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02 April 2015

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Eric Dönges

The U.S. as the Clueless Bumbler is a lot more frightening than the U.S. as the Great Satan. I think this fuels most of the conspiracy theory nonsense. The fact that it's becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between cheap movie plots and the nonsense coming out of Washington doesn't help either. (I'm aware the rest of the world isn't much better, but we don't have as much money for the special effects).

LeaNder

"I recall that Fisher wrote that the US left him something like 15, 30 minutes "

Maybe he wrote that, but was it like that? Didn't he famously convince his Green Party members in some type of Sonderparteitag? Kosovo Green Party convention?

link excerpts from his speech:
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/wortlaut-auszuege-aus-der-fischer-rede-a-22143-druck.html

"Auschwitz ist unvergleichbar. Aber ich stehe auf zwei Grundsätzen, nie wieder Krieg, nie wieder Auschwitz, nie wieder Völkermord, nie wieder Faschismus. Beides gehört bei mir zusammen."

"Auschwitz is incomparable. But I hold two principles, never again war, never again Auschwitz, never again genocide, never again fascism. For me the two go together."

selling horseshoe, selling genocide.

turcopolier

LeAnder

"...never again war, never again Auschwitz, never again genocide, never again fascism. For me the two go together." selling horseshoe, selling genocide" Seems a bit confused. Do you think human history ended with the defeat of the Axis Powers or perhaps you hold with a now deceased German immigrant neighbor that the US created the Cold War for its own evil purposes? I asked he if she would have countenanced NATO defense of Germany against Warsaw Pact invasion. She said that, the Soviets having suffered so much would never have done that? Genocide? Who? Us? Both North and South Vietnam grew in population by a million a year during the war there. The image of the US as other than a giant ignoramus buffeted by effective and ruthless foreign interests is unconvincing. pl

kao_hsien_chih

BM,

Yup. The modern sinologist needs to know Japanese better than Chinese, precisely for the reason you describe: the first systematic analysis of East Asian history, the version that is not shrouded in myths and nationalistic hoopla, was done by Japanese scholars in early 20th century. In some sense, there is a serious backlash against modern scientific historical analysis with regards certain periods of history in Korea and, to some extent, China, at least, precisely for this reason. But, to the degree that even historians are human, perhaps there is peculiar Japanese bias sneaking into their analyses, and the sophisticated western audience that values scientific analyses may still wind up buying into Japanese bias precisely b/c that is the only thing that there is that is not myth-shrouded mumbo jumbo.

kao_hsien_chih

I've always had the suspicion that, at least sometimes, phoney economic reasons are put forward to justify actions that are not economically motivated.

Territorial disputes over teeny islets in East Asia are supposedly motivated by alleged mineral and oil wealth beneath the seas surrounding them. Well, I don't know about the Senkaku/Diaoyu situation very well with regards mineral wealth, but I do know that, with regards the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute (my Korean relatives will kill me if they know I'm using both names...), South Koreans spent a lot of money mucking about to find the alleged mineral and gas/oil deposits around the islets that's supposed to be so valuable and found nothing worth talking about. (Yet, the economic rationale is still invoked as to why the dispute is so heated.) The only thing that matters in these disputes is pride and "principle," that they won't let those uncouth whoever get these useless pieces of rocks...because, um, they ain't so useless.

I imagine the same thing is at work with regards Kosovo and Bosnia. They are about as worthless economically as those silly East Asian rocks, I think. But those who are holding on to them, for whatever "irrational" reason, have to justify why they are trying so hard to hold on to them so dearnly....

The Moar You Know

I am a lifelong Dem and I hate to tell you this, but the GOP is far from being "virtually all of the U.S. politicians calling for war". The Dems in this regard have been an absolute disgrace since the 1990s and are at the point now where they're willing to sign off on pretty much anything.

How many Dems voted for Bush's AUMF against "terrorism" in September of 2001, the authorization for the "Forever War"? Oh that's right - every single Democratic member of both houses of Congress save one - Barbara Lee.

Babak Makkinejad

You are too intelligent to be obstinate.

You can move to Tehran, where a 10-kilton nuclear weapon explosion will create more casualties than there are hospital beds in the Near East.

That is the difference between living with a nuclear retaliatory capability and not having one.

confusedponderer

Leander,
re: Auschwitz and the German 68ers - there's an excellent book on the topic: "Utopia or Auschwitz", by Hans Kundnani. From, the description:

"One thing above all separated the radical students who demonstrated on the streets of West Berlin and Frankfurt in 1968 from their counterparts in Berkeley or New York. In the US, the baby boomers grew up in the shadow of what Tom Brokaw called the greatest generation. In its place, Germany had the so-called Auschwitz generation. What became known in Germany as the '68 generation' or just the Achtundsechziger had grown up knowing that their mothers and fathers were directly or indirectly responsible for Nazism and in particular for the Holocaust. Germany's 1968 generation did not merely dream of a better world as some of their contemporaries in other countries did; they felt compelled to act to save Germany from itself. It was an all-or-nothing choice: Utopia or Auschwitz. Kundnani shows that the struggle of Germany's '68 generation also had a darker side. Although the 'Achtundsechziger' imagined their struggle against capitalism in West Germany as 'resistance' against Nazism, they also had a tendency to see Auschwitz everywhere and, by using images and metaphors connected with Nazism to describe events in other parts of the world, they relativized Nazism and in particular the Holocaust ..."

Alba Etie

Al Spafford
"Mission Accomplished ! And your welcome America !"
If memory serves - "Prime Minister" Cheney ordered the first bombing of Baghdad while the IAEA inspectors were still in Iraq looking at sites ..

William R. Cumming

Thanks CP for this comment!

The Beaver

CP

Didn't James Baker hav ethe upper hand on that after the oil companies let it be known that they were NOT interested in exploiting the Iraqi plants or exploring the resources? They didn't want the price of oil to go down. The Saudis who had the ear of Baker wanted the same thing.

Cee

CP

Revenge? The Serbs were against the Germans.

I didn't support the war against them when we sided with the criminal KLA.

different clue

Matthew,

TR's legacy includes National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, some National Parks, and so forth. Those are remembered by many.

different clue

One could try to undermine American Exceptionalism directly with countermemes and counterconcepts. One could say that American Exceptionalism is just America's version of the Chinese Middle Kingdom Complex. Not so exceptional, eh?

One could push for American Ordinary Okayness. "I am an American Okayness Ordinarian." Also called American Ordinarianism. These things might sound like unpatriotic insults AT FIRST. But with enough chipping away they might become understood as no such thing, and might lead to healthier better national self-images and goals.

different clue

Valissa,

And so they remain trapped in the monkey trap of their own choosing, fists tightly clenched around the NATO banana. Who will tell Europe to drop the banana? Who will convince Europe that a North East Atlantic Treaty Organization (NEATO) would be a perfectly fine thing to create and belong to?

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

Did Syrian intellectuals translate works from German into Arabic? Decades ago, if not more recently?

charly

A nuclear security blanket is useful against stronger powers, not weaker powers, and in the European region there are no stronger powers. Besides the EU has nukes of its own.

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