First time entrant, loves USA

Discussion in 'Europe' started by kellyg, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. kellyg
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    kellyg Rookie

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    Dear Sir,
    I have just finished perusing your web site and I must compliment you on a job well done. I am writing from Ireland and I must say that it is very difficult to get an American Republican viewpoint on American affairs. Unfortunately most of what we get fed is from lazy journalists who only take the predominantly Democratic press at face value and rarely go beyond that. What we get therefore is a polarised demonisation of any Republican in the White House and nothing short of sanctified image of any Democratic incumbent. Although I do not agree with you on many points of politics, I commend you for so articulately expressing them.
    Indeed, it does my heart good to know that there actually is intelligent debate coming from the American right. Well done!

    May I briefly, take you to task on a point raised in April 2004 article regarding the Madrid attacks? Someone seemed to doubt that the validity of the standpoint that Al-Queda and Iraq aren't connected. I am sure that there have been some dealings but at very most on a superficial level. It is well asserted that 1. Iraq never harboured any Al Queda terrorists. 2. That no weapons of mass destruction were ever found.
    Just so you know. The general European consensus is that the failure of the intelligence services and flimsy evidence of WMD in aftermath of the Iraq war is purely a PR exercise. Everyone from the start already knew that there were no WMD. There are two basic proofs of this: 1. Dr. Hans Blix (the chief UN weapons inspector already verified this) 2. If Sadam actually had any WMD, don’t you think he might have used them against the US led invasion?
    Please don’t get too annoyed at my argument. This is not my intention. After all, we are all adults engaging in healthy debate, no?

    I would also like to add that Ashcroft is stretching things a bit far in trying to find justification in the supposed Islamic "hatred" of Spaniards because they are not Muslims and historical relevance of ownership of "al Andalusia". I have both lived in Spain and travelled extensively throughout Northern Africa. Sir, I can assure you that most people there do not care or want any part of Andalusia. It is firmly Spanish and has been so since 1492. His comparison is tantamount to arguing that Britains hate Americans b/c they no longer control their 13 colonies. Get real! Time passes and people get over things. If this "El Andalus" suggestion of yours held any weight, would you also contend, therefore, that the Algarve (or 'Al Gahraf' in original Arabic form [means towards the west]) is also in the minds of these 'Islamofascists' as they are so conveniently branded?

    There is a point I would like to add regarding American viewpoint and media portrayal of post Sept 11th politics. More than ever, your media seems polarised. The country which so extols the virtue of liberty seems hell bent on taking this away from it citizens. E.g. The Patriot Act "Ah yes", I hear the right wing clamour, "But this is a necessary evil". Think logically for a minute... NOTHING HAS GOT BETTER SINCE THIS CRACKDOWN ON TERRORISM. What made America great and Europe great too is that we are free to express our views. I think Voltaire said "I don’t agree with what you say, but I would die for your right to say it" Freedom of Speech is the fundamental tenant of any functional democracy. It can’t be piecemeal. It's all or nothing.
    From having read your website I understand you to be respectful and intelligent people. I'm sure you also find it incredible therefore, that in all practicality, American media is more controlled and manipulated, and ultimately less free nowadays than it was 30 years ago. By anyone's standards this is not Democracy at work. This is not freedom.

    Terrorist attacks do not just happen out of madness. I AM NOT JUSTIFYING THEM. But it would be worthwhile not to take the extreme "they are all fascist, terrorist madmen". These people are destitute and fundamentally misguided. Their hatred stems from something. Again I repeat that it is misguided. Nonetheless, put yourself in their position: If you lived in a world where education was sparse, you lived under a corrupt regime, which in some way have a strong link back to an American foreign policy, you would hate America too. There seems to be an inability to see these basic concepts on the part of the US print and TV media. It certainly doesn’t further the cause of intelligent debate when you have idiots like Hanratty throwing around one-size-fits-all terms and insults to people such as “the closest thing in America to a domestic terrorist”. I know that he is trying to be polemic, but that is all he achieves. Certainly media in his vein and supporting his ilk carries no weight over this side of the pond; in fact it is laughed at.

    On a final note, could you please answer me the following question that no one here can answer me: Why is the term liberal used in a pejorative sense nowadays in the US? It seems to me that your own country was built on the idea of liberty. What is wrong with someone exercising that right? I heard the other day someone insulting another person (on TV of course) using the term ‘left wing liberal’. This is funny in two senses: 1. There is nothing even close to left wing politics in America insofar as the European definition of it goes. (It appears you have two right wing parties: the Democrats who are wavily right of centre, but can’t make up there mind about where to stand, or sit, on anything. And the Republicans who are very right wing.) 2. He was insulting him as if there wasn’t an inherent right to hold a viewpoint. I am understandably confused and would very much appreciate your musings on the subject.
    Lest anyone think that my title was ironic, I genuinely meant it. I was in the USA for the first time in my life last summer. I travelled about a bit and had one of the best holidays ever. You really do have a great country.

    Again, well done on the web site. Keep up the good work.
    Look forward to hearing from you

    Gordon (guy from Ireland)
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Welcome to the board and thank you for your views on American politics. Since it's early in the morning, I would like to only briefly respond and save a comprehensive response for later.
    1 Hopefully you have recovered from your surprise that there is intelligent debate in America. Did you assume all Americans were stupid? Don't blame your ignorance on your lazy media. Rise above it!
    2 Superficial dealings with al Qaeda along with MANY other circumstances resulted in the US invasion of Iraq. Hussein and his entire family could have left the country and avoided this whole conflict. Why didn't he? The French told him that the US was bluffing. If Europe never thought Iraq had WMDs, why did they demand that they be destroyed?
    3 May be you could explain to us why Islamo-fascists killied Spaniards ?
    4 Please don't lecture me on logic. Irelands religious conflicts have been some of the most illogical disputes I have ever heard of. Two religious groups killing each others children?
    5 Please explain how things have not gotten any better? There have been NO attacks on American soil since 9/11 and many atempted attacks have been foiled. You should be congratulating us for not allowing things to get worse.
    6 Please give me SPECIFIC examples of how the Patriot act has destroyed peoples lives and freedoms in the US and tell me where you got your information. I have not seen one iota of decrease in the amount of personal freedom I have
    7 If foreigners hate us for whatever reason that's thier right. When they begin to kill us, it's war. You may not justify them but you don't hold them responsible? I dislike a lot of foreign policies but I don't go killing anyone from their country.
    8 Liberal has become an insult here because the true liberal party has been hijacked by socialists and communists. Many in our country have NEVER really been buddy-buddy those types. The liberals are just afraid to call themselves what they have really become.
    Glad to be of some help. Stick around. Maybe you can learn something. I'm glad you had a nice holiday in America. We will try to keep it safe enough for you to return. ( I'll leave your anti-conservative attitude for later conversations )
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  3. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Nicely put.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Gordon/Kelly, welcome to the board. As for the term "liberal," in American politics, it is used to describe those who which to see a more socialistic government, marked by higher and more "progressive" taxes, larger government wlefare programs, and basically a larger role for teh federal government in all aspects of life, while keeping the structures of capitalism. The majority of people in America do not subscribe to that viewpoint; thus, "liberal" is a label that most politicians try to avoid. It has nothing to do with classical liberalism, which is synonomous with present-day American libertarian conservatism.

    Welcome... while our board is almost all Americans, there are a couple of Europeans on here as well. I look forward to hearing your opinions on things! :beer:
     

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