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mikeshw
Radioactive Glo
+130|6011|A Small Isle in the Tropics

I am curious about this. How do you folks see yourselves and your country as on the worldstage? I m interested in the responses from the Americans on this section of the forums. I will post my comment after reading a few, if there's any who care to respond.

edit: this post is sensitive, so its not intended to be negative in any manner. just so that you all know, i have a lot of American friends.

edit no2: this is NOT about the Iraq War, and whether it is justified.

Last edited by mikeshw (2005-09-30 03:55:45)

CMDR_Dave
Redneck
+66|6015|Missoula, MT
Born and bred here, this is what I get from living here:

I think most of us as a whole value our patriotism, families and God above all else.  As on the worldstage, I think we feel we are on top of things and mostly untouchable.  Even though the average citizen probably couldn't tell you what those "things" are.  We like our freedom and take it for granted.  We don't understand other countries very well that don't have the same freedoms we do.  As the worldstage goes, we feel we are the leaders setting the examples for the world to follow.  I think the general consensus is, if everyone was like us, the world would be a better place. 

Do I agree with all the opinions above?

Not entirely.  I do believe in God, family and country.  I do believe we as a nation have the best intentions in all we are involved in with the worldstage.  We know we are not untouchable after 9-11.  I seriously doubt another attack like that will happen again.  I rarely watch the news because it seems to focus on everything negative in the world.  This is my own fault for not really knowing the state of things globally and I take responsibility for not "really" knowing what's going on out there.  But of those of us who do watch news, do they "really" know what's going on?  I don't know.  I don't agree with the way a lot of news is presented to us...biased, I think.  The biggest freedom here is opinions and everyone's got one.  So would the world be better if everyone was like us?  Don't know, maybe...we have our problems but they seem minute compared to the huge conflicts going on elsewhere.  No one is perfect, least of all me.  But one thing is sure, I'm proud to be an American and love what we stand for. 

I am CMDR_Dave and I approve this message.
Stoned_Smurfz
The Mushroom Man
+1|6020|Australia
Interesting post CMDR_Dave, not really what i expected to read as such but kind of.. how ever you said, "We know we are not untouchable after 9-11", did you think you were "untouchable" before this?

I think that if this post happened before 9-11 that your post would have been alot different. or maybe its just you and your one of the better americans?

I feel Kind Of bad Posting on this topic, so if i offend someone im sorry i dont mean too. Just Wondering.
77th|1st Lt. Werstein
Member
+1|5984|Virginia, USA
i love the USA, ill defend and give my life for it in a snap when needed

but i think the USA is a respectable country with respectable people...and i believe Americans think the same way towards people in England, Germany, France, and other countries
Home
Section.80
+447|6021|Seattle, Washington, USA

I am proud to have freedom and equal oppurtunites and all of the other things America provides, and I also think that Americans percieve themselves basically as the Kings of the world. That kind of makes me sad. For instance, when I've heard some people (not all are like this, so no offense) say things like, "How much is this in REAL money? I mean, like American dollars. Real money." That makes me mad. Foreign money is just as real as yours!!
dan500
Member
+57|6021
The US is not untouchable, look at how they delt with the hurricanes, now if 500,000 trops ran on to US soil, then TBH i think they would have a REAL hard time keeping them back, and they wont be able to hold them back.

This is just what i think, and I hope we never find out.
SpanktorTheGreat
Bringer of slight pain and mild discomfort.
+1|5988

mikeshw wrote:

I am curious about this. How do you folks see yourselves and your country as on the worldstage? I m interested in the responses from the Americans on this section of the forums. I will post my comment after reading a few, if there's any who care to respond.

edit: this post is sensitive, so its not intended to be negative in any manner. just so that you all know, i have a lot of American friends.

edit no2: this is NOT about the Iraq War, and whether it is justified.
With all do respect, that’s a pretty vague question. In what regard is the question being asked: militarily, financially, charitably, politically, etc?

Could you describe what “world stage” means to you?


dan500 wrote:

The US is not untouchable, look at how they delt with the hurricanes, now if 500,000 trops ran on to US soil, then TBH i think they would have a REAL hard time keeping them back, and they wont be able to hold them back.

This is just what i think, and I hope we never find out.
I believe that there is a pretty good chance of there being more than 500,000 troops already here in the US. They just don’t have uniforms on.

Last edited by SpanktorTheGreat (2005-10-01 08:29:58)

mikeshw
Radioactive Glo
+130|6011|A Small Isle in the Tropics

I should clarify my original question (and the title of the thread).

Socio-cultural-economic role was in my thoughts when I first posted the question. I think the psyche of the American nation changed a lot since 9/11, imho. I walked the streets of NYC a number of times, and each time a jetliner passed by overhead, some heads to look up, no longer taking things for granted. I even found myself doing it. When i pass through Immigration, no longer does it feel the same anymore. We are subjected to profiling (even though I am a Chinese), not-so-random baggage search at the airport (as long as there are two pasenggers travelling together, computer randomly picks them), and passports blacklisted. I travel a lot to the US, both pre and post 9/11 and I am conscious of the difference in the nation's psyche.

I guess the real question was whether the aura of invincibility still exists in the American mindset. For some of us Asians, we see America as the land of plenty and opportunity, and the land of righteousness who would come to the rescue of countries in trouble (whether in the form of economic or military aid). For those of us whose parents survived World War 2, we hear enough stories about how Allied lives were lost during the War in trying to liberate the Asian nations. A lot of us are grateful for that as the price of freedom was paid for in blood. And the US continues to be a major economic influence here in this region.

I remembered what i did during 9/11, and the image of the World Trade Centre collapsing after the attacks remain vivid to me to this day. I felt for the lives lost, and I felt for Americans. And the thought that came to me that day was things will never be the same in the US anymore. Sadly, I know of people who think that this is a wakeup call for Americans because they perceive (not me and the majority of us here, i should make myself very clear here) Americans to be arrogant and cocky in their dealings with the rest of the world. These same people fail to realise that without the American economic influence, there will be no wealth to be found in this region.
bluehavoc8686
will frag for food
+11|6013|Pittsburgh, PA, USA
You know what Mike... I had this nice long explaning post of my feelings on this subject and then FF crashed so I was too lazy to retype it. I'll chime in on this in a day or so.
kilroy0097
Kilroy Is Here!
+81|6017|Bryan/College Station, TX
This is a long post. I'm sorry for its length but its necessary to make my points.

I feel that despite the technology and the means in which this world is now joined through information and communication, that the USA is still an isolationistic country. Not in the terms of global politics but in the terms of society, psychology and ideology. For the rest of this post when I refer to the American public I speak for a slight majority of the grand population of the USA and not entirety of the country.

The American public does not care what happens elsewhere in the world. If American troops are not actively engaged in a conflict elsewhere then the American public does not see what is going on. Some of this is due to the news media which is incredible bias and is very short sighted and the rest is due to lack of culture and world eduction.

The news does not cover many events that happen daily simply because they do not deem them important in the light of the American public or they do not believe that the American public should be bothered by it. Unfortunately the media is not doing its job and is now being run with the mindset and opinions of those in the controlling aspects of these corporations. Do not forget that the news media is on networks that are controlled by corporate entities and that these entities do in fact have their own agendas. Privately or publicly they back certain political agendas which they feel further their cause or push the opinion of the public in their favor. For years now the Fox News Network has been labeled as nothing more than a Republican propaganda machine who has no interest in reporting the news as so much as they are going to report only the news that they want to report. I very rarely see anything go across FOX that would damage the Republican party and yet there is quite a bit against the other parties. Obvious slander and bias reporting is so prevalent that the network doesn't seem to even care about hiding it anymore. The only other major news network, outside the normal three ABC, NBC and CBS, is CNN. I have watched CNN very actively in the last year or two comparing it to FOX in many aspects and I find that even though it is usually more balanced in its reporting it also has its own agenda. This becomes even more obvious when I watch the BBC and learn about all the news that wasn't reported on in the US.

In the realm of education this country is failing miserably. For the richest nation in the world are education system is perhaps one of the worst in terms of quality of education. The recent “Nobody left behind” political platform of the current presidency is a joke in its own right and does nothing but present the facade that our education system is churning out quality graduates. It is nothing more than training and studying for standardized tests and does not actually teach real knowledge. Everyone is simply attempting to get past these tests and the schools are attempting to meet their quotas so they can keep their funding. These standardized tests are created by the government and hence ask certain types of questions in certain fields. They do not expand upon them and they do not in anyway leave room for discussion. Teachers must follow a strict curriculum that does not promote freedom of thought or tangent discussions. Even worse is most curriculum that would expose children and student to worldly history, knowledge of other cultures and societies are being removed. It is getting to a time where these subjects will only be taught in college and only if the student chooses to take them. It is by far this absolute lack of understanding of world cultures that leads to the arrogance and the myopic attitude of the US Citizen.

The USA does not care about the world. They only care about their own interests. The American public does not care about the rest of the world. They only care about their own interests. And even if they did care they wouldn't understand what is going on because of their lack of world and cultural education.

Ignorance is the motto of the USA. The Land of the Free and home of the Brave.  I am as patriotic as the next American but unlike most I actually give a damn about foreign relations and diplomacy. We are the king makers and we will forever be cleaning up our own messes.

Perhaps later I will start another topic about the American economy and its place in this world economy and why while we are number one its only in face value and that we are actually on a road to economic disaster.

Last edited by kilroy0097 (2005-10-01 22:16:10)

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
Home
Section.80
+447|6021|Seattle, Washington, USA

Wow, nicely put Kilroy. I agree 100%. The liberty and freedom we get is good, but the rest...
Ryan_Mercury
"It's Recharging!"
+19|5994
How do we view ourselves? It's too vauge a question to ask as previously mentioned. But if you ask me, one thing I do wish the world could see, is that our president does not in any way shape or form, represent every American. Just the ones who voted for him, whoever it may be.

The world media and the American media are all shit to begin with, and anyone who belives everything the media feeds them are just.. ugh, you can't even explain this kind of shit. Forget it.
polarbearz
Raiders of the Lost Bear
+-1,474|5962|Singapore

Now how about how OTHERS perceive Americans? I'll post after I see some responses
Home
Section.80
+447|6021|Seattle, Washington, USA

Yes, that's something I'd love to hear. What do other countries think of us?
oh-godzilla
Member
+0|5965|Germany
I used to love americans.
I live in City with a US Base and i have pretty good childhood memorys with them.
Especially the burger king on the base where they had this all-you-can-drink thing which was pretty unique here in germany. 
I was in the USA twice for holiday and i love the country, and i hope i can afford another one in 5 or 6 years

I only wanted to say that what Kilroy wrote is really good to attack prejudices many all over the world have, myself included.
Indeed i think its allways good to tune in foreign media because it always helps to see things from an other perspective or point of view.

I really don´t want to offend someone but i don´t understand why there are so many in the USA who not believe in science, or to be more precisely accept someparts but deny others...
Yesterday i saw something from this new king penguin documentary in cinemas and heard that some of the christians in the USA see a proof for god in this movie. rofl

sorry for the bad english
B.Schuss
I'm back, baby... ( sort of )
+664|6015|Cologne, Germany

I'll post something on this topic over the weekend. I'm at work now, and I wouldn't be able to put it all together within the 15 minutes I have until I can get the hell out of here...
Ryan_Mercury
"It's Recharging!"
+19|5994

oh-godzilla wrote:

I really don´t want to offend someone but i don´t understand why there are so many in the USA who not believe in science, or to be more precisely accept someparts but deny others...
Yesterday i saw something from this new king penguin documentary in cinemas and heard that some of the christians in the USA see a proof for god in this movie. rofl

sorry for the bad english
I guess it's just their religious prefrence. When I was a kid it was the same way, but once I was old enough to start thinking for myself and not having religion hammered into my head, it was science and technology over any religion. Religion is to vauge for me to take it seriously. I guess I'll leave it at that as thats an entirely other debate.
oh-godzilla
Member
+0|5965|Germany
sorry didn´t  want to make a religious debatte out of this....
i just wanted to point out that the VERY religious people taken seriously in the US and in most other western or christian countries there just a marginal group.
I just don´t understand how somebody can prescribe teachers to lie to children...
Those people should really have a look in historybooks what happened in the first 500 years of the last millenium over here in europe

Last edited by oh-godzilla (2005-10-09 03:10:33)

Sarum
The Angry Geek
+11|6021
Probably going to end up a very long post!

Cultural self interest is common in many countries - maybe it's worse in America, I don't know. I guess the major difference is that the rest of the world is forced to see their neighbours if nothing else, and most countries have many. The US on the other hand, is essentially on it's own (Canada and Mexico don't seem to count for some reason) bordered only by two VERY wide expanses of empty water. You can't take a half hour drive to a country that speaks a different language, uses a different monetary system, and has a visibly different culture in its dress sense, architectural style etc. I'm not saying this is an excuse for ignorance, but it's possible to see how easy a trap it is to fall into.

I'd describe myself as largely pro-American. Being from the UK, we've always seen you guys as cousins of sorts. A close ally in times of war, and a huge socio-economic influence in both war and peace. I fully realise the contribution the US has made to many areas of the life I take for granted - science, technology and many other things. And the fact I'm not goose-stepping down the street to 3rd Reich propaganda music (You’d never have come to Europe if it wasn’t for us, but we’d never have won the war without you). However, I am deeply worried by what I see as the current trends in your country. It would appear to me that you are turning away from all the good things you've previously been responsible for.

I can't speak much about Americans themselves, I don't know enough to make any generalisations without falling into the trap of popular stereotypes. This is probably very unfair on Americans - most English people are a long way from the old stereotypes of what an "Englishman" is, and the same is almost certainly true of most Americans. However, I can comment on what I see of the policy decisions, words and actions of the various faces of your vast government. Maybe this too is unfair on most Americans, however you elected them, and therefore they can reasonably be considered to represent the majority. If this isn't true, then you guys obviously don't understand democracy like you say you do - a democratically elected government is supposed to represent the wishes of the majority and you've got something seriously wrong if yours doesn't.

The US was once a beacon of scientific endeavour and it's application to political process and everyday life. Now, the administration refuses to accept the scientific consensus on many key issues. It applies its own form of religious extremist ideology, turning away from the enlightenment and back towards a much darker past where any attempt to "know the mind of God" was a heresy punishable by death. Such an extreme situation is unlikely to happen, but the refusal to allow scientific research, and the refusal to look at it's results, is almost as bad. The “Intelligent Design” issue is just one of many. From where I’m standing, this is almost exactly the same rhetoric as that of the Islamic Extremists it’s your newfound mission to eradicate. The only difference is in the choice of religion.

The US has always considered itself to be the ideal in terms of freedom of speech, of thought and of action. The American Dream - in the US anything is possible. Once this was verifiably true, and people flocked to the US, and were welcomed with relatively open arms at places like Ellis Island. Now I see frightening legislation, radical degradation of those freedoms. There is little patriotic in the Patriot Act, unless you count the ability to force, 1984-style, people to do and think as you wish, "patriotism". America, once almost the very definition of "multicultural" appears to be trying to force itself back down a mono-cultural route - and a fairly right wing, Christian white guy route at that.

There are still a lot of good things to be said for the US, and I know a lot of Americans are against the things I’ve mentioned (just two points of interest, I could probably go on for quite a while). My concern is that their voices of reason won’t get heard. Or that it’ll be too late for your country by the time they are. This is more from the point of view that I want you to be able to continue to be the ideal, the place the rest of the world aspires to. Currently that’s probably not the case – I certainly wouldn’t want to live in the US at the moment. Contrary to your own belief, the rest of the world could probably manage just fine without you these days. Sure we’d take a hit, some economies would crash, and trouble spots the world over would be down a lot of troops. But as important as you are, you’re not the keystone you appear to believe yourselves to be. However, as a country still with so much to contribute, why should we have to?
kilroy0097
Kilroy Is Here!
+81|6017|Bryan/College Station, TX
Isolationism indeed comes in part from the location of the US in terms of continental positioning on the globe. This may have been more true in the pre WWII era when traveling off this landmass would have been more difficult and communication also difficult. However in this modern era the excuse of being separated via water is becoming less an excuse and a more viable reasoning would simply be lack of education of the world around you and also just not caring about other countries. As for our participation in WWII yes there is some measure of satisfaction from being the major power behind stopping the Nazi war machine while also stopping the Japanese war machine. However that little bandwagon should have ended by the end of the Cold War and certainly we shouldn't be holding it over any heads at this point. Currently if anything we should be thanking other countries for funding us considering the amount of money that is probably owed by the US right now. Our deficit is huge and we hardly should be funding a war across the planet at this point and yet here we are still doing it.

As to your other points I pretty much agree with you. We are a highly developed country that embraces science in so many aspects of life. We invent new things and discover new way of using the elements in our favor including scientific research with biological elements as well. However all this seems to be thrown aside simply due to the major influence of a few extremists who happen to be in power in the country and happen to be rather fanatical religious right wing conservatives.  The idea of "Intelligent Design" is a joke and is something that I can hardly believe any intelligent person couldn't see through. Placing a scientific facade over a core religious belief is not going to hide it and if anything insults the very principles that the religion is based upon. I could as easily argued that "Intelligent Design" is based upon an Alien high developed and intelligent species that came to earth millions of years ago and cultivated the then primitive lifeforms into the human species you see today. And let me write a ficitional books about it and call it a religion based upon science. Oh wait that's already been done it's called Scientology. You want to see some nuts there you go.

As for the Patriot Act this is something that though may be founded upon principles that are sound in the sense of espionage and national intelligence when used to find terrorists and criminals its also very much defeats the central foundation of this country which is freedom from oppression and freedom from a hierarchical government. It takes away any sort of freedom to speak to act and any sort of privacy.  Of course I can't pin everything on the Republicans on this issue because the Democrats are doing the same thing, all be it in a different way, by attempting to federalize everything. Taking away a state's right to govern itself is what the US Civil War was based upon and if that point is pushed too much you will have the possibility of another fracture. Perhaps not in a military sense but most definitely in a political one.

More than anything I want to say that the people of the US are good people and in truth just want to live like everyone else. Yes we have a higher standard of living and yes many things within the US are better than anywhere else in the world. But that standard is quickly becoming one of common place and is something we all take for granted. We have grown accustom to our lives of easy cheese and microwavable dinners and we forget the basic tenants of hard work and aspiration to something better. Countries like China, like India are striving towards a much brighter future and their goals lay past the US's current ones. I forsee China rivaling the US economy within a single decade the way they are going.

Meanwhile the US is stagnant. Attempting to keep what they have and not really improving as a government or a nation. We are the status quo and unfortunately we aren't helping raise that. Our complete failure as a nation to improve our school systems, to lower our usage of nonrecylable resources and our currently inablility to make long lasting relations with other countries will in the end destroy this nation. It creditability is already waning. Many have been saying these things for quite some time now but the issue is those words are not being heeded. To expect a government to change when they already hold all the cards in this political poker is not going to happen. It will take something rather drastic to happen before future and forward thinking revolutionaries are heard and taken seriously. And I do not speak of the political nuts on either the left or the right wings. I am talking about those in the middle, the moderates who really want to see the best for this country and do not put emphasis on liberal or conservative morals or religious outlooks but a nice road inbetween.

Those are my viewpoints. Thank you very much Sarum for taking an honest look at this thread and this debate. I welcome any commentary on these words.

Cheers.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
Sarum
The Angry Geek
+11|6021
I agree with everything you've said I think Kilroy.

Yes, I think "The War" as a trump card in any argument about either the UK or the US should die out with the generation that fought it. We should always remember their sacrifice, and the ideals they fought to uphold. But was can't use it as some sort of magic "you should be grateful" wand to absolve ourselves of our many other sins as nations.

I think you're right about stagnation - it's a little that way here too, but maybe not quite so bad. We've not had quite the degree of success (although not that far off, contrary to what some Americans I've met on the internet seem to think), so we don't have quite so many laurels to rest on. Historically it's always been this way - the great empires brought down as much by their own complacency as the strength, vigour and determination of their enemies. Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt all fell because they were weakened by internal bickering and cultural stagnation. However, that’s not to say it's got to happen to the capitalist empire of "The West". While there is much I dislike about the way things are and feel there is urgent need for serious change, I also like the many comforts and pleasures available to me because of it (and no, no dirty jokes from this comment, you know I don't mean it that way!) and I wouldn't want it to collapse entirely and be replaced with authoritarian regimes such as those of China and many Islamic countries (I read some very disturbing things about China in the Guardian yesterday, and while I imagine many Islamic countries are perfectly fine places to live, some are clearly not).

The world just needs a gentle push in the right direction, but there is too much money and power tied up in maintaining the status quo. The people with power clearly have power because of the current state of affairs – why would they wish to change anything? It’s worked out just fine for them hasn’t it!
mikeshw
Radioactive Glo
+130|6011|A Small Isle in the Tropics

imho, for the US to succeed in its role as the policeman of the world (being the solitary superpower), it needs to understand the cultural sensitivities of other nations. what works in the US is not necessarily true elsewhere. Take Freedom of Speech for instance. It is the right of every American citizen to possess the freedom of speech but you pay a price for it. Other countries value it less and sees restrictions as a means to balance the delicate socio-political equilibrium. Same goes for human rights issues. What seen as basic human rights in the US may not be perceived as being acceptable in this part of the world. As long as the average citizen gets his daily meal, roof over his head,  and basic needs satisfied, why does he care about human rights? The world view is very different.

for the US to truly succeed and provide leadership to the world, it really needs to understand cultural sensitivities across the various nations. It cant ride into the town on a blazing saddle and play high noon. It won't work, and if you try high noon with North Korea, for instance, the fallout will be beyond nuclear. God helps us all if that happens.


edit: Forgot to add.. Sarum, Kilroy, those posts of yours were fantastic!

Last edited by mikeshw (2005-10-11 23:47:29)

Stasiek
Pojebany Hlop
+1|6013|Sicily, Italy
How Do Americans Perceive Themselves on the World Stage?

i can't speak for every american but i can speak for myself.  i support what america is doing militarily by having a presence in almost every part of the world.  we're here (and there) for a reason. don't ask me for THE reason...it's on a need to know basis and frankly you sir nor i don't need to know

Last edited by Stasiek (2005-10-12 16:13:17)

kilroy0097
Kilroy Is Here!
+81|6017|Bryan/College Station, TX

Stasiek wrote:

How Do Americans Perceive Themselves on the World Stage?

i can't speak for every american but i can speak for myself.  i support what america is doing militarily by having a presence in almost every part of the world.  we're here (and there) for a reason. don't ask me for THE reason...it's on a need to know basis and frankly you sir nor i don't need to know
Interesting but let me make a retort. Isn't it the responsibility of the citizen in a Democratic nation to know the decisions their leaders make and why? Aren't they representing the best interests of the people of their nation? And if so then they should know that their president is sending a Battalion or two to a foreign nation to wage war and they should know why they are doing it. And when the people find out that the president was lying on their reason then they should be able to demand to know the truth from their "elected" president.

I think this country has truely lost the concept of a Democratic nation.
And the current parties are just hurting us more, not helping us.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
Stasiek
Pojebany Hlop
+1|6013|Sicily, Italy
Q:  Isn't it the responsibility of the citizen in a Democratic nation to know the decisions their leaders make and why? 
A:  if they want to then yes they have the right to know what and why, but why can be as simple as what the general public wants to hear, it necessarily dosen't need to be true.
Q:  Aren't they representing the best interests of the people of their nation?
A:  they are suposed to, they might even have the intention to do it but once they take the office there is a lot of red tape.  a lot things happen which we never know.
Q:  And if so then they should know that their president is sending a Battalion or two to a foreign nation to wage war and they should know why they are doing it.
A:  actually he can order military action for about a week or so but then he needs to get congress approval to wage war/extend the military actions.  the public will be told only what the gov wants to tell us
Q:  And when the people find out that the president was lying on their reason then they should be able to demand to know the truth from their "elected" president.
A:  it would be nice to know the truth, but realisticly it's not going to happen

i hate politics

Last edited by Stasiek (2005-10-13 14:25:17)

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