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Inhumanity
http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/5/72004jl.asp

Double-Standard Journalism

By James L. Lambert
May 7, 2004

(AgapePress) - Since the release of the pictures showing the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners featured on 60 Minutes II, we have been reminded of this catastrophe every day by our friends in the media.

Certainly the actions of a small group of service people were abhorrent. What was done in this Iraqi prison does not represent the U.S. armed forces in general. However, you would not know this from the reaction from the media. They are obsessed with the prisoners' abuse, repeatedly showing the photos, describing the occurrences in detail, and questioning every one in sight. Make no mistake, the actions of these few military personnel are inexcusable and should be dealt with severely. Yet, there is an obvious double-standard in the journalistic community -- and we should be reminded about it as well.

While it is natural for the media to question this prison abuse, we are warned by the media of their reluctance to show the mutilated bodies of the four American civilian contractors who were murdered outside of Fallujah, Iraq. Not only were these Americans brutally burned and murdered, some of their bodies were dragged through the streets by a group of chanting thugs and then hung on poles.

Yet those same media groups were quite anxious to show us the images of the Iraqi prisoners who were forced into terribly compromising positions while under the watch of American troops. Yet they were reluctant to distribute, and in some cases would not show us, the graphic images of those Americans who were brutally killed and paraded around in Fallujah. Why?

September 11 was a terrible day in American history! America absorbed the worst single-day mass murder of its citizens in history, but already many liberals in the media don't want to remind us with these "old" images. On the first and second anniversaries of 9-11, television media were reluctant for us "to relive" these images. Some, like CNN, would not re-air some of the graphic scenes from this important episode in our history, even though many of their friends in the media (CBS, NBC, ABC) were just miles from the epicenter of this disaster. Even some in the European press still believe that 9-11 was a "Zionist" fabrication that was used to sway sympathy toward America and against Arab countries. Not only do they want to keep these vivid images out of the American consciousness, they would like to soften the truth for public consumption.

Words can be a powerful thing. Remember this passage when you were growing up? "The pen is mightier than the sword." This is especially true with words used by the media. These days we don't want to offend people by saying "murderers"; instead, we'll replace it with "freedom fighters." "Killers" is too harsh of a word; we'll replace it with "sympathizers."

The irony of much of this twisted reporting is that the media did not even want to show one of its own who had been brutally murdered by Islamic extremists. Remember Daniel Pearl? As a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Pearl was seeking an exclusive interview in Pakistan. He happened to be captured by some terrorist group. Pearl was brutally murdered and beheaded. Pictures of his head were released by the murderous thugs to the Arab media.

But here in the U.S., our media friends were again reluctant to show these pictures. Many media groups would not! Why? If anything, these pictures would clearly show what these terrorists are all about. Perhaps this would be too much for the American public to handle? But these same media groups were quite eager for us to see the images of the abused Iraqi prisoners.

What is sad about all this is that if anything, this recent effort by the media will endanger lives in the Middle East. President Bush attempted to relay the message that these actions "by the very few" does not reflect our servicemen and servicewomen in Iraq and is "not the America that I know."

This is the message that the media needs to convey -- instead of its own spin.
__________________________________________________________________

I cannot even attempt to adress all the problems of this commentary, but I'll raise a few points:

1) Why the brutal pictures of American casualties are not shown in the media even though Lambert so greatly desires? Because the White House has issued an informal media blackout on this topic. So its rather ironic that a conservative commentator uses this as an example of the "double standards of liberal media". I can imagine that if pictures of american casualties and defiled bodies were to surface in the media Lambert would be the first one to accuse the "liberal media" of undermining the American war effort and morale in the home front on war against terrorism.

2) Why pictures of humiliated iraqi prisoners is not the same as mutilated corpses and severed heads? Now call me strange if you like but imo (as disturbing as they were) the prison abuse pictures arent that shocking especially if you compare them to mangled corpses etc. Im just baffled that this Lambert fellow not only seems to make no difference between the two but is almost excited about seeing such photos.

3) Commentary does not equal rumour spreading and propaganda. "Even some in the European press still believe that 9-11 was a "Zionist" fabrication" Of really? And who might those "some" be? Yellow press? Neo-nazi zines? This is a typical example of white propaganda: you make a claim which in all its obscurity can very well be true and is certainly extremely hard to disprove and then let it hang in teh air with out putting it into context thus creating an illusion that this particular statement is somehow a general description on state of affairs. In this example Lambert attempts to create the illusion that Europe as a collective doesnt believe that islamic terror was responsible for 9-11. He makes no effort to balance his claim by elaborating that most Europeans agree with the American view on 9-11 and he certainl disregards the fact that US is just as filled with "zionist conspiracy" theories.

4) The myth of American moral superiority reiterated. "President Bush attempted to relay the message that these actions "by the very few" does not reflect our servicemen and servicewomen in Iraq and is "not the America that I know."" I refer you to this thread on U-P:

http://www.utopia-politics.com/forums/inde...=0&#entry203846

Yes, this scandal is certainly not the America Dubya knows. Dubya knows the America of the wealthy and the priviledged. The reality of the proliferating American prisons is quite different and what went on in Baghdad is a direct reflection of American prison culture. Yes, its not a reflection of US servicemen in general, but its rather naive to think that the extreme conditions in which the US military personnel has now had to work for over a year does not take its toll on the psyche. Furthermore, many of the enlisted are people who have worked in the prison system as well and some of the prisons in Iraq are run by private american prison firms who are guilty of same kind of abuse in US.
Inhumanity
And another neo-com commentator who should shut up:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michael...b20040510.shtml

QUOTE
For governance, George W. Bush has the task of leading a country that believes in American exceptionalism in a world in which that idea is, for many, off-putting if not repugnant. This is why Bush has taken pains to explain that the "nonnegotiable demands of human dignity" are not just American but universal, the gift of God -- or, if you will, imperatives imposed by secular ideas of liberty and equality. America's specialness has been its good fortune in asserting and trying to uphold those ideals earlier than others and having the strength, and therefore the obligation, to advance them around the world.


While it is true that US is the oldest democracy (or a republic if you want to split hairs) in the world, its not special or unique. And this is a myth that is draggin US image down globally: the American illusion of moral superiority, that they are Gods chosen people and they are the bastion of freedom and human rights. Never mind that Europe has a score of countries which have enjoyed freedom and democracy for centrury now. Nevermind the fatc that there are dozens of free democracies in the world these days, nevermind the fact that some American actions are seen as everything but democratic.

This American myth of uniqueness and superiority also includes the fallacy thet you can somehow export democracy and apply it by force on 3rd world countries. American neo-con ideologists fail to grasp the historical reality that democracy and open sociery have prerequisites and beinf subjected to imperial conquest is not one of them. Democracy requires an organic process of society, it requires indigenous political thinking, it requires civil society and a prosperous middle-class to uphold it. it requires time and most of all it requires the will of the people. If the national collective psyche is not yet ripe and ready to accept the principles of a democratic society you cannot force it. This has been proved for example in Russia and it shall be proved in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Inhumanity
And to counter-balance - a conservative commentary that is intelligent, to-the-point and unprovocative:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/suzanne...f20040510.shtml

Im just wondering, why cant there be more writers like this? Even though she lapses into "western supremacey" from time to time, she manages to convey her thoughs without flaming and actually sticks to the facts. Although she downplays the role of the West and US in the deteriorating relationship between the Islamic East and the Occident she manages to catch the relevant in the difference between democracies and despotism.
dawntreader
QUOTE
1) Why the brutal pictures of American casualties are not shown in the media even though Lambert so greatly desires? Because the White House has issued an informal media blackout on this topic. So its rather ironic that a conservative commentator uses this as an example of the "double standards of liberal media". I can imagine that if pictures of american casualties and defiled bodies were to surface in the media Lambert would be the first one to accuse the "liberal media" of undermining the American war effort and morale in the home front on war against terrorism.


In other words you read in the worst of motives. The blunt fact is compared to whatever abuses were committed, "the enemy" has done worse and largely gets a pass from the media.

QUOTE
2) Why pictures of humiliated iraqi prisoners is not the same as mutilated corpses and severed heads? Now call me strange if you like but imo (as disturbing as they were) the prison abuse pictures arent that shocking especially if you compare them to mangled corpses etc. Im just baffled that this Lambert fellow not only seems to make no difference between the two but is almost excited about seeing such photos.

And despite the relative disparity between the barbarity, which is the media focused upon?

QUOTE
Commentary does not equal rumour spreading and propaganda. "Even some in the European press still believe that 9-11 was a "Zionist" fabrication" Of really? And who might those "some" be?

The people who made L’Effroyable Imposture the highest single week grossing book in Europe ever? Or perhaps he was referring to Mathias Broecker, of Tageszeitung, and his book Conspiracies, Conspiracy Theories And The Secrets Of September 11 ? Or might it be Gerhard Wisnewski and Operation 9/11?

Seriously the Forsa instutite survey Germans 31% of German adults under 30 (overall "only" 19% beleive it was a conspiracy) beleive that US government did it; these results were published in Die Zeit.

QUOTE
This is a typical example of white propaganda: you make a claim which in all its obscurity can very well be true and is certainly extremely hard to disprove and then let it hang in teh air with out putting it into context thus creating an illusion that this particular statement is somehow a general description on state of affairs.

19% of the general public, multiple journalists publishing books, and national bestsellers lists ... exactly how much evidence that "some" Europeans and European journalists beleive this do you require?

QUOTE
He makes no effort to balance his claim by elaborating that most Europeans agree with the American view on 9-11 and he certainl disregards the fact that US is just as filled with "zionist conspiracy" theories.

It is implicit that if only some people beleive "A" most do not beleive "A". The fact that 19% do is not dismissable. If 19% of Germany's population is neo-nazi, I'm already damned scare.

QUOTE
The reality of the proliferating American prisons is quite different and what went on in Baghdad is a direct reflection of American prison culture. Yes, its not a reflection of US servicemen in general, but its rather naive to think that the extreme conditions in which the US military personnel has now had to work for over a year does not take its toll on the psyche. Furthermore, many of the enlisted are people who have worked in the prison system as well and some of the prisons in Iraq are run by private american prison firms who are guilty of same kind of abuse in US.

Unsubstantiated BS. In reality the units with a proponderance of law enforcement officers are LESS likely to have these types of problems. This unit is not indicative of the the civillian prison system.

I refer you to the following report and note how many problems they had, if ever there were bad apples:

Long, Boring, Disturbing


QUOTE
Democracy requires an organic process of society, it requires indigenous political thinking, it requires civil society and a prosperous middle-class to uphold it. it requires time and most of all it requires the will of the people. If the national collective psyche is not yet ripe and ready to accept the principles of a democratic society you cannot force it. This has been proved for example in Russia and it shall be proved in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Japan circa 1950. Indigenous political thinking? It was a military dictarship with a millenial history of dictatorship. Civil society? Was literally descended from the military. Prosperous middle class? The was no middle class, the entire nation had been bombed to hell and back. Will of the people? Was never evidenced.


QUOTE
Never mind that Europe has a score of countries which have enjoyed freedom and democracy for centrury now.

Of those only Ireland, Switzerland, and the UK would be so enjoying them without US intervention. A score of free and democratic countries since 1904. Could you list? Russia, No. Germany, no. Austria, no. Turkey (Ottoman Empire), no. Italy, only if you ignore the fascists. Spain, see Italy. Romania? Only if you ignore the communists. Bulgaria? See Romania. Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia? See Romania. Portugal, see Spain. Greece, see Portugal. So how many countries that existed in 1904 are left? The UK (included Ireland at this time as I recall), France, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway and Sweden (were united as I recall). Were exactly is your list of 20 countries which have enjoyed freedom and democracy for 100 years?

Oh that's right you don't have one. You forget that of all the countries that have actually enjoyed freedom and democracy for a century the list of those that would have done so without American support shrinks to:
The UK
Switzerland
Sweden

With Switzerland and Sweden being debatable with either Soviet or Nazi hegemony in Europe.

Inhumanity
QUOTE
In other words you read in the worst of motives. The blunt fact is compared to whatever abuses were committed, "the enemy" has done worse and largely gets a pass from the media.


I dont know if its the worst of motives but its certainly the first to come to mind. And yes, the enemy has done worse and now you're jumping on Lamberts wagon: you're using the enemys atrocities as a justification for you own, but thats another topic. The enemy has not gotten a pass from the media as you put it. Every atrocity that has gotten through the Pentagon screen has surfaced in the media. Thats why we have seen footage of corpses of foreigners dragged in the streets, charred carcasses in burned car wrecks, etc. Very brutal images. But general, those all have been images of actions by the enemy. US atrocities and yes I read civilian killings - intentional or not - as such, are largely missing from the media. So there are free passes in the media, but theyre given not to the enemy but to the US military. This prison scandal is the first serious incident to surface in the media, probably because its so similar to Saddams regimes terror.

QUOTE
And despite the relative disparity between the barbarity, which is the media focused upon?


As I just stated, the media focused previously on atrocities committed by Iraqi insurgents, now the focus is on the prison scandal, next month it'll be on something else. What exactly are you trying to convey here?

QUOTE
The people who made L’Effroyable Imposture the highest single week grossing book in Europe ever? Or perhaps he was referring to Mathias Broecker, of Tageszeitung, and his book Conspiracies, Conspiracy Theories And The Secrets Of September 11 ? Or might it be Gerhard Wisnewski and Operation 9/11?


These are books, not press. And if people read these it's not an indication that people buy into them. I read all sorts of material and dont believe even half of it. I even read conservative commentary to humour myself. It doesnt mean that Im a conservative.

QUOTE
Seriously the Forsa instutite survey Germans 31% of German adults under 30 (overall "only" 19% beleive it was a conspiracy) beleive that US government did it; these results were published in Die Zeit.


Im a journalist myself and I know something about the way press spins these "surveys" so I'd be extremely sceptical about them. One study doesnt mean jack. You'd have to have a scientifically conducted social survey to conclude something and even that would only be representative of thet particular group at that particular time.

But those numbers would be alarming if they would be truly representing.

QUOTE
19% of the general public, multiple journalists publishing books, and national bestsellers lists ... exactly how much evidence that "some" Europeans and European journalists beleive this do you require?


Alot more, I can assure you. The "evidence" you've presented means nothing. Sensational books are always sold and one poll is totally insignificant. I believe that some people do believe this to be the case, but majority are level-headed and rational human beings who do find conspiracy theories entertaining, but amusingly insane.

QUOTE
The fact that 19% do is not dismissable. If 19% of Germany's population is neo-nazi, I'm already damned scare.


Neo-nazi?! Where the hell did that come from? Now you're truly jumping on Lambert wagon. I'd be more carefull of those frogs that keep coming from your mouth.

QUOTE
Unsubstantiated BS. In reality the units with a proponderance of law enforcement officers are LESS likely to have these types of problems. This unit is not indicative of the the civillian prison system.


Unsubstantiated? Perhaps. BS? Hardly. From what I looked into this matter its quite indicative of the civilian prison system. Although this unit was run by military and not a private corp, it doesnt debunk any of the claims I made. US has serious problems with its prison culture and the violent and cruel tendencies of its society at large. Thats my opinion. Good luck in changing it. If you can, my hat is off to you.

And as far as I understood it, that report showed alot of problems, first and not the least the fact the unit was not trained or capable of running a prison facility.

QUOTE
Japan circa 1950. Indigenous political thinking? It was a military dictarship with a millenial history of dictatorship. Civil society? Was literally descended from the military. Prosperous middle class? The was no middle class, the entire nation had been bombed to hell and back. Will of the people? Was never evidenced.


All democracies have been dictatorships before they adopted parliamentary order so that argument is TRULY weak. Do you even understand what a civil society is?

(EDIT: Civil society is something that exists between the government and the people. Max Weber has some good thoughts on this. Civil society can exist under any government in theory but its traditionally been connected to democracy or parliamentary monarchy. Civil society acts as the buffer between the transgressions of the govenrment and the people, its an instrument of societal action and a safe for the identity and tradition of the people. Once civil society has formed it can conform to the will of the government if gov't enjoys legitimacy but just as easily civil society can function as the counter balance against the govt in the society, no matter how thin it is, a good example of this is the solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980's)

Japan began its industrialisation in the 19th century and it was fast developing, it had decades of urban developement before WW II. Furthermore Japan has a long tradition of philosophy and political thought and even though their tradition differs radically from ours, Japanese transformation into modern democracy was a of their own making. Middle-class is also a concept, a frame of mind. Middle-class has mental capital as well in addition to the fiscal one. Bombed to hell? What are you on about? Do you really think that WHOLE of Japan was levelled? There wasnt enough bombs in the whole world to do that. And the amazing thing about middle class entreprenourship is that it can get back on its feet in a blink of an eye if the conditions are suitable. West Germany serves as a good example. Im sure your next argument would have been that the success of Japan is of American making etc. Right? Like all good things in the World? Pah-lease..

QUOTE
Were exactly is your list of 20 countries which have enjoyed freedom and democracy for 100 years?


The UK, Scandinavia (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland), Switzerland, Germany, France, Benelux... thats quite alot, maybe not a score but that was meant as more of an figure of speech than an actual number. Note that I dont hold it necessary for a country to be independent to enjoys freedoms. Finland enjoyed an autonomy since 1809 even though it was a subject of Russia and Finland has had its own parliament since the 1860's. Many of the west European countries like UK and the Benelux (Belgia, Holland, Luxembourg) had a parliamentary monarchy, which is akin to democracy. Its not the form of govt as such that is the key factor but the distribution of power within it. Germanys democratic process was cut of by the Third Reich, but I do include it to the democratic tradition beginning from the 19th century. 13 years of Nazi reign doesnt negate that. France has had totalitarian periods too, but it's democratic tradition begins from 1789.

You have to understand that from modern point of view democracy has only existed since WW II. In its purest form its still an extremely rare form of govt, but if you exclude dictatorships from the governmental plethora, US is nothing special. In fact, in many ways today, American citizens have less means of influencing their governments politics than some European nations do. I cannot source this, because I base these facts on a sociology book I had to study for my political science course and Im not bothered to go and look for it because of this. The idea is that while US citizens enjoy larger negative freedoms (ie. the absence of duties towards government) than say, some European nations they similarly lack positive freedoms (ie. the possibility to influence their society) compared to these same nations. In some ways, US politics today is a game of multi-millionaire oligarchs and it has more or less always been like that. Power in US equals money and the normal people have very little say in affairs, especially when they dont have more influence in nationwide affairs than to choose between two choices every 4 years: millionaire 1 or millionaire 2 for president? US politics is a cut-throat competition between lobbyists for the attention of politicians and maoney talks. Most politics of the grass root level is done civil courts and thanks to punitive damage even that is about money.

So Im sorry to say your sardonic answer went to waste. US is nothing special although you like to think so.
dawntreader
The enemy has not gotten a pass from the media as you put it. Every atrocity that has gotten through the Pentagon screen has surfaced in the media. [/QUOTE]

It is a matter of airtime. How many days have we been going over the POW scandal, how many did we spend on other atrocity? The blunt fact is we spend a disparate amount of time on American atrocity compared to others.

QUOTE
US atrocities and yes I read civilian killings - intentional or not - as such, are largely missing from the media.

BS. I have seen tours through Iraqi hospitals, injured civillians from Fallujah, and civillians alleged to have been hurt by the US earlier on ... and that was all this weekend.

QUOTE
As I just stated, the media focused previously on atrocities committed by Iraqi insurgents, now the focus is on the prison scandal, next month it'll be on something else. What exactly are you trying to convey here?

When the US took over Bagdad the media was fixated on the looting. When the looting stopped it was on to infrastructure, when the infrastructure came up it was on to US deaths (even as the rate of such deaths decreased), and along comes this PoS and we hear it constantly. The media gives a disparate amount of coverage to the alleged wrongs of America.

QUOTE
These are books, not press. And if people read these it's not an indication that people buy into them. I read all sorts of material and dont believe even half of it. I even read conservative commentary to humour myself. It doesnt mean that Im a conservative.

"Journalist" in English is defined to be: one whose occupation is journalism. One definition of "journalism" is: Written material of current interest or wide popular appeal.

The above books do fall into that category.

Further Tageszeitung is a newspaper and as such is the historical definition of "press"; Mathias Broecker of Tageszeitung would hence by definition be a journalist. I really don't want to dredge the internet to find other journalists who agree, so I just went for the most popular ones. Given that 19% of Germans beleive it to be conspiracy, in the abscence of any indication that journalists significantly deviate from the German norm one would expect that 19% of German journalists hold such an opinion.

Somebody obviously beleives them when 19% of the population comes out and says so in a respected poll.

QUOTE
Im a journalist myself and I know something about the way press spins these "surveys" so I'd be extremely sceptical about them. One study doesnt mean jack. You'd have to have a scientifically conducted social survey to conclude something and even that would only be representative of thet particular group at that particular time.

But those numbers would be alarming if they would be truly representing.


Exactly what was wrong with Forsa's methodology?

Further I would note that Die Ziet is a liberal paper, and thus has no incentive to spin it that more Germans beleive 9/11 was a conspiracy.


QUOTE
Alot more, I can assure you. The "evidence" you've presented means nothing. Sensational books are always sold and one poll is totally insignificant. I believe that some people do believe this to be the case, but majority are level-headed and rational human beings who do find conspiracy theories entertaining, but amusingly insane.


Of course the majority are level headed and sane, the 81% not beleiving this claptrap are. However that 19% is damn worrying. Do you have any counter evidence or any critiques of the actual methodology? Or do you intend to simply dismiss data for not good reason because it disagrees with your view of the world?

QUOTE
Neo-nazi?! Where the hell did that come from? Now you're truly jumping on Lambert wagon. I'd be more carefull of those frogs that keep coming from your mouth.

Where did that come from? Why from your own words. I don't think that the beleif in a conspiracy is limited to just, "Yellow press" and "Neo-nazi"; the blunt truth is all the evidence I have seen (and you have posted nothing to critique or counter) shows it to be endemic. When 19% of the population holds a particular view you will be hard pressed to find that at least some of the journalism corps does not hold a similar view.

QUOTE
Unsubstantiated? Perhaps. BS? Hardly. From what I looked into this matter its quite indicative of the civilian prison system. Although this unit was run by military and not a private corp, it doesnt debunk any of the claims I made. US has serious problems with its prison culture and the violent and cruel tendencies of its society at large. Thats my opinion. Good luck in changing it. If you can, my hat is off to you.

Yes it does. You presented ZERO evidence to support your claim. You have not shown that we have a "prison culture", that such a thing is either violent or cruel nor that any of that leads to something like what happened in this scandal. The blunt fact of the matter is these individuals had NO previous experience with the civillian prison system and committed these acts. Hell remember what the Canadians did in Somalia? Do you intend to tell me that that was caused by their prison culture?

You blithely dismiss respected polling data, yet feel free to use a single data point for broad sweaping extrapolation with no evidence of causality. Amazing isn't it?

QUOTE
All democracies have been dictatorships before they adopted parliamentary order so that argument is TRULY weak. Do you even understand what a civil society is?

BS. The US was never a dictatorship. Neither was the Venetian republic. Neither was the Ligurian republic. The Icelandic nation was always based upon the Althing (prior to 1262). Further the various European kings were rarely dictators, most had powers limited by the nobility and certainly various of the American Indian socities were never dictatorial.

QUOTE
EDIT: Civil society is something that exists between the government and the people. Max Weber has some good thoughts on this. Civil society can exist under any government in theory but its traditionally been connected to democracy or parliamentary monarchy. Civil society acts as the buffer between the transgressions of the govenrment and the people, its an instrument of societal action and a safe for the identity and tradition of the people. Once civil society has formed it can conform to the will of the government if gov't enjoys legitimacy but just as easily civil society can function as the counter balance against the govt in the society, no matter how thin it is, a good example of this is the solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980's

This has been another useless fact. The civil society of Japan is a direct descendant of the military code, mainly Bushido. Japan's "civil society" was simply millenia old military custom.

QUOTE
Japan began its industrialisation in the 19th century and it was fast developing, it had decades of urban developement before WW II.

All of which was burnt to the ground.

QUOTE
. Furthermore Japan has a long tradition of philosophy and political thought and even though their tradition differs radically from ours, Japanese transformation into modern democracy was a of their own making.

No it wasn't. The Meiji restoration modeled itself upon the Prussians, the most notoriously autocratic regime in Europe at the time (for a reason). Their democratic institutions were conceived, codified, and enforced by the will of American occupiers.

QUOTE
Middle-class is also a concept, a frame of mind. Middle-class has mental capital as well in addition to the fiscal one.

And how does one define and evidence the existance of this "frame of mind"?

QUOTE
Bombed to hell? What are you on about? Do you really think that WHOLE of Japan was levelled?

Yes. We literally spared the nuclear targets because we had bombed everything else. Japan used massive amounts of wood construction. We used incinderiary bombs. Tell me, what wasn't? Some strips in the countryside which could no longer support themselves?

QUOTE
And the amazing thing about middle class entreprenourship is that it can get back on its feet in a blink of an eye if the conditions are suitable. West Germany serves as a good example. Im sure your next argument would have been that the success of Japan is of American making etc. Right? Like all good things in the World? Pah-lease..

Entreprenourship and bulk loans from the US via the Marshall plan and similar deals. And yes we did literally write Japan's consitution, form of government, and democratic institutions.

QUOTE
The UK, Scandinavia (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland), Switzerland, Germany, France, Benelux... thats quite alot

Only in your poor deluded world. Iceland and Denmark were one entity (for the obviously stupid, Iceland was NOT a country 100 years ago). Norway and Sweden were united. Finland was simply a Russian territory under the Czar. Germany was not a democracy until 1918 (so no hundred years) and then only till the rise of Hitler, and then only in the west until the fall of the iron curtain. As I said before the list of countries in Europe which have a centenial record of freedom and democracy are:
UK
Netherlands
Belgium
Luxembourg
France
Denmark
Switzerland
Norway and Sweden

Of those the only ones which were able to maintain their democratic tradition without American support would be as follows:
UK
Swizterland
Sweden

Of those the ones which did not actively aid and abet the Nazis:
UK

Guess is beside us in Iraq?

QUOTE
Note that I dont hold it necessary for a country to be independent to enjoys freedoms.

In the english language the term "country" denotes a sovreign state given the context of the statement. Non-sovreign entities are not countries; I take your words at exactly face value.

QUOTE
Germanys democratic process was cut of by the Third Reich, but I do include it to the democratic tradition beginning from the 19th century.

Because you apparently know nothing of German history. The Kaiser was an autocrat; Bismark specifically prevented modern democracy from arising in Germany.

QUOTE
France has had totalitarian periods too, but it's democratic tradition begins from 1789.

I counted France as one which had such freedoms (even though the directorate, Napoleon, and monarchial restoration put quite a crimp into French democracy).

QUOTE
You have to understand that from modern point of view democracy has only existed since WW II.

In other words every modern democratic government in existance owes its existance to the US save the UK, Switzerland and Sweden.

QUOTE
In fact, in many ways today, American citizens have less means of influencing their governments politics than some European nations do. I cannot source this, because I base these facts on a sociology book I had to study for my political science course and Im not bothered to go and look for it because of this. The idea is that while US citizens enjoy larger negative freedoms (ie. the absence of duties towards government) than say, some European nations they similarly lack positive freedoms (ie. the possibility to influence their society) compared to these same nations.

In other words because we preclude the state from infringing on the rights of the individual it is suddenly a lack of freedom

QUOTE
some ways, US politics today is a game of multi-millionaire oligarchs and it has more or less always been like that.

Name a head of state worth less than a million dollars. The blunt fact is if we make the quite valid case that the US is sufficiently large that its state governments are on par with European federal governments (barring the big three) then we have BY FAR more members from the lower echelons of society in government. Further given the ENORMOUS amount of power reserved for the states, it is actually easier to influence society in the US than in Europe because we do not have power essentially centralized into the hands of an all powerful cabinet.

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Power in US equals money and the normal people have very little say in affairs, especially when they dont have more influence in nationwide affairs than to choose between two choices every 4 years: millionaire 1 or millionaire 2 for president?

Apparantly you are entirely ignorant of the US governmental structure. The president of the US has far less control of the government than a european head of state. Between the house and state governments the people have enormous power and can manage to create change without having to sway the entire federal government. The amount of power preserved at the local level dwarfs anything I am aware of in Europes overtly centralized governments.

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US politics is a cut-throat competition between lobbyists for the attention of politicians and maoney talks. Most politics of the grass root level is done civil courts and thanks to punitive damage even that is about money.

Only if one ignores local politics, state level politics, in party work, and the fact that the MAJORITY of money of the systems comes in at under 4,000 dollars per capita (aka hard money) and we raise hundreds of millions of dollars (hell look at Dean's fundraising).

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So Im sorry to say your sardonic answer went to waste. US is nothing special although you like to think so.

The only reason the majority of reason is free, nothing special. The second longest currently enduring democracy, nothing special. The nation which shoulders the bulk of world deterannce, nothing special. The nation that rebuilt Europe and Japan, nothing special. Sole super power in the world, nothing special.

Leader of the free world is not an empty title. Indeed it is because we are unique in the world that so much hate is directed at us. But let's recap. First you completely ignored the question of disparity, dealing in non-relative terms; then stated patently false information; then elected to quibble about the meaning of "members of the press"; disregard a respect poll for no specific reason; repeat unsubstaniated claims; spout a new lie; argue that Japan was really a democracy in disguise or just about to form before we made them after WWII (knowing jack didly squat about Japan); admit you lied about a "score of nations" but keep up messing up the facts; and end with a staggering display of ignorance about the balance of power in America (focusing solely on the federal government which even an noviate student of American history would know to be retarded). Yes indeed it went to waste, pearls before swine and all.
Inhumanity
I read the post. Dont have time to answer it now though (took me an hour to write the revious answer). I'll get back to this if Im bothered.
Wintermute
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Name a head of state worth less than a million dollars.


If the time when s/he came to the position counts then I'd say Tarja Halonen, the current president of Finland.

At the time she was elected she owned one house or apartment, owned 2,5 apartments which were rented, one summer cottage and had a few shares of a local phone company and about 50,000€ of debt.

It might be close but depending on the value of the apartments it could very well be under a million dollars.

And even if she's over the limit it's pretty safe guess that there are some who aren't.
Inhumanity
Ok.. ding ding - round 2. I'll answer topics separately. First the media coverage.

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BS. I have seen tours through Iraqi hospitals, injured civillians from Fallujah, and civillians alleged to have been hurt by the US earlier on ... and that was all this weekend.


You are partially correct but imo the whole scale of the civilian tragedy has been ignored in the media - especially during the early stages of the war when it was "unpatriotic" to criticise tha war or display the downside of it. In case of Aghanistan - a war with even greated popularity in USA - this was even more contrasted. Whole villages were annihilated and the public was none the wiser. Of late, when it has become "trendy" to critisice the US was effort, the civilian hardship has gotten more focus but imo compared to the recent prison incident reports of civilian casualties and injuries has been a bit shallow. But thats how its seen from the European perspective. Maybe it has been looked into more thoroughly recently in the American media.

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The media gives a disparate amount of coverage to the alleged wrongs of America.


Can you contest this setting? What good - besides capturing Saddam and dismantling his terror structure has US managed to achieve so far? From where Im standing things havent improved that much.

One must also take into consideration the nature of todays media. Bad news sell. 5 US soldiers die in a bomb explosion - Top Story! Abdullah, a former Baath official, sets up a grocery store - Nobody gives a shit! I dont like that trend either, but really: how many people actually question the way news are produced and sold to the public these days?

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Exactly what was wrong with Forsa's methodology?


You know that I cannot answer this. I dont know methodology they used. I also dont know what kind of questions they used, but I'd certainly like to know. The problem with survey analysis (and this may not even be a survey study but a gallup or a poll) is that the results may be greatly dependent on the the manner in which the questions are set up. Polls are particularly bad at this. For example if the question was that "Do you believe US is somehow responsible for 9-11?" gives radically different results than "Do you believe in a zionist conspiracy according to which the jewish branch of US government planned and executed 9-11 in cooperation with al-Qaeda?". Further differing resutl would be received if the question would be an open survey: "Who in your opinion was the main culprit of 9-11 terror strikes?".

Not only would I have to see the survey analysis to form a conclusive opinion on it, but I would have to see the article about it published in Die Zeit. Journalists are legendary at misinterpreting statistics and surveys. If this result would be quoted from a sociology journal it would have more credibility but newspapers just arent credible sources in stuff like this. I can tell you this from my own experience. People give too much credit to the "professionalism" and "truthfulness" of the public media.

But again, the results can also be accurate. That would be quite disturbing. Take note that Im not making a statement about the survey results as such but merely raising some important factors that need to be considered when reading these. Lambert clearly had no considerations other than that soon Europe can be equalled with Middle East in US crusade on terror.

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Further I would note that Die Ziet is a liberal paper, and thus has no incentive to spin it that more Germans beleive 9/11 was a conspiracy.


Do not think in terms of liberal/conservative when dealing with European media. American political spectrum has very little to do with European political affiliations. Germany is a social-democratic country. Their conservatives would belong to the far leftwing of the dem party on issue concerning welfare, job markets, labour union, foreign policy. Only on certain issue liek religion or immigration would the two meet.

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Do you have any counter evidence or any critiques of the actual methodology? Or do you intend to simply dismiss data for not good reason because it disagrees with your view of the world?


I addressed this already above. But to elaborate: I cannot dismiss data that I havent seen. All I have is your word on what read in Die Zeit written by a journalist who has interpreted to his/her best ability a survey conducted by Forsa Institute. However, if I saw to data and it would give compelling evidence that theres indeed disturbing views afoot in the public Im not in the habit of dismissing that simply because it contradicts my world views.


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You presented ZERO evidence to support your claim. You have not shown that we have a "prison culture", that such a thing is either violent or cruel nor that any of that leads to something like what happened in this scandal. The blunt fact of the matter is these individuals had NO previous experience with the civillian prison system and committed these acts. Hell remember what the Canadians did in Somalia? Do you intend to tell me that that was caused by their prison culture?


It becomes gruesomely laborous if I have to source EVERYTHING I say. In some case you should do some research of your own if you find someone claims so unbelievable. Thats what I do. But to elaborate: you do have a prison culture. In fact it has been debated on severeal threads in the past. American prison culture is focused on punishing rather than rehabilitating, it relies on tough discipline rather than reasoning, it emphasises the guilt of the inmates by humiliating them, making them do useless labour and stripping them of normal activities or chance for education. Some maximum security prisons are nothing but human storages. The web is full of articles on this. Go google.

And I dont know what the canadians did in Somalia, but Id like to hear about it.
Inhumanity
And then history, my university major...

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The US was never a dictatorship. Neither was the Venetian republic. Neither was the Ligurian republic. The Icelandic nation was always based upon the Althing (prior to 1262). Further the various European kings were rarely dictators, most had powers limited by the nobility and certainly various of the American Indian socities were never dictatorial.


I believe it was the tyranny of king George that drove the 13 colonies to declare independence, but technically you are correct, US was not a tyranny, but a colony before it declared independence. However, that adds something to the argument on the justification of independence if US indeed was NOT ruled by a tyrant..

My argument was that all countries/nations/colonies/grand duchys/city-states/empires/kingdoms/autonomous what-nots have been governed by more or less absolutist regimes before democracy was introduced and even after that the developement is usually gradual rather than instant.

My terminology was vague, I admit. I forgot I was debating with the master of semantics. The idea is that democracy was preceded by governments of force and dictates rather than social contract and compromise. Whether the dictatorial regime was an monarchy with absolutist or aristocratic tendencies, or an oligarchy, it doesnt matter. My answer was a counter to your claim that dictatorships somehow negate the possibility of indigenous political thinking (eg. Japan in your opinion). If that is so then how do you explain absolutist France who produced some of the brightest thinkers of the Enlightenment?

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This has been another useless fact. The civil society of Japan is a direct descendant of the military code, mainly Bushido. Japan's "civil society" was simply millenia old military custom.


Let me adress this on a more general level. First, Im not an expert on Japanese history. I remember very little of it from my elementary courses. Therefore Im not going to go on the level of details with you because you apparently know more about this subject than I do. What Im saying is that inspite your knowledge your intepretation is wrong. First, civil society: your understanding of civilisations and cultures is very shallow if you think that a custom can permeate the entire society and dominate it at an almost brainwashing efficiency. Japan may've been permeated by military customs like Prussia, but theres more to society than its hegemonic code. As soon as Japan stepped out of the agricultural society it was subjected to influences on a grand scale. This same process is now happenin in China. Modernisation requires education and education means new ideas which means indigenous activity at the grass-root level ie. the formation of the civil society begins.

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he Meiji restoration modeled itself upon the Prussians, the most notoriously autocratic regime in Europe at the time (for a reason). Their democratic institutions were conceived, codified, and enforced by the will of American occupiers.


Again, you're partially correct, but your interpretation is wrong. The official discourse does not dominate the entire society. It did not do so in Prussia and similarly not in Japan. Yes, the democratic principles of modern Japan were codified by US after WW II and for that the honour goes to the wise politicians of US. But you are wrong if you think that US can just write a demcoratic legislation and impose it on a nation that has no idea what democracy is about. A primitive society that deals by force and authority rather than by negotiation, compromise and social contract cannot adopt democracy. It needs to develop at its own pace. My claim is that Japan had the required democratic elements, the experience in social contracting and negotiation at the time of WW II. They had lapsed into military dictatorship - just like Germany - but it didnt mean the civili society wasnt there.

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And how does one define and evidence the existance of this "frame of mind"?


Through sociology and political study. Philosophers have tackled with this for 150 years now.

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We literally spared the nuclear targets because we had bombed everything else. Japan used massive amounts of wood construction. We used incinderiary bombs. Tell me, what wasn't? Some strips in the countryside which could no longer support themselves?


Again, I cannot contest this without spending a week or two in the library, but I find it hard to believe that US would bomb Japan out of sheer delight. It was bombbed, no doubt, but what purpose does it serve to bomb irrelevant targets?

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Entreprenourship and bulk loans from the US via the Marshall plan and similar deals.


Marshall plan was designed for European countries, not Japan. But yes, US funded and invested, but it was the japanese middle-class and entrepreneurs that made the money work for the investors. You pump billions abroad, but if the middle-class and the proper infrastructure aint there the money goes to waste (like in Africa).

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And yes we did literally write Japan's consitution, form of government, and democratic institutions.


And even if you did, it was the japanese that made them work.

This example has been an interesting topic, but it digresses from the main point. Iraq or Afghanistan are nothing like post-war Japan. US imposed democracy on Japan but it worked only because the Japanese were already ready for this change. They had had over half a century to develope their society for this. Iraq and Afganistan are primitive societies which now face the threat of islamic fundamentalism in addition. The two case are not comparable, nor do they substantiate your claims nor do they invalidate my theory.

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Iceland and Denmark were one entity (for the obviously stupid, Iceland was NOT a country 100 years ago). Norway and Sweden were united.


Save your insults for those who truly deserve them. If you would get of your high horse for a second you might actually understand what people are trying to say. I am familiar with Scandinavian history, afterall Im one myself. Therefore I can also appreciate the distinct nature of scandinavian people. If you knew this you might know also Norway was merged with Sweden in 1814 (it belonged to Denmark prior to that) and at the same time Norway received a new constitution making it a parliamentary monarchy. Earlier you went on about Icelandic Altinget and now you claim that Iceland had no political identity because it belonged to Denmark. You need to understand that Europe was full of all kinds of odd arrangements and democracy has far greater history in Europe than what can be concluded by merely perusing an Atlas.

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Finland was simply a Russian territory under the Czar.


Oh really? So the autonomous grand duchy of Finland, its separate currency, tariffs, parliament, government, etc. were all just my imagination?

Territory as a russian geopolitical unit is called krai and its under the direct jurisdiction of the government in Moscow. An autonomous region (Finland was a Grand Duchy 1809-1917, most are republics these days) has its own constitution, head of state, legislation etc. You need to REALLY get you facts straight. I may not knwo as much as you do about Japan or US but I do know this.

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Germany was not a democracy until 1918 (so no hundred years) and then only till the rise of Hitler, and then only in the west until the fall of the iron curtain.


Again, the democratic tradition of Germany does not begin from Weimar republic. You can try to nitpick these as much as you like but it doesnt dismerit my reasoning.

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n the english language the term "country" denotes a sovreign state given the context of the statement. Non-sovreign entities are not countries;


Thank you for that lecture.

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I take your words at exactly face value.


Yes. Its so much more productive and usefull than trying to, for example, understand the idea of the post.

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Because you apparently know nothing of German history. The Kaiser was an autocrat; Bismark specifically prevented modern democracy from arising in Germany.


Lol. Yes, Im the one who knows nothing about German history... like the fact that Bismarck was not the Kaiser but chancellor of the Reich. Kaiser was the figurehead of the Empire. Bismarck was made to resign by Kaiser Wilhelm II so although the chancellor had wide powers he was not an absolute ruler - nor was the Kaiser. You must be feeling pretty stupid right about now, DT.

It seems to me, that you should really take more lessons in the history of ideas and political thought, sociology and culture so that you can begin to understand the organic developement of society. For example, eventhough German Reich from 1871 to 1918 was a state run by a autocratic chancellor and a junker aristocracy it facilitated some of the greatest political thought and movements of the 19th century from Hegel to Marx, and communist and social democratic movement. Did you know Bismarck was the first politicial to apply socia-democratic legislation?

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In other words every modern democratic government in existance owes its existance to the US save the UK, Switzerland and Sweden.


*Ribbit* More toads jumping from you mouth.. *ribbit*

For example, Finland was the only axis nation to remain democratic. In fact, technically speaking, Finland was at war with USA from 1941 to 1945, cant remember if there was an actual declaration of war though. How do you explain that, professor?
Inhumanity
Phew... final round

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n other words because we preclude the state from infringing on the rights of the individual it is suddenly a lack of freedom


Yes, nice understanding you got there. Read again:

NEGATIVE FREEDOM: lack of intereference
POSITIVE FREEDOM: ability to influence things

US has maxed the former and minimised the latter. It tends correlate too: heavy regulation goes with greater influence on affairs.

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Name a head of state worth less than a million dollars.


Wintermute answered this one already, and I had the same first answer, but I believe the asnwer goes for all heads of state in Scandinavia. If you go through the MP's you'll find even more "common people".

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its state governments are on par with European federal governments (barring the big three) then we have BY FAR more members from the lower echelons of society in government.


Interesting. I have the exact opposite impression. Politics in America is focused on media coverage that you simply cannot run if you dont have the money and the proper networks to raise money - even on state level. I could be wrong though. Its just an impression.

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Further given the ENORMOUS amount of power reserved for the states, it is actually easier to influence society in the US than in Europe because we do not have power essentially centralized into the hands of an all powerful cabinet.


First off, European govts are not like US govts. We have deal with multiparty parliaments here. When either party has the majority in both houses in US and a man in the oval office the govt does pretty much what it damn pleases. So European govts have a lot less influence than you think.

Second, who exactly is the executive branch on State level in US. I know the legislation is made by state parliaments, but are the states run like the federal govt?

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Apparantly you are entirely ignorant of the US governmental structure.


You mean like I didnt know anything about German history...?

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The president of the US has far less control of the government than a european head of state.


How can you even say that? European heads of state? EU alone has 25 members and all of them have different legislations. Furthermore, I believe the president of the US is called " the most powerful man on Earth" and especially if he knows what hes doing (unlike the current jackass dragged by his security advisors) he can achieve quite alot (especially if he has the support of the Houses).

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Between the house and state governments the people have enormous power and can manage to create change without having to sway the entire federal government. The amount of power preserved at the local level dwarfs anything I am aware of in Europes overtly centralized governments.


Look man, I know most decisions are done on state level in US. Thats why its a federation. The question is: who are the people running the states? Joe Millionaires or Joe Averages?

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Only if one ignores local politics, state level politics, in party work,


I suppose excluding the largest cities the scale is small enough to serve others than the networked and funded lobbyists, but I would not find it hard to believe State level is also permeated by money-fueled politics. If you have the cash, you have the voice. Then there are the citizen movements, but imo a political system which only notices you if you activate is a bizarre one.

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The only reason the majority of reason is free, nothing special. The second longest currently enduring democracy, nothing special. The nation which shoulders the bulk of world deterannce, nothing special. The nation that rebuilt Europe and Japan, nothing special. Sole super power in the world, nothing special.


No comprende the 1st one, no habla dawntreaderese.

2) Were not sporting for Guinness book of world record here. Yes, US has an old "democracy" but that record is far from spotless. I could argue that New Zealand has the oldest Womens Suffrage in the world and that Finland has the 2nd oldest, but I entertain no illusion that such historical curiosities make our democracies somehow special.

3) Again not sure what this means exactly, but I think its has very little to do with teh American democracy.

4) Correction: funded the rebuilding. We can still build what we destroyed, but again: what does this economic remark have to do with US democracy?

5) Sole superpower - very special - in geopolitical sense, but it still says very little about US democracy.

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Indeed it is because we are unique in the world that so much hate is directed at us.


Lol. You're no more unique than any other nation. Yes, you've achieved great things but on any level those achievements are not unique and certainly it says nothing about your uniqueness on an individual level.

Also, you might want to stop and think who it is exactly that hates you? Islamic fundies and a few net trolls. Thats hardly a majority of the people. Do not mistake critique with hatred. Many people dislike the actions of your government. Thats far from hating USA.

Let's recap: first you extrapolate a single study to be representative of a continent-wide trend and exercise no criticism, then you mistakenly think US bipartisan flamefest can be applied to describe European political affiliations, then you flame me for not providing an answer to a question I've not yet had the possibility to answer and furthermore cannot be answered, then you critisize me for not producing evidence while making your own unsourced claims, then you proceed to most extensive nitpicking I've ever witnessed on U-P and then applaude yourself for being so thorough, you present an invalid analogue and subtract false conclusions based in it, then you proceed to glorify US as the world saviour and rebuilder while making several elementary mistakes in historical knowledge, then you insult my intellect on places where you fumble twice as badly and end with a glory-glory-hallelujah sermon on American superiority with incredibly weak arguments based on nothing but your own opinions.

See, two can play this game. But as fun as its been, I must end these extensive posts now, because its really starting to take a toll on my RL. You are an educated fellow, dawntreader with an acute sense for debate, but you are cocky and arrogant and thats a bit hard to deal with. I respect you as a debator. Without conservative wiseguys like you it would be pretty dull for us liberals here at U-P.
zaragosa
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In other words every modern democratic government in existance owes its existance to the US save the UK, Switzerland and Sweden.


I may sound overly skeptical here (and I'm sorry to barge into this excellent debate like this), but how do you know what would have happened, had the US never interfered?
dawntreader
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Wintermute answered this one already, and I had the same first answer, but I believe the asnwer goes for all heads of state in Scandinavia. If you go through the MP's you'll find even more "common people".

I see you actually have people who are not perpetual bodies within the government machinery who rise to to the PM post?

I'm sorry but Europe has few people who aren't career politicians in ANY high level government post (something which is somewhat common in the US), yes there are precious few US politicians who are not party hacks and perpetual office holders or rich; but there are even fewer such persons in Europe (so far as I have seen). Somehow the US has managed to have uneducated men born to poverty rise to the presidency. Sometimes they build a successful business first, sometimes they build a successful career, sometimes they spend decades working up the party ladder ... but the "common man" can aspire to spectacular heights. When we look over the governorships it appears even more pronouncedly.


Further you have to remember that on average Americans are richer (if Sweden were a US state, it would be the poorest per capita in the US) and hence we should see a higher weighting of income due to that fact as well as the fact that US federal office holders are a much smaller cross section of the population and thus not a statistically consistent sample.

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Interesting. I have the exact opposite impression. Politics in America is focused on media coverage that you simply cannot run if you dont have the money and the proper networks to raise money - even on state level. I could be wrong though. Its just an impression.

Who was the last Scandinavian PM who didn't spend decades inside the party machinery? Becoming a state rep in the US can be done with a minimal budget and has been done successfully by numerous individuals as independants with big money or proper networks.

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First off, European govts are not like US govts. We have deal with multiparty parliaments here. When either party has the majority in both houses in US and a man in the oval office the govt does pretty much what it damn pleases. So European govts have a lot less influence than you think.

BS. It takes 60 votes to stop a fillibuster in the US senate, do you know when the last 60+ majority in the senate occurred? Even there the powers of the congress are vastly restricted by the Supreme Court and the States. Much of the power is left to the states and getting the requisite closure votes (let alone amending the constitution) places severe limitations on the US government.

In the parliamentary system any majority can effect any change not probited by a handful (in comparison to American governments) of checks. In the most extreme cases the government can do whatever a simple majority can push through. For instance when Britain cracked down on guns, even should a majority government in the US wish to do so it would face a fillibuster in the senate, supreme court challenges up the wazoo, and the states moving against the bill.

Did you not just say that Europeans enjoy more "positive freedoms" which you defined to be "ability to influence things"; how can this be if your government has less ability to influence things than ours?


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Second, who exactly is the executive branch on State level in US. I know the legislation is made by state parliaments, but are the states run like the federal govt?

The governor. The exact machanisms of governance depend on the state constitution so the entire executive branch as well as the full function of government is different state to state (i.e. some offices in the executive are appointed in some states, but elected in others). Broadly speaking there federal executive is a model for the state (historically it was the federal executive that was modeled after the state).

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You mean like I didnt know anything about German history...?

Yes.

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How can you even say that? European heads of state? EU alone has 25 members and all of them have different legislations. Furthermore, I believe the president of the US is called " the most powerful man on Earth" and especially if he knows what hes doing (unlike the current jackass dragged by his security advisors) he can achieve quite alot (especially if he has the support of the Houses).

How can I say that? Because the parliamentary system always has an executive who has a majority (or the ability to form a majority) in the legislature. Further the amount of power retained by the central government is nigh unto absolute. The US president is the most powerful man on earth, correct. He however has less relative power than the head of most parliamentary systems. How can this be suppose the US has 1000 points of absolute power in the world on some system. Suppose the UK has 200. Of those let us say the POTUS controls 250 of those points while the PM controls 150 of his. Who is the most powerful in absolute terms? The POTUS, who has the most relative amount of control? The PM.

Seriously european parliaments have massively more powers invested in them than the US congress and presidency combined. The only reason the US president is the most powerful man in the world is because the US is the most powerful nation in the world by such a large margin. Back in 1914 that was not remotely close to the case.

Think about this way? Who establishes education guidelines? Who writes the criminel code? Who builds the highways system? Who writes the civil code? Who administers elections? Who levies taxes? Who maintains military forces? All of these things, in the US are done by state or local governments (though not at the exclusion of the federal government). It is quite common for the state to have one set of rules and powers and for the federal to have a complimentary set of powers (or vice-versa).

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Look man, I know most decisions are done on state level in US. Thats why its a federation. The question is: who are the people running the states? Joe Millionaires or Joe Averages?

Joe averages. Your typical state is run by the legislature which tends to be middle-class individuals. Europe tends to be ruled by a select cabinet which makes most decisions, the US tends to be ruled by broad local legislatures. It is vastly easier to be elected into a state legislature than to say be a MP in most european countries.

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I suppose excluding the largest cities the scale is small enough to serve others than the networked and funded lobbyists, but I would not find it hard to believe State level is also permeated by money-fueled politics. If you have the cash, you have the voice. Then there are the citizen movements, but imo a political system which only notices you if you activate is a bizarre one.

Most state legislators are middle class as I understand the term. In numerous states we have term limits which further keeps it to be average joes, so the party hacks move up or move out.

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No comprende the 1st one, no habla dawntreaderese.

Wrong keystroke on my part that should read:

The only reason the majority of democratic societies are free, no big deal.

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Lol. You're no more unique than any other nation. Yes, you've achieved great things but on any level those achievements are not unique and certainly it says nothing about your uniqueness on an individual level.

Then why did we, a backwater in the middle of nowhere, rise to become the unquestioned superpower in the world? Other nations have fallen before our rise. Other colonial nations have failed to acheive anything close to our level of success. Most tellingly though, why do we remain the single most desired nation to immigrate into?

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first you extrapolate a single study to be representative of a continent-wide trend and exercise no criticism

No you contested that some europeans beleive that 9/11 is conspiracy and called those that do Neo-nazis and yellow press. I provided evidence to the contrary; in the complete abscence of contradictory evidence presented by yourself or a specific critique of a scientifically valid methodology - my results are therefore assumed to be correct.

Post counter evidence, post a specific critique of why the evidence is wrong, or stop yammering.

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then you mistakenly think US bipartisan flamefest can be applied to describe European political affiliations

I see lying is another of your pastimes. I never talked about the partisanship of either set of governments.

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then you critisize me for not producing evidence while making your own unsourced claims

Again a lie. I specifically stated that it was a Forsa study published in Die Ziet. With a trivial amount of effort I can further tell you that the poll was reported on July, 23, 2003 by Reuters. I'm sorry but I have heard no reason why Forsa is not to be trusted nor why Reuters is not a run of the mill reporting source. Do I really need to have full profesional citations in an internet debate? If I do, where in HELL are yours?

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then you proceed to glorify US as the world saviour and rebuilder while making several elementary mistakes in historical knowledge, then you insult my intellect on places where you fumble twice as badly and end with a glory-glory-hallelujah sermon on American superiority with incredibly weak arguments based on nothing but your own opinions.

I'll get to the history blunders.

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You are an educated fellow, dawntreader with an acute sense for debate, but you are cocky and arrogant and thats a bit hard to deal with. I respect you as a debator.

Whenever you are wrong and your position indefensible, attack the other person. When they are more informed and are not concillatory to your BS position be sure to talk about cocky (Overly self-confident, gee I have confidence because the facts happen to be on my side) and arrogant (Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others, given that I have no such assumption or ever intimated such ...).

dawntreader
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If the time when s/he came to the position counts then I'd say Tarja Halonen, the current president of Finland.

At the time she was elected she owned one house or apartment, owned 2,5 apartments which were rented, one summer cottage and had a few shares of a local phone company and about 50,000€ of debt.

It might be close but depending on the value of the apartments it could very well be under a million dollars.

And even if she's over the limit it's pretty safe guess that there are some who aren't.

I was under the impression that they were not.

In any event remembering the wealth disparity between Finland and the US, a Finn with a million dollars is just as "wealthy" relative to his compatriots as an American with 1.4 million dollars in equity (actually more because the average American holds a greater amount of wealth because more Americans own their domiciles).

Essentially the fact remains, heads of states tend to come from the top 5% of the economic pile.

Thank you though.

dawntreader
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You are partially correct but imo the whole scale of the civilian tragedy has been ignored in the media - especially during the early stages of the war when it was "unpatriotic" to criticise tha war or display the downside of it. In case of Aghanistan - a war with even greated popularity in USA - this was even more contrasted. Whole villages were annihilated and the public was none the wiser. Of late, when it has become "trendy" to critisice the US was effort, the civilian hardship has gotten more focus but imo compared to the recent prison incident reports of civilian casualties and injuries has been a bit shallow. But thats how its seen from the European perspective. Maybe it has been looked into more thoroughly recently in the American media.

Again no. We were routinely treated to images of civillian wounded in the Iraq war, direct Al Jezeera feeds, and the like. The reason Afghanistan saw so few tragedies is because so few camera crews were operating in Afghanistan. If a village in the mountains is hit by accident the chances of a working video camera catching it are nil. Nothing to do with censorship and everything to do with logistics.

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Can you contest this setting? What good - besides capturing Saddam and dismantling his terror structure has US managed to achieve so far? From where Im standing things havent improved that much.

Freedom of the press, no good for you eh? Freedom of religion, no good for you eh? Freedom of speach, no good for you eh?

The average Iraqi or Afghani is multiplacitively more free than before US intervention. While it is hard to quantify the value of freedom, I would hardly say such freedom doesn't count as "that much". Further it has only been a single year, it took us 10 years to rebuild the FRG, I would not expect it to be an order of magnitude quicker here.

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One must also take into consideration the nature of todays media. Bad news sell. 5 US soldiers die in a bomb explosion - Top Story! Abdullah, a former Baath official, sets up a grocery store - Nobody gives a shit! I dont like that trend either, but really: how many people actually question the way news are produced and sold to the public these days?

So why is it so henious when a conservative commenator points out the very real fact that our accomplisments get zero press time, our barbarities get disparate coverage, and the atrocities of our enemies are (relatively) undercovered?

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You know that I cannot answer this. I dont know methodology they used. I also dont know what kind of questions they used, but I'd certainly like to know. The problem with survey analysis (and this may not even be a survey study but a gallup or a poll) is that the results may be greatly dependent on the the manner in which the questions are set up. Polls are particularly bad at this. For example if the question was that "Do you believe US is somehow responsible for 9-11?" gives radically different results than "Do you believe in a zionist conspiracy according to which the jewish branch of US government planned and executed 9-11 in cooperation with al-Qaeda?". Further differing resutl would be received if the question would be an open survey: "Who in your opinion was the main culprit of 9-11 terror strikes?".

Reuters, July 23 2003. Die Zeit shortly before that. Have you had a specific problem with a specific Forsa poll in the past? Do you have any evidential reason why we should a priori discard their data?

QUOTE
But again, the results can also be accurate. That would be quite disturbing. Take note that Im not making a statement about the survey results as such but merely raising some important factors that need to be considered when reading these. Lambert clearly had no considerations other than that soon Europe can be equalled with Middle East in US crusade on terror.

No lambert, quite correctly, pointed out that SOME europeans do beleive it is a conspiracy; and the most prominent theory is that the zionists/neoconservatives set it up. By no means did he say that Europe would be equivalent to the MiddleEast (indeed conservatives are very rarely subscribers to the current fetish about moral equivalency).

QUOTE

Do not think in terms of liberal/conservative when dealing with European media. American political spectrum has very little to do with European political affiliations. Germany is a social-democratic country. Their conservatives would belong to the far leftwing of the dem party on issue concerning welfare, job markets, labour union, foreign policy. Only on certain issue liek religion or immigration would the two meet.

I was using the German definition of liberal on the spectrum. Compared to the US spectrum - Europe has moderate, liberal, and radical papers.

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It becomes gruesomely laborous if I have to source EVERYTHING I say. In some case you should do some research of your own if you find someone claims so unbelievable. Thats what I do. But to elaborate: you do have a prison culture. In fact it has been debated on severeal threads in the past. American prison culture is focused on punishing rather than rehabilitating, it relies on tough discipline rather than reasoning, it emphasises the guilt of the inmates by humiliating them, making them do useless labour and stripping them of normal activities or chance for education. Some maximum security prisons are nothing but human storages. The web is full of articles on this.

How about sourcing anything you say? American prison culture, the very term shows a failure to grasp the situation. There is NO American prison culture, the penal regulations very from state to state and very still more against the federal statutes or the military penal system. Texas has the death penalty, Michigan does not. California has mandatory rehab for drug offenders, Mississippi does not. The very fact that you can lump such disparate systems into one "culture" shows that you did precious little research. The one similarity I have seen across state lines is that EVERY inmate has a chance at education. Name one penal system within the US where inmates cannot pursue education.

The web is full of articles on this. The web is also full of articles that HIV does not cause AIDS, that 9/11 was a zionist/neoconservative plot ... being published on the web means just about nothing.

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And I dont know what the canadians did in Somalia, but Id like to hear about it.

Canadian airborne troops tortured a Somali teenager to death while attempting to question him for information. I beleive they beat him death with bare hands but it was back in '93. As I recall it was 2 commando units from the Princess Pat's Can Lt Inf.

In general they did just about everything the 800th MP has been acused of doing and also torching a superior's car and using explosives for entertainment.

So tell me again is this caused by Canada's prison culture or could it possibly be that such things are not a priori related?

dawntreader
QUOTE
believe it was the tyranny of king George that drove the 13 colonies to declare independence, but technically you are correct, US was not a tyranny, but a colony before it declared independence. However, that adds something to the argument on the justification of independence if US indeed was NOT ruled by a tyrant..

You beleive wrongly. While the declaration does read against the king, he took none of the actions. It was actually a rebellion against parliament (who was the perpetrator of said tyrannies) and fighting commenced before King George decided to side with parliament. Americans like to talk about rebelling against a tyrannical king because it sounds so much nobler than the fact that we rebelling against a non-representative parliament who provoked us and committed all the agregious acts.

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My argument was that all countries/nations/colonies/grand duchys/city-states/empires/kingdoms/autonomous what-nots have been governed by more or less absolutist regimes before democracy was introduced and even after that the developement is usually gradual rather than instant.

Some of the Native American communities appear to have operated without ever having an absolutist regime. The Venetian and Ligurian republics never had such regimes (Particularly the Venetian which was founded in a swamp after fleeing the barbarian invasion).

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My terminology was vague, I admit. I forgot I was debating with the master of semantics.

No your terminology was wrong. It is not semantics when one uses a word and uses the proper definition of said word.

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The idea is that democracy was preceded by governments of force and dictates rather than social contract and compromise. Whether the dictatorial regime was an monarchy with absolutist or aristocratic tendencies, or an oligarchy, it doesnt matter.

Then why did you state something completely different? For all intents and purposes you have just said that all democratic governments arise after non-democratic governments have ruled. Whoop de do, does the word tautology mean anything to you?

QUOTE

Let me adress this on a more general level. First, Im not an expert on Japanese history. I remember very little of it from my elementary courses. Therefore Im not going to go on the level of details with you because you apparently know more about this subject than I do.

While I was a science major I am a history minor. Genetically I am part Japanese so I have fair interest in the history.

QUOTE
But you are wrong if you think that US can just write a demcoratic legislation and impose it on a nation that has no idea what democracy is about. A primitive society that deals by force and authority rather than by negotiation, compromise and social contract cannot adopt democracy.

BS. The Australian Abrogines dealt by negotiation, compromise and social contract (as did some American Indian tribes) despite the fact that they were quite "primitive". Indeed tribal society is quite likely to be based upon negotiation (it hurts the tribe to settle matters with force), negotiation, and social contract (elaborate social contracts are witnessed in tribal societies wherein one individuals assumes certain duties, i.e. hunting/security, while another assumes other duties, i.e. limited agriculture).

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My claim is that Japan had the required democratic elements, the experience in social contracting and negotiation at the time of WW II. They had lapsed into military dictatorship - just like Germany - but it didnt mean the civili society wasnt there.

Japan had been ruled by a military autocracy or aristocracy since time immemorable (first it was the divine emporer, then his "secular" shogun who ruled in his stead, then the divine emporer, then a nice military junta); why this made Japan more "advanced" than Iraq, I'll never fathom.

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Through sociology and political study. Philosophers have tackled with this for 150 years now.

And I can quote multiple, and even contradictory, definitions hence why I want to know which one you are using.

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Marshall plan was designed for European countries, not Japan. But yes, US funded and invested, but it was the japanese middle-class and entrepreneurs that made the money work for the investors. You pump billions abroad, but if the middle-class and the proper infrastructure aint there the money goes to waste (like in Africa).

I see and what evidence do you have that Iraq will be Africa and not Japan?

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And even if you did, it was the japanese that made them work.

Wonderful, and why can't the Iraqis be the ones to make them work here? Is because they are Arab and have millenia of civilisation under their belt? That they have had civil society for well over six thousand years?

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Iraq or Afghanistan are nothing like post-war Japan. US imposed democracy on Japan but it worked only because the Japanese were already ready for this change. They had had over half a century to develope their society for this. Iraq and Afganistan are primitive societies which now face the threat of islamic fundamentalism in addition. The two case are not comparable, nor do they substantiate your claims nor do they invalidate my theory.

Iraq was the centre of the Babylonian empire, the Caliphite, and a host of other civilisations with "civil society" and middle classes; it predates all of European civilisation. Afghanistan was the centre of the Mughal empire (early period) and had a long history of civil society. Native political philosophers have been expounding since before Rome was born and have continued to do so for centuries. What exactly is missing?

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to say. I am familiar with Scandinavian history, afterall Im one myself. Therefore I can also appreciate the distinct nature of scandinavian people. If you knew this you might know also Norway was merged with Sweden in 1814 (it belonged to Denmark prior to that) and at the same time Norway received a new constitution making it a parliamentary monarchy.

I am familiar with Scandinavian history, Harald unites Norway in 900 AD (give or take), in 1000 AD Olav I tryg-something-I-can't-recall christianizes it, Harald III fails to conqueor England in 1066, Hakon (can't make the right letter) unites Iceland in 1262, around 1350 the black death hits, 1397 the Khalmar union ("uniting" Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and a few other places takes place, a Pommeramon takes the throne), in 1520 the union disolves and Denmark takes charge (Norway becoming a Danish province shortly thereafter), 1814 the Swedes take Norway from Denmark into a "union" (as I recall it was more or less a shotgun deal), and in 1905 (just shy of your 100 year mark so if I'm wrong about the date, then ) Norway breaks its union with Sweden.

Now did I leave anything out?

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Earlier you went on about Icelandic Altinget and now you claim that Iceland had no political identity because it belonged to Denmark. You need to understand that Europe was full of all kinds of odd arrangements and democracy has far greater history in Europe than what can be concluded by merely perusing an Atlas.

Iceland had the Althing; however Iceland as a country disappeared in 1262. The modern nation of Iceland is not the same as the previous entity. Similar, related, yes. The same, no.

QUOTE
really? So the autonomous grand duchy of Finland, its separate currency, tariffs, parliament, government, etc. were all just my imagination?

No more than the various SSR's or any state in the US. Indeed we have seperate parliaments, government, currency (has been issued much since the depression). Sorry Finland was not a country.

QUOTE
Territory as a russian geopolitical unit is called krai and its under the direct jurisdiction of the government in Moscow. An autonomous region (Finland was a Grand Duchy 1809-1917, most are republics these days) has its own constitution, head of state, legislation etc. You need to REALLY get you facts straight. I may not knwo as much as you do about Japan or US but I do know this.

I'm sorry let's compare. The state of Iowa, has a constitution, head of state (same as head of government), legislation, etc. Why gee golly Iowa is country

The fact that Finland enjoyed privileges under the empire, or that it was different from other patches of territory does not a country make. Seriously look over the powers which the States of the USA can exercise and you will notice that Finland was fairly similar.

Please do not presume I am ignorant, I assumed it would be self evident that Finland was a territory in the Russian empire in a similar manner to which Iowa is a territory in the United States of America. A similar comparison could be made with various Ottoman subdivisions, Japanese subdivisions, or to a much lesser extent the current regional divisions in the UK.

QUOTE

Again, the democratic tradition of Germany does not begin from Weimar republic. You can try to nitpick these as much as you like but it doesnt dismerit my reasoning.

I'm sorry, you seriously think that the tax based parliament was anything more than a rubber stamp and eye candy to keep the people in line?

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Yes. Its so much more productive and usefull than trying to, for example, understand the idea of the post.

If you fail to say what you mean I lack the means to wrench it from your mind.

QUOTE
Lol. Yes, Im the one who knows nothing about German history... like the fact that Bismarck was not the Kaiser but chancellor of the Reich. Kaiser was the figurehead of the Empire. Bismarck was made to resign by Kaiser Wilhelm II so although the chancellor had wide powers he was not an absolute ruler - nor was the Kaiser. You must be feeling pretty stupid right about now, DT.

Where in HELL did I say Bismarck was the Kaiser? Nowhere. I said Bismarck kept the state autocratic, and he did (and I can even tell you why). I can take you through the evolution of the German state (starting with Napoleon "disbanding" the HRE if we want to keep the lesson short) and show every step along the way. DO NOT LIE ABOUT WHAT I HAVE SAID.

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Bismarck was made to resign by Kaiser Wilhelm II so although the chancellor had wide powers he was not an absolute ruler - nor was the Kaiser

I swear this is "no true Scotsman" Who was an example of an absolute ruler? The Tsar?

QUOTE

It seems to me, that you should really take more lessons in the history of ideas and political thought, sociology and culture so that you can begin to understand the organic developement of society. For example, eventhough German Reich from 1871 to 1918 was a state run by a autocratic chancellor and a junker aristocracy it facilitated some of the greatest political thought and movements of the 19th century from Hegel to Marx, and communist and social democratic movement. Did you know Bismarck was the first politicial to apply socia-democratic legislation?

Marx:
A. Marx's novel political thought comes of age in Paris in London, attributing it to Germany (where it was neither formed nor written) is specious at best.
B. The Marxist dialectic is terrible political thought, not only has it perpetuated the worst horrors in the history of the world it is banally and demonstrably wrong.


Hegel:
A. Hegel's ideal society is miracously close to that of 1830's Prussia.
B. Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis (yes I know I'm dumbing it down for brevity) rarely fits historical data and is just about tautological (past problems give rise to new solutions).


Bismarck:
Yes, I am well aware of the fact that Bismarck initiated the welfare state, largely in an effort to appease the masses as industrialization displaced them from their livilihoods and he feared luddite tendancies or if one is less generous towards Bismarck he iniated these to keep the masses in line when he outlaws the SD's and tried his abysmal Kuturkampf (sp?) campaign (both of which lead to the Kaiser calling for his resignation).

So all the history aside, what does Iraq lack? It has thousands of years of political thought at least as good as Marx, it has thousands of years of civil society, and had a middleclass under the oil regime.

dawntreader
QUOTE
I may sound overly skeptical here (and I'm sorry to barge into this excellent debate like this), but how do you know what would have happened, had the US never interfered?


Before the US acted the war was being fought against the Soviets in the East and the Brits in the south. The Brits lack the means to cross the channel in force (the means to do so were American) and one of two general courses of history presents itself:

A. Germany wins the struggle in the east. And this leaves the west under the German bootheel. Certainly Hitler had no intention of turning his acquired territories loose.
B. The USSR wins, and there is every reason to beleive that the policies Stalin followed in the Baltic republics would not be repeated. Indeed even the Warsaw Pact countries were kept on a leash (and what restraint that was exhibitied was done almost solely to placate the Brits and Americans).

In any event history turned out the way it did, America provided the means to liberate western europe and stopped the Soviets from gobbling up the west. In the present course of history the existance of all European democratic states, save three, owe that democratic existance to the efforts of the US (as well as the Brits and Soviets).

I suppose one could concoct some fantasy wherein European democracies arise without US intervention, but such is not in line with any reasonable expectation.
Wintermute
QUOTE
In any event remembering the wealth disparity between Finland and the US, a Finn with a million dollars is just as "wealthy" relative to his compatriots as an American with 1.4 million dollars in equity (actually more because the average American holds a greater amount of wealth because more Americans own their domiciles).

Essentially the fact remains, heads of states tend to come from the top 5% of the economic pile.


Checking quickly some numbers I'd say there's no significant wealth disparity between the average Finnish and US person.

Ownership rate in US is around 68% and around 64% in Finland. It was up to 70% in the beginning of 90's but dropped sharply due to a recession, but essentially the numbers are pretty much the same

Average wealth in US would seem to be around $100,000, which is about the same as in Finland. A million dollars would seem to put an american in the top 5% and while I couldn't find the same figures for Finland (at least yet) I'd say it's a pretty safe guess to say that it's the same for Finland. The percentage might be even lower though.

It's not really that surprising that the head of state belongs to that top 5% since they commonly are closer to 60 years old and well-educated and generally have worked in well-paid jobs their whole life. On the other hand it's not that hard to reach that top 5% and I'm not sure I'd call Tarja Halonen a wealthy person.

But how much wealth has the average democratic or republican presidential candidate in the US? $10,000,000 would seem to put an american in the top 0,5%
Inhumanity
Heh heh... you are one slick sob, I tell you that. You "answer" many of my questions by not answering them. Instead you just flood the screen with additional info or more of your opinions. Some questions you leave completely unanswered and in some cases you "pretend" you dont understand my point and deliberately play the devils advocate.

As I said Im pressed for time but I'd like to hear you insight on one of the questions you left unanswered and if you can do it by actually adressing the topic and without insults and self-elevation I'll tell you why imo Iraq will not become a democratic country like Japan did after WW II.

This was the case:

You claimed:
In other words every modern democratic government in existance owes its existance to the US save the UK, Switzerland and Sweden.

And I replied:
For example, Finland was the only axis nation to remain democratic. In fact, technically speaking, Finland was at war with USA from 1941 to 1945, cant remember if there was an actual declaration of war though. How do you explain that, professor?
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ May 13 2004, 03:11 AM)
A. Germany wins the struggle in the east. And this leaves the west under the German bootheel. Certainly Hitler had no intention of turning his acquired territories loose.
B. The USSR wins, and there is every reason to beleive that the policies Stalin followed in the Baltic republics would not be repeated. Indeed even the Warsaw Pact countries were kept on a leash (and what restraint that was exhibitied was done almost solely to placate the Brits and Americans).

Agreed. So what makes you think either of those outcomes would have made the present so much worse than te current status quo? The cultural changes were already happening, and Hitler and his cronies can't last eternally. By now, things would be very different. Who's to say better or worse?
Inhumanity
Dawntreader? Where did you disappear?
dawntreader
QUOTE
Dawntreader? Where did you disappear?

I hae this thing, it's called a wife (or rather she has a thing called a husband); when faced with the choice of spending time online or with my better half ... which do you think I took?

In any event I rarely post more than a handful of times per week, and even then often fail to post in everything I would wish to. Wait at least a week before I've "dissappeared".

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Instead you just flood the screen with additional info or more of your opinions.

I see I flood it with information and opinion based on said fact, whereas you appeal to articles published on the internet as an authority for your opinions.

QUOTE
can do it by actually adressing the topic and without insults and self-elevation I'll tell you why imo Iraq will not become a democratic country like Japan did after WW II.

I see, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings by challenging your intellect.

QUOTE
For example, Finland was the only axis nation to remain democratic. In fact, technically speaking, Finland was at war with USA from 1941 to 1945, cant remember if there was an actual declaration of war though. How do you explain that, professor?

Because the US played shotgun diplomat between the Soviets and the Finns, bluntly Stalin's terms in early '44 are uncoditional surrender in late '44 they are drastically less.

What caused the difference? The ability of Russia to take Finland? Nope, Russia would have been easily able to take Finland once Germany is defeated and the full strength of Mother Russia heads north. The willingness of the Russians to take Finland? Not particularly lowered, while the losses of the second Russo-Finnish war were substantial, they were not out of line with eastern front casualty rates.

The answer is while the Russian offensive in the North stalled, the allies landed in Normandy and were rapidly eating up ground in the west. Stalin could no longer wait to crush Finland at his leisure, he either had to maintain a costly defense in the north, and slow his westward expansion or make peace with the Finns and divert towards more valuable real estate.

In short Americans running rampant through France completely changes Stalin's geopolitical calculations. Had the US declared war upon Finland, it would have been toasted, had Stalin been left with a viable option to eventually take down Finland, he would have (either on the Baltic or Warsaw Pact model).

Finland was never at war with the US, indeed such a state of affairs would have lead to much less pressure on the soviets and likely have resulted in Soviet hegemony in Finland (like the Warsaw Pact). We served as intermediaries between the Reds and the Finns, we placed a helluvalot of pressure on Stalin who feared both losing territory and war with the west immediately following the German demise. Those geopolitical pressures are the main the reason why Stalin opted for seperate peace.

Zara:
QUOTE
Agreed. So what makes you think either of those outcomes would have made the present so much worse than te current status quo? The cultural changes were already happening, and Hitler and his cronies can't last eternally. By now, things would be very different. Who's to say better or worse?

The USSR would have lasted far long with more defensible borders (say to Portugal) as the military pressures would have been nonexistant and the arms race affordable (the GDP of the USSR could not support an arms race against the US, with the populations of France and Germany backing them, it could). Eventually I think communism would have either liberalised (ala China) or imploded onto its own bloated corpse; but the time needed to force either of those options is looking well past today.

Hitler and his cronies would easily have lasted decades, the totalitarian state rarely crumbles without external pressure. In virtually all cases either some external force drives them down or the line of succession fails. Hitler had elaborate lines of succession drawn up and the chances of the Reich dying in any conventional manner are nil.

There is an outside chance that in 2004 we would see a vibrantly free and democratic Europe without the US. However the fact of history is that most centenially free countries owe that freedom directly to the US; a handful owe it indirectly. Possible courses of history resulting in a vibrantly free and democratic Europe without the US are few and far between. Two very powerful and stable totalitarian states dominated Europe and both only fell through outside pressure.
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ May 19 2004, 08:40 AM)
The USSR would have lasted far long with more defensible borders (say to Portugal) as the military pressures would have been nonexistant and the arms race affordable (the GDP of the USSR could not support an arms race against the US, with the populations of France and Germany backing them, it could). Eventually I think communism would have either liberalised (ala China) or imploded onto its own bloated corpse; but the time needed to force either of those options is looking well past today.

QUOTE
Hitler and his cronies would easily have lasted decades, the totalitarian state rarely crumbles without external pressure.  In virtually all cases either some external force drives them down or the line of succession fails.  Hitler had elaborate lines of succession drawn up and the chances of the Reich dying in any conventional manner are nil.


Both of those scenarios are ignoring the massive cultural changes Western Europe was going through then. The Theodicy had happened, the postmodern revolution had begun, the people had started to become vocal and aware of their power and -- and excuse my marxian -- with sixty years of that could and would easily have initiated a class struggle.
dawntreader
Oh come now Zara, how long did Franco last? How long did the DDR last? Bluntly for all the talk of the power of the masses neither state fell without external pressure. Franco faltered in the line of succession (when red backed ETA killed Luis Carrero Blanco and the most likely successor to Franco died); the DDR lasted up until the Soviets went broke arms racing and then posthaste joined up with the FRG.

The blunt truth is of the European totalitarian regimes, precious few fell from internal pressure. Most of them had external problems (i.e. All the axis dictatorships, red backed terrorists/freedom fighters in Spain, colonial uprisings, etc.) A totalitarian state void of credible enemies and the vast array of geopolitical pressures that came from the cold war is going to extend the lifetime of such a state.

Where was the class struggle? Not in Franco's Spain where armed opposition was limited largely to ethnic minorities backed by the 2nd world, not in Salazar's Portugal (indeed class struggle did not erupt), not in Greece, nor in the DDR. I'm sorry but for all the talk of class struggle, it never managed to overthrow a dictatorship in western europe, I really fail to see any reason why a cotinent spanning Fascist or Communist totalitarian regime would implode only 20 years slower than they did with the colonial conflicts, terrorism, and cold war pressures that so often triggered their demise.
Inhumanity
QUOTE
I hae this thing, it's called a wife


How romantic. Im sure your wife appreciates such a loving description. But sure, we all have lives. I have a family of 2 kids myself. I just figured you might have left this thread when the going got tough. I've seen many U-P'ers do that.

QUOTE
I see I flood it with information and opinion based on said fact, whereas you appeal to articles published on the internet as an authority for your opinions.


No, you misunderstood - again. You treat unrelevant information as a surrogate answer. Where you fail to provide a sufficient answer based on your judgement you crank open a text book and type a dozen details as if that somehow takes care of the problem.

For example, I claimed that many european countries have long democratic traditions which you attempted to refute by saying that they werent countries at that time which to me is nit-picking and avoiding the actual question ie. that a nation (country) can have an own political culture and features whether or not it is sovereign at that time. Norway became an example and I responded by raising the fact that Norway received a new and own constitution in 1814 creating thus a parliamentary monarchy and definately a political culture distinct from danish or swedish one. Instead of adressing this you posted 9 historical dates from norwegian history. Did it it any way answer tha question? No.

Facts do not equal knowledge. You can still go wrong with the right set of data. If you demonstrate you know a ton of historical facts it in no way is a guarantee that the conclusions you draw from them are correct. What hampers you even more is that you dont listen and thats why you so often miss what the other person is trying to say.

QUOTE
I see, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings by challenging your intellect.


No, it takes a bit more to hurt myt feelings than a few petty remarks from a internet nickname. You can always hide behind sarcasm and pungent one-liners but the fact remains that in my opinion you are rude and arrogant and you have very poor manners. You prefer to insult other people and in the process entertain your own illusions of superiority. And that remark you made is a typical example of it. Instead of thinking that "hmm, maybe I could tone down my attitude a bit" you dodge the criticism ie. refuse to even acknowledge that there might be something wrong by making a witty comebackline. Im saying this as a completely neutral observer. You can continue in the same fashion as you have so far or you can actually stop and reflect your manners for a while - makes no difference to me. Im am able to distance myself from net forums enough to understand that this is only light entertainment, nothing more.

And to the question at hand:

QUOTE
Because the US played shotgun diplomat between the Soviets and the Finns, bluntly Stalin's terms in early '44 are uncoditional surrender in late '44 they are drastically less.


So what you're saying is that Finland owes its existence as a sovereign democratic nation to US as you iniatially claimed in a more general level? You do realise how absurd this is? In other words, you are taking the whole that was WWII and make all the good things that came out of it a product of US. You dismiss the efforts of finnish army against the soviets, the german efforts against the soviets, the poor condition of soviet army, the efforts of other allies in the western front and so on.

Instead of acknowledging that US played "only" an important part on the side of the allied you portray US as the savior of civilisation. You do realise who ridiculous this sounds to the rest of us?

Of course USSR could have taken Finland if Finland would have been its only adversary. Just like Germany would have been able to take Russia if Russia had been its only adversary (although this one leaves room for discussion) or England if England would have been its only adversary. Had Germany taken the whole of Europe even US might succumbed eventually.

Similarly I could play a scenario that Finland was the grain of sand that tipped the scale so that the whole Europe didnt become communist. Because Finland tied hundreds of thousands of soviet troops in the northern front, USSR was not able to thrust further to the west and therefore West Germany, the Benelux and the France owe their existence as democratic nations to Finland.

What if and what if. Wars are fought in real conditions, not on paper. Of course Soviets could have invaded Finland if they had set their minds solely to it. But they didnt and that result was affected by several things, not solely by US diplomacy or war effort.

In fact, to make such a revolutionary claim - and revisionary I might add - you really need to supply some evidence to support your claims. If you can do that Im sure an academic career awaits you in one of the Ivy League universities.

QUOTE
Had the US declared war upon Finland, it would have been toasted, had Stalin been left with a viable option to eventually take down Finland, he would have (either on the Baltic or Warsaw Pact model).


Again simply by stating the obvious ie. USSR and USA had bigger militaries and would've have been able to invade Finland substantiates your claim in no way. You still need to prove or even paint a credible scenario in which Finland owes it's existence to US, not a mounting set of circumstances that prevailed during WW II to have maintained sovereignity. The fact to the matter is that FInland remained sovereign due to the persistent fighting of the finnish army, the material support it received from Germany, the machiavellian politics of our political leaders at that time (the armistice with USSR and severance of relations with Germany in 1944) and finally, Stalins obsession to rush to Berlin before the western allies. Only in the last reason does USA have a role to play and even then the honour is shared with the rest of the allies. So you can see why your claims are not only ridiculous they are also insulting. Finland paid a high price for it's sovereignity and democracy.

QUOTE
We served as intermediaries between the Reds and the Finns


Again, total BS.

In fact US severed all diplomatic relations with Finland on the 30th of June 1944. How do you suppose you would mediate when you had no contacts with Finland?

The diplomatic maneuver that saved Finland went like this: president Ryti sent a personal affirmation to Hitler that Finland would not sign an armistice with USSR on 26th of June 1944. On 1st of August Ryti resigned and field-marshal Mannerheim was elected as the president by our parliament 3 days later. In september Finland accepted Soviet armistice terms and the hostilities end between USSR and Finland. At the same time the Germans start to withdraw through Lapland. In other words, the finnish-german relations rested on the person of president Ryti and on the affirmations made between him and the German leadership. Once he was out of the picture Finland could switch allegiance and make peace with USSR.

The peace iniative came from USSR on the condition that Finland severed its relations with Germany. Those conditions were met. Not a single word is uttered of this "US intermediation" of yours. An integral part on the negotiations were played by a finnish diplomat and a future prime minister and president J.K. Paasikivi who became certain of German defeat as early as 1943 (unless Germany would be able to make separate peace with USSR). Paasikivis good reputation and skill enabled Finland to conduct succesfull negotiations with the Soviets.

In fact, the only "mediation" US did, was to send a note to Finnish government in February of 1944 demanding that Finland starts to negotiate peace with USSR. As result, Paasikivi was sent to Stockholm to negotiate with the Soviets alone. In other words, no american mediation there either. At that time, Finnish leadership assesed it could not meet the Soviet demands and the war continued for few months. Interestingly enough, Soviets were anxious to make peace with Finland already at that time. They bombed Helsinki to pressure Finland to accept peace. The race for Berlin was already taking place at that time although allied had not yet even invaded Normandy.

Basically your outrageous claims are nothing more than unsubstantiated propaganda, a twisted perception of world history as some sort of American Gospel. Not only have you presented false claims, or to use your wording: lied, you have combined them with accurate information to create a naive portrayal of American supremacy vis-a-vis the ineptitude and corruption of Europe. Naturally, anyone with half a brain can recognise that such reasoning is false.
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ May 20 2004, 01:20 AM)
The blunt truth is of the European totalitarian regimes, precious few fell from internal pressure. Most of them had external problems (i.e. All the axis dictatorships, red backed terrorists/freedom fighters in Spain, colonial uprisings, etc.) A totalitarian state void of credible enemies and the vast array of geopolitical pressures that came from the cold war is going to extend the lifetime of such a state.

Again, neither analogy is valid, because both Franco and Salazar were gone by the time the 'Second Renaissance' got a hold on the peninsula, and the DDR was completely outside its sphere of influence. There was a massive, but subtle cultural revolution taking place that made the population aware and unacceptive of totalitarianist systems such as fascism and stalinism (shouldn't use the word communism here).
dawntreader
[/B]
QUOTE
How romantic. Im sure your wife appreciates such a loving description. But sure, we all have lives. I have a family of 2 kids myself. I just figured you might have left this thread when the going got tough. I've seen many U-P'ers do that.


Inside joke between us, she started. I'm officially a thing called a husband.

Only count me out if it has been more than a week, give a reminder in the second week if it slips from the front page.

QUOTE
For example, I claimed that many european countries have long democratic traditions which you attempted to refute by saying that they werent countries at that time which to me is nit-picking and avoiding the actual question ie. that a nation (country) can have an own political culture and features whether or not it is sovereign at that time. Norway became an example and I responded by raising the fact that Norway received a new and own constitution in 1814 creating thus a parliamentary monarchy and definately a political culture distinct from danish or swedish one. Instead of adressing this you posted 9 historical dates from norwegian history. Did it it any way answer tha question? No.

You stated that 20 European countries have had more than 100 years of democracy, that is patent BS.

You then move the goalpost to not include just countries, but some ill-defined notion "country-esque" entities enjoying something reminscient of "democracy". Norway was not a country for a hundred years, even if we count it as an example, it is yet another case where the good old USA is the reason it is free to be democratic. Rather than buck and admit that frankly Europe HASN'T been a democratic place for a hundred years, that with a handful of exception most European states have failed to maintain democracy, you keep making the notion of "democracy" less distinct and the notion of country completely inscrutable. The US and UK have a FAR superior record of maintaining democracy, hell we managed to do it without giving active aid to the Nazis.

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Im am able to distance myself from net forums enough to understand that this is only light entertainment, nothing more.

My good sir, I have never thought it to be otherwise.

QUOTE
So what you're saying is that Finland owes its existence as a sovereign democratic nation to US as you iniatially claimed in a more general level? You do realise how absurd this is? In other words, you are taking the whole that was WWII and make all the good things that came out of it a product of US. You dismiss the efforts of finnish army against the soviets, the german efforts against the soviets, the poor condition of soviet army, the efforts of other allies in the western front and so on.

First I have already noted, Finland doesn't meet the the criteria you intitially set forth. While the region did enjoy autonomy under the Czar, it was nevertheless under the Czar and various Russification efforts showed just how much democracy ment; I mean seriously is Bobrikov part of Finlands history of democratic tradition? I categorically reject that Finland has been a democratic nation for 100 years.

Second the reason Finland did not fall into the Soviet sphere during WWII is boils down thusly:
1. Finland managed to fight of the Soviets in the First Russo-Finnish war, buying time.
2. When the Nazi's faltered during the Finns managed to buy time against the Soviets through successful military action.
3. Stalin was unable to contain the Finns and deal with them at leisure because the actions of the US and UK in the west.

QUOTE
Of course USSR could have taken Finland if Finland would have been its only adversary. Just like Germany would have been able to take Russia if Russia had been its only adversary (although this one leaves room for discussion) or England if England would have been its only adversary. Had Germany taken the whole of Europe even US might succumbed eventually.

Stalin had a very nice position in the North. While he couldn't advance, he could easily hold the line. Eventually Germany would fall and without anything else to divert Soviet troops, Finland is doomed. Something happens to change Stalin's demands from unconditional surrender to the inordinately light demands of september '44. That something was largely the allied invasion of western Europe.

Once Germany loses the French Navy, crossing the channel is impossible. Not only does Hitler lack the landing craft, the RN has decades worth of production in lead. Taking out the US, don't make me laugh. Hitler had trouble supplying gas to the Soviet front, expecting him to get reliable supply lines to North America? Get real. Hell the only way we could supply our troops in europe was to stockpile in the UK (or alternatively in North Africa) and the USN and the RN (even if the UK falls, the RN goes to Canada) can decimate anything Hitler tries to send overseas.

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Similarly I could play a scenario that Finland was the grain of sand that tipped the scale so that the whole Europe didnt become communist. Because Finland tied hundreds of thousands of soviet troops in the northern front, USSR was not able to thrust further to the west and therefore West Germany, the Benelux and the France owe their existence as democratic nations to Finland.


Please keep telling yourself that. The soviets lacked the logistical ability to make faster advances, there is simply no way in hell the Russians can break through to western Europe before the allied landings. While Finland tying up Soviet troops helped, the lack of rail lines, rollingstock, and trucks was a far greater break on Soviet advance. Indeed it is not until Hitler strips the east to fight on the western front that "breakthrough" in any sense of the word occurs in the east.

The simple thing is without the US, there is no allied landing in west, without that landing there would be nothing precluding Soviet or Nazi domination of europe. Once Germany falls, exactly what incentive does Stalin have to leave Finland as a democratic nation? At the very least don't you think that without the US Finland might have wound up with a "people's republic"?

Without Finland, Stalin has still make it through the Eastern front where 20 million Red Army soldiers died. He still has to deal with poor logistics. Without Finland, it is conceivable that Stalin would have taken Greece and on the outside landed in Denmark, there is no way in hell he can hope to take France.

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In fact, to make such a revolutionary claim - and revisionary I might add - you really need to supply some evidence to support your claims. If you can do that Im sure an academic career awaits you in one of the Ivy League universities.

There is nothing revolutionary here. It is a historical fact that all the boats which made the D-Day landing were American. It is a historical fact that the Finnish front did not have gratiutiously higher casualty rates than the rest of the eastern front. It is a historical fact that prior to D-Day Stalin demanded unconditional surrender from the Finns and after (when the allies overran France) opted for much lighter terms.

Given that precious little else changed from Stalin demanding unconditional surrender to giving light terms, that the offensive in the west (made possible by the US) is the reason he chose to lighten the terms.


QUOTE
You still need to prove or even paint a credible scenario in which Finland owes it's existence to US, not a mounting set of circumstances that prevailed during WW II to have maintained sovereignity. The fact to the matter is that FInland remained sovereign due to the persistent fighting of the finnish army, the material support it received from Germany, the machiavellian politics of our political leaders at that time (the armistice with USSR and severance of relations with Germany in 1944) and finally, Stalins obsession to rush to Berlin before the western allies. Only in the last reason does USA have a role to play and even then the honour is shared with the rest of the allies. So you can see why your claims are not only ridiculous they are also insulting. Finland paid a high price for it's sovereignity and democracy.

Then why did the terms change after D-Day? Stalin lost 20 million men on the western front, and had the wherewithal to hold the northern line in perpetuity. Bluntly all the Finnish forces managed to do was buy time, once the Werhmacht starts faltering, Finland is doomed unless some other concern diverts the Soviets (like say taking Berlin).

France paid an enormously high price in two world wars to gain its sovreignty, it is not insulting to say they owe it to the US. Likewise Belgium paid a quite high price, and likewise owes its existance to the US. There is nothing insulting in noting that the Soviets suffered two orders of magnitude more casualties than Finland could field men and that without some compelling reason to change his mind, Stalin demanded unconditional surrender.

You seem to be mistaking necessary and sufficient cause. Is the US sufficient cause for Finland to stay free? No. Other factors are required (notably a very successful defense and delaying action in the north). Is US action necessary for Finland to stay free? Yes. Remove the effects of D-Day and the western advance and Stalin has no reason to accept a lighter peace than say Romania got.


But enough Finnish history. The blunt facts of the matter are these:

You took issue with a conservative commentator who claimed that some Europeans in the media view 9/11 as a conspiracy. That is so, hell a large minority of the general population does as well. Wether or not you want to argue about the validity of sources documenting that, there exists evidence to make the claim.

You took issue to the claim that there is disproportionate coverage of atrocities (ours vs theirs); yet that is fact.

You claim "Democracy requires an organic process of society, it requires indigenous political thinking, it requires civil society and a prosperous middle-class to uphold it. it requires time and most of all it requires the will of the people. If the national collective psyche is not yet ripe and ready to accept the principles of a democratic society you cannot force it. "

Somehow you manage to twist your mind around that Japan has all of these ill defined compotents of yours, but Iraq cannot.

You claimed that somehow America is more elite, even though we have literally had uneducated men born in abject poverty rise to the highest office in the land.

In short you started off ranting about some claims made a columnist and the best you can do is start rattling off Finnish history to distract from the fact that, yes the articles originally posted can be defended. We have ample room for debate, but the nuts and bolts are these "problems" are quite miniscule and there is a wealth of data to support the original point.

I'm sure you will change the standards again (it was a score of countries with 100 years of democracy, it was country-like entities with a history of more or less democratic tradition, it was Finland managing to make it through WWII and staying democratic without US action) and I'm sure you will continue to punt your weakest arguments rather than show why Japan is categorically different than Iraq or why books published by journalists do not represent their views and opinions. But please spare me yet another run through minutia. Either defend your basic points or admit you berated the authors for trivial reasons.

Zara:

QUOTE
Again, neither analogy is valid, because both Franco and Salazar were gone by the time the 'Second Renaissance' got a hold on the peninsula, and the DDR was completely outside its sphere of influence. There was a massive, but subtle cultural revolution taking place that made the population aware and unacceptive of totalitarianist systems such as fascism and stalinism (shouldn't use the word communism here).

Please define this "subtle cultural revolution" and please further show that such a revolution could occur within the sphere of influence of totalitarian regimes (i.e. Salazar or the DDR).
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ May 27 2004, 02:38 AM)
define this "subtle cultural revolution"

What is known as postmodernism, the end of modernism and of the great discourses, the Theodicy, decline of objectivism for relativism, start of internationalism at the expense of nationalism etc.

QUOTE
show that such a revolution could occur within the sphere of influence of totalitarian regimes (i.e. Salazar or the DDR)


I'm not sure who has the burden of proof here, but there isn't much historical data to work with anyway. Postmodernism didn't quite expand beyond the Reformist countries before the late seventies, a time when both Franco and Salazar were already gone. In the DDR, however, it had started to take root before '89 (as evident in their literature in the eighties). That slow (eastward) expansion is typical. My knowledge of Balkan culture and literature leaves a lot to be desired, but I don't think they can be considered quite postmodern even today. I don't want to draw any conclusions based on an unclear pattern, but I think it's at least reasonable to consider that cultural changes rather ignore national borders. (Language borders may be a different case, but those aren't really relevant here and now.)
Inhumanity
Fine by me. Im tired of this circling too. It's obvious we dont see eye to eye on this or anything for that matter.

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why Japan is categorically different than Iraq


Level of wealth and education, cultural differences, complete eradication of governmental structures, ethnic strife and religious fanaticism. Japan was in an utterly different position compared to Iraq now. Im sure you'll try to debunk this to the best of your ability but Im convinced time will prove me right - sadly.

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why books published by journalists do not represent their views and opinions


What?
Inhumanity
And btw, for those who are still interested in mulling over WW II history: dawntreaders conclusion on USA's role as the necessity for Finlands sovereignity is a false one. At best it's a possibility but there are also plenty of evidence suggesting otherwise. Plus there are some factual errors in his account as well.

1) Contrary to dt's interpretation Finland did not "buy more time" during the 1st war with USSR. It was a separate war from the Continuation war. It was concluded with an armistice that would have most likely been later ratified with a peace treaty since the primary goal of Soviet Union was met ie. the security of Leningrad was secured. There were no pressuring factors here at this time. Finland was placed in the Soviet sphere of influence in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and at the time USSR wasnt in war with anyone else. If it had had the desire to annex Finland it could have asserted more pressure but it did. In other words, one should attribute a bit more credence to the rationale of Soviet foreign politics. Even though the country was run by a paranoid lunatic it didnt mean that on a collective level USSR did not posses the necessary checks to prevent the leadership from committing drastic errors in foreign politics. And even Stalin had his clear moments. He began to deteriorate mentally and physically only after the Great Patriotic War broke out although Finlands persistent fighting did often cause him fits of rage.

2) Contrary to dt's claim that the Normandy operation affected Stalin desire to make peace with Finland to redirect war effort in such a way that the terms of surrender shifted " from unconditional surrender to the inordinately light demands" is also untrue. The Soviets offered pretty much the same terms in the beginning of '44 and in the fall of the same year. What changed was the desire of Finlands political leadership to make peace as the fall of Germany was more and more likely. The terms included tribute in cash and manufactured goods, annexation of Carelia and Petsamo and the leasing of Porkkala as a military base. The terms were harsh. Finland lost a significant portion of its land and cultivated land not to mention one of it's biggest cities in addition to almost crippling payments of tribute.


QUOTE
Is US action necessary for Finland to stay free? Yes. Remove the effects of D-Day and the western advance and Stalin has no reason to accept a lighter peace than say Romania got.


This is also false atleast in its definite form. While it is debatable to which extent the US war effort was required to defeat Germany and how would Europe have formed after WWII without US intervention it can be said that Finland might have very well remained independent regardless of US intervention. The Soviet capability to wage war was greatly reduced as a result of Stalins purges. Also, the Soviet army was dependent on Stalin as the decisionmaker and Stalin was notoriously poor at planning military campaigns. Added to the inability of Soviet generals to go against Stalins will resulted in such military disasters as Kursk and Stalingrad. Furthermore, USSR had great difficulties in consolidating its grip on conquered land. The pacification of Western Ukraine took over 5 years after it's annexation even by using the draconian means at Stalins disposal. Furthermore, even if France was decimated, England still maintained it's fighting capacity and as the war protracted its foolish to say that UK could not have taken advantage of diminishing German resources without US's help. Furthermore, Finland managed already earlier to seal a pact of armisitice with USSR without any help. And at that time USSR was not even at war with anyone. There are numerous factors affecting here and to say something in such a definite and may I add, arrogant way like dawntreader did about US's instrumental role is foolish. He can speculate on this but he simply cannot prove it. Imo, hes not even very convincing.
Inhumanity
Oh and one more thing:

QUOTE
The US and UK have a FAR superior record of maintaining democracy, hell we managed to do it without giving active aid to the Nazis.


Haha!! Only if you count white males with financial assets and of christian religion.

In 1789 only 6 % US citizens were eligible for vote. In 1791 Vermont alloved all white males to vote regardless of religion or financial status. It would be a long road before this applied to all states. Only in 1868 was the voting a right of every white male. In theory voting was a right of the blacks as well but in practice they had to wait untill 1965 (!) to vote. Native Americans werent even citiznes before 1940. Women were granted suffrage in 1920.

In contrast New Zealand granted universal suffrage in 1893, Finland in 1906, Norway in 1913, Iceland and Denmark in 1915. Britain got around to it in 1928.

QUOTE
First I have already noted, Finland doesn't meet the the criteria you intitially set forth. While the region did enjoy autonomy under the Czar, it was nevertheless under the Czar and various Russification efforts showed just how much democracy ment; I mean seriously is Bobrikov part of Finlands history of democratic tradition? I categorically reject that Finland has been a democratic nation for 100 years.


Phahahhaaa! Categorically reject this:

Finland was granted a status of a nation in 1809 by Czar Aleksander I. Finland retained swedish laws and a special status in the Russian Empire. Even a persistent and largely failed russification from 1899 to WW I didnt manage to deprive Finland of its special status. Every time Finland was saved by turmoil in Russia.

In 1863 Finland got regular parliamentary convenings. First parties (Finnish and Swedish) were formed then. In 1894 Liberal Party secedec from the conservative Finnish party. Social democrats formed their own party in 1899. In 1906 Finland received universal sufrage and the parliamentary elections were set up to occur on regular basis.

So in any which way you want to look at it Finland has been as every bit as democratic as US and in some respects US has lagged behind in democratication. So the next time you feel the need to spout baseless propaganda of the supposed supremacy of US of A you might want to check the facts.

But as you said, enough of Finnish history. It's clear that it's not your forte so theres no point in this. WW II on the other hand is a different matter.
dawntreader
QUOTE
Level of wealth and education, cultural differences, complete eradication of governmental structures, ethnic strife and religious fanaticism. Japan was in an utterly different position compared to Iraq now. Im sure you'll try to debunk this to the best of your ability but Im convinced time will prove me right - sadly.


Iraq is wealthier, in general it had better education, cultural difference - define and elucidate, Iraq had British model of government inherited/Japan modeled upon Prussia both of which existed with the fall of government.

Ethnic strife is about the only telling difference and surely you are not so stupid as to beleive that only an ethnically homogenous state can thrive.

QUOTE
1) ***snip***

During the first Russo-Finnish war (alternatively known as the "Winter War") Finland but up a costly defense against Russia. There was a very serious debate by the allies as to possibly allying with Finland against the Russians. Stalin even mentioned this possibility and sued for peace and made some territorial gains. Your arguement boils down to Stalin not being willing to take Finland at even a moderately high cost. Frankly that is absurd; Stalin had more of his own people that the Finnish army ever killed. Stalin cared quite little about human life and very much about expanding. Documents coming out of the Kremlin show more in line with my view than yours.

QUOTE
2) ***snip***

I'm sorry exactly how is "unconditional surrender" only different from the eventual terms? Maybe the translations we have are wrong, but from what I've read the sets of peace proposals are drasticly different. Were the demands harsh? Compared to what? Compared to what West Germany got, no. Compared to what Romania got? Absolutely.


QUOTE
While it is debatable to which extent the US war effort was required to defeat Germany and how would Europe have formed after WWII without US intervention it can be said that Finland might have very well remained independent regardless of US intervention. The Soviet capability to wage war was greatly reduced as a result of Stalins purges. Also, the Soviet army was dependent on Stalin as the decisionmaker and Stalin was notoriously poor at planning military campaigns. Added to the inability of Soviet generals to go against Stalins will resulted in such military disasters as Kursk and Stalingrad. Furthermore, USSR had great difficulties in consolidating its grip on conquered land. The pacification of Western Ukraine took over 5 years after it's annexation even by using the draconian means at Stalins disposal. Furthermore, even if France was decimated, England still maintained it's fighting capacity and as the war protracted its foolish to say that UK could not have taken advantage of diminishing German resources without US's help. Furthermore, Finland managed already earlier to seal a pact of armisitice with USSR without any help. And at that time USSR was not even at war with anyone. There are numerous factors affecting here and to say something in such a definite and may I add, arrogant way like dawntreader did about US's instrumental role is foolish. He can speculate on this but he simply cannot prove it. Imo, hes not even very convincing.


Let's knock these off here.

The Soviet capability to wage war was on the increase. The rate at which the USSR was producing munitions and war goods got higher every year the war continued.

Manpower, Stalin had more combatants than anyone else in the war. Yes he took higher losses, he could afford them. The Soviet ability to wage war never really goes down after Barbarossa is stopped (wether you measure it by manpower, steel production, or munition production).

Zhukov ended up with the ability to contradict Stalin (and did so on multiple occassions) as the war progressed the incompotency of the red army brought on by Stalin's purges was erased by survival of the compotent.

The UK had a fraction of German manpower, and even worse when it came to tanks and artillerly (much of the British armaments had been abandoned at Dunkirk). However even if the Germans became so battered against the Russians, England has zero ability to land those troops to storm the beaches as they had no landing craft of their own. The capacity to build the landing craft is not within the means of the UK; without US shipbuilding capacity they will be hard pressed to replace tonnage faster than the Kriegsmarine can sink it.

Finland sealed an armistice with Stalin mainly because Stalin intended to come back for seconds, as documents out of the Kremlin have indicated. The fact that both France and the UK offered support to Finland had nothing to do with Stalin's willingness to end the winter war.

How do you propose to keep Finland independant. The USSR is ramping up military production, has sufficient manpower to accept 10 to 1 casualties, and has hundreds of km of strategic depth. Hell it is unlikely that the Finnish would have stopped the Soviets in July without German AT weaponry (remember this is why the president promised not to seek a seperate peace deal, it was that vital). Finland categorically cannot stop the Soviets alone. They can delay and make the Soviets bleed profusely for every km of ground gained (which they did); but it was only the race to Berlin which ultimately diverted the Soviets.

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Haha!! Only if you count white males with financial assets and of christian religion.

Yes if one looks before 1830.

QUOTE
It would be a long road before this applied to all states. Only in 1868 was the voting a right of every white male. In theory voting was a right of the blacks as well but in practice they had to wait untill 1965 (!) to vote. Native Americans werent even citiznes before 1940. Women were granted suffrage in 1920.

Native Americans previously, were recognized as citizens of foreign countries instead of the strange hybrids of today. Emancipated blacks have enjoyed voting priviliges for years, hell there were black members of Congress in the 19th century.

Women, federally yes we weren't the first.

QUOTE
Finland was granted a status of a nation in 1809 by Czar Aleksander I. Finland retained swedish laws and a special status in the Russian Empire. Even a persistent and largely failed russification from 1899 to WW I didnt manage to deprive Finland of its special status. Every time Finland was saved by turmoil in Russia.

Irrelevant. Lousiana retained Napoleonic laws, it had its own legislature, and kept more powers than the Grand Duchy of Finland. It is not a sovreign state.

Finland's special status is an autonomous region within a greater empire (as rule, in the Victorian Period, Grand Duchies are not independant countries but members of larger empires see the German Grand Duchies). Stolypin certainly removed most of Finland's de jure autonomous status in the Duma in 1910.

Both the February Manifesto of 1899 and Stolypin's initiatives in the Duma make it abundantly clear that sovreignty rests with Imperial Russia and not the grand duchy.

QUOTE
In 1863 Finland got regular parliamentary convenings. First parties (Finnish and Swedish) were formed then. In 1894 Liberal Party secedec from the conservative Finnish party. Social democrats formed their own party in 1899. In 1906 Finland received universal sufrage and the parliamentary elections were set up to occur on regular basis.

Irrelevant. Numerous electoral assemblies existed in the colonies which became the US, these are not sufficient nor necessary to the qualification of being a sovreign country.

QUOTE
So in any which way you want to look at it Finland has been as every bit as democratic as US and in some respects US has lagged behind in democratication. So the next time you feel the need to spout baseless propaganda of the supposed supremacy of US of A you might want to check the facts.

Funny I seem to recall that the much lauded Finnish Diet and Senate were deemed to be purely consultory and the Great Address was summarily ignored. The civil service was purged at the dictates of the Imperial court and about the only thing the Finns managed to avert was being conscripted into the army (and only through civil disobediance and paying a compensatory tax).

So correct where I'm wrong. Did not the February Manifesto declare Finnish electoral bodies effectively null and void? Did the russification regime not purge the civil service? Did Stolypin actually let Finnland retain its full autonomous status? Somehow I recall all of those as being reasons why Finland bothered to declare independance in the first place.

Look I have nothing against Finland. The Grand Duchy of Finland was not a country any more than the Kazahkstani Soviet Socialst Republic was or the state of Lousiana was or Basque country is today.

Different legal systems, electoral bodies, the issuance of money, nor the maintainence of an army do not a country make. A country is a body which exercises ultimate sovreignty. Finland did not do this prior to independance.
dawntreader
QUOTE
What is known as postmodernism, the end of modernism and of the great discourses, the Theodicy, decline of objectivism for relativism, start of internationalism at the expense of nationalism etc.


I see no reason why these ideals would have overthrown an authortarian dictatorship lacking external pressure.

QUOTE
I'm not sure who has the burden of proof here, but there isn't much historical data to work with anyway. Postmodernism didn't quite expand beyond the Reformist countries before the late seventies, a time when both Franco and Salazar were already gone. In the DDR, however, it had started to take root before '89 (as evident in their literature in the eighties). That slow (eastward) expansion is typical. My knowledge of Balkan culture and literature leaves a lot to be desired, but I don't think they can be considered quite postmodern even today. I don't want to draw any conclusions based on an unclear pattern, but I think it's at least reasonable to consider that cultural changes rather ignore national borders. (Language borders may be a different case, but those aren't really relevant here and now.)

Why do you beleive that being postmodernism is going to make it easier to overthrow a cotinent spanning authortarian government? Particularly when this ideal, by your admission, would not be uniform throughout such a state and bluntly seems to produce fewer people willing to die for their cause.
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ Jun 5 2004, 02:28 AM)
Why do you beleive that being postmodernism is going to make it easier to overthrow a cotinent spanning authortarian government? Particularly when this ideal, by your admission, would not be uniform throughout such a state and bluntly seems to produce fewer people willing to die for their cause.

Believe it or not, but autoritarian regimes are dependent on the people just like any other type (unless the people are totally powerless, which would only be the case if they were all being starved and some strange arrangement was made with the military to keep them from rebelling). They require that people have a strong sense of modernity, of objective truth and, above all, of nationalism (which builds upon the previous two). If the autocrat does not represent a feeling of unity, then he represents nothing worthwile. Internationalism would have the people call for peace, not expansion etc.

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I see no reason why these ideals would have overthrown an authortarian dictatorship lacking external pressure.

I see no reason why they would remain for decades.
Inhumanity
QUOTE
Did not the February Manifesto declare Finnish electoral bodies effectively null and void?


No. It aimed at the harmonisation of the laws of Russia and Finland. Ie. the Common law of Russia was meant to be spread to Finland as well and the special status of Finnish legislation would be abolished. All this is irrelevant though. The General strike in Russia in 1905 and the November manifesto which followed reinstated the Finnish Autonomy effectively annulling the results of the first russification period.

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Did the russification regime not purge the civil service? Did Stolypin actually let Finnland retain its full autonomous status?


Finnish autonomy was de facto suspended in 1910 lasting until the declaration of independence in 1917. The did not however affect the democratic developement in Finland. On the contrary. Finnish parliament was still intact and the political activity only increased. The loss of autonomy cristallised in the fact that the Czar had to aprove of every decision of the Finnish parliament rendering it dependent on Russia.

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Somehow I recall all of those as being reasons why Finland bothered to declare independance in the first place.


The russification ie. russian opression was one of the primary reasons why Finland declared independence but it was also ceasing the moment. Finnish indepence movement has its roots way back in the 19th century in a period before the russification.

All this is irrelevant though. I have never argued that Finland was a sovereign nation before 1917. My argument was that Finland had its on distinct democratic tradition dating back to the time of autonomy. You repeatedly miss this and instead go on about the status of sovereignity. In a similar fashion democracy started to sprout all over Europe in 19th century if not in the scale if USA. You want to refute this for some reason. I've demonstrated imo that this is a valid assertion that can be backed with examples. You can still proceed to reiterate that Finland and other nations were not nations in the sovereign sense but I've already acknowledged that on several occasions and do not wish to waste any more time mulling over the obvious.

And as far as the case of Iraq is concerned (Im not bothered to do extensive research right now so I'll throw in a small prediction of the future) it will probably go like this:

Coalition forces will remain in Iraq untill elections are held. The proceedings will be accompanied with great turmoil and unrest. The election results will give majority of the seats to islamic extremists attempting to fashion Iraq after the model of Iran ie. theocratic state where Sharia rather than Montesqieu and Rousseau are the sources of legislation. At this point US can either comply and leave the country in the hands of a new anti-american islamic regime hostile to western views and humanistic tradition or disband the new regime by force and establishing a puppet government that is democratic on paper but in fact acts as the colonial office of US interest in Iraq. The latter will of course result in large-scale unrest and violence and a possible outbreak of full scale war against the invader as coalition is forced to turn coat in the last promise still left intact. The "liberation" of Afghanistan supports this scenario. Instead of freedom and stability guerrilla warfare is raging on for the 3rd year in a row. President Kharzai is de facto the mayor or Kabul and even that is only during day-time. US failed miserably in Afghanistan and I've yet to see a compelling reason why it would succeed in the "impossible" in Iraq.

Of course I'll be overjoyed if Im wrong.
dawntreader
QUOTE
Believe it or not, but autoritarian regimes are dependent on the people just like any other type (unless the people are totally powerless, which would only be the case if they were all being starved and some strange arrangement was made with the military to keep them from rebelling). They require that people have a strong sense of modernity, of objective truth and, above all, of nationalism (which builds upon the previous two). If the autocrat does not represent a feeling of unity, then he represents nothing worthwile. Internationalism would have the people call for peace, not expansion etc.


I don't see why being post modern makes people any more likely to rebell than not being post modern. Bribing the military to maintain the status quo through fear and intimidation seems to work just fine.


If North Korea has managed to last thus far, why would a cotinent spanning authortarian regime with no external stress fall faster?

QUOTE

I see no reason why they would remain for decades.

North Korea has managed it. The majority of autocracies fall when some external stress drives the system out of whack. Portugal had colonial stresses, Spain had a disrupted line of succession caused by externally backed forces, the USSR tried match tempo with the US, the Tsar was beset by enemies (in both revolutions), etc. In the abscence of such external stresses, why would the government be unable to bribe the military and use fear and intimidation to maintain the system?

inhumanity:
QUOTE
No. It aimed at the harmonisation of the laws of Russia and Finland. Ie. the Common law of Russia was meant to be spread to Finland as well and the special status of Finnish legislation would be abolished. All this is irrelevant though. The General strike in Russia in 1905 and the November manifesto which followed reinstated the Finnish Autonomy effectively annulling the results of the first russification period.

That sounds remarkedly like declaring the Finnish electoral bodies null and void.

QUOTE
Finnish autonomy was de facto suspended in 1910 lasting until the declaration of independence in 1917. The did not however affect the democratic developement in Finland. On the contrary. Finnish parliament was still intact and the political activity only increased. The loss of autonomy cristallised in the fact that the Czar had to aprove of every decision of the Finnish parliament rendering it dependent on Russia.

Iraq has had political activity since the Kurds set up an autonomous region in the North. Hell the country was formed with a constitutional monarchy and enshrined into law by a plebiscate (it is not until the 60's that full dictatorships arise in Iraq). Even after that limited democracy and political activity existed within smaller organizations (like tribes, city governments, etc.)

In other words your whole premise that Iraq lacked these requirements is bull. If you just mean that groups of people require political activity and limited democracy before they can run a democratic state ... Iraq has said experience.

QUOTE
argument was that Finland had its on distinct democratic tradition dating back to the time of autonomy.

Iraq has one dating back to 1920 (longer depending on how one counts tribal and local politics).

The bloody fact of the matter is there are few places on this earth where there HAVEN'T been democratic traditions if we use your broad definition. Certainly Iraq has such a tradition.

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Coalition forces will remain in Iraq untill elections are held.

Longer than that.

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proceedings will be accompanied with great turmoil and unrest.

Thank you captain obvious. Do you think the insurgents aren't going to try to influence the vote? Gee now there's a hard one.

QUOTE
The election results will give majority of the seats to islamic extremists attempting to fashion Iraq after the model of Iran ie. theocratic state where Sharia rather than Montesqieu and Rousseau are the sources of legislation.

I doubt it. The "islamic extremists" are divided and a good portion of them would rather be secular than be under a Shia theocracy. Further there is substantial fracturing in the electorate (the shias are not likely to go theocrat in bloc) and at "best" they can be a plurality in the system.

Further the use of Sharia is not, in and of itself, damning to democracy. Numerous schools of Sharia are actually democratic. Democracy can arise from many sources and depending upon how it is done, sharia may not doom Iraqi democracy.

QUOTE
The "liberation" of Afghanistan supports this scenario.

BS. Yes there is fighting in Afghanistan, however there has not been a general anti-western government nor a a general back-lash against the current government. Out of millions of people, only thousands are fighting.

QUOTE
Instead of freedom and stability guerrilla warfare is raging on for the 3rd year in a row. President Kharzai is de facto the mayor or Kabul and even that is only during day-time.

Why yes a democratic state requires no time to build, a 20 year civil war can be forgotten in 2, and "guerilla warfare" is a sign of total collapse.

Let's face it guerilla warfare is the last choice of the desperate. It is only being conducted because they are no longer capable of accomplishing anything else.

I swear it took years to get FRG up to the level Afghanistan was not 3 months after the ouster of the Taliban, why do all of you people seem to expect things delivered overnight?
Inhumanity
DT, You say moderation will win in Iraq, I say extremism will carry the day. Thats how the situation looks atm to me. We will see in time.
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ Jun 11 2004, 03:28 AM)
I don't see why being post modern makes people any more likely to rebell than not being post modern.

It seems rather logical. Postmodern ecclecticism is only compatible with democratic principles, not with authoritarianism. People simply wouldn't stand for it.

North Korea has an extremely collectivist society (and, to a lesser degree, so did and do Spain and Portugal), but not western Europe. The people want diversification, equality, less division between government and people, less military etc.
dawntreader
QUOTE
It seems rather logical. Postmodern ecclecticism is only compatible with democratic principles, not with authoritarianism. People simply wouldn't stand for it.


I fail to see the logic here. First why would such a philosophy originate under a totalitarian system? Why would it spread, given that the state would crack down upon a competing ideology? Why would it make people more likely to risk their lives to overthrow the state.

I just don't see the logic or precedent here.

QUOTE
North Korea has an extremely collectivist society (and, to a lesser degree, so did and do Spain and Portugal), but not western Europe. The people want diversification, equality, less division between government and people, less military etc.

So what would prevent our authortarian government from importing troops from outside western europe to rule through force of fear?
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ Jun 12 2004, 06:57 AM)
I fail to see the logic here. First why would such a philosophy originate under a totalitarian system?

It already had.

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Why would it spread, given that the state would crack down upon a competing ideology?


It's not an ideology, it's a world view.

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Why would it make people more likely to risk their lives to overthrow the state.


I'm not talking about specacular civil wars, but about larger movements of civil disobedience and a general ignoring or boycotting of diktats that the people don't like. They do it here all the time.

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So what would prevent our authortarian government from importing troops from outside western europe to rule through force of fear?


Hadn't thought of that, but I doubt the autocrats would -- for logistical reasons if nothing else.
dawntreader
QUOTE
It already had.


Could you give a brief history and synopsis of your concept of "Theodicy" I am not exactly sure what you are talking about here. I always thought postmodernism arose in the liberal low countries and France, not in one of the autocratic regimes.

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It's not an ideology, it's a world view.

Most ideology's have complimentary world views. Regardless anything which leads to the dismantlement of an autocratic state is going to be opposed unless some external pressure stops it from happening.

QUOTE
I'm not talking about specacular civil wars, but about larger movements of civil disobedience and a general ignoring or boycotting of diktats that the people don't like. They do it here all the time.

They also don't get killed for it all the time. People tried striking and ignoring Stalin, said people either got all expenses paid permenant vacations in Siberia or were shot.

We are not talking about a government which has even nomimal commitment to the rights of the populace, human rights, or efficient economy. We are talking about a brutal totalitarian regime.

QUOTE
Hadn't thought of that, but I doubt the autocrats would -- for logistical reasons if nothing else.

It was done in 1956 and 1968. The logistics of moving an occupation army from the Urals to Portugal is pitifully easy. Both the Soviets and the US managed far wider deployments at the height of the Cold War.
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ Jun 18 2004, 01:47 AM)
Could you give a brief history and synopsis of your concept of "Theodicy"  I am not exactly sure what you are talking about here.  I always thought postmodernism arose in the liberal low countries and France, not in one of the autocratic regimes.

Theodicy is the Trial of God*. In short, a general denunciation of religion on the basis that the world is too evil to be run by a benevolent God. ('Evil' as in evil things happen, like Auschwitz and the Lisbon Earthquake.) The cultural changes that define postmodernism are just that: denouncing objectivism and absolutism, and with it many forms of classical religion and of elitism.

QUOTE
QUOTE
It's not an ideology, it's a world view.

Most ideology's have complimentary world views. Regardless anything which leads to the dismantlement of an autocratic state is going to be opposed unless some external pressure stops it from happening.

The difference between an ideology and a world view is that you can't write a world view down. Ideologies tend to have easily definable charters and principles. World views are 'picked up on the street' and unwittingly taught by parents and teachers.

QUOTE
People tried striking and ignoring Stalin, said people either got all expenses paid permenant vacations in Siberia or were shot.

But they weren't the populace, the masses. They were usually organised groups of rebels, not spontaneously formed throngs that may or may not take to the streets. And again, you'd have to have people there willing to battle to the death a crowd of civilians. I don't think you'd find many people like that here.

QUOTE
We are not talking about a government which has even nomimal commitment to the rights of the populace, human rights, or efficient economy.  We are talking about a brutal totalitarian regime.

But the people have commitment to the rights of the populace. That's about the only thing people are committed to in a subjectivist society like the one they had in the low countries and in France. The people would fight for nothing but their right to say what they think, and other people's right to say what they think.

QUOTE
It was done in 1956 and 1968.  The logistics of moving an occupation army from the Urals to Portugal is pitifully easy.  Both the Soviets and the US managed far wider deployments at the height of the Cold War.

Yes, but they had actual belligerant motivations to do so.
I'll admit, if a strong suppressing army of non-locals were to be deployed in Western Europe, and would literally enslave the population and control them at the crack of a whip, then there would be no fighting back from the inside (at least, not much, and not obvious, there'd mostly be people trying to get out or trying to contact the outside world).


*: Not to be confused with Leibnitz' Theodicy, where he actually defends the existance of God in spite of the existance of Evil.
dawntreader
QUOTE
Theodicy is the Trial of God*. In short, a general denunciation of religion on the basis that the world is too evil to be run by a benevolent God. ('Evil' as in evil things happen, like Auschwitz and the Lisbon Earthquake.) The cultural changes that define postmodernism are just that: denouncing objectivism and absolutism, and with it many forms of classical religion and of elitism.


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought moderism was the denunciation of religion and that post modernism arose after that.

What timeframe (roughly) do you place upon the rise of this worldview.

QUOTE
The difference between an ideology and a world view is that you can't write a world view down. Ideologies tend to have easily definable charters and principles. World views are 'picked up on the street' and unwittingly taught by parents and teachers.

Regardless it is still going to be surpressed based upon effect. If people with worldview X are less likely to comply with the wishes of the state, then people with worldview X are more likely to be relocated to undesirable climes.

Further worldviews do not happen in a vacuum. Traits with strong one to one correlations with the effects of a particular worldview are going to be supressed as well. (I.e. a theistic worldview correlates strongly with church membership, those hoping to erradicate the former would have decent results targeting the latter).

QUOTE
But they weren't the populace, the masses. They were usually organised groups of rebels, not spontaneously formed throngs that may or may not take to the streets. And again, you'd have to have people there willing to battle to the death a crowd of civilians. I don't think you'd find many people like that here.

They were entire towns. They were entire workforces. Having people willing to massacre a crowd of civillians was trivially easy with indoctrinated soldiers. The Soviets managed to get people to fulfill death quotas (as did most authortarian regimes who wanted them); for every village and town individuals had to kill a certain number of people ... even if they beleived no one in that town was deserving of death.

QUOTE
But the people have commitment to the rights of the populace. That's about the only thing people are committed to in a subjectivist society like the one they had in the low countries and in France. The people would fight for nothing but their right to say what they think, and other people's right to say what they think.

And your evidence for this would be what exactly?

QUOTE
Yes, but they had actual belligerant motivations to do so.
I'll admit, if a strong suppressing army of non-locals were to be deployed in Western Europe, and would literally enslave the population and control them at the crack of a whip, then there would be no fighting back from the inside (at least, not much, and not obvious, there'd mostly be people trying to get out or trying to contact the outside world).

Almost certainly any army occupying western Europe would be pulled from Eastern Europe.
zaragosa
QUOTE (dawntreader @ Jun 19 2004, 06:26 AM)
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought moderism was the denunciation of religion and that post modernism arose after that.

Modernism and religion can co-exist. Post-modernism would be more an ecclectic new-age philosophy, where people can go 'religion-shopping' or 'value-shopping'.

QUOTE
What timeframe (roughly) do you place upon the rise of this worldview.


Well, it started early, in the late 18th century, but it only started picking up speed in the 1930s in certain forms of art (the terms was first introduced in architecture) and became more prevalent in the Low Countries and France and Western Germany after WWII. Some people say (I don't know, I'm not up to date) that contemporary Slavic/Baltic literature is decentralising and becoming more postmodern.

QUOTE
Regardless it is still going to be surpressed based upon effect.  If people with worldview X are less likely to comply with the wishes of the state, then people with worldview X are more likely to be relocated to undesirable climes.


This is different. It's not something you can easily identify, and regardless it's something that occurs on a very large scale, not just individual. What makes you think that a population that has no intention of appeasing an oppressive government will allow itself to be taken down so easily?

QUOTE
for every village and town individuals had to kill a certain number of people ... even if they beleived no one in that town was deserving of death.


I have no reason to believe such a thing would be possible in the Western Europe of the late 1940s, or the Europe we have today.
LordAAA
In the case of Finland I think they would have done "just fine" without US involvment. Is my memory faulty or did not the russian loses amount to more then 500.000 in the duration of the war while finnish loses were around 10-20k?

dawntreader
QUOTE
Well, it started early, in the late 18th century, but it only started picking up speed in the 1930s in certain forms of art (the terms was first introduced in architecture) and became more prevalent in the Low Countries and France and Western Germany after WWII. Some people say (I don't know, I'm not up to date) that contemporary Slavic/Baltic literature is decentralising and becoming more postmodern.


So why did it not spread east as fast as west and north?

QUOTE
This is different. It's not something you can easily identify, and regardless it's something that occurs on a very large scale, not just individual. What makes you think that a population that has no intention of appeasing an oppressive government will allow itself to be taken down so easily?

Because people, generally, like living. If given the option of appeasing the oppressive government or being shot, it my extreme suspiscion people will take appeasing the government.

It is only when the government has lost sufficient control that the people beleive that their actions will not result in violent retribution can the state be stood up to in a totalitarian regime.

QUOTE
I have no reason to believe such a thing would be possible in the Western Europe of the late 1940s, or the Europe we have today.

Why wouldn't it be? Were there not informers in France who turned over Jews to the Gestapo? Was there not an entire Quisling government in France that rubber stamped the Nazi's wishes? Did one not see rampant collaboration throughout Europe with the Nazis?

Worse comes to worse, you simply import your death squads and be done with it.

LordAAA:
QUOTE
In the case of Finland I think they would have done "just fine" without US involvment. Is my memory faulty or did not the russian loses amount to more then 500.000 in the duration of the war while finnish loses were around 10-20k?

Finnish losses throughout WWII were about 100,000 the obscene majority of which were military. Russian losses were around 9 million dead throughout the war (total Axis/cobelligerent dead/MIA stood at about 6 million) . Even a 10:1 casualty rate is not good enough to save Finland from eventual military defeat, only some pressure external to the Finnish front can do that.

Stalin faced a choice, what did he want more:
Eastern Europe
Finland

Taking the former would entail not taking the latter and taking the latter would definately entail slowing the conquest of the former. Without the US Finland is looking at a Soviet Union stretching from France to the Pacific and the entire Scandinavian region is going to be more or less at its mercy militarily.
zaragosa
QUOTE(dawntreader @ Jul 3 2004, 03:23 AM)
So why did it not spread east as fast as west and north?

It didn't spread north fast. If I were to guess that has to do with population density.

QUOTE
Were there not informers in France who turned over Jews to the Gestapo?  Was there not an entire Quisling government in France that rubber stamped the Nazi's wishes?  Did one not see rampant collaboration throughout Europe with the Nazis?

One also saw resistance in all of those countries. Even then.
dawntreader
QUOTE
One also saw resistance in all of those countries. Even then.


Which did what exactly to throw off the authortarian regimes? Even when they were getting material aid from an external enemy, were in first years of occupation, and Germany was deeply involved on the Eastern front ... the resistance movements didn't stand a chance of evicting the government.

The resistance leaders recognized this, and hence they used their limited resources not so much to overthrow the Nazis, but to aid the Allies.

QUOTE
It didn't spread north fast. If I were to guess that has to do with population density.

I don't think that holds out. All of eastern europe is more dense than say Southern France (let alone Iberia). Certainly north into England and Denmark is more dense than west into southern France, Spain, and Portugal. Istanbul is easily among the densest locations in Europe and fails to show all that much. Warsaw, Krakow, Budepest, Sofia ... it seems that population density is not an accurate predictor of the spread of postmodernism.
zaragosa
QUOTE(dawntreader @ Jul 18 2004, 10:47 PM)
Which did what exactly to throw off the authortarian regimes?

Not enough, they were a minority that sought to fight oppression. Most people then were products of a society that was ruled by their 'betters' and they accepted that. That isn't the case anymore, people have begun to realise their freedom and have grown attached to it.

QUOTE
it seems that population density is not an accurate predictor of the spread of postmodernism.


It's probably only one factor out of many (other cultures, internal differentiation, presence of media etc.). Why do you ask?
dawntreader
QUOTE
Not enough, they were a minority that sought to fight oppression. Most people then were products of a society that was ruled by their 'betters' and they accepted that. That isn't the case anymore, people have begun to realise their freedom and have grown attached to it.

That is patent BS. France was a republic and had been since Napoleon III was ousted in 1870 by 1940 we are talking about 70 years of rule by the governed. In Greece you had a constitutional monarchy without much of a caste of "betters"; it is particularly telling given the power of Venizelos managed to acquire. Likewise the Danish, Belgian, and Dutch societies did not seem to put all much stock into class.

However let us consider your last statement, people have begun to realise their freedom and have grown attached to it. How is that going to happen with total Nazi or Soviet victory in WWII?

QUOTE
Why do you ask?

Because it seems that freedom begets tolerance which begets postmoderism rather than the converse. I have strong suspicion that your post modern ideals could only thrive in the abscence of autocracy and totalitarianism.
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