24 February 2017


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I tried to post a response but I believe I might have erased it. It might have been posted but I am not sure. Working on this phone I am not so skilled making posts. I am hoping it went through and you will post it. Otherwise I will try again to respond. It was not quite done when some glitch happened. C'est la vie.

Yeah, Right

Valissa, I am not "looking for good behavior from an empire", nor would I describe the USA's behaviour as "evil"

(I'll note, in passing, that neither b nor I have used that word).

But I think that when USA's behaviour is worthy of criticism then it should be criticized, and so I don't understand why Pat Lang gets annoyed with b for doing exactly that.

Such criticism from foreigners is - apparently - a sign of "bigotry", even though Pat Lang has accepted that there is no excuse for how the USA has behaved.

It is (again, apparently, as I'm not sure I understand Col Lang's last post) his contention that foreigners are not qualified to comment on the USA's foreign policy, though why that should be the case escapes me.

As far as I understand it he believes the USA's foreign policy is a topic for internal discussion between Americans as it is a "term of art" that only an American would understand.

Maybe. I doubt it, since the Colonel also appears to be suggesting that the great majority of Americans don't understand it either, which rather lets the USA's leadership class off the hook.

I look at what b writes, and I find myself agreeing with most of it: the USA is doing enormous damage in the world, and it isn't doing that because it is stumbling around in some kind of stupor.

Rather, the USA knows full well the damage that it is inflicting, and simply doesn't give a rat's arse.

I wouldn't use "evil" to describe that, but nor would I use the word "stupid".

The word "venal" would be closer to the mark, but even that isn't entirely adequate.


Great story Babak. So many dynamics going there have to do with class and skin color. so appropriate that the black conductor paid those boys of privilege no mind. It might only cause him trouble to deal with them. Seen so much like that in my days in NY, riding the subways which are so often great mixes of people from around the world. I was fortunate in my upbringing in that my Jewish parents who fled Queens to Westchester in 1964, picked a town that had new suburbs built along side older developments populated by Irish and Italian Catholics who mostly worked at a local GM plant. I had a wide range of friends who only saw me as Jewish when they said something off color about Jews and then would
look at me and say "but you're different." My rebellion against my intellectual, non-religious, but elitist Jewish parents was to play sports, something they did not understand. This put me I contact with a wide range of people in my town and thought my early adulthood.

In fact it was during my athletic career that I first came in contact with Iranians. My university soccer team had a couple of Iranian players who were part of a very wealthy group of Iranians on campus. This was 1978. In fact it was rumored that Ferydun (Freddie) was the best friend of the Shah's son. these rich kids often received disdain from others on campus, partly from there aggressive treatment of women, partly do to there wealth and also straight racism. In 1979, one of my Iranian friends on the team got stuck in Paris because he could not get a visa to get back in the US. This was all part of my political awakening as I learned why he was now having no such troubles. So that watershed event in Tehran had fundamental impacts on my life even though I was, like those kids on your commuter train, mostly a white privileged kid in the US.

Babak Makkinejad

Yup, like what this fellow told me about his Iranian college roommate at Princeton: "He would get mad whenever I received better marks than him..." evidently because the Iranian fellow could not accept that the child of a pair of school teachers could do as well or better than him, a child of privilege.

Babak Makkinejad

Octavio Paz discusses that in one of his essays, this obliviousness to the consequences of US foreign policy, not giving a rat's arse, and attributes it the Protestantism and the idea that one can have a personal relationship with God. So, the North American is absorbed in his personal conversation with God and thus does not pay attention to what he is doing.

I must admit that I find the reasoning rather obtuse and cannot credit it.

On the other, as far as I have been able to discern US History, Imperialism was the project of the Puritanical North; which, however had been kept in check by the Old South until she was defeated in the War Between States.

So may be Paz had been right all along.


Peter- This influence has a direct component as you identify, but it also has an even larger indirect component- the significant numbers of Christian evangelicals in the USA who have a soft spot for anything claiming a connection to the Old Testament. Zionists and Israeli Government have nurtured this connection, and play these constituencies like a violin.

Their bottom line is that Israel can do no wrong, because it's just going along with Bible prophecy- and how dare anyone question God's plan ...

And there are many more evangelicals in the USA than Jews (or even than Jews in Israel).


You should look up the definition of the word bigotry. I don't think it means what you think it means

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