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 About the United States of America!!!!

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PostSubject: About the United States of America!!!!   Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:28 am

OK...I'm gonna start a potentially contentious post here : )

How do you feel about the United States of America? How does America impact on the rest of the world? Is the influence positive or negative - or both?

I am keen to hear responses from both Americans and Non-Americans. If you are American, how do you feel that the rest of the world regards you and do you care? Please can you start each post by stating your nationality.

Here are some of my personal thoughts:

I am English. For the majority of my life I have been influenced by America. English culture is heavily influenced by American culture through television, the Arts, sport, science, music, fast food restaurants etc. I do not regard the influence of American culture as entirely negative. I have enjoyed listening and being influenced by some great musical geniuses; I have watched some excellent TV shows and films; some of my heroes are influential American political figures like the Kennedy Brothers, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King. Other heroes include great sports people like Muhammed Ali, Michael Spitz etc.

However, I do believe there have been some very negative influences too. First, there is the issue with fast food restaurants. I think that these franchises that have sprung up all over the world have not only had a detrimental effect on the health of people around the world, but also on the environment and how we view our world. As far as politics is concerned - I feel the influence has been both negative and positive over the years. For example, I think that George W Bush has not only divided the people of his own country, but had a similar impact on the rest of the world. I have seen America swing from being the world's policeman to being the world's bully/gangster. In the years after the second world war - America seems to have become almost synonymous with the word WAR. War in Korea, war in Vietnam, war in Cuba, war in the Middle East and most notably, a cold war with the former Soviet Union. The list is almost endless. Many of these wars seem more to be about ideology than any threat to national security - no matter how they may be sold to the masses.

In short, I think that America's influence swings from positive to negative- largely dependent on the leadership of the time. During the GW Bush era, my opinion of America has significantly declined. As the most powerful nation on Earth, some of its contributions have been wonderful whilst others have been truly horrific ( e.g. the natives, slavery, Hiroshima, Nagasaki). Can that be said about any powerful civilisation? Were the Romans more or less destructive than the Greeks, for example?
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:42 am

WEll i couldnt resist to not post in this topic even i will try to sound little balanced !!!
Th Great USA !!
The country which started so many wars ... ....
The country which always put Its nose everywhere ......
The country which want everybody to follow Its rules ......
The country who invent the term "terrorism"
The country which for some freaking funny years took all the control .....
The country who made its own "right" laws and want all the World to follow ....
And this COUNTRY exist only some years !!
I am Bulgarian .... we are such a asslickers that i dont think there exist such a people like us .
We do all what USA or Europe tell us ..
We watch ONLy americans movies . we listen american music ,,our Tvs are under american control ,,, our newspapers are own by americans .we eat american fast food ,our education is taken from USA ..Do i need to say more ?
We are so brainwashed that even people like me who is such a patriot ..i get used to all this !!
Usa "was" the greatest and the biggest country until now ..is time this to be changed ...country without any history ....based on so weak roots to control all the world ....well is was clear that this will end soon .
have to be agree with nathans post about the famous people who USA gave the World ...BUT so many other little countries gave many talents too ...
U can meet in Bulgaria few people who think so negative about this influence ..most of them prolly will be the old generation taught in different kind of live ..
BUt every person have to be taught that all kind of influence is bad for his nation !!
Today young people believes that USA is the greatest country ...
But this is such a myth ....
Perhaps there are some positive things but .....compared will the rest is just like drop in the ocean .
I will like to say that England ,Russia ,China , Iran , thats the countries which are taking the control over the world ...
America played Its cards very wrong and lost
After all what is done ..many people totally changed their opinions ,even The Americans !!
But thats what happend when ONLY one country wants to control
Now is time for new changes
and for sure will be better Smile
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:25 pm

Being a Brit I have the following comments:

American culture has influenced us because we have let it. Fast food, cinema, TV and a vast array of other culture has done well here because we actually enjoy it. However, I would also state that many other cultures have had some influence in the UK also.

As for military campaigns Britain has been involved with some kind of conflict every year on some scale since 1945. Therefore we are not entire innocent when it comes to war.

1945-1947 Palastine
1948-1960 Malaya
1950-1953 Korea
1952-1960 Kenya
1955-1959 Cyprus
1956 Suez
1964-1967 Aden and Radfan
1965 Borneo
1969-1973 Dhofar
1970's Rhodesia
1982 Falklands
1991 1st Gulf War
1992 to Now Balkans
2000 Sierra Leone
2001 to Now Afghanistan
2003 to Now Iraq

I could also include military action in Northern Ireland, Belize - strike action in the 1990s in the no fly zones in Iraq. We were very much involved with the Cold War - not only direct military exercises (we played cat amd mouse every other day with russian aircraft and shipping approaching UK territory) but also very involved in covert operations. The struggle for Ideology wasn't just the americans.

Incidentally, the Vietnam conflict was initiated by the french trying to impose its ideolgy in the far east. Even Australia played a part in that.

Whatever we may think I do know that without support frm the Americans, we may well have lost WW1. Although the UK would have not been invaded in WW2 (as Britain alone was able to maintain air superiority in UK airspace) we certainly would not have been able to keep the war going without american help. Although we did pay a high price for that help.

Are the americans guilty of imposing their policies on others? yes, but they aren't on their own.

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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:44 pm

Well duh!!!

At which point did I suggest that the British - who colonized a huge portion of the globe - didn't influence other countries? The question was not about the British...that may be a relevant subject for another post. This question was about America and its influence on the world. I thought I made that pretty clear, but obviously not. If we are going to talk about every country that has had influence over others - then maybe we should start with the Egyptians or the Romans and work our way through the centuries.

The reason why I chose America as the focus of this discussion is because world opinion of America has been on a decline for some years now. It would be interesting to hear what people's opinions were about that.

As far as the conflicts that Britain has been involved in - the last two you cite are very much in response to an American call to arms. The Iraq war divided our country as well as the rest of the world. Our government and the most successful Labour Party Prime Minister in history are still heavily criticised for following the Americans into war.

With regards to the First and Second World Wars, well there is no denying that the Americans were vital in securing a victory against the Germans. By the same token, the Americans are indebted to the French and the Dutch for their independence from Great Britain. So what? How does that affect this discussion?
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:53 pm

I may be the only American to respond. We all know how America is perceived by the rest of the world, but let me share with you how Americans see America.

America is the closest you will get to a democratic country as you are going to get. In a world where every arab nation, most african nations and some asian countries still deny all their citizens the right to vote, every adult in America has the right to vote. Not only that, most young nations turn to the democratic ideals of our Founding Fathers as the blueprint for their own young governments. They aren't looking to Iran, UK, China or any other country, they are looking to the US as and ideal government to emulate. Only in America can ANYONE become president.

America liberates other countries, it doesn't rule over them. If Americans wanted to rule the world, there would be only one country now, and its capital would be in Washington D.C. We didn't take over Nazi Germany or Japan during WWII. Our goal has never been to make Korea, Vietnam or Iran part of the great Empire of America. When we go to war with countries, we do so in order to liberate them from oppressive regimes, and the entire world benefits because the United States takes a stand against repression and evil. Especially you folks bordering these countries. You were next.

The U.S. is accused of oppressing citizens of other countries, yet which country do most immigrants flock to? Thats right. America. The United States takes in more immigrants than all other countries. America has always welcomed immigrants with open arms, we even erected a statue to greet them. We are all immigrants here, and contrary to popular european beliefs, we embrace differences and celebrate achievement. Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein and Irving Berlin are just a few non americans that could only achieve their full potential by immigrating to America.

America creates the wealth in which the rest of the world survives. Need proof? Check out the nose dive all the other country's economies experienced when ours took a hit.

Americans are the most generous people in the world. We are the first to give in any disaster, the first to donate funds to rebuild a country.

Finally, because of the freedoms allowed in America, it is Americans that have given the world the television, the telephone, the motion picture, the internet, computers, airplanes, air conditioning, and a host of other inventions the world uses every day. Americans created the polio and hepatitis vaccine. When you look to the cure for cancer or Aids, are you thinking the Nigerians will accomplish this? Or China? Iran? Russia? Finland? No, its America.

In short, America has brought a lot more good to this world than bad, and the entire planet benefits. Sure, we aren't perfect, what country is, but we sure come a lot closer to it than any other government in the history of this planet, including the Romans.
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:43 am

Many thanks for the rude response to my post.

I approached this thread with the idea that before I judge another country I would first compare my own, and used some of your questions and comments as a basis.

You said: America seems to have become almost synonymous with the word WAR. War in Korea, war in Vietnam, war in Cuba, war in the Middle East and most notably, a cold war with the former Soviet Union. Based on our own history, the UK has been involved in more wars and conflicts that the United States since 1945. We even assisted the Australians in a small way in Vietnam. Most of our fights were ideological too, but I think recently we have been following the United States into battle for nothing more than to show we can still be an international force. There is an argument either way on that one.

You mention some of the horrors that the United States have performed. The UK has been the leaders on that front. Our treatment of indigenous populations has been far worse (the Aborigines being a classic example). The UK invented the slave trade (although we were the first to stop it) and had the UK developed the atomic bomb there is no doubt we would have used it. Arthur Harris would have made sure of that. His tactics of saturation bombing killed more civilians in Germany than the atomic bombs did in Japan. Don’t forget that the concentration camp was first invented by the British.

During the height of the British Empire our influence extended far more than American influence ever has so far. However, the Americans didn’t invent terrorism – the British dealt with terrorism around the world for over a century – mostly due to our foreign policy. We are mistrusted in many Middle Eastern countries partly because of our policies in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

The point of my post was that the British are in a position to understand the Americans. I am not sure we are in a position to judge them.

Some corrections on Heartsss’ claims:

1. The Americans did not invent the aeroplane. They were the first to initiate powered flight. However, the Europeans invented the piston engine to power it.
2. Many aspects of the aeroplane were invented by the Europeans. The British invented the jet engine, servo control systems, fly by wire, ejection seats; The Europeans invented the concept of warplanes, invented the first jet fighters and bombers, the first passenger aircraft, the first jet airliner. The VSTOL aircraft (Harrier), the helicopter (the Germans did it first), and the list goes on. The MiG 19 (Russian) was the first supersonic fighter in service but the worlds first was invented by the Germans (Jaeger P-13) but fortunately never entered service.
3. The telephone was invented by a Brit and the design work for the telephone was done in Ontario, Canada.
4. The concept of the television was invented by another Brit although an American did improve the concept.
5. Babbage (a Brit) invented the concept of the computer although he never finished the machine. Colossus was a computing machine that helped Alan Turing break the German codes in WW2. Whilst the first pure electronic computer was invented by an American, the first working computers were invented by the British and the Germans. The work done on ‘mainframe’ and ‘networked’ computers was done in Manchester.
5. Granted that the Americans were the first on the moon. However, it was German scientists who put them there.

Whilst America has indeed invented many things, I would say the inventions and discoveries made in the modern world have largely been done outside the US. What does irritate me a little is that the Americans claim the glory over finding and breaking the Enigma cipher machine. They didn’t – that was the British.
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:16 am

merry christmas

Last edited by Lillie on Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:39 am

Ok...I feel I must reply to this post on our nation's birthday.
I admit I'm not as schmart as some of y'all but I couldn't allow hearts to be the only American voice here.
Yes in any country there are good and bad and yes I do feel I'm patriotic.
I am proud to be American and even when visiting Europe I didn't try to hide that fact. ( although some people said I should wear a Canadian pin to feel more safe) and I took that as a joke as I hope it was intended. I found most all Europeans to be kind and helpful and the ones I met were most generous and wonderful to be with. (there were a couple snooty French waiters) Smile

As far as this country as a whole being close minded...I really can't believe that. Yes there are some (again as with any country) that will be hateful to anyone that is different.
I'm noticing that along with this wonderful history lesson I'm learning from this post that so many countries and cultures have good and bad...and similar problems politically, as well as at home.
Also we are a very young country compared to the rest of the world and our roots come from all over...and we've grown so quickly in relation to how long we've had our independence.
So many advances in science, technology, inventions...how MUCH this world has changed in a short amount of time.
All in all most of the comments ( good and bad) made about this country could be applied to any one of us.
I am thankful for this opportunity to post and I'm sure someone will be correcting me on my "English" skills or some other mistake.
I'm not going to quote anyone or post statisitcs here, quite honestly I'm not energetic enough to research it all to make sure I'm correct.
Y'all have a wonderful day and Happy Birthday USA! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:14 am

Well Delirium, it seems you are about as confused about the focus of this post as you are about your gender. I disagree completely with you that Great Britain has been actively involved in more wars and conflicts than America since 1945. You listed 16 countries in a previous post, and frankly that doesn't even come close to the number of countries that have actually been subject to air strikes and bombing by the USA.

However, like I said before, this post is about current world opinion about America. You think we are not in a position to judge because of our history? I beg to differ. Young men and women of my country have given their lives in recent conflicts and we who are left are asking why. The people of Great Britain want to know why we were led into a futile and illegal war. Who put us under pressure to go to war with Iraq? Do you really think that because of some events that occurred in my Grandfather's time (and before), I am not allowed to judge current situations?

I am just as critical of many of our own actions of the past. However, in the current political climate, America is regarded as the world's aggressor by many countries. Britain has had it's time - it has been criticised - we have learned many lessons. Why do you think key political figures like Robin Cook (foreign secretary) resigned their posts when the decision to go to war was made? It is because they understood the circumstances - their knowledge of what had happened in the past informed their decisions now! So YES, we are in a position to judge - and America should listen to the voice of reason and experience. Unfortunately it did not.

I agree with almost every point that Lillie made in her rebuttal of Heartssss' post. Every one of her statements makes sense and I have nothing I would like to add to them.

Heartssss, I admire your patriotism. However, yours is a perception that I am afraid causes the malaise that exists today. It is an arrogant stance - and more so because it is full of inaccuracies. It is this very perception of arrogant misinformation that G W Bush exploited to manipulate your country into electing him for a second term. It is this attitude that creates the 'hate' felt by the rest of the world. If America is this wonderful nation that acts so altruistically in the betterment of the world and on the side of good over evil - then please explain to me why you haven't intervened in the human rights violations of Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran, China etc etc etc. Trust me Eileen, you do not fight your wars on moral grounds alone. There is a conspiracy theory in your country right now that suggests that your Government created the conditions to go to war.

Millie...not wanting to patronize you... I find your statements to be well balanced. You have every right to be proud of your nation within the terms you set. Your nation has led the way on some great achievements. You recognise the relative immaturity of your country and acknowledge the huge diversity that makes you who you are. You, like many other Americans I have met, are willing to criticise your country when it is necessary, without compromising your patriotism. I wish you happy Independence Day.....and in reference to that I say...down with the British!!! ( I am sure Delirium will love that statement since he feels it appropriate to chastise his own country even when it isn't appropriate).

Last edited by spacemariner26 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:54 am

I really don't have anything to add as I kind of feel the crazy mixed up 'kid' here...


***A fact for all of you out there, the United States has more registered gun owners than the UK has citizens. At about 80 million, the number of American gun owners outweighs the ENTIRE population of the UK at only about 60 million.

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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:06 am

I am a registered gun owner. What does that supposed to mean? After all the population of The US is alot more than the UK. The US must be one hell of a country for alot of countries and cultures have based their economy on it. The US has contributed good as well as bad just like any other country just because the last leader is somewhat corrupt and perhaps had equivocal goals doesnt mean all were. I may not be happy about what my country has done BUT I am Proud to be an American. I believe that england has been in the most wars because it has a rich history as an aggressive nation and has fought strong in it's defense. Also while the romans fought a lot their empire only spanned 310 years where as the english have been in wars for over 1000 years with little rest between them, especially in Europe. I also believe that the English have won the most wars but only because they've fought the most too. Terrorism? Terrorism was around way before America was born Maggie hun =0)

Endrin . German/French/Swedish/English = Full Blooded American
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:28 am

Happy 4th July all americans .
I am sure all of you are proud to be americans ....
and to be honest i like americans like every nations they have good people and bad ones ..
Just doesnt like their politic : )
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PostSubject: After one year want make alive this topic    Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:26 am

Well the fact i want make it alive is the latest acts and lately news going in the world .I watched today very carefully the speech of Barack Obama giving more hopes to people then fear .I surely look in this like a joke I mean how that the two attempts were made by Arabs .These two attempts were well planned from some organizations and we know exactly which and reason for it was looking for good reason for new kind of hegemony from USA over Middle East .The fictive created "terrorists " were good reason to excuse in face of the world to invade Iraq .A crash of a plane in some of floors of such building IT cannot cause any co laps of the reinforced concrete of these buildings .With all the security technology which USA own didn't notice for parts of second that they are planes going in the two buildings ???
oh come on .
Thats same like all these speech for terrorism which is invented by Americans .They are looking for Osama .they cant find him with all the modern technical in the mountains of Afghanistan or whatever ?????
Or do everyone even care about the American external dept ???How they can pay ? I like how barrack always say about it that the world have to make victims for it ..but surely he meant that The WORLD have to that Americans sit comfortable and eat their MacDonald at their homes ?
In 2008 their external dept was10 trillions you know one curious fact that electronic table couldn't take all numbers so they had to remove the dollar before the number lmao ..now is going up with every second and last minute i saw it was $13,441,539,325,572
For all Americans i suggest that you read a little one book is called The Empire of the debt by Bill Bonner
One nation who buy things which IT cant afford ,things from which she has ANY need ,WITH money which IT doesn't have
Funny isnt it ....then i sit and wonder why most Americans think what they do ....now i can see why
Btw 10 minutes after i post it now i repost american external dept $13,441,666,960,415.....here for example Bulgarian external dept is around 37 095.1 MILLIONS euros ..dont know how much in dollars ....http://valentinfortunov.com/wordpress/?p=46
After picture down look the american dept .....
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PostSubject: Re: About the United States of America!!!!   Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:14 pm

As an American, I like this topic. I think the US is very misunderstood and from talking to many of you over the years, it has been more of the rule than the exception.

America may influence England, but I would say England still holds a large influence over the US. Our democracy is based on what we learned before the boats left. While we may have the NFL and baseball, our soccer is weak. We have Elvis and you gave us The Beatles. Many famous singers cross the globe on their way to the top and I think everyone benefits from it. The US is very diverse and the impact on our culture from other countries is huge, just like England. Where I think the problem comes from is how most people see the US as a superpower. Just because a business is based here, it doesn't mean it is really a US corporation. Many international companies base in the US so they can be listed on the NYSE. Even if the business was started here, many companies hire internationally. I have met many people working in the US that aren't citizens. Work visas are very common here. As far as the fast food part - I have to say I agree. This is a product of why we are fat. Our ability to obtain very dense food for cheap has been the topic of discussion lately. If you can give your kids a few pieces of fruit or a full McDonalds meal that will fill them up - what would you choose if you were poor? Our science has made food cheaper and easier - sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The same forces drive technology or any of our other exports. Of course it isn't only the US, look at Sony's attempt to control technology with Beta, minidisc, memory sticks, bluray, etc. Why is that that people hate Microsoft so much when Sony is so much worse about exclusive products? The answer is because Microsoft is bigger.

Bush has always been an easy target. It always amazes me that one person gets so much blame in a democracy. This man had 9/11 happen his first year in office and the chaos of the aftermath (not to mention Katrina) to deal with. Of course he divided a nation - anyone in charge during a war usually is devisive. As an American - here is what pisses me off : the democratic world EXPECTS us to be the policeman for the entire world, and typically as a policeman, we get no credit for what we do right but any mistakes are broadcast to the headlines and front pages. My favorite example was while I was in Korea. I was there when the US started the Gulf War and they were very vocal against our actions. During a return visit, they had recently found out about North Korea's attempt to get nuclear weapons. The response was amazing. Strangers stopped me on the street to thank me for the American help. They knew we were the protector of their country. The point is that when YOUR family is in jeopardy, your views are dramatically changed. This is the case with 9/11. I can admit that we acted too fast and with too much force in hindsight, but that is the easy part. When your country has just seen the largest terrorist attack in the history of the world and your country is shut down economically - you are put in a position that puts you at war with the people that started it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I find it both naive and pretentious to not consider the full effects of what happened to the US when you espouse what should have been done (especially in hindsight). When you lose an innocent loved one, when you can't fly in an airplane, when your stocks fall to 40% or less of their value (think BP outrage), when a group of muslim fanatics has called for your death and promised larger destruction...then you are at war. Make no mistake, the threats by muslim extremists had existed for years, and we had avoided many terroristic attacks through intelligence before 9/11. It had finally caught up with us. Three thousand people had lost their lives, it was time to go to the source. As an American, I feel we ARE the UN - there is rarely anybody that will enforce any of the laws made by that organization besides the US. Look at the oil for food program in Iraq, 18 UN resolutions on Iraq ignored, Iraq expelling inspectors, etc and how they all failed. While this does not condone our attack, it further proves my point that without the US, it is doubtful anything would have ever changed. Want more proof? Look at Iran and their nuclear development. While this clearly violates the UN Security council's command to suspend nuclear enrichment, nothing has been done. They can now enrich their uranium up to 20% - four times the 5% needed for power. It just seems sanctions, like the rest of the UN actions, fail to make a difference. At some point you have to take action. As an American, I would love to see other countries take the lead in more cases. I would say that England is probably the second most involved country in keeping democracy strong - and I salute that.

Of course not everything is perfect here. We picked up the slave trade from Spain, we didn't invent it. People forget there were also white slaves and even the native americans owned slaves. Indentured servants were common in the British colonies and many of them became US citizens once they were finished with their duties. As we developed, we learned and evolved. I feel we are far from perfect, but our democracy is one of the best on earth. As a leader, it is very easy for people to be critical of our leadership. What I never understood is how you could state that that the Iraq war was for oil. As usual, the proof shows that we didn't go to steal oil - which contradicts Nathans and Sylvia's statements to me at that time. It reminds me of the conspiracy theory of the bombs in the world trade center....that men never went to the moon...or that vaccines cause autism....all naive and uneducated conclusions without merit and contrary to fact. I feel many people's negative thoughts about the US are from something they read as another's opinion - and not from facts or first hand knowledge. For instance, the US HAS helped human rights across Asia. Our companies demand factory inspections with better living conditions, working conditions and no child labor. We have reprimanded China for many things they have done. Google pulled out of China. We didn't even mention Darfur or other areas. It isn't enough, but it is a start.

Here is a point about how outsiders view the US:
"It is this very perception of arrogant misinformation that G W Bush exploited to manipulate your country into electing him for a second term. It is this attitude that creates the 'hate' felt by the rest of the world. If America is this wonderful nation that acts so altruistically in the betterment of the world and on the side of good over evil - then please explain to me why you haven't intervened in the human rights violations of Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran, China etc etc etc."
So it was all exploitation? On what grounds is that assumption made? Maybe we just didn't like the other candidate as much. Maybe Bush's policies not only on the war, but also on illegal immigration, education and social security made more sense. Clearly homeland security was paramount, but the economy was still trying to recover from all the turmoil. Did you watch any of the debates? I know you didn't, but if so, please tell me about them. How sad to think the vote was so simple minded. I can't imagine viewing the election from the outside thinking only one thing was important.

To sum up my feelings, I think the US pulls more than it's share of worldly police work. Many times criticism comes from small countries that have nothing invested in the issue yet want to tell us how bad we are doing. That is like me trying to critique a Mike Tyson fight to him after it is over. Why is it always the little guy who is so mouthy but refuses to get in the ring? As Mike says, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth". I know that Americans can be cocky - but we are no more so than the French. The difference is that we actually make things happen - for the better or worse. Hopefully when another country is critical of us, it because they were also involved and have a better idea. There is nothing wrong with being the little guy, but be a participant - not just an armchair quarterback. Overall, I think our good is much better than our bad.
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