Bailey83221 (bailey83221) wrote in politicalbridge,
Bailey83221
bailey83221
politicalbridge

Chapter 1: Columbus the Indians & Human Progress; People History of the US

Write comments on the first chapter on this thread...

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
  • 63 comments
LOL, Zinn actually quotes Kissinger in his first chapter, on page 9:

""History is the memory of states," wrote Henry Kissinger in his first book, A World Restored, in which he proceeded to tell the history of nineteenth-century Europe from the viewpoint of the leaders of Austria and England, ignoring the millions who suffered from those statesmen's policies. From his standpoint, the "peace" that Europe had before the French Revolution was "restored" by the diplomacy of a few national leaders. But for factory workers in England, farmers in France, colored people in Asia and Africa, women and children everywhere, except in the upper classes, it was a world of conquest, violence, hunger, exploitation -- a world not restored but disintegrated."

To counter neocons_2004’s claim, and the belief of most Americans today:

"When the Pilgrims came to New England they too were coming not to vacant land but to territory inhabited by tribes of Indians. The governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, created the excuse to take Indian land by declaring the area legally a "vacuum.""

While reading this first chapter again, I recalled two books I have read before, one fiction and one non-fiction:

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

This is an alternative history book. Scientists from our future travel back in time to change the history of the conquest of the Americas. It has special twists. One of the best in the genre.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
--This book I mentioned to Neocon_2004 before, it is absolutely breathtaking in its scope.

It answers this vexing question, once and for all:
Why did Europe conquer America instead of America conquer Europe?
.
.
Here is a pet theory of mine, which I want to share with all of you (or as they say here in Texas y’all).

It starts with a simple question:

Why does the majority of contemporary Americans see slavery and the annihilation of the Indians as a shameful part of our history and yet most Americans are either proud or completely ignorant of America’s invasions of Central America and the Pacific?

Isn’t this strange?

We look at slavery and the annihilation of the Indians with uncomfortable shame, but wars which occurred shortly after these two events are forgotten, or are justified in the exact same context as our current wars are.

In fact, Disney just released The Alamo, which showed a part of the war with Mexico, glamorizing Americans as heroes.
I just visited the Alamo last month.
It reminded me of churches in Rome, the only difference was the stone carvings at the Alamo were not as good.
Like Rome, it had its revered saints and its reverent plaques.

How can movies like Running with Wolves, which sees the Indians as victims and the white man as vicious be made just a few years before The Alamo? America has a wealth of literature about the brutality of the Indian Wars and the brutality of slavery yet has much less information on our foreign invasions. Why?

Keep in mind, the Mexico war occurred during slavery and the Indian wars.

Why would the annexation of large parts of Mexico still be glamorized today, but at the same time slavery and Indian wars seen as shameful parts of our history?
.
.
.
.
.
.
One possible answer
.
.
I believe a lot of the reason can be found in this statement I made above:
Old wars are “justified in the exact same context as our current wars are”

These wars are forgotten because America is still in the middle of our conquest of foreign lands. Those wars against other countries, such as the Mexican war, were the beginning of the American empire, which still continues today.

Today, slavery has been abolished and the Indian wars are finished, with us being the victors, so they are safe issues to talk about. But our conquest for empire still continues.

Slavery of course was debated strongly, and there were many detractors. But you would have never seen the majority of the American public reevaluating the Indian wars while they were being fought.

The same can be said with America today. If American history books and the media started to intently focus on our history of invasions of Central American countries and the Pacific, it would put dangerous thoughts in the minds of the public and connections to our wars past that those who have always profited from these wars, simply do not want the public to make.



How do Europeans see their histories as empires, now they are no longer empires?

Is their a pride or a kind of uncomfortable shame?

I need to find me a British Live journal pen pal and find out.

I remember talking with a Hungarian friend in Malta. He was so fiercely proud of how his country was once, long ago, an empire, or aspired to be one...At the time I was kind of sickened by this macho attitude and his indifference to the human toll of his empire.

As America’s Empire inevitably fades, will future Americans look at our wars of conquest and colonization with the same uncomfortable shame that Americans see slavery and the Indian wars today?

Will our descendants watch the remake of “Running with Wolves” with the victims being third world peasants, instead of American Indians?
I am still waiting for my books to come, I was hoping I would come on Friday (yesterday) but I guess not. I am thinking over your comments.....

Ok first of all you have to put things in context. Can we really compare America today to the America of yesterday? After all weren't the first Americans Europeans? The English believed that they were the superior race. The English wanted to conquer along with the Spanish, and French. Where did slaves come from? Slaves came from the African kings who sold them to Whoever wanted to buy them. It is funny how that is very rarely mentioned.

You have to put history in context. Just like I get angry at the Monday morning quarterbacks. You can't just "cherry pick' things out of history because there the issues were too complex. If you went back in a time machine and went back to the civil war you would see that the south actually relied on slave labor. Was it wrong? Of course! But you would be missing the North and their labor problems. The immigrants that came over from mainly Ireland that lived not much better than the slaves. I guess my point is as a simple issue slavery was of course wrong, but as a complex issue, right or wrong for hundreds of years these cotton farmers relied on manual labor. They didn't know any different. Am I excusing slavery, absolutely not! How can you truly look back and judge those times unless you lived through them? Slavery was only one issues among many of the Civil War. The south resented the North telling them how to live.
Just like every war we ever fought. There are always mistakes (Hindsight is 20/20). I guess what I am trying to say is you have to have lived through it to truly judge. There are emotions, issues, fear etc, that bring us to war.

If you look at today's America, like I said before, the world looks to us to help when it is convenient. Look at what is going on with the earthquake in Asia? immediately the UN accuses us of 'being" stingy! WHAT?! I mean they can't have it both ways! If we get involved were are pushing our "empire" onto them, and if we don't we are stingy? So when we do get involved we are criticized, and if we don't we are criticized?

We went to Iraq out of fear. We were attacked by terrorists, we saw clear and present danger. We went to war. Period. In history books sometime in the future we will be proven right of wrong, but how do you explain the fear and anger that we felt? Look at the Revolutionary War, how do you truly convey the emotions that were felt? We read about it, but we simply weren't there.
If you look at President Bush, whether you love or hate the man, he believes in what he is doing (whether you agree or disagree). He believes in what he is doing is the right thing. He believes in democracy, and laid everything on the line for Iraqi's to have freedom.

All countries go to war, all countries make mistakes, and YES all countries think that they are right. America isn't the only one. There isn't one country that is perfect.

How do you know those third world peasants won't be peasants anymore but free, thanks to America? Maybe they will be sitting around in their nice homes watching Napoleon Dynamite laughing there asses off with my great grand kids? :)
“If you look at today's America, like I said before, the world looks to us to help when it is convenient. Look at what is going on with the earthquake in Asia? immediately the UN accuses us of 'being" stingy! ...He believes in democracy, and laid everything on the line for Iraqi's to have freedom.”

I cannot in one email compete with months, maybe years of negative comments you have heard about the UN, which is the position of the far right hawks.

Nor can I argue against your views about Bush. How can one person compete against all of your media sources and years of selective news sources? I can’t. I refuse to argue with anymore conservatives about the war. I would have as much success arguing that Christianity is not true. I cannot compete with an ideology, and I refuse too.

“All countries go to war, all countries make mistakes, and YES all countries think that they are right. America isn't the only one. There isn't one country that is perfect.”

You are justifying Americas actions just like Neocon did, my questions is whether you will recognize it.

A “mistake” is an action which was not planned, nor meant. America’s invasion of all of these countries was planned and intentional, it was no mistake, and still goes on today.

“How do you know those third world peasants won't be peasants anymore but free, thanks to America?”

I cannot predict the future. Your future is possible, anything is possible. But your conclusion is highly improbable, much more improbable than my own.

America’s history in foreign countries backs up my conclusion, not yours. Since World War 2 we have invaded 35 countries. Only one, Columbia had any form of democracy ten years later. Many have actually become less free. It is clear the kind of democracy which Bush will install in Iraq, you can see this from our history.

Go ahead and spin and justify the 100,000 people that have died in Iraq, in addition to the 500,000 during sanctions. Go ahead and spin the 2 million in Vietnam, and the 200,000 to 600,000 in the Philippines. And the hundreds of thousands more, in the smaller conflicts we either fought ourselves, or our puppet dictators fought, or were fought with our weapons. I will not argue whether we should be in Iraq. I cannot fight against an ideology and a lifetime of teachings.

Every empire has its talking heads and religion which uphold the empire and help it keep in power, and every empire has the masses of people which believe its lies.

This is exactly the reason I wish Neocon had not choose the book Diplomacy, which covers foreign affairs exclusively.

Because no matter how many people we killed, or how many people we have killed, I fear that you will always believe that America is a “beacon of freedom” and is some benign empire which helps all those poor third world peasants who need our help. Keep justifying it. Sigh...

...This is the reason there will never be peace on Earth, because people like your self continue to believe the lies, and continue to justify the deaths, no matter how many brutally die.


As Martin Luther King said:

“The greatest purveyor of violence on earth is my own government.”

" History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. "


Hopefully I am not going around in circles with you...

After all, I know how I would have felt hearing this when I believed everything we were taught our whole life. I remember arguing with Muslims online only 2 years ago, defending our actions throughout the world.
I am sorry ndkicksace, I was obviously not clear in my response about the first chapter of Zinn on Columbus.

I rewrote the message several times, but from your response, I must have not been clear.

“Can we really compare America today to the America of yesterday?”

I am not doing this, I am only comparing the way we contemporary Americans see slavery and the Indians TODAY.

I have a theory that Americans do not see America’s colonial ambitions and America’s wars for empire, the same way Americans see slavery and the Indian wars, with shame, because Americans are still aggressively pursuing colonial ambitions and wars for empire, even today.

“You can't just "cherry pick' things out of history because there the issues were too complex”
I agree—that is why I put these ideas out here—ideas to try to understand complex historical events.

“Was it wrong? Of course! I guess what I am trying to say is you have to have lived through it to truly judge.”


I am not arguing that it was wrong or right in this web blog, I am not judging whether slavery is right or wrong, or that our forefathers were wrong about slavery. I am only looking at the way that Americans see our history with slavery. Please reread my message, if you still do not understand the point, I will rewrite it, because it is obviously poorly written.
Ok Trav,

Let me see if I can explain myself better. I understood your point, but I think I was the one who did a poor job of explaining myself. I understood what you were saying, What will we think when we look back on our actions of today? What I was trying to say is how can anyone react when we weren't there? What gives us the right? We weren't there! What I am saying is no-one can actually judge today, yesterday's our tomorrow's actions unless we experienced ALL of it. Here is an example; my grandfather was racist. Now you and I can look at him now and say, "That's really ridiculous!" But my grandfather was raised that way. He was taught those feelings. So us judging him doesn't do a lot of good because we didn't have the same experiences as he did. I hope that helps a little.

"Every empire has its talking heads and religion which uphold the empire and help it keep in power, and every empire has the masses of people which believe its lies."

Now do you really think conservatives haven't heard all this before? Liberals always act as if they have this big "secret" that conservatives are either to dumb are naive to believe. The simple fact is I have heard all this "American imperialism" before. I guess it boils down to what conservatives believe. Conservatives believe in democracy. Again this goes back to religion. If you look at democracy, liberty, or freedom it represents free will. Choices is what WE can control. It is the power God gives us. In America we have the freedom to choose. Conservatives feel that it is a God given right. Empowerment! We have gone to other countries to spread that "Beacon of Light" Did people die as a result? Yes, freedom has a cost. But many of us would rather live in a country that lets us choose, than in a country that keeps us behind walls, tortures us, or keeps us down. We control our destiny! Were the fore fathers and the Revolutionary armies trying to conquer for the sake of conquering? Or did they want their freedom? Look at the Killing fields in Vietnam. Millions of people died trying to escape! Do we have that problem here? People dying trying to escape? Why is that? I can answer that in one word. FREEDOM! People are fleeing here for that same word, FREEDOM! People are dying trying to come to the United States! That make boats out of cardboard boxes and sail across the ocean with their families for a better life, and yes, FREEDOM!

"Go ahead and spin and justify the 100,000 people that have died in Iraq, in addition to the 500,000 during sanctions. Go ahead and spin the 2 million in Vietnam, and the 200,000 to 600,000 in the Philippines. And the hundreds of thousands more, in the smaller conflicts we either fought ourselves, or our puppet dictators fought, or were fought with our weapons. I will not argue whether we should be in Iraq. I cannot fight against an ideology and a lifetime of teachings. "

Did it ever occur to you that maybe people like Zinn, who are socialists/ communist, are maybe not being entirely truthful either? I mean they are always the first to pounce on America and how wrong we are, but what solutions do they have? Commusnim/Socialism is better? How? Why has those systems of governments failed as many times as it is tried? Why are they so opposed to people becoming empowered? Is it because the power is taken from them? In a democracy the people have the power, in communism and socialism it is the government that has the power. My favorite scene in A Bug's Life is when the ants realize THEY have the power, once they realize they have the power they are free! That scares some people doesn't it? So they bash bash bash America and I am curious, why? And what have they done to help the poor peasant victims? Their solution is to do nothing and keep them enslaved? The UN has done nothing 500,000 people died in Iraq because of sanctions and their solution is to keep trying the sanctions because they are working? WHAT!? In Rhawnda people died and the UN, Russia, Zinn etc. DID NOTHING! Why? Why are the terrorist fighting so damn hard in Iraq to keep the Iraqis from choosing their leaders? Think about it? Why did the UN do nothing as the French military killed civilians in the Ivory Cost? But we get an ear full when a democracy is born? Why? Think about it Trav.......


For a complete list of US intervensions and invasions, here is my web blog:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/bailey83221/8548.html

You can download the PDF file.

"Commusnim/Socialism is better? How? Why has those systems of governments failed as many times as it is tried? Why are they so opposed to people becoming empowered?"
By talking about America's empire, I am in no way advertising communism and socialism. I lived in Ukraine, and I saw many different ways that the Soviet system was a failure, I also saw some ways it was superior, but the failures seemed to outweigh the sucesseses.

Again, keep in mind that their are countries that have some elements that are both socialist and communist. would you call our neighbor to the north communist because they have a socialist form of health care?

"Is it because the power is taken from them? In a democracy the people have the power, in communism and socialism it is the government that has the power. My favorite scene in A Bug's Life is when the ants realize THEY have the power, once they realize they have the power they are free! That scares some people doesn't it?"

You are confusing our domestic freedoms with our imperialistic invasions and adventures again.

The failure of America importing freedom and democracy is clear. The history is their for any American to read.

"And what have they done to help the poor peasant victims? Their solution is to do nothing and keep them enslaved?"

Historically, Americas "solution" is often worse than doing nothing.

[Americans] may have managed to kill up to a third as many Iraqis in a year-and-a-half as President Saddam Hussein did in his 24-year dictatorial rule. This comparison led the Riyadh-based, pro-government Saudi Gazette to ask rhetorically, "If this is a war on terror, then who are the terrorists and who are the terrorized?"

"The UN has done nothing 500,000 people died in Iraq because of sanctions and their solution is to keep trying the sanctions because they are working? WHAT!?"

First of all I think Koffanan should resign.

You have to look behind the scenes...At how America has ALSO manipulated the oil for food program.

"Within [United Nations Security Council], the United States has consistently thwarted Iraq from satisfying its most basic humanitarian needs, using sanctions as nothing less than a deadly weapon, and, despite recent reforms, continuing to do so."
(article written in Nov 2002)
http://www.harpers.org/CoolWar.html

I wont get into the whole Iraq war thing. Conservatives have some good points about the UN, and why "old europe" didn't want the war. Again, we will just start yelling past each other about he whole Iraq war.

" In Rhawnda people died and the UN, Russia, Zinn etc. DID NOTHING! "

PBS did a special on this, two in fact. There is plenty of blame to go around for Rwanda, including Clinton and America. No country wanted to get involved, including Russia. Zinn has no power to do anything.

"Why are the terrorist fighting so damn hard in Iraq to keep the Iraqis from choosing their leaders? Think about it?"

They are fighting American occupation and the puppet government America is installing there. Just as they fought the British in 1919 who claimed to bring them "freedom". Your rhetoric does not match the historical track record of American imperialism.

"Why did the UN do nothing as the French military killed civilians in the Ivory Cost?"

I am not familar with this. Please send me articles on this.

"But we get an ear full when a democracy is born?"

The history of Americas success in creating "democracies" is clear. We have a horrendously bad track record. To think that Iraq would be any different is too ignore the history of American foreign interventions.
hey,
I won't get into a long argument.

"Liberals always act as if they have this big "secret" that conservatives are either to dumb are naive to believe."
--I don't consider myself a mainstream liberal, although maybe I am. There are many liberals that believe just like you do.

Before 9/11 I beleived everything you did, and I was no conservative.

"People are dying trying to come to the United States! That make boats out of cardboard boxes and sail across the ocean with their families for a better life, and yes, FREEDOM!"

I won't get in a big argument about this, Bill Bennett and Naom Chomsky, who was a far left intellectual got in a headed arguement about Americans foreign policy. Bennett pulled out the same arguments that you did, and that most Americans are taught to use in defense of America.

If you are intersested, you can read my critique:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/bailey83221/3837.html

The jist of it is:

America is the richest country in the world. People want to immigrate to America because we have it so easy here compared to the rest of the world.
.
I am sure during the Roman and British Empires, while British and Romans were slaughtering and conquering people in far away lands, out of sight and out of mind of the British and Roman citizenry, if offered, many of the conquered nations would have �rushed in� if these empires "opened the gates".
.
This in no way excuses the death and destruction that these empires inflicted on foreign countries, and our high standard of living in no way excuses the death and destruction we subject on other countries to today.
Oh yeah,
Only a matter of time before someone pulled this out of their hat.

I see you have already started to do side reading about Zinn before even starting to read his book.

I don't know whether or not Zinn is a socialist, but he is no communist. As I have said before, please do not mistake the two. Again, I do not know if he is a socialist.

"Did it ever occur to you that maybe people like Zinn, who are socialists/ communist, are maybe not being entirely truthful either?"

Zinn, in one of his editions to the book, talks about how all history is biased, and how all historians must pick and choose which things to include, and which not to include.

I read this nasty review of Zinn from this conservative that savaged this idea. I think because to some conservatives, American history is like reading the Bible: absolute and almost infallable. There is only one stroy line, the one which we all read in school: that America is a beacon of FREEDOM.

"I mean they are always the first to pounce on America and how wrong we are, but what solutions do they have?"
You are justifying America's actions again. Sure we are bad, but what is better?

I think you are confusing an empire, and American's foreign policy to capatilism and socialism. I do not draw those distinctions. America could be socialist or communist and still be a brutal empire. In fact, most empires were never democracies, nor capatilist. Lets draw a big distiction, a stark line, from our domestic activities, from our foreign adventures abroad.

My wife talked about how the Soviet Union talked about how they were bringing freedom to Afgahnastan when they invaded. Every empire peddles the same lies to its population to justify its actions. I read the declaration of the British Empire when they invaded Iraq in 1919 (?) same grandeous lies. It was all about "freedom", or as you write it FREEDOM.

Problem is, that history inconveniently tells quite a different story of the Soviet Empire, and the British Empire, all the European Empires, and yes, the American empires history in invading countries.

You mayu be interested where I got those statics about Americas success rates in installing democracies--its track record--
Here is the study:

http://quicksitebuilder.cnet.com/supfacts/id422.html

I never got the author to explain to me in e-mail which countries his study included, although he alludes to about 15 countries in his article.
I haven't forgotton about our discussion, I just got done writing this huge response, but my when I clicked over to look at what over your links, I Lost the whole thing! I'm a freakin idiot! (said like Napolean Dynamite) I could just cry! I will be back later and I will rewrite it! I read your links, I have comments, I shall return! I bet you just can't wait! LOL! :)
I will save you some time,

First:
I dont know the future. Maybe Iraqis will be a free democracy in a few years.

Second:
The UN is not perfect at all.

Third:
Often countries that were against the invasion were interested in oil revenues too.

Fourth:
As I mentioned before, Zinn is biased. And may, in fact, not be right.

Have you considered getting firefox web browser? My wife did the same thing to me and firefox saves this stuff. Internet explorer sucks hard. I HATE when I do that....Firefox is free to download.
Ok Trav, I read your posts and I have made a few observations.

The arguments made by Chomsky, Zinn, Downs, and Mesquita all have the US in a catch 22. If America revolutionized theses governments and they say that either democracy has failed within these governments or we have a "puppet government" in place. So either way America is demonized. I think a lot of these people that live in these countries might disagree with America coming to save them. After-all they have experienced the atrocities and the oppression. If the choice is between freedom and anything, I would choose freedom every-time and I think they would too! It is the age old argument liberals have that oppression is ok as long as the trains are running on time.

The second observation I have is these "Liberals" that continually bash America seem to enjoy the perks don't they? They sit back nice and comfy and write books and make the sweet moolah. It is easy to point out the faults of this country when you are taking advantage of all the opportunities those poor peasant victims don't seem to have. Don't you think? How much money do you think they have donated to help these poor people that Americans have trampled? Have they even bothered to ask any of them how they feel about America trying to free their county? Which brings me to my story:

My husband works in the comic book industry, he is a colorist. He worked with a guy named Mika Wright. Mika is a writer, very well respected in the industry because he claimed to be an Army Ranger and he para trooped into Panama. He had a lot of credibility. He continually told stories about how the Americans burned down houses, tortured people, and how we put in a puppet government. He even said at one time he went back to Panama for a visit and had to pose as a Canadian because they hate Americans so much! My husband worked with him on a comic book called "Storm Watch" which Mika wrote. Very anti American to say the least. He also wrote a book called "Remixed Propaganda" It was a bunch of old war posters he recreated with anti American slogans. Along came this guy from Panama that posted on Mika's website saying that he was from Panama and was very grateful to the United States for placing in a much better government then was there. The United States made life much better than before. What Mika called a "puppet government" this guy said was a government voted in by the people. Mika actually wrote back the (this was his favorite line) "You weren't there man, your a liar! You didn't have boots on the ground!" Yes, he actually wrote that to the guy FROM panama! He would say that to anyone daring to challenge him because HE was there! Well guess what? A newspaper exposed Mika for what he was, a LIAR! He was never an Army Ranger (not in the military at all), not a para trooper and NEVER in Panama!
So I guess where I am going with this is, haven't we all heard this before? Every war we are in we have our "critics" coming out with American tells of woe. In the book "Stolen Valor" the author, B.G. Burkett talks about this very thing. How America tortured, and killed for no reason etc. Is some of it true? Yes, bad things happen in war, but it is was proportional to the crimes committed in regular life, by regular civilians.

The fourth observations is; of course the conservative argument is to scream," Look at all the people coming here!" It is true! Come on Trav, to say it is because of our wealth is a bit weak. There are many wealthy countries and I just don't see them fleeing anywhere else. Even the UN has proclaimed Canada as the #1 place to live in the world, not to mention Canada's socialized medicine (a liberals wet dream) and yet millions still tie inter-tubes together and sail across the ocean risking life and limb to America? Why is that? It is for Freedom!

"The fourth observations is; of course the conservative argument is to scream," Look at all the people coming here!" It is true! Come on Trav, to say it is because of our wealth is a bit weak. There are many wealthy countries and I just don't see them fleeing anywhere else. Even the UN has proclaimed Canada as the #1 place to live in the world, not to mention Canada's socialized medicine (a liberals wet dream) and yet millions still tie inter-tubes together and sail across the ocean risking life and limb to America? Why is that? It is for Freedom!"

Can we agree it is for both material wealth and freedom? Americans do enjoy a lot of freedoms. But you seem to miss my point, you confuse Americans foreign policy and what it does to other countries to the freedoms that you enjoy in America. They are distictly different.

Freedom

ndkicksace

12 years ago

Trav, I will hand it to you, at least you are willing to live in other countries, and you even admit that the UN is not the "God' that most liberals think it is. Zinn and these other authors only talk about the bad. Conservatives don't think America is perfect, but it isn't all bad either. America is the one the whole world looks to when things go wrong. Why is that? We have gone to other countries to free them, and to the people living over there, I think that is a good thing. Our intentions were good. Remember we believe in democracy and freedom, so helping another country attain it is a gift. Neocon posted an article from an Iraqi that was now filled with hope, because freedom to him meant a new life with endless opportunities. The afghanis voted for the first time ever! (USSR DID THAT?!) But by these Liberals going around and calling them puppet governments is not fair and very degrading.

You said that this isn't between freedom vs. Communism. But is it? My questions still remains why do people fight so hard against freedom? Trav, you have to admit that once all these countries are free the "Haves" truly can't rule the "Have nots". Isn't that what it boils down to? Villianizing the US, saying we go around conquering other countries, no blood for oil, all of these have one thing in common don't they? Keep democracy out. The US is bad! Just like Mika, they claim to know but do they? How can freedom be wrong? How can letting the people be empowered be wrong? How many times have you heard that the US just wants oil from Iraq? Why haven't we just taken it? We could take all of it right now and yet we are still over there. Our men are over there fighting and dying, when we could just take it all? The countries that were against the war with Iraq were making money selling weapons to Saddam. The UN accuses the US of all sorts of things to cover thei own ass form the food for oli program! How come the UN didn't jump down Russia, Germany, and Frances ass when they found out they were selling weapons to Iraq?

Who do you think was behind the anti war movement in the 60's? Who do you think is behind it now? Think about it?
We are going around in circles.

You are confusing the life that American's live with Americans foreign policy. A common argument that all Americans use. I mentioned this before, you are doing it again.

Again, you are labeling everyone that thinks like I do a liberal. Again, there are many liberals that feel just like you do. I myself did 3 years ago.

You are arguing against history, and America’s track record in other countries, which is dismal.

You cannot address this directly because the history is against your concept.

You keep asking a lot of questions and I don't want to spend all the time answering each one, because we are going around in circles. Your questions are only variations of your last questions which firmly rests on your firm belief in the American religion.

It comes down to this, no matter how many people America kills or has killed, America will always be this beacon of freedom too you. There is no litmus test there, because it is a solid ideology, which will not change no matter what evidence is presented.

Lets just agree to disagree.

The Soviets did have elections in Afghanistan, and they were more representative than our sponsored elections.

Ask me for the source, if you are interested.

Ivory Coast
If I found articles that showed that the UN did prosecute the people in the Ivory Coast would this change anything?

The French are in the Ivory Coast to stop the civil war.

Not to say the French are wonderful, they had a nasty war in their colony in Algeria that killed hundreds of thousands. Also they warmed up the Vietnamese before our invasion. France's reaction to books about the atrocities was about the same as yours is about Iraq and American history:

Denial, justification, red herring attacks, ad hominiem attacks, and changing the subject.

The UN: Neocon’s evil empire
The UN's powers fluctuate dependant upon the powers its member countries give it.

Neocons hate it so much now because it has become too independent, whereas during the early part of the cold war, it was a tool for America.

Now, especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the UN is not America's faithful lap dog anymore, and Neocons dont like it.

My goodness, I have so many stories about the UN, but it won't really matter will it?
I sense your mind has already been made up about the UN.

I guess under your logic, a couple of hundred civilians die under the UN, it is a travesty, a terrible crime, a hundred thousand die under America rule, it is "FREEDOM"?
If I were president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United states in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize-very publicly and very sincerely-to all the widows and orphans, the impoverished and tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce to every corner of the world that America's global military interventions have come to an end. I would then inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but-oddly enough-a foreign country. Then I would reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings, invasions, and sanctions. There would be more than enough money. One year's military budget in the United States is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. That's one year. That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."

Now that is funny! LOL! My God! This is not reality! Do you really think that would work, apologizing?! Do you think terrorist who are chopping off heads would stop because we apologize? For the love of God! Where is the part where he promises to plant a lollipop trees? Maybe he wouldn't be assented if he just apologized to all the people for doing what he did!

What would you have the UN do Kerry? You obviously seem to think that the UN has much more power than it truly does. Should the UN invade Russia, Germany, and France?

The UN has a double standard, that is the point, that is the point I am making with the ivory coast. When America does something the UN has a cow, then turns around when other countries do something and it is strangely quiet. The UN disgusts me, they are the wimpy bunch oaf jackasses that really do nothing at all except bitch and moan while people die. They are completely useless. Then they are in the background doing what they accuse the Us of doing. Double standard.

No Wmds? we have found plenty of evidence including several intels saying the weapons went to the syrian dessert before the war, that is a subject changing argument of the left. They just shout it out as if they know it is for sure, just like when they say America places "puppet governments" and "american dictatorships" just like Mika, No proof just repeat a lie long enough and loud enough until it becomes the truth!

"if I leave this group, I swear to God it is going to be after an argument with you Kerry. I cannot argue the American religion with you. I am almost to the point of ignoring your posts. Around and around in circles we go..."

You couldn't ignore me if you tried! :) Don't take things so seriously, if i have offended you I truly didn't mean to, I thought that is what this was about, discussing our views, venting etc. We are not going in circles we are just butting heads, because like I said before we are exact polar opposites!

"I cannot reason with you, and I feel like you will never, ever acknowledge that anything you say is the least bit incorrect or wrong."

How can I admit I'm wrong when you are the one so clearly off your rocker! JK! LOL!
See! Come on Trav, I could say the same to you!






Sure, you are right.
You guys are having a grand time on this discussion. I'll be honest; I haven't read Zinn's Chapter yet, but I'm not going to get dragged into this...suffice it to say,Trav, I disagree with almost all you have to say about America and its supposed "imperialism". This term is used quite liberally by the Libs, but historically, our actions in many countries across the globe were strategic as a way to stave off the real imperialists-Europe.
I could write a book detailing where I disagree wholeheartedly with your statements and opinions, but as you say-we'd be going in circles. Let me ask you two something-how much of this entire discussion has been focused on Zinn's first chapter?
You continue to cite Kissinger's claim this country was essentially empty:
"When the Pilgrims came to New England they too were coming not to vacant land but to territory inhabited by tribes of Indians. The governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, created the excuse to take Indian land by declaring the area legally a "vacuum."

I've never disagreed, Trav; but on a logistical scale, especially compared to the populated European and Asian continents, this New World was "EMPTY", in that there were only a few concentrated areas, including Mesoamerica, Yucatan, Peru and perhaps the south-west coastland of South America. The continental US was VERY thinly populated; albeit, quite a few individual tribes and cultures, but on thescale of contemporary Europe, yes, it was essentially empty. I say this not to discount the American Indian; not at all. Consider what would have transpired if the variousindian tribes/communities had been united to counter the colonists and pilgrims; a different story, no doubt.
I'll add one more thing Trav, and that's a comment on your Red Herring; you seem to hint thatAmerica should be able to rise above all others in regards to Peace andethical treatment of all people. It won't happen...you quoted from someone what you would do as President. I'll just say that those actions (reparations, apologies, slashing defense funds, etc.) would bring War to the front door faster than what America is doing now, or has donein the last 100 years...
The hard fact that I've understood for years (again, why I'm a Neocon):
Peace will never be achieved because War is a necessary part of keeping the Peace. War is as essential to humanity as religion...Paradox indeed, and uncomfortable to admit. That's why we strive for World Peace, because it's an uphill battle of faith and hope that may never be won. But the facts are facts. Truth is Truth... America must always be prepared.
BTW, 100,000 civilians haven't been killed by us in Iraq. If you read the report, the estimate is 60,000-they readily admit however, that manywere probably combatants, not civilians. The following webpage provides a more detailed and accurate account of deaths in Iraq at 17,000:
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ (no conservative site, mind you). Their response to the Lancet Study is here: http://www.iraqbodycount.net/press/

My opinions above are not written asonewho scoffs atinnocentdeaths, or shakes them off like Cruella DeVille. No...it's a daily struggle of measuring our justification for the war, Trav. I firmly believe that many more lives (including future lives) have been saved as a result.

Your Red Herring, Trav, is that you're too Utopian in your views of Reality. I don't mean that to demean you in anyway, but there IS evil in this world that won't follow moral, or ethical guidelines. We have to jump in the sewer to kill the roaches. If we had acted promptly in Rwanda, for instance, we would undoubtedly have killed thousands...but as a result of doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING- close to 1 MILLION were killed-1MILLION! It's as staggering as watching the horror of the recent Tsunami. We allowed the folly of Bosnia to go on for close to three years, before Clinton flipped his finger at Europe and the UN and went in. Meanwhile, 200,000 innocent people were slaughtered. Saddam's Republican Guard raped and killed over 600 Kuwaitis before we kicked them out. IN all these examples, Trav, the situations are still fragile...people are suffering and dying....
And we continue to find mass graves of Saddams sick past.....

Yes, I'm justifying America, because on the fragile, international moral compass, we're straighter and more true than the despots, dictators and thugs who have killed more people in this century than the entire world population 1,000 years ago. NOT America.....NOT our "Empirical Militarism."
Stalin (estimated 30 million); Hitler(50-70 million deaths in WWII total(25 million Russians)); Khmer Rouge (2 million Cambodians); European Imperialist dickheads (untold millions between 1800-1917, and an estimated 10 million more in WW I total); UN NON-intervention (estimated 2 million, not including the Sudan).
Okay, have to go to work....have a great day everybody....
I cant get enough of this discussion....

you wrote:

"I've never disagreed, Trav; but on a logistical scale, especially compared to the populated European and Asian continents, this New World was "EMPTY", i...."
I agree, with entire stmt...

"I'll add one more thing Trav, and that's a comment on your Red Herring; you seem to hint that America should be able to rise above all others in regards to Peace and ethical treatment of all people."
I agree. What bothers me is not the reality of this stmt, but that most Americans, I feel, believe in a mythical country that does not exist.

"That's why we strive for World Peace, because it's an uphill battle of faith and hope that may never be won."

It never will be won.
At least that is what history shows us.
I wrote a science fiction article for the Economist once, my first attempt at fiction, and it was pretty bad, I must admit.

Anyway, I talked about the history of weapons, the gattling gun, the predecessor of the modern machine gun, which was created and named after a civil war doctor, who saw all the death and destruction, and who naively thought that less people would have to fight wars, and it would make wars more humane.

Same with Noble, and the invention of dynamite. He also said the same thing, that dynamite was so terrible, it would make people rethink wars. Some say his Noble Peace Prize is out of guilt for seeing the destruction he unleashed on the world.

Today, and throughout the cold war, we hear the same rehashed, ideas, that nuclear war is so horrible, that it will never happen. Sure they are different kinds of weapons, but I think we would be wise to learn from Gattlings and Nobles ideas, which seem so quaintly naive to hear them today.

"I'll add one more thing Trav, and that's a comment on your Red Herring; you seem to hint that America should be able to rise above all others in regards to Peace and ethical treatment of all people."

I am no delusional utopian. I have no delusions about America. In fact, from my point of view, I see it just the opposite: I see many in your camp as the utopians: seeing America that has never existed, nor will never exist.

"I'll just say that those actions (reparations, apologies, slashing defense funds, etc.) would bring War to the front door faster than what America is doing now, or has done in the last 100 years..."

Blum's ideas sound so absurd and so naive, which I think says a lot about our current state. Blum's idea are fantasy--and will always remain fantasy--so we will never know if your prediction will ever come true.

"Peace will never be achieved because War is a necessary part of keeping the Peace. War is as essential to humanity as religion...Paradox indeed, and uncomfortable to admit."

I agree, at least with the second sentence--you are inadvertently (advertently?) quoting the Animal Farm author I believe:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
1984 - George Orwell


Take comfort in the 1000 years of peace on earth, after the rapture, Christ's return and the events of Revelations occur, as many Christians do.

"That's why we strive for World Peace, because it's an uphill battle of faith and hope that may never be won. But the facts are facts. Truth is Truth..."

I notice you capitalized the "t" in truth. :)

I don't know who you mean by "we", but to me, it is not the government we live under.

"BTW, 100,000 civilians haven't been killed by us in Iraq. If you read the report, the estimate is 60,000-they readily admit however, that many were probably combatants, not civilians. The following webpage provides a more detailed and accurate account of deaths in Iraq at 17,000..."

I read this before. I am quoting the media estimates. I already read the articles you quoted, and will read them again. Your view of the Iraq war, I feel, would not change regardless of how many people died.

I had typed this before...interesting stuff, describes three types of world views....


http://www.livejournal.com/users/bailey83221/16281.html

Best and most apt portion to our discussion:

The term "imperialism"...overuse and...abuse is making it nearly meaningless as an analytical concept. Thorton concluded that "imperialism" is "more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series of events than a definition of the events themselves...Colonization finds analysts and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against."

The book is rather dry, glad we didnt read it...doesnt explain war in philippines, but attitude at home, by newspaper accounts, yawn....
Wow. Lots of views. Suppose thats the way you want it around here.
I am thankfull for Zinn's book. Since we don't get to comment on the introduction/book and just a chapter I am using this time to do both.
In high school the history books always had the same theme.. in the end America did what was best for the nation in the end. With Zinn's book it evens the score - makes one see that America didn't always do best for the nation, and often went with corporate interests before people interests.
Onto the Chapter itself...
This first chapter is interesting, often playing on emotions of the reader about the inhumanity of Columbus. It reads as almost a direct opposite spectrum of the typical account of Columbus. It leaves to wonder how much is actual account, and how much is stretched account. Nonetheless, I do believe that many victims exsisted in the New World expasion. One would have to blind to not see that. But the question is... how bad were they treated? And should we give a focused eye on Columbus, when good men with good intentions went to America? Maybe their history needs to be told. Not the Columbus's victims, but the average Joe's who were coming to America to escape European persecution.
The Other Peoples History of the United States?
:)
I like what The Cause said in his comment. It's becoming much more clear in High Schools and Universities that Columbus and the early Europeans weren't benevolent explorers.
Zinn states in Chapter 1 he wants to write history from other perspectives:
"Thus, in that inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history, I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees, of the Civil War as seen by the New York Irish, of the Mexican war as seen by the deserting soldiers of Scott's army, of the rise of industrialism as seen by the young women in the Lowell textile mills, of the Spanish-American war as seen by the Cubans, the conquest of the Philippines as seen by black soldiers on Luzon, the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers, the First World War as seen by socialists, the Second World War as seen by pacifists, the New Deal as seen by blacks in Harlem, the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America. And so on, to the limited extent that any one person, however he or she strains, can "see" history from the standpoint of others."
These perspectives, according to Zinn, are those of the victims, not the executioners (see his preceding paragraph). He has interesting points in some of those examples; but isn't it interesting...WW I from the perspective of the Socialists? Who does he mean there; surely not the Red Army? I guess I'll find out....
WW II from the perspective of the pacifists? They were the victims? Here is where Zinn goes off his rocker; where his ideology goes from left to completely insane. I prefer, frankly, to learn from the perspective of the 25 million Russian victims of the German invasion of the USSR between 1941-1944-most of whom were civilians who actually thought the SS led armies had liberated them from Stalin's oppressive regime. I prefer the perspective of the estimated 12 million Jews, Poles, Slavs, Homosexuals, Handicapped and elderly men, women and children who were systematically murdered to cleanse Germany and the new Reich. Or how about Chinese survivors of the crusade by militant Japan increating a Pacific Empire? How about POW survivors of the Bataan March.
When it comes to WWII, I couldn't care less about the perspective of "pacifists" who didn't have the moral, or ethical backbone to support a war against fascism, murder, oppression. Evil cannot be defeated by singing "Give Peace a Chance"(admittedly, written twenty years after WWII).
On another subject, let's not assume that Zinn's picture of a wondrous paradise in the New World was completely accurate. The American Indian, like all humans, murdered, conquered, and dislocated many other tribes, bands, and families in this continent. Let's look at Mesoamerica as a model of what happens when cultures have the proper resources, labor, and organization to become a "civilization." Between ca 300BC and ca1530 AD, this area (generally Mexico) witnessed the rise and fall of the Olmec, Maya and Aztec Empires; the Inca were in South America. All of these empires were very advanced; and of course, all of them made war, sacrificed people by the thousands and collapsed violently.
What this shows is that all "Man", in the quest for an advanced society, follows a similar path....the North American Indian, never advancing culturally as their Mesoamerican cousins, didn't experience the dark side of civilization; if they had, it would've been no different than Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, or even Europe.
Zinn implies the American Indian was incapable of "The Evil that Men Do."
Zinn doesn't mention, however, the Sioux-who were forcefully displaced by Algonquin groups around Minnestoa; and in turn, forcefully displaced any other cultural group that got in their way as they migrated to the Plains. He doesn't mention the Navajo, or Apache-cultural groups from the north, who moved into the southwest and raised hell for quite awhile. The Yuma indians, the Cree (who loved War), etc....the Hohokam and Anasazi (here in the Southwest) were also violent when they had to be...in other words, violence, war, unfair andunjust treatment of others happens in all human populations.

I'm not justifying what we did, I'm countering what many leftists seem to believe; that is, many prehistoric human cultures were inherently loving, peaceful, mother-earth loving "hippies",who were run down by patriarchal pastoralists who took pride in Warefare and worshipped Warrior Gods. Okay, a little exaggeration, but many books have been written trying to deny that War, Violence, Greed, Racism and Cultural Hatred comes naturally to all humanity.....

I'm only trying to make a point folks that the American Indian, truly a victim of European and American expansion, were not entirely what Zinn appears to characterize: innocent of greed and ownership, communal and unselfish to others, incapable of what is natural to ALL humans. We,as Americanscommitted manyatrocities to the American Indian-please read the following books "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (Dee Brown) and "Crazy Horse" (Mari Sandoz). They illustrate the ignorance of young America. But don't be fooled in thinking the American Inidan was the model culture of "Love, not War".
I agree 100% and mention this in my post about Zinn.
"WW I from the perspective of the Socialists?"
"WW II from the perspective of the pacifists"
In regards to the socialists, I believe he means the progressives who were jailed by Wilson.

"I prefer, frankly, to learn from the perspective of the 25 million Russian victims of the German invasion of the USSR between 1941-1944-most of whom were civilians who actually thought the SS led armies had liberated them from Stalin's oppressive regime. I prefer the perspective of the estimated 12 million Jews, Poles, Slavs, Homosexuals, Handicapped and elderly men, women and children who were systematically murdered to cleanse Germany and the new Reich."

I think the reason he does not delve into this is because you, and most Americans, already know about this history.

Zinn is not trying to present a complete history (as some right wing ideologues fault him for: no mention of space travel to the moon, for example), he is only trying to present a history that you probably never learned about in school. I think this book's market is meant towards Americans who already know the "official history" of America.

Zinn focuses almost exclusively on American history of Americans. Focusing on the holocaust would be treading over ground already covered, which you, and most Americans, already knew.

Many right wing people criticize my views, Zinn�s views, and the left's views of being to critical of America, and forgetting how cruel and nasty other regimes are. I see it this way: Americans are reminded all the time of the viciousness and evil of other regimes, yet they rarely take time, or are given time, to reflect on as many America calls them erroneously "Americas mistakes". If Americans do not know of their countries viciousness and cruelty, how can they assure that these things never happen again, in their names?

I find it to be hypocrisy that we on a regular basis, lecture and condemn, in main stream articles, Germany not coming to terms with its evil and Japan not coming to terms with their shameful history, and yet we do the same thing. And no, I am not saying that anything we did compares to the Holocaust.

Gotta go to school.
Point taken, Trav. Zinn said so,as you did; I'll give him that much. I just remarked about WWII, because I have absolutely no interest in the Pacifists side (WW II pacifists, mind you). That part of the story I don't want to know about.

just wait...

bailey83221

12 years ago