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Old 05-26-2005, 01:35 AM   #1
Plain Old Jane
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Amnes. Intern. finds United States to be Morally Abject

"the United States has betrayed a very fundamental principle that this country stands for." says a spokesman for Amnesty Internation in a strong worded statement, a plea for attention to be brought to the forefront of global politics.

Most notably was the events that took place at Abu Gharaib this year to the detainees. Amnesty International believes that the Bush administration did not commit enough resources to the investigation and even aided in a downplay to cover the collective asses of all high ranking officials involved.

This raises serious questions about the compassion and morals of the "moral" "compassionate conservatives" that currently rule our country. What kind of example is the Bush administration setting for both America AND the rest of the nations. How is the US supposed to demand that other countries give up information and people on moral basis if our moral base is abject as it appears to be. Not to mention the long lasting effects of the war itself and its even longer lasting effects on the countries conquered.

From the very start of the war on terror, there has constantly been severe backlash from the international community about the reasons and goings-on of the war. From Afghanistan to Iraq, the United has dealt serious crippling blows to the economy of bodied politic that is the middle east, blows that will keep the middle east on its knees for decades.

A lot of Americans do not realize this, but wars seriously effect a country for countless years before the effect clears up. A lot of people I've interviewed at my liberal arts college (24 in all, 3 questions, all of them hanging out in the student lounge, lazy fucks. 2 people played hooky to talk to me.) believed the transition of powers would be swift and the long lasting effects subdued. But if you look throughout time, you'll see that the conquering of other nations had curious effects on the conquered throughout the ages.

The end of World War I brought about the collapse of the whole Germany-Austria-Hungary empire thing, and through them into economic turmoil that made a power hungry madman rise from the ashes and exact revenge on an innocent people to bolster morale and make Germany back into a world power. World War 2 brought about many many years of starvation and economic turmoil for Japan, however the effect was lessened in germany as the world powers actually stayed in Berlin to squabble over who gets the biggest piece of the pie. On the plus side, as a result of the death of hundreds of thousands (due to starvation and famine) and the economic downfall of Japan, Ramen noodles were invented as a quick and high caloric way to feed many many people. Ramen has since become WILDLY popular all over, and saved the lives of countless thousands of starving college kids.

Lets go farther back, the end of the roman era, when similarly, the romans followed suit of the nazis and enslaved millions to feed their masses (but damn can they make a fine tomato sauce.) they spread over half of europe. The strongest military and economic force on the planet at the time, the downfall however was that their economic status was entirely built on the fact that they were superior, which is the "get rich quick" scheme of capitalism, and sadly, how the United States is set up at the moment. Then ironically, the Romans made the mistake of pissing off the Germanic tribes up north off, and the tribes came in and fucked them ALL up bad. Whoa, yea... Did I mention they fought naked (in the case of the romans, in skirts)?

Lets go even farther back, to a long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. When the Mandalorian clans of the outer rims started pissing off the border worlds of the Galactic Republic, at first there was no response from the Republic OR the Jedi. But soon, after the conquering of Onderon and its moon Dxun, the Republic took action. Thus began the Mandalorian Wars. The wars took quite a few years, and the Jedi did not fight at first. But then the Jedi's Revan and Malak joinned the fray against the wishes of the counsel and turned the tide of the war in favor of the Republic. But at the cost of countless worlds. First Telos was laid waste by the Sith fleet led by Saul Careth. Then as a final strike, the Republic fleet led by Revan brought about the fall of Malachor V with weapons of mass destruction, and destroyed the Mandalorian people in a death that would take thousands of years. The Republic won the War, but the cost may have been too much. As a result of the wastes of so many worlds, the economic structure collapsed and the Republic nearly ended, were it not for the exploits of a certain General and veteran of the Mandalorian wars. Obviously the Republic survived to fight again, merely four thousand years later, Anakin Skywalker was born.

Moral of the story: Dont be a fuckhead and torture prisoners, no matter the reason. Eat lots of Ramen. Wear Skirts or nothing at all when you fight. And play Knights of the Old Republic 2.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/26/in...26amnesty.html

(if you need to login to see it, use mine: jeperel/vagina)

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Old 05-27-2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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good ending! i'm not too certain about the length of the after effects of this war. the last major war we were involved in was in the 60's. things have changed drastically so as far as physically rebuilding a country it might not be too bad. the politics will never end though.
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Old 05-28-2005, 02:43 AM   #3
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if you are refering to the vietnam war, it has still felt the effects of that war.
Thanks to the war, new land boundries were set up and there is no longer a central vietnam, just south (taking up two thirds of the land) and north vietnam. They call that war, the American war. And thanks to the use of Agent Orange, much of the peoples inhabiting those areas have a higher incedence of cancer. Although friendly and a genuinely open atmosphere, the war is something talked about with a great deal of... reservation.

So because of the scary communist machine, thousands of people, including americans, suffer from the after effects of Agent Orange, and Vietnam still suffers the same stigma it suffered then.

(on communism: USSR couldnt even feed its own people much less present a political rival, the problem with it is that its economic system was based on the fact that it MIGHT have been better then America, that is to everyone else, people who lived there KNEW it was shitty. Which kind of rings true now, theres lots of dissidents in America and a lot of other countries think we're great, and thats the basis for our entire economic system.)

Unless one learns from a war, then the fighting has been for nothing. We used Saddam to get at Syria... now we're using other countries to get at Iraq. We used Osama to get at the russians... now we're using the british, the austrailians, and the germans to get at Osama. Unless we learn to keep our heads level and make smart and rational and WELL THOUGHT OUT decisions, we will be doomed to repeating this war over and over...
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Old 05-28-2005, 11:06 AM   #4
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no, no, i'm saying that the effects of the vietnam war are still felt, but that was the last major war we've been involved in. the world has changed so much since then that maybe, just maybe, the effects of war won't last as long.

fighting today on our side is a lot cleaner, much more tactical. just look how easily we took out saddam compared to past wars. the political after effects will be felt for ages, but as far as completely decimating a country, we just don't do it like that anymore.
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Old 05-28-2005, 01:57 PM   #5
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i hope your right ^_^
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raublekick
no, no, i'm saying that the effects of the vietnam war are still felt, but that was the last major war we've been involved in. the world has changed so much since then that maybe, just maybe, the effects of war won't last as long.

fighting today on our side is a lot cleaner, much more tactical. just look how easily we took out saddam compared to past wars. the political after effects will be felt for ages, but as far as completely decimating a country, we just don't do it like that anymore.
i love how some fucking idiots wonder "why we didn't just nuke them towelheads? GITTURDUN KNOWWHATIMSAYIN?"

i had to listen to a charming conversation along those lines before i left school this semester.
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Old 05-29-2005, 12:21 AM   #7
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Amnesty International referred to Gitmo as "the gulag of our time." Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Somebody remind AI that 30 - 50 million people died in the Gulags, hundreds of thousands were tortured without dying ... and many of them innocent of any crime.

Amnesty International also hates the United States... their harshest words are usually for the United States just to get interest. Nobody will care if they focus on the man-made famine in North Korea where people have resorted to canibalism because food is being purposefully withheld from the public. They won't focus on the ethnic genocide in the Darfur. They didn't focus on the ethnic Genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia, or the Balkins ... until after the United States stepped in. I assume they figure that everybody knows what's going on in the Darfur, or North Korea, or Saudi Arabia ... the tens of thousands killed for little reason. But, I guess, few people know about the "mishandling of the Qur'an," in Gitmo and Guantanamo Bay... so they can spend their resources covering that.
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Old 05-29-2005, 12:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plain Old Jane
(on communism: USSR couldnt even feed its own people much less present a political rival, the problem with it is that its economic system was based on the fact that it MIGHT have been better then America, that is to everyone else, people who lived there KNEW it was shitty. Which kind of rings true now, theres lots of dissidents in America and a lot of other countries think we're great, and thats the basis for our entire economic system.)
Uhh. No.

The economic system of the USSR, say Soviet Communism was not even remotely 'based' on the pressumption (not fact) that it was "better" than America's economic system because the United States, in February and October, was not a world power. Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Russia were more involved in international economics than the United States... and the United States did not stand at the forefront of Capitalism. If you were to think of THE capitalist country in the 1870s and 1880s, the US would be behind at least a half dozen other countries... And this is roughly the same in 1917, with the US succeeding Belgium and one or two other countries.

Even if you fast-forward to the American war in South East Asia ... it wasn't a choice between the economic models of Soviet Communism and American capitalism. Rarely in revolting countries was the battle over economics.

The idea that the United States is anywhere even comparable to the situation in Soviet Russia is absolutely ridiculous... In that there are dissidents in the US and there were dissidents in the USSR. The dissidence in the USSR was shut down... because those who were against the system were arrested and imprisoned... Politicians, commoners, workers, anybody. If you were starving in Soviet Russia, you were arrested. Why? Because you were starving. If you were not sick in Soviet Russia, you were arrested. Why? Because you must be hoarding food to avoid starvation. If you fought on the front lines in World War II, were captured and were a prisoner of war ... when you returned to Soviet Russia, you were arrested. Dissidence in America is celebrated... people make careers out of it. I know that your analogy was not to say that the American judicial system and Soviet judicial system are the same, but you were drawing a comparison between people within the Soviet Union who knew that the situation was aweful, and people outside of the Soviet Union who were attracted to Communism; and then, those who live in the US who complain, and those who are attracted to Capitalism outside of the US. This is erroneous at bottom ... for many reasons... most of which I'd expect you to argue (the idea that Soviet Communism does not equal Communism as a whole... half of the Communist apologetic movement).

Iraq, also, is not Vietnam. People like to draw comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, trying to argue that like Vietnam... the US is getting into the middle of a civil war that we should not be involved in. However, calling the Iraqi pre-2003 situation a civil war is like saying that the Nazis and Jews fought a civil war between 1941 and 1945. Not quite.

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Old 05-29-2005, 02:26 PM   #9
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You are probably right about the real economic status in the USSR, but the phenomenon of the country viewed as divine from the exterior and hellish on the interior is real and certainly helps. But thats not really my point. My point is not so much the economic status of communist countries, but the after effects of ANY war, they are long lasting and the last effect of our clandestine war with russia was the empowering of Osama bin laden, and the empowering of Saddam/Iraq to get at the other middle eastern countries before they turned their guns on us. Unless we want to keep creating these conflicts that madmen rise from, we'd better be more careful in our military dealings and maybe develop other diplomatic policys.

btw, lol at the jewish civil war (although its more like jewish, catholic, and gypsy civil war in germany.)
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Old 05-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #10
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Mike, this is something i've always wondered about and maybe you could cast light on. At what point did America (particularly) begin to actually feel threatened by the communist economic model and its spread? What was the nature of this antipathy? I've never fully understood why America would so venemously opposed to an alternative, perhaps untested economic model?
As far as i've understood it, the ideological war on communism was mostly a veil for a more real and straightforward battle for global dominance between the US and USSR. Was the fight against communism really just a fight against the spread and fruition of soviet influence? To what degree was the Cold War actually ideological? (you don't need to get into identity politics to answer that one)
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Old 05-29-2005, 03:07 PM   #11
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I don't know who really viewed the Soviet Union as divine from the exterior ... because out of the four East Asian countries to have battles with Communism (Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos), none of them were looking to resemble Soviet Communism. Most of the elites who led the revolutions were educated in France, towards more of an egalitarian socialism ... that was impossible to be implemented, unfortunately, for the hundreds of thousands who starved and were eaten because of it. China was the only prominant Asian country who seeked to capture Soviet Communism, on account of Mao's fascination with Stalin. But, by the time of the second Great Leap Forward, and Stalin had been replaced and villianized by Kruschev, so they went on their own path. Mao, continued though, to use failed Stalinist agricultural and economic models ... for whatever reason.

There's also a slight myth with how the United States aided Osama Bin Laden... and I don't fault you at this because it's often overlooked when information sources cite how we aided Bin Laden and encouraged the 70's and 80's Jihad movement. We sent most of the money to Pakistan who then funnelled it to the Mujadideen (sp?)... The Pakistanis had most of the control as to who got more money, and considering that Bin Laden and what would later form the widest terrorist network in the world were the most effective at defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan... Pakistan funnelled more towards those sources.

We're looking at this, though, in a retrospect that sees the Soviet Union for what they were. We view the Gorbachev years as after Pandora's Box had been opened ... and it seems like it was an inevitability, but at the time it wasn't. You didn't know what could have happened ... Gorbachev could have been replaced, the coup in 1991 (or 1990, I forget) could have been a success... And they could have been run by a military oligarchy. And, even today, facing the terrorist threat that the world faces, the Soviet Union was more a threat to global stability than terrorism is. When ever one of the largest arrays of nuclear weapons is at the disposal of any unstable government, it is a great risk. Finally, the weapons that Bin Laden is using now are mostly weapons that they've bought long after the funelled money from the US ran dry... from former Soviet bloc countries, funded by majoritively Middle Eastern (but some Western) networks.
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Old 05-29-2005, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
I don't know who really viewed the Soviet Union as divine from the exterior ...
Margaret Thatcher (ohh, maggie...) attacked some of the people who did this. Let me grab the book and i'll throw in some quotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret Thatcher
AT the height of the famine in 1932, the worst in Russia's history, the visiting biologist Julian Huxley found 'a level of physique and general health rather above that to be seen in England'. Similarly, George Bernard Shaw wrote that 'Stalin has delivered the goods to an extent that seemed impossible ten years ago, and I take my hat off to him.' H.G. Wells was equally impressed, reporting that he had 'never met a man more candid, fair, and honest... no one is afraid of him and everybody trusts him'.
...
Sidney and Beatrice Webb were similarly overwhelmed by the glories of the soviet experiment. Their 1200-page book, which faithfully parroted any Soviet propaganda they could pick up, was originally entitled Soviet Communism: A New Civilization?: but the question mark was removed from the second edition, which appeared in 1937 -- the height of the terror.
The capacity of the left to believe the best of communism and the worst of anti-communists has something almost awe-inspiring about it.
the economist J.K. Galbraith wrote of his visit in 1984: "That the Soviet system has made great material progress in recent years is evident both from the statistics and from the general urban scene... One sees it in the apearance of well-being of the people on the streets... Partly, the Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower."
...
One large problem with this theory was that those who held it had constantly to be trying to find advantages in a soviet system which had none that were apparent to Soviet citizens. As the former dissident Vladimir Bukovsky once remarked - referring to the Russian proverb to the effect that you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs - he had seen plenty of broken eggs, but never tasted any omelette.
I'm not commenting on the analogies or anything else, just thought it was worth posting. Ohhh, maggie....

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Old 05-29-2005, 05:44 PM   #13
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Margarette Thatcher.. ::shivers::

That's about 20 - 30 years earlier than Jeppy's referring to, and I think he's referring to revolutionary groups.. like the Khmer Rouge, Jusche Philosophers, etc. I'd definitely agree with Maggie that there's a huge number of people who look for any reason to glorify the Soviets. It seems unusual that you have so many people that are willing to defend a system that led to the murder of somewhere around 50 million people... especially because many of the same seem to be completely appalled by a fraction of that with Hitler's Germany.
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Old 05-29-2005, 06:19 PM   #14
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you still didn't answer my question, mike... look through my posts
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Old 05-29-2005, 06:26 PM   #15
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Sorry I didn't see this post before... I skipped over it because I hate you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Biglesworth
Mike, this is something i've always wondered about and maybe you could cast light on. At what point did America (particularly) begin to actually feel threatened by the communist economic model and its spread? What was the nature of this antipathy? I've never fully understood why America would so venemously opposed to an alternative, perhaps untested economic model?


As far as i've understood it, the ideological war on communism was mostly a veil for a more real and straightforward battle for global dominance between the US and USSR. Was the fight against communism really just a fight against the spread and fruition of soviet influence? To what degree was the Cold War actually ideological? (you don't need to get into identity politics to answer that one)
The first legitimate fears of seeds of Communism in the United States probably began around 1915 - 1920, and heightened after the Bolsheviks took power in October of 1918. The fear in the United States was more a fear of mass unionization, as opposed to a political revolution.. or opposed to a Communist democratically elected. Unionization, while good in moderate doses, was partially at fault for tearing apart European economies, and is as much to blame for Germany's post-war economic plummet as the tithes demmanded by the successful powers of World War I (well, all but the US... which made the United States and Woodrow Wilson very unpopular in Europe). Woodrow Wilson, as you know, was interested in establishing his League of Nations... Tin-foil-hat wearers challenge this as being an attempt to make a world police, yada yada... but it was more an attempt to catch the United States up with the rest of the world, puting them on an even keel... power-wise. They also wanted Germany to join, to prevent future outbreaks of war... and by belittling Germany and destroying their economy, Germany would be less apt to join the league of nations. The Socialist model of society ... the abolishment of national territory for a cohesive world-people, differentiated through their nationality, but connected as people ... stood as abject to Wilson's League of Nations. Furthermore, there was economic turmoil in the United States with the unionization of industry ... so it seemed like a threat. Of course, Marx himself was against unionization, but this was routinely ignored by those fearful of Communist ideology.

What communism also represented was something that wasn't only an new, untested economic model ... but it demmands a restructuring of society... abolition of the family, abolition of God (which preceeds the abolition of a moral foundation), and then, of course, the abolition of private property. The United States was built on the championing of private property and personal ownership (though this has been modified largely by American progressives and liberals over the last 200 years [income tax and eminant domain being their greatest successes])... So a model challenging the fabric of American society, and then the base of American economics (that base being individual ownership), and the American entrepenuerial meritocratic philosophy (a philosophy that may or may not really ever be practiced, but that so many held too... especially 70 - 80 years ago) wasn't entirely popular.

The US had a tired relationship with Stalin... as most countries did, and towards the close of World War II, though the USSR was the reason the allies won in the European theater, both the UK and the US were opposed to Soviet Stalinism. Churchill summarizes his thoughts on Stalin and the USSR well in his Sinew's of Peace speech ... which Reagans Evil Empire address almost mimmicks (though lacking the racialism of CHurchhill's). The US, in the 1950's had a moral restrengthening led by the rebirth of the traditional family ... and Communism, like it did in the 20's and 30's, represented something that was contrary to this reflowering. This is where the Cold War took off ... because the US Gov't did not want to make American philosophy look inferior to Soviet philosophy ... represented by their economic, militaristic, and scientific achievments. By ... '52 (?), the Soviets show the world that they have Nukes, and the military arms race explodes. The rest we all know about (space race stuff, all of that).

Was the fight against communism really just a fight against the spread and fruition of soviet influence? To what degree was the Cold War actually ideological?

When China went in '49, it was considered one of the greatest failures of American diplomacy ... especially because up until 1948, it seemed like the KMT, the Chinese nationalist party were handling the Communists. The CPC, under Mao, idealized Soviet Stalinism... and how he managed to take Soviet Russia from an under-industrialized agricultural society and turn it into a thriving military industrial giant in about 9 years. Truman was vehemently opposed to communism, as much as of the republicans who are known for their anti-communism... This was mostly because he was Roosevelt's Vicepresident, and Roosevelt shared the concern that Churchhill had for Stalin and Soviet Russia. The CHinese falling to the Communists looks like a huge failure for the Democrats. The Republicans had been locked out of the presidency for 20 years at this point... and needed something to regroup under. They took the charge of being anti-communist, and tried to portray the Democrats as a weak party who would not stop the growing international threat of communism. This has still stuck around until today, though it shifts to represent the modern threat ... Republicans (including myself) still paint the Democrats as weak on international relations. To the credit of Republicans, the Dems do nothing to defend this idea ... as they have a rich failure of preventing global, political catastrophes (The rise of Fascism under FDR, the Rise of Communism under FDR and Truman, involvement in Vietnam under Kennedy; Genocide in Europe under FDR, Genocide in the USSR under FDR, Genocide in Cambodia under Carter, Genocide in Rwanda under Clinton, Genocide in the Balkins under Clinton, Genocide in North Korea under Clinton).

---- I have to meet some friends at a restaurant ... sorry that this is so long... I'll finish it when I get back in an hour or two ----
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Old 05-29-2005, 06:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
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you still didn't answer my question, mike... look through my posts
Yeah, sorry about that, I didn't see the post you made right before my response to Jep on the USSR being divinated... THe Quick Reply thing causes me to skip over them ... because I click quick reply on somebody's reply and miss the others.

be back in a bit
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Old 05-29-2005, 11:58 PM   #17
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You're a goddamn living encyclopedia, Mike, please continue.
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Old 05-31-2005, 04:55 AM   #18
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I really sort of forgot where I was, historically.

The war on Communism waged by the conservatives was an attempt to get power in the United States. While this is partially a criticism of conservatives, it's justified, because they hadn't been able to gain any momentum for about 20 - 25 years, politically. And Communism was perfect, as it still provided a threat (a threat to American values, American society, the economy, and also militarily... though I see most of the military race similar to the space race, where they both militarized not to use those weapons against one another, but to show each other that they *could* use those weapons) and it was something that the Democrats really weren't that good at handling... first with Wilson and the February/October Revolutions (though there was nothing the US could do with that, nothing they really wanted to do either), then with FDR's mishandling of unionization in ... maybe like 1933/1934 or so, with Truman and China, and then with Kennedy and Vietnam. Many of these weren't really out-right failures ... but they were obvious and in the public spotlight (especially with China).

So, the Republicans used the Communist threat to gain a foothold in American politics. It actually birthed the Neoconservatives, Republicans who still held conservative economic and social viewpoints, but were able to use the ferved passions of progressive liberals (this is something that I still think that Progressive liberals in the US resent... I'm not a NeoCon, but the *hatred* for "the Neocons in Washington" runs through almost every noteworthy piece of liberal journalism ... because they use the same techniques, word play, etc, that successful liberals had used [FDR, Kennedy, and Clinton--the most successful democratic liberals of the 20th century--share the same techniques that Reagan used in their speeches... they're principalled, they play on passions, they harp on themes that run through society ... it's he heart of any good speech... this was something that conservatives could never do before the Neocons mastered it]).

THough, while the Conservatives used the Communist failures of the Dems against them, they also had a resounding success with dealing with Communism. Nixon, though remembered as one of the few presidents to leave office before his term expired, was brokered international relations between China and the US ... this was a huge victory... though it was shakey, it has stood as the basis for Chino-American diplomacy for the last 40 years. Though Korea is still a political and military hotbed, Eisenhower managed to prevent the Chinese-backed Korean communists from taking over Korea... though the nation remains divided and the war is shrouded in indecision and confusion. Reagan, of course, is heralded for bringing about the end of the Soviet Union ... and while I still don't always buy into it ... IF Reagan did not take the hard-line approach that he did, it is arguable whether the USSR would have actually fallen (though, it's also arguable that it never really did).

Though the Cold War ended in 1991, US politics is still dictated by its rules. It's 4:54... This is mostly what the Cold War and the USSR meant to US national politics. I still haven't really addressed the nature of the Cold War between the US and USSR.... Though that's a difficult question to answer, because the policies within the Soviet Union are still shrowded in some mystery.

I'll come back tomorrow probably.
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:31 PM   #19
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Keep it coming, Mike, I'm enjoying it.
I bought a book on Nixon's presidency... 'President Nixon' by Richard Reeves, I thought it would be a good way to get a snapshot of American political life and history. I also won an american government textbook in my Political Science class, I'll have to make the time to look at it sometime.

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Old 06-09-2005, 12:24 AM   #20
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Damnit Mike where's my history lessons?
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