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6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

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Old 03-25-2009, 08:22 AM   #76
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
To be frank the problem with you folks is that you're intellectually lazy. You want to claim thing merely because you think it and without doing the scholarly work necessary to take home the trophy. I don't mean to a prick or an America hater, I just want to be fair and honest. I can't refute your claims as far as being the "greatest [..] in the last 1000 years" because that would require doing a Ph. D thesis, you know, using scholarly methods and doing it big. I'm also surprised that you guys know all you need to know about other countries to do a fair assessment, I sure as *** don't. Does this all make sense?

If that doesn't make sense then I'm going to roll the dice and go with "in the context of 1000 years America makes the top 5 but not #1 in societal contribution and host of other matters."

p.s. The British were responsible for spreading the English common law around the glob and the French gave the world the Napoleonic Code. Perhaps that's not as positive as spreading democracy?

p.p.s. I don't believe America is a special predestined god's best country. Overall America is a great country for most, a good country for some, and a shitty for others.
1] in terms of knowing every country etc, I think it is reasonable to look at the extent the world has changed and make certain statements such as romania, austria, laos, zimbabwe, ecuador, canada, greenland, or about 150 -200 other of the nations that have come and (in some cases gone) over the last 1000 years have not had a global impact. So we can narrow the last and look at the "big" players.

2] I already had given a nod to Britain, I would not include France, but it certainly could be a good debate, you could possibly through Japan and or China in to it, but I think their negatives both are pretty high. Heck you might throw the Ottoman Empire in there. So if you say top 5, and I say top 3 we are oh so close.

3] We found common ground!! I agree America is a not special predestined god's best country.

4] then again, I think anyone who thinks America is shitty has not explored some of the shittier places in the world. (if you are defining shitty for others as less than 5% then i could agree(without doing a graduate thesis) with that too, but of course even the most idyllic countries have some people living in shitty conditions. Oh and please don't misread what I am saying: If I could choose any country in the world to live I think currently, Japan and maybe Norway (except it is too cold) would be above the United States, but I am very thankful for my life as it is now.
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:10 PM   #77
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

I found this take from POTUs while oversees on American exceptionalism very interesting and I like his answer:

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Q: [C]ould I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of 'American exceptionalism' that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy?

A: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I'm enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don't think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.

And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we've got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we're not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can't solve these problems alone.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:31 PM   #78
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

The problem with criticizing this idea of American-exceptionalism - our putative inflated sense of self-importance - is that it is in no way unique to America. Go to any country and people say the same thing: thank GOD we are from here, and not somewhere else. I've been to Thailand, where people sleep with their kids on the streets and yet still declare honestly, it could be worse, at least we are part of God's chosen race; I've been to Korea where everything is dirty and smelly and the weather sucks and people say, sucks to be you, being from that crazy America country; and don't get me started on the stuck up French, in whose country I've also spent some time. Pretty much anywhere you go, with the exception perhaps, perhaps, being the poorest of the poor, people are going to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. This is human nature.

So when American liberals decry this tendency as somehow being unique to American conservatives, I have to wonder if they've ever been outside of the country.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:07 PM   #79
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

I like his answer because the god card wasn't played to support American existentialism. Exceptionalism is a human nature and it's a defensive mechanism. I am reminded by something Dr. James Cone said regarding religion which I find profound and relevant to the belief in the exceptionalism of ones nation (you can easily replace religion with exceptionalisim and god with country):

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[R]eligion has been that one place where you have an imagination that no one can control. And so, as long as you know that you are a human being and nobody can take that away from you, then God is that reality in your life that enables you to know that.

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Old 04-05-2009, 08:08 PM   #80
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
I found this take from POTUs while oversees on American exceptionalism very interesting and I like his answer:
no offense Saden, but that is the same basic take as what I and a lot of others were saying, and yet if it comes from Obama, you are good to go with it, but on this board we heard alot of negativity when we made the same statements.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:10 PM   #81
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

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Originally Posted by djnemo65 View Post
The problem with criticizing this idea of American-exceptionalism - our putative inflated sense of self-importance - is that it is in no way unique to America. Go to any country and people say the same thing: thank GOD we are from here, and not somewhere else. I've been to Thailand, where people sleep with their kids on the streets and yet still declare honestly, it could be worse, at least we are part of God's chosen race; I've been to Korea where everything is dirty and smelly and the weather sucks and people say, sucks to be you, being from that crazy America country; and don't get me started on the stuck up French, in whose country I've also spent some time. Pretty much anywhere you go, with the exception perhaps, perhaps, being the poorest of the poor, people are going to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. This is human nature.

So when American liberals decry this tendency as somehow being unique to American conservatives, I have to wonder if they've ever been outside of the country.
The historians/sociologists idea of American Exceptionalism is not really what you describe, not really at all. AE sort of has roots in the Manifest Destiny era that said America had a right, God-given, to expand across this continent before we owned it. Remember the French owned much of the continent prior to 1803(?) and the rest was basically Mexico (save for the Northwest which is sort of on its own historically). AE tends to redirect manifest destiny on a global scale...the ability to shape, influence and even dictate world events to our liking w/ the implicit assumption whatever ill consequences result simply won't outweigh the benefits. Honestly there's quite a bit of historical study relating Japan's (i see you're there now) collective self-perception leading up to their actions in WWII and our own collective self-perception after the war. AE is sort of like saying we can do what we want and ignore the consequences...similar to the mentality of Rome or any other empire-society in history. The reality outcomes are far different than the expected outcomes
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:19 PM   #82
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

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no offense Saden, but that is the same basic take as what I and a lot of others were saying, and yet if it comes from Obama, you are good to go with it, but on this board we heard alot of negativity when we made the same statements.
The difference is:

1. He didn't say we're #1, at least that's what I gathered early on from you lot. I think you and I found consensus at the end.
2. His answer is more thoughtful and nuanced. If you were able to communicate as much as well early on I really would've like your post.
3. I like his answer but that doesn't mean I buy into American expcetionalisim. The reason why I posted this quote is to highlight how to do it big and the fact that our president is doing it big from the get-go. Ya'heard?
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:23 PM   #83
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Re: 6 Years Later Iraq Better but Still Shaky

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