[FoRK] America, F*ck yea...

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon Jan 31 09:51:05 PST 2011

On 1/31/11 9:24 AM, Gary Stock wrote:
> On 1/31/11 11:52 AM, John Parsons wrote:
>> --- On Sun, 1/30/11, Gary Stock<gstock at nexcerpt.com>  wrote:
>>> I would contend that no person -- not Dick Cheney or Joe
>>> Biden, not Michael Moore or Michele Bachmann -- will speak
>>> seriously about changing the horrifying status quo until a
>>> statement ~something~ like this is widely published,
>>> promoted, and accepted:
>>>     "America deserved what we got on 11 Sep 2001.  And more of the same."
>> Slight semantic quibble:
>> No one "deserved" what they got on 9-11, just as the Afghans and Iraqis didn't deserve what they got both before and since that 
>> date.
> Conceded.
> My "~something~ like~" was meant to cover the full range of "acceptances" people could bring themselves to utter.  My quite 
> apolitical father might have said, "America has been breathing a scab on the end of its nose."  The bumper sticker might need to 
> be limited to, "The chickens came home to roost on 9/11."  The more judgmental "deserved it" certainly tends toward the most 
> undiplomatic end of the spectrum.

Overall, it is clear that America did not deserve any such injury.  Mistakes were made, in the large and small, without and 
sometimes perhaps with malice, often with ignorance.  Frequently, mistakes were made with the best of intentions.  Only for those 
with the minds of children and tribal narrowness of view translate old injury, perceived or real, into end-the-world types of 
actions.  People are going to be pissed off, even if no "mistakes" were made along the way.  Those losing power, land, slaves, the 
right to murder those they don't like, etc. are going to feel, briefly or until they no longer exist, anger toward those instigating 
or playing a part in rocking their boat.  This is as it ever was.

I'm not impressed with people and societies claiming injury when they constantly hold themselves back and prevent all attempts to 
bring them into the modern world and way of thinking, injuring others along the way.
>> However, the inconsistency and hypocrisy of the foreign policy of "the nation that presumes to lead the world" will always have 
>> consequences, and those consequences cannot be indefinitely held in check by bluster or mock outrage. Indeed, more of the same is 
>> highly likely. These results are not unforeseeable, nor should ever be unexpected.
> Indeed.  Perhaps a more unassailable wording:  "If 9/11 surprised you, you hadn't been paying attention."

Sure, we've constantly been under threat of retaliation by many parties since founding.

>> Question: if democracy is so damned desirable, why is it that it cannot effect better outcomes of foreign policy?
> The short short:  democracy doesn't control foreign policy, any more than it controls tax policy, environmental policy, economic 
> policy, fiscal policy...

That's not true.  Those making choices are influenced, and can be replaced.  And are controlled, however loosely sometimes, by laws, 
courts, and eventual scrutiny.  Those making choices often do not suffer consequences, but in a laggy way, there is feedback that 
causes change.

> Does "democracy" actually have any effect on ~any~ policy?  Other than to dumb it down?  Or delay proper implementation of what 
> little effective policy occasionally slips through the machinery?
>> If the average voter is "clueless" about foreign policy and it's implications, can they be expected to vote rationally to make 
>> positive changes? It's already apparent that current foreign policy is largely independent of the democratic process, so in a 
>> global society (which is what it is increasingly all about), what good is democracy?
> I'm not sure I see much good in it, as practiced in the United States.

Details may be somewhat independent, but the overall policy and boundaries should not be, and, overall, aren't.  Not to say that a 
particularly broken administration can't abuse things badly, but it is not likely to stand past their term.
> And, we've practicing long enough to be much better than we are...

True.  However, we are better than we seem.  Don't confuse noise or a few bad decisions with the core.

> GS 

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