View Poll Results: What force does the American Empire have on the world?

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  • Wholly Benevolent

    3 6.25%
  • Rather Benevolent

    15 31.25%
  • Hardly Benevolent

    5 10.42%
  • Not one way or the other

    2 4.17%
  • Slightly Malevolent

    3 6.25%
  • Malevolent

    3 6.25%
  • Very Malevolent

    3 6.25%
  • America is not an Empire

    14 29.17%
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Thread: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

  1. #41
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    If you believe all those countries have been dutifully elected governments then we're really gonna need to have a discussion about your standards. Also, we've had bases in some of these countries for a while, before they became dutifully-elected democracies and the terms of these treaties can be hard to annul. Cuba's government would love to kick us out of Gitmo, but the treaty we have with them requires us to agree on leaving.
    So that's your example? America's an empire because of Gitmo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Do I really need to recite the litany of incidents where the U.S. has invaded Latin American countries, especially those in the Caribbean, to remove a government we oppose or prevent a government we support from falling? I assure you that practice is not limited to the Americas either and overt military action is far from the only means we utilized.
    If you believe that one country invading another country is, somehow, indicative of being an Empire... Then, well, you're a lost cause.

    I'm not sure where you are going with this, because the point was that "liberalizing" a country is not a sign by itself of pursuing an idealistic cause. Reversing the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry would be liberalizing their economic policy, but it also gave U.S. oil companies a considerable stake where they previously had none.
    A moot point. If less exploitation happened, for whatever reason, then you can debate intent all you want but idealistic results were accomplished. There is no difference between idealism and accomplishing idealistic ends.

    I think U.S. foreign policy had nothing to do with making the world freer and definitely hasn't made it less violent. Prosperity is the result of scientific advances rather than foreign policy.
    US Foreign policy has had everything to do with making the world freer. Its intended aims may have not been that end. Yet the reality is that the world is freer, more prosperous, and more scientifically advanced because of the United States.

    We were more than responsible for it, it was a desired consequence of U.S. actions. Zbigniew Brzezinski of the Carter Administration noted that U.S. support for mujahideen prior to the invasion was a major factor in the invasion and was cited as a pretext by the Soviets. When the invasion happened it allowed the U.S. to give the Soviets their Vietnam, those are Brzezinski's words.
    In spite of the fact that both Taraki's and Hafizullah Amin's political parties (the foci of contention) existed well before US involvement? The existence of Islamic "freedom fighters" has never been a reason for Soviet involvement.

  2. #42
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Of course, it would seem we have very little intention of allowing that choice to be a real one:



    Source: Wired

    Let's not even talk about Karzai.
    So the arrest of political dissidents by Iraqi Federal police somehow proves that the U.S. didn't allow the Iraqi people to elect their own leadership? Ya Maliki sucks, but guess what, WE DIDN'T PUT HIM IN POWER, the Iraqi's did.

  3. #43
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Areopagitican View Post
    So that's your example? America's an empire because of Gitmo?
    Uh, no, that was just an example of how these treaties we signed with countries before anyone can say they had a dutifully-elected government can be hard to get rid of and thus continue the same relationships without having the consent of the people. Not to mention there are ways to convince the people it should stay.

    If you believe that one country invading another country is, somehow, indicative of being an Empire... Then, well, you're a lost cause.
    Wait a minute, what the hell is up with that? You dismissed out of hand that the U.S. forced nations into our alliances specifically saying "whose capital have we sent our tanks in to keep them in line" and I merely noted that we have done it many times as a matter of historical record.

    A moot point. If less exploitation happened, for whatever reason, then you can debate intent all you want but idealistic results were accomplished. There is no difference between idealism and accomplishing idealistic ends.
    Honestly, like I said, imperialism could itself be said to be idealistic. Many countries pursue imperialism out of some idealistic notion even if it isn't the same one they tell the public about.

    US Foreign policy has had everything to do with making the world freer. Its intended aims may have not been that end. Yet the reality is that the world is freer, more prosperous, and more scientifically advanced because of the United States.
    Uh, no that is not the reality. The reality is countries had been pursuing political reform long before the U.S. came into being and continued without connection to the U.S. coming into being. Did ideals in the U.S. influence people outside the U.S.? Yes. Was this in any way aided by American foreign policy? No. Far from it our foreign policy has consistently sought to corrupt these processes or remove them entirely because ultimately a free-thinking people does not suit U.S. interests well.

    In spite of the fact that both Taraki's and Hafizullah Amin's political parties (the foci of contention) existed well before US involvement? The existence of Islamic "freedom fighters" has never been a reason for Soviet involvement.
    The dispute existed for sure, but then the Soviets didn't invade until after we started lending our support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    You see ladies and gentlemen the U.S. was responsible for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, you heard it here first. Also, interesting to know, according to this guy the U.S. is responsible for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The more you know. Oh FYI the interview in which Zbigniew allegedly admitted to sending arms to the Mujahadeen is a fabrication, he never made those statements he maintains that no arms were sent until a week after the Soviets invaded and this assertion is easily verifiable because the records are open the accusation that he ever said that is not backed by the historical records and it just happens that the portion of the interview that he allegedly made these comments were not recorded or videotaped. Gee what a surprise.

    Uh, I never said anywhere that we provided them with weapons, and indeed as you can observe in that video it is more the reporter's confusion about the previous interview bringing this response. It is convenient that we both found this video. I had known of the interview with the French paper but just found the video today as well. I am sure you watched the whole thing including the parts about Robert Gates' book right? You know, where they say before the Soviets invaded they gave weapons to Pakistan so that Pakistan could give the weapons to the mujahideen. I was actually under the impression that our support was non-material, but apparently we were arming them before the Soviets invaded as well, just not directly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    So the arrest of political dissidents by Iraqi Federal police somehow proves that the U.S. didn't allow the Iraqi people to elect their own leadership? Ya Maliki sucks, but guess what, WE DIDN'T PUT HIM IN POWER, the Iraqi's did.
    It doesn't matter if the Iraqi people voted him in, he is beholden to the U.S. because of things like this, not to mention the huge military presence we have there. Even after we live he will be armed and aided by the U.S. or its allies in the region.
    "For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
    - Khalil Gibran

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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post



    Uh, I never said anywhere that we provided them with weapons, and indeed as you can observe in that video it is more the reporter's confusion about the previous interview bringing this response. It is convenient that we both found this video. I had known of the interview with the French paper but just found the video today as well. I am sure you watched the whole thing including the parts about Robert Gates' book right? You know, where they say before the Soviets invaded they gave weapons to Pakistan so that Pakistan could give the weapons to the mujahideen. I was actually under the impression that our support was non-material, but apparently we were arming them before the Soviets invaded as well, just not directly.
    A) U.S. arms were not sent to the Mujahadeen until after the Soviets invaded, that is the assertion of both Gates and Zbigniew. At the time the U.S. was lending financial aid to the rebels the Soviets already had special forces and advisers operating in Afghanistan and was providing the Communist government with substantial finances and arms.

    B) Even if we did provide material aid to the Mujahadeen before the Soviet Union invaded (which we didn't as the historical record proves beyond question) how does that justify a Soviet invasion? Did the Mujahadeen pose any threat whatsoever to the Soviet Union? Absolutely not.

    C) Were you really trying to assert that non-material aid to the Mujahadeen by the U.S. caused or justified the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? If that's the case then I'm sure that you blame the Soviet Union for U.S. invasion of Vietnam.

    It doesn't matter if the Iraqi people voted him in, he is beholden to the U.S. because of things like this, not to mention the huge military presence we have there.
    Wait, so Iraqi Federal Police arresting political dissidents makes Maliki beholden to the U.S.? Do you even try to make sense when you type or do you just punch in random words on your keyboard?
    Last edited by Agent Ferris; 06-21-10 at 06:56 AM.

  5. #45
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    A) U.S. arms were not sent to the Mujahadeen until after the Soviets invaded, that is the assertion of both Gates and Zbigniew. At the time the U.S. was lending financial aid to the rebels the Soviets already had special forces and advisers operating in Afghanistan and was providing the Communist government with substantial finances and arms.
    It makes sense the Soviets would assist the Afghan government as Afghanistan sat right on their border. Also, as I already pointed out Gates explicitly mentions in his book sending weapons to Pakistan so that Pakistan can send them to the mujahideen. It is in the very video you put up here! Indeed, there is some evidence indicating U.S. support went back even further to 1978.

    B) Even if we did provide material aid to the Mujahadeen before the Soviet Union invaded (which we didn't as the historical record proves beyond question) how does that justify a Soviet invasion? Did the Mujahadeen pose any threat whatsoever to the Soviet Union? Absolutely not.
    It wasn't a matter of them posing a threat, though they rationally posed a greater threat than pretty much any country we invaded, because in the end it was widely expected that the Soviets would intervene as a result of our actions.

    C) Were you really trying to assert that non-material aid to the Mujahadeen by the U.S. caused or justified the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? If that's the case then I'm sure that you blame the Soviet Union for U.S. invasion of Vietnam.
    The Soviets didn't invade every country we supported and neither did the U.S. invade every country the Soviets supported. Most U.S. invasions were in the Americas at this time and by the same token the Soviets generally only invaded countries in their immediate vicinity. Any involvement by the U.S. would be seen as a pretext for invasion.

    Wait, so Iraqi Federal Police arresting political dissidents makes Maliki beholden to the U.S.?
    The U.S. helping him and covering for him does.
    "For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
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  6. #46
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    It makes sense the Soviets would assist the Afghan government as Afghanistan sat right on their border. Also, as I already pointed out Gates explicitly mentions in his book sending weapons to Pakistan so that Pakistan can send them to the mujahideen. It is in the very video you put up here! Indeed, there is some evidence indicating U.S. support went back even further to 1978.
    A) That wasn't in the video I posted, source?

    B) Once again by the time the U.S. had started financing the Afghan Mujahadeen the Soviets had advisors and special advisors in Afghanistan and were providing the Communists with substantial funding and military aid.

    It wasn't a matter of them posing a threat,
    Really so the Soviets were justified in invading Afghanistan even though the Mujahadeen posed absolutely 0 threat to them?
    though they rationally posed a greater threat than pretty much any country we invaded, because in the end it was widely expected that the Soviets would intervene as a result of our actions.
    Ya Afghanistan posed a much more serious threat than the North Vietnamese whose success led directly to the fall of Laos and Cambodia to Communism.

    Anyways the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan had nothing to do with the U.S., we didn't start sending in arms until after they invaded. But tell me do you support the U.S. intervention in South East Asia, or does funding guerilla movements only justify invasion when it's the U.S. doing the funding?
    The Soviets didn't invade every country we supported and neither did the U.S. invade every country the Soviets supported. Most U.S. invasions were in the Americas at this time and by the same token the Soviets generally only invaded countries in their immediate vicinity. Any involvement by the U.S. would be seen as a pretext for invasion.
    Understood, U.S. arming of the Mujahadeen a week after the Soviet invasion prompted the Soviet invasion especially considering that the Mujahadeen posed 0 threat to the Soviets.

    The U.S. helping him and covering for him does.
    Yes the U.S. covering for him in U.S. rather than Iraqi circles proves that he wasn't elected by the Iraqi people. Again try making sense when you type things, it would help things go a lot smoother.

  7. #47
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    A) That wasn't in the video I posted, source?
    Wait, which part. Do you mean the part where I pointed out that Gates said the U.S. sent weapons to Pakistan for Pakistan to send to the mujahideen? That was definitely in the video and I am not going to baby you as far as where it is in the video. If you mean the last part then:

    In 1978 the United States began training insurgents and directing propaganda broadcasts into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
    Source: Wikipedia

    That part comes from the book Blank Check: The Pentagonís Black Budget. Here is an online source which also states this: America's Afghanistan war: the ... - Google Books

    B) Once again by the time the U.S. had started financing the Afghan Mujahadeen the Soviets had advisors and special advisors in Afghanistan and were providing the Communists with substantial funding and military aid.
    The Soviets had people in Afghanistan for decades.

    Really so the Soviets were justified in invading Afghanistan even though the Mujahadeen posed absolutely 0 threat to them?
    Are you saying a group of radical Muslim militants organizing to oppose a global power by any means necessary poses no threat?

    Ya Afghanistan posed a much more serious threat than the North Vietnamese whose success led directly to the fall of Laos and Cambodia to Communism.
    I'm not sure if you've looked at a map recently but the U.S. doesn't border Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia.

    But tell me do you support the U.S. intervention in South East Asia, or does funding guerilla movements only justify invasion when it's the U.S. doing the funding?
    I never said it justified invasion. However, we knew the S

    Yes the U.S. covering for him in U.S. rather than Iraqi circles proves that he wasn't elected by the Iraqi people.
    Actually, the point was that we prop up his government and let him crack down on dissent with impunity. I could get into the nature of Iraq's election, but why should it matter when the U.S. happily sits by and lets the leader of the country go after dissidents?
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  8. #48
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Wait, which part. Do you mean the part where I pointed out that Gates said the U.S. sent weapons to Pakistan for Pakistan to send to the mujahideen? That was definitely in the video and I am not going to baby you as far as where it is in the video. If you mean the last part then:

    Source: Wikipedia

    That part comes from the book Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget. Here is an online source which also states this: America's Afghanistan war: the ... - Google Books
    A) The historical record proves beyond any contention that financial aid to the rebels was not authorized in any way until 1979 after the Soviets already had Special Forces and advisors in Afghanistan. The source you cite does not have the page in question within the Google preview and even if it did it is contradicted by the historical record.

    B) The portion in the video referring to arms shipments to Pakistan for the rebels before the Soviet invasion quoted from Gates' book says it was a policy option, it never says that policy was implemented.

    C) Both Gates and Zbigniew maintain that lethal arms were not provided until after the formal Soviet invasion, that is what the video says.

    The Soviets had people in Afghanistan for decades.
    They had special forces operating militarily in Afghanistan at the time U.S. financial aid was authorized to the rebels in 1979, arms were not authorized until after the formal Soviet invasion.

    Are you saying a group of radical Muslim militants organizing to oppose a global power by any means necessary poses no threat?
    Foreign mujahadeen didn't enter the picture until after the Soviet invasion, this was a domestic insurgency against the Afghanistan Communist government and then against the Soviet invasion forces, the indiginious Mujahadeen had no aspirations outside of Afghanistan.

    I'm not sure if you've looked at a map recently but the U.S. doesn't border Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia.
    So what?

    I never said it justified invasion.
    So then the Soviet aid to the North Vietnamese caused the U.S. invasion of Vietnam then?

    However, we knew the S
    Finish your thoughts.

    Actually, the point was that we prop up his government and let him crack down on dissent with impunity. I could get into the nature of Iraq's election, but why should it matter when the U.S. happily sits by and lets the leader of the country go after dissidents?
    This is in no way contradictory to my statement between the assertion that the difference between the British and American occupation of Iraq is that the British didn't grant popular sovererignty to the Iraqi people; furthermore, the Iraqi elections were registered free and fair by outside international observers.

  9. #49
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Goodness. Yes, we are an empire, and yes, I confess to profitering from it.

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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    A) The historical record proves beyond any contention that financial aid to the rebels was not authorized in any way until 1979 after the Soviets already had Special Forces and advisors in Afghanistan.
    I did not make any mention of financial aid but simply said support. There are ways to provide support that don't involve money.

    B) The portion in the video referring to arms shipments to Pakistan for the rebels before the Soviet invasion quoted from Gates' book says it was a policy option, it never says that policy was implemented.

    C) Both Gates and Zbigniew maintain that lethal arms were not provided until after the formal Soviet invasion, that is what the video says.
    Actually they say there was no direct military assistance. After the invasion there were CIA agents on the ground helping to arm them.

    They had special forces operating militarily in Afghanistan at the time U.S. financial aid was authorized to the rebels in 1979, arms were not authorized until after the formal Soviet invasion.
    I am not sure what your point is because as I stated the Soviets had some presence there for decades. We didn't particularly care until it looked like we could give them one hell of quagmire.

    Foreign mujahadeen didn't enter the picture until after the Soviet invasion, this was a domestic insurgency against the Afghanistan Communist government and then against the Soviet invasion forces, the indiginious Mujahadeen had no aspirations outside of Afghanistan.
    Really? You believe that and believe that the Soviets were 100% confident this was the case and did not think that it could cause similar uprising within the Soviet Union among its Muslim population?

    So what?
    The Soviet Union does border Afghanistan.

    So then the Soviet aid to the North Vietnamese caused the U.S. invasion of Vietnam then?
    No, plain and simply, because it wasn't an invasion. South Vietnam was separate from North Vietnam and troops were committed there in considerable numbers. What we did was a massive expansion of the conflict and was not motivated by anything specific done by the Soviets.

    Finish your thoughts.
    Lol, sorry. I was gonna say we knew the Soviet Union was more likely to invade as a result.

    This is in no way contradictory to my statement between the assertion that the difference between the British and American occupation of Iraq is that the British didn't grant popular sovererignty to the Iraqi people; furthermore, the Iraqi elections were registered free and fair by outside international observers.
    What outside international observers?
    "For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
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