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A foreigners view of American foreign policy.

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by AlbertB, Feb 8, 2003.

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  1. AlbertB

    AlbertB Thread Starter

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    This thread started as a message of well wishing to Americans concerning the Space Shuttle disaster but it developed into a chat around America's view of the outside world. I have posted here the, unfortunately long, relevant bits to see if anyone wants to come in on it and to give the original thread its own rightful space.


    Original:

    Deepest sympathies to you all over there on the other side of the pond. To the families and friends and to the whole nation in mourning.

    Don't dwell on the negative side of the Arab response to the tragedy, do you really think it is anything other than inevitable given some of the history and the "world age" of the Arabs as a race. (No that is NOT a rascist stance, just an acceptance of the way things are historically and internationally). Use it as an opportunity to think seriously about what it is in America's position and actions in the world which can engender such hate! Viewing your own actions from the point of "what could we have done to cause it" rather than just shrieking "Yes sir, outstanding sir" is not anti-American but one of the pointers to the state of advancement of your culture.

    We had to learn do the same exercise in relation to the good old British Empire, and we came out wiser and stronger doncha know!


    LANmaster replies:

    Thanks Albert.

    Noted, There are some things that America has done for which I am not particulary proud. But the good America does worldwide should far overshadow some of the mistakes. The Arab world hates our ideology, and our religious beliefs and freedoms.

    Yes, I agree that the British change from a Monarchy to a Democracy was a good change indeed.



    I responded, getting longer:

    Yeah sure LANMaster, SOME of the Arab world hates your ideology. I do think though that you will find the vast majority of it, and the rest of the developing world come to that, hates the way that American attitudes towards your "Best in the World" lifestyle and big business interests, bulldoze their way into a country and impose their wishes on it. We have our own lifestyles and we think they are the best in the world. Strange but true! Your absolute consumer lifestyle does not go down well with any of the rest of the world that I know of. It is your chosen way of life, we all accept that, but it creates a ravenous appetite for the resources of the rest of the world. And your businesses which feed your consumer appetite think they have an absolute right to pillage and destroy any other culture that stops them from getting what they want. It is this which has created more hatred towards you than any other thing you do, and as you say there is SO much good in that bundle.

    It is totally understandable that, in a country big enough to class as 50 separate countries, most Americans are unable to step outside their own world and see it from the outside. Clinton may have had his faults, I don't know too much about your internal politics, but his outward looking stance was a breath of fresh air for the rest of the world. I listened and applauded when he addressed our, er - Tony Blair's, Labour party conference recently. He truly sees the fact that Americans are going to have to sacrifice some of their high flying lifestyle to bring about a better relationship with the rest of the world for everybody's mutual benefit, ultimately including your own. Countries like my own do not breed many home grown " Yank hatin' " terrorists, but as a parent I loathe the way that my child is subjected to pressures to pick up YOUR way of life in order to feed your economy and to reject our own. The pressure to adopt the bad gutter, not street, culture that represents only the worst of all that America stands for is interminable over here. It warps the thinking of our young and will ultimately lead to such a universal crash that the world will never recover.

    The older countries like my own and many of the other European states have a history of opening up the world. Between us we imposed our cultures on every other nation on the face of the Earth, for their benefit! It took much bloodshed before we released this hold and allowed them self determination. And we are all better off for it. You are now in that position. You have an economic stranglehold on the rest of the world and we are all choking with it. It boils out in ways like the Arab hatred, immoral irrational and unforgiveable, but explainable. Your country has to learn to let go. Assist do not drive, and frankly, with your position as still an immature adolescent superpower, only 50years after all, you need to step back and adopt a more mature and giving stance. Think about it as moving from a strong vibrant 20 year old bursting with hormones and knowing all, so he thinks, to a more mature 30 year old parent, who sacrifices for his children. I really don't mean to be patronising and I realise it might come over that way but if you think about it you will see what I am stumbling to get at here.

    I have always maintained that I have never met an American I do not like, but put them all together into a nation and... not so sure. You really have much to think about as a nation.


    And finally LANmaster came back with:

    Before I respond, I want to thank you for being thoughtful in your opinion. Much of what you say is fair. Some of it is unfair, but you believe in your opinion and have expressed it in a thoughtful manner. Note: This subject should move to a different thread, as this is intedned for discussion about the Columbia shuttle disaster. If you wish to respond more about this, we should start a new thread or post in a more appropriate spot. Agreed?

    Some of that "best in the world" attitude is justified.
    Our lifestyle is somewhat consumer driven. I don't agree that the US bulldozes its way into countries and impose her wishes on unwilling countries, unless, of course we are at war with the country in question. However, your criticism of big business having too much influence on certain couties has some merit. I would like to see the US change some of that policy, but not all of it. Many poverty striken and starving countries have benefitted by the presence of many of those companies. Jobs have been created for those that want them. Many economies abroad have been able to educate (their own way) and feed their populations as a direct result of the presence many of of these American businesses. But to your point, I feel that some American businesses abroad have exploted some populations without giving a fair leg up as was the intention of certain trade agreements.

    And the UK gave the US the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. Their influence on the young people in the US in the 60's and 70's is undeniable. Yet I do not sit here and blame the UK for the drug culture of that era.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The older countries like my own and many of the other European states have a history of opening up the world. Between us we imposed our cultures on every other nation on the face of the Earth, for their benefit! It took much bloodshed before we released this hold and allowed them self determination. And we are all better off for it. You are now in that position. You have an economic stranglehold on the rest of the world and we are all choking with it.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I don't totally agree with your point here.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It boils out in ways like the Arab hatred, immoral irrational and unforgiveable, but explainable.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I disagree here too. Thank you for preceeding this with "immoral irrational and unforgiveable" but calling it "explainable" almost sounds like you're calling it deserved. The criticism may be deserved in some areas. I won't deny that, but the "hatred" to the extent of killing thousands of innocent American men, women, and children is NOT explainable", EVER!

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your country has to learn to let go. Assist do not drive, and frankly, with your position as still an immature adolescent superpower, only 50years after all, you need to step back and adopt a more mature and giving stance.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I can buy in to some of that, and I believe the US is maturing, and will continue to.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Think about it as moving from a strong vibrant 20 year old bursting with hormones and knowing all, so he thinks, to a more mature 30 year old parent, who sacrifices for his children. I really don't mean to be patronising and I realise it might come over that way but if you think about it you will see what I am stumbling to get at here.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I didn't take that as patronizing, and I see analogy you make. I have a 20 yr old Daughter and an 18 yr old Son. I see the point you have made and I won't argue with it, although I will remain neutral about it nonetheless.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have always maintained that I have never met an American I do not like, but put them all together into a nation and... not so sure. You really have much to think about as a nation.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    there's good and bad people in every culture. The larger the population, the more likely that it will have a higher number of those evil people. I am far from wealthy from an American standpoint. But 90% of the world population might consider me a very rich man. Many of them will envy my wealth and that of my countrymen. Many of them desire the opportunity to grow financially. Many of them are begging that the US step in, bring big business and help them feed their children. Many more still risk their lives and that of their family to illegally enter this country so that they can feed their children and get a job that affords them the ability to buy things like clothes, medicine, food, electricity, hot water, a clean home.
    So please, don't sell America short for the good things that it does around the world. And don't support those who hate America, just because their children see a pair of American blue jeans and want them.
    Please don't loathe America because your Daughter wants to buy American things, just because they are American. Blame your own government for saturating your stores. Heck, I have bought many British things just because they are British. I think it is a fine, and classy culture for the most part. And someday, I may even visit Wales. I have ancestors there. It is where much of my family originated. I hope you don't hold that against me.


    So here we are. I have taken out some of the quotes where it speaks for itself or is clear from the previous posting what point is referrred to. And we continue from there.
     
  2. smile88

    smile88 Guest

    As an average US citizen, I wish the foreigners would stop coming in and taking our jobs. I wish we could buy all US products.

    After after reading this UK view, I wish my Dad and several other older men I know had not went to protect England in the early 40's and suffered the terrible health problems which are a direct result of being in the military over there - and that they've had to live with all their lives.

    Not all Americans are wealthy. I see many web site of Europeans who have visited much of the US, but many people here can not afford those trips to see their own country.

    Much of what the govt does we have no control of. Sure we vote, but the choices are bad and worse at times.

    You have some very wrong ideas on what the average US citizen feels and thinks.
     
  3. GoneForNow

    GoneForNow

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    AlbertB.........Having lived on both sides of the pond with many family members still in England, I find your opinions very different from theirs. It would seem to me that opinions concerning the US vary as much, if not more, them US opinions about other countries in the world.
    I note that you feel American consumerism is a driving wedge between the US and the rest of the world. I find that interesting given the largest foreign owners of businesses in the US are British. The British are also the largest foreign owners of land in the US. It would seem that your fellow countrymen enjoy the making of money off of American consumerism. Not a criticism just an observation. Foreign investment in the US is at a recorded high. Apparently the investment Dollar,Euro,Yen,Pound etc etc knows a winner when it sees it. While your observations may seems fair to some I take it with a grain of salt when your country is so enjoying the fruits on the American work ethic and consumerism.
     
  4. Moby

    Moby

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    Whilst not wanting to belittle America's contribution to WW2, and I understand what you are trying to say Smile88, the way it is said is another example of the "you are best" that Albert talks about. You did not come over to protect England (Britain by the way is not just England), Britain had already protected itself, who knows what would have happened after but the fact remains that when Britain was threatened, we fought and won, before you came over to "protect" us. We were also busy kicking the Germans out of Africa before you came over to "protect" us. You got attacked and then you were at war with Japan and Germany, nothing to do with us, although of course we were urging for your support. You came over if anything to help liberate Europe and defeat the enemy you were at war with. I agree Europe should show a little more gratitude today.(not us - we know and remember what you did and who is the first to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, ready to die today?)

    I think what Albert is trying to say is a touchy subject that will always put your noses out of joint. I have another analagy. Your good friends should always be able to tell you things you may not want to hear, in fact they wouldn't be good friends if they didn't, and this advice if from a good friend should be able to be taken without getting all stroppy about it. We are your good friends over here, probably your best friends, we are this because we share the same values not because you have the biggest guns, we've been there, done that, worn the t-shirt, now the t-shirt's a duster. If someone can't tell a good friend to stop acting an arse (not directed at americans in this instant, just an analagy), then there's something wrong. Imo

    From your friends over here.
     
  5. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Can't help but respond to that statement......as a former US business person I can attest to the fact that for certain jobs, you MUST hire foreigners as you can't get the Americans to do the jobs. They'd rather stay home and draw welfare instead........
     
  6. smile88

    smile88 Guest

  7. Moby

    Moby

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    Smile88, please tell me you're 14 going on 15??? :confused:
     
  8. prospect

    prospect

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    I like England, they gave us Led Zeppelin. But, I'm still waiting for the second coming.

    Prospect
     
  9. Rockn

    Rockn

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    I agree Candy....most Americans are too spoiled or believe these types of jobs are beneath them. the large hispanic population in our area should be a model for a great work ethic...they are proud of the work they do for the most part and they know this country is giving them a better life and they are greatful for it. The eurotrash view of the US described by Albert is the ugly American sterotype that every country over there has almost without exception. If it wasn't for US businesses and technology they would still be living in tin shacks. I guess Albert is saying that these countries have no self determination or destiny if we have a stranglehold on them economically...the governments want us over there for the most part, JOBS, jobs they apparently cannot provide.

    England for one never realized the need for these coutries self determination, it was the countries themselves that got fed up and wanted them out. The British empire was created by force, either during the crusades or by conquest in the 18th century and beyond. What country did the US ever invade and set up shop?

    Clinton is a hot air balloon, he says one thing and does another. Do you think he will be giving up any of his high flying lifestyle? He makes millions on the lecture circuit now, has full time secret service, and I bet he even got paid for his little appearance over there.

    Seeing the US as the evil empire is way off base. Are most countries just jealous of our way of life or standard of living because they have it so bad? I have travelled and lived in quite a few countries including England. They are nice places to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.
     
  10. EdGreene

    EdGreene Banned

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    An "Average US citizen" is wealthy beyond all means than all but about 15 countries in the world. We have nearly 100% running water, nearly 99% electricity, more than 90% of our homes have hard-wired telephones, unlike backwards Europe. Nearly any child who (cares to stay in school) can get at least an associate's degree-free.
    The state of health care in this country sucks but still, nearly no one with a chronic disease goes without some treatment.
    More than 80% of all Americans have some sort of medical insurance.
    We are the richest, tallest, healthiest, fattest, most learned citizenry in the world.
    (Yeah, but those countries can't utilized their educated populations as efficiently as we do so our "Effective" rate of education outpaces theirs).
    We own more private property per capita than any other people.
    Leaving out a few people in a few isolated areas, our "poor" have running water, electricity, sewers, and health care and on a scale that simply dwarfs every other nation-period.
    (Let's just take indoor plumbing. Whereas we have it, most nations don't, except for their larger cities. Sewage treatment? We got it. If there is a large enough population producing sewage, there is more than likely a plant to process the wastes.
    Most of Europe, especially the "East", cannot, and don't match that simply luxury. The rivers of Europe are literally trash and human waste dumps).

    We got it good, no matter what we think.

    But what really gripes my a$$ is others carping about what we do and what we have. I remember my Father (and others) closing his store and going off to war. For what? To have everyone in the world bitchin' at us, griping at us? What language would they be speaking if my Dad and others had stayed home? Russian? German? Japanese? Where would those thankless, bald-faced arrogant Europeans be had my Dad and the others said, to paraphrase Muhhmad Ali:
    "Ain't no Kaiser/Hitler ever done nothin' to me"?

    What tune would snot-faced Japan be singing had me and others stayed home from Vietnam or Kuwait? What the hell would they be using for oil and how damn much would they be paying for it? $50, $60 or more a barrel?

    Whatever the hell is "wrong" with us Americans and America, we know this: if we don't fight, we don't lead, if we don't spread our largess over the rest of the world the "world" (such as it is) would simply suck; and a hell of lot more than it already does.

    We Americans, all of us, are what we made of ourselves. Europeans talk about how “immature” we Americans are, how vulgar, how arrogant. They say we are a "young" country yet, not wise in the ways of the world.
    But when the rest of the world’s economy depends in large part on what we eat, what we wear, what we listen to, what we drive, what kind of wine or shrimp or furniture (surely there are two European countries which would have folded long ago if we stopped buying their furniture), what and how much leather we wear, what we chose to use as electronics or furnishing-all that and a lot more of our spending underpin the world’s economy.
    If we Americans decided we would truly “buy American” for just six months, the rest of the world would sink into an economic depression they could NOT pull out of.
    In the dust would be mighty America, bloodied but unbowed, and rising to her former strength because of our awesome production capacity and the resourcefulness of us, her “ordinary citizens.”
    Whenever I "pull my plastic", VISA OR Mastercard, economies around the world breath a sigh of relief. Pulling my plastic here fires up a kiln tto make dishes or sewing machine to make clothes there. Just pulling my plastic pumps oil and perfumes, grows asparagus and strawberries. My plastic builds an extension on a winery is Spain or a car factory in Kentucky.
    Me, an "ordinary US citizen", fueling the world's economy with my plastic.
    How 'bout that corn, Orville?
    How 'bout them beans, Green Giant?

    Lastly: what the sh*t do we care what France, who has one of the most pitiable "armed forces" on the European continent, or Japan, who MIGHT, might I say be able to hold off the Chinese/Vietnamese/Koreans for about four days before being crushed into a Kabuki talcum powder, say about this next set-to with Sad-dum?

    On this one, (talking to others, outsiders, those whose see us with jaundiced eyes, not my fellow Americans) you're either "fer us or agin us".
    Either way, we're going to dust that boy's britches, break up his toys and set things right (as WE see the right). So you can push, pull or get the hell out of the way. If you're going to help carry the load, don't dare sit on the load and ***** about how things are going.
    Britain is throwing in 1/3 of her armed forces, while the other European dilettantes piss and moan.

    You don’t/won’t fight?
    Then you by-damn won’t make the rules.

    Ed
    I get it done with YAHOO! DSL!
     
  11. ComputerFix

    ComputerFix

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    Quite a bit to digest there Albert.


    Couple things about about "big business".

    Businesses, by and large, are driven by revenue. This can be done with ethics or without, to be sure, but revenue is the "name of the game".

    Do you think that Levi Strauss "forced" it's way into other cultures, or even our own? They most certainly did not, they were brought in, by a recognized demand. The former Soviet Union comes to mind. No one told them they had to buy "American" jeans. They saw them as a symbol of what they wanted, and are pursuing, a symbol of freedom. This is a bit rediculous in my opinion, they are just jeans, but hey, who am I to judge?

    Keep in mind that the "flawed capitalist system" you are referring to has one heck of a self-regulating rule: if there is no demand, they won't be there.

    Also, as GB pointed out, more and more of our "big businesses" are becoming foreign owned, either wholey or partially. So who exactly is being forceful?


    I ask you to consider this: "American products" are found throughout the world, but are they there because we insist they are there, or because they do?

    It would seem that the "absolute consumer lifestyle" is driven by those who feel that they are being forced to "choke on it".
     
  12. Davey7549

    Davey7549

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    Moby
    I believe by Smile88's statement of:
    would indicate they are much older than 14 or 15 or if they are younger as you suspect then they are trying to air a personal view from an older persons authority. Either way it is ones view and should be accepted as opinion and respected but contradicted if one feels a need to.

    My opinion on Alberts subject is simple so I will keep it as brief as possible. We were drawn into WWII by the Japanese and Germans plus were asked to help in Europe by our Allies. Germany drew us in directly by their U2 activity and Japan of course by Pearl harbor. Either way we were destined to fight for freedom. The US resisted going to war for sometime while Europe was at War because the attitude at the time was reactive and had not felt the sting of battle yet. When we were drawn in fighting a War on two fronts it became an horrendous task requiring the resources of many nations. I do not think we can sit back and Judge who was winning or losing or for that matter who was covering whos butt. All we can do is support each-other against aggression since there is security in numbers.

    Does the US project an aura of arrogence...... Yes I believe we do in many areas but I also believe that is because much is expected of us by the International community.

    Personally I would be fat, dumb and happy to keep our noses out of everyone elses business and withdraw all forces back to our shores and have everyone leave us alone. However if we did that then the World Community would view us as Arrogant, Self centered, and selfish.
    Sound familiar to what is being said now? It should since it is a catch22 situation the US is in.

    Are we a spoiled Nation as some say we are? Certainly not this Man and his family plus there are many more like me where that comes from. I guess I view children wanting everything they see as normal. What becomes abnormal is when they are given everything and not taught what it takes or given the opportunity to get there. In this day and age it is virtually impossible to wrap your kids in a bubble and not have them exposed to some other culture or some event the media presents or advertises. Instant communication is wonderful in some ways but horrible in others.

    The last point I would like to make has to do with Economic Globalization. This has hurt the Average Joe here in the US. We have lost millions of manufacturing jobs which were the bread and butter of the middle class..... too Third World Nations where labor costs were extremely low comparatively. This is still true today but my personal belief is "if for instance moving a whole industry like the textile industry, improves the welfare of other countries then so be it. I like many other Americans have been taught to share when we can and by in large that philosophy still exists today. If one thinks it doesn't exist today then have a look at the peoples here at TSG..... are we all charging for what we do!

    Well I said this would be short so I guess I will pass the baton.

    Dave
     
  13. EdGreene

    EdGreene Banned

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    There is, for all intents and purposes, no more "welfare". Those whom you say: "They'd rather stay home and draw welfare instead..." never were very many, fewer than those on disability. Besides, what you insist was "welfare" was the duty of a (Christian) government to provide for her helpless and needy.

    What has always bothered me about the "welfare" discussion is how "subsidies" and "tax breaks", wrangled through powerful business lobbies, are thought of as positive drains on the economy while "business persons(s)" such as yourself, undoubtedly the beneficiary of some "tax benefit" or another, continue to denigrate the mostly undereducated, the helpless and the infirmed.
    I stipulate here there were "welfare cheats", but never to the degree "business person(s)" like you cheated-legally.

    The bad thing about name-calling or finger pointing is the person so-named never has recourse in the matter. You splatter them they bear the stain while you, in your "business person" arrogance, go on about your business unblemished.
    But the "stain" is on your soul and you and others who think like that will have to account for your beliefs and actions when your soul is weighed against your bad natured words and deeds.
    (Phsychostasia: Greek, meaning the weighing of the soul).
    Each soul will be weighed for its goodness, or lack thereof, against the smallest feather from the smallest bird. The feather will be placed on one side of the beam, your soul on the other. The fewer the bad deeds and thoughts, the lighter the soul. But if your soul proves to be heavier than the feather, you lose any chance at paradise.
     
  14. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by EdGreene:
    There is, for all intents and purposes, no more "welfare". Those whom you say: "They'd rather stay home and draw welfare instead..." never were very many, fewer than those on disability. Besides, what you insist was "welfare" was the duty of a (Christian) government to provide for her helpless and needy.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Never were very many? And how does religion come into play here :confused:

    Even if we believe there are duties to provide for helpless and needy, that would have absolutely NOTHING to do with those who DON'T WANT TO WORK and who ARE ABLE TO WORK.

    I've tried to give a job to so called HOMELESS people standing on the street corners with their silly little signs "will work for food" blah, blah, blah.......NOT ONE SHOWED UP FOR A PAYING JOB!

    And would you like to know why? The hand-outs were obviously easier.


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by EdGreene:
    I stipulate here there were "welfare cheats", but never to the degree "business person(s)" like you cheated-legally.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    That's a pretty brazen statement considering you don't know me or know how I ran my business.

    How many people have you employed?

    In any event, I won't continue a battle of wits.
     
  15. Davey7549

    Davey7549

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    <Img src="http://forums.techguy.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=718008">

    :D :D :D
     

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