatred, fear and greed that I can’t even begin to contemplate or imagine” suggests you lack mcuh power of contemplation or imagination.

  154. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 9:28 am  

    “imperialist laugh”. WTFIT? Mwou-ha-ha-ha!
    I clearly haven’t woken up yet.
    Let’s try again: It makes me laugh how some U.S. right wingers still refer to themselves as the “Republic” — not just as a state without a monarch but as some idealist super city-state — and how Americans generally scorn their former colonial masters for their imperialist ways.

  155. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 9:32 am  

    Doesn’t seem right that the only American on a thread about America gets deleted. But maybe he included something OOO. Still, maybe Sunny should think about partial deletion — the removal of the odd sentence as a formal warning that more severe deletions could follow. Just an idea to refine the process of censorshop.

  156. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 9:51 am  

    Ja, ve must refine zis process of censorship until ve haf it right.

  157. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 9:57 am  

    ha ha
    (Don’t let it get you down Bert)

  158. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 10:02 am  

    So Jagdeep, how was your experience with that free footy download? Did it work ok?
    I want to sort something out for the Carling Cup tomorrow for the family at home (I shall be in the pub, like all good partially reconstructed men — getting rid of Sky Sports was the biggest false economy..)

  159. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 10:03 am  

    Ich bein gutted.

  160. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 10:10 am  

    don’t be.
    I don’t need Saving Private Ryan to appreciate what the Americans did for us in WW2, albeit belatedly.
    Blame anti-Americanism on people like Ollie North and Dick Cheney, not on ungrateful Europeans and starry-eyed and ignorant left-wingers.

  161. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 10:29 am  

    The vast majority of Europeans have no idea who Ollie and Dick are, yet everywhere people talk as though the US is responsible for the world’s evils and more importantly often let it be loudly known that they see Americans as crass, ignorant, arrogant and completely without class or style. I think it’s only Americans you can generalise about in this manner without raising any eyebrows. It doesn’t even seem to matter what the hapless Septics do – you’ll find them slated in both Serbia AND Bosnia, for example.

    It’s not anything unsurprising I suppose – in Spain if I want my car keyed I simply put a little St. George’s cross sticker on it, yet bizarrely if I put a St. Andrew’s cross on it it’ll be quite safe. And for my own views anyone with any form of sticker on his car has me fighting an urge to ram the git off the road. None of it makes any sense, does it?

  162. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 11:22 am  

    Well that’s unfortunate, and of course I don’t condone it, but on the Costas the English haven’t exactly filled themselves with honour, have they? That’s not an excuse btw

  163. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 11:31 am  

    While the Scots here have covered themselves with glory? No, the point is it boils down to preconceived ideas – prejudices if you like.

  164. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 11:34 am  

    don’t presume that ‘they’ (let’s call em Andalus chav) know what the scottish flag is

  165. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 11:36 am  

    cars with a madrid number plate might also get keyed in barna, while in valencia those with ‘B’ and ‘M’ both tend to get it (and a disproportionate number of parking tickets, I bet)

  166. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 11:43 am  

    They might not know what the Scottish flag is, but again that’s not the point. A Scot here will be seen as a fellow struggler against the evil English imperialist pig-dogs, when the fact is that the Scots have passed the last 3 centuries in the same frenzy of imperialism as the English. It’s an idiotic, romantic notion. Frankly, I blame Mel Gibson.

    And yes, you don’t want to park your Malaga plater in Sevilla which is why the new numberplates disguise where the car is from. But that applies worldwide.

  167. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 12:07 pm  

    for sure.
    there’s another example — the australians.
    i remember once being chastised by a white Australian over ‘our’ treatment of the aborigines. I thought to myself, these British people she is referring to are more likely to be her ancestors, not mine, wtf? and what about since independence?
    some spanish do have a deep-seated dislike of the english which i think goes back beyond habitual English abuse of spanish hospitality and spanish workers, right back to Drake
    again, I wouldn’t worry about it. at least you’re trying to integrate, although you’d probably find it easier in other parts of spain. just remind them that they were classified as a third world country in 1973 and that have sponged off British/German/Dutch (i.e Guirri) subsidies and tourism ever since.
    that’ll win them over ;)
    you could also remind them that spain and england have a great deal in common — glorious/inglorious imperial histories, tremendous cultural achievements, constitutional monarchies, and the two most underachieving national football teams in the world

  168. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

    however, if it’s some consolation, the biggest Spanish racist slur on the English could also apply just as easily to the Scots and Welsh — i.e hijo de la Gran Bretana (puta)

  169. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    Goes back to the Armada, which to this day the Spanish still teach would have conquered England had not a storm blown up and sunk it. Er, the wrecks are off the north of Scotland – what the hell were they doing up there then? :D

    Not sure I’d find integration easier in other parts of Spain – I’ve not had any problems in this bit. As I said the other day, most locals are amazed that I’ve developed the power of speech and we get on fine. I see other bits of Spain and the people are indeed excellent, but I’m there as an out-of-season cultural tourist and I’m not convinced they’d be any more friendly than they are on the costas if I went to live there. If I had to choose another part of Spain I’d head for Merida – fantastic place and fantastic people but I need to be near the sea.

    And as you might imagine, I never miss the opportunity to remind the Spanish who gave them all the motorways hereabouts.

  170. William — on 24th February, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    El Cid

    ” i.e hijo de la Gran Bretana (puta) ”

    what’s it mean

    My sister has emigrated to spain. Maybe I’ll say this to her when she comes back for a visit.

  171. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 1:32 pm  

    “hijo de la gran puta” is a huge insult in Spanish, though it can be used as friendly abuse such as “bastard” in the UK. It means “son of a great whore”, so exercise great care in how you use it.

    If your sister is the typical Brit in Spain, of course, she won’t have bothered learning Spanish so won’t understand it anyway. ;)

  172. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 1:34 pm  

    merida? what between seville and badajoz in the land they call Extremadura (“extremelyhard”) and home of the conquistadors?
    my family on my mum’s side orginally came from around there. fucking hot and dry around there man!! (the nearest thing in Europe to Rajahstan without the wife-burning, I would imagine).
    talking of the armada — you should check out Cadiz, where the armada set sail from, if you haven’t already. great place, superb tapas

  173. William — on 24th February, 2007 at 1:49 pm  

    She’s a typical Brit but I won’t say it anyway now you’ve translated.

  174. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 1:56 pm  

    Yeah, that Merida. Man, those dudes know how to eat pig. The old capital of Lusitania, check it out if you’ve never been.

    I’ve done Cadiz but was disappointed, most of the history has long been buried and while the tapas are good you have to eat them in what appears to be somebody’s bathroom. It’s also one of the few places alongside Malaga where I had the sneaking suspiccion people wanted to mug me. Still, there was a lovely battle of Trafalgar expo. :D

  175. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

    bathrooms?? oi oi oiiiii! those are beautiful typical spanish tiles man!!! that’s sacrilege — bloody paleto! what they want is an old boozer eh, with acid etched windows, pork scratchings and warm beer — laaaaverleeeeeee! ;)
    what about the old town — its beautiful! (prolly right about the muggers feeling though — you’ll get a bit of that in parts of Barna and Madrid too).

    and yes they are a bit fatter around Badajoz way than, say in Cadiz, where the chicks are a lot better looking

  176. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 2:30 pm  

    i also remember some brits saying that they were “disappointed” by the l’alhambra

  177. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 2:56 pm  

    That was probably me to be honest. It’s all very well having a gurt impressive building but it’d be better if there were some information points telling you that this was the vwry spot that Pedro the Hairy was shot in the balls while chasing some Mudejar bint or something.

    And as a tiler I admit to being unappreciative of the finer beauty of tiles. Tiles = bathroom to my unschooled barbarian mind.

  178. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 3:08 pm  

    you’re lucky you ain’t been to Sagunto, just north of Valencia, stronghold of Hannibal, key battleground between the Carthageaneans and Romans, and home to one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres — not that you’d it if you went there (what a shithole)

  179. Kulvinder — on 24th February, 2007 at 3:30 pm  

    Yet give “slavery” a google and all you get are results about slavery in the US – so who’s really not coming to terms with their slaving past then?

    Since we were debating britain (well its constituent nations) and america i have no idea what your point is. I’m not apologising for what the USSR or the Nazis did and its really bizzare you’d think i would.

  180. Kulvinder — on 24th February, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

    nb im now becoming a bore in this thread, and my upper limit of not posting (when a thread reaches ~150 replies) has been and gone. I’m a tad busy right now but ill post one more reply about justifying my personal stance before bowing out. Its probably best if i leave by internalising my opinions rather than externalising them, so it won’t be a rehash of everything written but an personal explanation.

  181. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 4:19 pm  

    Just pointing out that slavery is a very unfair stick to shake at the US. I don’t think for a moment you’re apologising for nazis or the USSR.

  182. The Dude — on 24th February, 2007 at 6:18 pm  

    Bert

    Well that fools me!

    I’ll not apologise to you for my lack of imagination concerning the rape of native americans by invading europeans. Slavery is not as you say “an unfair stick to shake at the US”, it’s the truth and something that you had better get use to. Now if you were to argue that the europeans had every right to have done what they did to the indians, then I’ll respect your arguement more, even though I could NEVER agree with it. Let me be clear about something. Slavery is, was and always will be a straight up crime against humanity. The first Americans are guilty of committing that crime and the fact that other nations and empires had comitted the same crime in history does not for one moment mitigate what they (the americans) did. Bert you are free to argue the contrary but please stop playing both sides of the fence.

  183. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 6:41 pm  

    I never said I blame those who slaughtered indigenous populations – that’s just what tends to happen when settlers move into an area of neolithic peoples and are strong enough to avoid being slaughtered themselves.

    Slavery is an extremely unfair stick to beat the Americans with. I say again, they fought a civil war over it, fought European powers over it, then they offered the freed slaves a free return to Africa under rather better conditions than their arrival. The reason the first google pages about slavery concern slavery in the US is because they have fully come to terms with the facts, and written loads about it – in stark contrast to everone else. So again, WHICH OTHER NATION HAS DONE AS MUCH? Not one. If anything the US should be praised for contributions to the eradication of slavery.

  184. Leon — on 24th February, 2007 at 6:51 pm  

    If anything the US should be praised for contributions to the eradication of slavery.

    Ironic given it’s done so much to contribute to wage slavery…

  185. Bert Preast — on 24th February, 2007 at 6:54 pm  

    Even more ironic how it’s done so little to contribute to irony.

  186. Sahil — on 24th February, 2007 at 7:06 pm  

    I remember that I used this book to look at American Economic History in Undergrad, its still a damn good read on slavery and why the civil war happenend:

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Economic-View-American-History/dp/0393963152

  187. El Cid — on 24th February, 2007 at 7:14 pm  

    Dude,
    I don’t think Bert was saying that the fact other countries were guilty of slavery mitigates America’s role. I think he’s just saying that it is misleading to shake that stick purely at the U.S. as if it were a peculiarly American crime, when it is so not.
    We need to differentiate between the international slave trade and individual slave regimes. I wouldn’t go along with the post-civil war view of slavery as a benign regime, but it was more benign than say, that of independent Brazil, where most people see themselves as mixed rather than black. There were good reasons for this — a cold economic logic. Both Britain and the US abolished trading in slaves in 1807 (it stopped in the West Indies in 1811).
    So it became incumbent on plantation owners to facilitate the long-term expansion of its workforce by creating stable conditions that would allow families to take root.
    The same could not be said in places like Haiti, Brazil, and Cuba where dead slaves could simply be replaced with new slaves (kids after all are more expensive over a lifetime). In fact the Spanish, French, Portuguese (even though they had banned slavery on home soil in 18th century) and Brazilians persisted until 1848-52.
    I have no doubts that the North Atlantic slave trade was the worst crime in modern history because of the sheer numbers involved and the length of time. But was primarily a European crime initiated by the Spanish and Portuguese in the early 16th century).
    It is also true that black Africans are also tainted — who do you think was the first link in this horrific exploitation of human beings — and that Arabs continued to practice long into the 20th C. I don’t think that is an irrelevant point.
    I’m not going to tire telling you this — that’s something that you had better get use to.

  188. daily — on 24th February, 2007 at 11:31 pm  

    America
    ‘Like Adolf Hitler letting loose the II World War upon the world, Bush Jr. has planned, organized and launched a cataract of cultural and religious horrors upon the people of India (and other parts of the world) in the benevolent name of Christian Evangelism which in simple English means violent Religious Expansionism.’

    ‘In its long and chequered history, India has never faced an avalanche of organized religious aggression on this scale and scope, fully backed by the financial resources of mighty America. American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated and strategised religious conversion plan.’

  189. Desi Italiana — on 25th February, 2007 at 3:11 am  

    “And to add to that, I generally like America and Americans. Though I probably mean Californians specifically because I’m not sure I’d love to hang around the mid-west.”

    Sunny, let me ask you a question: have you ever been to the Mid West?

    Actually, a more precise question: Have you been outside of West LA and a short stint to San Francisco?

    The US is very big and diverse, you know. There are some ugly parts, as well as nice parts. And there is a diversity of people. Some nice folks, some mean folks.

    I lived in Chicago, and I have to say that I had a better experience there than I did in all of my years in Southern California. I never really felt out of place the way I do when I am in, say, Laguna Niguel or Huntington Beach (in Orange County).

    Specific to this post, I’ll just reserve my opinions on US politics, history, and etc. :)

  190. Desi Italiana — on 25th February, 2007 at 3:40 am  

    On second thought, that post above ^^ was an uncalled for jab. It was mean of me.

    I apologize, Sunny!

  191. Leon — on 25th February, 2007 at 3:45 am  

    Oh yeah the vid also forget to include Bill Hicks as another great contribution America has made to the world…

  192. douglas clark — on 25th February, 2007 at 5:42 am  

    Bert,

    In a Dick Cheney moment, to paraphrase the great auteur, there are known, knowns, look at the Plantations down in the South, there are known unknowns, like the triangular trade the Uk operated which was profitable in all directions, there are the unknown unknowns, like the extent that Muslim slave traders in Africa and Chieftans of African Tribes thought it was a pretty good idea too.

    It could be argued, by me at any rate, that it was the first comprehensive attempt at globalisation, free markets and flexibility of labour. Qui Bono?

    In one of my darker moods, I’d think that has some merit as an arguement. Is this the true root of our modern society? I certainly hope not, but it put the pieces in place on the board, did it not?

  193. sonia — on 25th February, 2007 at 3:33 pm  

    good point leon!

  194. Bert Preast — on 25th February, 2007 at 10:20 pm  

    Douglas Clark – What? Slavery is the root of our modern society? The society that made slavery unilaterally illegal then cast international law aside to force our beliefs onto others down the barrel of a gun? Not my modern society, matey. We had northerners who were less trouble than slaves.

  195. The Dude — on 25th February, 2007 at 10:58 pm  

    What happened to the American native indian wasn’t slavery (if only) it was mass genocide. Bert, even though I would agree with you overwhelmingly regarding the “root of our modern society”, you would have done better in your description of the “settlers” if you had called them “neolithic”. From my standpoint, it was the indians who were civilised.

  196. Tahir — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:18 am  

    Wasn’t there a lovely quote from Gandhi about British civilisation ? That would be a fine thing to look forward to one day?

    Tend to agree our native american friends had it right – as do lots of our indigenous friends living in remote parts of the world not wanting much contact with modernisation – their way will at least save this planet, our civilised ways are raping the planet.

    Anyway, with regards to modern forms of slavery, I guess Anti-Slavery International would have something useful to add – as they are the only real body still campaigning for the abolition of slavery still..

    Also as many have pointed out in this thread, slavery didn’t begin with US and won’t end with US abolition of slavery either. I thought it was the Brits that sparked abolition in US a long time ago – but civil war in US was about northern economic interests which didn’t want southern plantation economy to dominate – America’s business is business – this usually explains most mysteries in US. Civil war had nothing to do with slavery – hence the reasons African Americans had to fight for their rights into the 20th century for a seat on a bus with whites.

    T

  197. Sunny — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:26 am  

    I saw the video yesterday. It’s absolute crap.

    Even if I was a patriotic American it wouldn’t convince me. It’s become popular thanks to Little Green Footballs, so I’m not even sure it’s worth discussing let alone worth nearly 200 comments.

    And, er, no worries DI. I’ve been to NY, Buffalo and Pennsylvania. I still prefer Cali.

  198. Tahir — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:30 am  

    I think NY should seperate from USA. Cessation would be good – let’s see which other states follow.

    NY and London would be pretty cool. We don’t need the rest of America or the UK!

  199. Tahir — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:31 am  

    Oops just let my regional snobbery drop big time.

  200. Sunny — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:42 am  

    Heh, I know what you mean though. In fact the same can apply to LA, which will soon (or already is?) majority Latino.

  201. douglas clark — on 26th February, 2007 at 3:38 am  

    Bert,

    I know we did away with slavery. That was not my point. My point was that it was an early form of tri partite international trade, which the British took part in fairly enthusiastically. Up until it ended anyway.

    There is a fairly convincing case that it was the steam engine that was the true nail in the coffin of slavery. That it was less trouble to have a steam operated thresher than all those pesky humans. Neal Stephenson spelt it out somewhere in his ‘Baroque Cycle’.

  202. DR1001 — on 26th February, 2007 at 10:38 pm  

    “Many freedom loving people who could tolerate uncertainty and were not afraid to question flocked to the U.S of A ”

    that’s rubbish…it was the purtins who flocked to America mainly at the beginning and hence the weird situation we have where there is a very fuzzy line in it’s mix of politics and religion.
    I never realised (apart from the east/west coast main cities) how strongly religious the majority of the country is and how many things are not openly questioned as suggested here.

  203. Kulvinder — on 27th February, 2007 at 6:46 am  

    I much prefer conceptual debates to interpretative ones. A discussion of different philosophies is much more interesting than a ‘well did you know…no i didn’t but did you know’ type conversation. So you can imagine my embarrassment at having spent most of the thread engaged in the latter.

    I stand by my view of history, but my view of history is – to a point – irrelevant to the present. If history was solely quantitative, as I may have given the impression, then there would be no need for historians. The only way you can judge anything is according to your own beliefs and opinions, if i can step outside myself and borrow Pike’s concept of emic and etic for a moment. It was foolish of me to try and use the etic, within the context of history to describe what essentially was emic.

    To support any nation my interests have to coincide with the interests it has, and to a lesser extent (because of Realpolitik) my personal philosophy has to be compatible with it. I make a distinction between individuals and ‘the system’ (as the dude called it) because personal triumphs have nothing to do with the state. Achievement through association is the the first act of the unworthy, and putting people like Feynman or Hicks under an all encompassing and fairly meaningless banner of ‘American’ is little more than low brow idiocy.

    Wealth means nothing to me, and the wealth generated by the United States means nothing to me. The only thing I care about are the rights of the individual irrespective of who that individual is. It may have once been true that the US was the freest and fairest nation on earth, but its actions in this day and age make it impossible for me to agree with that. I cannot support or be positive towards a nation that transports, holds and in all probability tries those it considers undesirable without allowing them what I would consider basic human rights. Unlike Bob above I have a massive problem with torture (and lets avoid shuffling around the word), extraordinary rendition and the like. It is quite literally a black and white issue. To give you an analogy you are either against the death penalty irrespective of the crime, or you aren’t. Similarly you either agree that all suspects should be treated in a certain manner, or you don’t. Circumstances and crimes are irrelevant. The actions of the US in recent years has been despicable. Invading and occupying sovereign nations in illegal wars, and resorting to despotic justice has meant it has lost whatever moral righteousness it claimed on September 11th 2001. I laugh at any claim that it and its supporters ‘fight the good fight’

    I do not share its interests I do not share its goals, and its actions are reprehensible to my beliefs. That I criticise it above the likes of China isn’t because I choose to flippantly ignore what the Chinese do, but because on a global level I genuinely and demonstrably believe the Chinese to be far less expansionist, domineering and hypocritical. You probably take that as being naïve; I will say in my defence though that the same omens of doom against change were uttered under the British Empire only then it was the various European empires that were the dreaded alternative.

    I will not reply to this thread again, but I genuinely hope that those who disagree with me will specifically answer this question;

    If not now then when?

    I said in reply #36 that any sane individual is rightly anti-American in these times. My red-line has been crossed; I’m curious as to what yours is. An invasion of Iran? Syria? North Korea? Venezuela? Executing those in Cuba? Detaining family members? Assuming you haven’t pledged allegiance to it what action would be critical enough for you to step back and say the tag ‘anti-American’ was personally applicable?

  204. Bob — on 27th February, 2007 at 6:49 pm  

    Kulvinder, I will put aside most of your reply and concentrate on “The actions of the US in recent years has been despicable. Invading and occupying sovereign nations in illegal wars, and resorting to despotic justice has meant it has lost whatever moral righteousness it claimed on September 11th 2001. I laugh at any claim that it and its supporters ‘fight the good fight’

    What illegal wars? The Taliban in Afghanistan where asked to give up al-qaeda whom they were openly protecting. Al-qaeda claimed responsibility for 9/11. Are you saying we had no right to go into Afghanistan and get them? YOU ARE NUTS! If the Taliban had done what most other countries would have done they would still be in power. They made the wrong choice!

    Illegal war 2 I suppose is Iraq? Did you read ANY of the 18 UN resolutions that Iraq was ignoring since they invaded Kuwait?
    Res. 678 “Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;”

    Part of that peace and security was Iraq’s giving up their WMD and allowing the UN unfettered verification. They refused. They were in clear violation of all UN resolutions regarding this (@18 in total) and the UN gave Member States the full authority to use ALL means to force compliance. The US and it’s coalition acted in accordance with UN mandate PERIOD.

    As for the justice statement… The people in Cuba were enemy combatants not military. They are in custody and have all the comforts Sadaam and the Taliban would never accord their own jailed citizens. They even have a voice in our court system where their rights will be decided. In short they have more comforts and “rights” than they would in their home lands.

    Finally, just to be clear, I have a huge issue with the torture of “normal humans”. I have NO issue with torturing terrorists who wish to kill anyone not of their same religion (and thousands of their own as well).

  205. Amrit — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:01 pm  

    Oh my goodness – The Dude is John Christopher! Apologies to anyone who knew that already. I’m just doing my Matthias Pardon thing.

    Maybe I need an alias too!

  206. Chris — on 6th March, 2007 at 9:14 pm  

    What a load of rubbish
    Who says the USSR would have invaded western Europe there is no evidence to support this. We are seeing what the world is like without an opposition to the imperialist ambitions of the USA
    Healthier place why does USA supress the cuban medical research and why do they not challenge the system that benefits the drug companies and not the sick
    more peaceful the only nation to drop an atomic bomb on foreign soil and most of the so called dictators have been or are supported by the USA-remember the Shah of Iran who caused so much resentment we are still affected by the backlash against that US supported regieme. USA arms producers provide weapons to just about anyone at some time or other
    The USA have been late for the last two world wars and are determined to be early for the next. They even invented WMD so they had an excuse to invade Iraq which doesn’t seem like a safer place
    A poorer world I don’t see USA breaking down protectionist trade agreements to benefit all or take responsibility for being the worlds biggest poluter. The enormouse wealth in the USA is being frittered away on the Macdonalds Pepsi culture

    As for a weak Israel why don’t US implement UN resolutions against Israel?

  207. GT — on 7th March, 2007 at 12:26 am  

    If the US didn’t exist.

    No Hitler or Mussolini. Both fascist dictators were funded and supported in other ways both directly and indirectly by the powerful business interests in the US and would not have come to power without this support. Both were heads of fringe parties that were more ridiculed than feared prior to this intervention.
    Few years later the US military industrial complex is obliged to put down these leaders in a massively profitable war.
    Fast forward to ….. drum roll … Saddam Hussein. A Baathist enforcer or thug as some have described him. “Assisted” into power by George Bush senior led CIA support in his coup. Later supplied with WMD by same people. Of course George W knew they had WMD in Iraq – his dad still had the receipts.

    But hey what’s new? As it is so has it ever been, and so shall it continue – It’ll always be the same horse but the Jockey will change every 100 or so years – the current Jockey wears stars and stripes the previous one had red white and blue too.

    No wonder the Godfather wanted to go legit – he saw how much money the really old families were making.

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