LT Smash apparently thinks I should give up the criticism, yet gives me more and more to work with. Frankly, I am quite surprised with his rather emotional reaction. I expected a far more reasoned and carefully worded response, but it’s all good.
Although they became sovereign and independent in 1901, they’ve never really enjoyed freedom. The only thing we have to apologize for in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, however, is that it was poorly planned and executed.
So then you admit your expulsion of the Spaniards had no effect and the Bay of Pigs was a complete failure. At least we’re getting somehwere. Though you seem to indicate that if the Bay of Pigs had gone differently the Cuban people would be in a better position now… isn’t that contradicting what you just admitted to? Again. It’s exactly this automatic, military/offensive/know-it-all posture that leads to the misguided adventures in the first place and does absolutely nothing to actually foster and promote societal change in the country you’re dealing with.
On we go:
The Philippines are a mess — I don’t see how this is our fault. We granted them independence in 1946. It’s true that they suffered under the repressive Marcos regime until 1987, but are you arguing here for more U.S. interventionism, or less
Well hail-to-the-chief then, eh? You “granted” them independance… you come off sounding like God. Why didn’t you just say “It’s they’re own problem they screwed it up” that’s what Dick Cheney apparently already thinks of the Iraqis. You’re right, it *was* their problem. I was arguing that maybe the US should have actually LEFT the Phillipines instead of staying and supporting Marcos until it was clear the Phillipinos themselves were going to throw him (and eventually the US presence).
First of all, there would have been no such country as “Panama” had it not been for the intervention of the United States against Columbia in the early 20th Century – it was just a sleepy, malaria-stricken isthmus before we decided to build a canal there. Granted, we had our own economic interests at heart, but I don’t hear many Panamanians complaining about the results today.
Again with the holier-than-thou attitude. Do you not realise that this exactly… right on the money… perfectly illustrates why people have such a problem with American viewpoints on foreign affairs?
Never mind the fact that the Panama Canal was initiated by France (sacré bleu!) and the same man, Ferdinand de Lesseps, who built the Suez Canal. You make it sound like the Isthmus was populated by a bunch of Savages before the US brought the Canal and civilization to the area when as you admit, it was purely about economics rather than to help any of the native Columbian/Panamanians.
And of course you chose to ignore the whole Noriega connection.
My apologies on my comments on El Salvador and Nicaragua. I wrote it too early this morning and have since corrected my mistake. The point remains the same though, the support of the contras in Nicaragua and the blockade led to far more hardship to Nicaraguans because of the devastation to the local economy erosion of human rights and death of thousands in the war.
As for El Salvador… the US seemed to continue to support the Government even though they continued with their support or inability to control death squads from running through the streets.
And to top it off in the 80s the US helped out Honduras by providing helicopter transport for their troops to the Nicaraguan border.
After the fall of Saigon, millions of Vietnamese took to the sea in rickety boats to escape the brutal communist regime. Many thousands did not survive the journey, but over 1.5 million eventually made it to safety in the United States. And you complain about a little bit of toxic weed-killer? Priorities, Chris.
So again all those people who unfortunately weren’t “liberated” by America and had to stay where they were (you know, because it IS home) are worthless. Who has their priorities wrong? Yes the brutal communist regime was just that… but I’m sure the skin and prostate cancer and diabetes (Admitted by the US Air Force). But don’t worry, it wasn’t a “chemical weapon” because it was the US using it right?
Why don’t you make that “weed-killer” comment to the people you sprayed it on.
Here… maybe just apologize to *one* of them yourself, at least you could apologize to her spirit and those of others like her. Or are you going to blame her plight on those damn communists with their damn socialist health care systems?
In President Truman’s shoes, what would you have done differently?
I wouldn’t have opened Pandoras Box… let alone been tempted to use it. It is unfortunate that America has the distinction of being the only country to use a Nuclear Bomb in wartime… but, that is what happened and the world was forever changed.
WW2 was the scene for horrendous acts on both sides. It is infinitely debateable which one had the most effect in the long run… but I think I know which one I’ll pick.
but Bin Laden’s “Arab Militia” was among the few groups that refused assistance from the CIA.
So the fact that the CIA *offered* their assistance, but it wasn’t accepted was good for the reputation of the CIA? How does that work exactly.
I also fail to understand how you can deny the CIA providing help to Bin Laden and the precursors to the Taliban when CIA books from that era were actually being USED by terrorists in the training camps. Yes, you’re right Pakistans’ ISI was the main supporter of the Taliban. But who helped out the ISI…the CIA. If you don’t believe me, then why don’t you go to Janes, the most respected source for Defense/Intelligence related analysis in the world.
Along with Osama bin Laden, intelligence sources say a number of other infamous names emerged from the 1980s ISI-CIA collaboration in Afghanistan. These included Mir Aimal Kansi, who assassinated two CIA officers outside their office in Langley, Virginia, in 1993, Ramzi Yousef and his accomplices involved in the New York World Trade Center bombing five years later as well as a host of powerful international narcotics smugglers.
And finally there is Iraq and Iran.
You know what, you’re right… the US didn’t supply a single bomb or weapon system to Saddam. The countries that did are equally at fault. Yet even though it was widely known of the horrendous abuses commited by Saddam, Reagan saw fit to send his emmissary to shake the hand of a tyrant in the name of what? Securing access to oil?
I thought this whole discussion was about how the US was so concerned with bringing Freedom and Liberty to the oppressed of the world. It’s also really funny that you try to spin it positively by using an illegal arms deal.
Maybe instead of supplying arms to one side and publicly supporting the other you could have stepped in the middle and stopped the war… you know so that the PEOPLE could have a chance at that “Freedom and Liberty” that your government claims to hold so dear.
Yes, I do recognize many of the good things that America has done for the world. They outnumber the bad by a very wide margin. The Tsunami relief effort is only the latest example.
I also recognize that the American people for the most part are truly huminitarian people. They only want the best for the world. They only want to spread what is good and wonderful about America. Many times they succeed in this goal, unfortunately sometimes they don’t. It is these failures that I address because I do not see the required steps to avoid them in the future. I see the current US Administration continuing to make the same mistakes in Iraq. They somehow think that by forcibly deposing a dictator the resulting vacuum will magically result in the sprouting of true freedom and democracy in that region.
I simply don’t share that view… if only because history shows that freedom and societal change cannot be forced upon a people. Even in the World Wars… post-WW1 Germany fell apart quickly and it was probably the Cold War that saved Germany and Japan the 2nd time around. Popular reform must be attained naturally through popular revolution or uprising.
Oh and that reminds me. You may want to consider apologizing to the millions of Commonwealth, French, and Russian dead and living soldiers for your implications that their contribution to the successful conclusion of WW2 meant nothing.
(For those who forget… the USSR lost 27 million soldiers, and 19 million civilians… nearly 3 times the number of ALL the other Allies combined)
And for those so quick to equate us with the French because of our lack of military support in Iraq I point you to the upcoming Elections… where we were requested, and accepted to take the lead in setting up the International monitors that will, hopefully vet the process as free and fair.
It’s unfortunate, again, that they are forced to do their work from Amman, Jordan, rather than inside Iraq. But you have to work with what you’ve got.